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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Zach Wilson, NY Jets vs. New Orleans
Wilson is coming off one of his better games, against the Eagles, and has a couple of factors in his favor this week. First, the Saints are really tough to run on, but give up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Wilson has performed well in at least one other favorable matchup before his injury, against the Titans in Week 4. Second, he’s been significantly better at home this season, whether a fluke of the schedule or no, and the advantage is his this week. Elijah Moore has 20 targets in the two games Wilson has been back for, so consider pairing the two for a cheap mini-stack.
D’Onta Foreman, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville
The name on everyone’s lips and fingertips for Tennessee this weekend will be Dontrell Hilliard (Yahoo $17, DraftKings $5300, FanDuel $7000) but as you can see from his salary, he’ll be a site-specific play. The usage difference between Foreman and Hilliard wasn’t great enough to justify the salary difference on FanDuel. In fact, Foreman had seven more rushing attempts than Hilliard in Week 12, and only one fewer target. Both backs topped 100 rushing yards and both fumbled. Hillliard scored, and had the better YPC (10.3 vs. Foreman’s 5.7) due to his long TD run. Both backs will be poised for heavy usage in a good matchup this weekend; use the one that suits your salary best.
Samaje Perine, Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco
If Joe Mixon is out, and it’s too early to say for sure either way, Perine moves into bargain territory. The game is expected to be close with the Bengals favored by one point at home. While the matchup isn’t a great one, it’s not the worst either. Perine averaged over seven yards per carry in Week 12, and caught both targets thrown his way. With Joe Burrow also dealing with an injury to the pinky finger on his throwing hand, the Bengals should rely even more on the run game this week.
Also consider: JaMychal Hasty (if Eli Mitchell and Jeff Wilson Jr. are out)
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville
The Titans are full of value this week due to decimating injuries and a fantasy-friendly matchup with Jacksonville. Ryan Tannehill might make for a surprisingly good QB start this week, but I’d be much more confident if he had more capable receiving options. The man who appears in line for the heaviest workload is Westbrook-Ikhine. He had seven catches on eight targets for over 100 receiving yards vs. Houston in Week 12, and followed it up with a score against the Patriots in Week 13. For the price, he should be able to reach value this week.
Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions at Denver
Reynolds has logged about 70 receiving yards in each of the Lions’ last two games, finding rapport with his old QB from the Rams days. He has seven catches on 12 targets and one touchdown in the two games, which isn’t stellar, but for his salary, is serviceable. The matchup with Denver is a tough one, but game script screams come from behind pass-heavy, especially if D’Andre Swift is still out.
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Nick Vannett, New Orleans Saints at NY Jets
If you really want to go cheap at TE, consider Vannett, who scored in Week 12 and caught three of four targets from Taysom Hill for 48 receiving yards in Week 13. The Saints need a reliable receiving option underneath and Vannett can play that role, especially if Alvin Kamara remains sidelined. There will be more expensive TEs putting up 5-6 fantasy points, so if you’re not paying up for a stud here, consider getting those meager numbers from one of the cheapest options possible.
Seattle Seahawks at Houston
Seattle is a bit underpriced this week as their real-life defense has been coming on strong. They now allow the sixth-fewest real points per game to opponents, are more than a touchdown favorite over the Texans on the road, and Houston is very good to opposing defenses. They have turned the ball over 20 times, tied for fifth-most in the league, and have scored the fewest points per game in the league.
Also consider: Denver Broncos (FanDuel) or LA Chargers (Yahoo and FanDuel)