Every week in DFS, there is a player who comes out of nowhere to be the slate-breaker. These seemingly incognito players can be game-changers if you manage to roster them during the right week.
Tournament-only fliers have plenty of appeal, offering low ownership, below value pricing, cheap stacking options, roster flexibility and underrated ceilings.
Here are our best shots at underrated options in the volatile territory of Week 17.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Controlling their own destiny, the Philadelphia Eagles are fighting for their playoff lives against the New York Giants. The division matchup features a 45.5 over/under with Philly favoured by 4.5 points and implied for the sixth-highest team total at 25 points this week according to Paddy Power’s odds setters.
Carson Wentz has shredded easy matchups recently, posting QB1 numbers in the last four games against pushovers such as the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins. Wentz will now set his sights on a punchless New York secondary that has allowed opposing passers to average a QB1 overall performance over their past five games.
Given his strong implied team total and dream matchup, his price tag of £7,700 is affordable. Start Wentz with confidence in Week 17.
Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys
In a do or die game against their bitter division rival Washington, the Dallas Cowboys will look to stay afloat in their bid for a playoff berth. The good news for America’s Team is that the Redskins shouldn’t put up much of a fight, which is reflected by an 11.0-point spread (44.5 over/under) in favour of Big D.
As a heavy favourite, the Cowboys’ offence should see a positive game script for their backfield tandem of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard to exploit. The latter should see plenty of run given the large expected point differential.
The Redskins’ defence should offer up little resistance to Pollard too, having given up an average of 27.6 PPR points per game over their last five outings. Rookie Pollard, meanwhile, has looked explosive, ranking fourth in yards per carry and first in yards created per touch.
If given the opportunity, the Boys’ backup should torch Washington’s 29th-ranked run defence, which has allowed the 3rd-most running back points per game.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
Sterling Shepard has been surprisingly consistent since returning from an injury spell in Week 12. The New York Giants wideout has seen at least six in targets in all five of his starts since returning. Shepard also racked up a WR11 and WR14 performance over his last two games.
New York will be playing for pride in Week 17, but they have the opportunity to boot division rival Philly from the playoff race.
Receivers lining up against the Eagles have compiled the third-most targets and yards per target and also rank seventh in receiving yards. Top pass catchers have averaged a WR3 overall performance over the past five games against Philly.
At only $6,200, Sheppard is a nice value, especially given his relatively safe floor. His ownership should be especially low and makes for a strong game stacking option in a game that may fly under the radar.
Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos
Although the tight end position is a weekly wasteland barren of fantasy points I do think that Week 17 presents a decent bevvy of mid-tier players to consider. This tier includes Michael Gesicki (£5,900), Jonnu Smith (£5,800), Jason Witten (£5,600), and Noah Fant.
Out of that group, I think Fant offers the best combination of low ownership and high ceiling.
The betting lines for this game aren’t all that appealing at a lowly over/under of 41.0 and a Denver team total of only 22.25. Then again, that’s the point sometimes because we want to target games that fly under the radar. The matchup is also decent for Fant. The Raiders’ secondary has been a magnet for giving up tight end production, as they rank 27th versus the position.
The rookie tight end makes for a nice pivot in the mid-tier range. He offers low ownership, decent value, and a strong matchup to boot.