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NFL DFS Must Plays: Week 17

by Spencer Limbach
Updated On: December 28, 2018, 12:07 pm ET

As we head into the weekend, be sure to check out all the content rolling onto the Rotoworld Daily page. Here’s a list of articles looking at the NFL DFS Week 17 slate. I will be updating as new columns are added, so consider this section as the DFS Table of Contents.


NFL DFS Bargains by Renee Miller

NFL GPP Plays by Spencer Limbach

WR/TE Grind Down by David Kaplen

NFL DFS 6-Pack VIDEO by Chris Prince  

DFS Tiers by Hayden Winks

DRAFT NFL Strategy by Spencer Limbach

NFL DFS Fades by Renee Miller (coming soon)

RotoGrinders Primer by Stephen Keech (coming soon)

Rotoworld Ranks vs DFS Pricing by Rich Hribar (coming soon)


Now onto the NFL DFS Must Plays for Week 17!


Just a reminder, this column includes only Sunday afternoon games, as that’s considered the main slate on DFS sites.


PLATINUM: Build your lineup around these guys


Ben Roethlisberger – QB – Pittsburgh (vs Cincinnati)


Roethlisberger, Rodgers, and Watson are on my short list as cash game quarterbacks. It goes without saying that I like Patrick Mahomes as well, but the salary is prohibitive on FanDuel. I’m leaning towards Big Ben as my top signal caller in a must-win home game against a hapless Cincinnati defense. The Bengals have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, and I’m expecting the Steelers Offense to put up some serious numbers on Sunday. Roethlisberger is in a great position to facilitate that.


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GOLD: Next wave to consider in terms of priority


JuJu Smith-Schuster – WR – Pittsburgh (vs Cincinnati)  


Smith-Schuster is substantially cheaper than teammate Antonio Brown with realistically similar upside on a weekly basis. Because of that, JuJu is the preferred stacking extension of Ben Roethlisberger while facing a bad Cincinnati defense in a must-win game. Smith-Schuster has seen double-digit targets in five of his last six outings, emerging as a fantasy beast down the stretch. The last time he faced Cincinnati, JuJu hauled in seven catches for 111 yards on 10 targets.


James Conner – RB – Pittsburgh (vs Cincinnati)


I believe there’s enough room for Roethlisberger, Smith-Schuster, and Conner to peacefully coexist with strong fantasy production for everyone. Most of that has to do with Cincinnati being that bad on defense. I already mentioned how the Bengals have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, and they have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs. Conner has missed the past two games with an ankle injury, but he has been a full participant in practice this week. Because of this, I’m confident he’ll get back to his usual workload of 20 or so touches in this promising matchup.


SILVER: Good options that narrowly rank ahead of similar players


Julian Edelman – WR – New England (vs NY Jets)


The Patriots find themselves in a must-win situation also, as a victory would secure the first-round bye. Edelman has come up big as Tom Brady’s favorite receiver since returning to the fold in October. That especially holds true with 22 receptions on 33 targets for 246 yards and two touchdowns over his past three games. This week’s matchup looks great against a Jets’ team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to receivers.


Jamaal Williams – RB – Green Bay (vs Detroit)


The price has risen, but Williams is still too cheap when considering his workhorse role with Aaron Jones out. He has made the most of the extended opportunity with 18 and 25 fantasy points in the past two weeks against the Bears and Jets respectively. Game flow should be on his side with the Packers checking in as eight point home favorites over Detroit. The Lions have been gashed by legitimate running backs lately, allowing efficient performances to Dalvin Cook, Chris Carson, and Todd Gurley. Williams could join that list on Sunday.


BRONZE: Not 100% necessities, but they mix well into a quality lineup


C.J. Anderson – RB – LA Rams (vs San Francisco)


We’ll need to keep an eye on the injury report while moving closer to kickoff. As of Friday morning (when this article was written), Todd Gurley is listed as questionable. If he misses his second-straight game, Anderson would hop into the featured role. That was the case last week, and “CJA” came away with 22.7 fantasy points with a nice 20-167-1 rushing line. There’s a chance that performance will cause the Rams to be cautious with Gurley while having confidence in Anderson to get the job done. We’ll wait to get the official word, but Anderson is a very strong play vs San Francisco if he starts.


Evan Engram – TE – New York Giants (vs Dallas)  


Odell Beckham Jr is highly questionable this week, and I’d be very surprised if he plays. If Beckham misses this game, Engram would effectively serve as the Giants top pass catcher yet again. That has been the case over the past three weeks, where Engram has hauled in 17 catches on 23 targets for 239 yards. He has yet to find the end-zone in that role, but there’s a chance that happens on Sunday against a Dallas team that has incentive to rest their starters.


PARTICIPATION RIBBONS: Fell just short of a featured spot


Saquon Barkley – RB – New York Giants (vs Dallas)

Davante Adams – WR – Green Bay (vs Detroit)

Aaron Rodgers – QB – Green Bay (vs Detroit)

Robert Woods – WR – LA Rams (vs San Francisco)

Damien Williams – RB – Kansas City (vs Oakland)

Robert Foster – WR – Buffalo (vs Miami)

Chris Herndon – TE – New York Jets (at New England)

Royce Freeman – RB – Denver (vs LA Chargers)

Spencer Limbach
Spencer Limbach is a multi-sport daily fantasy specialist for Rotoworld. He can be found on twitter @Spencer_JL.