In this weekly article, we’ll look at the cheaper options that should return good value to your NFL DFS lineups. The bargain threshold varies by site, and position, but generally we’ll aim for our bargain plays to take up about 8-10 percent of your salary cap, except for quarterbacks, which we’ll allow 11-12 percent. A great tool to find bargains is our DFS projection system, which gives a dollar per fantasy point projection for each player. I refer to it often! For this small two-game Conference Championship slate, we’ll look at bargains by site rather than by position. Good luck this weekend, and until next season, cheers!
John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills $14
Brown was back in a big way for the Divisional Round. Yes, Stefon Diggs is 100 percent the apple of Josh Allen’s eye, but Brown tied Diggs for catches (8) last week on 11 targets. He proved reliable in the middle of the field as well as on the sideline for a couple of key, chain-moving grabs. The Chiefs are known as a difficult matchup for WRs, ranking near the bottom of the league in fantasy points allowed, but we know the Bills create matchup problems for opponents with Allen’s ability to run and change plays on a dime. Brown figures to be heavily involved in this offensive-minded shootout and therefore a safe play in any lineup, on any site.
Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers, $13
Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling both garnered eight targets from Aaron Rodgers in the Divisional win over LA. He actually led the WR group in fantasy points thanks to a long TD (could have been two) in that game. He’s not going to surpass Davante Adams again, I don’t think, and I do like the idea of spending on Adams this weekend, but with limited options, Lazard is a nice addition to a Packers stack that allows you to fit high priority plays like Travis Kelce.
Green Bay Packers D/ST, $13
Like last week, the Packers’ D/ST is unusually cheap on Yahoo. They are again at home, and facing the lowest scoring of the remaining teams, with the Bucs also owning the lowest implied team total of the day. The Packers looked good last week, with four sacks and seven QB hits against the Rams while allowing only 18 points. If you have a reliable way of predicting defensive touchdowns, I’m all ears, but with a pretty even playing field (unless Patrick Mahomes is ruled out), I’ll take the home value where I can find it.
Ronald Jones Jr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers, $4600
The weakness of the aforementioned Packers’ D is the run game. They ranked fifth in fantasy points allowed to running backs during the regular season, and Cam Akers just racked up almost 130 on them. The Bucs are running a two-headed backfield, with Leonard Fournette clearly in the lead back position. Still, against a soft run defense, Jones should get enough chances to make something of the opportunity. He saw 13 carries and 1 target last week, and averaged a respectable 4.8 YPC, in line with his regular season average. At this price, he should be able to reach value on DraftKings.
Cole Beasley, WR, Buffalo Bills, $4100
Beasley seems to run hot and cold for the Bills, in terms of catches and targets. Some weeks he’s the savior making the critical short yardage catches to secure needed first downs. Sometimes he disappears. You already know I’m a fan of John Brown, but for tournaments, you might pivot to Beasley, who will be less popular after his Divisional Round dud. He’s not a touchdown guy – hasn’t caught one since Week 13 – but makes his value in volume and PPR scoring, so be careful using him anywhere but DraftKings this weekend.
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Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs $5300
In the cheap WR market, Hardman is the standout value on FanDuel. He makes big plays, Mahomes trusts him, and his value shouldn’t be impacted if Sammy Watkins returns this weekend. His volume isn’t super-high, so you really are hoping for scores with Hardman. Vegas thinks this will be a close and high-scoring game, more so when (if) Mahomes is cleared to play, so it’s a good idea to draw your cheap fillers from it. Buffalo is statistically the softest defense left in the playoffs, and they will certainly have their hands full with Kelce and Tyreek Hill, which could leave Hardman more open.
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills $5800
The Bills signed Devonta Freeman to the practice squad in the wake of Zach Moss’ season-ending injury, but it was Singletary who handled the rushing duties last week. Admittedly, it wasn’t much: seven carries for 25 yards and three catches on three targets for another 12 yards. This Bills team is committed to Allen – in the form of the pass game, and in terms of the run game. He is by far their best back, and especially at the goal line, no one else really has a chance. Still, you have to roster two running backs, and I question whether it’s smart to pay up for Aaron Jones in a time share with Jamaal Williams against the best run defense in the league. No, it’s a position I’m saving on, and Singletary is at least being given somewhat of a chance.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers $5200
I’m personally just committed to spending on Kelce at TE this week. He gets a dream matchup with the Bills, and should be heavily targeted by whomever QBs the Chiefs. If you want to differentiate your lineups, I feel like Gronk is due. He has one catch on six targets in the first two playoff games from Tom Brady, and clearly isn’t the same player he used to be. Still, he had a run where he scored seven TDs in 10 games (Weeks 6-16), and the sheer number of options that defenses have to worry about with this offense means that Gronk could be open for a big play or two. He’s exceptionally cheap on FanDuel, but my pick for alternate TE on all the sites.
Also: John Brown $5600