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! These bargains are for the Sunday main slate on each site.
Mike Glennon, Jacksonville Jaguars ($6200 FD, $4600 DK, $20 Yahoo)
Minimum salary starting QBs aren’t super-common, and Glennon is going to get a good opportunity this weekend, facing a Browns Defense that gives up the 10th-most fantasy points to QBs. The Browns are decent sized favorites on the road, but Glennon is an experienced QB with a balanced offensive approach and enough talent around him to reach value. After two disappointing weeks with Jake Luton under center, D.J. Chark is one of the cheapest WR1s on the slate. I like him to bounce back with Glennon, over Chris Conley or Keelan Cole.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders ($7100 FD, $5700 DK, $29 Yahoo)
I do expect Carr to be a pretty popular play, as all QBs facing Atlanta are this season. The Raiders have one of the highest implied team totals on the main slate, and get great fantasy matchups across the board. In fact, Atlanta trails only Seattle in overall fantasy points allowed. Carr is coming off a nice game and near-win against the Chiefs, one of his best games of the year. This is a week to pair Carr with Henry Ruggs III as we await another glimpse of the upside Ruggs’ speed offers, or to save even more with old reliable Nelson Agholor, still cheaper than dirt.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts ($5700 FD, $4600 DK, $18 Yahoo)
Hines has convinced me, but not the DFS sites. It’s true that this is still a crowded backfield and all things being equal, I’d avoid that. But if you’re looking to save at the running back position, especially in a PPR format, Hines is the best value out there. The Titans are not a good run defense (ranking ninth in fantasy points allowed to the position). It’s also not escaping me that when these teams met two weeks ago, Hines scored rushing and receiving touchdowns while making significant contributions in both phases of the game. He’s probably not going to repeat the 28-fantasy point day, but 15 fpts at this price would be fine.
Wayne Gallman, NY Giants ($5700 FD, $5000 DK, $18 Yahoo)
As the week goes on, it’s possible that more (deeper) value plays become obvious, but right now, Gallman is catching my eye as a safe option for less salary. The Giants should be healthy this week coming off their bye and get to take on a Bengals team with new questions on offense and no answers on defense. While not a league-best matchup, the Bengals have allowed some big rushing performances (average 136 rushing yards per game). Prior to the bye, Gallman had scored touchdowns in four consecutive games. He’s not Saquon Barkley, but the Giants are giving him a reasonable workload and love him in goal to go situations.
Also consider: Kareem Hunt (DK)
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Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers ($5900 FD, $5100 DK, $20 Yahoo)
Samuel had a great game in Week 11 even without Teddy Bridgewater, and Bridgewater is expected back for Sunday’s game against Minnesota. As you know, the Vikings have struggled mightily in pass defense, and their secondary is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Samuel is obviously versatile enough to make fantasy waves in any number of schemes, and at this price, should be able to meet value. It’s also worth noting that the total on this game has risen about two full points (depending on the sportsbook) in just a couple days.
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots ($5800 FD, $5300 DK, $20 Yahoo)
Meyers is the actual cheapest WR1 I find this week. He’s been a godsend for Cam Newton, catching 20 of 24 targets over the last three games. He’s been reaching value in PPR without scoring, something that is bound to change eventually… Arizona has been the seventh-best WR matchup for fantasy this season, so why not this week? You can save even more with Damiere Byrd, who is becoming the clear WR2 in New England. Byrd is more hit or miss (he didn’t have a target against Baltimore in Week 10) but has played well enough to warrant bargain consideration in a favorable matchup.
Evan Engram, NY Giants ($5600 FD, $4500 DK, $19 Yahoo)
With both Travis Kelce and Darren Waller looking mighty tempting at TE this week, you might not even think to save. And Engram isn’t super cheap, but he is in a great spot, coming off the bye week, great matchup, and still ranks third in the league in TE targets. He’s not priced that way, and could be a valuable source of a couple thousand salary dollars this week.
LA Rams vs. San Francisco ($4500 FD, $3700 DK, $17 Yahoo)
I give up. It’s nearly impossible to feel good about saving on defense this week. San Francisco has been up and down all season (on both sides of the ball), but injuries have derailed their plans for a repeat trip to the Superbowl. In two losses prior to the bye, the 49ers averaged 15 points per game, and they rank T-4th in turnovers with 17 this season. They did beat the Rams earlier in the season, but no one sees that happening in Week 12, as the Rams are 7-point favorites at home. Equally to the point, the Rams Defense is stout: they allow the fewest fantasy points to opponents, and second-fewest real points. They rank third in sacks (3.2 sacks per game) and are T-7th in takeaways on defense. The Rams might not be a typical bargain, especially on DK, but they do save you about $500 over the top options, and are only the sixth-most expensive unit on Yahoo.