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!
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins ($6800 FD, $5600 DK, $24 Yahoo)
We’ve probably seen Tua’s range in his two games played so far. I think, and it’s definitely difficult to predict based on such a small sample, that he’ll come in on the higher end this weekend. The Dolphins are home, facing an inexplicably bad Chargers pass defense. LA gives up the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing QBs, and they’ve faced some not-good ones this season.
Jake Luton, Jacksonville Jaguars ($6700 FD, $5400 DK, $23 Yahoo)
Luton was amazing in his debut. How much of that is him and how much is the Houston Texans remains to be seen. Green Bay is a test, for sure, and the Pack is favored by two touchdowns early in the week. While it’s easy to run on Green Bay (and I love James Robinson this week), it seems likely that Luton will be forced to make some big plays in order to keep this game a little bit close. He had immediate rapport with D.J. Chark, and also looked to Chris Conley more than expected. Chark, Conley and Luton make for a very low-cap, low-owned stack if you’re looking to go against the grain in a big tournament.
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team ($5300 FD, $4900 DK, $1700 Yahoo)
If Antonio Gibson is limited this weekend, or misses the game entirely with his shoulder injury, McKissic will be the chalkiest RB play. Facing a Lions Defense that ranks first in fantasy points to running backs, he might be anyway. He has been excellent in the pass game, averaging about six targets per game, and seeing a whopping 14 targets in Week 9.
Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers ($5400 FD, $4000 DK, $1700 Yahoo)
With Christian McCaffrey now expected to miss Week 10 with his injured shoulder, we are back to Davis time. Fortunately, the salary reflects McCaffrey being active, although to be fair, Davis had not been amazing the two games prior to Week 9 either. The first time he faced the Bucs, he caught all eight passes thrown his way for 74 yards. On the season, he boasts a dependable 88 percent catch rate (on 49 targets, which ranks second in the league behind Alvin Kamara (and is tied with Ezekiel Elliott’s targets)). The matchup isn’t great, but the salary is. Use Davis at will.
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Rashard Higgins ($5500 FD, $4600 DK, $14 Yahoo)
Although Higgins was monstrously disappointing in Week 8 against the Raiders, remember that the weather played a huge role in that game. Things should be looking up for Higgins and Jarvis Landry in another great passing/receiving matchup with the aforementioned Texans. Houston ranks seventh in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and fourth overall. There are also great matchups for Austin Hooper, and of course, Baker Mayfield. Expect to see some Cleveland stacks this week, but I also feel fine with slotting Higgins in as a lone Brown salary saver.
DaVante Parker, Miami Dolphins ($6000 FD, $5000 DK, $17 Yahoo)
With Preston Williams on IR, Parker achieves immediate value. As noted above, he was the favorite target of Tagovailoa in Week 9, garnering 12 targets. The Dolphins are small home favorites over an LA team that has consistently given up big passing plays. If you need to save a bit more, consider Mack Hollins, who caught his first NFL touchdown from Tua in Week 9 after Williams was injured.
Evan Engram, New York Giants ($5600 FD, $4500 DK, $16 Yahoo)
After Waller, TE is kind of wide open to me this week, as you can see below. Engram is my next favorite pick, given how the Giants have been playing and the matchup with Philadelphia. The Eagles are a fairly neutral defense overall, but have been beaten by a few tight ends this season, though not including Engram himself a few weeks ago (six catches on nine targets for 46 receiving yards and zero touchdowns). Engram has surpassed at least 10 fantasy points in PPR scoring the last three games, a trend that should continue this weekend.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Buffalo ($3600 FD, $2600 DK, $15 Yahoo)
The Bills are coming off a great game, and are only very small underdogs in what Vegas has as a very high scoring game, so this not a place I’d ordinarily look for defense. However, Josh Allen was sacked seven times by a much worse Seattle defense last week at home. He may also have a harder time connecting with Stefon Diggs as the Cardinals will do their best to shut him down (one reason I mention John Brown above). The Cardinals have done a good job limiting opponents to fewer than 23 points per game, which combined with a couple turnovers, would probably make this D/ST worth the low price.
Also consider: NY Giants