Kirk Cousins WAS – START ‘EM
Washington needs to win this one, while the Giants do not. While Giants head coach Ben McAdoo claims that all of his healthy starters will play, they aren’t necessarily going to play the whole game and certain banged up starters are likely to get some rest (Janoris Jenkins, Jonathan Casillas). Cousins has also been great at home and put up solid numbers against the Giants in Week 3. He’s one of the few QB1s that doesn’t have a playing time concern here in Week 17. He is a must-start in all formats and could be a DFS cornerstone this week.
Dak Prescott DAL – SIT ‘EM
While Dallas head coach Jason Garrett claims the Cowboys will be playing to win in a meaningless game against the Eagles this weekend, it’s hard to believe that Prescott will play the whole game. The Cowboys have to be most concerned about keeping their rookie star quarterback healthy heading into the playoffs, so it’s hard to bank on them playing him much more than a few series. Look for other options this week.
Jacquizz Rodgers TB – START ‘EM
With Charles Sims on IR and Doug Martin now suspended, Rodgers should get a workload similar to the middle of the season when both Sims and Martin were out. Rodgers had a solid game on Monday night at Carolina with said workload, so look for much of the same. With Luke Kuechly out yet again for Carolina, look for Rodgers to possibly have an even bigger game. Tampa is also technically still playing for a playoff spot, so there won’t be any key offensive lineman or other offensive weapons sitting out. Rodgers is a borderline RB1 and a big time value play in DFS.
Melvin Gordon SD – SIT ‘EM
Gordon is supposed to play this week, but in all likelihood it is due to the fact that he is 3 rushing yards short of 1,000 on the season. Gordon will likely play sparingly in an effort to get that milestone, but don’t expect a big workload out of him. According to the Inside Injuries algorithm, he is a high injury risk with a below average Health Performance Factor, so it wouldn’t make much sense for the Chargers to push a young asset in a meaningless game, risking him worsening his hip and knee issues. Do not rely on Gordon this week.
Pierre Garcon WAS – START ‘EM
Garcon has been a safety net for Kirk Cousins in recent weeks, largely due to Jordan Reed’s health issues. While Reed is reportedly going to suit it up in an all hands on deck game for Washington, he is below 100 percent (72.3 percent HPF according to Inside Injuries) and likely won’t be used too much in this one. Also, with corner back Janoris Jenkins likely out for New York with a back issue, the matchup on the outside is a solid one for Garcon. He is a solid WR3 and a value play in DFS this week.
Amari Cooper OAK – SIT ‘EM
Cooper hasn’t been spectacular over the second half of this season, and that isn’t likely to get much better this weekend. First off, he will be catching passes from Matt McGloin instead of Derek Carr, who is out with a broken leg. No offense to McGloin, but that’s a drop off. Not to mention he’s going to be catching passes from McGloin against the Broncos in Denver. Yes, the Broncos are out of the playoffs, but they will likely be playing everyone in an effort to knock the Raiders out of AFC West title contention and to finish the season strong. Cooper should be avoided if possible this week.
Jesse James PIT – START ‘EM
The Steelers don’t have much to play for this week, meaning that banged up tight end Ladarius Green will likely be held out as a precaution. In Green’s absence, look for James to be a safety valve in the middle of the field for Pittsburgh. And there is no better matchup for him to draw with such an opportunity. The Browns’ defense is poor everywhere, including against tight ends. James is a solid low-end TE1 and a good value play in DFS.
Jordan Reed WAS – SIT ‘EM
As we mentioned above, Reed isn’t back to 100 percent yet. He really hasn’t had a productive game since Week 11 against Dallas, when he injured his shoulder. He will be active Sunday but don’t bank on him to produce too much. He simply is too hard to trust after his extreme lack of production the last two times he has suited up. Vernon Davis is the better play among Washington tight ends.