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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Davis Mills, Houston Texans at Indianapolis
If you want to go cheap at QB, Mills is your cheapest QB. Of course, there are safer options in the bargain tier above the bottom of the barrel (I like Teddy Bridgewater vs. Las Vegas and Taylor Heinicke vs. the Chiefs for two), but Mills opens up another star for your lineup. There are clearly two sides to this coin: the Texans are double-digit underdogs in a game with only a 43-point over/under, on the road at division rival Indianapolis. But, vs. New England last weekend, in Mills’ third start, he threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns. He was Week 5’s QB6 for fantasy. Let’s agree that New England is a far better defensive unit than Indy has shown thus far. So, I’m not counting Mills out of tournament lineups yet, and don’t think you’d be crazy to use him in cash in order to stack the deck with guys like Austin Ekeler, Nick Chubb, Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Mike Williams or Travis Kelce.
Darrel Williams, Kansas City at Washington
With news that Clyde Edwards-Helaire is going to miss a couple weeks at least, Williams becomes a priority bargain option. There are some stud RBs in good spots this week, for sure, but if you want to save at the position, Williams has the advantage of being involved in the passing game, and it is set to be a high scoring and low-defense bout. I’m not all in on him because the Chiefs heavily favor the pass game normally, and this doesn’t have the makings of a blowout given the state of the Chiefs’ defense.
Javonte Williams, Denver vs. Las Vegas
I like Williams, but he has seen his rushing attempts drop a bit in the last two games. On the plus side, he has caught all three of his targets in each of those games and his yards per carry have been fantastic, so at least he’s showing what he’s capable of. The time share is tough with Melvin Gordon also not being great, but this is an upside player in a great matchup. The Raiders are Top 10 in fantasy points allowed to running backs, and I expect a bit of disarray after the abrupt resignation of their coach this week.
Mecole Hardman, Kansas City at Washington
The Chiefs suffered some minor (and one major) injuries in Week 6, a game where Hardman caught nine of his 12 targets. He lags Tyreek Hill in every fantasy category, but he also costs a mere fraction of the salary of Hill. This game is likely to be a shootout, given that neither team has shown any capacity to slow down an opponent through the air. Hill is the luxury play with the higher ceiling, but it’s hard to imagine Hardman not reaching value in Week 6.
DeAndre Carter, Washington vs. Kansas City
Same plus game factors apply to the Football Team. No, they don’t get Patrick Mahomes throwing to them, but Taylor Heinicke has been very good outside of last week’s loss to New Orleans. He should be able to make Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson and, if injuries to Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown and Cam Sims keep them out, Carter, positive returns on investment. Carter caught four of eight targets in Week 5, and had one rushing attempt which was good for 11 yards. He’s min price and a terrific flier for the game environment alone. 6
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Evan Engram, NY Giants vs. LA Rams
I, like many of you no doubt, am pretty high on the Rams’ D/ST this week (see below). However, on sites where you can’t or don’t want to afford them, you might consider Engram to fill the TE position on the cheap. The Giants will likely be without a significant portion of the starting offense for this game. If and only if Daniel Jones is able to start, Engram should be the highest volume receiving option on the field. I also love John Ross for the big play ability, but Engram should serve as the reliable outlet guy and see close to 10 or more targets.
Yahoo: LA Rams ($13)
Weirdly off-priced for a matchup with the Giants, who are, let’s say, not one of the stronger offenses in the NFL, the Rams are my favorite play on Yahoo. They are one of the league’s sack leaders (average 2.8 sacks per game) and should be able to control time of possession and keep the score down in this one (Vegas has the Giants with an 18.5-point team total).
DraftKings: Indianapolis Colts ($3500)
If you decide not to roll with Mills at QB, you’ll want to consider the Colts on DK. They’re not the cheapest, but they are $1200 less than the Rams, which is significant savings. Again, Vegas is on our side here, as the Texans have only a 16.5-point team total this weekend. Houston has turned the ball over eight times this season (tied for sixth-most). The Colts were supposed to be good on defense this season – this game will show whether they have the potential or not.
FanDuel: Dallas Cowboys ($4100)
If you’re a regular reader, you know I rarely use the Cowboys’ D/ST on the road, but FanDuel pricing is tough here this week. The Patriots have been one of the lower scoring teams this season (a trend that continues from 2020) and turned the ball over nine times (tied for third-most). Dallas’ offense should trump New England’s defense, enabling the Cowboys to eat clock and limit scoring on the part of the Patriots. They’re my cheapest possible option on FanDuel.