Players to Avoid in Week 17: Play Baldwin and Lose

Daily fantasy football isn’t all about who you are going to use. Sometimes it’s just as important to determine who you aren’t going to use. That way, if the salary happens to fit for your last spot, you’ll know which names to disregard in order to produce the greatest overall fantasy point output. Here are the guys to cross off your list heading into the 17th week of the NFL season.

Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, $10,500 – Unfortunately for Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers, Carolina still has something to play for. Their loss and Arizona’s win last week means the Panthers have still not locked up the number one seed in the NFC. In other words, they’ll be putting in a full effort against Winston and co. which does not bode well for them. In week four, Winston put up 287 yards and two touchdowns (TDs) versus Carolina and added four rushes for 19 yards. However that game was played at home and they’ll now be on the road against a hungry Carolina team fighting for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. He averages 18.43 fantasy points and is priced awfully cheap but it will be tough to deploy him against an incentivized defense that has allowed the fourth fewest points to the quarterback (QB) position. If fiending for a NFC South QB, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan (matched up against the Saints) are much better alternatives and worthy of spending up for.

Matt Forte, Bears, $11,700 – It has been a sad wind down to Matt Forte’s career with the Chicago Bears which will certainly come to an end after this season. While the yards per carry (YPC) totals have been solid the past four weeks, the explosiveness clearly just isn’t there anymore. His carries have regressed from 21 in week 13 to 10 the following week, eight in week 15 and then 11 last week. The backfield has morphed into a three-way committee with up-and-coming stud Jeremy Langford and the Bears’ fourth round pick last season Ka’Deem Carey. There are runs where Forte runs towards an open hole but just doesn’t have the explosiveness to hit the hole and break it for 20 like he used to. Then Langford comes in and provides a spark so the coaching staff just hasn’t felt the need to feature Forte over the last quarter of the season. If he’s not the goal line back (Carey two TDs including one rushing TD last week) and he isn’t featured, then there’s no reason to roster him at his still inflated price tag.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks, $12,600 – Doug Baldwin has been nothing short of spectacular over the past five weeks as he’s scored 11 TDs during that streak alone. For the season, he has caught 73 passes for 1,023 yards and 14 TDs with one week left to play. Unluckily the final game will be played in Arizona against the Cardinals and their elite cornerback Patrick Peterson (Pro Football Focus grades him at 87 or fifth best in the league). In their first meeting (week 10), Baldwin torched the Cardinals for 134 yards and a TD on seven receptions (RECs). He will not surprise them this time as he sort of began emerging out of nowhere during that very game. When it comes to proven receivers, Arizona sticks Peterson on them and has him shadow them wherever they line up in the formation. Though all of Arizona’s corners are good, there’s no questioning the matchup with Peterson is the most difficult. As Tyrann Mathieu eluded to on Twitter a few days ago, Peterson hasn’t allowed many RECs lately and is a real threat to shut down Baldwin. Don’t chase past production; fade Baldwin in an extremely difficult individual matchup.

Sammy Watkins, Bills, $12,600 – Does the name Darrelle Revis mean anything to you? Well it should. Revis holds a reputation of the best cornerback in the league, and while that is no longer true, he still is not a pleasant matchup for opposing wide recievers (WRs). Sammy Watkins has been the epitome of hit-or-miss this season and his overall numbers personify the trend: only 49 RECs but 911 yards and nine TDs. The Bills met the Jets on Nov. 12 and Watkins only hauled in three of his seven targets for 14 yards. Watkins’ streak of four straight games with a TD ended last week and I would expect that draught to continue through week 17 in a matchup against a formidable foe.

Julius Thomas, Jaguars, $9,300 – Call this one a hunch because the matchup actually isn’t awful in a nutshell. For the season, the Texans rank middle of the pack against opposing tight ends (TEs) but they have simply dominated recently. Over the past two weeks, they have allowed 394 yards passing total with two passing TDs. After scoring three straight weeks, he has now gone on a two week scoreless lull and saw just two targets last week against the porous Saints defense. He has been targeted at least five times in eight of the last nine games but his value still is still pretty much scoring dependent as he has eclipsed five fantasy points just once in the last four games in which he has not found the end zone. There are plenty of TEs who rack up both the yards and possess the ability to score so there’s no reason to mess around with Thomas in a matchup against a red hot defense.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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