Twelve teams make the NFL playoffs. Ten teams have already secured a spot in the playoffs this season and only three NFC teams remain fighting for the last two spots (Editor’s note: Technically four with Tampa Bay’s entire 53-man roster hanging impossibly by a single thread). Besides a few teams jockeying for seeding, the rest of the NFL will play mostly meaningless games. Rookies and backups will get more playing time than usual. It’s going to be a weird week. I hope your fantasy league’s season is complete and you aren’t dealing with setting a championship game lineup.
If your season is still going or if you like to use my Points Allowed Versus Expectation (PAVE) metric for DFS, I’m here for you one more week.
Week 17 PAVE
On Twitter, I posted my weekly update to PAVE. Also, as I have been doing lately, I posted PAVE charts for the last eight weeks, last four weeks, and home/away splits. Below is the PAVE chart in table form for all my fellow spreadsheeters out there.
Week 16 Recap
Last week, I recommended starting Derek Carr against the Colts, even though the Colts had recently performed very well against quarterbacks. That call played out very nicely fantasy-wise and Carr finished as QB11 with 21.92 points. Having said that, I wish Carr a speedy recovery and hope his career is not impacted by his fractured fibula.
I also recommended benching Eli Manning against the Eagles, based on Philadelphia’s prowess this season at home. The Eagles have consistently held quarterbacks below expectation at home, and that didn’t stop Thursday night as Eli finished the week as QB23 with 12.24 points.
One Quarterback to Start
Matthew Stafford vs Green Bay Packers (PAVE of +8%)
Last time Stafford played the Packers, he scored 26.50 points on the road. As you can see below in the weekly chart of quarterbacks versus Green Bay, the Packers have been incredibly forgiving to quarterbacks lately. Six of the last seven passers to play against the Packers have exceeded their average points per game.
Furthermore, if you check out this second chart showing what the Packers have done on the road against quarterbacks, you will probably open a new tab and start making DFS lineups.
Blake Bortles in Week 1 was the only quarterback to underperform at home against the Packers all season. This week, Stafford plays the Packers at home in a game with an over/under set at 48. It’s Week 17, and it’s time we all got a Staff affection.
One Quarterback to Bench
Kirk Cousins vs New York Giants (PAVE of -23%)
This one is actually pretty easy. The Giants have the second toughest defense against quarterbacks this season according to PAVE and have held 13 of 16 quarterbacks below expectation this year.
Kirk Cousins was actually one of the three quarterbacks who outperformed expectation against the Giants when he went +0.3% in Week 3 with 19.34 points. However, betting on Cousins this week could be a dangerous endeavor. This game features a fairly low 44-point over/under and is the second time these division foes have faced off this year. Cousins’ floor isn’t horrific considering his top-10 base expectation, but this is certainly not a week to expect a high ceiling from him.
Thanks for checking out my work this season. I have certainly had a lot of fun and learned a ton in my first season writing about fantasy football. In the offseason, I plan to validate PAVE’s strengths and even highlight some weaknesses, so check back and give me a follow on Twitter.