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!
Dwayne Haskins – Washington at Arizona ($23 Yahoo, $5100 DK, $6500 FD)
I’m interested in one of Josh Allen or Dak Prescott for cash game security at QB this week, but going cheap with Haskins or one of the others is a way to fit a more contrarian compilation of stars in a tournament lineup. The Football Team defense did the heavy lifting in Washington’s win over Philadelphia, which meant Haskins was able to get by with a low volume day. He didn’t throw any picks, and rushed a few times for 17 yards in addition to his 178/1 passing. Arizona’s offense should force a bit more from Haskins, and although there is some low-key hype about Arizona’s improving defense, it will take more than one week against a (functionally) George Kittle-less 49ers team to make me forget that they were last year’s best fantasy matchup for QBs.
Tyrod Taylor – LA Chargers vs. Kansas City ($20 Yahoo, $5300 DK, $6800 FD)
I’m trying to avoid my own bias against Taylor with this blurb, using some of the same logic as far as game script to justify the play. Taylor finished Week 1 with one of the lowest completion percentages in the league, didn’t throw a touchdown, targeted Austin Ekeler an almost unforgiveable one time, and rushed for seven yards on six attempts. The only place to go is up. I’m giving it one more week to see if the chemistry he appears to have with Mike Williams is real – it could easily be converted into a score or two – or if he rushes more effectively or just overall makes some better plays.
Teddy Bridgewater – Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay ($20 Yahoo)
Just throwing it out there that Bridgewater shouldn’t be minimum price on Yahoo in this potentially high-scoring shootout matchup. He was a totally fine play in Week 1 – nothing that dissuades me from using him again.
Jerick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets ($13 Yahoo, $4200 DK, $4900 FD)
McKinnon benefits from a San Francisco game plan that doesn’t mind getting multiple running backs involved, and frequently more than one is a fantasy asset. The Bills used their backs successfully to win over the Jets in Week 1, and McKinnon’s five targets seem like a repeatable figure.
Benny Snell – Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver ($10 Yahoo, $4000 DK, $4600 FD)
I’m nervous about trusting Snell too much, but Derrick Henry rushed well in Denver on Monday night, and Snell made the Giants look slow and clumsy. He’s never carved out a full-time role for himself over a sustained period, but James Connor was a full DNP Wednesday. Snell is just too cheap to pass on if Connor is ruled out come Sunday.
Jerry Jeudy – Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh ($15 Yahoo, $4900 DK, $5300 FD)
Jeudy’s salary benefits from pricing coming out before he played (same with Corey Davis, below). Jeudy looked fantastic and made Drew Lock look fantastic on a few of the throws he was targeted on (there were eight). His numbers weren’t wildly impressive, but that is bound to change. This is a player who won’t likely be priced down here again.
Corey Davis – Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville ($14 Yahoo, $4000 DK, $4900 FD)
Like Taylor, I am hesitant to buy in on Davis’ good game. He’s been in the league for four years now, but he looked – finally – like the complete receiver he was always supposed to be. It’s a good matchup, the Titans are 10-point favorites, and while I also think A.J. Brown is a great play, Davis is clearly the bargain. Both guys appeared on the injury report Wednesday, so be sure to follow their practice status as the week goes on.
O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina ($14 Yahoo, $3900 DK, $4800 FD)
I joked about Howard being a good waiver wire pickup for season long leagues before Sunday’s game (just throwing some shade Rob Gronkowski’s way among friends), but lo and behold, Tom Brady actually recognized Howard’s superior agility, athleticism, and talent in a way that the previous Bucs’ regime never would. Howard ultimately saw six targets and scored in Week 1. Chris Godwin appeared in the concussion protocol suddenly on Wednesday, and if he unable to progress – or if Mike Evans’ hamstring becomes more of a concern – Howard would be a very high priority DFS play for me.
Logan Thomas – Washington Football Team at Arizona ($13 Yahoo, $3600 DK, $4700 FD)
I’m surprised Thomas’ salary didn’t really go up after scoring on Sunday, but it’s ok by me. He led his team in targets, which saddened Terry McLaurin backers, and scored. He didn’t do anything to warrant less opportunity as far as I can tell, and as noted above, I think Washington and Haskins are going to be forced to play aggressively to keep place with the Cardinals. Logan’s range of outcomes certainly overlap with many more expensive options.
Also Consider: Jordan Akins
Los Angeles Chargers D/ST vs. Kansas City ($13 Yahoo, $2000 DK, $3200 FD)
If you’re going to save, save big. The Chargers do that for you (except on Yahoo) as one of the most highly rated defenses in the league. According to PFF, they field three of the Top 15 cornerbacks in the league, and Casey Hayward was just named Defensive Player of the Week. The Chargers allowed the third-fewest points in Week 1, with three sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. Obviously, Patrick Mahomes and the Superbowl winning Chiefs are not Joe Burrow and the lowly Bengals. Still, fantasy defenses can lose their game and still put up fantasy points. For the price, I’m fine with my DFS expectations of the Chargers.