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Best daily fantasy football wide receiver plays under $5,500 in Week 17

Injuries are leaving several teams ravaged at the wide receiver position. We break down some inexpensive options to consider in Week 17 DFS.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard runs against Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu and free safety Juan Thornhill during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Finding value on any given slate is crucial in your roster construction. In this piece, I’ll examine three players who could do just that for you in Week 17 with a salary under $5,500. Let’s take a look!

Allen Lazard ($4,000), Packers at Lions

As mentioned in this week’s corollary article, WR’s over $5,500 to target, Week 17 poses some unusual challenges. Some teams need to win to make the playoffs or improve their positioning, while other teams either don’t care or benefit more from losing. I’ve found that best approach for DFS managers in previous Week 17s is to target the teams with predictable incentives as much as possible.

The WRs over $5,500 article highlighted Lazard’s teammate Davante Adams ($8,000), but Lazard is an excellent substitute if you’re trying to save cash. You can also stack both, as I’ll get into in a minute. The Packers have one of the most straight-forward Week 17 incentives: if they win, they get a first-round bye. If the Packers lose in Week 17, they still have a chance at a bye, but it requires a tricky parlay of multiple underdogs. We can feel confident that the Packers are going to play this game straight.

In Week 16, the Packers finally made a swap they’d been trending towards for weeks, elevating Lazard to the starting lineup ahead of Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Correspondingly, Lazard recording his highest snap count and target count of the season. Lazard scored 16.5 DKFP the last time these teams faced off, and that was when he was still playing less than half of the team’s snaps. The Lions have one of the worst secondaries in the league – they are 29th in pass defense DVOA – and they are particularly prone to giving up big games to teams’ No. 2 WRs. That trend has been amplified in recent weeks, as they gave up at least 20 DKFP to multiple WRs in Weeks 11, 13, and 15.

Greg Ward ($4,700), Eagles at Giants

If the Eagles win Sunday, they are in the playoffs. They also qualify if they lose and the Cowboys lose, but given that the Cowboys are facing 3-11 Washington, the Eagles probably need to win. Ward, the undrafted former University of Houston QB who spent two seasons out of the league before making the Eagles practice squad as a WR in September, is now their No. 1 WR. He trails their dynamic TE duo in targets and receiving yards over the past three games, but he’s second only to Zach Ertz in air yards. The Giants are an excellent matchup for WRs, allowing the third-most DKFP to the position and ranking 31st in pass defense DVOA. $4,700 is about as cheap as you’ll ever find a team’s No. 1 WR.

Juju Smith-Schuster ($5,500), Steelers at Ravens

Maybe I’m just a big ‘ol dummy for believing in a player who is obviously still working through an injury. Smith-Schuster missed four games with a calf injury before returning in Week 16, and he only caught two of his four targets. It also doesn’t help that his QB, whether Devlin Hodges or Paxton Lynch, won’t be good. But the Steelers have to win to make the playoffs, and Smith-Schuster is just way too talented for this meager salary. On top of that, the Ravens are running out their B-team, as they’ve already clinched the AFC’s No. 1 seed and announced that they will rest some starters. In a must-win game and at a huge discount, I’ll take the most talented player on the field, regardless of the red flags.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is arikleen) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.