The Miami Dolphins ran their winning streak to seven games with a win over a COVID-depleted New Orleans Saints team to wrap up Week 16 in the NFL; now it’s on to Week 17, which will feature 15 games on Sunday, as the NFL’s Thursday and Saturday regular season slates have concluded. This article will cover The Professor’s low-cost DFS options for the upcoming Sunday of NFL action.
Dak Prescott, ARI @ DAL, $7400 FanDuel / $6700 DraftKings
Dak Prescott broke out of his recent slump in a Dallas blowout of the Washington Football Team, but his DFS price remains relatively low for this week’s game against Arizona. The Cardinals should present stiffer competition, but this Dallas offense can put up points on anyone when they’re clicking. The fact that Prescott and backup Cooper Rush threw for a combined 400 yards without a single receiver topping the 100-yard mark speaks to the depth the team has at their various skill positions; Prescott should have a matchup he likes somewhere on the field the majority of the time against Arizona.
Carson Wentz, LV @ IND, $7000 FanDuel / $5700 DraftKings
Carson Wentz produced his cleanest performance of the NFL season and created the types of big plays the Colts will need to win in the NFL playoffs. This offense runs through running back Jonathan Taylor, which puts a cap on Wentz’s passing yard production, but the Colts are likely to put up multiple touchdowns on the Raiders, particularly if they get any/all of their starting offensive linemen back, and Wentz should get in the scoring mix. Update: Wentz was placed on the COVID list Tuesday, but could be available after a change to the NFL’s protocol for unvaccinated players.
Mac Jones, JAC @ NE, $6800 FanDuel / $5300 DraftKings
Mac Jones has posted two brutal fantasy performances against the Buffalo Bills in his past four games, but he put up roughly 20 points in each of his other two games, which came against the Colts and Titans. Jones now gets a matchup with another AFC South team in the down-and-out Jacksonville Jaguars, who were last seen allowing Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson to run for the least-athletic 58-yard touchdown that NFL fans will ever see. It’s a perfect “get-right” game for Jones, who needs to build momentum ahead of a Week 18 matchup with the Dolphins.
Ronald Jones II, TB @ NYJ, $7000 FanDuel / $6300 DraftKings
Tampa Bay is coming off a 32-6 win over the Carolina Panthers and the Buccaneers now continue their grueling end-of-season schedule with a trip to play the 4-11 New York Jets. Second-year running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn got in the mix behind Jones last week and ripped off a 55-yard touchdown, but only gained 15 yards on his six other carries. Jones carried the ball 20 times, scored a touchdown, and saw three targets; he should continue to see significant volume against an overmatched Jets defense this week.
Rashaad Penny, DET @ SEA, $6900 FanDuel / $6100 DraftKings
The Seahawks dropped last weekend’s game to the Bears but running back Rashaad Penny continued to make money for himself ahead of free agency, posting his second 100-yard game in the past three weeks. A poor performance against the Los Angeles Rams was sandwiched between those games, but the Lions are a less formidable opponent and Seattle seems committed to giving its former first-round pick a chance to shine down the stretch.
Sony Michel, LAR @ BAL, $7100 FanDuel / $5800 DraftKings
Early reports in Week 17 indicated that Rams’ running back Cam Akers could be activated ahead of this game, but there is no reason for head coach Sean McVay to thrust Akers into a high-volume role coming off injury given how well Sony Michel has played when Darrell Henderson has been unavailable during this NFL season. The Rams put up 30 points despite quarterback Matthew Stafford’s three interceptions last week and should post another productive day on offense, which sets Michel up for another solid stat line.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, DET @ SEA, $6900 FanDuel / $6000 DraftKings
Amon-Ra St. Brown has been a bright spot for the Lions during a brutal season; though he plays on a relatively inept offense, St. Brown has been productive as the unit’s featured target over the past month. St. Brown has a ways to go to be in the same conversation as receivers such as the Rams’ Cooper Kupp or the Vikings’ Justin Jefferson, but the Lions have deployed St. Brown in similar ways and he has shown the ability to get yards after the catch when he makes catches in the short areas of the field. He should continue to see a significant target volume this week.
Odell Beckham Jr., LAR @ BAL, $6500 FanDuel / $5700 DraftKings
The Ravens allowed Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to throw for over 500 yards against them last week, and to make matters worse, they lost another starting cornerback when Anthony Averett went down with a fractured rib. Averett may return this week, but Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is well-positioned for a rebound game either way and Odell Beckham Jr., who has posted four touchdowns in his last five games, is one of several pass-catchers who should benefit.
Michael Pittman Jr., LV @ IND, $6500 FanDuel / $5800 DraftKings
The third receiver spot originally went to Buffalo receiver Isaiah McKenzie, but the NFL updated their COVID protocols mid-week, which means that the Bills get Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis back a game early and that Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr. could have Carson Wentz back at quarterback. Veteran receiver T.Y. Hilton has carved out a larger role in the Colts offense in recent weeks, but there had been depth issues behind Pittman before that, so Hilton’s presence is boosting Pittman and the offense as a whole rather than diminishing Pittman’s role. The big-bodied Pittman should continue to be Wentz’s top target and the Colts should not have issues scoring in a favorable matchup against the Raiders this week.
Hunter Henry, JAC @ NE, $5700 FanDuel / $4200 DraftKings
New England is looking to bounce back after two straight losses, and when the Patriots put up passing touchdowns, tight end Hunter Henry is often the one catching the ball; he has nine of the team’s 20 receiving touchdowns during this NFL season. Henry is coming off a disappointing game, as he only had one catch for nine yards on six targets against Buffalo, but New England’s offense is likely to have a better day across the board against the Jaguars.
This article covered The Professor’s low-cost DFS plays for the upcoming week. For more fantasy content from The Professor check out his weekly appearance on Razor’s RedZone and the rest of his content on BeerLife Sports!
Steven Clinton, better known as "The Professor", is a former D-1 Quality Control Assistant (Northwestern, Toledo) who holds a B.A. in Economics and M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He maintains an end-to-end NFL game projection model and is a film junkie who breaks down the tape of every NFL game.
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