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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Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee
I’m the last person I ever thought would be writing positive things about Ben Roethlisberger this season. Maybe the video of him walking around practice with ice bags strapped to every ailing body part finally thawed my heart. No, in reality this is all about his salary relative to his matchup with Tennessee. The Titans rank seventh against QB and third to WRs in terms of fantasy points allowed to opponents. Ben is coming off one of his best games, with over 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in Week 14. With a bunch of healthy receivers in this matchup, I think he gets around 25 fantasy points again this week.
Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks at LA Rams
Yes, Penny is coming off a great week, by far his best effort of the season. He rushed 16 times for 137 yards and two scores vs. Houston. This is a very different matchup, but Penny is still cheap enough to consider this weekend. The Rams have been susceptible to the run at times, getting beat badly by James Conner a couple times this season, as well as allowing big games on the ground to San Francisco, Indianapolis and Chicago. Penny is a low risk, high reward option who should be featured again in Week 15. The absence of Adrian Peterson would boost my confidence, so keep an eye on this news as the week wears on. Even if AP is active, he should be used in more short yardage situations whereas Penny is capable of breaking the big plays.
D’Onta Foreman, Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh
He’s been here before, but he’s still quite inexpensive and is getting the workload we want. As noted above, this game could have some sneaky fantasy value, and Foreman is another cheap way to get in on it. The Steelers have been a good overall defense this season, but they’ve given up the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
Odell Beckham Jr., LA Rams vs. Seattle
Three weeks in a row, Beckham has been a valuable fantasy player, scoring in the double digits. He’s ranged from 5-10 targets, far fewer than teammate and volume guru Cooper Kupp, but if you can’t quite afford Kupp and want a piece of this offense, OBJ isn’t a bad bargain. He’s also scored three games in a row, as has cheap teammate Van Jefferson. Matthew Stafford seems happy to spread the wealth, and with another high implied team total on the horizon vs. Seattle, I’m betting there will be enough receiving touchdowns to go around again.
Braxton Berrios, NY Jets at Miami
For real deep value, you have to look to a game with limited fantasy appeal. The Jets allow the most fantasy points to opponents, especially on the ground, so most people will look at Myles Gaskin (assuming he passes protocols) or Tua Tagovailoa if anyone here. Berrios is one of the only receiving options for NY right now with Corey Davis and Elijah Moore on IR. He out-targeted Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole (as well as Ryan Griffin (6) and Ty Johnson (7)) with 10 looks in Week 14. This isn’t an offense to boom, but Miami has been vulnerable through the air, ranking in the Top 6 in DvP to receivers.
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Brevin Jordan, Houston Texans at Jacksonville
Cheap players are coming from the not-so-good teams this week, which isn’t my favorite. Jordan is a rookie TE who is just starting to ramp up in the volume department. Since debuting in Week 8, Jordan has scored three touchdowns, and is coming off his best game since the debut with four catches on seven targets including one touchdown. He’s a real salary-saver in a great matchup with a Jaguars team that gives up the sixth-most points per game. As bad as Houston has been, if you desperately need a minimum salary TE to make your perfect lineup work, I like Jordan to get in the double-digits again in Week 15.
Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina (DraftKings) The Bills are big favorites at home in what is one in a series of must-win games for them. They are tied for third in the league with 26 takeaways, while Carolina is tied for third-most turnovers. Despite a couple of ugly losses in the second half of the season, Buffalo still allows the third-fewest points per game (and fewest fantasy points per game). They are a real-life good defense in an opportunistic matchup and underpriced on DK.
LA Rams vs. Seattle (FanDuel and Yahoo) Since Buffalo is one of, if not the, most expensive D/ST units on the other sites, I’m saving with the Rams. If you avoid using Penny or other Seahawks, the Rams make for another real-life-good defense in a favorable position. Seattle takes an average of 3.0 sacks per game (fourth-highest rate) while the Rams are tied for second with 2.8 QB sacks per game. LA is favored at home by a touchdown and previously held Seattle to 17 points in a Week 5 road win.