NFL

NFL Monday DFS: MVPs and Value Plays for Week 17

By Will Helms

We’ve done it. Well, we haven’t done anything, but the NFL has a stellar Monday Night Football matchup for what seems like the first time in weeks as the Bills and Bengals are both still alive for the No. 1 seed and sole first round bye.

The Bills simply need to win out while the Bengals can become the top seed with two wins and a Chiefs loss.

365Scores has you covered with value plays and MVPs for tonight’s DFS slate and we’re on a bit of a roll, successfully choosing the top scorer as our primary MVP in each of the last two weeks.

FanDuel

MVP Options

It’s a star-studded game tonight and with just five slots, we’re forced to fade some superstar-level players. There’s simply no way to play Josh Allen, Joes Burrow, Stefon Diggs and Ja’Marr Chase. So, we’re going to have to make some difficult decisions.

Unsurprisingly, Josh Allen ($17,000) is the most expensive player on the slate and he’s the only untouchable in my lineups. I’ll likely experiment with a lineup or two that fades Burrow or Chase or even Diggs, but Allen’s upside as both a passer and a runner is too much for me to pass up. Accordingly, he’s my most used MVP as well.

Allen has surpassed the 20-point mark in all but two games this season, and I don’t think he’ll make it three on Monday. Historically, Allen begins to run a bit more towards the end of the season as games become more important, and he’s averaging 55 rushing yards on nine carries a game over his last three.

I’m also using Burrow ($16,000) as an MVP option in a few lineups, though I’m higher on the Bills tonight than I am the Bengals. Instead of having one big lineup, I’m putting in a few extra smaller lineups.

Value Plays

Because of the sheer amount of stars in tonight’s game, my goal is to play as many superstars as I can reasonably afford. To do so, we’re going to have to go way down the depth charts to find a few of our value plays.

Trenton Irwin ($7000) has become one of Joe Burrow’s new favorite targets, as evidenced by two touchdowns last week against the Patriots. He’s averaging nearly 15 yards per target over his last three and should be able to get us a catch or two. Maybe we’ll get lucky and get a touchdown as well.

Hayden Hurst ($7500) comes back from injury this week and I expect Burrow to transfer some of Mitchell Wilcox’s ($6500) targets back to Hurst.

Lastly, I expect the Bills to spread out the Bengal defense and test a thin secondary, I’m taking a flier on Khalil Shakir ($6000) to catch a few balls, because I can actually make a lineup with three of the top four stars if I play Shakir.

Draft Kings

Captain Options

Our team-building for DraftKings is a bit more complicated as our receivers become more valuable and our captains become more expensive. I captained Stefon Diggs ($15,600) a bit more often, though I still captained Josh Allen ($17,100) in a few lineups. In every Diggs-captained lineup, I still played Allen ($11,400). I threw a flier on both Burrow ($16,200) and Chase ($15,900) in a lineup or two, but I really do think the Bills flex as point-and-a-half favorites.

The thing that complicates this most is that Burrow finally has most of his weapons healthy and the Bengal offense seems to be hitting its stride. Still, give me Allen and Diggs.

Value Plays

I’m still considering Shakir ($800) in lineups where I really need the extra cash, but I don’t need to do that in all of my lineups. Hurst ($3000) is fairly cheap in a PPR format for a guy that gets a high volume of targets. Similarly, Tyler Boyd ($5000) and Gabe Davis ($6400) are relatively cheap compared to their prices on FanDuel and what I would expect from players of their caliber.

If you want to buy low on a high upside player or two, Isaiah McKenzie is only $2800 after a poor showing last week. However, excluding last week’s performance, McKenzie has averaged seven intended touches a game and seems to excel against thinner secondaries.

In most of my lineups, I played three of the top four guys, one mid-tier player (Davis, James Cook, Devin Singletary, etc.) and two value players. If you use Shakir, you can make that second value play a second mid-tier guy instead.

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