DFS: Value abound in Week 17, but more research than usual needed to set lineups

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The daily fantasy sites like to stress that their product is a game of skill, but playing daily fantasy in Week 17 is pretty close to gambling.

There's two ways to approach the final week of the regular season: either significantly reduce your financial commitment or prepare to do considerably more research than usual.

Typically check injury reports Saturday evening and call it a day? Don't make that mistake in Week 17.

Make sure to watch for news on which teams might sit players. There will be plenty of value this weekend, but just make sure your guys won't be riding the bench by halftime.

Now on to the picks.


Star: Russell Wilson ($6,900 DraftKings/$8,700 FanDuel): Wilson has put up consecutive clunkers, but the Seahawks are playing for their playoff lives in Week 17 against a Cardinals team with nothing to play for. The Seahawks will need some outside help, but you can bet Wilson will be doing everything he can to get Seattle into the postseason.

Value: Blake Bortles ($6,500 DraftKings/$7,500 FanDuel): Bortles comes at more of a discount on FanDuel; though, he is in play on both sites. He just dropped 25 fantasy points on the 49ers despite three turnovers and now gets a terrible Titans pass defense.

Running Backs

Star: LeSean McCoy ($9,800 DraftKings, $8,200 FanDuel): He's the healthiest, most established feature back with something left to play for in Week 17. McCoy has averaged more than 22 touches and 103 yards from scrimmage this season, and one of his three multi-TD games this season came two weeks ago vs. Miami.

Value: Alex Collins ($5,800 DraftKings, $6,800 FanDuel): I never feel good about recommending someone from the Ravens, but Baltimore could use a win to shore up playoff position and Collins is getting his share of touches. He has shown upside in December and now gets a bad Cincinnati defense in Baltimore.

Wide Receivers

Star: Keenan Allen ($7,800 DraftKings, $8,600 FanDuel): The Chargers must win to have a chance to make the playoffs, while both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler are banged up. Allen is almost guaranteed at least a dozen targets this week against Oakland.

Value: Keelan Cole ($5,700 DraftKings, $5,900 FanDuel): I keep waiting for Dede Westbrook's breakout game, and Cole keeps stealing his thunder. Cole has 22 targets over the past two weeks and now gets a Titans secondary that was just picked apart by the Rams.

Tight Ends

Star: Greg Olsen ($5,600 DraftKings, $6,400 FanDuel): Olsen was a popular play last weekend after he exploded in Week 15 against Green Bay. He didn't exactly pan out, but that should only lower his ownership in a favorable matchup against the Falcons.

Value: Trey Burton ($4,100 DraftKings, $4,800 FanDuel): You're going to need to take a chance at tight end if you're unwilling to pay up. There's a good chance Zach Ertz could be limited or sit altogether with the Eagles having nothing to play for in Week 17. Burton has feasted with Ertz out.