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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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers at Dallas
Garoppolo has had a couple of slate-breaking, high-ceiling games in his career, but generally he projects as a low-ceiling, reasonable floor play. I like him this week in a game I see as a potential shoot-out that will require Garoppolo (and Dak Prescott) to make plays through the air. A lot has to go right for the 49ers to come out of Dallas with a win, but I think that Deebo Samuel and George Kittle at least give Garoppolo a chance to stay competitive here. If you’re trying to spend up on guys like Samuel and/or Cooper Kupp, Garoppolo offers a cheap QB option I trust.
Also consider: Ben Roethlisberger
Devin Singletary, Buffalo Bills vs. New England
Saving at RB is a tough proposition in the playoffs. This isn’t a game I’m targeting heavily, and when I am, I generally prefer Damian Harris or a D/ST over anything else. I’m mentioning Singletary here for two reasons: 1) he’s the cheapest trustworthy back on the slate, and 2) he has carved out a consistent role over the Bills’ last five games. He’s been variably involved in the pass game, which is nice on DraftKings, but the weather suggests he could also be in for 20-plus carries. He’s had at least 19 carries in Buffalo’s last three home games. The fact is, there are no easy cheap RB cheat codes this week, so plan on spending at least a moderate amount at this position unless some late news breaks as the week progresses.
Cedrick Wilson, Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco
Filling in for Michael Gallup, Wilson has been incredible for the Cowboys the past two weeks. In fact, whenever he’s in the game, he seems to draw the best targets. Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott stretch opposing defenses to the limit, which leaves Wilson with enhanced opportunities. Prescott has been seeing him, and he’s responded with 11 catches on 12 targets and three touchdowns the last two games. He’s just $4400 (DK), $6000 (FD), and $16 (Yahoo), making him one of my favorite options in a game that should be close and high scoring.
A.J. Green, Arizona Cardinals at LA Rams
Green’s salary varies across sites; he’s more expensive than Wilson on DraftKings, cheaper on FanDuel. The Arizona receivers have been largely underwhelming lately, and I do have more trust in Zach Ertz and James Conner, assuming he plays. However, Green has weirdly good numbers vs. LA in their two games: 7-for-102 yards in Week 14 and 5-of-6 for 41 yards and a touchdown in Week 4. These are two of his best games of the season. I know, history doesn’t guarantee future performance, but I have to imagine that Green will be an integral part of the game plan this week, and that they have the best chance to succeed through the air (LA gives up the ninth-most fantasy points to WR).
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Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia
Rob Gronkowski is one of the best TE options on the slate, but also the most expensive, or second-most. For a Bucs team that is down two important wide receivers, a second tight end is just what Tom Brady needs. Brate has something else going for him. He has 19 red zone targets, on which he’s scored four touchdowns. That mark is tied for second-highest in the league, and is nine more than Gronk. Given that the Eagles are the league-best TE matchup for fantasy, despite playing in a division that is not star-studded at the position, Brate could be a very cheap key to DFS success this weekend.
New England Patriots at Buffalo
The Patriots D/ST is better than most in the league…except Buffalo. Normally I hate using a defense from an underdog, not to mention an underdog on the road, but if you’re looking to save, there are advantages to the Pats. They rank second in points allowed, tie with Buffalo for second in takeaways, and this game does have the lowest over/under of the weekend. They’ve averaged 12 fantasy points on the road this season, and 9.3 overall (second only to the Cowboys among teams on the slate). To be fair, this unit has not fared well against the Bills, scoring only eight fantasy points even in the first frigid snow bowl these teams played. This weekend, the cold temperatures could again be a factor that leads to a more conservative game plan and potentially a couple of mistakes. It’s important to find any savings advantage if you want to pad your lineup with offensive stars, and a talented, but cheap, D/ST is a good way to get it done.