2014 Fantasy Football Daily Fix: Week 17 Wide Receivers
This is the final Wide Receiver Wednesday at the Daily Fix! Each Wednesday of the NFL regular season @RyNoonan has provide you with several receiving options that are strong plays that week at DraftKings and I hope it’s been helpful for you this season.
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The Wide Receiver position is loaded with options in this new, ever-prolific passing era of the NFL, so options abound. I’ll break it up into tiers, essentially, WR1’s, 2’s, 3’s and FLEX/deep options.
Your WR1 and WR2’s are no-brainer starts in your normal fantasy leagues. I’ll highlight them if they have an exceptional matchup or price. We’re likely going to find some inexpensive plays here week in a week out as well, due to the depth at the position.
For reference, you’ll continue to see me use both aFPA (Schedule-Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed) from 4for4.com and DVOA (Defensive-Adjusted Value Over Average) from FootballOutsiders.com. These stats become more reliable each week as have real data points to reference instead of only a hybrid of data mixed with pre-season expectations.
Odell Beckham Jr. – PHI @ NYG ($9,600)
He’s too rich for my blood this week, but are we all sold on OBJ yet? (And it’s OBJ, not ODB. That doesn’t even make sense, gosh.) This kid is the real deal. He has really impressed me over the last few games. He’s no longer under the radar and while teams are now game planning to stop him, he’s playing his best football. In week 17 it’s vital to look for players that are likely to play all four quarters, and while the Giants have little to gain from a victory here, there’s no way Tom Caughlin is sitting his starters in this one. If you want to pay up and build around him I understand why, plus the Eagles rank 28th in DVOA against WR1’s.
Julio Jones – CAR @ ATL ($8,100)
Here’s another premier value that fit’s the ‘likely to play four quarters’ mold this week. To decide the NFC South, Carolina and their terrible secondary travel to Atlanta and will have their hands full with Julio Jones. With weather a non-factor in the Georgia Dome, I expect the Falcons will lean on Matt Ryan and the passing game. Julio performed well last time out despite being less than 100% and he’s a top five play at the position, yet he’s just 8th highest salary on DraftKings.
Other Options: The Broncos loss on Monday night ensures full use of Denver’s starters in Week 17, with the 2-seed still up for grabs with Cincinnati. For fantasy, that’s a win since Denver hosts Oakland. Now, the Raiders are playing much better as of late, but let’s not pretend that they have an answer for Demaryius Thomas ($8,500). The Steelers need a win and Antonio Brown ($8,500) is matchup proof. He proved that last time out against the Bengals, the lone time that I faded him this season. He’s the most expensive quarterback, but Aaron Rodgers is underpriced this week, making a Rodgers/Jordy Nelson ($8,400) stack very appealing.
Mike Evans – NO @ TB ($6,100)
Mike Evans will cap off a stellar rookie season with a juicy matchup against the lifeless Saints defense in Week 17. Evans, who I blame for the nation knowing who Johnny Manziel is, will go off this week. He missed the first meeting with the Saints and former upper-echelon cornerback Keenan Lewis shouldn’t scare us away. Pro Football Focus’s pass coverage grade has New Orleans 31st in the league. Don’t be afraid to hedge with Vincent Jackson ($5,500) in some places as well.
Jeremy Maclin –PHI @ NYG ($6,100)
Jeremy Maclin is in a similar situation to the aforementioned OBJ. There’s no reason to expect Philadelphia to sit its regulars. The Giants secondary looks much different now than it did during their first meeting back in Week 6, and the expert consensus rankings on FantasyPros have Maclin as a top 10 play. His $6,100 price tag is barely inside the top 20, making Maclin an exceptional value with a high ceiling against a divisional foe.
Other Options: Stop me if you’ve heard this before; both Miami receivers are in play. The Jets maintain the best run defense in the league, and they’re a sieve in the back half. Jarvis Landry ($5,400) remains the safe floor/cash game play, with Mike Wallace ($5,600) in play for both cash and GPP’s. I feel better about Josh Gordon ($5,900) both because of his price, and his quarterback situation.
Andre Johnson – JAX @ HOU ($4,900)
I was all over this Andre Johnson/Case Keenum love affair last week and I’m going back for seconds. Before Joe Flacco completely imploded and flipped the game script, AJ hauled in 6 passes for 65 yards. Last season in the 8 games that Keenum played, Johnson averaged 6.88 catches, 100 yards and 0.62 TD’s on nearly 12 targets per outing. Target targets. On DraftKings, with full PPR, using targets to break ties on roster decisions is a smart approach to apply when constructing your roster.
Charles Johnson– CHI @ MIN ($4,600)
Vikings fans have had a difficult season, but they have to be encouraged with the play of Teddy Bridgewater. The exciting due of Bridgewater and Charles Johnson brings an element to the offense that we haven’t seen in Minnesota in a number of years. That alone makes this NFC Central Loser Bracket battle worth it. Johnson comes at a slightly depressed price, but I’m betting on talent here. Chicago’s secondary has been in a free fall to end the season, and Johnson against Kyle Fuller (worst coverage grade of any CB) is advantage Johnson.
Other Options: I expect to see a large dose of Jamal Charles this week, but Albert Wilson ($3,800) is worth a look if you need a cheaper play. Dwayne Bowe isn’t 100%, and Wilson’s role continues to grow. Steve Smith Sr ($4,200) continues to be an attractive cost saving option, but this is a difficult matchup and Torrey Smith ($5,300) has been the big play, touchdown guy that we expected back in September.
I don’t think you’ll need to go this low at receiver. Usually in this spot I like to highlight a cheaper GPP option, but this week the best value is Cecil Shorts ($3,200). He’s difficult to roster because he’s not the safe cash game option that you like to have, and he’s not likely to be targeted for big plays. What we have seen from Shorts in his career is the ability to stack receptions and an ability to make plays after the catch.