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Week 17 RB Sleepers and Landmines

by , and • December 27, 2018

Each week, as we prepare to make some difficult lineup decisions, our team, which includes Rob Willette, Ryan McDowell, and Sal Leto, will bring you a few sleepers and landmines for each position. Our sleeper picks could be on your waiver wire or a low-priced DFS target or could simply be going overlooked this week. On the other hand, our landmine players are getting attention, too much attention. These are players we feel are being overvalued and overpriced and would avoid for this week.


Rod Smith $3,300

The Dallas Cowboys have already earned a playoff spot and are locked into the fourth seed in the NFC. In past years when HC Jason Garrett and company were in this spot, we’ve seen them rest their stars, including starting RB Ezekiel Elliott. If Zeke sits in Week Seventeen, that would leave backup RB Rod Smith to carry a heavy workload against the Giants poor defense. The Giants have allowed 14 RB1 or RB2 games, among the most in the league. – Ryan McDowell

Doug Martin $4,700

At 29 years old Doug Martin has shown enough signs of life to come back another year and contribute to a team. He had four touchdowns in his last five games and last week posted his first 100 yard game in over three seasons. The Raiders are playing better to close out the season and Martin has been a part of the turn around. He gets to close it out against the Chiefs run defense that has toiled in the bottom three all season. Running backs have scored five times over the last four games against the Chiefs including Martin himself back in week 13 where he had a PPR point total above 14. You should expect a similar day here. – Sal Leto

Brian Hill $4,500

Brian Hill’s 60 yard run in Week 16 accounts for nearly 50% of his season yardage total. So why trust him in Week 17? Well, at this price is not so much about trust as it is identifying cheap sources of production. Hill got some extended run following the season-ending injury to Ito Smith, and quickly assumed Smith’s role as a change-of-pace option working in for 8-10 touches per week. With Tevin Coleman likely to depart in free agency this March, the Falcons may as well see what they have in Hill as depth behind Devonta Freeman and the aforementioned Smith. Even with limted touches, Hill could produce against a Tampa Bay defense which is admittedly better at home yet still offers very little resistance against opposing backs. Week 17 is always good for its random stars; Hill could find his way to the monniker this week. – Rob Willette


Damien Williams $6,300

Most of the signs are good for veteran RB Damien Williams of the Chiefs. Williams has put together three straight RB1 games following the loss of RB Kareem Hunt and injury to RB Spencer Ware. The Chiefs also must win this week to maintain their hold on the AFC’s top seed, meaning their top players will play the full game, most likely. Even the matchup is a nice one as Kansas City host the lowly Raiders. The bad news and what has me concerned is the expected return of Ware, who has missed two games with a hamstring injury. In Weeks 13 and 14 when both Williams and Ware were healthy, Ware had 35 touches to 19 for Williams.  – Ryan McDowell

Dalvin Cook $7,200

Nine carries for twelve yards, three receptions for minus two yards. That’s Cooks stat line back in week 11 against this Bears defense. Sure Cook is healthier now and looks to be back to full speed but this Bears defense has been ferocious at times and has a chance to lift the team to a bye week if things fall out right. The top three running defense has only four rushing touchdowns allowed on the season or two less than any other team in the league. Back in week 14 they held Todd Gurley (21 touchdowns) out of the end zone and by far his worst game of the season The Bears started out as a fun story and have turned into a dangerous team. – Ryan McDowell

James Conner $7,700

Signs are tentatively pointing to James Conner returning this week. The matchup could not be better. Cincinnati has been in a hard fought fight for title of worst defense in the NFL all season, and a Steelers’ team which needs a victory should be all hands on deck for this one. Of course, trusting Conner off a multi-week absence – especially given how well Jaylen Samuels has played in his absence – is a tough leap of faith. It is likely Conner’s touch ceiling is limited as he is brought back into game shape, mitigating the supreme matchup and making him a full fade for me this week. – Rob Willette


Sal Leto (@LetoSal), Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23), and Rob Willette (@RobWillette24) are freelance contributors for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.