NFL DFS – Main Slate Optimizer Groups & Stack Rankings + DEEP Game Notes – Week 17

This article focuses on building lineups with a quality foundation by utilizing the powerful Groups and Rules/Limits tools within the industry’s optimization tools. All of the concepts and pairings included below can be applied to hand-building as well. The goal is to create lineups that have high-scoring correlation and take advantage of combined outcomes within stacks while limiting the likelihood of building inefficient or negatively correlated entries for a full slate of NFL DFS lineups.

This video was made in a former life and features a detailed demonstration of how to apply these concepts in one leading optimizer tool: Fantasy Cruncher – How-To Video

All references to Sims were done via friends of the site: acemind.io

Don’t miss the new Above/Below feature article for a few of our top picks, coming Sunday morning


 

Week 17 DraftKings & FanDuel NFL DFS Stack Rankings

The following stack rankings were created by pairing each team quarterback with his top three scoring options, whether they are three wide receivers, two wide receivers and a tight end, a wide receiver, tight end, and running back, or any viable combination. In some cases, an expensive running back, such as Tony Pollard, can push the overall price point of his team stack in the value rankings.

TEAMFD RankFD Val RankDK RankDK Val RankHR RankFacingOpp SP Rnk
BAL11133Jose Berrios, RHP10
NYY242141Chris Paddack, RHP13
LAD3113124Paul Skenes, RHP8
SEA42412Joey Estes, RHP7
TEX5165165Kenta Maeda, RHP15
CHC68856Erick Fedde, RHP11
KC667515Nick Sandlin, RHP (O)18
SDP8105711Jose Soriano, RHP12
CLE91691716Brady Singer, RHP9
MIN10410108Carlos Rodon, LHP3
TOR1113111412Albert Suarez, RHP14
PIT1215121710James Paxton, LHP16
TB131313818Braxton Garrett, LHP5
CWS1431427Jameson Taillon, RHP4
OAK15816128Logan Gilbert, RHP2
DET16715413Jose Urena, RHP17
LAA1711171017Dylan Cease, RHP1
MIA181818814Zach Eflin, RHP6

Week 17 DraftKings & FanDuel NFL DFS Stacks & Optimizer Groups

Overview

Rules and limits are powerful tools for lineup creation for NFL DFS where our primary focus is creating highly correlated lineups via stacking players from the same game. Lineups will typically be coordinated around the quarterback selection, which informs at least one pass-catcher choice, establishes a budget, eliminates a defense, and sets the tone for the lineup. We will typically look to correlate a quarterback and at least one of his pass-catchers in every lineup, with most of those including a skill player from the opposing team who will have a chance to support the stack in a high-scoring game that drives offense on both sides to create additional correlated scoring potential. Stacking multiple pass-catchers in the same lineup is a sound approach as well, though there are typically overall ceilings on how much volume is available at any given position. We do not typically include running backs who are not pass-catchers as priorities in NFL DFS groups, they typically stand alone with the selection of the quarterback-based stack informing remaining salary which then informs the running back selections. High-volume backs and pass catchers out of the backfield can be included in the groups utilized below, but it is frequently not necessary to do so with the very best players, they arrive in lineups without help.

The following rules and limits are typically applied in an optimizer’s Advanced Options menu. Notes are included to elucidate the reasons behind each rule and to explain what it does during the lineup creation process. These settings can typically be saved for re-use, which is highly recommended. Saving the Week 1 groups that will be created below is also a very good idea to save time with updates instead of recreation each week. These groups are created manually, but most optimizers include automated group creators that can help accelerate the curation process.

DraftKings + FanDuel Settings & Advanced Options

Unique Players Per Lineup– This setting forces the optimizer to utilize at least X new players who were not in Lineup 1 when it creates Lineup 2, and so on. It is recommended to utilize at least two, and more can be applied depending on the degree of differentiation desired within lineups.

Team Salary– a minimum or maximum salary spend can be applied here as needed, though this is not a part of the recommended process in this space as leaving salary on the table is an easy path toward creating unique lineups while not necessarily making a negative expected value play.

FLEX position– allows restrictions on what positions can be rostered at the FLEX spot. The only position to consider in this case is tight end, but that is something to be restricted at the individual level via Groups, rather than at the global level.

Global Exposure Settingallows caps on the maximum percentage of lineups a player can appear in within a given pool of lineup construction. This is a powerful tool for shaping lineups but if settings are too low attempts to build a full set will fall short due to a lack of available players, one of the most common errors in optimizer building. Most optimizers include the ability to calculate ownership caps continuously or at the end of the pool creation process. If caps are calculated continuously, a player with a 25% cap who is utilized in Lineup 1 will not be available for use again until Lineup 5 , we recommend turning OFF continuous calculation.

Randomness – provides a random multiplier to each player’s projected point total based on the set values. This is a valuable tool that helps differentiate lineups instead of simply creating them in order of highest median projected scores. Using some randomness for lineup generation is strongly recommended but the degree to which it is applied is down to personal preference, but 15-25% is fine to get started. We suggest heavier randomness to more event-based players like wide receivers while tracking volume-based positions like running backs more toward their median or ceiling projections.

DraftKings + FanDuel Team Stack Rules

This set of rules will force optimizers to build lineups with certain combinations. We are looking to stack at least one skill player, almost always a pass-catcher, with his quarterback while also playing a skill player from the opposing team in the lineup. The theory behind this build is that a high-scoring stack will require some response from the opposing team to deliver a ceiling score in most situations. When that is not the case, the team that is winning will simply slow down and run out the clock. Most optimizers utilize a “complete the sentence” approach for rule creation with selections from drop-down menus following a very straightforward logic. Exceptions to these rules can be added for specific teams and players on most optimizer products.

  • QB with at least one WR/TE from Same Team (note: It is fine to set this to two or to utilize two versions of this rule, one with WR/TE and one with RB/WR/TE, but we refine this via Groups)
  • QB with at least one RB/WR/TE from the Opposing Team (we typically prefer the pass-catchers but high-volume running backs can be effective here)
  • QB with at most zero DST from the Same Team (this is a personal preference; high-scoring teams and quarterbacks tend to leave their defenses on the field, exposing them to simple point-scoring negatives)

Limits & Custom Rules and Requirements

Limit rules can be applied to restrict certain combinations from coming together. This is powerful for limiting multiple running backs from the same team or getting overweight to a certain stack within a lineup.

  • Limit QB/RB/WR/TE from Same Team to three
  • Limit RB/WR/TE from the Same Team to one unless paired with QB from the Same Team OR the Opposing Team
  • Limit RB from Same Team to one (we also do this with WR in a separate rule that adds an “unless paired with QB or opposing QB” but it’s a personal preference for NFL DFS, we typically do not want two pass-catchers from the same team without their quarterback)

We will maintain the list of rules and limits throughout the season, with occasional tweaks, if needed. Each week sees yet another fresh crop of value plays as situations change and injuries create opportunities around the league. These changing roles and emergent value plays are accounted for in the process of creating these groups from week to week. After a large pool of lineups is created utilizing these groups, it is still of critical importance to filter them for factors including ceiling projections and leverage potential. These groups should help ensure that a highly correlated premium set of options that rotates through a variety of combinations is utilized to create the full lineup pool.

Sunday Updates

Any changes and recommended boosts to specific players will be provided in an early morning update each Sunday.


NFL DFS Week 17 Features & FREE Projections

 


Construction Concept

Team groups are built by utilizing the quarterback as the KEY player in group settings. The quarterback decision in each lineup is the driving factor in which stack is utilized in that lineup and which corresponding plays are then made to work within the structure and requirements. Built to specification, each team will have two groups, a team group, and an opponent group, both of which utilize the same quarterback as the key player. Each game will have a total of four groups. This is the best approach to truly capture the requirement of playing individual “run-back” plays from the opposing team. A more basic approach would be to include all of the skill players from a game in each quarterback’s group and rely on rules and limits to restrict any potential overflow. It is highly recommended to save the Week 1 groups as a foundation that will be updated for the rest of the season. The recommended groups will include skill players who have an active role in their offense and provide significant correlation with their quarterback’s scoring, often bell-cow running backs who do not specialize in the passing game will not be included in groups as they are projected highly and appear on their own in basically correct distributions, while also not always providing the strongest positive correlation plays. Stacking quarterbacks with pass-catchers and allowing running backs to fall into the lanes then created by settings, available salary, and randomness should create a well-distributed set of quality lineups. These groups are updated weekly to account for changes in utilization, schemes, injuries, target shares, and more.

Team Groups for DraftKings & FanDuel – Week 17

The goal is to create a large pool of well-built lineups that can be utilized in any large-field GPP contest. Our approach is to build far more lineups than needed and utilize a sorting table or sim process to filter to the best set of lineups for entries. The lineups created in these crunches should provide a broad distribution that includes some of the lower-owned high-upside skill players from each stack. Applying boosts is critical in pushing and pulling ownership to individual players within their team’s stacked lineups if they are appearing too much or too little.

The groups below are designed so that each quarterback will have two groups to create, one with his skill players and another with the opposing team. A more basic approach would be to add them all to one large group with an “at least three” and let rules and limits set things, but there is a more granular level of control in creating them separately.

Utilizing two groups also allows us to place running backs into the “run-back” position in certain teams while not including them in the primary stack for their team. This is useful when there is a situation with an extremely highly projected running back who does not necessarily fit into his team’s passing game. These players are threaded throughout the following construction recommendations.

Note for the Rotogrinders optimizer, we recommend trimming the automatically created groups that can be accessed under Team Groups, Opponent Groups, and Max Position Groups to match these groups for lineup building. We typically utilize the Stacks tab to enforce constructions as well, but a key requirement is missed in the automated groups. The Max Position groups need the manual addition of the running backs and tight ends to the group that is created with the wide receivers with a setting of max 1 and the team’s quarterback selected as a key player with the designation of using that group when the quarterback is NOT in the lineup. This is done to eliminate the possibility of three skill players from the same team appearing at running back, tight end, and wide receiver together without their quarterback involved. A simple limit of three players per team will keep things to just a quarterback with two skill players in stacks after that. Update: if one were to reset their saved settings on RG’s optimizer new options will reveal themselves, including thankfully a toggle to take care of this from the main build rules page. There is also a non-QB group with a max-1 setting that works better for this purpose because the toggle on the main page will limit stacks to just a 1-1 combination, seemingly as a bug.

Note for all optimizers the rules can be utilized to force bring-back plays in some sets of crunches and turned off for others as a global function instead of changing each group to “exactly one” bring-back play, wherever applicable, but it will apply to all teams.


Arizona Cardinals

Key Player: Kyler Murray (Q)

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Trey McBride, James Conner, Michael Wilson, Greg Dortch, Rondale Moore, Elijah Higgins

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, D’Andre Swift, Dallas Goedert

Lineup Notes: The Cardinals rank 14th by points and 13th by points-per-dollar value on FanDuel and sit 16/10 on the DraftKings slate against a middling Eagles defense that has allowed too many touchdown passes this season. Philadelphia ranks in the middle of the pack with 4.2 yards allowed per rush attempt and 6.4 yards allowed per pass attempt, but they have given up an excessive amount of passing touchdowns with 31 allowed on the season. This should favor Kyler Murray, who comes into action with a questionable tag based on an illness. Murray seems likely to play, a Clayton Tune start would be a downgrade to everyone involved. Other than the touchdown passes allowed, the Eagles’ defense has not been bad, they get to the quarterback aggressively with a 22.7% pressure rate on a 21.8% blitz rate, and they have 40 sacks this season. Murray has viable weapons in tight end Trey McBride, who leveled off with just 31 yards on 6-8 receiving in Week 16, a disappointment after he posted 102 yards on 10-11 in Week 15 and 89 yards on 5-9 with a touchdown in Week 14. McBride should continue to be a prime target for Murray, he ranks as TE3 by fantasy points on both sites this week. The receiving corps is primarily Michael Wilson, Greg Dortch, and Rondale Moore, while minor opportunities may land with Zach Pascal or others, they are very large field very low probability dart throws at best. Wilson was targeted three times in Week 15 and four times in Week 16, Dortch had three then five targets, and Moore was targeted three times in each game. The receivers are evenly projected, they can be rostered on a price and popularity basis as needed. James Conner has 26 carries over the past two games, adding eight catches on eight targets. In Week 16 he had 45 yards on 12 carries and he added 67 yards and a touchdown on his five catches. Conner concedes some touches in the passing game to fellow running back Emari Demarcado, who caught seven of eight targets for 40 yards last week but only picked up two carries, Conner is the primary option while Demarcado is not much more than a very large field dart throw. The Eagles offer elite bring-back options across the board and they are one of the more highly projected teams of the day.


Atlanta Falcons

Key Player: Taylor Heinicke

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Bijan Robinson, Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Jonnu Smith, Van Jefferson, KhaDarel Hodge (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: DJ Moore, Cole Kmet (Q), Khalil Herbert, D’onta Foreman, Tyler Scott, Equanimeous St. Brown

Lineup Notes: The Falcons have enough talent at skill positions that they still rank in the middle of the board by raw potential fantasy points and they are cheap, which is pushing a fair value mark in their direction. The team ranks 15th by points and 10th by value on FanDuel and they sit 14/6 on DraftKings, though there is a good argument that they are better for individual skill players than as a stack. Any of Bijan Robinson, Drake London, Kyle Pitts, or Tyler Allgeier, who continues to poach touches and touchdowns, can succeed in Week 17. Robinson carried the ball 12 times for 72 yards and added 50 more on 7-10 receiving in Week 16, a nice return to form after he saw just 10 touches in Week 15. Allgeier carried the ball nine times but turned it into 69 yards and a touchdown on a productive afternoon. The running back added 1-1 for 19 yards in the passing game and it is noteworthy that he received three carries in the red zone, though Robinson had four of his own. Drake London caught 10 of 11 passes for 172 yards in Week 14, he has five catches for 63 yards on seven targets in the two games since then. London is still the clear top option at the wide receiver position for Atlanta but his production has been erratic in a fairly low-end season that has him at WR23 by points but WR5 by value for just $5,000 on DraftKings. London is WR 23/15 on FanDuel. Kyle Pitts lands as TE 8/4 on DraftKings and TE 9/6 on FanDuel. Pitts scored in Week 16, hauling in three of four targets for 49 yards. The tight end has exactly three catches on four or more targets in each of the last three games. Jonnu Smith also draws volume at the tight end position, he had four catches for 32 yards on six targets last week and caught two of two for 61 yards in Week 15. Smith has gone as high as eight targets this season and he has seen six and seven targets in multiple games. Van Jefferson and Kha’Darel Hodge are downfield dart throws for a big play, they see only limited opportunities. Jefferson has two catches since Week 11 with just six targets over that stretch. Hodge has caught exactly one pass in each of three straight games, drawing four targets in that run. Backup Taylor Heinicke will be one of many cheap quarterback options this week, he ranks as QB 18/6 on DraftKings and QB 18/13 on FanDuel against a defense that is third-best against the run with just 3.6 yards allowed per rush attempt but 16th with 6.5 yards per pass attempt. Chicago offers a few quality bring-back options with DJ Moore leading the way. Khalil Herbert should be the lead back again but there is some doubt and at best a split situation involved, Cole Kmet is an appealing positional option as a cheap bring-back to Atlanta stacks.


Baltimore Ravens

Key Player: Lamar Jackson

Setting: at most two (this enables Lamar “naked” lineups)

Team Group: Zay Flowers (Q), Isaiah Likely, Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman, Nelson Agholor

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Tyreek Hill, De’Von Achane, Raheem Mostert (Q), Cedrick Wilson Jr., Durham Smythe, Braxton Berrios

Lineup Notes: The Ravens are a very good football team on the back of the play of MVP-candidate Lamar Jackson, who has been mostly terrific this season with 19 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns to go with 7.7 yards per pass attempt and 5.5 yards per rush attempt. Jackson should have lead wide receiver Zay Flowers, who is reportedly ready to play after coming up as questionable and missing practices this week. Flowers has 74 catches for 752 yards and four touchdowns this season, a 7.2-yard average per target as the primary weapon in the passing game. Isaiah Likely fills in once again for injured tight end Mark Andrews, Likely has seen 17 targets over the last three games, landing 13 of them for 259 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Odell Beckham Jr. has seen three targets in each of the last two games, following a 10-target outlier that saw him catch four passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in Week 14. Rashod Bateman has out-targeted Beckham in each of the last three games, with four, six, and four opportunities, but he has provided only limited results with 2 for 24 yards, 3 for 39, and 1 for 14 performances. Nelson Agholor has also seen opportunities recently, with 10 targets over the last three games. Agholor caught three of four chances for a touchdown and 10 yards in the team’s Week 16 game. Gus Edwards has been the running back to play in this backfield, he is the primary touchdown scorer on the ground but he has only limited appeal in the passing game. Edwards has a rushing touchdown in each of the past two games, though they came on different levels of volume. He put up 58 yards and a score on 16 carries in Week 15 at Jacksonville then he had 31 yards and a touchdown but just nine carries against the 49ers. The Dolphins offer ideal bring-back options for large field contests with two premium big-play running backs, the biggest-play receiver of them all, and a few moving parts; Jaylen Waddle is out this week. The matchup for Miami is not great, and with a decent defense of their own, there is the possibility that this game could underwhelm. The Dolphins’ defense ranks sixth with 3.7 yards allowed per rush attempt and ninth with 6.1 yards allowed per pass attempt and they are second on the slate with 52 sacks this year. Jackson ranks as QB5 by fantasy points but 16th by points-per-dollar on DraftKings, on FanDuel he ranks as QB4/QB6 for a significantly better price against the salary cap, but Baltimore ranks as just a mid-level stack this week.

 


Buffalo Bills

Key Player: Josh Allen

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Dalton Kincaid, Khalil Shakir, Dawson Knox, Trent Sherfield (large field), Deonte Harty (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Ezekiel Elliott, Demario Douglas, DeVante Parker, Hunter Henry (Q), Jalen Reagor, Tyquan Thornton

Lineup Notes: The Bills land as stack 8 by fantasy points on both sites but they sit 21st by points-per-dollar on DraftKings and 12th by value on FanDuel. Buffalo is facing a New England defense that has been very tough against the run this season. The Patriots rank first with just 3.2 yards allowed per rush attempt this season, they sit 14th against the pass with 6.3 yards allowed per attempt with 19 passing touchdowns allowed on the season. New England manages a 20.4% pressure rate on 33.3% blitzes with 34 sacks in the books this season, they are not an easy front but they give up plenty through the passing game. The issue for Josh Allen and the Bills is their recent stumbles in the passing game. Allen has gotten by with excellent fantasy scores in recent weeks, but he has done so with help from adding stats through the ground game, which could be hampered by the opposing defense. Similarly, the workload has been somewhat relieved by the emergence of running back James Cook, who has seen 45 carries over the past two games, posting first 179 yards and a touchdown with another 42 yards and a second score coming in the passing game in Week 15, followed by 70 yards on 20 carries last week. Cook could be hard-pressed to repeat those numbers, though there is no reason to expect that the Bills will need urgent scoring at all to handle their business against this Patriots team. On the recent limitations in the passing attack, Allen has thrown for just one touchdown in each of the three games since the team’s Week 13 bye. He had three touchdown passes in Week 11 but before that, he had been at only one or two every game back to his four-touchdown performance in Week 4. Allen has added scoring on the ground in each of the past few games, he had two rushing touchdowns and 15 yards on five attempts last week and he scored once in each of the two games before that. In the Week 10 game ahead of their bye Allen had another two touchdown game on the ground, giving him a total of six rushing touchdowns on 32 carries in the past four games. With Allen, so goes Stefon Diggs. The star wide receiver has not cracked 50 yards in any of the past three games, with four catches in each of Week 14 and 15 and five catches in Week 16, but just 24, 48, and 29-yard totals. Diggs is capable of far more in the right spot, and the New England pass funnel could swirl in his direction, Diggs ranks as WR9 by fantasy points on DraftKings and WR10 on FanDuel, he is unfortunately 43rd by points-per-dollar at his $8,200 price on DraftKings but he is WR10 by value on FanDuel at just $7,600. The remaining Bills pass-catchers rank similarly, Gabe Davis has appeal with solid target volume and downfield ability, he posted 130 yards and a touchdown on 4-6 receiving in Week 16. Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox are limited opportunists at the tight end spot, each has seen only a couple of targets per contest over the past three weeks. Khalil Shakir caught all three of his targets for 45 yards last week, he has two touchdowns on the season with a 115-yard game coming on just three catches in Week 11. Trent Sherfield and Deonte Harty are afterthoughts in the passing game. The Patriots offer bring-back players of limited appeal, we can probably do better with random selections from other teams in those spots.

 


Carolina Panthers

Key Player: Bryce Young

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Adam Thielen, DJ Chark Jr., Jonathan Mingo, Tommy Tremble, Ihmir Smith-Marsette

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Travis Etienne Jr., Calvin Ridley, Evan Engram, Zay Jones (Q), Parker Washington, Jamal Agnew

Lineup Notes: While we are stopping well short of calling this a Bryce Young breakout, the quarterback had a good outing the last time we saw him. Young threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns on 23-36 passing in Week 16 against the Packers and he gets a soft opponent in the Jaguars to continue the roll this week. Young will be facing a defense that ranks just 24th with 6.9 yards allowed per pass attempt and 25 touchdown passes yielded on the season with 257 yards allowed per game, even Young may take advantage of those numbers. Of course, the Jaguars have managed 32 sacks and 14 interceptions with a 22.5% pressure rate and 29.6% blitz rate, so Young will have to keep his head up and get the ball out quickly, but there is an affordable opportunity in Carolina this week and there are quite a few similar-to-worse quarterbacks and backups in play this week. Overall, Young has been lousy in his rookie season, posting just 5.6 yards per pass attempt and 11 touchdowns on 60% passing. The Panthers rank as the 21st stack by fantasy points on both sites but they land fourth by points-per-dollar value on DraftKings. Carolina is just 20th by value on the FanDuel slate. Chuba Hubbard has limited volume in the passing game, but he has been the team’s lead running back on carries over the past five games, with carry volume of 14-25-23-22-16. Hubbard has scored four touchdowns over that stretch, but he has been targeted just 10 times in the five games, with five of them coming in a single game in Week 12. The primary options in stacks with Young are Adam Thielen, who turned eight targets into six catches and 94 yards last week, DJ Chark Jr., who had a big Week 16 with two touchdowns and 98 yards on six catches, and Jonathan Mingo who caught just one pass for nine yards last time out. Mingo had four catches for 32 yards in Week 15 and two for 22 yards in Week 14 but he posted back-to-back 60+ yard games in Weeks 12 and 13. Tommy Tremble is the lead tight end, while dynamic Ihmir Smith-Marsette is an interesting tournament option. Smith-Marsette caught his lone target for 18 yards last week and he added 33 yards and a touchdown on two carries. The Jaguars offer several individual star-caliber options for bring-back plays against Carolina value stacks.

 


Chicago Bears

Key Player: Justin Fields

Setting: at most two (this enables “naked” Fields lineups)

Team Group: DJ Moore, Cole Kmet (Q), Tyler Scott, Roschon Johnson, Equanimeous St. Brown

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Bijan Robinson, Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Jonnu Smith, Tyler Allgeier

Lineup Notes: While Justin Fields projects well individually, the Bears do not stand out from the field this week, landing just 20th by fantasy points and 24th/22nd by value on DraftKings and FanDuel respectively. Fields has the upside to be played individually in “naked” lineups, or he can be stacked with DJ Moore or Cole Kmet if he is active. Fields is QB7 by individual fantasy points on both sites but he does not rank well by points-per-dollar against Atlanta’s quality defense. The Falcons rank ninth with 3.9 yards per attempt allowed to the rushing game and eighth against the pass with 6.1 yards allowed per attempt. Fields has posted 6.7 yards per pass attempt with 15 touchdown passes in his starts this season. The dynamic rusher has added 585 yards on the ground, a 5.6-yard per attempt average, with three rushing touchdowns this season. DJ Moore has been exceptional at times this season, most notably in his 230-yard three-touchdown game in Week 5. In more recent outings, Moore has been somewhat muted, he has been under 70 yards in each of the last three games, with only 18 yards on three catches last week. The talented receiver had 52 yards on four catches the week before and 68 yards with a touchdown on six catches in Week 14. Moore has notably caught only about half of his targets recently, he had 10 targets in Week 14, eight in Week 15, and six last week, though he did catch 11 of 13 targets for 114 yards in the Week 12 game before the team’s bye. Darnell Mooney is out, which makes Cole Kmet the nominal second option in the passing game, followed by Tyler Scott. Kmet is questionable but seems on track to play, he had another solid outing in Week 16 with 107 yards on four catches. Tyler Scott was untargeted in Week 16, he caught three of four targets for 49 yards the week before. The Bears have a three-headed rushing attack with all of Khalil Herbert, D’onta Foreman, and Roschon Johnson in play. Herbert had 20 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown last week, he seems likely to be the lead this week but Foreman was missing from last week’s lineup. Johnson had nine carries for 37 yards and added three catches on three targets for limited output, but he could be the odd man out with Foreman back in the mix. The Falcons offer a few quality bring-back options with both running backs, Drake London, and both tight ends in play for a touchdown.

 


Cincinnati Bengals

Key Player: Jake Browning

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Ja’Marr Chase (Q), Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Tanner Hudson, Chase Brown, Andrei Iosivas, Drew Sample

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Isiah Pacheco (Q), Rashee Rice, Travis Kelce, Justin Watson, Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Q), Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Lineup Notes: Jake Browning has been somewhat capable as a stand-in for Joe Burrow over the past few weeks, he has three 300-yard games and a 275-yard game in his last five starts, with seven touchdown passes and six interceptions. Three of the interceptions came in last week’s game, though Browning still went for 335 yards on 28-42 passing with a lone touchdown. Browning, of course, benefits greatly from three solid receivers in superstar Ja’Marr Chase, high-end second option Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. Throwing running back Joe Mixon and the team’s quality options down the depth chart and at tight end into the mix help enable scoring for the entire stack, but Cincinnati ranks just 17th by fantasy points across sites this week. Kansas City’s stout pass defense is part of the issue for Browning, the Chiefs rank third with just 5.5 yards allowed per pass attempt this season and they are among the slate-leading defenses with 48 sacks. Kansas City brings a relentless blitz at 34.7%, the fourth-highest mark on the slate, and they have given up just 173.8 yards per game with 18 total passing touchdowns allowed. Joe Mixon may be the angle for Bengals opportunists, he will be facing a defense that allows 4.6 yards per attempt on the ground, the 28th-ranked mark in football this season. Mixon has volume with around 15 potential touches per week over the team’s past few games, but he has yielded some opportunities to Chase Brown who had four carries and two targets last week and seven carries with three targets the week before. Chase has a big-play upside, he put up 105 yards and a touchdown on 11 touches in Week 14 in his best game of the year. Andrei Iosivas picked up a season-high eight targets last week, catching four of them for 36 yards. The receiver had been untargeted in two of the four games immediately preceding that outing, with two targets in each of the other two contests in that stretch and a previous season high of two. Iosivas has two touchdowns this season, they came in Weeks 6 and 8, and he has moderate tournament appeal as a large field dart throw this weekend. The Chiefs are a mixed bag outside of Travis Kelce, in theory, there is a high-upside offense lurking, but in practice, they have been disappointing and unreliable. Rashee Rice and Isiah Pacheco are the next-best options behind Kelce for bring-back plays.

 


Denver Broncos

Key Player: Jarrett Stidham

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Jerry Jeudy (Q), Marvin Mims Jr.(Q), Javonte Williams, Brandon Johnson, Adam Trautman, Lucas Krull

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Austin Ekeler, Quentin Johnston, Gerald Everett, Alex Erickson, Jalen Guyton

Lineup Notes: The Broncos rank 26th out of 26 teams by fantasy points and 20/21 by points-per-dollar as a stack this week, they are not a good option. Denver has famously benched quarterback Russell Wilson in favor of Jarrett Stidham, who is at least cheap at $4,800/$6,100. Stidham ranks as the 21st-best quarterback on both sites by fantasy points but sits 11th by points-per-dollar on DraftKings and 15th on FanDuel, this does not necessarily make him a good option. Stidham threw for 656 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions in five games (two starts) for Las Vegas last year, he is not a premium or permanent replacement. The passing game will be lacking the team’s top receiver with Courtland Sutton out. In addition, Jerry Jeudy and Marvin Mims Jr. are both also questionable. Jeudy is expected to play after missing practices with an illness and landing as questionable late in the week, while reports have Mims closer to doubtful late on Saturday night. Denver’s ineptitude may waste a good opportunity against a pass defense that has allowed 7.3 yards per attempt this season, the 30th-ranked mark in the league. The Chargers sit 15th against the run with 4.2 yards allowed per rush attempt, Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine are not strong candidates for DFS shares this week, Williams ranks as RB24 on DraftKings and RB25 on FanDuel. With Mims likely sitting out, Brandon Johnson will step into the number two role as an interesting value dart and Lil’Jordan Humphrey could hit a similar mark with a big play or two. Austin Ekeler is the primary bring-back play from an extremely limited Chargers offense this week.

 


Houston Texans

Key Player: CJ Stroud

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Nico Collins, Devin Singletary, Dalton Schultz, Noah Brown, Robert Woods, John Metchie III (large field), Xavier Hutchinson (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: DeAndre Hopkins, Derrick Henry, Chig Okonkwo, Treylon Burks

Lineup Notes: The Texans are looking like one of the best options for stacking on the Week 17 slate on both sites. Houston is expected to get CJ Stroud back at quarterback with all of his healthy weapons back in place in the passing game at the same time. Stroud will be joined by Nico Collins, Dalton Schultz, Noah Brown, and Robert Woods, as well as a few dart throws from further down the depth chart, against a pass defense that ranks just 22nd with 6.8 yards allowed per attempt. The Tennesee pass defense has allowed 225.67 yards per game with 17 total touchdown passes against this season and they have managed just four interceptions all year which pairs well with a quarterback who has thrown just five interceptions all season. Stroud has 20 touchdown passes with 8.2 yards per pass attempt and a whopping 279.31 yards per game in his rookie campaign. Against a defense that funnels to the pass with a seventh-ranked 3.8 yards allowed per rush attempt, it could be Stroud day once last time in 2023, the Texans rank sixth by points on both sites and they improve to third on DraftKings and fourth on FanDuel by points-per-dollar. Stroud is returning from a two-game absence, he threw for more than 300 yards in three straight games from Week 10 – Week 12 before a 274-yard game in Week 13 and an abbreviated start the following game. The quarterback’s high point came in Week 9 when he completed 30 of 42 pass attempts for 470 yards and five touchdowns. Nico Collins caught three passes for 54 yards and a score in that game, he had a touchdown but just 18 yards on his four catches last week in his return after missing Week 15, and he was at 191 yards on 9-12 receiving in Week 13. Collins has been an effective first or second option for Stroud all season and he has big play ability down the field, he could be in line for another big day against the weak opposition. Noah Brown had 82 yards on eight catches with a touchdown in Week 15 and he posted two huge games in Weeks 9 and 10 alongside big games from Stroud. In Week 9, Brown had 153 yards and a touchdown on six catches, he caught seven passes for 172 yards the following week but did not score. Woods has seen regular targets in the red zone this season to mixed results, he has just one touchdown and he has not been over 50 yards since Week 2. Dalton Shultz is a better option for catches and volume, he had eight catches on a huge volume of 11 targets last week and he is a fixture in the team’s passing attack inside the 20-yard line. John Metchie III and Xavier Hutchinson are limited dart throws for large field play only. On the ground, Devin Singletary has been the featured back for the past few weeks, he had 121 yards on 26 carries in Week 15 but just 44 yards on nine carries last week. Singletary adds quality in the passing attack, he caught three of three targets last week and four of five the week before, but his production could be hampered by the Titans’ solid rush defense. Dameon Pierce returned to very limited volume over the past three games, he is difficult to roster at this level. The Titans offer two star-caliber bring-back options and a few playable parts with DeAndre Hopkins and Derrick Henry easily the easiest to select.

 


Indianapolis Colts

Key Player: Gardner Minshew II

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Michael Pittman Jr.(Q), Josh Downs, Alec Pierce, Kylen Granson, DJ Montgomery (Q)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Zamir White, Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Tre Tucker, Austin Hooper

Lineup Notes: Gardner Minshew II has been the unexpected starter for the Colts for most of this season, responding with 2,940 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in his 14 games, but he has put up just 6.6 yards per pass attempt overall and he has not thrown more than two touchdowns in any game this season. Minshew has gone over 300 yards in three of his 14 games, but he threw three interceptions to just one touchdown to spoil one of them, while putting up a pair of touchdowns in each of the other 300-yard performances. Minshew will be facing a Raiders defense that spent the last two weeks helping people shock better teams in season-long playoffs with huge scoring performances of more than 20 points each week. The Raiders are in no way guaranteed to do that again, and they rank just 21st with 4.3 yards allowed per rush attempt and 12th with 6.2 yards per pass attempt while gaining just an 18.6% pressure rate. Minshew has a premium receiver in Michael Pittman, who is questionable but expected to play. Pittman saw double-digit targets in four straight games from Week 10 through Week 14, with a bye week in the middle, he saw just five targets in last week’s game, catching four of them for 78 yards. Pittman has been over 100 yards three times this year and he has four touchdowns on the season with impressive regularity in the receiving game, he has eight or more receptions in 10 games this year. Josh Downs has been a moderately productive second option, he caught six of nine targets for 39 yards last week and had three catches in each of the team’s three previous games. Downs last scored in Week 7, a game that doubled as his only 100-yard performance of the year. Downs ranks as WR35 on both sites but does not benefit much from points-per-dollar rankings. Pittman is WR14/44 on DraftKings but WR13/17 on FanDuel. Alec Pierce is a big play dart with solid downfield ability but limited volume. Jonathan Taylor is a bell-cow running back who has the team’s highest overall projection. Taylor had 18 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown last week in his return to action, with Tyler Goodson and Trey Sermon in minor relief roles. Taylor ranks as RB4 by points and RB5 by value on DraftKings, he is RB3 by points and RB8 by value on FanDuel. The Raiders are without Josh Jacobs, Zamir White is a limited value play in a bring-back role while the primary target should be Davante Adams and then Jaokbi Meyers, both of whom have potential in the pass game.

 


Jacksonville Jaguars

Key Player: CJ Beathard

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Travis Etienne Jr., Calvin Ridley, Evan Engram, Zay Jones (Q), Parker Washington, Jamal Agnew (large field), D’Ernest Johnson (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Adam Thielen, DJ Chark Jr., Jonathan Mingo, Tommy Tremble, Ihmir Smith-Marsette

Lineup Notes: The Jaguars are a talented bunch, enough so that the team still ranks 10th by fantasy points as a stack on both sites even in the absence of starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence will be replaced by CJ Beathard this week, the 30-year-old has rarely been relevant, he played in six games this year but has thrown just 29 passes, 15 of which came last week with 10 more in Week 13. Beathard completed 11 of 15 for 94 yards and a touchdown last week and he had a 9-10 game for 63 yards in his 15 snaps in Week 13. Beathard’s career highs came in 2018 when he threw 169 passes for 1,252 yards and eight touchdowns, with seven interceptions in his six games. He threw 104 passes for six touchdowns, 787 yards, and zero interceptions in six games in 2020 and has thrown a total of 42 passes since. At least the quarterback will return to action with solid weapons at his disposal. Travis Etienne Jr. had just nine touches last week after landing in the mid-teens for three straight weeks prior to that performance. Etienne has been effective with three or four receptions in each of the team’s six most recent games but he has not found the end zone through the air since Week 8. Overall, Etienne has just two touchdowns in that stretch and he has not been over the 56 yards he posted on 20 carries in Week 12. Etienne has one game over 100 rushing yards this year, a 136-yard 26-carry monster in Week 5, but he has been at or around 80 scrimmage yards in multiple outings and he has had a productive season for the money. Calvin Ridley is a prime receiving option, he has seven touchdowns on the season after a bit of a slow start and he has had between four and six catches in each of the team’s six most recent games. Ridley had a pair of scoring catches last week with 90 yards on six total grabs and nine targets. Evan Engram is a solid tight end with clear volume, he had a huge 15-target outing in Week 16, catching 10 of them for 95 yards but no touchdown. Engram has three scores on the year, he put two in the end zone in one game in a big Week 14 that saw him catch 11 passes for 95 yards. Engram is a very good option week to week, he ranks sixth by fantasy points on both sites. Zay Jones is currently questionable to play, his status has not been updated overnight on Saturday so he will be one to watch in the early morning. Jones’ absence would open opportunities for Parker Washington and Jamal Agnew in the passing game, Washington caught two of four targets last week with Jones out while Agnew drew five targets but caught just one of them for 12 yards. Agnew had a better game in Week 15 with 70 yards and a touchdown on two catches in a game in which Jones had eight targets and Washington had six, there is volume in any configuration for these cheap options, but they are primarily low-expectation darts for large field tournament play. The Panthers have limited bring-back options with Adam Thielen looking like the best of the bunch, they are better as a low-end value stack on their own.

 


Kansas City Chiefs

Key Player: Patrick Mahomes

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Isiah Pacheco (Q), Travis Kelce, Rashee Rice, Justin Watson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Richie James Jr., Noah Gray (large field), Mecole Hardman Jr. (large field), Justyn Ross (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Ja’Marr Chase (Q), Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Tanner Hudson, Chase Brown

Lineup Notes: The Chiefs have been all over the map this season with most fingers pointing directly at their extremely limited corps of wide receivers, when not misdirected toward pop starlets at any rate. Kansas City is facing a bad Cincinnati defense that ranks 29th against the run with 4.7 yards yielded per rush attempt and 32nd out of 32 against the pass with 7.7 yards allowed per pass attempt. The Bengals are one of the worst defenses in football and Patrick Mahomes is one of the best quarterbacks of his generation, this should be a no-brainer but the Chiefs land just fourth by fantasy points on both sites this week. Kansas City is the ninth-ranked option by value on DraftKings but they climb to third-best on FanDuel given a few cheap receiver prices. Mahomes is joined by top tight end Travis Kelce who is a quality option regardless of who the team is facing, where he has been in the world the week before, or who he is dating. Kelce has 90 catches for 968 yards but just five touchdowns this season in what is widely regarded as a disappointment, he ranks as TE1 on both sites while falling to seventh by value on DraftKings but just to second in FanDuel value. Running back Isiah Pacheco has been questionable but is expected to play per late-night reporting. Pacheco ranks 10th by fantasy points and 13th by value on DraftKings while landing seventh in both categories on the FanDuel slate. The running back is facing a defense that has been gouged all season, he has clear potential on this slate with his 4.3 yards per rush attempt average and seven touchdowns on the season. Rashee Rice is the team’s lead wide receiver, everyone else comes up fairly unreliable but the Chiefs have a deep bench of options who all see similarly limited volume. Rice has drawn at least nine targets in each of the team’s last five games, with three double-digit target games over that stretch. He has responded with three touchdowns and 391 yards on 38 catches over that stretch. Justin Watson saw six targets and caught four of them for 38 yards and a touchdown last week in what was his best game since Week 11. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had just one target in each of the past two games, he is a limited downfield dart, Richie James Jr. caught three of three last week for 54 yards but has been limited every week before that, and Justyn Ross returned to just one target last week. Noah Gray sees limited opportunities each week, he has low-end sneaky touchdown upside if things break well, but not much more. The Bengals have talented options for bring-back plays in what might be their most valuable angle into the slate, Ja’Marr Chase plays particularly well against Kelce shares, but Higgins, Boyd, and Mixon are all in play as well.

 


Los Angeles Chargers

Key Player: Easton Stick

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Austin Ekeler, Quentin Johnston, Gerald Everett, Alex Erickson, Jalen Guyton, Donald Parham Jr. (large field), Derius Davis (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Jerry Jeudy (Q), Marvin Mims Jr.(Q), Javonte Williams, Brandon Johnson

Lineup Notes: The Chargers have been ravaged by injuries to an almost unfair extent this season. The limited version of the team ranks 24th by fantasy points on both sites and they do not benefit much from a value angle, there is very little to see here for DFS play in Week 17. Austin Ekeler is probably the most appealing option, the Chargers’ running back has had an undeniably lousy season with just his Week 1 game landing above the 100-yard mark. Ekeler missed three games and came back a different runner, despite consistent volume on the ground. In last week’s game, Ekeler saw 15 carries and returned 65 yards with another 21 yards on 3-4 receiving. In Week 15 he carried the ball just five times but he had between 10 and 14 carries in every game before that outing. Ekeler has four rushing touchdowns and one through the air this season but he has just 3.7 yards per rush attempt on the year, by far a career low. The Chargers passing attack is reduced to Easton Stick, which was the name of our bat in Little League in the 90s, who will be throwing to lead receiver Quentin Johnston, Alex Erickson, and Jalen Guyton. Johnston saw five targets last week, catching just two for 29 yards in a game in which Stick was able to throw for just 215 yards on 23-33. The quarterback did manage to throw three touchdown passes while posting 257 yards on 23-32 passing in Week 15, Johnston had one of the touchdowns but just two catches for 23 yards in that game. One of the other touchdown catches in Week 15 went to Erickson, who had just one catch for 13 yards, he caught two of two for 31 yards last week. Gerald Everett has seen increased volume at the tight end spot, he had seven catches on eight targets for 42 yards but no touchdown last week, following up a five-catch 41-yard performance in Week 15. Jalen Guyton has seen only a target or two over the past few games, he has done little with his limited chances and is more of a dart throw even as the nominal third receiver. Donald Parham Jr., Derius Davis, and any other options are limited dart throw plays at most. The Broncos are less than ideal as bring-back plays in this low-priority game.

 


Los Angeles Rams

Key Player: Matthew Stafford

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Kyren Williams, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua (Q), Demarcus Robinson, Tyler Higbee, Tutu Atwell (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Saquon Barkley, Darren Waller, Wan’Dale Robinson, Darius Slayton, Jalin Hyatt, Isaiah Hodgins (large field)

Lineup Notes: Depending on the combination of players one uses, the Rams can rank anywhere from third to seventh by fantasy points on both sites this week, no matter how they are divvied up they look like strong contenders for roster shares against a very bad Giants team. Los Angeles has star power across the board with quarterback Matthew Stafford leading the way. Stafford has thrown 23 touchdown passes with nine interceptions and a 7.5 yards per attempt average this season, he will be facing a defense that has allowed 19 passing touchdowns and 6.7 yards per attempt. New York has also yielded a 31st-ranked 4.7 yards per rush attempt this season, which sets the stage for another big day for stud running back Kyren Williams. Williams has seen 25, 27, and 22 carries in the team’s three most recent contests, posting 114, 152, and 104 yards and scoring a touchdown in the last two outings. For the season, the emergent talent has six 100-yard games and nine rushing touchdowns while also drawing fair volume in the passing game with three added touchdowns and regular targets. Williams ranks as RB3 by raw fantasy points on both sites, he sits 12th by value on DraftKings and fifth on FanDuel. Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua are possibly the best 1/1A combination in football, with either taking the lead role in any given week this season. Both receivers can excel in the same game, though Kupp went through a major drought from Week 7 through Week 13. The receiver bounced back with 22 catches for 278 yards and two touchdowns over the past three games, he had 52 yards and six catches but did not score last week. Nacua got into the end zone on nine catches in 11 targets, posting 164 yards along the way for his third game of more than 150 yards and sixth over 100 yards this season. Nacua has five receiving touchdowns on the year, and Kupp has four in four fewer games. Demarcus Robinson has emerged as the team’s true third option in the passing game, he has a touchdown catch in four consecutive games with at least 44 yards in each outing and a high of 82 yards on six catches in last week’s game. Kupp ranks as WR5/28 on DraftKings and WR6/9 on FanDuel, Nacua is WR6/24 and WR9/13 respectively, and Robinson lands as WR34/29 and WR30/27. Tight end Tyler Higbee is a solid value option at TE13/3 on DraftKings, he does not have the same points-per-dollar appeal on FanDuel and he is a fairly touchdown-dependent player despite regularly drawing three or four targets. The Giants offer Saquon Barkley as a good bring-back play, tight end Darren Waller is viable, and the receivers should see a bit of a boost from playing with Tyrod Taylor instead of the fraudulent options the team had at the position throughout the season, though they all remain low-end.

 


Las Vegas Raiders

Key Player: Aidan O’Connell

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Tre Tucker, Austin Hooper, Hunter Renfrow (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs, Alec Pierce, Kylen Granson

Lineup Notes: Star wide receiver Davante Adams ranks just 11th by raw fantasy points on both sites, but he climbs to seventh by points-per-dollar value on FanDuel. Adams had a big Week 15 with 101 yards and a touchdown on eight catches, he drew 12 targets in that game and he hauled in seven of 10 the week before, though he failed to score in that contest. In the team’s most recent game, Adams was limited to just one catch for four yards on six targets. Adams is not the problem, backup quarterback Aidan O’Connell has been a limiting factor in some games this season, in Week 16 he completed just nine of 21 attempts for 62 yards and no scores. O’Connell was coming off of a 248-yard four-touchdown performance that was aided by some defensive-end turnovers from his opponent in Week 15, he had not thrown more than one touchdown pass in any game before that outing. Jakobi Meyers is the team’s excellent second receiver, he has seven touchdowns on the season on mid-level volume at fair pricing for DFS purposes and he is rarely very popular in public lineups. Zamir White has seen plenty of popularity lately, however, the backup running back has spelled Josh Jacobs, who is not expected to play tomorrow. White made his value for a wide swath of the public, to the outrage of faders everywhere, but he needed 22 carries to get his 145 yards and he had one big play that did most of the work. White posted 69 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in Week 15 while catching three of four targets for another 16 yards, he will be looking to deliver a third value-based game as RB 16/2 on DraftKings and RB 14/2 on FanDuel for $4,800/$5,200. Austin Hooper is a touchdown-dependent tight end option, Hunter Renfrow is a low-end dart having a bad year, and the remaining Raiders are rough around the edges as DFS options. The Colts have two star-caliber bring-backs in Taylor and Pittman, while Downs and Pierce are interesting value pivots. Regardless, this is another low-priority stack even against a middling Colts’ defense.

 


Miami Dolphins

Key Player: Tua Tagovailoa

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Tyreek Hill, De’Von Achane, Raheem Mostert (Q), Cedrick Wilson Jr., Durham Smythe, Braxton Berrios (large field), River Cracraft (large field), Robbie Chosen (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Zay Flowers (Q), Gus Edwards, Isaiah Likely, Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman, Nelson Agholor

Lineup Notes: The Dolphins draw a tough matchup against a stout Ravens defense that sits first in football with just 5.0 yards allowed per pass attempt. The Ravens have allowed 4.4 yards per attempt on the ground this season, just the 22nd-ranked mark in the league, but they are a somewhat deceptive bend-not-break defense on the ground that has allowed just 0.33 touchdowns per game to opposing rushers. The Dolphins strong running back options may find yardage but not scoring against Baltimore, if they manage that much, and they are both too high-priced for the spot. De’Von Achane ranks 21/25 on DraftKings and 22/21 on FanDuel while Raheem Mostert lands 22/28 and 23/28. In the air, Tua Tagovailoa is just QB16/26 and 16/21 across sites against a defense allowing just 193.87 yards per game with 15 passing touchdowns given up all season. Baltimore has racked up a slate-leading 54 sacks on a 19.8% pressure rate and 22.8% blitzes. Tagovailoa has been good this season, he has thrown 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions with an 8.5 yards per attempt average and a unique connection with standout wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The duo will struggle to make value against this defense, Hill checks in as WR1 by fantasy points on DraftKings but falls to WR31 by value given a $9,300 price tag against the best pass defense in the league. He is WR2/14 on the FanDuel slate for $9,800, making him somewhat more playable but still somewhat of a value trap despite a massive leap in target shares in games without Jaylen Waddle this season. Miami will be without Waddle which thrusts Cedrick Wilson Jr. into a more prominent role while Braxton Berrios and River Cracraft could see additional looks at cheap prices. Overall, this is not a great week to get to the Miami stack, the team ranks just ninth by collective fantasy points while sitting 26th for value on DraftKings and 18th on FanDuel. Baltimore bring-backs are mediocre and touchdown-dependent. As of early Sunday morning, Raheem Mostert is NOT expected to play, which pushes touches in Achane’s direction but the spot is still lousy for rushing upside.

 


New England Patriots

Key Player: Bailey Zappe

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Ezekiel Elliott, Demario Douglas, DeVante Parker, Hunter Henry (Q), Jalen Reagor (large field), Tyquan Thornton (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Dalton Kincaid, Khalil Shakir, Dawson Knox

Lineup Notes: As late Saturday night turns into early Sunday morning, it is tempting to replace these notes with “skip to the next team” given the lackluster performances the Patriots have posted for fantasy scoring throughout the season. New England ranks 25th by fantasy points on DraftKings and 23rd on FanDuel, they sit 17th and 19th for value respectively, there is very little to see here. Bailey Zappe did manage to complete 25 of 33 attempts for 256 yards and two touchdowns last week and he threw three touchdown passes in Week 14 against Pittsburgh but he has been very limited overall and he has low-end options at every skill position against a defense that ranks seventh with 6.0 yards allowed per pass attempt this season. Buffalo has been lousy against the run, which could benefit Ezekiel Elliott in small ways, the Bills have given up 4.6 yards per rush attempt this season and Elliot lands as RB14/11 on DraftKings and RB 12/5 on FanDuel, his value-based upside on the blue site is not insignificant at the position. Of course, in similar situations recently, Elliott has failed to eclipse even 30 yards on the ground, he had 27 on 12 carries last week and 25 on 11 carries the week before. The running back did catch nine of 11 targets for 33 yards and a touchdown to pad scoring last week, and he is a fixture in the passing game with 21 catches on 25 targets over the past three games. Elliott is the primary option among Patriots players, he is the top bring-back in Bills stacks as well. Demario Douglas is the team’s top receiver at WR43/38 and WR37/41. DeVante Parker and Hunter Henry are limited veteran options and the team has a few very low expectation dart throws in Jalen Reagor and Tyquan Thornton. The Bills have easy and obvious bring-back plays, but the stack is better the other way around, regardless of cheap pricing, Zappe ranks as QB 25/24 on DraftKings and QB25/25 on FanDuel.

 


New Orleans Saints

Key Player: Derek Carr

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Alvin Kamara (Q), Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, Taysom Hill, Juwan Johnson, AT Perry, Keith Kirkwood (large field), Foster Moreau (large field), Jimmy Graham (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Rachaad White, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Cade Otton, Trey Palmer

Lineup Notes: For a game with just a 41-point total, there is a lot of appeal on the DFS board in the matchup between the Saints and Buccaneers. Derek Carr ranks as QB12 by fantasy points but QB7 by value on DraftKings and he sits at 12/9 on the blue site. On the other side, Baker Mayfield ranks a bit higher for points but lower by value. Overall, the Saints are stack seven by points and eight by value on DraftKings and stack seven by points and six by value on FanDuel despite a Tampa Bay defense that ranks eighth with just 3.9 yards allowed per rush attempt. The problem for the Buccaneers is against the pass, where they have yielded 7.1 yards per attempt, the 27th-ranked average in the league. Tampa Bay has given up 254.13 yards per game and an 8.3-yard average depth of target defensively, which jibes very well with the passing attack that New Orleans deploys. Carr has thrown 19 touchdown passes and eight interceptions with 7.0 yards per pass attempt and 8.0 intended air yards per pass attempt this season and he has strong downfield options to work with in the receiving group. Chris Olave is the top option, ranking as WR 8/9 on DraftKings and WR 8/5 on FanDuel. He caught nine passes on 13 targets in his return to action in Week 16 after missing the previous game. Olave’s 123 yards represented the 5th time he cracked the century mark this season and he has four touchdown catches with six games of double-digit targeting. Alvin Kamara is a prime target out of the backfield who can be effective even against good rush defenses, given his volume in the passing game. Kamara caught five of six passes but gained just 16 yards through the air last week, adding nine carries for 19 yards in a disappointing game. The running back still sees 20 or more potential touches in any given game, he is one of the better options for volume on any slate but his production has dipped somewhat this season with just six combined touchdowns and no 100-yard rushing game. Rashid Shaheed has had a strong year as a big downfield weapon in the passing game. Shaheed has a 14.9-yard average depth of target this season and he has put up 640 yards and four touchdowns on his 41 catches in a bit of a fantasy breakout. Shaheed has big play upside at a fair price, he is WR30 by fantasy points but WR11 by value on DraftKings and WR24/18 on FanDuel. The Saints have a true tight end in Juwan Johnson and a gadget player with a huge ceiling for a cheap price in Taysom Hill, who can throw, catch, and run touchdowns all in the same game if things go perfectly. Hill is a difficult ask in most situations, he is more likely to put a zero in your lineup than produce a slate-winning game, for our money Johnson is the slightly more appealing tight end. AT Perry is a value dart with downfield ability, Jimmy Graham is fourth behind Foster Moreau on the tight end depth chart but he had touchdowns in each of Weeks 13, 14, and 15 before going untargeted last week. Tampa Bay has ideal bring-back options with premium receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at slightly different prices and popularity points, Rachaad White on the ground with heavy volume, and darts in Cade Otton and Trey Palmer for low prices.

 


New York Giants

Key Player: Tyrod Taylor

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Saquon Barkley, Darren Waller, Wan’Dale Robinson (Q), Darius Slayton, Jalin Hyatt, Isaiah Hodgins (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Kyren Williams, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, Demarcus Robinson, Tyler Higbee

Lineup Notes: With Tommy DeVito retired to the annals of history and a future of local North Jersey used car lot commercials and pasta product pitches, the Giants are turning back to Tyrod Taylor, who should have immediately been reinstated to this position upon returning from injury instead of rolling with DeVito. Taylor is a capable professional NFL-caliber quarterback who deserves better, he is arguably more talented than half of the passers on this slate, if not in the entire league at this point (including the current backups of course). Taylor was called upon to throw just 16 passes in last week’s mess of a game against the Eagles, he completed seven of them for 133 yards with a touchdown and an interception and he added two carries for 21 yards. Taylor threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns on 18-29 passing back in Week 7 and he completed 24 of 36 for 200 yards but zero scores in Week 6 before falling to injury, he has 250-yard and multiple touchdown potential even with the limited receivers on his side. Saquon Barkley should be a help to the quarterback, he is highly capable in the rushing and passing attack. Barkley drew six targets last week, though he turned in only four yards on three catches. The running back also carried the ball 23 times for 80 yards and a touchdown in Week 16 in a nice bounceback after a limited Week 15. With two touchdowns and 86 yards on 20 carries in Week 14, Barkley has demonstrated clear value regardless of who is at the helm for New York, he ranks as RB6 by fantasy points on both sites this week. Darren Waller has caught six of 11 targets over his two games since returning, putting up 40 yards on four catches in Week 15 and 32 yards on two receptions in Week 16. Waller has just one touchdown this season, he managed seven catches and 98 yards, another season-high, in that Week 7 game but he has been disappointing overall. The tight end ranks as TE7/11 on DraftKings and TE7/7 on FanDuel. Wan’Dale Robinson ranks 40/16 on DraftKings and 36/32 on FanDuel but Darius Slayton is WR41/WR2 on DraftKings with his $3,400 price tag drawing attention. Slayton is, perhaps, best deployed as a value dart in other non-stacked lineups where he is just a price-based play rather than one driving part of a bigger picture. On FanDuel he is far less of a consideration at WR38/28. Other than Barkley and Waller there is no priority option from this team on the blue site, Slayton is a good value on DraftKings while Robinson is merely playable and Waller is not mandatory. The Rams have ideal bring-back plays with all of Kyren Williams, Cooper Kupp, and Puka Nacua projecting very well at high prices and Demarcus Robinson adding value with Tyler Higbee as a positional play at tight end. Los Angeles’ defense ranks just 14th against the run with 4.1 yards allowed per rush attempt and 17th with 6.5 yards per pass attempt and they have given up 25 passing touchdowns this season, though their 31.4% blitz rate and 45 sacks on 19.9% pressure will have Taylor on his toes all day.

 


Philadelphia Eagles

Key Player: Jalen Hurts

Setting: at least one

Team Group: AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, D’Andre Swift, Dallas Goedert, Julio Jones, Olamide Zaccheaus, Quez Watkins (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Trey McBride, James Conner, Michael Wilson, Greg Dortch, Rondale Moore, Emari Demercado

Lineup Notes: The Eagles are one of the top stacks on the slate and Jalen Hurts is the most highly projected player on the board. Hurts has been a force at the quarterback position this season, he has a record 15 rushing touchdowns from the position and he has thrown 20 touchdown passes with 13 interceptions. Hurts averages 7.3 yards per pass attempt with 8.4 intended air yards per attempt and he has excellent weapons in the passing game against a defense that has yielded 27 touchdowns and an 8.3-yard defensive ADOT this season. Arizona ranks 28th with 7.1 yards allowed per pass attempt and 30th with 4.7 yards given up per rush attempt. All of this, and the tremendous skill across skill positions, has Philadelphia pushed up to the second-best stack ranking for points and the fifth-highest mark on DraftKings and they reign as stack two for points and the top stack for points-per-dollar value on FanDuel. Running back D’Andre Swift ranks as RB8/8 on DraftKings and RB8/13 on FanDuel, he is playable but his touchdown upside has been sapped this season by Hurts’ value close to the goal line. This situation has been exaggerated to the point where the team’s offensive linemen are now jokingly apologizing to Swift when they get within two yards of the end zone, knowing he will not be the one to score. Swift has yardage-based potential and he can easily break off a run to score, but there is a tangible ding to his overall ceiling. Wide receivers AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith are excellent options across the industry. Brown is WR2/21 on DraftKings and WR1/2 on FanDuel where he costs just $8,500. Smith is WR13/39 on DraftKings for $7,300 and WR14/12 on FanDuel. After a mid-season surge that saw him post more than 100 yards and at least six catches in six straight games from Week 3 through Week 8, Brown has been more down to Earth over the past few weeks. His recent high came in Week 13 when he put up 114 yards on eight catches with 13 total targets. Overall, Brown has seven touchdown catches this season with 1,394 yards on 101 catches. Smith scored a touchdown and put up 79 yards on 4-5 receiving in Week 16, he caught five of five targets for 50 yards in Week 15 and five of 10 in Week 14 for 73 yards. The deep threat option had 96 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets with nine catches in Week 13, 106 yards and a touchdown on 7-8 receiving in Week 12, and 99 yards on 6-8 in Week 11, he has been quietly very good down the stretch. Tight end Dallas Goedert missed Weeks 11-13, he returned to just four targets in Week 14 but drew nine targets in each of the past two games, putting up four catches for 30 yards and then seven for 71 yards. Goedert ranks as TE4/5 on DraftKings and TE5/4 on FanDuel. Olamide Zaccheaus and Quez Watkins are limited-volume dart throws for large-field play with zero to one target each per week. The Cardinals have a few options for bring-back value, Trey McBride will be popular in Eagles stacks, the wide receivers are interesting options.

 


Pittsburgh Steelers

Key Player: Mason Rudolph

Setting: exactly one

Team Group: Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Jaylen Warren, Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Allen Robinson II (large field), Calvin Austin III (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Kenneth Walker (Q), DK Metcalf (Q), Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Noah Fant, Zach Charbonnet (large field)

Lineup Notes: The Steelers rank as stack 23/15 on DraftKings and stack 25/25 on FanDuel, they are not a strong option on this slate. The Seahawks have given up 6.5 yards per pass attempt and 4.5 yards per rush attempt this season with more than a touchdown per game against both the run and the pass. Still, the Pittsburgh offense does not profile well in this matchup with just an 18.75-point implied team total. After a long period of dormancy, Mason Rudolph returned to light the way to Christmas for Steelers fans, posting 290 yards and two touchdowns against Cincinnati on 17-27 passing last Saturday. Expectations for a repeat performance should be tempered, Seattle has not been great by yards per attempt and they have given up 20 touchdown passes this season but they have racked up 45 sacks and 11 interceptions with a 23.7% pressure rate that should have Rudolph under the gun. The quarterback will be slinging the ball to talented wide receivers Diontae Johnson and George Pickens who rank as WR25/13 and 29/31 and WR32/46 and 32/42 respectively, only Johnson’s value-based mark on DraftKings has much appeal between the four spots. Johnson scored in three straight games from Week 13-15 but did not get in the end zone and had just two catches for 15 yards last week. Pickens dominated Week 16 with 195 yards and two touchdowns on just four catches from his six targets. Tight end Pat Freiermuth was untargeted in a hugely disappointing outing last week, he caught just three of four targets for 16 yards in Week 15, three of seven for 18 yards in Week 14, and three of five for 29 yards in Week 13. All of that limited output came after a big 120-yard nine-catch performance in Week 12 that was Freiermuth’s season-high. The tight end ranks 12/9 on both sites. Allen Robinson and Calvin Austin are low-expectation dart throws at best. Meanwhile, the Steelers split carries between Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren, with a bit of a recent lean toward Harris. The running back had 19 carries for 78 yards and a touchdown last week while Warren carried the ball eight times for 24 yards and caught five of six passes for 30 yards. Warren has been the fixture in the passing game while Harris sees more carries, both players have a bit of touchdown upside but they slightly cap one another’s ceilings. Seattle has a few playable bring-back options but this is a low-priority spot on both sides.

 


Seattle Seahawks

Key Player: Geno Smith

Setting: at least one

Team Group: DK Metcalf (Q), Tyler Lockett, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Noah Fant, Jake Bobo (large field), Colby Parkinson (large field), Will Dissly (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Jaylen Warren, Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth

Lineup Notes: Between these two teams the Seahawks are easily the better overall option. Geno Smith is not having a season like he did last year with just 17 touchdown passes and nine interceptions on 65% passing. He ranks as QB13/13 on DraftKings and QB13/11 on FanDuel this week against a defense that sits 20th against the run with 4.3 yards allowed per attempt and 21st with 6.8 yards per pass attempt. Pittsburgh is a targetable defense but they have managed 42 sacks and 16 interceptions with a 22.4% pressure rate and 35.7% blitz rate. Running back Kenneth Walker III is expected to play, he had 16 carries for 54 yards last week and 19 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown in Week 15. Walker ranks 12th by both points and value on DraftKings and he lands 13th by points and 10th by value on FanDuel, he might be the most appealing piece of the Seattle offense this week. DK Metcalf is the team’s primary weapon in the passing game, he caught four of six targets for 56 yards and a touchdown last week and his season peaked in Week 13 with 134 yards and three touchdown catches. Tyler Lockett caught eight passes for 81 yards last week but he has not been in the end zone since Week 10 and he has not been over 100 yards all season. Jaxon Smith-Njigba has made strides as the season has gone along, seeing increased volume and gradual separation from the line of scrimmage when it comes to depth of target. Smith-Njigba has excellent after-the-catch skills, he gained 61 yards on six catches last week, he had 48 yards on four catches with a touchdown the week before, and he has been over 50 yards five times in a supporting role this year with three touchdown catches. The Steelers have two running backs, two receivers, and a tight end who are all viable bring-back options, but this is a low-priority situation overall.

 


San Francisco 49ers

Key Player: Brock Purdy

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Chris Conley (large field), Ronnie Bell (large field), Kyle Juszczyk (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Brian Robinson Jr., Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Logan Thomas

Lineup Notes: The 49ers rank as stack 1/1 on DraftKings and 1/2 on FanDuel, they are an outrageously high-scoring bunch with elite fantasy options up and down the lineup and a capable game-managing quarterback in Brock Purdy, who is not the league MVP but who has easily outperformed his status as the last man in his entire draft class. Purdy ended most of the MVP discussion with a four-interception meltdown last week that saw him benched in the second half, he should return to better fortunes in Week 17. Overall, the quarterback has 29 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions with an average of 9.7 yards per pass attempt, much of which is padded by his superstar teammates. Still, Purdy puts up stats and stats are the only thing that matters for DFS purposes, he ranks as QB3/3 on DraftKings and QB3/5 on FanDuel this week. Christian McCaffrey’s projected fantasy score rivals Jalen Hurts at the top of the board, he is a ridiculous option on any slate. McCaffrey is just one component of an elite group of skill players who probably all benefit from one another’s impact on a defense but he is the clear lead dog in the pack. The running back had another 103 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown on the ground last week, adding six catches on 10 targets but just 28 receiving yards. In Week 15 he was more dynamic, McCaffrey caught all five of his targets for 72 yards and two touchdowns and he carried the ball 18 times for 115 yards and another touchdown against Arizona that week. Overall, he has a league-leading 21 combined touchdowns this season with more than 1,900 combined yards from scrimmage. Deebo Samuel is a similarly talented player who sees a bit less volume than McCaffrey but also has major big play potential at any moment in both the rushing and passing game. Samuel has nine touchdowns in the team’s last seven games, with scores coming both on the ground and in the passing game. Brandon Aiyuk had 113 yards on six catches last week and 126 yards on six catches in Week 14, he has six touchdowns on the season and he typically sneaks through at lower ownership than his star teammates. Overall, McCaffrey ranks as RB1 in both points and value on both sites. Deebo Samuel is WR4/18 on DraftKings and WR4/11 on FanDuel and Aiyuk is WR7/12 on DraftKings and WR5/3 on FanDuel, where he looks like a fantastic option for just $7,500. All of this has, so far, ignored TE2 by both points and value on DraftKings and TE2/1 on FanDuel, George Kittle, who is coming off of a seven-catch 126-yard game. Chris Conley and Ronnie Bell are dart-throw options at best, Bell scored his first NFL touchdown last week on one catch for 12 yards on his lone target. Conley has not been targeted at all this season in limited action. The Commanders’ defense is highly vulnerable, even to offenses that are far less potent than this one, this could be a bloodbath. Washington ranks 23rd with 4.5 yards allowed per rush attempt and 31st with 7.4 yards allowed per pass attempt.

 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Key Player: Baker Mayfield

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rachaad White, Cade Otton, Trey Palmer, David Moore (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, Taysom Hill, Juwan Johnson

Lineup Notes: Tampa Bay quarterback Baker Mayfield has quietly put together a sturdy 2023 campaign with 26 touchdown passes and just eight interceptions with a 7.2-yard per pass attempt average. Mayfield has premium weapons in his passing game with Rachaad White as a high-volume target of a running back, excellent wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and playable parts across the depth chart. Overall, Tampa Bay ranks as stack 5 by fantasy points on both sites, though they slip to 13th by value on DraftKings and 7th on FanDuel. White is RB3 by points and RB6 by value on DraftKings and RB4/3 on FanDuel, he is one of the highest-volume running backs in the league this year with more than 20 potential touches in most weeks this season. White carried the ball 20 times for 39 yards and a touchdown with another 38 yards coming on seven targets and six receptions last week. In Week 15 he had 89 yards rushing on 21 carries and another 50 yards with a touchdown, catching both of his targets. White has had similar games going back to Week 9, and he has nine combined touchdowns with more than 1300 combined yards from scrimmage on the season. Evans caught seven of nine targets last week for 86 yards and two touchdowns, he had a touchdown and 57 yards on four catches in Week 15 and he has amassed 1,163 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 73 catches this season. Evans has a 13.7-yard average depth of target this season, the highest of the last four years for the standout receiver. Godwin caught six of 10 targets for 78 yards last week and he put up 155 yards on 10-12 receiving the week before. Godwin’s lone flaw this season has been a lack of scoring, he has managed to find the end zone just once despite seeing regular targets, including a run of 11-12-10 over the past three games. Cade Otton is a touchdown-dependent dart at the tight end spot and Trey Palmer has a bit of cheap upside but does not project or rank particularly well. The Buccaneers are a potentially good option on this slate, there is plenty of value to pay for their dip in points-per-dollar upside and their 5th-ranked scoring status is appealing. Mayfield has carried the team to fantasy success in the last two games with 283 yards and two touchdown passes last week and a season-high 381 yards and four touchdown passes in Week 15. The Saints are a great option for bring-back plays with Alvin Kamara and the team’s field-stretching wide receivers all in play for the role. Both sides of this game provide good options for stacking on this slate.

 


Tennessee Titans

Key Player: Will Levis

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Derrick Henry, DeAndre Hopkins, Chig Okonkwo, Treylon Burks, Chris Moore, Kyle Phillips (large field), Tyjae Spears (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Nico Collins, Devin Singletary, Dalton Schultz, Noah Brown, Robert Woods

Lineup Notes: The Titans draw a Houston defense that ranks second against the run with 3.3 yards allowed per attempt on the ground but 29th with 7.2 yards allowed per pass attempt. Tennessee ranks 12th by points but jumps to 7th by value on DraftKings, they are stack 13/11 on the FanDuel slate. Most of the team’s value comes from Derrick Henry and Deandre Hopkins, the team’s two stars who project well in most situations. Hopkins is the better option for stacks while Henry is more playable on his own as RB18/23 and RB18/25. Hopkins lands far better as WR15/7 on DraftKings and WR16/6 on FanDuel. After two disappointing weeks that both saw him catch just two passes for 21 and 20 yards, Hopkins will look to bounce back to form against an accommodating defense. He had 124 yards and a touchdown on 7-12 receiving in Week 14 and he has been over 100 yards three times this season. Hopkins has to work with Will Levis this week, the quarterback missed the Week 16 game but he had just 199 yards and zero touchdowns with an interception in Week 15. Levis threw four touchdown passes in his Week 8 game and his yardage total peaked at 327 on 23-38 passing in Week 14. In addition to Hopkins, Treylon Burks can provide a touch of value, he caught just two of three targets for 25 yards last week but had 62 yards on three catches in Week 15 after missing a stretch of games. Overall, Burks has not done much with his limited opportunities this season, he has 210 yards and zero touchdowns on 14 catches with 27 targets in his nine games. In 11 games last season, Burks drew 54 targets and caught 33 of them for 444 yards and a touchdown. For $3,300, Burks ranks as WR1 by points-per-dollar despite landing just 46th by overall fantasy points at 8.59 DraftKings points projected. On FanDuel, Burks is an afterthought at WR47/36. Chig Okonkwo is a playable value tight end on DraftKings but he ranks outside of the top 10 on FanDuel, and the remaining options are at best dart throw plays, and are more likely to be entirely skippable.

 


Washington Commanders

Key Player: Jacoby Brissett (Q) / Sam Howell (starting)

Setting: at least one

Team Group: Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Antonio Gibson, Logan Thomas, Dyami Brown (large field), Byron Pringle (large field), Jamison Crowder (large field)

Opposing Setting: at most one

Opposing Group: Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle

Lineup Notes: Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is expected to take the wheel for the Commanders this week, though he is currently questionable to play. Assuming he takes the field, Brissett steps into a stack ranked 19th by points and 14th by value on DraftKings and 19/15 on FanDuel. Brian Robinson Jr. is expected to play, the running back ranks 27th on DraftKings and 26th on FanDuel in both categories. Terry McLaurin is the team’s lead receiver, he ranks 26th by points on DraftKings and 28th on FanDuel, putting their general potential in perspective against a very good 49ers defense. San Francisco ranks 19th with 4.2 yards per rush attempt but fifth against the pass with 5.9 yards allowed per attempt. McLaurin had 141 yards and a touchdown in Week 15 but dropped back to just 50 yards on three catches in last week’s game against the Jets. The Week 15 performance was his only time above 100 yards this season and he has just three touchdown catches. Jahan Dotson had two catches for 31 yards last week, one for 12 yards in Week 15, and two for 23 in Week 13, with a bye in Week 14. Dotson has four touchdowns all season with one game over 100 yards. Curtis Samuel is a capable third receiver, he scored twice in Week 15 and posted 100 yards on nine catches in Week 12. Logan Thomas had a touchdown and 36 yards on 5-6 receiving last week but he has been more limited in recent outings and has four touchdowns on the season. The 49ers have amazing bring-back options but this is clearly a stack that works better with San Francisco in the lead. As of the early morning on Sunday, reporting indicates that Sam Howell is in the lead to take this start unless Brissett shows improvement with his late-week hamstring injury. Update: Brissett is out and Howell is starting.

 


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