Welcome to week 17 my friends as we get you prepared for some great bargain plays. Let’s review last week’s bargain plays and see if they were a hit or a miss.

Trevor Lawrence,Quarterback, Jacksonville Jaguars ($5,000): 13.9 points

Michael Carter, Running Back, New York Jets ($5,200): 17.4 points

Ronald Jones II, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5,100): 16.1 points 

Amon-Ra St.Brown, Wide Receiver, Detroit Lions ($5,600): 26 points

Odell Beckham Jr., Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Rams ($5,300): 13.7 points 

Antonio Brown, Wide Receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4,900): 23.1 points

C.J. Uzohmah, Tight End, Cincinnati Bengals ($3,000): 8.6 points

Ameer Abdullah, Running Back, Carolina Panthers ($4,500): 3.9 points

Justin Fields, Quarterback, Chicago Bears ($5,200): DNP

Seattle Seahawks ($3,000): 4 points

Like I said, playing Trevor Lawrence was a ballsy play. But who would have thought he would be this bad as a rookie? That’s just it, we are all expecting too much out of these rookies and automatically call them a bust when they don’t do anything in year one. The plus here is Lawrence had his highest yardage total since week 6. Even though he had no touchdown passes, as that drought continues for the fourth consecutive week, he did have two opportunities in this game. Lawrence had a fumble at the one yard line that was recovered by his lineman in the end zone to give them six points. Finally, when I thought we were going to 3X, the Jaguars were at the Jets’ one-yard line and Lawrence threw an incomplete pass to Marvin Jones with :12 seconds left. What coulda been, didn’t happen. The quarterback on the other side, Zack Wilson ($5,300) proved to be the better fantasy option as he finished 3rd for the week with 23.18 points. Right game, wrong quarterback. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

Finishing as the RB9 for the Sunday main slate was Michael Carter. Like I said last week, he had that “break the rust off” game and scored his most points since week 10. Carter totaled 16 carries for 118 yards along with catching two of his three targets for another 6 yards. His rushing yards topped his week 8 high of 77. It finally looks like the New York Jets and Zach Wilson are trusting Carter as we have seen his best outings since the Mike White days.

Now, are we really surprised about how well Ronald Jones II produced? Coming in right behind Michael Carter as the RB10, he carried the ball 20 times for 65 yards and a touchdown. The 3.25 YPC wasn’t the best and I was getting nervous for my Jones take as I knew the Carolina Panthers run defense was very good, but we were saved by a third quarter touchdown. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers demolished the Panthers like I expected and Jones gets an even better matchup next week against the New York Jets who give up THE MOST points to the running back position.

Should we be surprised that Amon-Ra St. Brown saw eleven targets with Tim Boyle at the helm? I am not going to lie to you, I was extremely nervous after we saw Boyle start week 11 against the Cleveland Browns and only threw for 77 total yards. I was ready to eat the L on this one. But that didn’t happen. Ever since Dan Campbell took over the play calling, this offense has been competitive. He knows who the top receiver is with no T.J. Hockenson in the lineup and that’s St. Brown. The #3 receiver of the week finished with 9 receptions for 91 yards and a receiving touchdown along with 19 rushing yards. Four weeks in a row on a hot streak and it could continue in week 17 against the Seattle Seahawks, but I see it being a more run-heavy approach and St. Brown coming back down to earth a little bit.

What a smash hit it wasn’t for Odell Beckham Jr. This game was hard to explain for the Rams offense in general outside of Sony Michel. Matthew Stafford struggled in this game with three interceptions, but luckily his only touchdown went to Beckham Jr. Cooper Kupp had his fourth consecutive game over 100 yards, but at his $9,100 price tag, he wasn’t worth it. But this isn’t a Stafford/Kupp brotherly love I’m reflecting on, it’s OBJ we’re here for. It was great to see OBJ second in targets with eight, but it was a fairly inefficient day with just four receptions for 37 yards to go along with the TD. I thought with the way the trend was going of an every-other game breaking performance, this was going to be his week, but it wasn’t. 

Now was I right about Antonio Brown or was I right about Antonio Brown! Like I said last week that Brown would be the highest owned wide receiver on the slate, and he was. Antonio Brown made up 71.37% of lineups, just beating out Cooper Kupp’s 71.2%. The number three wide receiver for the week had a 23.55% ownership. What a hell of a drop! We all knew though, for Antonio Brown being so cheap, it was just too easy. No Mike Evans, no Chris Godwin, no problem for Tom Brady. Brown saw a season-high 15 targets and turned that into 10 receptions for 101 yards. He had 11 more targets than the #2 receiving option in Cameron Brate. Finishing as the #6 receiver on the week and over 4X’n it was worth it for all of us! Cheers to you for using him. The other 28.63% of you, what were you thinking?

We were soooooo close to 3X’n on C.J. Uzomah this week. You would think with Joe Burrow going for 525 yards and 4 passing touchdowns in week 16 that Uzomah would be a beneficiary of at least one of those touchdowns. But, nooooo it was Tee Higgins for two and Tyler Boyd along with Joe Mixon for the other two. The seven targets for Uzomah was awesome, but turning that into 5 receptions for 36 yards wasn’t. It’s truly a touchdown or nothing for bargain tight ends.

If you scroll down all the way to RB35 for the week, you will find Ameer Abdullah. What a total miss on this one as I thought he would benefit in the Carolina passing game. Yeah, he was targeted six times and caught 3 of them for 8 yards. Gross. This Panthers offense was just abysmal and that’s all I can say here.

The Christmas Bonus was a Jelly of the Month Club membership as Justin Fields sat out with an ankle injury. My bad.

The DST12 of the week was only able to come up with 4 sacks against what I was thinking was Justin Fields and not Nick Foles. But even with Nick Foles starting, I was still expecting more out of Seattle’s defense but they bombed that and lost the game.

Going 4/9 (44%) was not bad at all considering I wrote this with all the Covid protocols going on. Also, I wasn’t able to update it with a better bonus outside of Justin Fields due to the holidays, but excuses get you nowhere beside further back. So now we are on to Week 17! For many if not all of you, this is fantasy football championship week; but for the ones who are out, I hope you find some good bargains in this DraftKings piece as the bonus of DFS is that you get a fresh start every week and every lineup that you do.

Let’s get some bargains for week 17!

Trey Lance, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers ($4,800)

This one is an “if” Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t play. I think he doesn’t and it will be the Trey Lance show. We have only seen one and a half games out of Lance this season as we fell in love with his stats in just one half against the Seattle Seahawks after he went 9-of-18 for 157 yards and two touchdowns. We were all high as can be, extrapolating his stats for the season just to be slightly disappointed in him against the Arizona Cardinals. He threw no touchdowns, but ran the ball 16 times for 89 yards. Now here we are in week 17 and we are looking at Lance to get his second start this season. Of course there is coach speak from Kyle Shanahan saying, “this last month of Trey has been his best consecutive four weeks at practice since we’ve had him”. Houston has been tough against quarterbacks lately, but if Lance gets the start, we’re looking at a possible top-5 QB for week 17.

Sony Michel, Running Back, Los Angeles Rams ($5,800)

Ever since Darell Henderson Jr. went down with a thigh injury, Sony Michel has accumulated 89 carries for 423 yards and 2 touchdowns in a four week period. An every down bell-cow here and you are getting him for under $6,000. You have no excuse to keep riding the hot hand as Sean McVay has proven to use one running back and continue to lean on that one back. Sure, the Ravens run defense is “good”, but injuries on the defensive side have just been killing them. Michel will continue to run. He may not get over 100 yards, but he should have a chance to score a touchdown via the receiving game as he is looking for his second one of the season. Look at what Joe Mixon did last week,  I see a similar outcome for Sony.

Devin Singletary, Running Back, Buffalo Bills ($5,400)

Did the Buffalo Bills finally trust a running back? All season long it’s been a 3-headed monster headache and a backfield to avoid. Over the last three weeks though, it hasn’t. Devin Singletary has been on a hot streak over the last three weeks scoring 14+ DK points, cashing in at least 3X of his value. Since the start of this hot streak his costs have only risen $700, while others around him are already over the $6,000 mark. You have to smash this value into all lineups as the Atlanta Falcons have been very generous to the running back position. Just think all that Devin Singletary has to do to 3X is score 16.2 points. He’s surpassed that over the last two weeks and should easily do it once again this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if he 4X+ and has his best fantasy day of the season.

Darnell Mooney, Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears ($5,500)

Have you seen the New York Giants defense? This team has been falling apart as a whole, allowing over 300 yards of total offense keeping this defense on the field with Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm at the helm of constantly going three-and-out. This secondary has pretty much thrown in the towel. Enter Darnell Mooney. Over his last two games he hasn’t really been able to get anything going, especially last week with Nick Foles starting. It took a while for those two to connect, and it was nice to see 9 targets, but turning that into 5 receptions for 57 yards was not. This game should be a get right type of game for Mooney as he should see 7+ targets with a chance to go over the century mark for the first time since week 12. He’s the WR1 here, even if Allen Robinson is to play. Mooney no matter what!

Zay Jones, Wide Receiver, Las Vegas Raiders ($3,900)

It’s hard to say if Zay Jones has been more of a thing in the Raiders offense since Darren Waller went down in week 12, but he actually has been. Prior to Waller’s injury, Zay Jones never saw more than four targets in a game. Since Waller’s injury, Jones has seen 5 plus targets a game and has been playing second fiddle to Hunter Renfrow. Both the Raiders and the Colts are fighting for a playoff spot, and I can see the Colts trying everything they can to shut down Renfrow along with Waller (if he returns) giving the bigger opportunity to Zay Jones. Most may see this as a one-sided game, but I see a potential shootout that should be high scoring. Zay Jones should see 5+ targets in this game with a really good chance to score his second touchdown of the season (possibly 3rd too??) and go over 100 yards for the first ever time in his career.

Josh Palmer, Wide Receiver, Los Angeles Chargers ($3,600)

Back in week 14, when everyone was on Jalen Guyton (which panned out) I was on Palmer. Josh Palmer led the team that week in targets because as I expected, he would play the Keenan Allen role. Week 16 Palmer was able to make the most of his opportunity with both Mike Williams and Jalen Guyton out finishing with 15.3 points on the day. This week, Mike Williams may be out and Guyton still hasn’t passed Covid-19 protocols. Even if he does, I see him taking a back seat to Palmer as it seems to take an additional week for players to be 100% once cleared. Palmer will be the #2 receiver for the Justin Herbert led Chargers against division rival Denver Broncos. Keenan Allen will get his, but I just have a feeling Palmer will too as the Chargers love to throw. Look for Palmer to continue on from his week 16 performance.

Mo Alie-Cox, Tight End, Indianapolis Colts ($2,800)

The thing I like most here is that Jack Doyle should be out with an ankle and knee injury. What I hate is that Carson Wentz went on the Covid-19 list early Tuesday afternoon putting this play in question. Then I realized even if Sam Ehlinger is the starting quarterback, who do most backups tend to target? Their security blanket in the tight end. The former college basketball player did well last week filling in for Doyle finishing with two catches for 42 yards. Like I said in the Zay Jones portion of this article, this game has shootout potential and what way to get into the redzone, let alone endzone with the big man in Mo Alie-Cox. No matter who starts between Wentz and Ehlinger, I like Alie-Cox’s potential to score his first touchdown since week 7. Like I say, tight ends either score or suck at this cost. I think he scores.

BONUS PLAY OF THE WEEK:

Ronald Jones II, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6,300)

Two weeks in a row? Hell yeah! How can you keep a Tom Brady running back out of the lineup, especially after getting 20 rushing attempts? Let’s just thank DraftKings for this gem. We all know what Jones did last week. I think he puts up even better stats against the New York Jets who allow the most fantasy points to the running back position, but you should know that if you already read my reflection at the beginning *wink*. This one seems too easy as RoJo should go north of 100 rushing yards easily with the potential to have at least two touchdowns.

DEFENSE I’M PLAYING WITH CONFIDENCE:

Chicago Bears ($3,200)

It’s the New York Giants the Bears are going against who have been allowing top-10 performances to opposing defenses over the last few weeks. Look how bad they did against the Philadelphia Eagles. This offense with Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm has just been atrocious. They make up 9 turnovers over the last 4 games and have been taking plenty of sacks. The Bears are a mediocre defense, but at home in a wintery game should lead to sacks and an interception or two. They’re a defense that struggled in Seattle, but should be able to produce as the Giants have thrown in the towel.

Good luck this week and Happy New Year!

Ryan Miner is a featured blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook