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Daily Fantasy Football: FanDuel Roster Building Week 17

Rich Hribar contructs his optimal daily fantasy football lineup.

Cam Newton, daily fantasy football
Cam Newton, daily fantasy football

Dec 22, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks to pass during the second quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium. Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 usually presents a curious blend of strategies because teams are either resting players or have packed up their 2013 bags already thinking about where they’ll be vacationing for the New Year. The good thing for us is that only the Chiefs are really in a position to rest their starters and have publicly stated they will. Nearly all of the “this or that team” scenarios will play out as regularly planned because those games take place at the same time. The Chargers will know if they’re eliminated by the time they play, but they won’t rest anyone. The only players you need to red light are on Kansas City, everyone else is in play.

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Quarterbacks

Cam Newton @ ATL ($8,500) – Newton has completed 20 passes in just one of his past seven games and eclipsed 250 passing yards in only two of those. He still comes with built in rushing security, 11 games of 20 or more rushing yards, and gets a fantastic road matchup in Atlanta. All seven quarterbacks on the road in Atlanta this season have finished in the top 12 and Atlanta has allowed multiple touchdown passes in 11 games this year.

Jay Cutler vs GB ($7,700) – The Bears ran into a blitzkrieg last week against the Eagles, but the Packers can’t generate that kind of a pass rush (five total sacks in their past three games and Clay Mathews is doubtful) to really knock Chicago onto their heels. Green Bay has been played in shootouts the past two weeks and have allowed 35 points or more in three of their past four games.

Terrelle Pryor vs DEN ($5,300) – Like a moth to the flame, when it comes to Pryor and exploiting his running ability in DFS, I just can’t help myself. In his eight starts, Pryor averaged 16.6 FanDuel points (more than triple his current salary) and topped 18 points in five of those eight. That’s because 47.8 percent of his season long total have come from rushing statistics. Even during a hideous four game stretch where he threw only one touchdown to eight interceptions, Pryor scored over 15 points in three of those games. Denver’s defense is playing much better than when Pryor threw for 281 yards back in week three, but plenty of cheap rushing points make him too hard to pass up at this price.

Wilcard Play: Kyle Orton vs PHI ($5,000)- Come on, you knew we were headed here. Orton has only 15 pass attempts over the past two seasons, but comes in so cheap with so much volume in a solid matchup that he’ll be hard presses to not meet that minimum salary. Dallas is still going to call passing plays 60 percent of the time or higher, and the Eagles secondary is still plenty vulnerable.

Running Backs

Obligatory mention of the running back facing the Bears, Eddie Lacy is at $8,500 but banged up with an ankle injury. Monitor his situation all week before immediately plugging him into your lineups.

Matt Forte vs GB ($8,500) – I’ve already mentioned the potential for this game becoming a high scoring affair, and Forte enters this week with one of the squeakiest wheels in any offense. Since week five, Forte had at least 18 touches in every game until last week where he carried a season low nine times and added four receptions. The Packers have allowed seven running backs since week nine to have 120 total yards or more, including 179 to Forte himself in their first meeting.

Ryan Mathews vs KC ($7,400) – Mathews has 12 or more points in seven consecutive games, including three straight of 19 or more. He’s rushed for 100 yards six times and scored six times over his past ten and could face a team playing much a second unit most of the game.

DeAngelo Williams @ ATL ($5,800) – Williams has 70 percent of the Panthers backfield carries over the past three weeks and has averaged 5.0 YPC with them. The Falcons have allowed over 100 team rushing yards in 12 consecutive weeks, allowing 135.9 yards on the ground per game.

Wildcard Play: James Starks @ CHI ($4,600)- Even if Lacy doesn’t go, this will be obvious. Even if Lacy does go, Starks should find his way to touches. He’s been effective all season long with those touches, averaging 5.2 YPC for the season. At a basement cost with Lacy hobbled and facing the Bears defense, Starks should meet value regardless of Lacy’s status.

Wide Receivers

Eric Decker @ OAK  ($8,200) – Decker has eight or more catches, 100 or more yards and 20 or more points in three of his past four games. With Wes Welker expected to be held out of the finale, Decker has gobbled up slot routes, running 57 over the past two weeks. With Denver still playing for home field, Decker should continue his hot streak.

Julian Edelman vs BUF ($6,700) – Edelman is the third highest scoring wide receiver since week 12 under FanDuel scoring, but is still the 16th highest priced receiver this week. He leads all receivers in receptions (44) over the past five weeks, reaching double digits in all five. New England has become extremely pass heavy, passing 64.5 percent of their plays over the past three weeks, creating massive volume and value for Edelman against a team he beat seven times for 79 yards and two scores way back in week one with a similar surrounding offense.

Larry Fitzgerald vs SF ($6,300) – Fitz has just nine catches for 67 yards total over his past two games, but they were against Tennessee and Seattle, the best teams versus receivers in 2013. He was coming off four consecutive games of 15 or more points, with five touchdowns in those games. He will see plenty of work in the slot against Carlos Rogers and the 49ers, a team he had six for 117 and a score against earlier this year. The Niners also just let a similar receiver in Roddy White catch 12 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown on Monday night.

Jordy Nelson vs CHI ($6,00) – Aaron Rodgers is playing football Sunday. Aaron Rodgers is really good at football. Jordy Nelson is really good at football while playing with Aaron Rodgers. Jordy Nelson is obscenely cheap in DFS.

Wildcard Play: Golden Tate vs STL ($4,500) – If you’re fishing for a basement receiver, Tate is a great bargain. The Rams have allowed eight receivers to reach 70 yards or more since week eight, and Tate had five grabs for 93 yards and two touchdowns in their week eight meeting.

Tight Ends

Jimmy Graham vs TB ($7,600) – Graham has just three games with over 60 yards receiving over his past nine games played, but has managed nine touchdowns over that time. His price has slowly dropped over the season and gets a Tampa defense that has had trouble against the better tight ends they’ve faced. Vernon Davis, Tony Gonzalez and Greg Olsen have each posted double-digit games in the past six weeks against the Bucs. In their first meeting, Graham only managed to catch 10 of his 16 targets for 179 yards and a score.

Vernon Davis @ ARI ($6,400)- Before last weekend’s ill timed zero point performance, Davis had scored seven touchdowns over his nine previous games and in five straight. He gets the NFL’s worst defense in defending tight ends, especially athletic beats like himself. In no surprise, Davis was among the many that have torched the Cardinals this year, catching eight passes for 180 yards and two scores in week six.

Martellus Bennett vs GB ($4,800)- Have I mentioned that I like the Bears passing game this weekend? While the Marshall and Jeffery splits with Cutler are largely exaggerated, Bennett has needed him all season. Five of his six double digit scoring games came with Cutler under center and the Packers have allowed a tight end touchdown in four of their past five games.

Wilcard Play: Antonio Gates vs KC ($4,500) –  I would hate to use a player strictly based on narrative, but Gates is in an interesting predicament this weekend. At age 33, he has had one the best careers for a tight end ever and has been a staple of the Chargers success over the past decade. He’s also owed $10.9 million dollars over the next two seasons and with prodigy Ladarius Green already in house, will likely be let go this offseason. In what could be his last game as a Charger in front of the home fans, coupled with the Chiefs treating this game like a preseason affair, Gates is worth a dart throw for those punting tight end.

My Lineups:

$60K

Terrelle Pryor

$5,300

Matt Forte

$8,500

LeSean McCoy

$9,400

Jordy Nelson

$6,000

Julian Edelman

$6,700

Larry Fitzgerald

$6,300

Jimmy Graham

$7,600

Graham Gano

$5,000

Dolphins DST

$5,000

$55K

Terrelle Pryor

$5,300

James Starks

$4,600

Matt Forte

$8,500

Jordy Nelson

$6,000

Julian Edelman

$6,700

Larry Fitzgerald

$6,300

Jimmy Graham

$7,600

Graham Gano

$5,000

Dolphins DST

$5,000

*Stats used were provided from ProFootballFocus, Pro-Football-Reference, NFLData.com.

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