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Rankings vs DFS Pricing Plays

by Rich Hribar
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

As usual, the goal of this article is simple. At the end of the week, we’re taking our composite staff rankings from our Season Pass section in Week 6 and comparing those rankings as it pertains to players we see as starting caliber options to the pricing across the two major DFS sites in hopes of discovering some value. It’s that easy.


Deshaun Watson – QB3

FanDuel QB7 ($7,900) DraftKings QB7 ($6,700)

No player has scored more fantasy points than Watson since he took over as the Texans’ starter in Week 2. Over the past two weeks, he’s accounted for 10 touchdowns as Watson 's 12 passing touchdowns are the most ever by a rookie through the first five games in a season. Last week, he threw five touchdowns on just 16 completions, the first player since 2007 to throw that many scores on so few completed passes. Watson has thrown a touchdown once every 12.1 pass attempts, the best rate in the league. When will his touchdown efficiency finally slow down? It’s hard to say this is the week as the Browns are allowing a touchdown pass once every 14 pass attempts, the highest rate in the league.


Philip Rivers – QB9

FanDuel QB19 ($7,200)

Rivers has been steadily undervalued over on FanDuel despite numerous tough matchups, so you might as well keep taking advantage. Rivers has scored 17.2 or more points now on FanDuel in every game except for one. This week is not one of his tougher matchups. After the first three quarterbacks to face Oakland averaged 20.5 points per game, the past two teams to face the Raiders (Denver and Baltimore) have called off the dogs early on in games. Both Trevor Siemian and Joe Flacco combined to complete 67 percent of their passes for 7.7 yards per attempt, but their teams threw just a combined 37 percent of the time in the second of those week for 20 total pass attempts. The Chargers are unlikely to just be content with a lead given their defensive performance this season and with Derek Carr returning this week, expect the Raiders to hang around later in the game, forcing Rivers to keep up the pace.


Mark Ingram – RB13 / Alvin Kamara RB17

FanDuel RB25 ($5,900) DraftKings RB40 ($4,400) / FanDuel RB26 ($5,800) DraftKings RB36 ($4,500)

With Adrian Peterson being traded mid-week, both Saints’ running backs are values this week. The writing was on the wall in their last game in London, in which Ingram played 62 percent of the team snaps and had 18 touches while Kamara played 35 percent of the snaps, garnering 15 touches.


Kamara has 18.4 percent of the New Orleans targets, the fourth-highest rate for any running back and Detroit has been vulnerable to backs out of the backfield, allowing the fourth most receptions to opposing backs and the fifth most receiving yards to backs to on the season.


Don’t be fooled in believing that Ingram is also just a power back and stuck in a limited role. He has four catches or more in every game this year but one and managed to catch 50 and 46 passes in each of the past two years while the Saints have had another pass catching back in the rotation. Ingram’s touches have risen every game of the year and he’s had double-digit PPR points in every game already, and that’s without a touchdown.


Marshawn Lynch – RB14

FanDuel RB22 ($6,000) DraftKings RB27 ($5,000)

Lynch has 118 yards rushing over his past four games with a high of 45 yards, but we’re high on him this week as he’s in the best spot of the season. Over the past three weeks, Oakland has trailed for every single one of their second half snaps, have trailed by two possessions or more on 85 percent of those snaps and trailed three or more possessions on 32 percent.  Lynch just isn’t going to pop in that kind of climate. The Chargers have allowed 100 or more rushing yards in nine straight games dating back last year, the longest streak in the league and the longest streak in franchise history since 1977.  The Giants (152), Eagles (214), Chiefs (189) and Dolphins (111) have all posted their season-high in rushing yards versus the Chargers and the Broncos also tacked on 140 yards rushing versus Los Angeles.


Jerick McKinnon – RB19

FanDuel RB31 ($5,600) DraftKings RB47 ($4,100)

In Minnesota’s first full game after losing Dalvin Cook, McKinnon played 47 snaps with 22 touches while Latavius Murray played 22 snaps with 14 touches. McKinnon turned those touches into 146 yards from scrimmage.  While you can’t bank on a 58-yard touchdown run inflating total yardage, his usage in the pass game last week and his reception floor is very real as he now has 41 receptions over his past nine games in which he’s played at least 40 percent of the team snaps.


Keenan Allen – WR7

FanDuel WR13 ($7,200)

As we laid out with his quarterback, Allen is in a spot where opponents that haven’t sat on the ball nursing leads, have found success facing the Raiders through the air. Allen is just one of two receivers in the league to receive at least nine targets in every game this season and has added upside to his arsenal over just being a target vacuum, averaging 14.3 yards per reception, his highest total since his rookie season.


DeSean Jackson – WR19

FanDuel WR29 ($6,400) DraftKings WR26 ($5,800)

Jackson had season-highs in targets (nine), catches (five) and receiving yardage (106) last week and is in a spot to roll over that production Week 6 against Arizona. With Patrick Peterson chasing around lead receivers, the Cardinals have struggled to contain secondary and slot options all season-long to begin the year. Arizona has allowed four receiving touchdowns over 20 or more yards, tied for the most in the league and have allowed a league-leading five scores on passes 15 yards or further downfield. On the boundaries, Kenny Golladay, Torrey Smith and Brice Butler all scored 16 or more points versus Arizona.


Michael Crabtree – WR13

DraftKings WR27 ($5,800)

Apparently, we find this matchup to be one of the most undervalued on the board this week and it does have the highest implied game total of the week at 51 combined points. Crabtree has been the most reliable receiver in Oakland since joining the team and this year has been no different. Despite missing a game, he’s tied for the team lead in receptions (19) and leads the Raiders in yardage (252) and touchdowns (four) receiving. Scoring touchdowns against the Chargers is something Crabtree is fond of, as he’s scored in all four of his games against the division rival since joining the Raiders. Casey Hayward may lock horns with Crabtree more often than usaul with Amari Cooper struggling, but in the past, the Chargers have concentrated their efforts in matching him up with Cooper. Regardless of Hayward or not, Crabtree still carries the highest odds of scoring.


AJ Derby – TE15

FanDuel TE28 ($4,600) DraftKings TE33 ($2,700)

The tight end position offers a few cheaper plays, but the one who has the largest gap in ranking to pricing is Derby. He’s coming off his best game of the year, catching 4-of-6 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown and draws an advantageous matchup against the Giants. The Giants have allowed just one top-24 scoring wide receiver, but have allowed six top-12 scoring tight ends so far on the season and have allowed an opposing tight end to score a touchdown in every game this season. We don't have Derby ranked universally as a TE1 option, but for how cheap he is (especially on DraftKings) there's room for him to hit value even without posting elite totals among his peers.

Rich Hribar
Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.