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NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight: Sunday Night Football DraftKings & FanDuel | Packers vs. Vikings

Eric MacPherson



Awesemo's Divisional Round NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Packers vs 49ers | DraftKings & FanDuel NFL Lineups, optimizers picks & projections today

For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, this column will provide free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks for today. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 17 Sunday Night Football slate featuring the Green Bay Packers hosting the Minnesota Vikings.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 17 Sunday Night Football

Minnesota will be without QB Kirk Cousins, DL Patrick Jones II, Danielle Hunter and LB Nick Vigil who are in the health and safety protocol. Also sidelined are DT Michael Pierce (illness), WR Adam Thielen (ankle) with CB Cameron Dantzler (calf) doubtful and  TE Tyler Conklin (hamstring) questionable.

Green Bay is missing OL Billy Turner (knee) and David Bakhtiari (knee) along with CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder) and WR Randall Cobb (groin). LB Randy Ramsey, Chauncey Rivers, DT Kingsley Keke, WR Amari Rodgers and OL Elgton Jenkins are on the COVID-reserve.

Minnesota Vikings: 14.75 Points


Sean Mannion will be starting tonight for the Vikings with their postseason on the line. Game time temperatures will be in the single digits so we really will be seeing the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. This will be the first appearance for the former Oregon State Beaver who last saw action in 2019. Since being drafted in the fifth round by the Rams back in 2015, Mannion has appeared in 13 games with two starts. Minnesota is likely to try and keep the game on the ground, but they may be forced to throw if they fall behind early. Considering that he is one of two starting quarterbacks in the player pool and he is at the minimum backup salary, we will definitely want to take some shots with Mannion.

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Running Back

Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison will be carrying the load tonight as the Vikings are going to want to chew up the clock as much as possible. Green Bay knows this as well and will be loading the box, however, they also have the second worst rushing DVOA in the league. Keep in mind that Cook missed Week 16 on the COVID-reserve, this along with the 35 or more project rushing attempts should keep both of these running backs in play and they can both be employed in the same lineup.

Wide Receiver

Justin Jefferson is averaging the third most yards per game (96.7) with nine touchdowns while landing in the top five for most other receiving categories. Clearly his fantasy prospects take the biggest hit without Cousins under center, though he should still see double digit targets with Adam Thielen on the shelf. K.J. Osborn and Dede Westbrook will be operating as the second and third receivers. Osborn will likely see a handful of targets keeping him in the mix, though Westbrook has just two targets in his last 88 snaps spanning three games.

Tight End

Tyler Conklin (hamstring) did get in a full practice on Friday after being limited early in the week. Since Week 11 he has all but one of the targets to this position. If he is out then Chris Herndon or Luke Stocker could luck into an opportunity or two, though with Mannion under center it is difficult to get excited about that scenario.

Defense/Special Teams

Minnesota is second in the league with 44 sacks, though they did not record one for the first time all season last week against the Rams. Green Bay has ceded the fewest turnovers in the league with only 10 and they have allowed just 12 sacks in their last seven games.

Green Bay Packers: 27.75 Points


While the Vikings have a top ten pass defense, we saw Aaron Rodgers roll up 385 yards and four touchdowns against them in Week 11. Of course that game was indoors and this game will be in the bitter cold, but we know that Rodgers is no stranger to these conditions having spent all 17 of his seasons in Green Bay. Rodgers is averaging 263.5 passing yards per game with an impressive 33 touchdowns against just four interceptions. Though he does not scramble much anymore, he still has three rushing touchdowns and is very mobile within the pocket doing a fantastic job of avoiding sacks.

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Running Back

Aaron Jones has the slight edge over A.J. Dillon as the better receiver and he also will get the first crack at the high-leverage touches. While Green Bay runs only 42% of the time in neutral situations, they are happy to turn to the ground game when they have a lead and are in the middle of the pack with just over 25 rushing attempts per game. The projected game flow as double digit favorites along with the miserable weather should have them turning to their running backs to salt away the game in the second half.

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams has a 30% target share this season while seeing a hefty 47.4% of the chances going to Green Bay wideouts. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is back from the COVID-reserve and he will be back to his usual role along with Allen Lazard. These guys are worth a few dart throws, but we know that Adams is the first, second and third option in the passing game. Equanimeous St. Brown and Juwann Winfree will be rounding things out with Amari Rodgers in the health and safety protocol and Randall Cobb (hamstring) on the injured reserve.

Tight End

In the three games after the bye, 16-year veteran Marcedes Lewis has 4, 3 and 3 targets while second-year man Josiah Deguara has been right there as well with 3. 5 and 3 targets. Both are enticing on DraftKings for their salary relief, though on FanDuel it is not as necessary outside of tournaments. Each should see a couple of targets today and while they are well down the red zone wish list for Rodgers, they do get an uptick between the 20s with the reserve wideouts missing this game.

Defense/Special Teams

Green Bay is sixth with 26 combined turnovers with just over two sacks per game. This is a reasonable spot to roll the dice on this unit with the matchup against Mannion.

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Sunday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value, but for those taking the MME approach, remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their quarterback.

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Week 17 Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Davante Adams: Best chance to be the top scorer on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
  2. Dalvin Cook: Needs to find the end zone, should be in line for two dozen opportunities.
  3. Sean Mannion: Worthy of our attention at his salary, even if he gets only 10-11 fantasy points.
  4. Justin Jefferson: Will have to make his own magic after the catch today.
  5. Aaron Rodgers: Unlikely to be in the optimal lineup UNLESS he gets multiple touchdowns.
  6. A.J. Dillon: Take the discount over Jones if you think he will get mop up duty.
  7. Aaron Jones: Swap with Dillon if you think Jones will be the reason there is mop up duty.
  8. Green Bay D/ST: Appropriate salary for this unit given the matchup and homefield advantage.
  9. Tyler Conklin: Expected to play, tender hamstrings and cold weather are not a great mix.
  10. Marquez Valdes-Scantling: Playing for the long touchdown, very boom/bust.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. K.J. Osborn: Would be above the Green Bay running backs if Cousins were under center.
  2. Alexander Mattison: Likely will surpass a dozen touches in a ground-heavy script.
  3. Mason Crosby: Veteran of 15 seasons in the winter weather of Wisconsin.
  4. Greg Joseph: League average kick indoors, now he is outdoors.
  5. Allen Lazard: Five touchdowns in last eight games, clearly he has Rodgers’ eye.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Josiah Deguara and Marcedes Lewis: Solid savings on DraftKings, they become interesting on FanDuel around lineup #50.
  2. Minnesota D/ST: Rodgers is a tough opponent who provides very few opportunities for defensive stats.
  3. Dede Westbrook: Over under of 2.5 targets per the Awesemo projections.
  4. Equanimeous St. Brown: Last option worthy of his own line.
  5. C.J. Ham, Kene Nwangwu, Juwann Winfree, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Luke Stocker, Tyler Davis and Kellen Mond: If they beat us, so be it.

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If you’re interested in other NFL DFS data for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL projected ownership, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, DFS NFL rankings, and NFL DFS stacks. Take a look at our NFL inactives, NFL starting line-ups and NFL depth charts. View our DraftKings NFL ownership rankings and our FanDuel DFS NFL ownership rankings. We also have single-game projections and NFL single-game ownership projections.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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