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Fantasy Football Week 17: DraftDay Values

Enjoy Week 17, fellow degenerates, for it is the last time until September that we’ll have a full slate of players from which to draw.

DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson

Dec 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) returns a punt against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings win 48-30. Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

There were 21 wide receivers with higher Week 16 price tags than Eric Decker, lest you forget.

Decker, now fantasy football’s ninth highest scoring receiver, was last week’s No. 1 scorer thanks to two second half scores and 131 yards. Decker was targeted a mind-numbing 17 times against Houston.

He was surely the shining star of our Week 16 discount plays on DraftDay. Perhaps he was the clearest value of 2013 outside of Josh Gordon when his DraftDay salary was suppressed by his two-game suspension. It’s sometimes easy to forget that Decker will finish 2013 with upwards of 1,300 yards and double digit touchdowns.

Almost every other Week 16 salary slash seemed justified, as guys like Jason Campbell and Knowshon Moreno disappointed daily gamers who saw them as arbitrage plays. Moreno, of course, would’ve put up better numbers had the Broncos not gone nuclear in the fourth quarter in a push to get Peyton Manning his various records.

Enjoy Week 17, fellow degenerates, for it is the last time until September that we’ll have a full slate of players from which to draw. I can almost hear the sad trombone play as I piece together this week’s lineups.

Player Opponent Salary change
Jason Campbell Pittsburgh Steelers -$3,700
Ryan Tannehill New York Jets -$3,150
Ryan Fitzpatrick Houston Texans -$2,300
  • I understand if Campbell is dead to you. He tanked in a juicy Week 16 matchup, dropping his DraftDay salary even further in Week 17. Once priced in the top-10 quarterbacks, there are now 43 signal callers with higher Week 17 salaries than Campbell. Manning’s backup, Brock Osweiller, has a higher salary. That’s just silly. Pittsburgh has allowed more than 14 fantasy points to quarterbacks seven times this year.
  • Quarterbacks score a schedule-adjusted average of 16.7 points against the exploitable Jets’ secondary. Tannehill, if the Dolphins’ offensive line can keep him upright and throwing for 60 minutes, is a clear and present value play. Tannehill, a top-10 fantasy quarterback over the past seven weeks, ripped New York to the tune of 331 yards and two touchdowns in their Week 13 contest. He makes an ideal tournament play, with a high projection of 24.6 fantasy points.
Player Opponent Salary change
Reggie Bush Minnesota Vikings -$2,700
Shane Vereen Buffalo Bills -$2,300
Zac Stacy Seattle Seahawks -$1,900
  • Stacy is DraftDay’s 15th highest priced running back in the season’s final week, and his discount is entirely matchup related. Stacy fared just fine against a Bucs’ front seven that has allowed the 10th fewest PPR points to running backs in 2013. Seattle’s defense is just a little better against opposing runners, so I don’t see this as an apocalyptic matchup for the Rams’ rookie. Arizona’s running backs gouged the Seahawks for 142 yards last week and the 49ers managed 132 rushing yards against Seattle in Week 14. Stacy’s locked-in goal line role should give him a much higher fantasy floor than you might think.
  • Bush is an admittedly risky play. His incessant fumbling — which chipped away at his weekly reliability for much of the season — has now taken a sledgehammer to his fantasy value. Joique Bell is the preferred option in Detroit — this much is clear. Bell has out-rushed his backfield mate 56 to 29 since Week 14. Bush is still the ninth priciest runner on DraftDay. That’s way too rich for my degenerate blood. I’d fade Reggie in Week 17, though a full workload, according to the GLSP machine, would give Bush an eye-popping ceiling of 25.6 points.
Player Opponent Salary change
Larry Fitzgerald San Francisco 49ers -$2,650
Marques Colston Tampa Bay Buccaneers -$2,550
DeSean Jackson Dallas Cowboys -$1,400
  • The 49ers’ secondary, somewhat shockingly, gives up 35.3 fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Only 12 teams are more generous to receivers, leaving some hope that Fitzgerald can put up respectable numbers against San Fran. Tramaine Brock is the league’s fourth best cover cornerback, with the 49ers’ other cover guys ranking well outside the top-40, according to Pro Football Focus’ ratings. Fitzgerald, fantasy’s 16th highest scoring wideout, has fallen outside the top-30 highest priced receivers on DraftDay. His fantasy floor sits at a rather frightening nine points against the 49ers.
  • Dallas has given up more adjusted fantasy points to receivers than all but five teams, proving particularly vulnerable against high-octane pass attacks. I wouldn’t let the Eagles’ early-season struggles against the Cowboys scare you away from any Philadelphia player this week. Vegas projects the Eagles to score 29.7 points. I have a sneaking suspicion Jackson will have a hand in that. The speedster is all at once a safe play, with a median projection of 19.3 points, and a home run threat, with a high projection of 28.9 points.
Player Opponent Salary change
Charles Clay New York Jets -$2,450
Dennis Pitta Cincinnati Bengals -$2,050
Jason Witten Philadelphia Eagles -$1,700
  • Clay is what we call a screaming value this week. His salary has been slashed yet again after a disappointing Week 16 output against the Bills that saw the Miami pass attack shrivel up and die in the rain and blustery winds of Buffalo. There are at least three legit reasons to roll confidently with Clay against a defense that has struggled against tight ends for most of the 2013 campaign.
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