As we head into the weekend, be sure to check out all the content rolling onto the Rotoworld Daily page.
Just a reminder, this column includes only Sunday afternoon games (not SNF), as that’s considered the main slate on DFS sites.
Now onto the NFL DFS Must Plays for Week 17!
PLATINUM: Build your lineup around these guys
Ezekiel Elliott - RB - Dallas (vs. Washington)
Elliott is one of my favorite plays of this slate. The Cowboys are still technically in the playoff race, even though their path to the postseason isn’t an easy one. However, Dallas should put the pedal to the floor while holding up their end of the bargain to keep those playoff hopes alive. As 12-point home favorites, we should see a heavy dose of ‘Zeke against a Washington team that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs. I’d be surprised if Elliott didn’t hit 20-25+ FP in this one.
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GOLD: Next wave to consider in terms of priority
Carson Wentz - QB - Philadelphia (at NY Giants)
Lamar Jackson is sitting out this week, which makes the quarterback position somewhat trickier. I like Patrick Mahomes against the Chargers, but Wentz is my preferred DFS choice with a cheaper salary and better matchup. The Eagles need to win in order to make the playoffs, so they are very motivated to put their best product on the field Sunday. Wentz is set up beautifully against a Giants team that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins, and Wentz himself all had productive outings against the Giants over the last month or so. I’m expecting the Philadelphia QB to lead the way this time around.
Aaron Jones - RB - Green Bay (at Detroit)
Jones is coming off a terrific performance on Monday Night Football. He’ll have a chance to back that up with a beautiful matchup at Detroit - who has allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Jones has been trading big games with Aaron Rodgers this year, but I believe the Packers’ RB will soak up most of the production on Sunday. After all, Green Bay is favored by 12.5 points, which puts game flow on the side of Jones.
SILVER: Good options that narrowly rank ahead of similar players
Courtland Sutton - WR - Denver (vs. Oakland)
Sutton has been somewhat mediocre over the last two weeks, but a breakout is on the way. The Denver WR has seen double-digit targets in back-to-back outings, and that level of volume should translate to fantasy success on Sunday. The Broncos find themselves in a fantastic draw against the Raiders, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to receivers in 2019.
DeAndre Washington - RB - Oakland (at Denver)
Washington was in this column last week, and he came through with 106 total yards on 25 touches with a touchdown to boot. Josh Jacobs will remain sidelined for Oakland, so Washington should find himself with another full-time workload. The matchup isn’t great at Denver, but Washington is far too cheap considering the bump in volume. Even if the Raiders fall behind, Washington is a good enough pass-catcher to rack up fantasy production in the receiving game.
BRONZE: Not 100% necessities, but they mix well into a quality lineup
Dallas Goedert - TE - Philadelphia (at NY Giants)
Zach Ertz is out, so Goedert makes for an excellent tight end play through all formats. That’s it...case closed, let’s move on to the next write-up! Seriously, don’t overthink the tight end position for cash games. Goedert came up huge (9-91-1) in last week’s victory over Dallas, and now he’ll face a bad Giants’ pass defense.
Anthony Miller - WR - Chicago (at Minnesota)
Miller isn’t necessarily a must-play, but he’s on my cash game radar if the salary fits. The Chicago WR only caught one pass for two yards last week, so his ownership rate could take a hit. However, Miller saw nine or more targets in four of his last five games leading into that disappointment. There’s a chance he’ll get back to the 100-yard mark against a generous Minnesota secondary that has allowed the eight-most fantasy points to receivers. The Vikings could rest some starters too, as they can’t improve their postseason standing. Playing in a dome doesn’t hurt the Chicago passing game either.
Greg Ward Jr. - WR - Philadelphia (at NY Giants)
As you’ve probably noticed, I’m backing the motivated Eagles (and their passing game) against a Giants’ team that ranks 26th against the pass. Ward could get in on the action, especially with Zach Ertz sidelined. The former college quarterback has caught 15-of-23 targets for 166 yards and a touchdown over the past three weeks. Those aren’t overly impressive numbers, but Ward is trending in the right direction for this well-aligned draw. It helps that his dirt-cheap salary makes room for the expensive players mentioned earlier in this column.
PARTICIPATION RIBBONS: Fell just short of a featured spot
Patrick Mahomes - QB - Kansas City (vs. LA Chargers)
Christian McCaffrey - RB - Carolina (vs. New Orleans)
Alvin Kamara - RB - New Orleans (at Carolina)
Julio Jones - WR - Atlanta (at Tampa Bay)
A.J. Brown - WR - Tennessee (at Houston)
Travis Kelce - TE - Kansas City (vs. LA Chargers)
NY Jets Defense (at Buffalo)