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!
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Matthew Stafford, LA Rams at Tampa Bay
Mostly, I’m rostering Rodgers or Allen this weekend, but for tournaments I’m mixing in Stafford, Burrow and Brady as well. Stafford is coming off his best game since mid-season, a mistake-free three-touchdown effort vs. the Cardinals. Considering that Cooper Kupp wasn’t amazing in the Wild Card win, I’m looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish in Tampa. The Bucs were a pretty decent passing matchup (12th in fantasy points allowed to QB) during the regular season, but completely shut down the Eagles pass attack last weekend, so Stafford is not a risk-free option. However, he has the receiving corps around him to exceed value at his current salaries.
Also consider: Aaron Rodgers (Yahoo)
Cam Akers, LA Rams at Tampa Bay
Sticking with the Rams, Akers is now more expensive than teammate Sony Michel, but that’s not saying a ton…both are very affordable. The salary simply followed the usage as Akers saw six more touches than Michel in the Wild Card win. Michel was actually a bit more efficient with 4.5 YPC compared to Akers’ 3.2 YPC, but Akers made a nice receiving play that boosted his final line. The Bucs are a stout run defense, but Akers is a shiftier option when he has some space. I think he could be used even more heavily in the short passing game this week, and on a slate without a lot of value at this position (pending some big injury news), he feels like the most solid choice.
Also consider: Jerrick McKinnon (if CEH remains out), D’Onta Foreman (if Henry is limited or inactive), Ke’Shawn Vaughn (if Leonard Fournette is out)
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco
I love Rodgers and Adams in this game, but if you’re hunting for value, look to Lazard. Though always an upside deep threat, he’s come on a lot stronger in the second half of the season. In his last five games, Lazard has five receiving touchdowns on 5-7 targets per game. The only dud in there was vs. Baltimore in Week 15. He’s not totally without risk, but the 49ers are not a shut-down secondary and I think Green Bay will be putting up a lot of points in this game.
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee
This game is expected to be the lowest scoring, but I think the over could definitely hit if Burrow and the Bengals stay hot. Tennessee was the second-most generous matchup for fantasy wide receivers this season, and Boyd is on a four-game touchdown streak (not including Week 18 when the starters didn’t play). He sees about 5-7 targets per game, and his yardage varies a lot, which keeps his salary in the lower range.
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Green Bay Packers, Yahoo $11
While the Packers are the most expensive unit on the other two sites, they are the cheapest available on Yahoo. They are the biggest favorites of the weekend and have been great at home this year (as usual). They are near the top of the pack in takeaways (26) and above average in points allowed (21.8 points per game). San Francisco hasn’t been great at ball protection, with just above average 24 giveaways during the regular season (and one interception last week). They are a fantastic bargain option at Yahoo, and I don’t mind spending up for them on the other sites.
Buffalo Bills, DK $2600 and FD $3500
If you do want to save, I’d go super-low with the Bills. An actually talented defense that ranks near the top of the league or at the top in both passing and rushing defense, the Bills were also second in takeaways and above average in sacks during the regular season. They built on those numbers in the Wild Card Round, with two more picks and three sacks of Mac Jones. The matchup isn’t great; this game has the highest point total of the week and is in Kansas City. However, the Chiefs have turned the ball over at a high rate (25 during the regular season, two more last week). Another factor is that the Chiefs have had a pretty lax pass defense, allowing the second-most fantasy points to QBs. If Josh Allen can sustain some drives and give his defense a rest while also keeping the ball out of Mahomes’ hands, it’ll help this play.