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!
Mike Glennon, Jacksonville Jaguars (FD: $6800, DK: $4800, Yahoo: $21)
I feel like I got lucky last week with Glennon, but this week he’s more prepared, may have DJ Chark to throw to, and gets one of the best fantasy matchups in the league with Minnesota. The Vikings allow the sixth-most real points per game and ninth-most overall fantasy points per game. The Jaguars are big underdogs here, so game script could favor a more pass-heavy game plan for Glennon too. I definitely don’t see Glennon racking up 40 fantasy points, but I do think he’ll be a solid value you could build around this week (20 range).
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (FD: $7000, DK: $5900, Yahoo: $23)
Rivers is another cheap option in a great spot, but we’ve heard this story before. There’s definite risk with Rivers, but this game has a really high point total (51.5) and the Colts are road favorites against a Houston defense that gives up the fifth-most fantasy points per game and allows an average of over 27 real points per game. I’ve written before, as have others, that picking the right Colts skill player is more guessing game than talent, so I’d recommend using Rivers alone (maybe with Nyheim Hines?) as a salary-saver with a decent floor and matchup-based upside this week.
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals (FD: $5500, DK: $4900, Yahoo: $15)
It’s possible we’ll see some more running back value open up as the week goes on, as has been the case lately, but for now, I’m looking at some solid options to trust. The Cardinals and Kyler Murray should bounce back this week in a divisional home matchup with the Rams. Though the Rams are a stout and effective defense, Edmonds is getting plenty of usage and his versatility makes it hard to completely shut him down. Arizona will be wise to get the shifty Edmonds in space early and often to open up the rest of the playbook. This projects to be a high scoring and close game with a lot of fantasy potential.
Frank Gore, New York Jets (FD: $5300, DK: $4400, Yahoo: $14)
I can’t even believe this is real life, but here we are, coming off a week where Gore had 21 touches, and averaged 4.1 yards per carry. He caught three of three targets. Everyone hates rostering Jets, but with that kind of usage in this kind of matchup (Las Vegas gives up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs), it’s hard to ignore.
Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers (FD: $5200, DK: $6100, Yahoo: $18)
I mentioned earlier this week that Aaron Jones was one of my favorite plays this week. I think the Packers get out to an early lead, perhaps thanks to Jones and/or Williams, as they are big favorites at home vs. the Eagles this weekend. Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams have been carrying the load, but we’ve seen time and again that the Packers are willing to give Williams as many carries as Jones when games aren’t close (and sometimes even when they are). The salary difference is pretty huge, even on DraftKings where Williams is expensive, considering that the difference in fantasy output between the two could be small. It’s worth hedging your Jones’ lineups with some Williams exposure.
Editor's Note: Looking for an added edge? Dominate all season long with our DFS Toolkit. Use our Lineup Optimizer to come up with winning lineups for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo! Click here for more!
Taking a speculative approach to the Will Fuller suspension is going to be a risky play, but one that could pay off. Fuller and Brandin Cooks have pretty been everything the Texans have needed, or wanted, given that it’s possible they could have been more successful with a more diversified offense, but without Fuller, it’s wide open. Noting that Randall Cobb and Kenny Stills were already out of the picture, we could pivot to Jordan Akins, the forgotten tight end, but my preference is to see what the rookie Coulter might be able to do given 6-7 targets, or see if they go back to Coutee, a guy who once held a significant role in this offense. As noted above, the game total is high and the Texans are home underdogs, both good tidings for a pass-friendly game plan. Of course, don’t forget the more expensive Brandin Cooks in your cash game lineups.
Damiere Byrd, New England Patriots (FD: $5300, DK: $3900, Yahoo: $14)
Byrd is coming off a relatively quiet game after his Week 11 outburst, but still led the team in targets (to the chagrin of Jakobi Meyers fans like me). Both Patriots receivers are possibilities in the value range, but I’ll chase the targets with Bryd. The Chargers pass defense isn’t what anyone thought it would be, but they’ve been better vs. slot receivers than outside receivers. Vegas has this game as a pick’em with a fairly high total. Cam Newton is a wild card this year, but I feel pretty good about one of these receivers (cue N’Keal Harry big game, sigh).
Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (FD: $5000, DK: $3400, Yahoo: $12)
With Irv Smith Jr. ruled out, Rudolph became a thing again last week, and responded with seven catches for 68 yards. In fact, Rudolph has been the Vikings leading fantasy tight end the last three weeks, despite not scoring (which is all he used to do). The Vikings are all in a terrific spot against the Jags this weekend, and Rudolph is simply the best way to save your salary dollars on them.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (FD: $5700, DK: $4200, Yahoo: $15)
I don’t know what it is, but I’m always rooting for Gesicki to have that big breakout game, or just a solid run. This team so clearly needs to boost that element of its offense. The Dolphins look genuinely good on both sides of the ball for the first time in a long time this year, and are big home favorites against Cincinnati this weekend. The Bengals are a team that allows opposing tight ends to shine (Evan Engram 6/129 in Week 12, Trey Burton, Harrison Bryant and Mark Andrews also had nice games against the Bengals earlier in the year).
Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia (FD: $4100, DK: $3800, Yahoo: $17)
We likely agree that this isn’t exactly bargain range, though there are some significant savings from the most expensive unit(s). If your only motive is saving, you can do a lot better, but I want to be able to justify the plays I choose here, so the Packers are the lowest I feel confident in recommending. The Eagles make it pretty easy, given that they allow their QB, Carson Wentz, to be sacked more than any other team in the league, an average of 4.2 times per game. Moreove, the Eagles rank third in turnovers with 21 on the season. There’s something about the Packers at home in chilly December, too, and the fact that Vegas has them as roughly 10-point favorites is another reason to lock in the discounted Packers D/ST.