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!
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Davis Mills, Houston Texans at Miami
Let’s give Mills some credit. The guy has faced six of the most feared defenses in the league since Week 3, and while his stats have been up and down, his salary is still way low. Jordan Love will be the hot name on everyone’s bargain list this week with Aaron Rodgers on the COVID list for Sunday’s meet-up with Kansas City. I’m going to err on the side of safety and take the bargain I know over the wild card. Mills should have a much easier go of things against a Dolphins’ defense that allows opposing QBs the third-most fantasy points and fourth-most real points per game. He showed in Week 8 that he isn’t afraid to rack up the garbage time stats to save his fantasy supporters, so the fact that Miami is a touchdown favorite isn’t too concerning to me.
D’Ernest Johnson, Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati
Once again, it’s a bit bleak in the bargain RB space. Nick Chubb was back in Week 8 and failed to score, though he did see his normal workload. This is firmly a 2-RB team, so Johnson should continue to see some usage, and hopefully more in the passing game (three targets in Week 8). He has scored once in each of the last two games, and his yards per carry is excellent, averaging around 6.0 YPC on his 26 carries in the last two games. I’m hoping for a run-dominant game plan from the Browns in what should be a close divisional showdown.
Carlos Hyde, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo
If James Robinson is out this week, we’ll have to consider Hyde. This is not a good matchup, and Hyde has surely disappointed every single one of you at some point, I’m willing to bet. Robinson would be vacating a lot of carries, but Hyde can provide the most value in the pass game. After Robinson left in Week 8, Hyde hauled in six of eight targets and rushed nine times. Expect the Jags to be playing from behind, and consider Hyde a cheap option with upside if Robinson is out.
Tajae Sharp, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans
Get well soon, Calvin Ridley. In the meantime, we have a lot of love for Kyle Pitts, of course, but can find some nice savings here as well. This game should be one that forces the Falcons to pass more, as the Saints remain one of the stingiest run defenses in the league. Sharp had five catches on six targets in Week 8, and is cheaper than Russell Gage, who was targetless last week after having a nice game in Week 7. Sharp might be a pretty popular play this week despite the Falcons’ low implied team total, and I’m ok with it. If they give him a real opportunity, he has the talent to run with it and be one of the best value plays of the week.
The tragedy surrounding Henry Ruggs III is likely to shake this team to its core, especially on the heels of its recent head coaching change. Non-football related factors are leading me to consider this pick with a little caution. The Raiders are also traveling to the East Coast for this 1:00 ET game. So, it could be a total disaster…but if there is a silver lining to be found, it may be for Edwards and Renfrow. Edwards is the de facto big play guy with Ruggs gone, while Renfrow may see even more underneath targets than usual. He’s not a bargain, but if Darren Waller is back for this game, he could have one of his superstar games for us.
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Dan Arnold, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo
Arnold has quietly averaged almost eight targets per game since Week 5, hitting a season high of 10 last weekend. With a lot of reasonable tight end options in nice matchups this week, you’re probably not choosing to go bottom of the barrel at the position with Arnold, but I wanted to provide an option for big savings. I prefer Mike Gesicki and Dallas Goedert or the two slightly more expensive bargains listed below.
New York Giants vs. Las Vegas
Not to kick a team when they’re down, but all the defenses I actually want to roster are fairly priced on all the sites this week. The Giants are home, facing a West Coast team in an early time slot, and that team is bound to be a bit disheveled after the crazy couple weeks they’ve had with off-field issues. The Giants had that one really good game, where they somehow held the Panthers to three points and sacked Sam Darnold six times, so there is precedent.