We flip the NFL DFS page over to Week 17. This week we return to NFL normalcy with a Sunday main slate and no split scheduling of Saturday games. That also means we have a full 13-game main slate, which is exciting. This slate looks a good one, at least at the running back position, and we have two studs in Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley, who are rolling right now. I like them to continue that trend, but who else do I like and why? Let’s dive into the top plays, values, and fades for NFL DFS action on DraftKings and FanDuel for Week 17!
Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!
Sunday Main Slate
NFL DFS RB Top Plays
Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers
CMC had a down game last week, finishing with 13.8 fantasy points, but that comes after three straight games with at least 28 points prior. He is still rolling right now and he still found the end zone for a fourth straight game, just the yardage and reception totals were not there last week. We can expect a bounce-back performance from him this week (I would be surprised if he doesn’t hit the 20+ point mark at the very least). He has a great floor and a high ceiling, making him worth the price of admission. The Raiders are a great matchup for running backs and CMC should cruise right through them.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Barkley has put up huge numbers in back-to-back games, rushing for north of 80 yards, finding the end zone, and catching at least five passes in both games. In fact, he has at least five receptions in three of his past four games, a number he hadn’t reached since Week 1 (a span of 10 games). The increased work in the passing game is a huge boost and provides a safer floor with a higher ceiling. The Colts are a good matchup for running backs this season and Barkley should be able to carve right through them; I expect a third straight big game for the Giants best player.
NFL DFS RB Mid-Tier Plays
Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars
Etienne had been on the struggle bus for a few weeks from Weeks 12-14, but he has played well over the past two games with 16.7 and 14.2 fantasy points. He has racked up 186 rushing yards and another 53 through the air in that span but hasn’t found the end zone. He should be able to carry that momentum into this matchup with the Texans and a trip to the end zone seems very likely in this one. He faced Houston back in Week 5 (as a backup at that point in time) and managed to rush 10 times for 71 yards while catching three passes for another 43 yards as he carved right through them.
Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams
Akers went absolutely bananas last week, rushing 23 times for 118 yards and three touchdowns, so it may feel like we are chasing last week’s points here, but we aren’t. Akers has been playing well lately in general, as you can see in the image below, as he has topped double-digits in four straight and is starting to get more work in the passing game too. His price tag is still cheap enough to where he is a great mid-tier (borderline value) play this week. He also has a good matchup on tap this week as the Chargers have been a good spot for backs this year.
NFL DFS RB Value Plays
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There has been a lot of talk about White vs. Fournette in the Bucs backfield and while White has gotten all the attention (because so many people suffer from shiny toy syndrome), Fournette is still proving to be the better fantasy play. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in seven straight games, despite being a “backup running back.” He is coming off a monster game of 25.2 points and he has been going off in the passing game with 25 receptions over the last four games on 28 targets. That elite passing game production gives him a solid floor and he still has solid upside for what his price tag is.
NFL DFS RB Fades
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
I listed Jacobs here and before I could get to his breakdown, the Derek Carr benching news broke and that makes me want to fade Jacobs even more. He’s had an incredible season, but he has only scored 13 and 6 fantasy points over the past two games and now he has a new QB and the hardest matchup in the league this season for running backs as he will face the 49ers. This is a perfect storm of negativity. Is the price tag just way too high for me to want to play him? At best he is a contrarian GPP play that most likely will go low-owned, but I wouldn’t do that even if building multiple lineups.