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Rankings vs DFS Pricing Plays

by Rich Hribar

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.


Jameis Winston – QB5

FanDuel: QB11 ($7,900)


Just put Winston in pen here every week at this stage. FanDuel actually did bump up his price a little, but he’s still well below our expectations and the output he’s been providing. In the four games that Winston has completely played, he’s been the QB1, QB10, QB8 and the QB6. The Saints Defense has been much better over the past month, but at home in a matchup with the highest game total on the main slate, Winston is once again a viable option to outproduce his cost.

Jeff Wilson – RB18

FanDuel: RB78 ($5,600) DraftKings: RB46 ($3,800)


With Matt Breida already declared out, Wilson will be he starting running back for the 49ers this week at home against the Broncos. With Breida nursing a pregame ankle injury last week, Wilson played 72 percent of the team snaps, amassing 23 touches for 134 yards. The matchup is much tougher this week as Denver has allowed just 69.2 yards rushing per game to backfields over their past six games with zero rushing touchdowns, but Wilson also had nine targets in the passing game last week, giving him an opportunity to circumvent any struggles on the ground. The 49ers have had success with all their backs, form Breida, to Alfred Morris, to Raheem Mostert, so Wilson still carries some value as a road dog for his cost.


Justin Jackson – RB20

FanDuel: RB78 ($4,500) DraftKings: RB46 ($3,800)


We should anticipate Jackson earning a larger role this week the coaching staff talked about Austin Ekeler possibly being overworked at this stage of the season and with the way each Chargers' running back performed a week ago. Ekeler managed just 43 yards on 18 touches while Jackson posted 82 yards and a touchdown on nine touches a week ago in Pittsburgh. More noteworthy is that Jackson out-touched Ekeler 7-4 in the fourth quarter last week. Even if Jackson and Ekeler have something near an even split Sunday versus Cincinnati, Jackson would still be undervalued for his opportunity as a 14-point home favorite against the league’s worst defense to opposing backfields. The Bengals have allowed a league-high 19 touchdowns to opposing backfields on a league -high 30.8 touches and a league-high 179.3 yards from scrimmage per game to the position.


Jaylen Samuels – RB23

FanDuel: RB69 ($4,600) DraftKings: RB52 ($3,700)


Another back filling in for an injured starter, Samuels will start for the Steelers backfield this Sunday in Oakland. We should expect Stevan Ridley to be involved and potentially even be the goal line option, but Samuels offers a lot of upside with his receiving ability and versatility. Samuels caught 201 passes over his career at North Carolina State with 55 or more catches in each of his final three seasons in college. It’s not a given to write off Samuels at the goal line for Ridley. Samuels is a 225-pound back that rushed for 27 touchdowns over his final three seasons in college as well as garnering all those catches. Oakland is 27th in yardage allowed per game opposing backfields.


Chris Godwin – WR23

FanDuel: WR40 ($5,600) DraftKings: WR32 ($4,900)


With Godwin it’s as easy as us knowing DeSean Jackson is doubtful to return to the lineup this week -and potentially for the rest of the season – meaning that Godwin is someone who carries potential for a high floor to go along with high upside. Over the three games that Jackson has missed with the Bucs, Godwin has been the WR21 (3-98-0), WR7 (7-111-1) and the WR8 (5-101-1).


Courtland Sutton – WR30

FanDuel: WR40 ($5,600) DraftKings: WR44 ($4,500)


Sutton finally ran into a soft matchup last week and delivered. Sutton had a season-high 33.3 percent of the team targets last week, turning them into a 4-85-1 line. This week, he gets a potential target boost with Emmanuel Sanders lost for the season and a solid matchup once again. Sutton will run 73 percent of his routes against the weaker members of the 49ers’ secondary we’ve been picking on this season opposite Richard Sherman.


Zay Jones – WR36

FanDuel: WR70 ($5,100) DraftKings: WR54 ($4,200)

This is not a misprint. A Buffalo Bills’ player is listed as a potential value this week. Jones had four or more catches in four of his past five games and leads the team with 18.6 percent of the targets with Josh Allen under center. He also draws a great matchup as the Jets are 31st in production allowed to slot receivers, including an 8-93-1 game to Jones himself back in Week 10 with Matt Barkley under center.


David Njoku – TE7

FanDuel: TE15 ($5,300) DraftKings: TE10 ($3,900)


Njoku is a tough fantasy nut to crack. On one hand, he has at least 50-recieiving yards in six of his past nine games. On the other hand, he has a season-high of just 69 yards, not giving him much of a displayed ceiling to date. This ranking may have more to say about the tight end position overall than anything, but Carolina has allowed nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends (tied for the most in the league) and rank 30th in receptions allowed (5.8) per game to the position if  you’re looking to pay down at the position in relation to our expectations.

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.