Everyone knows to start studs in DFS. What can bring home the money in is finding players who will produce at a lower salary that might not be on many lineup cards. Each week we’ll release our top DFS value plays and bargain basement plays to help fill out your lineups.
Week 7 Recap (Points are based on DraftKings scoring)
Jared Goff: 19.7
Tyrod Taylor: 20.0
Adrian Peterson: 4.3
Tarik Cohen: 8.0
Orleans Darkwa: 7.8
Pierre Garcon: 9.9
Bennie Fowler: 9.5
Hunter Henry: 11.3
George Kittle: 2.6
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals ($5,700 DraftKings; $7,600 FanDuel)
Dalton struggled last Sunday against a tough Steelers pass defense. He should find things much easier this week when facing an injury-riddled Colts secondary that gave up 330 yards to Blake Bortles.
The Colts defense is allowing the third most fantasy PPG to opposing quarterbacks on DraftKings (22.5) and the fifth most on FanDuel (20.2). Indianapolis has allowed over 300 yards to 5 of 7 quarterbacks its faced this season and Russell Wilson threw for 295 yards. Only DeShone Kizer (242 yards) failed to approach the 300-yard mark against the Colts.
Before playing the Steelers, Dalton had put up three strong games in a row against the Packers, Browns and Bills where he threw seven touchdowns and just two interceptions. Dalton is an easy quarterback to figure out. When the matchup is favorable, play him. When the matchup is tough, bench him. The matchup is favorable this week. Get him in your lineup.
Bargain Basement Play
Josh McCown, New York Jets ($5,600 DraftKings; $7,300 FanDuel)
McCown threw for 209 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against the Dolphins on Sunday. He has 563 yards and six touchdown passes over his last two games. Over that span, McCown has been a better fantasy option than Matt Ryan, the quarterback he goes up against this week.
The Falcons defense hasn’t been awful versus quarterbacks this season but in its last two games, Atlanta has allowed four touchdowns and one interception to Tom Brady and Jay Cutler. McCown has been playing well for fantasy owners and he can be used again this week in a game where the Jets should have to score some points. The total is set at 46. That’s tied for the fourth highest total of the week.
McCown’s ownership is expected to be low but after consecutive 25-point weeks at DK, he could pay off big for DFS players again.
Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins ($5,800 DraftKings; $6,000 FanDuel)
Thompson scored again Monday night against the Eagles. He now has five touchdowns in six games. Thompson has also put up at least 15 DK points in five of six games this season.
Thompson is in a good spot to keep rolling this week. The Cowboys defense allows an average of 5.8 receptions and 50.2 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs. Dallas has given up at least four receptions in four of seven games this year. Thompson has caught at least four passes in a game four times this season.
Despite only averaging 11 touches a game, Thompson is scoring 19.3 DK points a week on DraftKings. That’s a player who maximizes his touches. Thompson has only had one poor fantasy performance all year versus the Chiefs. With a favorable matchup and reasonable salary, roll with Thompson again this week.
Bargain Basement Play
Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders ($4,300 DraftKings; $5,300 FanDuel)
Marshawn Lynch has been suspended and will miss Sunday’s game against the Bills. Richard and DeAndre Washington will split touches this week. After Lynch was kicked out of the game last Thursday night, Richard got 13 touches and gained 76 yards. Washington received 12 touches and gained 40 yards but also scored a short touchdown.
Neither back has a huge ceiling but in a PPR format, Richard is the better play because of his pass-catching ability. Washington could see goal line carries but the Raiders also throw the ball a lot in the red zone. Richard is the safer bet to catch a few balls and rack up around 70 total yards like he did last game after replacing Lynch.
The Bills only allow 74.3 on the ground but they do give up close to five receptions per game to running backs. Only one running back has topped 60 yards rushing against the Bills defense but three backs have at least four receptions. The Raiders likely won’t have much success running the ball this week, so Richard should be a factor as a receiver.
Richard is projected to have big ownership numbers this week. He also has a high ceiling because of his ability as a receiver. Expect Richard to play more snaps than Washington versus the tough Buffalo rush defense and be the bigger fantasy factor. He’s a lower priced flex option.
Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers ($5,900 DraftKings; $6,500 FanDuel)
Funchess has been quiet over the last two games catching seven passes for 77 yards on 17 targets. Funchess had caught 14 passes and scored three touchdowns in his prior two games. There’s a good chance he will get going again versus the Buccaneers pass defense.
Tampa Bay’s defense is giving up the fourth most fantasy PPG to wide receivers (DraftKings 46.1, FanDuel 36.4). The Buccaneers have allowed at least five receptions to a receiver nine times this year and they’ve give up a total of seven touchdowns in six games.
Funchess has been targeted at least eight times in each of the last five games, so the volume has been there. The deciding factor in production usually comes down to Cam Newton’s accuracy. Funchess should be able to exploit a top matchup this week and his price is right.
Bargain Basement Play
Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons ($4,900 DraftKings; $5,600 FanDuel)
Sanu returned from a hamstring injury last Sunday night against the Patriots. He caught 6 of 10 targets for 65 yards and just missed a touchdown by a half a yard.
Sanu has been targeted at least six times in four of five games this season. The Falcons offense is a far cry from what it was last season but Sanu gets a Jets secondary that just got lit up by Matt Moore. New York’s defense allows the 10th most fantasy PPG to wide receivers on DraftKings (33.2) and the eighth most on FanDuel (27.7).
Last week against the Dolphins, The Jets gave up 13 receptions, 178 yards and three touchdowns to Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills on 20 targets. Now they get Sanu and Julio Jones. Sanu is expected to have strong ownership but he’s still worth rostering as a bargain receiver under $5,000 on DraftKings.
Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders ($3,900 DraftKings; $5,600 FanDuel)
Cook is coming off his best game of the year where he caught 6 of 7 targets for 107 yards against the Chiefs. This week he faces a Bills defense that got torched by rookie tight end O.J. Howard for six catches, 98 yards and two touchdowns. Cameron Brate also caught six balls for 60 yards.
Buffalo’s defense started the season defending tight ends well but they didn’t face any that struck fear into defenses. In the Bills first three games, they played the Jets without Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the Panthers without Greg Olsen and the Broncos who don’t have a great tight end. Buffalo allowed eight receptions to tight ends in those games. In their last three games, against tougher competition, the Bills have allowed 21 receptions to tight ends.
Cook has seen at least six targets in five of seven games this season. As stated above, it’s going to be tough for the Raiders to run the football on the Bills defense Sunday. Cook should be a big part of Oakland’s offense again this week.
Bargain Basement Play
Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals ($3,000 DraftKings; $5,700 FanDuel)
Kroft caught four passes for 23 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers last Sunday. He’s scored three touchdowns in three games since Tyler Eifert went down with a back injury. Kroft isn’t going to catch a ton of passes or rack up a lot of yards but that’s the case with most of the tight ends outside of the top five guys.
What he is doing is producing in the red zone. Kroft has four red zone targets and he’s turned three of them into touchdowns. This week he faces a Colts defense that struggles to defend the tight end position. Indy’s defense allows the eighth most fantasy PPG to tight ends (DraftKings 13.6, FanDuel 11.3). The Colts have given up four touchdowns to tight ends in seven games.
Kroft has a top matchup and one of the highest ceilings of any tight end in Week 8 but his ownership numbers are expected to be modest. Target Kroft if you decide to pass on the elite tight ends this week.
New Orleans Saints ($3,400 DraftKings; $4,800 FanDuel)
We’re pushing the envelope here calling the Saints a “value play.” This week there aren’t many great options with defenses, so we’ll take the Saints because they really should be the most expensive defense on the board, yet they have the third-highest salary at both DraftKings and FanDuel.
The Saints defense disappointed last week against the Packers and Brett Hundley but they get a chance for redemption at home versus the Bears. Chicago has won two straight games with rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completing a total of 12 passes. Last week the Bears had more punts (6) than first downs (5) and pass completions (4). That won’t be good enough versus the Saints in New Orleans. In its last four games, the Saints defense has recorded 14 sacks, eight interceptions and three touchdowns. It’s going to be a long afternoon for Trubisky and the Bears offense on the road Sunday. The Saints defense is a top DFS play this week.
Bargain Basement Play
Houston Texans ($2,700 DraftKings; $4,500 FanDuel)
The Texans defense isn’t getting much respect this week but Seattle’s offense has struggled at times this season, especially along the offensive line. The Texans defensive front has 15 sacks this year and could cause problems for the Seahawks. Settle can’t run the football at all, so it’s going to be up to Russell Wilson to make plays versus Houston’s pass rush. The Texans recorded five sacks and scored a defensive touchdown against the Patriots, so it’s not like they can’t put up fantasy points on good offenses. This game doesn’t look like a shootout. The Texans defense is undervalued this week.