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!
Derek Carr – LV at Carolina ($21 Yahoo, $5900 DK, $7100 FD)
Carr is an interesting play this week…and it feels like football season never ended. He’s had a lot of good training camp hype this summer, and is surrounded by exciting new options in the pass game, not to mention Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs. This game has a relatively high point total, and Las Vegas is a small favorite on the road. Carr has a wide range of outcome possibilities, but buying in before we see how good this offense can be could mean you’re one of only a few with a Raiders stack in Week 1.
Tyrod Taylor – LAC at Cincinnati ($25 Yahoo, $5600 DK, $7000 FD)
I’m from Upstate New York, so I remember Taylor well from his Buffalo days. I can’t be as enthusiastic as some of my colleagues about Taylor from a season-long perspective, but I can certainly appreciate his upside in this matchup, with his rushing/scrambling ability, at this salary. Keenan Allen just became the second-highest paid receiver in the league; let’s see what he can do for Taylor. And finally, don’t forget that having Austin Ekeler is a huge advantage for Taylor. Basically, I’m thinking the surrounding talent boosts Taylor into a 3-4X return in value.
Raheem Mostert – SF vs. Arizona ($22 Yahoo, $5800 DK, $6200 FD)
Mostert dominates our NFL Projection values with the lowest dollar per fantasy point rating on two of three sites (he ranked third on Yahoo) and is the only player in this salary range with a 20-plus point projection. We know San Francisco is going to run the ball a ton; in 2019 they trailed only the Ravens with 498 rushing attempts. Mostert is the guy to start the season, and the 49ers are touchdown-favorites at home vs. Arizona this weekend.
Le'Veon Bell – BUF vs. NY Jets ($15 Yahoo, $5600 DK, $6500 FD)
I’m breaking my own rules here a little bit, because Bell is over my usual threshold on FanDuel, but he is just so affordable everywhere that I’m including him. Here’s the logic. The Bills pass defense is stifling, yes, but the Jets aren’t looking like a team that is going to pass the ball successfully to open the season anyway. I expect them to rely heavily on Bell in both phases of the game, and while the overall point total here is low, I think Bell can pay off this salary pretty easily in Week 1.
Also Consider: Mark Ingram ($5500 DK)
Emmanuel Sanders – NO vs. Tampa Bay ($20 Yahoo, $5700 DK, $5400 FD)
It’s tough to afford Michael Thomas this week (and every week) so if you’d like a piece of this offense on the cheap, I’d give Sanders a shot in Week 1. You could consider Jared Cook, but he is TE 4-6 as far as salary goes and therefore, not a real bargain play. Sanders has proven what he can do when healthy (see his game against the Saints last season) and figures to be a nice complement to Thomas in a Drew Brees offense. He gets an extra nod among the many Week 1 receiver values thanks to the excellent passing/receiving home matchup with Tampa Bay.
Hunter Renfrow – LV at Carolina ($13 Yahoo, $4500 DK, $5200 FD)
You could go a lot of different ways with your Las Vegas receiver this week, but Renfrow is the best value in my estimation. He is the veteran among this young group of receivers for the Raiders (Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards should start alongside him), and as long as he continues to play mostly from the slot, should be a great PPR option. The Raiders, as noted above, are road favorites against a Carolina team that is middling at best when it comes to fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers.
Hayden Hurst – ATL vs. Seattle ($15 Yahoo, $4300 DK, $5300 FD)
I’m excited to see Hurst as a featured TE in a Falcons Offense. Austin Hooper was terrific in this role, and Hurst was highly touted out of college. He never got to show his stuff with Mark Andrews filling the TE role so well in Baltimore, and because we’ve never really seen it, his salary is low and his roster percentage should follow suit. The Falcons are home against the Seahawks in one of the highest point total games of the week, making Hurst is an upside option to save salary in every kind of lineup on all three sites.
Also Consider: Austin Hooper ($12 Yahoo)
Falcons D/ST vs. Seattle ($11 Yahoo, $2200 DK, $3600 FD)
One of my philosophies is that if you’re going to save on defense, save big. Defense is wildly unpredictable for fantasy. Even the best talent facing the worst talent doesn’t always yield fantastic fantasy numbers. So here’s why I’m willing to save this much salary cap with the Falcons in Week 1: The game has a 1.5-point spread. A close game can mean more turnover opportunities (for both sides). The Seahawks have a home/road splits albatross around their necks (a minor consideration). But what you might not remember is that the Falcons actually finished the 2019 season averaging over 10 fantasy points per game.