December 29, 2022, 4:17 pm
Week 17 has arrived in the NFL season. While the regular season is winding down, we continue the grind and look for opportunities that we can exploit.
We will be previewing some contrarian stacks to incorporate into your tournament lineups that will put us in a position to be at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon. Before we get into the stacks, here are a few thoughts about this week’s slate:
- Detroit hosting Chicago is going to be the most played game this week and with good reason. With a total of 52, this game has major shootout potential as we saw in their Week 10 matchup in Chicago that saw a total of 62 points and had a slate-breaking performance by Justin Fields (43.4 points). I have no problem using pieces from this game in my lineup, just be careful about who you click on. Cole Kmet ($4,500), D.J. Chark ($4,300) and David Montgomery ($6,900) are in consideration as ways to differentiate yourself in this one.
- The Raiders seem to be in a potential free fall spot ala the Broncos last week. There is a high probability of disaster here as they go against a motivated 49ers squad while they have opted to start Jarrett Stidham for the remainder of the campaign. This is an opportunity we will be looking to take advantage of.
- Be careful that you don’t fall into the narrative traps at the end of the year. There is a lot of “meaningless” games or teams with “nothing to play for”. This may be true in terms of these teams’ playoff aspirations, but the players on these teams are still fighting for contract bonuses, starting/roster spots or increasing their value across the league. A perfect example of this is the Atlanta/Arizona game. Atlanta has a few young pieces they want to continue to develop in Tyler Allgeier and Drake London while the Cardinals showed they are not going to lie down as they fought hard against a desperate Tampa team on Monday night.
Follow me on Twitter @mlafem10 for additional thoughts and I’ll be happy to help out with any lineup questions you have. Let’s make some money!
Thrive Contest Plays of the Day
Drake London O 58.5 Rec Yds – Not only have the yards been there the last three games (95, 70, 96) but the targets as well with 12, 11 and 9. London has clearly shown some chemistry with Ridder and expect that to continue against a banged-up Arizona secondary. It is always a little scary going with an Atlanta pass-catcher’s overs given Arthur Smith’s love for establishing the run early and often. But as noted above, there is enough volume for London to hit this number.
Alvin Kamara U 62.5 Rush Yds – I’m not quite sure what is up with Kamara lately. Yes, he has gone over this in two straight but prior to that he had only eclipsed this number twice. We just haven’t seen the explosive plays from the versatile back this season that we have been accustomed to with his longest rush of the year only being 27 yards. Also labeled with a “Questionable” tag after missing practice on Wednesday for both a quad issue and “personal reasons,” this just seems to be too high of a number.
Aaron Rodgers O 235.5 Pass yds – This line seems way too low. The Vikings are last in the league in opponent pass yards per game with 281.5 which increases to 283 per game when on the road. Yes, Christian Watson is questionable heading into this one, but Rogers has plenty capable receivers to get to this number in what should be a back-and-forth game.
Contrarian Stack Ideas
QB: Brock Purdy, RB: Christian McCaffrey & TE: George Kittle
Total Salary: $20,400 Remaining Salary: $29,600
McCaffrey ($9,000) is going to rival as being one of the highest owned players on the slate and for good reason. As mentioned above, the Raiders seem to be in a complete free fall and this game could get out of hand with the 49ers defense primed to make it a long afternoon for Jarret Stidham in his first NFL start.
One way to make playing McCaffrey unique is to play him with his QB Brock Purdy ($5,500) which is not something I normally like to do, but given McCaffery’s involvement in the passing game, I am more than fine with it in this spot. I do not expect Deebo Samuel (ankle, knee) to return this week despite the optimistic news on his recovery progress. The main beneficiary of this so far has been George Kittle ($5,900) who has caught 10 of his 13 targets the past two weeks for 213 yards and four touchdowns. The touchdown rate may be unsustainable, but this is a great spot for these guys to keep it rolling.
Note: Normally it is beneficial to have a “bring back” in your stacks, but given the mess the Raiders are right now, there isn’t a play worth including in a game that appears going to be very one-sided. You could also replace Kittle in this stack with Brandon Aiyuk ($6,300) for only $400 more for additional ownership relief.
QB: Aaron Rodgers, WR: Allen Lazard & WR: Justin Jefferson
Total Salary: $20,900 Remaining Salary: $29,100
This feels gross even typing, but if there ever was a spot to play Rodgers ($6,000) this year, this is it. Mild weather in Green Bay in a game with the second highest total for the week (47.5) in addition to the sieve that is the Minnesota defense. The stars may have aligned for Rodgers to produce his best game of the year. Allen Lazard ($5,400) looks poised to be the main beneficiary of the potential absence of Christian Watson (hip), facing a Vikings defense that has yielded the most fantasy points to opposing WRs this year. Lazard has one of the highest ceilings this week at the WR position.
Speaking of ceiling at the WR position, insert Justin Jefferson ($9,500) who is absolutely tearing it up right now with three straight games over 30 fantasy points. He is as matchup-proof a WR as there is in the league. The high price tag he comes with will lead to an ownership reduction as others may opt to go with the cheaper T.J. Hockenson ($5,400) coming off of his 38.9 point explosion in Week 16. Near single-digit ownership for a guy who has consistently shown one of the highest ceilings in the game? Yes please.
Key Injuries to Consider
Deebo Samuel (ankle, knee): This is one we are going to want to monitor as it directly affects the usage of Kittle and Aiyuk. There were reports that Deebo may be ready to roll as soon as this week. Even if Samuel gives it a go, it would be hard to assume he would receive a full workload.
Christian Watson (hip): Watson left the game against the Dolphins in the second half and did not return. He then followed that up with a DNP on Wednesday. Hips are tricky and can easily be re-aggravated, especially at the WR position which makes it seem like Watson will be held out of this contest. If ruled in, Lazard isn’t quite as appealing, but still a worth play.
Bonus: Favorite Mini Stack
RB: James Conner/ RB: Tyler Allgeier
James Conner ($7,200) has had one of the best roles in the league in the latter part of the season as one of the only true workhorse back situations in the NFL. Meanwhile, Tyler Allgeier ($5,300) has steadily seen his workload increase as the year has gone on as the Falcons begin to faze out Cordarrelle Patterson (who Allgeier out-touched last week 22-9). In a game featuring Colt McCoy and Desmond Ridder at QB, it should be expected that both teams will continue to rely on their running games.
Position Player Name DK Salary QB Brock Purdy $5,500 RB Tyler Allgeier $5,300 RB James Conner $7,200 WR WR WR TE George Kittle $5,900 FLEX Christian McCaffrey $9,000 DST REMAINING BUDGET $17,100 for 4 plays