DraftKings Reignmakers | Week 17 Main Slate Breakdown
This NFL season, we are pleased to have partnered with DraftKings as a content provider, covering their exciting new NFT-powered fantasy football game, DK Reignmakers! Each week in this space, we will be breaking down the upcoming Reignmakers NFL slate. Be sure to check out our Fair Value Card Estimates and Contest EV tool as you build your lineups.
- Trevor Lawrence (toe) is expected to play through his toe injury once again this week. Lawrence has been listed on the injury report with a toe injury for the last four weeks, but has yet to miss any game action.
- Tyler Lockett (hand) is expected to play today, though he still has 10 screws and a plate in his left hand following last week’s surgery.
- For the Patriots, both Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) and Hunter Henry (knee) are expected to be active in Week 17. The team has previously ruled out DeVante Parker (concussion) and Jonnu Smith (concussion).
- Christian Watson (hip) remains a gametime decision for the Packers. Watson was able to get in a limited practice session on Friday after being held out on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
- Chris Olave “is expected to go” this week after missing Week 16 with a hamstring injury, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
- Jalen Hurts (shoulder) is doubtful to face the Saints despite getting in limited practice sessions today and yesterday. With the inside track on the #1 seed in the NFC, Philadelphia will take a cautious approach with their franchise QB. Expect Gardner Minshew to start for the Eagles once again.
- Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) has been ruled out for the Dolphins, who will turn to Teddy Bridgewater in a must-win game against the Patriots.
- The Ravens will also be without their star QB, as Lamar Jackson (knee) is expected to miss another week of action. Baltimore has already clinched a playoff spot, and we may not see Lamar until Wildcard Weekend. Tyler Huntley will get at least one more start for Baltimore.
- Chris Olave (hamstring) is officially questionable to play in Week 17 following a week of limited practice sessions. This level of participation is an upgrade over last week, when Olave was held out of practice throughout the week.
- Alvin Kamara (personal/quad) was back at practice today as a full participant after being held out on Wednesday and Thursday. He’s good to go for Week 17.
- Trevor Lawrence (toe) is listed questionable to play against the Texans this weekend, but he should be active. Lawrence has played through the same injury for the past three weeks, and Jacksonville is incentivized to win this week before facing Tennessee for the AFC South title next weekend.
- Colt McCoy (concussion) will miss another week for the Cardinals, who are already without Kyler Murray (knee). The Cardinals are expected to turn to David Blough this Sunday after Trace McSorley disappointed in a Week 16 relief appearance.
- It is yet to be seen if Blough will have DeAndre Hopkins at his disposal this weekend. Hopkins was a late week addition to the Cardinals’ injury report this week with a knee issue and head coach Kliff Kingsbury was noncommittal about Hopkins’ availability earlier today.
- Antonio Gibson (knee/ankle) will miss Week 17 for Washington. Expect a heavy dose of Brian Robinson Jr. from the Commanders, who still have a 29 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Five Thirty Eight.
- Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said, “we’ll see” when asked about Christian Watson’s (hip) Week 17 status. Look for Romeo Doubs to step up if Watson is unable to go this weekend.
- Austin Ekeler (knee) has been removed from the Chargers’ final injury report, despite being limited by a knee injury in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He’ll be active on Sunday against the Rams.
- Jerry Jeudy (ankle) is questionable to face the Chiefs this weekend, but as a limited practice participant throughout the week, it seems likely that he’ll suit up.
- The Patriots once again have a handful of players on this week’s injury report. Most importantly, Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle) is listed questionable after being limited in practice throughout the week. He followed the same participation pattern last week, so I am expecting him to be available. Damien Harris (thigh) does not carry a designation on the final injury report, meaning he should see his first action since Week 12. DeVante Parker will miss another week with a concussion, as will Jonnu Smith. Hunter Henry and Tyquan Thornton are both questionable to play with knee injuries.
- Tyler Lockett (finger) is trending towards playing this weekend after returning to practice on Thursday for the first time since being injured. Lockett is officially questionable to play.
- Deebo Samuel (knee) will miss another week of action for the 49ers. Samuel does seem to be getting close to a return, as he was able to practice in a limited capacity over the latter half of this week. But with the 49ers assured of a playoff spot, it makes sense for the team to take a cautious approach with its star receiver.
- After being held out of practice with an illness on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, James Conner was able to get in a full practice today. He does not carry an injury designation into the weekend, and should be active against Atlanta.
- The Raiders have made the decision to move on from Derek Carr at quarterback, and Jarrett Stidham will start the final two games of the season for Las Vegas. It has been speculated that Las Vegas is making the move to avoid any potential for Carr sustaining an injury over the game’s final two seasons. Should that have happened, Carr’s $33 million base salary for 2023 would have been fully guaranteed.
- Derrick Henry (hip) is considered doubtful to play in tonight’s game against Dallas. Expect Hassan Haskins to lead a backfield committee that also includes Julius Chestnut. Neither player is currently available in Reignmakers.
Week 17 Headlines
- The Titans will turn to Malik Willis in a must-win game on Thursday night.
- Tua Tagovailoa is back in the concussion protocol. The Dolphins may also be down to their backup QB in a must-win spot against the Patriots.
- Justin Fields needs to average 98 rushing yards over the next two games to break Lamar Jackson’s single-season rushing record by a quarterback.
- Jalen Hurts (shoulder) has not yet been ruled out from starting in Week 17.
- “We’ll just have to see” if Lamar Jackson (knee) is able to play this weekend, says Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.
Cowboys @ Titans, Thursday 8:15 PM ET
In the final Thursday Night Football Showdown slate of the year, the Titans host the visiting Cowboys as 10-point dogs in Week 17.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter has already reported that Ryan Tannehill (ankle) will miss the remainder of the regular season, which means it will be another week with rookie Malik Willis under center for Tennessee. Willis has now started three games this season, but he has not yet exceeded 100 passing yards in any of them, which, for a quarterback, seems not great. With Willis at the helm, all Titans’ receivers would be off the table on a full slate of games, but in Showdown formats, I can see the argument for taking a shot on Treylon Burks. Expect a heavy diet of Derrick Henry once again from the Titans.
As for Willis himself, he’s a fine Captain option on this slate due to his rushing ability. I’m not sure I would pair Willis and Henry in the same lineups as they take away red zone rushing attempts from each other, but building lineups with one of the two and three Cowboys makes sense.
CeeDee Lamb has gone over 120 receiving yards in back-to-back games for the Cowboys, and he’ll be up there with Henry and Dak Prescott as the most popular Captain options on the Thursday slate. While I’d prefer the ceiling for Lamb, Dak has been adding rush attempts and spreading the ball around enough that Captain builds with him and some combination of Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz make sense.
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard remain entrenched in a committee at running back, but Pollard is maintaining enough of a role in the receiving game to remain fantasy-relevant even after getting out-carried by Zeke in three of the last four games. Zeke has scored at least one touchdown in eight straight games, but he’ll have a lower floor if he ever stops converting in the red zone. He probably misses the cut as a Captain, but he’s a strong Flex play against Tennessee.
Best Buy: Dak Prescott ($8.90, $33, $400, $2,250, $4,299)
Dolphins @ Patriots, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
The Dolphins and Patriots enter Week 17 on losing streaks of four and two games respectively, but both remain alive in the playoff hunt.
The Patriots are juggling a few injuries on offense, where Hunter Henry (knee) was forced to leave Week 16, and Damien Harris (thigh) and DeVante Parker (concussion) have been sidelined with multi-week injuries. I am considering all three questionable to play in Week 17 barring further news early in the week. As long as Harris remains out, Rhamondre Stevenson is set up for workhorse duties out of the backfield, but it’s not a bad time to sell his cards with Harris’ return presumably still on the horizon. Kendrick Bourne was the biggest beneficiary with Henry and Parker out of the lineup last week, but it’s going to be hard to rely on any receiver beyond Jakobi Meyers regardless of the other players in the lineup.
News broke on Monday that Tua Tagovailoa had been placed in concussion protocol, putting his Week 17 status in doubt and throwing a wrench in Miami’s playoff plans. Head coach Mike McDaniel said he wasn’t sure when Tua had sustained his latest concussion, and this is a concerning development especially because Tua has already missed multiple games this season with head injuries. Until more is known, consider Tua questionable to play in Week 17.
When Tua last missed a game in Week 6, Teddy Bridgewater torched the Vikings for 329 yards with two touchdowns, and Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle combined for 306 receiving yards. The matchup will be much tougher this time around though, as Minnesota has been the most generous defense to opposing passing games this season, while New England ranks in the middle of the pack.
At running back, Jeff Wilson Jr. returned last week from a hip injury to lead Raheem Mostert in carries 9-8. With Miami’s playoff hopes suddenly in question, I’d have a hard time pulling the trigger on either back as long as the work is divided 50/50.
Best Buy: None
Broncos @ Chiefs, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
The Chiefs are tied with the Bills at 12-3 atop the AFC, and they are favored by nearly two touchdowns against the hapless Broncos in Week 17 in a game they need to win to keep their hopes of a first-round bye alive.
Kansas City generated only modest offensive production last week against Seattle in a relatively easy 24-10 win. Patrick Mahomes avoided setting a season-low in passing yards in that game by a single yard (224), and over half of that yardage went to Travis Kelce, who finished with a 6-113-0 receiving line. Heading into last week, it looked like JuJu Smith-Schuster may be separating himself from the other Chiefs receivers with target shares of 26 and 24 percent entering Week 16, but he face-planted against the Seahawks with a 3-27-0 line on four targets. Wide receiver remains a difficult-to-predict position in Kansas City for fantasy purposes.
I maintain my longer-term belief in Isiah Pacheco as a player to target heading into the playoffs, but spike weeks continue to elude the Chiefs rookie running back. The good news is that Pacheco’s 64 percent rushing share was his second-highest mark of the season.
Russell Wilson was able to return from a concussion in Week 16 after missing one game, but it made no difference for the Broncos who were blown out by the Rams 51-14. After the game, the team moved on from head coach Nathaniel Hackett, putting an interim staff in place to close out a disappointing season in Denver. When it comes to Reignmakers, the only player I’d have any interest from Denver in is Jerry Jeudy, who continues to command a heavy target share even with Courtland Sutton back in the lineup.
Best Buy: Patrick Mahomes ($11, $40, $480, $4,888, $11,900)
Saints @ Eagles, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
The Saints have become razor-thin at the wide receiver position, where Chris Olave missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury, and Jarvis Landry was placed on IR with an ankle injury. Olave was unable to practice in any capacity last week, and his Week 17 status is not yet known. If Olave is unable to play, we can safely ignore New Orleans’ passing game, which generated only 92 yards last week. If Olave returns, he will have some appeal as the “last man standing” in the receiver group.
Alvin Kamara exceeded 100 scrimmage yards and added a rushing touchdown last week. New Orleans is a long shot to reach the playoffs, but Kamara’s floor prices have fallen enough that I’m willing to take some short-term shots on him in Reignmakers.
Gardner Minshew filled in admirably for Jalen Hurts (shoulder) last week, though the Eagles were defeated 40-34 by the Cowboys. It sounds like Hurts has a chance to return this weekend, and I’m considering him questionable to play in Week 17 for now. Whether or not Hurts plays on Sunday, his shoulder injury appears to be minor and I’m interested in stacking his cards ahead of the Eagles’ playoff run.
Dallas Goedert was back in the lineup last week following a five-game absence. His nine percent target share was a season low, but he was on the field for 93 percent of the team’s snaps. There’s not much new to say about A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Miles Sanders, who all remain attractive targets in the marketplace ahead of a potential Eagles Super Bowl run.
Best Buy: Jalen Hurts ($7.25, $30, $439, $2,999.77, $15,000)
Colts @ Giants, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Daniel Jones went over 300 yards passing in Week 16 against the Vikings, finishing with a 334-1-1 line in a losing effort. While it’s nice to see Jones turn in a performance like this, the Vikings are allowing the most passing yards per game to opposing offenses in 2022. The Giants will face a tougher test in this one against a Colts defense that ranks within the bottom 10 in the same category, and the game’s low 38.5-point total reflects this expectation.
Last week, Jones distributed passes fairly evenly among Richie James Jr., Isaiah Hodgins and Darius Slayton, and in a tougher matchup this week, I’m passing on this group. It was nice to see Saquon Barkley bounce back with 133 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown against the Vikings, and he’ll be a high-end RB1 this weekend against Indianapolis.
Zack Moss functioned as a workhorse back in the team’s first full game without Jonathan Taylor (ankle). Moss’ 86 percent rushing share in Week 16 was the second-highest mark posted by a Colts running back all season. Deon Jackson and Jordan Wilkins linger, but for now, this looks like Moss’ backfield in Indianapolis.
Nick Foles struggled in his first start of the season, throwing for only 143 scoreless yards with three interceptions, and no Colts receiver had more than Jelani Woods’ 43 yards receiving. In a game with a low total and with no shot of making the playoffs, Colts receiving game options are safely ignored in Week 17.
Best Buy: Saquon Barkley ($4.80, $19.98, $189, $579, $10,999)
Panthers @ Buccaneers, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
In a game with massive playoff implications, the Panthers will visit Tampa Bay as 3-point underdogs to the Bucs in a game with a low 39.5-point total.
In terms of how these teams match up with each other, the Bucs have been very tough against the pass all season, but have been a middle-of-the-pack defense against opposing run games. That puts Carolina in a decent spot, as they would prefer a run-heavy game plan that gives 30+ carries to D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard.
Sam Darnold has now exceeded 200 passing yards in back-to-back games, and while that doesn’t sound like much, it’s an improvement from the production Carolina was getting out of the position before Darnold’s season debut. With Darnold under center, D.J. Moore has now exceeded a 30 percent target share in three of four games, and he does feel a little underpriced in the marketplace, but this is probably not the week to play him.
The Bucs dinked-and-dunked their way to a much-needed 19-16 win over the Cardinals in Week 16 in a game that saw Leonard Fournette lead all Bucs receivers in receptions (9), receiving yards (90) and targets (10). It was the second double-digit target game of the season for Fournette, who added a 20-72-0 line on the ground. Lenny suddenly looks like a valuable fantasy RB once again while fending off Rachaad White for lead back duties.
Fournette’s success was bad news for Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, who combined for only 92 scoreless yards. As bad as the Bucs have been, they are still overwhelming favorites to win the NFC South, and the floor prices of Godwin’s and Evans’ cards have fallen to reasonable levels.
Tom Brady feels similarly underpriced as the 17th-most expensive QB in the marketplace (using CORE Genesis pricing). This hasn’t been Brady’s best season by any means, but Tampa Bay still leads the league in passing attempts by a significant margin. In fact, in order to find a team that has thrown more than the Bucs’ 2022 average of 44.8 attempts per game, you have to go all the way back to the 2012 Detroit Lions (46.3)!
Best Buy: Tom Brady ($4.94, $18, $195, $666, $3,300)
Browns @ Commanders, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Deshaun Watson had perhaps his worst performance as a Brown last week, completing only 15-of-31 passes for 135 scoreless yards and an interception in a 17-10 loss to the Saints. I’m not sure we should expect much better from him this week on the road against the Commanders in a game with a low 40.5-point total. If there’s one positive, it’s that Watson is still feeding the ball to Amari Cooper, who has a 28 percent target share in Watson’s four starts.
Carson Wentz saw his first action since October after the Commanders benched Taylor Heinicke midway through Washington’s Week 16 loss to San Francisco. Wentz was actually fantasy-viable before injuring his finger early in the season, exceeding the 300-yard passing mark in three of his first five games to start 2022. Washington has already announced Wentz as the Week 17 starter.
Jahan Dotson’s early season boom corresponded with Wentz’s time under center, and I have more interest in him with Wentz starting this weekend. Terry McLaurin is in play regardless of quarterback, while Curtis Samuel and Logan Thomas are probably too thin to be played on a full slate.
In the backfield, Brian Robinson Jr. logged a season-high in rushing share while Antonio Gibson hit a season-low. Robinson was not very productive against a tough 49er defense, but the underlying usage is notable. Head coach Ron Rivera said on Tuesday that Gibson has an unspecified sprain, so that will now be a situation to watch over the coming days.
Best Buy: Brian Robinson Jr. ($1.25, $8, $65.99, $399, $1,100)
Bears @ Lions, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
In a matchup that currently boasts the highest total of Week 17, the Bears will visit the Lions in an NFC North clash.
Chicago was unable to get much going last week against Buffalo, and the number in the box score that sticks out the most is Justin Field’s rushing production, where he was held to only 11 yards on seven attempts. This was Fields’ lowest output of the season, and he’ll now need to average nearly 100 yards rushing over the final two weeks to top Lamar Jackson’s single-season QB rushing record.
Khalil Herbert was activated from IR last week, but it didn’t impact David Montgomery much. Montgomery’s 55 percent rushing share last week was actually his second-highest mark of the season. The Lions have been generous to opposing rushers all year, and given the game’s high total, I don’t mind playing Montgomery here. With that being said, there is some risk, not only from Herbert but also Fields, who always looms as a rushing threat near the endzone.
In Week 16, the good news for Detroit was that Jared Goff threw for 355 yards with three touchdowns. The bad news was that those three touchdowns all went to Shane Zylstra. Detroit was unable to get anything going on the ground against Carolina, which led to the pass-heavy approach. How bad were things on the ground last week? Goff led the team in rushing with only 15 yards.
Looking past the Zylstra anomaly, there’s not too much else that sticks out from the box score. Amon-Ra St. Brown continues to dominate in targets, with D.J. Chark Jr. and Josh Reynolds fighting for leftovers. The Lions also continue to take a cautious approach with Jameson Williams, who has played only 45 snaps in his first four games as a pro.
Best Buy: Amon-Ra St. Brown ($9, $50, $299, $1,399, $2,900)
Cardinals @ Falcons, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Desmond Ridder was a little better in his second start as a pro, this time throwing for 218 scoreless yards. From a fantasy perspective though, it was concerning to see his rushing yardage down from 38 yards in his debut to only eight yards last week. Ridder’s short-term fantasy value will be driven by his rushing production, which has been uneven through two starts.
Ridder’s presence in the offense has been good for Drake London, who has now averaged 83 yards through Ridder’s first two games. London is a shakier long-term hold with Atlanta’s playoff hopes dead, but he’s a fine boom-bust option on a week-to-week basis given his cheap pricing in the Reignmakers Marketplace. Tyler Allgeier has begun to separate from Cordarrelle Patterson in the backfield, and it makes sense that the team would want to get a closer look at their rookie running back as Atlanta turns its eye toward the future.
The Cardinals were down to their third-string quarterback last week when Trace McSorley got the start against Tampa Bay. Colt McCoy (concussion) should have a chance to return in Week 17, but either way, this will be a bottom-tier aerial attack down the stretch. With that being said, we can probably expect a different target distribution this Sunday if McCoy is able to return after Greg Dortch was McSorley’s favorite target in Week 16.
I do have some interest in James Conner, who has now crested 100 scrimmage yards in three of his last four games, with four touchdowns over that stretch. Despite his recent success, Conner is currently listed as the 20th most expensive RB in the Reignmakers Marketplace. That discount does make some sense since Arizona has been eliminated from playoff contention, but if you’re still placing value in Weeks 16 and 17, Conner looks attractive here.
Best Buy: James Conner ($3.15, $15, $89, $399, $6,100)
Jaguars @ Texans, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville has come all the way back to tie the Titans at 7-8 atop the AFC South, and the Jaguars now have the inside track with a relatively non-threatening matchup in Week 17 against the Texans.
Last week against the Jets, the passing game took a step back, with Zay Jones following his three-touchdown Week 15 performance with a 1-14-0 receiving line in Week 16. Evan Engram kept the ball rolling though, and I’m not sure there is another tight end outside of Travis Kelce I’d rather roster in fantasy formats right now. Engram has now led the team in target share in each of the past three games.
Against the Jets, the Jaguars ran the ball a season-high 39 times, and although Travis Etienne Jr. posted his lowest rushing share (56 percent) since Week 12, it was still good for 22 carries in a high-volume attack. Etienne now sets his sights on a Texans defense that has allowed the most rushing yards per game in 2022, and with Jacksonville’s playoff hopes looking brighter and brighter, I’m very interested in buying his cards right now.
The Texans welcomed back Brandin Cooks last week following a three-game absence related to a calf injury, and quite frankly, that’s where the fantasy analysis begins and ends for the Texans who are playing out the string on their 2022 season. I’m not overly excited about Cooks, but with a $2 floor at RARE tier, he’s at least worth a mention here.
Best Buy: Travis Etienne Jr. ($4.27, $24.95, $189.69, $499, $3,150)
49ers @ Raiders, Sunday 4:05 PM ET
Based on Deebo Samuel’s (ankle) original three-week return timeline, he’d miss Week 17 before potentially returning in Week 18, and with the 49ers locked into a playoff spot, I’d expect the team to take a cautious approach here. Assuming Deebo does sit out this week, it would be good news for Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle, who combined for 15 targets on Brock Purdy’s 22 pass attempts last week. I’d expect Christian McCaffrey to be a little more involved in the passing game this week against the Raiders, but there is enough volume here without Samuel for all three.
Josh Jacobs totaled only 50 scrimmage yards against the Steelers in Week 16, his lowest output of the season, and things won’t get any easier in Week 17 against a 49ers defense that has allowed the fewest rushing yards to opponents this season. Jacobs still gets enough volume to remain in play, but expectations should be tempered heading into Week 17.
With Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow back in the lineup the past two weeks, Davante Adams’ target share has been on the decline. Adams’ 25 percent target share over that timeframe is notably lower than his 31 percent season average.
Best Buy: Brandon Aiyuk ($1.95, $12, $150, $499, $5,500)
Jets @ Seahawks, Sunday 4:05 PM ET
The Jets have long-term questions to be answered at QB heading into Week 16 after Chris Streveler relieved Zach Wilson midway through last week’s loss to the Jaguars. Wilson was seemingly benched for poor play after throwing for 92 yards with an interception. Asked about the substitution after the game, head coach Robert Saleh said the team was looking to “spark” the ground game. Fortunately for New York, it looks like Mike White will be able to return from his ribs injury this week, and he is expected to start against Seattle. Wilson is expected to be inactive this weekend, with Joe Flacco serving as the backup QB. With White back, I’m interested once again in Garrett Wilson, who has averaged 111 receiving yards in White’s three starts this season.
New York got almost nothing going on the ground in Week 16, and Zonovan Knight has now rushed for only 21 yards over his past two games after his fast start.
The wheels are beginning to fall off for the Seahawks, who have now lost five of their last six games and fallen under .500 to 7-8 on the season. After Geno Smith’s strong start to the season, he has now been held under 265 yards in three straight games, and Tyler Lockett’s (finger) absence isn’t helping matters. Notoriously optimistic head coach Pete Carroll did say the team will “see where” Lockett is this week, but Lockett was unable to practice in any capacity throughout last week.
DK Metcalf has exceeded a 20 percent target share in six straight games, but he gets a tough matchup here against a Jets defense that has allowed the fifth fewest passing yards to opponents on the season. The Jets are only slightly less stingy to opposing rushers, but Kenneth Walker III is in play this week on workload alone. Walker has seen rushing shares of 86 and 84 percent over the past two weeks as Seattle has phased out auxiliary backs Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas over the past few weeks.
Best Buy: Garrett Wilson ($3, $18, $130, $499, N/A)
Rams @ Chargers, Sunday 4:25 PM ET
Baker Mayfield looked good in his third start as a Ram, leading his team to a 51-14 win over the punchless Broncos in Week 16. Tyler Higbee was by far Mayfield’s favorite pass catcher in the game, generating targets on 11 of Mayfield’s 28 throws. Beyond Higbee, there’s not much here with Cooper Kupp (ankle), Allen Robinson (ankle) and Ben Skowronek (calf) all on IR.
I do have some interest in Cam Akers, who had his best game of the season last week with a 28-118-3 rushing line. While the Rams’ playoff hopes are dead, Akers may be motivated to finish the season strong after his future with the team was called into question when he was sent away from the team shortly before the trade deadline.
Keenan Allen saw a ludicrous 47 percent target share last week in the Chargers’ win over the Colts, and he has now met or exceeded a 24 percent target share in five of six games since returning from injury in Week 11. Allen’s ascension in the offense has been bad news for Mike Williams, who has just one game with a target share of over 20 percent over that same timeframe. Austin Ekeler’s fantasy production has also been negatively correlated with Allen’s return. Before Allen was activated in Week 11, Ekeler had exceeded a 20 percent target share in four straight games, a mark he has reached only once in six games since Keenan rejoined the team. Ekeler is still getting ample work out of the backfield, and he has four touchdowns over the past three games, but the floor feels lower for him given Allen’s recent usage.
Best Buy: Cam Akers ($1.98, $7.69, $59.69, $300, $969)
Vikings @ Packers, Sunday 4:25 PM ET
T.J. Hockenson matched Justin Jefferson with 16 targets apiece in Minnesota’s Week 16 victory over the Giants, while K.J. Osborn fell back to Earth after his Week 15 explosion. Also in the receiving game, Adam Thielen may be running out of gas after posting his two lowest target shares of the season over the past two weeks. The Packers rank No. 3 in terms of fewest passing yards allowed in 2022, but the game still has a relatively high total (47) and I’m treating Jefferson and Hockenson as elite options at their respective positions.
Kirk Cousins currently ranks as the seventh-most expensive quarterback in the Reignmakers Marketplace (using CORE Genesis pricing), and that feels about right, especially factoring in the additional playoff games Minnesota should play. There’s not much left to say about Dalvin Cook, who I’ll still view as an elite option in Reignmakers as long as he lacks the SuperStar tag.
The main story to watch in Green Bay this week will be the status of Christian Watson as he works his way back from a hip injury sustained in Week 16. Head coach Matt LaFleur called Watson “day-to-day” on Sunday and I am considering him questionable to play in what amounts to another must-win game for the Packers. Based on last week’s usage Romeo Doubs would likely be the biggest winner should Watson be held out this weekend.
Best Buy: T.J. Hockenson ($2.50, $10.75, $100, $700, $3,500)
Steelers @ Ravens, Sunday 8:20 PM ET
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said, “We’ll just have to see” when asked about the status of Lamar Jackson (knee) early this week. Jackson’s potential return would be a welcomed sight for the Ravens’ passing game, which has been held under 200 yards in each of Tyler Huntley’s starts. The team is also without Devin Duvernay (foot), who has been placed on IR. That leaves Demarcus Robinson, DeSean Jackson and Sammy Watkins as Baltimore’s wide receiver options…in other words, expect a lot of targets for Mark Andrews should Jackson be able to return. In the backfield, Gus Edwards is still pulling too much work out of the backfield for me to be excited about J.K. Dobbins.
The Steelers have now won three of their last four games, but they still have only around a one percent chance of making the playoffs at 7-8. Kenny Pickett exceeded 200 passing yards for the fourth time in his career last week and the team may be forced to lean on him in Week 17 against a Baltimore defense that ranks third in terms of limiting opponent rushing yardage. That sets up well for Diontae Johnson, who had led the team in target share in four straight games before being out-targeted by Najee Harris last week. Johnson has yet to score a touchdown this season, and that makes him a scary Captain play, but he’s a strong option at Flex. Considering Harris’ tough matchup on the ground, Pickett is probably the only other player I’d want to Captain from the Pittsburgh side.
Best Buy: Lamar Jackson ($4.94, $19.99, $219.99, $2,750, $17,000)
Bills @ Bengals, Monday 8:30 PM ET
The passing game came alive for Cincinnati in Week 16 with Joe Burrow throwing for 375 yards against the Patriots, his second-highest output of the season, and we should see more of the same this week in a game with the second-highest total on the Week 17 slate.
We will need to keep an eye on the status of Tyler Boyd (finger), who was in and out of last week’s contest. Trenton Irwin stepped up with Boyd limited, converting four targets into two receiving touchdowns along with 45 yards. Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins combined for 20 targets, and both would be safe bets for double-digit targets, especially if Boyd is inactive or limited on Monday. Joe Mixon posted his highest rushing share since Week 8, and he looks to have finally regained his workhorse role in the backfield after ceding some work to Samaje Perine, who filled in admirably when Mixon was forced to miss Weeks 12 and 13 with an injury.
Stefon Diggs has quietly disappointed over the past month, with only 123 total receiving yards over his last three games. The Bills will need Diggs to be more active this week against a tougher opponent, and I do like buying in on Diggs here, but his cards remain expensive in the Reignmakers Marketplace even through this recent slump. With Diggs falling, Dawson Knox has been rising after posting three consecutive weeks with a target share at or above 20 percent. Gabe Davis logged his highest target share in over a month last week, but he feels more like a touchdown-or-bust play than the every-week WR2 many were expecting before the season began.
In the backfield, James Cook’s volume was on the rise last week, but I’m attributing that more to game flow than anything else. Devin Singletary once again feels like an overlooked fantasy option as we enter the playoffs, and I like him as a cheap long-term buy here.
Best Buy: Devin Singletary ($1.99, $9, $80, $480, $2,500)