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Rankings vs DFS Pricing Plays

by Rich Hribar
Updated On: October 20, 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.

 

Cam Newton – QB5

DraftKings: QB10 ($5,900)

 

This is the lowest price Newton has had on DraftKings through six games, but we still collectively view him as a top-5 option at his position. Newton has now thrown multiple touchdowns in four straight games and still is adding 7.8 points per game rushing, the most of any quarterback. The Eagles bring a lot of pressure which can make them vulnerable to rushing quarterbacks. Philadelphia struggled to contain Marcus Mariota (10-46-1) on the ground two weeks ago, and Newton himself rushed 11 times for 71 yards and a score in the meeting between these teams a year ago.

 

Baker Mayfield – QB13

FanDuel: QB18 ($7,100)

 

Mayfield has struggled statistically in back-to-back games against the Ravens and Chargers, but he goes on the road to face the league’s worst pass defense in Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay has allowed a 300-yard pass in every game this season and ranks last in the league in completion rate (76.8 percent), yards per attempt (9.3), touchdown rate (8.8 percent) and passing points (27.1) per game to opposing passers. To top that off, Tampa Bay is allowing a league-high 4.2 offensive touchdowns per game and the Bucs are the only team in the league that has every one of their games go over the game total.

 

Sony Michel – RB10

DraftKings: RB19 ($5,500)

 

Michel’s price this week on DraftKings actually dropped from a week ago despite his best fantasy game of the season, rushing 24 times for 106 yards and a pair of touchdown. Over the past three weeks, Michel has crushed in this price range, posting 25.6, 18.0, and 20.2 points on DraftKings, but is still be handled as a low-level RB2. Too much emphasis is being placed on a Bears Defense that just allowed over 100-yards rushing to Frank Gore and the Bears have had one of the lightest rushing schedules to date, facing the Packers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Buccaneers and Dolphins to begin the season. It would be nice in Michel was involved in the passing game, but his scoring upside is to high for this price range. Since being activated in Week 2, Sony Michel is second in the league in red zone carries (21), fifth in carries inside of the 10-yard line (11) and tied for fourth in carries inside of the 5-yard line (seven).

 

LeSean McCoy – RB12

FanDuel: RB28 ($6,200) DraftKings: RB16 ($5,600)

 

McCoy is working his way back into fantasy relevancy over the past two weeks with games of 108 and 94 yards from scrimmage on 26 and 19 touches. Those two games came against two defenses (Tennessee and Houston) who have had a lot of success limiting running back output as well. This week, McCoy gets a more favorable outlook in terms of matchup against a Colts Defense that is allowing 146 yards from scrimmage per game (22nd) to backfields. He’s still not completely safe a huge, road dog, but McCoy’s price and projected volume are something to potentially take advantage of.

 

Nick Chubb – RB13

FanDuel: RB60 ($4,800) DraftKings: RB61 ($3,600)

What was once a tighter running back field on the main slate after Todd Gurley has since been blown t shreds with Cleveland trading Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville on Friday. With that trade, Chubb becomes the default cap saving option across both sites. Hyde was averaging 20 touches per game through six weeks, leaving a healthy workload on the table for the second-round rookie to acquire. The Tampa Bay defense has been solid defending the run – allowing 3.47 YC to opposing backs, fourth in the league - but they will be without Gerald McCoy and Vinny Curry and have allowed an opposing running back to score in every game but one.

 

Jarvis Landry – WR12

FanDuel: WR26 ($6,500)

 

Many of us thought that the Browns turning the keys over to Baker Mayfield would cement Landry as a weekly WR1, but that has been far from the truth. In Mayfield’s three starts, just 44.8 percent (13-of-29) of Landry's targets have been deemed catchable per Pro Football Focus, the fourth-lowest rate for all wideouts with double-digit targets over the span. As bad as that has been, this week Landry gets a slump-busting matchup against a Tampa Bay secondary that is allowing a league-high 8.4 receptions and 22.5 fantasy points per game to opposing lead receivers while they have surrendered a touchdown to every lead wide receiver with the exception of Julio Jones.

 

Taylor Gabriel – WR28

FanDuel: WR42 ($5,900) DraftKings: WR38 ($4,700)

 

Over his past two games, Gabriel has posted the only two games of his career with 100-yards receiving. Over those games he’s caught 12-of-12 targets for 214 yards and two touchdowns and even has five red zone targets. There’s sure to be regression on his efficiency per target, but the Patriots have had difficulty stopping speed players to start the season and Allen Robinson is playing through a groin injury, leaving the door open for Gabriel to once again outkick his expectations.

 

Marquise Goodwin – WR30

FanDuel: WR53 ($5,500) DraftKings: WR43 ($4,600)

 

After battling a quad injury for most of the season, Goodwin was finally fully healthy this past Monday Night and quickly reminded us of the ceiling he possesses due to splash plays. In that game versus the Packers, Goodwin caught 4-of-5 targets for 126 yards and scored on receptions of 67 and 30 yards. He’s now matched a career-high with three touchdowns on the season. While we’d be more comfortable if he received more volume, his pricing still allows a ton of room for his ceiling potential. The 49ers and Rams game has the highest game total (52.5 points) on the main slate and the Rams have regressed heavily defensively against wide receiver play. Over the past four weeks, wide receivers facing the Rams have caught 54-of-82 targets (65.8 percent) for 852 yards and 10 touchdowns while they’ve allowed an individual wideout to score multiple times in three of those games.

 

David Njoku – TE6

FanDuel: TE12 ($5,700) DraftKings: TE11 ($4,200)

 

The running theme is that we’re collectively high on the Cleveland passing game this weekend and Njoku has been the best part of it over the past three weeks. Since Mayfield took over the starter in Week 4, Njoku ranks third of all tight ends in targets (30), tied for third in receptions (18), sixth in receiving yardage (176), and sixth in fantasy points (41.6). Tampa Bay is the only team that has allowed a top-12 scoring tight end in every game this season and are allowing a league-high 97.2 yards per game to the position.

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.