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 9 Recap (Points are based on DraftKings scoring)
Jared Goff: 31.4
Jacoby Brissett: 23.5
Adrian Peterson: 19.7
Orleans Darkwa: 9.9
Sterling Shepard: 12.0
Paul Richardson: 7.1
Jack Doyle: 14.3
Vernon Davis: 13.2
Josh McCown, New York Jets ($6,100 DraftKings) ($7,400 FanDuel)
McCown didn’t have a huge game last Thursday night against a tough Bills defense finishing with 140 yards and one touchdown. McCown also scored a rushing touchdown. He had a second touchdown pass called back by a ridiculous offensive pass interference penalty.
Overall, it was another solid fantasy performance by the Jets quarterback. McCown has accounted for 12 touchdowns and thrown just three interceptions in his last five games. He’s scored at least 14 DK points during that span and topped 25 twice.
He gets a much easier matchup this week versus a Buccaneers defense that’s allowed at least 260 yards passing to opposing quarterbacks in 7 of 8 games this season. Tampa Bay allows the 10th most fantasy PPG on DraftKings (20.9) and the 11th most on FanDuel (19.5).
McCown is $1,200 cheaper than the most expensive quarterback on DraftKings (Dak Prescott) and $1,400 cheaper than the most expensive on Fan Duel (Prescott). He continues to be undervalued and McCown has a matchup to exploit this week.
Bargain Basement Play
Eli Manning, New York Giants ($5,100 DraftKings) ($6,700 FanDuel)
You’re probably not rushing to roster a quarterback who is on the verge of being benched but Manning has some value this week given his matchup.
The 49ers are allowing the most fantasy PPG to opposing quarterbacks (DraftKings 24.6, FanDuel 20.3). San Francisco’s defense has given up multiple touchdowns to a quarterback in four straight games and 6 of 9 overall this season.
Manning has struggled but he’s actually been one of the top red zone quarterbacks this year. Eli hasn’t had many attempts (24) in the red zone but he’s completed 19 of those passes. Manning’s red zone completion percentage (73 percent) ranks first in the league among quarterbacks that have thrown more than two passes. He has nine touchdowns and no interceptions. He should get some opportunities this week playing a 49ers defense that can’t stop anyone.
Manning has only topped 20 DK points twice in 2017, so he won’t have high ownership numbers. However, given his matchup and low salary, Eli is worth consideration this week.
Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears ($6,100 DraftKings) ($7,200 FanDuel)
Howard is cheap this week given the fact that he’s averaging 23 carries per game since Week 3. The only time Howard isn’t much of a factor is if the Bears get blown out and that’s not likely to happen against a Packers team starting Brett Hundley at quarterback.
This game plays right into the Bears hands. They can control it with Howard and their defense. The Packers struggle to stop strong running teams. Green Bay’s defense is allowing the ninth most fantasy PPG to running backs on DraftKings (27.0) and the eighth most on FanDuel (23.4). The Packers defense gives up an average of 105 rushing yards per game.
Look for the Bears to feed Howard on Sunday. He’s topped 20 carries in four of his last six games. In the two games he didn’t, Howard got 18 and 19 carries. He’s scored at least 14 DK points five times this year. Start Howard with confidence this week. He’s great value.
Bargain Basement Play
Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants ($4,500 DraftKings) ($5,300 FanDuel)
We mentioned above that the 49ers struggle to defend the pass. They’re even worse against the run.
The 49ers defense allows the most fantasy PPG to running backs (DraftKings 32.0, FanDuel 27.5). Last week, Adrian Peterson ran over San Francisco’s defense for 159 yards. The 49ers rank 31st in the NFL allowing 119.0 rushing yards per game.
Lost in the Giants disaster of a season is that Darkwa is playing well. He’s just not getting many opportunities because the Giants are usually behind. That shouldn’t be an issue this week when New York faces the winless 49ers. Darkwa has gained at least 69 yards rushing in three of his last four games. However, he’s averaging only 13 attempts during that four-game stretch.
Darkwa should see more carries on Sunday against the 49ers struggling rush defense. He may not have a big ceiling but Darkwa is strong value play this week considering his matchup and low price tag.
Robby Anderson, New York Jets ($5,200 DraftKings) ($6,500 FanDuel)
Anderson caught four balls for 48 yards and a touchdown against the Bills. He’s now scored in each of his last three games. Over that span, Anderson has caught 13 of 16 targets for 187 yards and the three touchdowns.
Anderson isn’t catching a ton of passes but he’s making them count. Since Week 3, he’s recorded at least 59 yards receiving four times to go along with his three touchdowns. Anderson has a favorable matchup this week against the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay’s defense is allowing the second most fantasy PPG to wide receivers on DraftKings (41.3) and the third most on FanDuel (32.6). The Buccaneers have allowed at least four receptions to 14 different receivers and nine total touchdowns so far this season.
Anderson has scored double-digit fantasy points in four straight games. He has the matchup to keep that streak going.
Bargain Basement Play
Robert Woods & Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams ($5,000/$4,800 DraftKings) ($6,200/$6,400 FanDuel)
Woods caught four passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants last Sunday. The touchdowns were Woods’ first two of the season. However, it’s Woods’ fourth solid PPR performance in a row.
Before Sunday, Woods had caught five passes for at least 59 yards in three straight games. He’s put up at least 11 DK points in four straight games. Watkins is harder to trust because he doesn’t see many targets and his fantasy value is predicated on big plays. Last week, Watkins caught one pass, but it went for a 67-yard touchdown.
Woods and Watkins have a good matchup this week versus a Texans secondary that’s been torched by receivers the last two weeks. Houston’s defense allows the 11th most fantasy PPG to wide receivers on DraftKings (36.3) and the 10th most on FanDuel (29.6).
Woods is the safer bet because he gets more targets but as we saw last week with T.Y. Hilton, the Texans secondary struggles with giving up big plays to receivers down the field, so Watkins is worth a look as well. Either is a good low-salary stacking option with Jared Goff this week.
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings ($4,600 DraftKings) ($5,400 FanDuel)
Like most Vikings, Rudolph has been handcuffed by Minnesota’s injuries at the quarterback position. The bad news is Rudolph has yet to top 50 yards receiving. The good news is he’s been targeted at least seven times and caught at least five passes in each of his last four games. He’s also scored two touchdowns over that span.
Rudolph has an opportunity to have his best fantasy day of the season Sunday when he takes on a Redskins defense that is tough against receivers but struggles to defend tight ends. Washington allows the fourth most fantasy PPG to tight ends (DraftKings 17.2, FanDuel 13.9). The Redskins have allowed at least five receptions to a tight end four times this year and four touchdowns to the position.
Rudolph has been Case Keenum’s security blanket, so the targets and catches have been there. He’s also scored twice in the last four weeks. The only thing missing is the yardage. Rudolph could put it all together this week given his Top 5 matchup.
Bargain Basement Play
Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals ($3,600 DraftKings) ($5,400 FanDuel)
Kroft only caught two passes last week against the Jaguars but they went for 79 yards. He doesn’t get a ton of volume but before Sunday Kroft had caught at least four passes in four straight games. He’s also been a factor in the red zone with three red zone touchdowns.
This week Kroft faces a Titans defense that ranks in the middle of the pack when it comes to defending tight ends. Tennessee is allowing the 16th most fantasy points to tight ends on DraftKings (12.0) and the 19th most on FanDuel (9.3). The Titans have given up seven receptions to a tight end three times this year, but they’ve yet to allow a touchdown to the position.
Kroft doesn’t have the best matchup but he’s become a weekly factor in the Bengals passing game. He’s scored at least nine DK points in four of his last five games. While he doesn’t have the highest ceiling, Kroft is a safe tight end play at a bargain price.
Chicago Bears ($3,000 DraftKings) ($4,300 FanDuel)
It’s surprising to see the Bears defense with such a low salary this week. Is Aaron Rodgers back? If not then the Bears are a heck of a value play. In its last four games, the Bears defense has scored 7.0, 30.0, 15.0 and 7.0 points on DraftKings. Over that stretch, they’ve racked up 14 sacks, four interceptions, four fumble recoveries, a safety and scored three touchdowns. You can get the Bears defense $300 cheaper than the Packers defense on DraftKings this week. Maybe Aaron Rodgers is back.
Bargain Basement Play
Tennessee Titans ($2,800 DraftKings) ($4,800 FanDuel)
The Titans defense has been feasting on bad offenses over their last four games playing the Dolphins, Colts, Browns and Ravens. In those games, Tennessee’s defense has scored 9.0, 10.0, 12.0 and 7.0 DK points. The Titans get another favorable matchup on Sunday when they host the Bengals. The Bengals allow the seventh most fantasy PPG to team defenses (DraftKings 10.4, FanDuel 9.2). The Titans cost much more on FanDuel but they’re a big bargain on DraftKings this week.