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Rankings vs DFS Pricing Plays

by Rich Hribar
Updated On: October 6, 2018, 8:51 am ET

As usual, the goal of this article is simple. At the end of the week, we’re taking our weekly composite staff rankings from our Season Pass section and comparing those rankings as it pertains to players we see as starting caliber options to the pricing across the two major DFS sites in hopes of discovering some value. It’s as easy as that.


Matt Ryan – QB2

FanDuel: QB7 ($8,300)


To be fair to FanDuel, Ryan is still only $300 in total salary away from the QB1 this week, but this still gives us the opportunity to lay out why he is such a strong play when selecting a high-end passer this weekend. Ryan has destroyed this price point over the past three weeks, posting 31.7, 40.2 ands 29.3 points on FanDuel over that span. The Steelers have allowed a top-12 scoring quarterback in all four weeks this season, surrendering 24.6 points to Tyrod Taylor, 38.8 to Patrick Mahomes, 28.1 to Ryan Fitzpatrick and 22.2 to Joe Flacco last weekend.


Blake Bortles – QB13

FanDuel: QB20 ($7,000) DraftKings: QB19 ($5,500)


Bortles is set up to be everyone’s favorite lower-end end quarterback this week due to his price, matchup and splits without Leonard Fournette in the lineup. In five games without Fournette active, Bortles has averaged 289.4 passing yards (with over 300-yards passing in three games) and 19.5 fantasy points per game. Bortles also comes with rushing production (33.0 yards per game this season) something that can be exploited against a team that plays so much man-to-man coverage such as Kansas City. In one career game versus Bob Sutton’s defense, Bortles rushed for 54 yards.


T.J. Yeldon – RB11

FanDuel: RB20 ($6,500) DraftKings: RB19 ($5,600)


Yeldon also gets a bump with Fournette inactive and has already been a top-20 scorer in three of four weeks this season, right at the price you’re getting him at this weekend.  Yeldon’s yards from scrimmage have gone up in all four weeks this season and he’s posted 90 and 100 total yards over the past two weeks.  The Chiefs are allowing 201.5 yards from scrimmage to backfields (31st) and rank dead last in the league in rushing points allowed per carry to opposing running backs to begin the season.


Matt Breida – RB17

FanDuel: RB25 ($6,200)


Breida is listed as questionable, but he practiced on Friday and was a game-time decision a week ago for a game in which he played a season-high 38 snaps and ran a season-high 22 pass routes. In the process, he out-touched Alfred Morris 12-to-5. Through four weeks, Breida leads all running backs in yards per touch (7.8) that have at least 50 touches on the season. Arizona is just bleeding opportunity to running backs as they are facing the most rushing attempts (31.0) and touches (36.3) to opposing backfields per week and have allowed 16 or more fantasy points to five different backs so far through four games. He is not a safe cash-game option by any means, but we collectively like Breida to out-kick his price point in Week 5.


Doug Baldwin – WR21

DraftKings: WR39 ($5,000)


You have to go all the way back to Week 14 of the 2015 season to find a week where Baldwin was priced this low on DraftKings. In his first game back from a knee injury that he suffered in Week 1, Baldwin only totaled 41 yards on five receptions, but in a game that Seattle controlled with their run-game, Baldwin led the team with 27 percent of the team targets and 49 percent of their air yards. This week, the Seahawks will very likely have more passing volume and need to press the action through the air against the high-powered Rams, who themselves are still banged up in the secondary and are coming off a game in which they allowed 10-143-1 to Minnesota slot wideouts.


John Brown – WR23

FanDuel: WR39 ($6,200) DraftKings: WR28 ($5,600)

Brown was on this list a week ago and delivered. He now ranks second on the team in targets (30) and receptions (15) while leading the team in receiving yardage (338) and touchdowns (3) through four games. He even leads the team in red zone targets with four. Only Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins have seen more air yards come their way this season than Brown. Cleveland has faced a tough schedule of opposing lead wideouts, but they have struggled to contain production as they’ve allowed top-10 scoring weeks to Michael Thomas, Antonio Brown and Amari Cooper to begin the season.


Dede Westbrook – WR35

FanDuel: WR45 ($5,900) DraftKings: WR42 ($4,700)


Westbrook checks in as a lower-end WR3 option for us this week, but one that can be a cheap roster-filler priced in at WR4 costs. Through four games, Westbrook leads the Jaguars receiving in targets (28) by six, receptions (21) by four, and receiving yardage (294) by 71 yards over the next highest player on his team. Westbrook ranks fifth in the league in receiving yardage (262 yards) out of the slot this season and sixth in receptions (18) from the inside. The Chiefs have been better defending the interior as the season has moved on, but still have allowed 25 receptions for 216 yards and a touchdown to wide receivers in the slot through four games.


Vance McDonald – TE10

FanDuel: TE23 ($4,600) DraftKings: TE13 ($3,700)


McDonald is going to be everyone’s favorite cheap tight end this weekend and we’re in agreement that he’s the best value at the position. McDonald is running a pass route on 80.6 percent of his snaps, the highest rate for all tight ends in the league. He has at least four receptions and 50 yards receiving in five of his past six games played with Ben Roethlisberger, while Atlanta has allowed a top-12 scoring tight end in three of their four games on the season.

Rich Hribar
Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.