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!
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco at Seattle ($26 Yahoo, $5400 DK, $6600 FD)
With plenty of ways to go at QB this weekend, including Garoppolo’s opponent, we don’t necessarily need to chase a good matchup. However, Garoppolo is SO cheap that I can’t overlook him. I think this a fantastic spot for him and George Kittle, given that Seattle is the best QB matchup of the week, and best overall fantasy matchup in the league. Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne make for affordable components of a SF or game stack, and using Garoppolo leaves tons of cap space to fill out with a higher floor roster. Garoppolo’s bad games have stood out, but he was stellar two short weeks ago. I’m expecting something in the middle, around 20 fantasy points.
Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts at Detroit ($24 Yahoo, $5900 DK, $6900 FD)
I’m sure I promised to never write up Rivers this season, but here we are. Rivers is averaging about 14-15 fantasy points per game, but is coming off his best of the season prior to the Colts’ BYE, in which he nearly doubled his touchdown total. This team has relied a lot on defense and the run game, but when needed, Rivers stepped up. Vegas has this as a close and high scoring game, which should mean shoot-out. Rivers isn’t mistake free by a long shot, but he is a cheap way to access high volume in a relatively favorable matchup.
Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins vs. LA Rams ($20 Yahoo, $5200 DK, $5700 FD)
I’d prefer to trust Gaskin over Tagovailoa in his debut game against the Rams. The Rams are tough up front, but overall average in terms of fantasy matchups. Gaskin has been averaging about 16 carries and five targets per game over the four games prior to the Dolphins’ BYE. The fact that his volume hasn’t translated into touchdowns (22 red zone carries resulted in 1 TD so far) is what keeps his DFS salary so low. He’s healthy, he’s the workhorse, I have to think that improving this aspect of the game is a priority for Gaskin and Miami.
JaMycal Hasty, San Francisco at Seattle ($18 Yahoo, $5000 DK, $5600 FD)
No surprise here. The 49ers can make any running back a valuable fantasy commodity. I do think Hasty will be splitting more significant time with Jerick McKinnon than Jeff Wilson Jr. did last week, based on comments Coach Shanahan made. That doesn’t mean the goal line work won’t be there for Hasty and even one score at this price will be nice.
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Rashard Higgins, Cleveland vs. Las Vegas ($14 Yahoo, $4200 DK, $5500 FD)
The loss of Odell Beckham Jr. should open up a lot of action for Higgins, who was already the Browns’ leading red zone receiver (that’s not saying a ton, but still). Higgins has a fantastic catch rate, and his two touchdowns are just one fewer than OBJ. If Baker Mayfield can build on his last three quarters of football, Higgins could be a big part of the Browns’ success going forward. It’s a favorable passing/receiving matchup, with one of the highest over/unders and narrowest spreads of the week.
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas at Cleveland ($18 Yahoo, $3800 DK, $5100 FD)
FanDuel and DraftKings love a new receiver with opportunity much more than an old (second year) receiver who hasn’t done much (comparing salaries with Higgins, above). Renfrow also had six targets in Week 7, and while he hasn’t exceeded expectations this season, to say the least, he too, gets a super-favorable WR matchup and game script. The Browns rank second in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, so while I also love Darren Waller, who plays like a receiver anyway, I will take a shot on Henry Ruggs III and Renfrow in tournament lineups.
Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans ($19 Yahoo, $4600 DK, $5400 FD)
Graham is a mid-range pivot from the sure to be more popular Kittle, Waller and Travis Kelce options at the top of the salary pile. His matchup with the Saints is the best for tight ends on the main slate, and Graham is currently TE4 in PPR scoring, tied for sixth in the lead for targets among tight ends. Though most of his production came in one big, two-touchdown game, Graham can be considered a high floor and high ceiling option.
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore ($14 Yahoo, $3900 DK, $5100 FD)
If Big Ben Roethlisberger is going to spread the ball around, as he did in Week 7, it was comforting to see that Ebron wasn’t left out of it. The Titans were clearly focused on not getting beat by Chase Claypool, which opened things up nicely for everyone else. Baltimore is no easy matchup, but with so many receiving weapons to account for on this Steelers team, they can’t do it all. Ben has long showed a preference for a good tight end, especially in the end zone, and Ebron should be able to exceed value with very low rostership this weekend.
Green Bay Packers D/ST vs. Minnesota ($14 Yahoo, $2900 DK, $4000 FD)
When I search for a lower-priced defense I’m looking for a turnover advantage, a sack advantage, home field, and Vegas spread. The Packers tick off three of these four boxes, playing in chilly Wisconsin, favored by about a touchdown, facing a Vikings team that has turned the ball over, on average, twice per game. Minnesota’s poor defense should allow Aaron Rodgers and company to move the ball, eat the clock and further keep the Vikings Offense on the bench. Then when they do take the field, maybe they’ll be prone to make even more mistakes. A cheap defense can be just as big a risk as an expensive one, so if you need to save to fit a significantly better WR/RB/TE, you do it.
Also consider: Indianapolis Colts at Detroit ($3100 DK)