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Week 17 Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

It’s hard to claim that this upcoming weekend of NFL action will be particularly inspiring for Steeler Addicts. It’s a final home-stand against the lowly Browns in a lost season. Moreover, your fantasy football league is already over, so there’s nothing left to care about there either.

If you’re searching for a reason to give a s*** about the NFL this weekend, you aren’t entirely alone. There may be one place worth checking out to help turn those end-of-season blues into some fun: DraftDay.

DraftDay is a daily fantasy sports site that allows you to compete in one-day fantasy leagues for real-money prizes. In other words, you can draft a fantasy football team for only Week 17‘s games. Pretty cool, huh?

Unlike traditional fantasy sports leagues, DraftDay uses a salary-cap based drafting system. Participants are given $100,000 in salary to “buy” their fantasy football roster. This means it is theoretically possible for everyone in the league you are playing against to draft the same roster of players (though from a probability standpoint, this is about as likely as an asteroid landing in your toilet).

Check out DraftDay and submit a free lineup to their “Perfect Lineup” contest. If you correctly predict the highest scoring fantasy players at every position, they’ll give you a cool $1,000,000. No big deal. Just a million dollars.

If you decide to jump into some of their real-money contests (they have an $11 buy-in game for Week 17 paying out $2,000 to first-place), here’s a rundown of Steelers players worth starting or avoiding:

Start ‘Em

Steelers Defense (Salary: $6,300). The best Steelers-related fantasy entity at DraftDay this week is unquestionably the team’s defense. Facing the Browns, they can be expected to be among the most productive fantasy defenses in Week 17 and are priced about $2,000 less than other elite NFL defenses.

Mike Wallace (Salary: $9,750). Wallace is a great buy at wide receiver this week at DraftDay thanks to a plummeting salary price following a few weeks of diminished production. The name of the game at DraftDay is looking for guys whose salary value under-represents their true value as a fantasy football option. Wallace is a prime example of a “buy low” guy this week (he’s priced lower than Lance Moore, Torrey Smith, and Jeremy Maclin).

Jonathan Dwyer (Salary: $6,000). No Steelers fan is elated with Jonathan Dwyer’s output in the last several weeks, but facts are facts and the fact is Dwyer should get a nice handful of touches against the Browns. For $6,000, he’s a pretty good buy.

Avoid

Ben Roethlisberger (Salary: $13,400). Ben is not a terrible option at quarterback this week, but you can do better. Jake Locker, Eli Manning and Andrew Luck are three quarterbacks that cost less and reasonably likely to put up more fantasy production than Roethlisberger in Week 17.

Leonard Pope (Salary: $5,300). Pope may seem like a tempting option this week filling in for Heath Miller who tore his ACL last week (can Miller return in time for next season?), but it’s advisable to steer clear from him this week. Roethlisberger is unlikely to spam Pope with the football in the same fashion as he does with Heath Miller. Too much of a risk.

Antonio Brown (Salary: $12,050). Brown has come down with an easily-diagnosable case of being too expensive. He and Wallace are essentially equivalent options from a fantasy perspective. You can have Wallace for about 20% less.

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