NY Jets @ Buffalo
Team Totals: Bills 19, Jets 17
As we’ll get to momentarily, there’s a reasonable chance Sam Darnold, Le’Veon Bell, Robby Anderson & Co. spend most of this game squaring off with Bills backups as opposed to imposing defenders such as CB Tre’Davious White, MLB Tremaine Edmunds, and ten-sack breakout DT Jordan Phillips. That gives Darnold, Bell, Anderson, and Jamison Crowder contrarian DFS-tournament life, although this game’s supremely low total and scoring-unfriendly venue may cast cold water on their upsides.
With touch totals of 23 and 29 since missing Week 14 with an illness, and now facing a Bills run defense that’s been generous even with its top run stoppers in the lineup all year, Bell looks like the Jets’ strongest Week 17 DFS bet based on workload and matchup amid rampant whispers this will be the final game Le’Veon ever plays for Gang Green.
His team locked into the AFC’s No. 5 seed with nowhere to go, Bills coach Sean McDermott opened the week waffling on whether to play starters against the Jets. McDermott eventually settled on doing so for the most part but has sounded far from committal on running his first-teamers for full 60-minute stints.
“To go into detail will take some time, but the majority of guys will play,” McDermott stated. “They’re not going to all play the same amount in the game. We’re going to be smart with that.”
The Bills’ offense sounds like a fantasy situation to avoid.
Score Prediction: Jets 20, Bills 17
New Orleans @ Carolina
Team Totals: Saints 29.5, Panthers 16.5
The Saints are extremely likely to clinch a first-round playoff bye and still have an outside chance at the NFC’s No. 1 seed, needing a Week 17 victory of their own, a Lions upset of the Packers in Detroit, and San Francisco to lose at Seattle, all doable outcomes but none guaranteed. Thus, Sean Payton’s team will be playing this one at full tilt. Fresh off busting his months-long slump in last week’s 110 total-yards, two-score demolition of Tennessee, Alvin Kamara gets to tee off on Carolina’s NFL-worst run defense. Michael Thomas shredded a similar-looking Panthers secondary for 10/101/1 receiving when these clubs met in Week 12. Jared Cook has been one of the NFL’s hottest tight ends for over two months.
In his NFL debut, Will Grier showed an ability to deliver the football to Christian McCaffrey, render the opposition’s D/ST playable, and not much else. Behind CMC’s 115 yards, Greg Olsen was Carolina’s Week 16 receiving runner-up with 33 yards on five targets. The Panthers’ entire stretch-run offensive strategy is built on force feeding touches to McCaffrey so that he can challenge franchise and league benchmarks and set single-season records. He needs 67 yards to join Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the NFL’s third player ever to amass 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same year. McCaffrey can eclipse Chris Johnson’s all-time yards from scrimmage record by totaling 216. And CMC can break DeAngelo Williams’ single-season franchise rushing record with 155 yards on the ground against the Saints. McCaffrey’s usage ceiling is through the roof as the top position-agnostic DFS play of Week 17.
Score Prediction: Saints 27, Panthers 17
Washington @ Dallas
Team Totals: Cowboys 27.5, Redskins 16.5
Back under center following Dwayne Haskins’ high ankle sprain, Case Keenum gets a chance to play spoiler at Jerryworld, where the Cowboys must beat the Skins and must have the Eagles lose at the Giants to regain control of the NFC East. Keenum appears unlikely to have difference-maker Terry McLaurin (concussion) on hand, which should force more onto Steven Sims, Kelvin Harmon, and Chris Thompson’s Week 17 plates. Sims runs 81% of his routes in the slot, where fellow interior-oriented WRs Cole Beasley (6/110/1), Julian Edelman (8/93/0), Jakobi Meyers (4/74/0), Greg Ward (4/71/0), Cooper Kupp (6/41/1), and Anthony Miller (3/42/1) gave Dallas fits over the last five weeks. Harmon will stand in as Washington’s primary perimeter wideout in McLaurin’s absence. Thompson hasn’t hit pay dirt once all season, but the Cowboys permit the NFL’s fourth-most receptions per game to running backs (6.1).
One Redskin we know needs no outside motivation is Adrian Peterson, who’s logged between 16 and 25 touches in each of the last seven games missed outright or exited early by Derrius Guice (knee, I.R.). His matchup also favorable, Peterson draws a Dallas defense that yielded 100-plus rushing yards in four of the last five weeks and has underachieved enough to believe the Cowboys could let even the lowly Skins make a game of this one, allowing run-committed Bill Callahan to feed Peterson in competitive script.
The Cowboys still fighting for their playoff lives as their quarterback fights through multiple throwing-arm injuries, Washington-Dallas sets up as a firmly straightforward Ezekiel Elliott game after the Skins were stampeded for a combined 70/495/3 (7.07 YPC) rushing line by enemy backs over the past three weeks. A healthy Dak Prescott would normally be set up to smash in a spot like this, but Dak’s damaged right shoulder and throwing hand provide reason to tread lightly with Dallas’ Week 17 passing game. Prescot, Michael Gallup, and Amari Cooper are best approached as contrarian DFS-tournament plays.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 24, Redskins 14
Oakland @ Denver
Team Totals: Broncos 22, Raiders 19
Even as the Raiders’ postseason odds are realistic – they need their own Week 17 victory, Houston to beat Tennessee, Baltimore to upend Duck Hodges’ Steelers, the Colts to outlast the Jags, and at least one of New England (vs. MIA), Detroit (vs. GB), Chargers (@ KC), and Chicago (@ MIN) to win – this is a sneaky letdown spot for Jon Gruden’s club on the road facing a dangerously prideful Broncos team that’s won three of its last four and is 6-5 following an 0-4 start.
Should Josh Jacobs (broken shoulder, leg surgery) be unavailable on Sunday, the Raiders’ top Week 17 fantasy play would become DeAndre Washington, who out-touched Jalen Richard 45 to 18 in Jacobs’ Weeks 14 and 16 missed games, out-snapped Richard 79 to 48, and flashed game script-proof capability by running 38 pass routes to Richard’s 30 in those two affairs. The Broncos do not present an overwhelmingly favorable or unfavorable matchup for Washington, but his usage appears bankable as a 20-touch candidate certain to be involved in the passing game should Jacobs miss a third week.
All signs point to the Broncos being up for playing spoiler at home versus one of the NFL’s worst defenses, keeping all of their usual suspects in DFS play. As Denver is favored by three at home, this sets up as a positive-script scenario for Phillip Lindsay, who’s cleared 18 touches in three of his last four games.
The Broncos’ top pass-catcher play is bounce-back candidate Courtland Sutton. Sutton managed 41 scoreless yards on five receptions in Week 16’s win over Detroit while encountering Darius Slay for most of the game. Yet Sutton has been a volume hog with Drew Lock under center – drawing ten targets in consecutive weeks – and torched Oakland’s secondary (7/120/0) when these teams met in Week 1. On the season, only six NFL teams have allowed more fantasy points to wide receivers than the Raiders.
Score Prediction: Broncos 24, Raiders 20
Green Bay @ Detroit
Team Totals: Packers 28, Lions 15.5
Serious candidates to overtake San Francisco for the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a victory at Detroit and 49ers loss at Seattle on Sunday night, the Packers are certain to play this one with full motivation and at full strength. The Lions’ undermanned and injury-depleted defense has been unable to stop the run, rush the passer, and get guys covered all season, while Green Bay’s offense stands to benefit from an ideal environment inside Detroit’s Ford Field dome.
Particularly with Jamaal Williams battling a shoulder injury, Aaron Jones is an elite Week 17 DFS play. Davante Adams is a first-tier WR1 stackable in DFS lineups with Aaron Rodgers.
Still quarterbacked by third-stringer David Blough while fielding a three-man RBBC of Kerryon Johnson, Bo Scarbrough, and Ty Johnson, the Lions’ lone compelling Week 17 fantasy option is Kenny Golladay, a boom-bust commodity whose receiving lines in Blough’s four starts are 6/66/1 > 3/44/0 > 6/58/1 > 4/158/1.
Although his floor remains low, Golladay’s matchup stands out positively after the Packers were ethered by fellow WRs Allen Robinson (7/125/0), D.J. Moore (9/120/0), Anthony Miller (9/118/1), Mike Williams (3/111/0), Terry McLaurin (4/57/1), Stefon Diggs (3/57/1), Deebo Samuel (2/50/1), Darius Slayton (6/44/0), Steven Sims (4/40/0), Sterling Shepard (3/40/1), and Curtis Samuel (5/35/1) over their last seven games. Green Bay has coughed up the NFL’s eighth-most 20-plus-yard completions (55) and third-most 40-plus-yard catches (14), playing right into Golladay’s big-play hands.
Score Prediction: Packers 27, Lions 13
LA Chargers @ Kansas City
Team Totals: Chiefs 27, Chargers 18
As Philip Rivers embarks on potentially his final game as a Charger, and the Chiefs continue their battle for a first-round playoff bye – Kansas City needs a Week 17 win and miracle Miami road upset of New England – this is one of Sunday’s handful of contests pitting against each other two teams that will play at or near full strength. Unfortunately for L.A., this spot looks better for Kansas City’s D/ST than Rivers individually; five straight quarterbacks to face the Chiefs have logged fantasy scores of QB18 or worse, while Rivers himself has finished better than QB18 just once over his last eight starts. Rivers’ TD-to-INT ratio since the month of September is a dismal 14:16 with two additional turnovers on lost fumbles. It’s a poor Rivers recipe with Kansas City’s defense eliminating passing games, especially at wide receiver.
The Chargers’ one Week 17 passing-game member worthy of strong support is Hunter Henry facing a Chiefs defense that’s allowed the NFL’s third-most receptions (93) and fourth-most yards (932) to tight ends. Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, of course, remain eminently playable; enemy backs have torched Kansas City for 4.90 yards per carry and the NFL’s second-most receiving yards per game (55.5).
Since the Chiefs play at the same time as the Patriots, and Kansas City’s playoff-bye motivation is in large part driven by the possibility New England could lose, it’s also true that a scoreboard-watching Andy Reid might become compelled to pull his starters in-game if the Patriots take a several-score lead over the Dolphins in Foxboro. And therein lies the biggest fantasy risk for Chiefs players. Otherwise, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill remain three of the highest-ceiling DFS plays on Sunday’s slate.
As Spencer Ware (shoulder) joined Darrel Williams (hamstring) on I.R. this week, LeSean McCoy has been a capped-usage complement at best and healthy scratch at worst, and the Chiefs entrusted Darwin Thompson for just six snaps in last Sunday’s win, Damien Williams is back in the feature back driver’s seat following his 19-touch Week 16 game. Even after Williams missed a month with broken ribs, he looked as good as new with 92 yards and a touchdown on 53% of Kansas City’s offensive snaps against the Bears and appears primed for a fast December-January finish ala last year’s.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 28, Chargers 20
Pittsburgh @ Baltimore
Team Totals: Steelers 19.5, Ravens 17.5
Still directly in the playoff hunt despite last week’s letdown loss at the Jets, the Steelers visit Baltimore to face a No. 1-seeded Ravens team resting as many starters as possible. Unfortunately, Mike Tomlin’s club remains too offensively challenged for Week 17 fantasy confidence, even against Baltimore backups. Seven straight Steelers games have finished under the week-ending total, and I like this one’s chances of ending up below 36 points.
The Steelers’ defense looks like the best play here against Robert Griffin III & Co. Starting C Matt Skura (knee) is already on I.R., John Harbaugh announced All-Pro RG Marshal Yanda won’t play, and it will be surprising if LT Ronnie Stanley plays much. This is a good opportunity for Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown to rest nagging lower-leg injuries. Having fielded the NFL’s best defense for nearly two months, the Steelers enter a must-win Week 17 game with league highs in tackles for loss (109) and QB hits (108) and an AFC-high 51 sacks. Among D/STs, only the Patriots have scored more fantasy points this season.
With Mark Ingram (calf) among those assuredly on the shelf, the idea of teeing up Gus Edwards or Justice Hill in DFS tournaments would be a lot more enticing if the Ravens weren’t purposely trotting out a shorthanded offense against one of the league’s least-forgiving defenses at full motivation. It should come as no surprise that Steelers-Ravens is among Week 17’s three lowest-totaled games.
Score Prediction: Steelers 17, Ravens 13
Tennessee @ Houston
Team Totals: Titans 24.5, Texans 21
Fans of playoff optimization should root for the Titans to clinch the AFC’s final Wild Card berth over the quarterback-deficient Steelers and fraudulent Raiders. In terms of weighted DVOA – adjusted for strength of schedule and stretch-run performance – Tennessee is a top-ten team, Pittsburgh 20th, and Oakland 25th. A simple straight-up win at Houston’s NRG Stadium would do the trick. And sportsbooks apparently aren’t buying Bill O’Brien’s early-week pledge to play the Texans’ starters for all of Sunday’s game, installing the Titans as 3.0-3.5-point road favorites. Against a Houston defense that has struggled mightily to stop the run and pass since losing J.J. Watt (pec), won’t have him until the postseason at soonest, and may rest several defensive starters regardless on Sunday, all of the usual Titans fantasy suspects – Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, and A.J. Brown, in particular – are in play for Week 17 DFS.
There is a scenario where the Texans would have to run all of their starters; it’s just not likely. At very least, they need the full-motivation Chiefs to lose to the Chargers at Arrowhead, where K.C. is favored by 8.5 points. That would bring Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins back into fantasy play, although Will Fuller (groin) isn’t due back for at least two more games, and Watson could use the rest battling back and ankle injuries. Watson himself admitted Thursday he has “no idea” whether he’ll play against the Titans. If sportsbook lines are any indication, we’ll probably see an extended dose of A.J. McCarron throwing to Keke Coutee and Jordan Thomas with Buddy Howell and Taiwan Jones in the Texans’ backfield. Barring a Chiefs home loss and a Patriots loss in Foxboro to the Dolphins, Houston is all but locked into the AFC’s No. 4 seed and should already be game planning to face the Bills next week.
Score Prediction: Titans 27, Texans 17
Indianapolis @ Jacksonville
Team Totals: Colts 23.5, Jaguars 19.5
As the Colts’ stretch-run passing game continues to sputter – T.Y. Hilton (calf) has been reduced to an ineffective part-time player, and knee-hobbled Jacoby Brissett has thrown for fewer than 170 yards in four of Indy’s last six games – Marlon Mack is left as the team’s lone fantasy asset after parlaying 18 touches into 101 yards and an end-zone trip in last week’s rout of Carolina. Mack’s Week 17 matchup is pristine against the Jaguars, whom enemy backs blowtorched for 180/1,062/10 (5.90 YPC) rushing over Jacksonville’s last seven games. Mack never did find a 2019 passing-game groove with three targets or fewer in 13-of-13 appearances, but he’s a strong bet for rushing success in Sunday’s season finale.
Jack Doyle is worth a DFS-tournament flier based on usage and matchup. Doyle played a season-high 95% of Indy’s Week 16 offensive snaps, and Jacksonville’s near-nonexistent linebacker corps is getting fileted by tight ends. The Jags revived struggling Austin Hooper (7/82/0) last week, coughed up 8/122/0 receiving to Darren Waller the week before, yielded a combined 3/53/2 stat line on five targets to Chargers tight ends in Week 14, and surrendered 5/61/0 receiving on six targets to previously-M.I.A. O.J. Howard the Sunday before that.
With D.J. Chark (high ankle sprain) well short of 100%, Chris Conley on a regression-bound touchdown binge, and Leonard Fournette missing practice time with a neck injury, the fantasy viability of virtually every Jaguars skill player is to be determined as we progress through the week. On the off chance that Fournette does not play, one name to get familiar with is RyQuell Armstead, who at 220 pounds blazed a 4.45 forty coming out of Temple and was drafted by the Jaguars near the top of the fifth round.
Score Prediction: Colts 21, Jaguars 17
Miami @ New England
Team Totals: Patriots 30.5, Dolphins 14.5
The Patriots will clinch the AFC’s No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with a Week 17 win over the Dolphins and will thus play this game at full tilt. Evidenced by Week 2’s 43-0 result when Miami hosted New England, the Fins’ one-dimensional, pass-frenzied offense matches up poorly with a Patriots defense that can stick Stephon Gilmore on DeVante Parker, Pat Chung on Mike Gesicki, and shut down the pass. New England’s D/ST is obviously a premier play; 12-of-15 defenses to face Miami have banked top-12 fantasy scores (80%), while Bill Belichick’s team has allowed more than 17 points only once over its last 11 regular season home games.
Yet Dolphins slot man Albert Wilson is a sneaky DFS-tournament option here; fellow interior WRs Cole Beasley (7/108/0, 7/75/0), Golden Tate (6/102/1), Randall Cobb (4/86/0), JuJu Smith-Schuster (6/78/0), Jarvis Landry (5/65/0), and Kenny Stills (3/61/1) have exposed leaks in New England’s interior coverage, while Patriots top slot CB Jonathan Jones (groin) is at risk of missing his second straight game.
Those Patriots D/ST plays correlate especially well alongside Sony Michel, to whom OC Josh McDaniels has made a newfound commitment with touch counts of 20 and 22 in New England’s last two games. Even as James White’s passing-game nuisance and Rex Burkhead’s big Week 16 pose threats to his all-purpose utility, Michel looks to be staring at another fantasy-friendly workload favored at home by over two touchdowns versus Miami.
Slot machine Julian Edelman is still a great bet to open this game as a major factor, and McDaniels is consistently manufacturing touches for late-December/January breakout candidate N’Keal Harry. But as the Patriots come to grips with their passing-game deficiencies, Belichick and McDaniels appear determined to enter the postseason with their Michel-driven ground attack running hot.
Score Prediction: Patriots 27, Dolphins 10
Cleveland @ Cincinnati
Team Totals: Browns 23, Bengals 20.5
This is a potential lie-down spot for the visiting Browns, whose playoff hopes were dashed in last week’s home loss to Baltimore and whose incessant infighting bodes poorly for Cleveland’s likelihood of a positive finish. In-over-his-head coach Freddie Kitchens is almost certainly on his way out, while the motivations of Odell Beckham (groin, illness) and Jarvis Landry (hip) are in major doubt as they plan for offseason surgeries. Strangely, David Njoku was a healthy scratch in each of the last two weeks. Even against the lowly Bengals, the only trustworthy Browns DFS options look to be Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Chubb enters Week 17 with a 92-yard lead on Christian McCaffrey for the league’s rushing title, while Hunt maintains fresh legs on the heels of a low-usage half-season and is a good bet for double-digit touches.
Yet the strongest box-score bets in Browns-Bengals are on Cincy’s side, beginning with Joe Mixon, who ineffectively braved a debilitating illness in last week’s loss to Miami en route to 73 scoreless yards on 23 touches. Back to 100% this week, Mixon should tee off on Cleveland’s lifeless run defense, which enemy backs throttled for consecutive rushing lines of 23/140/1 (Ravens), 25/143/4 (Cardinals), and 27/161/1 (these same Bengals) in Weeks 14-16. Mixon’s persistent underutilization in the passing game remains frustrating, but he is positioned perfectly to run roughshod on the Browns.
Tyler Boyd is Cincinnati’s next-best fantasy bet against Cleveland’s leaky slot coverage between stingy perimeter CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams. Boyd ranks top ten in targets over the past five weeks (47), and only 12 NFL wide receivers have more receiving yards (389) during that span. John Ross reemerged as a near every-down player against the Dolphins, drawing 13 targets on 79% of the snaps. He’ll have to deal with Ward and Williams more so than Boyd, but Ross has the requisite speed to blow by cornerbacks of any caliber. In the final game of his contract year, Tyler Eifert is also worth a long look in DFS tournaments. Albeit in a game that went into overtime, Eifert ran a season-high 50 pass routes and logged his second-highest target count (8) and playing-time clip (63%) of the year in last week’s loss to Miami. The Browns have allowed the NFL’s sixth-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.
Score Prediction: Bengals 24, Browns 17
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
Team Totals: Bucs 24.5, Falcons 23.5
Shootout potential in Falcons-Bucs is as high as any game on Week 17’s slate in a battle between evenly-matched teams that are both unlikely to run the ball successfully, enhancing projections for pass attempts that tend to gain nearly twice as many yards as rushing attempts and incomplete passes that stop the clock. And neither team has any known plans to rest starters.
On Atlanta’s side, eruption-game candidates are usual suspects Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Austin Hooper, and Devonta Freeman. Falcons slot WR Russell Gage is a deeper sleeper to beat expectations.
For Tampa Bay’s depleted offense, Jameis Winston, Breshad Perriman, O.J. Howard, Justin Watson, and Ronald Jones stand out as high-ceiling plays.
Falcons-Bucs deserves to attract lots of Week 17 DFS ownership.
Score Prediction: Falcons 28, Bucs 27
Chicago @ Minnesota
Team Totals: Bears 18.5, Vikings 18.5
Matt Nagy sounds hellbent on playing out the string with all of Chicago’s starters, while the Week 17 host Vikings can’t move from the NFC’s No. 6 seed regardless of win or loss. Mike Zimmer was still weighing whether to play Minnesota’s starters as late as Thursday afternoon, suggesting he probably won’t play everyone. And the fact that sportsbooks have this game lined at or near a pick ‘em shows the top of the betting market doesn’t buy the Vikings going all out. That makes this is a difficult game to handicap from all perspectives other than perhaps an under bet, although Bears-Vikings is already totaled near the bottom of Week 17’s 16-game slate.
The strongest DFS plays on Chicago’s side are also the most obvious. Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller figure to spend much of Sunday running routes against Vikings backup corners without a whole lot of Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen up front to support them. Mostly effective late in the season with the exception of last week’s Bortlesian effort at Arrowhead, Mitchell Trubisky is also playable in DFS tournaments in what sets up as a plus draw beneath Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium dome.
From the home team, we seem likely to witness Sean Mannion chucking errant passes to Olabisi Johnson, Laquon Treadwell, and Tyler Conklin. Week 16 flop Mike Boone would be a better bounce-back bet if the Vikings were likely to score more alongside full stints from Kirk Cousins, Stefon Diggs, and all five starting offensive linemen. Dalvin Cook (chest/shoulder), Alexander Mattison (ankle), and Adam Thielen (hamstring) are among the Vikings’ likeliest game-day inactives.
Score Prediction: Bears 21, Vikings 13
Arizona @ LA Rams
Team Totals: Rams 28, Cardinals 21
Kliff Kingsbury all but admitted Friday that Kyler Murray (hamstring) won’t play against the Rams, which would give Brett Hundley the start in a meaningless game for both couch-bound NFC West teams. Hundley has attempted all of ten regular season passes since 2017, when Hundley was an abomination in nine starts for the Packers, managing 5.8 yards per attempt and a 9:12 TD-to-INT ratio. Kenyan Drake – playing the final game of his contract year in an Arizona rushing offense that has been more or less matchup proof all season – is the Cardinals’ lone trustworthy DFS play here. It helps that Los Angeles got slaughtered by enemy backs for a combined 68/412/4 (6.06 YPC) rushing line over the last three weeks.
Even after his catch-less Week 16, Christian Kirk is worth at least a DFS-tournament glance against a Rams secondary that won’t have first-team CBs Jalen Ramsey (knee) and Troy Hill (thumb).
There were whispers all week leading up to this game that the Rams might rest at least a handful of starters, or play them less than usual. A prime candidate for this sort of treatment is knee-inflamed Todd Gurley, who Sean McVay rode into the ground in the back half of the season in unsuccessful hopes of keeping Los Angeles’ playoff bid alive. With Darrell Henderson (ankle) done for the year, Malcolm Brown would become an exciting Week 17 bellcow candidate should we learn before kickoff that Gurley will indeed rest.
Rams LT Andrew Whitworth (quad) is nursing a legitimate injury and plays on the same side as NFL sack leader Chandler Jones. This is a big concern for pressure-sensitive Jared Goff. Tyler Higbee, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp do seem relatively safe from playing-time and usage standpoints.
Score Prediction: Rams 23, Cardinals 20
Philadelphia @ NY Giants
Team Totals: Eagles 24.5, Giants 20.5
There is a scenario wherein the Eagles would not need a Week 17 win to make the postseason – solely involving Dallas choking at home against Washington – but it’s unlikely enough that Philadelphia is a lock to go all out. And as Daniel Jones has shown spiked-week capability and Saquon Barkley is finally back to full strength, the Giants are a dangerous enough opponent in The Meadowlands that the Eagles can ill afford to in any way take Sunday’s game lightly.
Friday’s final injury report clarified which Eagles skill guys are playable against the Giants. They’re Carson Wentz, Miles Sanders after Doug Pederson announced Jordan Howard would return as merely Philly’s No. 3 back behind Sanders and Boston Scott, Dallas Goedert with Zach Ertz (ribs) ruled out, and trusty slot man Greg Ward with Nelson Agholor (knee) still on the shelf.
The host Giants get to play spoiler against the beatable and shorthanded Eagles, who sent top CB Ronald Darby (hip) to I.R. this week. Daniel Jones, hot-again Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, and Sterling Shepard are the most confident DFS options on New York’s side. Darius Slayton was hobbled by a knee injury throughout last week’s win over Washington, finishing catch-less. Slayton did not appear on this week’s injury report and will play. Kaden Smith has emerged as a viable tight end punt averaging six targets over the Giants’ last five games.
Score Prediction: Giants 24, Eagles 23
San Francisco @ Seattle
Team Totals: 49ers 25, Seahawks 22
Both Sunday Night Football teams have lots on the line, which is precisely why this game was flexed into primetime. The Niners can clinch the NFC’s No. 1 playoff seed and homefield advantage throughout the postseason with a victory at CenturyLink Field, while the Seahawks can overtake San Francisco for that distinction with a Sunday night win and Packers loss at Detroit earlier in the day. Even if Green Bay wins as expected, Seattle can clinch the NFC West, earn a first-round bye, and force San Francisco to play in the Wild Card Round by defeating its division rival here.
Thus, everyone is going all out. Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders, and Deebo Samuel are the 49ers’ obvious plays on one-game DFS slates. No. 3 WR Kendrick Bourne has made just enough scoring-position noise for punt-play discussion.
Exacerbated by LT Duane Brown’s (knee scope) absence, Seattle’s passing game lost its trustworthiness during a second-half rut. But San Francisco’s defense isn’t as fearsome as it was early in the season, having yielded 26.5 points per game over its last eight. Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, and D.K. Metcalf are locked into major roles in an overrated matchup. Seahawks Week 16 receiving leader Jacob Hollister remains very playable, especially since his draw was improved when the 49ers listed tight end stopper Jaquiski Tartt (ribs) as doubtful on Friday. And No. 2 TE Luke Willson (hip, hamstring) was a late addition to Seattle’s injury report, enhancing Hollister’s opportunity.
The Seahawks will likely lean on a three-man RBBC involving newly signed Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin plus rookie Travis Homer, who drew eight Week 16 targets and figures to operate on passing downs. Homer is a PPR-oriented sleeper on one-game DFS slates. I’m expecting Lynch to lead Seattle in carries but not to dominate the backfield in his first NFL appearance since October 14, 2018.
But the top one-game DFS sleeper on either side is arguably David Moore, who was elevated up the depth chart over the past two weeks by Josh Gordon’s suspension and Malik Turner’s concussion. Moore has flashed big-time playmaking ability in the past, and he now projects as Seattle’s No. 3 wide receiver behind Lockett and Metcalf against San Francisco.
Score Prediction: Seahawks 24, 49ers 23