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!
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints ($27 Yahoo, $7300 FanDuel, $5600 DraftKings)
Personally, I can’t see fading Patrick Mahomes this week, but if you’re looking to build a very solid cash game lineup, Brees offers the best floor for the cheapest salary. Remember, we’ve seen this story before. In two games vs. Tom Brady and the Bucs this season (Weeks 1 and 9), Brees threw six touchdown passes with zero interceptions. His yardage wasn’t great (around 380 combined passing yards in the two games), and hasn’t been all season long. You’re rostering his touchdown potential, which is high with all the skill players for New Orleans playing at a high level. It helps Brees’ outlook that the Saints have one of the highest implied team totals this week, favored at home in a game with a 52-point total.
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns ($26 Yahoo, $6200 FanDuel, $4800 DraftKings)
Hunt scored twice vs. Pittsburgh, and while he didn’t do too much in the way of moving the chains down field, he and the Browns have enabled him to reach value more often than not this season. Part of that is his red zone usage; he out-carried Chubb 4-to-1 last week and 41-to-37 in the regular season. He also had eight red zone targets in the regular season which resulted in four touchdowns. With the highest point total of the weekend (a 56 point over/under), and the Chiefs being one of the better RB matchups, I like Hunt a lot. His salary does vary pretty widely across the sites. He’s clearly the best value on DK, but may fit into some builds on FanDuel and Yahoo.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens ($17 Yahoo, $5300 FanDuel, $4200 DraftKings)
In looking at their game logs, the salary discrepancy between Edwards and J.K. Dobbins isn’t 100 percent justified. I’m not arguing that Dobbins isn’t the better back – he is, and if you can afford him, do it. But Edwards isn’t so far behind. He averaged 5.0 YPC instead of Dobbins’ 6.0 in the regular season (they were identical at 4.8 YPC last week vs. Tennessee). He had eight carries to Dobbins’ nine in the Wild Card game, and out-carried Dobbins in the regular season. Dobbins is more likely to score, but if you’re in need of deep savings, Edwards isn’t a bad option.
Editor's Note: Looking for an added edge? Dominate all season long with our DFS Toolkit. Use our Lineup Optimizer to come up with winning lineups for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! Click here for more!
Deonte Harris, New Orleans Saints ($14 Yahoo, $5200 FanDuel, $3500 DraftKings)
Harris emerged from IR to be almost as relevant as Michael Thomas in the first round of the playoffs. Brees targeted him seven times and he caught them all for 83 yards. The only difference was Thomas’ first quarter touchdown. I noted Brees’ conservative passing approach above, but there is clearly room for the No. 2 Saints’ receiver to meet value at this salary in what should be a shootout with Tampa Bay.
Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills ($13 Yahoo, $5400 FanDuel, $4000 DraftKings)
Of course Stefon Diggs is the priority play for the Bills, who are down a running back for this game with Zach Moss’ injury, but Davis was heavily involved in the win over the Colts. In fact, his four targets matched the fewest he’s seen since the Bills’ Week 11 bye. He scored four times in that span, though only exceeding 100 receiving yards once (in the somewhat meaningless blowout win over Miami in Week 17). Still, it felt like every catch he made was a key one, highlighting the trust Josh Allen has in the rookie, and compelling me to believe he will once again be a key cog in this offense.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills ($11 Yahoo, $5000 FanDuel, $3100 DraftKings)
Again, I prefer to spend here, because I think it’s a matchup and game script for Travis Kelce to go nuts, but if you are building differently, Knox is as cheap as it gets with touchdown potential. Knox has seen as many as seven or eight targets in the second half of the season, and though he’s never had more than 51 receiving yards, he has scored in four games since the Week 11 bye. He’s a big body in the end zone, and Allen has proved that he likes targeting his tight ends from inside the 20…when he’s not rushing it in himself.
Green Bay Packers ($13 Yahoo, $4600 FanDuel, $3900 DraftKings)
All of the defenses playing this weekend are respectable, and several are among the best in the league. Unfortunately, those are playing the best offenses. Consider the Rams, league-best defense by several measures, facing the Packers, league-best offense by several measures. Plus, Aaron Rodgers never gets sacked, which is one of the strengths of the Rams’ D for fantasy. Or Tampa Bay and the Saints – both Top 8 defenses, but both are also Top 5 offenses. The Packers are expensive on FanDuel, but on Yahoo especially might be the best buy of the weekend. The Rams have turned the ball over more times than anyone left – 25, second most in the league. They also rank 23rd in points scored this season. In the brutal cold of Wisconsin, at home, and with Jared Goff perhaps not completely healed from his surgery, I think the Packers will produce as well as anyone, but for less of the salary cap.