This is it. We’re mining for gold one last time in 2017. Chances are, if you won your FF Championship last week then you probably had Todd Gurley on your roster. If not, then I hope Chris Godwin or Danny Woodhead helped you on your quest to finding fantasy glory. Two out of five in the deep sleepers world isn’t bad, but I’d like to finish strong. Let’s dig into to Week 17.
To review … all of these players are owned in less than 60 percent of Yahoo leagues (at time of writing) and/or are a significant value in our daily game. They’re not the obvious picks, and they’re not without their risks, but that’s why they’re so cheap and available! I’d never advocate taking all of these guys, but rather utilizing them if a manager were in a pinch at a position or aiming to build a “stars and scrubs” sort of DFS lineup.
Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis Colts ($26)
The chalk play is obviously Jimmy Garoppolo ($35), who continued to wow as he carved up the Jacksonville defense in Week 16 and will likely face a Rams unit devoid of starters this Sunday. But how about Brissett? Yeah, he’s struggled over the last few weeks, paralyzed by opposing pass rushes and holding onto the ball for dear life. Still, those down weeks have come against some stiff competition (JAX, DEN, BAL) and inclement weather (BUF). And, it’s worth noting, he hasn’t thrown a pick since Week 13.
After being pummeled by three of the league’s top 10 defenses over the last month, Brissett should find relief in the season’s last outing. He’ll host a Texans squad that’s allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing QBs and seven passing scores over the past four weeks. Not for nothing, the greenhorn QB had his best game of the season at Houston in Week 9, completing 20 of 30 attempts (66.7 completion percentage) for 308 yards and two TDs.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans ($21)
I’ve pontificated plenty about Henry and his physics defying skill set throughout the season. But one more time for the folks in the cheap seats … with eight breakaway runs on the season and averaging 4.7 YPC, the Alabama product has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to get loose and rumble for chunk gains. Running behind DeMarco Murray, however, he hasn’t had the opportunity to produce on a consistent basis.
That may FINALLY change in Week 17, as Murray is nursing an MCL tear. Yes, we’ve seen the vet gut through nagging injuries all year, but this time he’s a game-time decision and will likely be limited, if on the field at all. The matchup against Jacksonville is far from prime, but given that the Jags have secured a playoff berth, it’s likely they’ll rest their star players.
Branden Oliver, RB, Los Angeles Chargers ($13)
The Chargers’ playoff hopes will come down to Sunday’s tilt vs. the Raiders. Anthony Lynn, of course, wants his best players on the field for such an important contest, but Melvin Gordon has a bad ankle and Austin Ekeler has a broken hand. Even if Gordon suits up, he’ll be way less than 100 percent, providing Oliver with a hero’s opportunity. It’s been a minute, but the back-up RB has flashed before, finishing his rookie campaign (2014) as a top-30 fantasy producer. Facing a below-average Raiders run defense that’s given up five scores to opposing RBs over the past four weeks, Oliver has a chance to surprise.
Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins ($16)
He’s been far from efficient (catching 2 of 13 looks in Week 16), but Washington has been force-feeding its sophomore wideout. Since Week 10, Doctson has averaged 6.5 targets per game and nearly two red-zone opportunities per contest. Scoring in three of his last five outings, the TCU product has served as a suitable flex play for fake footballers. He’ll close out the year against a Giants defense that’s been making golf reservations since Thanksgiving. With New York’s first stringers either injured or suspended, Doctson figures to shine at MetLife Stadium.
Vance McDonald, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers ($10)
From his back to his knee to his ankle to his shoulder, McDonald has been banged up for much of 2017. Over his last two games, however, he’s converted 8 of 11 looks for identical stat lines of 4-52-0. That’s a pretty clear floor. In Week 16 with Antonio Brown sidelined (calf), McDonald was the preferred pass-catching TE, running 15 routes to Jesse James’ six. In Week 17, McDonald face a Browns squad that’s been torched by tight ends for the bulk of the year, allowing the third-most fantasy points and giving up 10 scores the position. With Brown’s targets up for grabs and James working as a blocker, McDonald is a TD likely dart throw.
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Dig Deep with Liz on Twitter @LizLoza_FF.