Hello and welcome to the Week 17 Sunday Morning Update. What is this article? Mostly it’s a follow-up to yesterday’s big DFS piece – Scott Barrett’s Week 17 DFS Breakdown. But this article should also offer some utility of its own for redraft and dynasty players.
Each week Graham Barfield and I will be breaking down the key injuries, news, and notes from Saturday / Sunday and will be updating this article up until kickoff (1PM EST). And we’ll also be providing a sort of TL;DR to yesterday’s big DFS article. Who are my core cash game plays? Who are Graham’s preferred low-owned plays for tournaments? You can find that at the end of this article.
Key News, Injury Updates, & Notes
Sunday Morning Update
– From Adam Schefter’s late-night tweet storm… Antonio Brown is expected to play today along with Mike Evans, although Evans will be in on a “limited capacity.” That means Evans could be in on red-zone and third-downs only. Note that Breshad Perriman is back, too. After missing practice all week, I think AB will come in at much lower ownership than he was projecting for earlier in the week.
– Elijah Mitchell is expected to play. HC Kyle Shanahan is getting his guy back. Mitchell is averaging 20.2 touches and has never dipped below 60% of the snaps in any of his nine starts this season. He’s currently seventh in our ownership projections on DraftKings at 10% and a very strong play if you are avoiding Trey Lance in tournaments. Over the last five weeks, the Texans have allowed a whopping 129.8 YPG on the ground to RBs.
– Big news here; Mark Ingram is unlikely to play, per Ian Rapoport. In his seven starts without Ingram, Alvin Kamara is averaging 20.4 carries, 5.7 targets, 115 scrimmage yards, and 20.9 fantasy points per game. Kamara was projecting at around 5% ownership before the news and will jump to 10-12% on DraftKings. He’s a good play, but there is so much value at RB this week. I don’t think this sets up for Kamara as a slam dunk tournament play where you pay up to be contrarian.
– James Conner is still a “game-time decision.” He didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday, but was limited on Friday – which makes him a little more likely to go. Sad trombone for Chase Edmonds.
– All signs point to Tyler Huntley starting. Mark Andrews has gone for 8/73, 11/115/1, and 10/136/2 in Huntley’s three appearances. Andrews is expensive, but he’s the stone cold nuts tournament play on DraftKings again.
– Carson Wentz is expected to play, but he has to officially clear COVID protocol this morning. Every indication is that Wentz will start, though. The spread has moved towards the Colts side all week.
– Courtland Sutton is expected to play. Scott likes him as a value and I agree – they have nothing else at WR with Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick out. I do worry that he’ll end up getting too popular, but Sutton is an amazing play in small-field tournaments.
– Jordan Howard is expected to play, which takes the steam out of Boston Scott. There are too many good RB plays today to really consider either as anything more than darts.
– Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams will both play.
– Cam Akers is out. The backfield is all Sony Michel’s. He’s an awesome play.
– Andy Dalton will start and Nick Foles will back him up.
- Colts QB Carson Wentz WILL PLAY.
- Cardinals RB James Conner is QUESTIONABLE.
- Seahawks RB Alex Collins is QUESTIONABLE.
- Eagles RB Jordan Howard is QUESTIONABLE.
- Texans RB David Johnson is QUESTIONABLE.
- Bills WR Emmanuel Sanders is QUESTIONABLE.
- Cardinals WR Rondale Moore is QUESTIONABLE.
- Lions QB Jared Goff is DOUBTFUL.
- Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater is OUT.
- Jets RB Tevin Coleman is OUT.
- Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire is OUT.
- Eagles RB Miles Sanders is OUT.
- Washington RB Antonio Gibson is OUT.
- Patriots WR Nelson Agholor is OUT.
- Giants WRs Kadarius Toney, John Ross, Darius Slayton, Collin Johnson, Sterling Shepard, C.J. Board, and Dante Pettis are all OUT.
- Saints WR Tre’Quan Smith is OUT, WRs Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Ty Montgomery are QUESTIONABLE.
- Broncos WRs Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick are OUT.
- Titans WR Julio Jones is OUT.
- Raiders TE Darren Waller is OUT.
- Jacksonville TE James O’Shaughnessy is OUT.
- Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin is OUT.
- Washington CB William Jackson III is OUT.
- Panthers CB Stephon Gilmore is OUT, CB C.J. Henderson is QUESTIONABLE.
- The Denver Broncos will be without their starting NT Mike Purcell, WLB Bradley Chubb, and SLB Stephen Weatherly. Starters LDE Shelby Harris, RDE Dre’Mont Jones, LILB Kenny Young, and LCB Ronald Darby are all QUESTIONABLE.
Things I Think
I think cash is pretty simple this week.
But I think GPPs are a bit trickier. I feel really good about the TLDR and everything else I wrote up in yesterday’s Slate Breakdown. I just think it’s naturally a difficult slate — all 14-game slates are — and one better suited for MME players.
I suspect I’ll be spreading around exposure to QBs more than I typically would. And that I’ll lean heavier on dub-stacks and gamestacks than I typically would. I suspect you’re going to need that extra upside and correlation this week.
So, for me, plenty of Matthew Stafford dub-stacks with (ideally) Mark Andrews on the bring-back. Dak Prescott dub-stacks with Zach Ertz or Christian Kirk on the bring-back. Justin Herbert dub-stacks with Courtland Sutton on the bring-back. Josh Allen dub-stacks with Kyle Pitts on the bring-back. Etc. (Hyper-mobile QBs like Jalen Hurts, Tyler Huntley, Trey Lance, and Taysom Hill don’t need to be dub-stacked, however.)
I keep coming back to my write-up on Mark Andrews, and the fact that he projects to be only 5-8%-owned. I’ve been debating going all-in for tournaments. He’s extremely risky, as TEs are so volatile week-to-week, but he also has massive “bury-you”-upside. He averages 33.2 DK FPG over his last three games, which is equivalent to a WR averaging something like 40.0 FPG.
Keep an eye on James Conner’s status, as Chase Edmonds would be the No. 1-overall value on the slate if he’s out.
Keep an eye on Jordan Howard’s status, as Boston Scott could be the nuts if he’s out.
Keep an eye on Courtland Sutton’s status. If he plays, he’s a top-5 WR value on both sites.
Keep an eye on Emmanuel Sanders’ status. If he’s out, Gabriel Davis (WR39/WR55) could be a week-winner at lower-ownership. In Weeks 14-15, he averaged 7.5 targets and 20.4 FPG. And last week Isaiah McKenzie scored 32.4 playing the Davis-role. If Sanders is ruled out, I’ll seriously consider going all-in on (at least) FanDuel.
Graham Barfield’s Contrarian Angles
Contrarian Plays With Slate-Breaking Upside
(Projected ownership in parenthesis).
– Elijah Mitchell (He’s projecting for 10%, which is still too low. He’s an amazing leverage play off Trey Lance)
– Ezekiel Elliott (6% – Great leverage off of chalk Dak Prescott. Looks healthier. 2 TD well within his range of outcomes)
– Alvin Kamara (See above)
– DeVonta Smith (4% – I’d only play him in Hurts stacks but this spot couldn’t be much better. Washington is down their best CB William Jackson and have allowed the second-most yards to WRs over the last five weeks)
– Tyler Lockett (2% – Not in love with it by any means, but we know Lockett has a few splash plays in his range of outcomes every week. Especially here against this Lions secondary that is dead last in completion rate and third-from-last in EPA allowed on deep passes)
– Mark Andrews (7% – He’s hard to get up to on DraftKings, but that’ll keep people off him)
Chalk Plays (Ownership Projections)
- Antonio Brown, WR (28.6%)
- David Montgomery, RB (25.0%)
- Sony Michel, RB (23.1%)
- Cooper Kupp, WR (20.7%)
- Ronald Jones, RB (19.3%)
- Jonathan Taylor, RB (19.0%)
- Trey Lance, QB (15.2%)
- Braxton Berrios, WR (15.1%)
- Devin Singletary, RB (14.8%)
- Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR (14.5%)
- David Montgomery, RB (27.2%)
- Sony Michel, RB (22.2%)
- Jonathan Taylor, RB (19.5%)
- Ronald Jones, RB (19.2%)
- Josh Jacobs, RB (18.8%)
- Cooper Kupp, WR (18.2%)
- Dallas Goedert, TE (15.2%)
- CeeDee Lamb, WR (14.7%)
- Darrel Williams, RB (14.6%)
- Devin Singletary, RB (14.3%)
Cash Core (DK/FD)
QB: Trey Lance, Dak Prescott
RB: Chase Edmonds (if James Conner is out), Sony Michel, David Montgomery, Jonathan Taylor, Elijah Mitchell (DK>FD), Ronald Jones (FD>DK), Boston Scott (if Jordan Howard is out), Javonte Williams (FD)
WR: Cooper Kupp, Antonio Brown (DK>FD), Courtland Sutton, Brandin Cooks, Jaylen Waddle, Braxton Berrios (DK), Gabriel Davis (if Emmanuel Sanders is out),
TE: Stephen Anderson (DK), Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz / Dallas Goedert (FD)
DEF: Bears (DK), Patriots, Whatever