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NFL DFS Prime Time Showdown: Week 17 Sunday Night Football Philadelphia vs. Washington | DraftKings + FanDuel

Eric MacPherson

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NFL best bets, betting odds, picks and predictions for Week 15 Tuesday Night Football game Washington vs. Eagles | Tonight Dec. 21, 2021

Greetings, NFL DFS Gamers! Welcome to the Awesemo daily fantasy football Single-Game Prime Time series for FanDuel and DraftKings Showdown slates. For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will be providing free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules as well as player rankings and comments for all of your daily fantasy needs. We have loads of information and NFL DFS picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 17 Sunday Night Football slate between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Football Team.

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NFL DFS Picks: Week 17 Sunday Night Football

Washington Football Team: 22.75

For just the second time in NFL history, we will see a team with a losing record win their division. Heading into Sunday, Washington controls their own playoff fate. If they win, they are in; if they lose, then it will be the winner of Giants – Cowboys taking the NFC East playoff berth.

Quarterback

Last year’s first-rounder Dwayne Haskins was released by Washington on Monday for a variety of reasons that do not impact tonight’s game. Alex Smith is expected to start, though he has been dealing with a calf injury that sidelined him 2 1/2 games ago. This is a true win-or-go-home game with a very dinged-up offense. While we are unlikely to see Smith run much, if even at all, he can still be a difference maker on the short slate by racking up high-completion short yardage. Of course, touchdowns passing will also be key.

Backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke was a four-year starter for Old Dominion University. While he was undrafted he has spent time with several organizations including Carolina where he played in six games as well as drawing a Week 16 start under coach Ron Rivera.

Early last month, with Smith banged up and Kyle Allen already lost for the season, Washington arranged to have him as their Heinicke quarantine quarterback since he was familiar with Ron Rivera’s offense. This proved to be a good idea, and he did see action last week after Haskins was benched for ineffectiveness. Heinicke’s most recent professional stop was as the backup quarterback for the St. Louis Battlehawks of the XFL. He did not appear in any games before the league was suspended as a result of the pandemic.

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Running Back

This morning Sal Paolantonio reported that Rivera believes that Antonio Gibson will be good to go. While he played last week, he did miss essentially the three contests prior to that going down early in Week 13 versus Pittsburgh after only four snaps. Last week he played 21 snaps and was active with 10 carries for 61 yards and seeing four targets, catching three for 8 yards.

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J.D. McKissic is the passing-down back, but he is a capable runner. The fourth-year veteran has 170 career rushes with a 4.5 average playing for three different teams. His 102 targets are behind only Terry McLaurin (126) and Logan Thomas (104). Peyton Barber is always lurking, though he would need a setback with Gibson to see any substantial workload outside of a short-yardage touchdown.

Wide Receiver

Terry McLaurin missed last week’s game with a high ankle sprain, but he intends to take the field Sunday night.  If McLaurin is able to actually accomplish this, there is no guarantee of his effectiveness. Here is a good Twitter thread from Washington Post reporter Nicki Jhabvala.

Cam Sims has eight targets in three of his last four games, and he will be on the field for nearly every snap regardless of McLaurin’s status. Tonight will mark the 14th game in his three seasons for the undrafted Alabama pass catcher. Steven Sims has 17 targets in his last four outings, and he would likely be next in line ahead of Isaiah Wright, Robert Foster and Antonio Gandy-Golden.

Tight End

Logan Thomas has played all but eight offensive snaps over the last eight games. He has at least seven targets in his last four games, including an astounding 27 in the last two. Thomas is second on the team with 104 targets behind only McLaurin’s 126. Jeremy Sprinkle will be on the field for 20-25% of the snaps, but he has just three targets on the season, with only one since the Week 8 bye. There is no price discount for Thomas, but he should figure prominently in Washington’s offensive plans tonight.

Defense/Special Teams

Philadelphia has ceded at least five sacks in four of their last six games. In the three games that Jalen Hurts has started, he eluded everyone in his debut against New Orleans. However, Arizona got to him six times and Dallas three in the last two games. The Eagles have allowed the most sacks in the league this season, while Washington is sixth, getting to the quarterback nearly three times per game. Washington is in the middle of the pack with 20 takeaways, though Philadelphia has allowed the third-most turnovers with 28.

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Philadelphia Eagles: 20.75

Quarterback

Rookie Jalen Hurts has taken over for Carson Wentz, who has asked to be traded if he is not the starter. The Eagles have only one victory in their last seven games in a surprising win over New Orleans in Hurts’ first start. Since taking over the reins full time, Hurts has completed just under 55% of his passes. He has topped 330 yards passing in his last two games and has five touchdowns against two interceptions as the starter. For fantasy purposes he has been excellent, with 38 carries for 238 yards and a touchdown.

Washington has the second-best passing DVOA per FootballOutsiders, and they have allowed the opposing quarterback to tally multiple touchdowns only twice in their last 10 games. On the full slate Hurts is just outside of the top five quarterbacks, per the Awesemo projections.

Running Back

The Eagles will be holding Miles Sanders (knee) out of this game since they are out of the playoff picture. That means we will once again be looking at Boston Scott as the likely lead in a running back by committee situation. However, in the six games where Scott has played at least 35 snaps, he has topped 50 yards rushing three times and 39 yards receiving four times.

Corey Clement will likely be seeing a third to half of the snaps, and in fine 2020 fashion, Jordan Howard is once again with the Eagles after being released by Miami. Scott will be wildly popular at $6,500 on FanDuel and $1,400 on DraftKings. Clement and Howard are pivots on FanDuel if you are looking for leverage. However, on DraftKings they are extreme salary savers as well at $200 and $1,000, respectively.

Wide Receiver

After missing nine games with an ankle injury, DeSean Jackson was back last week, bringing in his only target for an 81-yard touchdown. He was on the field for just 20 snaps. He did not practice over the last three days, but we know how he loves to face his former teams. The 13-year veteran has played only 20 games in the last three seasons, so it is hard to be excited here, even on a Showdown slate. While not officially out yet, he is unlikely to see the field.

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Rookie Jalen Reagor is an intriguing option as the most talented and healthy Philadelphia pass catcher as the season winds down. Once again, somehow Greg Ward is playing a prominent role, though he has averaged only four targets over his last six games. Travis Fulgham was golden for DFS players in Weeks 5-8, but he came back to earth with just nine targets in his last five games.

Alshon Jeffery has been back for two months, though I don’t blame you if you did not realize this. In those seven games he has seen just 13 targets while playing about a third to half of the snaps. There should be opportunities with Jackson likely limited or out and with Dallas Goedert missing the finale as well.

Tight End

Goedert is highly unlikely to play, so that means Zach Ertz could have one last hurrah as an Eagle. There is an out for the Eagles with regards to next year’s contract, and with Goedert in the fold, it is unlikely that Ertz is going to be back in Philadelphia. With back-to-back games of seven targets (Goedert had 11 in the same timeframe), Ertz would seem to be a key option that we should look at from the Philadelphia aerial attack.

Defense/Special Teams

The Washington Football Team has allowed multiple sacks in every game this season. Their 3.1 sacks allowed per game is the fourth-worst mark in the league, though in their defense, four different quarterbacks had at least 19 pass attempts. Their 25 turnovers are also the fourth most in the league. Flipping the script, the Eagles have just over one takeaway per tilt. However, they are fourth in the league with 3.1 sacks per appearance, so they can be considered in all formats on Sunday.

Sunday Night DraftKings Showdown + FanDuel Single Game NFL DFS Strategy

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

EMac’s Week 17 Sunday Night Football DraftKings + FanDuel NFL DFS Rankings

Notable Inactives: WAS WR Robert Foster, WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, RB Lamar Miller PHI RB Miles Sanders, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Alshon Jeffery, TE Dallas Goedert, TE Richard Rodgers

Notable Actives: Antionio Gibson, Terry McLaurin, Nate Sudfeld

Week 17 Sunday Night Football Top 10 NFL DFS Picks

  1. Jalen Hurts: A rookie going against a good defense in a game that can put the opposing team in the playoff. Still the best option with all of the other injuries and uncertainties.
  2. Zach ErtzReasonable savings and no Goedert.
  3. Boston ScottAnother key salary saver, particularly on DraftKings. Expect him to get about half of the opportunities.
  4. Antonio GibsonShould be healthy, but turf toe is notorious for lingering and for flaring up in games.
  5. Terry McLaurinAllegedly healthy, I am skeptical and give it a 1-in-3 chance he is more than a decoy.
  6. J.D. McKissicIf either of his above teammates are out, I would move him to third on this list.
  7. Logan ThomasMuch better on DraftKings with the full-PPR scoring. I will be playing him over McLaurin in my first dozen lineups. Again, this is a risk/reward-influenced decision.
  8. Alex SmithConsidering Washington gave Haskins the boot, they seem confident in Smith’s health.
  9. Jake Elliott/Dustin HopkinsKickers score points too.
  10. Washington D/ST: Reasonably priced on DraftKings. They will be popular but are solid for the salary cap relief.

Week 17 Sunday Night Football Secondary NFL DFS Picks

  1. Cam SimsThis ranking could be easily flipped with the price difference between him and Thomas. He becomes a top-seven option if McLaurin is ruled out.
  2. Steven SimsMeh, but we need some savings somewhere if all of Washington’s players are active this is his ranking.
  3. Jalen ReagorDouble-digit fantasy points once in 10 games this season, and in that outing he had a touchdown and a 2-point conversion.
  4. Greg WardNo discount to the other unappealing Philadelphia receivers. He should see 4-5 targets.
  5. Alshon Jeffery/Travis FulghamWe really could close our eyes and pick one of the four Philadelphia wide0uts and be just as likely to find the right play as opposed to spending an hour analyzing things.

Week 17 Sunday Night Football Lottery Tickets NFL DFS Picks

  1. Philadelphia D/ST: Not particularly exciting, but if Smith suffers an in-game injury we could see turnovers.
  2. Quez WatkinsOnly has value as a DraftKings cheapie.
  3. Jordan HowardA troll touchdown would be an appropriate finish to the NFL regular season.
  4. Corey ClementHoward has the better chance to score, but Clement probably gets more touches.
  5. Antonio Gandy-GoldenMissed half the season with a hamstring injury.
  6. Peyton BarberPut him ahead of Howard if Gibson is out.
  7. Jason CroomRichard Rodgers (calf) is unlikely to play. That leaves Croom as the TE2.

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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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