NFL Week 17 – Steve Renner’s Picks

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 17

Last week was rough so despite it being a garbage week there’s still plenty of reasons to jump into this slate which is the largest of the season as we get all 16 games between 1pm and 4pm.  Not a bad weekend to play the 1pm and 4pm only slates as well.


Games where both teams have something to play for

  • Carolina @ Atlanta:  The Falcons clinch a playoff berth with a win, but a loss will knock them out if Seattle wins at home against Arizona.  Carolina can technically get the 2nd seed still but would need a ton to happen including the Vikings losing at home to Chicago…   The Panthers can win the division and get a home playoff game with a win and a Saints loss at Tampa.


Teams who have a lot to play for, but their opponent really doesnt

  • Seattle – Need to win
  • Tennessee – Need to win
  • Baltimore – Need to win
  • LA Chargers – Need to win
  • Buffalo – Need to win
  • New Orleans – Could pull players if up late

Teams who have something to play for but are likely resting players or will take it safe.

  • LA Rams – Resting the key players
  • Pittsburgh – Likely resting key players
  • New England – Likely wont take any risks
  • Minnesota – If they get up they will pull guys


Matchup of the week that I find interesting

The Titans and Jags last 4 games have not gone the way you would think …

  • 2015 — Titans win 42 to 39
  • 2016 — Titans win 36 to 22
  • 2016 — Jags win 38 to 17
  • 2017 — Titans win 37 to 16

That’s a ton of points between these two teams….  If history holds true this could be another odd shootout.  Also worth noting that the Titans have won 3 of 4 vs the Jags, which might be the reason the Jags are looking to play their guys to avoid them being in the playoffs…..



Have you heard, it’s COLD….. is a decent spot to see this weekends games all in one spot with the weather forecasts.   Take a look at some of these games….

  • 14 degrees for Browns-Steelers
  • 9 degrees for Jets-Pats
  • 16 degrees for Skins-Giants
  • 18 degrees for Cowboys-Eagles
  • 23 degrees for Bengals-Ravens with 12 mph winds

Yes, they are paid pro’s…  But they’re human.  Almost all of these games mean nothing.  I really have about less than 5% interest in any of these games….




Matt Ryan … The Falcons have one path to beating the Panthers this week.  It’s Ryan to Julio.  Julio Jones (and Ryan) excel against zone coverage defenses and thus they’ve had a strong history together against the Panthers in recent years.  The Falcons are playing slower on offense this year and that is the main reason for their struggles but when Ryan gets them going no huddle and they let the skill players work they have success.   Ryan and Julio have dominated this matchup and have all the motivation this weekend to get a re-match with New Orleans with a victory.

Matt Stafford … Stafford and Brett Hundley should be the popular QB choices in the 1pm games as this is one of the two DOME games and features better weapons at the WR spot.  Stafford’s last three games against the Packers he has thrown for 361, 347 and 385 yards.  He carves them up and the Pack really have nobody who can shutdown either Jones or Tate.  Look for this to be a good spot for the Lions to try and end on a high note with Stafford pounding his stats and remember the narrative on Stafford is he beats up on below .500 teams and struggles with the teams over .500.  Well, the Packers fit the beat up category.

Russ Wilson … I can’t ignore that Wilson and the Seahawks have to win as well and have a matchup against the Cardinals D which I have picked on recently when they go on the road.  Wilson shredded them last year in this spot for 350 PASSING and 4 TD not to mention his usual running ability.  I actually think the Cardinals WILL show up and give them a good game as Bruce Arians wants to return for 2018 but without a running game I don’t see how the Cardinals get enough points to push Wilson like they did last year in this spot.   I prefer Ryan and Stafford but expect Wilson to have a decent day.  Somewhere in the 280 yards passing, 2 TD and 50 rushing range.   Which is good enough.

Jacoby Brissett … Cheap QB of the week is Jacoby B.  Love Him and Hilton this week against Houston off a short week.  Bold prediction that nobody will remember next year…..  Colts win the AFC South in 2018 …  The Colts are going to roll all over the Texans on Sunday in my mind but the only reason I won’t go all in on Jacoby is because Houston is without Hopkins and thus the Nuk-T.Y. back and forth shootout is negated.  So my stack here is Jacoby-Hilton-Doyle with Will Fuller on the other side.


Chalk I don’t Mind … Philip Rivers & Jimmy G …  Just not going there in tournaments.


Dangerous Fade:

Cam Newton … If the Panthers do ball out for the division title or more then Cam will be the main guy to do it.  The receivers won’t be able to do anything against the Falcons cornerbacks and as much as we pick on the Falcons with pass catching receivers I don’t see a huge CMC day.  Which means Cam has to win it on the ground and if I am Carolina I don’t want him rushing much this week.

Easy Fade:

Tom Brady … New England doesn’t want Brady getting hit at all.  I’ll fade his two 1 yard TD passes to Gronk because he’ll end with under 200 yards total passing.




Top Tier

Mark Ingram … Short passing game for the Saints this week which means the backs will be used a ton in the passing game and it’s INGRAM not Kamara who I think is the guy to own this week.  He’s more likely to see the ball around the goal line and if the Saints do have the lead he would be the guy to get more touches down the stretch.  Love my boy Ingram this week.

Image result for mark ingram animated gif

Kenyan Drake … Many loaded up on Drake two weeks ago in Buffalo and now he has a full weeks rest and is at home in a spot where the Dolphins can play spoiler against Buffalo.  Buffalo is an auto play for the opposing running back in DFS having really only put up one good game over the past 8 weeks defending RB’s.  Drake should be a popular choice this week with no competition for touches in the Miami backfield.

Shady McCoy … Buffalo needs a win and Shady is their main hope to score points here.  They gotta use him a ton and I have a sneaky feeling he comes in lower owned than you would expect given the stakes that are riding on this game for Buffalo.

ADD … Dion Lewis … With all the Pats RB’s that are out and white looking like a no go Lewis has to be in play for me again this week.


Tier Two

Derrick Henry … A chalky choice with DeMarco Murray out.  This is going to be a gamestack only play for me.

UPDATE:  Henry is my #1 guy to have less than the market (a weird way of saying fade without actually fully fading him)…   In other words, he’s gonna be only on a few lineups for me and those lineups are mainly gamestack spots.  I dont love the talent for Henry personally.

Carlos Hyde … San Francisco is on a roll right now and with the Rams resting many players Hyde could have a huge game on the ground in addition to his pass catching abilities with Jimmy G.  His rushing upside is the main reason I am not playing Jimmy G.

ADD … Jammal Williams … Just an oversight on mentioning him.  Got some questions about him and yes he’s a great correlation play with the Lions stacks.



Julio Jones … He should be the #1 play this week.  Motivation + Matchup + History + Dome (no weather issues)…  No injury concern here for Julio.  He will get his.

Keenan Allen … Much stronger play on DK with the full PPR and since he’s only 7800 there.  Yes, I said only 7800 because he has 10 catch for 150 yard and 2 score upside.

T.Y. Hilton … I really hope we get many years of TY vs Hopkins with Luck and Watson at QB.  That would be nice…  Really nice….  Oh, as for this week.  Yeah, it’s the Texans secondary.  He torches them.

AJ Green … You can’t love Andy Dalton and you can’t love the weather here.  But it’s not the worst thing in the world…   The Ravens have been torched by some good receivers in recent weeks and Green has a strong history of doing well on the road and especially in Baltimore.   Allow me to share with you AJ Green’s history in Baltimore….

  • 2013 – 15 targets, 8 catches, 151 yards, 1 TD
  • 2014 – 9 targets, 6 catches, 131 yards, 1 TD
  • 2015 – 13 targets, 10 catches, 227 yards, 2 TD
  • 2016 – DNP, injury

Marvin Jones … There’s a theme this week with all these receivers facing divisional opponents.  In case you can’t tell we’ve got a few guys in nice spots who have torched their opponent. Jones is that guy for the Lions against the Packers and while I will have Golden Tate in Stafford stacks as well, Jones would be the one off guy I trust the most in cash games with Matt Stafford.


Mid/Low Range Options

  • Mo Sanu — Definitely prefer Julio here, but if this is a shootout Sanu will give you decent value
  • Tyrell Williams — The Chargers should steamroll the Raiders this week.  Williams is about 3k less than Keenan Allen, so gimme the discount here all day.
  • Will Fuller — With Hopkins out Fuller will be a popular discount choice because of his big play ability and playing on a fast track.  Good correlation with a Jacoby-Hilton pairing.
  • Dede Westbrook/Keelan Cole
  • Danny Amendola — Short passes, that’s what Brady will have to do this week against the Jets.  That’s Amendola….




Charles Clay … Clay saw 5 targets for 60+ yards two weeks ago vs Dolphins and is only 3700 on DK, he should easily provide the most value there.

Delanie Walker … The Jags are VERY tough to pass on and VERY good against Tight Ends…  But with the history between these teams being sneaky and the Jags really not needing to play starters the whole game, I see Walker being the guy to help Mariotta and the Titans move the ball.  MM has gone to him 24 times over the last 3 weeks and 70 yards and a TD is not out of the question here.

Rob Gronkowski … The Jets and Todd Bowles defenses in general can give up huge games to Tight Ends.  This dates back to his days as the Arizona Def Coordinator.  Gronk in the red zone is a near lock this week but given his price you can definitely fade him.  I’d play him naked without Brady.

Greg Olsen … The only passing option for Cam this week outside of the running backs is Olsen who is still struggling to feel comfortable recovering from his injury but is worth pairing with Ryan and Julio stacks.

Jack Doyle … Sgt. Jack Doyle reporting for service here!   Doyle can have a huge day vs a Texans D that is soft against TE’s.




New England … There’s a ton of defenses who look good on paper this week but New England is the one I think has the ability to really shutout their opponent this week.  The Jets are really lifeless on offense without McCown.

LA Chargers … Chargers should destroy Carr and the Raiders.

New Orleans … With OJ Howard out and the Saints corners locking down the WR’s for the Bucs I don’t see a huge Winston passing day, so the Saints D has defensive score and sack upside.

Minnesota … With the Jags having uncertainty about their starters playing the whole game the Vikings at HOME against the Bears are the best pay up option this week.

Carolina … Is it me, or do the Falcons have a history of choking in big moments?



Adam Vinatieri … The best kicker ever at home in the Dome in a spot where the Colts can put up 30?  Yeah, gimme some of the hall of fame old man this week.

Nick Rose … Given how Chargers kickers have done this year they should be free.  But, I’ll take a shot.

Justin Tucker … Tucker could be kicking with one leg in the snow while listening to the worst music in the world and I would still think he’s a safe play.



Week 17 Upset Predictions

  • AJ Green continues his Baltimore dominance and the Bengals upset the Ravens
  • Dolphins Win
Scott Atkins
About Scott Atkins 17 Articles
I'm pretty chill with a wife, 2 teenage boys and a dog. Here's the stuff somebody else wrote: Scott is VP at Sports Illustrated, Fantasy/Gambling. He's co-founder of FullTime Fantasy and host of the Fantasy Football World Championships, serving as Commissioner and Director of all FFWC leagues and contests. Previously, Scott founded the Fantasy Players Association, an industry watchdog group dedicated to player advocacy and regularly appears on ESPN Radio, SiriusXM and FNTSY. He contributes sports handicapping, dynasty rankings and NBA DFS advice and strategy on the FullTime forums.Scott has several 5 figure finishes including winning a DraftKings Atlantis qualifier (valued at over $70,000) and multiple $30,000+ finishes in NFL and NBA. A long-time high-stakes competitor and ranked #50 in the Fantasy Football World Rankings, Scott understands and teaches bankroll management through wise contest selections.You may remember him from the Red vs Blue Podcast, and was featured as a Dynasty "Greats of the Game" by DLF and FBG. He has played high stakes since it's inception and has enjoyed Top 10 finishes in both NFFC and FFPC as well as an RTSports Overall link: