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!
C.J. Beathard, San Francisco 49ers ($6,400 FD, $5,200 DK, $23 Yahoo)
Chad Henne, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,600 FD, $5,100 DK, $24 Yahoo)
Mike Boone, Minnesota Vikings ($4,600 FD, $4,000 DK, $13 Yahoo)
Dalvin Cook is ruled out and Alexander Mattison is dealing with a concussion. If Mattison is cleared in time, he’d be the obvious start here, but since the Vikings are facing Detroit, the second-best rushing matchup for fantasy in the league, one of them should be on your radar and in your lineups this week.
Rodney Smith, Carolina Panthers ($4,900 FD, $4,000 DK, $10 Yahoo)
We have a similar situation in Carolina, though the Panthers have nothing to play for except to spoil the Saints’ hopes for bye. Christian McCaffrey is doubtful, and Mike Davis was also not practicing Wednesday. The most recent report says that a severe ankle sprain is likely to keep him out. This is a situation to monitor, but Smith is a rookie who has been mildly involved in both the run and pass games since his debut in Week 10. He hasn’t yet scored, and his numbers are modest, but it’s quite possible the Panthers unleash him this weekend to see what he can do (albeit in the worst possible matchup). Still, a big opportunity for Smith’s price would trump matchup for me.
Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts ($5,400 FD, $4,200 DK, $18 Yahoo)
Pascal is looking like the lead receiver for the Colts in a dream matchup with the Jaguars this week. They need a win, so should be playing aggressively despite the soft matchup (Vegas has them as 2-TD favorites). Pascal has basically tied T.Y. Hilton in targets the past two weeks, barely edged him in yards, but has three scores in those games. His salary is too good for the looks he’s getting and should continue to get in an easy position.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals ($5,300 FD, $4,200 DK, $11 Yahoo)
Kirk bounced back a bit with 10 targets in Week 16, after a few quiet weeks. Arizona is playing for their playoff hopes this weekend, and if DeAndre Hopkins is less than 100 percent, I expect the focus to shift to Kirk. It’s hard to trust Kyler Murray, or Hopkins, if he plays, in such a tough matchup, but the risk is very low on Kirk, and there could be a nice fantasy-point-per-dollar payoff with him.
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Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts ($4,500 FD, $3,000 DK, $12 Yahoo)
You could tell, perhaps, that I was excited about the Colts this week. I’m adding on with Doyle, who I don’t at all consider a must-play. I prefer to spend up on Mark Andrews this week, but if you choose to go a more contrarian direction and save here, Doyle is a good bet. He’s leading the Colts’ (numerous) tight ends in snaps and targets, and in this matchup, I like him to catch a touchdown too.
Arizona Cardinals ($3,800 FD, $2,800 DK, $19 Yahoo)
John Wolford could be the next Patrick Mahomes. I don’t really know much about him, except that he hasn’t played in a real NFL game, ever. That’s not all, though. Darrell Henderson is out, Cooper Kupp is on the COVID-19 list as of Monday, and Cam Akers isn’t a guarantee to return ahead of schedule. All of this means that the Rams’ offense has a good chance of struggling, perhaps creating extra opportunity for turnovers, sacks, punts, and a low score. The Cardinals are a cheap, opportunistic play on DraftKings and FanDuel. On Yahoo, you might choose to spend just a dollar or two more on Baltimore, New England or Indianapolis.
Also consider: Dallas Cowboys, especially if you need a cheap unit on Yahoo.