With Week 6 of the NFL season upon us, we take a look at some of the best values to be found on Draftkings and FanDuel, and some players worth fading.
SB Nation will be bringing you the top Daily Fantasy options each week through the regular season and into the playoffs. We have a small sample size of which offenses look good to target and others we should avoid until further notice. As for who should be in your lineups, here are the top value plays of the week, with an eye toward low ownership and high upside.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions ($7,200 DK, $8,600 FD)
Brees is home and coming off a bye. As we pointed out in our Start/Sit column, in Brees’ last three home games coming out of the bye week (2016, ’13, ’11), Brees has thrown for 1,160 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception. Those numbers are hard to ignore, and with his salary placed right between Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan, Brees might be a bit of a forgotten man. Don’t forget about him.
Kirk Cousins Washington Redskins vs. San Francisco 49ers ($6,800 DK, $7,800 FD)
I have never been a big believer in Cousins, but he does have five touchdowns without an interception over his past two games and his matchup this week against a poor 49ers team having to come east for a 1 p.m. EST game screams of blow-up performance. If Samaje Perine struggles, this could be a 40-attempt day for Cousins. His potential volume can’t be ignored.
DeShaun Watson, Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns ($6,700 DK, $7,900 FD)
Watson’s salary finally spiked after his third straight smash-a-thon, but he’s still 1,600 less than Tom Brady and the sixth-highest QB on DraftKings. That makes him a bargain once again, especially in a dream matchup against the Browns at home. It’s hard to imagine Watson not accounting for a baseline of three touchdowns, with five-TD upside, plus considerable rushing yardage. Watson might have the easiest path to 5X-ing his salary as any QB on the slate.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($6,100 DK, $7,100 FD)
Don’t be fooled by the acquisition of Adrian Peterson. This is still going to be a pass-first offense and Palmer is going to flirt with 45 pass attempts. The big thing going for Palmer this week a Buccaneers pass rush that lacks the kind of pressure to expose a leaky offensive line. If Palmer has time to locate his deep threats, he’s going to hit them for big plays and rack up some big points in the process.
Discount Darling: Kevin Hogan, Browns at Texans ($5,400 DK, $6,100 FD)
Hogan looked really good in relief of DeShone Kizer last week, and he catches the Texans defense at the perfect time, coming off the injuries to their front seven. Hogan is going to have to put the ball up to keep up with Watson, and the Texans defense is likely to cooperate.
Avoid: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs ($5,700 DK, $7,400 FD)
Ben is a mess right now, and he already has poor road splits to lower his expectations. The way to attack the Chiefs is on the ground, so this is going to be a Lev Bell game. Even at a sharp discount, Roethlisberger is unlikely to pay off his salary at Arrowhead.
Also consider: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons; Josh McCown, New York Jets; Case Keenum, Minnesota Vikings.
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Rams ($8,000 DK, $8,600 FD)
Two things we can feel pretty comfortable saying about the Rams: They can’t stop the run and they can’t blow teams out. Knowing that, it’s a pretty safe bet that the Jags are going to lean extremely heavily on their rookie of the year candidate who has scored a touchdown in each of his first five games. Fournette is a high-volume, high-reward play this week who is still almost 20-percent cheaper than Le’Veon Bell.
Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens vs. Chicago Bears ($5,400 DK, $5,800 FD)
With Terrance West unlikely to play, and with the Bears on a short week after being carved up by Jerick McKinnon on Monday night, the stage is set for a big game from Allen. Allen and McKinnon, who accounted for 130 combined yards, six receptions and a touchdown, have similar roles in their team’s offenses, so it’s not hard to see Allen carving out a similar path. Allen and the Ravens defense makes for a terrific correlation play.
Lamar Miller, Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns ($5,400 DK, $6,800 FD)
I don’t believe we’ve listed Miller in this column all season, and we’re hoping DFS players are not paying attention, or are scared off by the recent presence of D’Onta Foreman. But the fact remains, Miller has consistently gotten between 14-19 carries each week and is averaging over four yards per carry over the past three weeks. The Browns are still vulnerable to the run, and Miller makes a great low-owned pivot off Watson in order to get a piece of this terrific offense.
Elijah McGuire, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots ($4,700 DK, $5,700 FD)
As long as Bilal Powell is inactive on Sunday, McGuire is poised for a big game against a defense that has been terrible this season against pass-catching running backs. Matt Forte’s return actually helps McGuire, as his role will be more narrowly defined as the third-down, pass-catching back, which is where he can do the most damage. If McGuire can find the end zone, a 20-point game is easily in reach.
Discount Darling: Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers ($4,100 DK, $5,600 FD)
The beauty of salaries being released before the Monday night game is situations where a player comes out of relative nowhere to smash. The only problem with McKinnon this week is his anticipated high ownership – he should be the most-owned player at any position this week – but his upside is so great at such a cheap price, he’s pretty much a free square on DraftKings.
Avoid: Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers at Washington ($6,200 DK, $6,700 FD)
The 49ers are in a tough spot as a whole, and Hyde’s job does seem to be in jeopardy with Matt Breida’s role increasing. Hyde is too expensive for a time-share back that isn’t producing.
Also consider: C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos; Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals; Samaje Perine, Washington;
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints vs. Detroit Lions ($7,300 DK, $8,500 FD)
If we’re confident in Brees to deliver a multi-touchdown game – and we are – then it stands to reason that Thomas is going to play a big role in making it happen. Thomas will face Darius Slay, but that is looking less formidable as the season has unfolded. Kelvin Benjamin had a big game against him last week. Thomas is certainly a better receiver playing in an environment that promotes shoot-outs.
DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals ($5,800 DK, $6,400 FD)
Mike Evans gets the Patrick Peterson treatment. Alshon Jeffrey got it last week and both Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith scored touchdowns. Being the No. 2 receiver against the Cardinals is a great position to be in and Jackson has 18 DK points in two of his past three games.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings ($5,700 DK, $7,200 FD)
With 39 targetds, Adams has proven to be Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target this season, posting eight more than Randall Cobb and 11 more than Jordy Nelson. With Xavier Rhodes shadowing Nelson this week, Adams’ target count should continue to rise, especially near the goal line. Adams has three touchdowns over his past two games and is another week removed from that scary hit against the Bears. He’s a full go at a great price.
Will Fuller, Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns ($5,200 DK, $6,000 FD)
There was never any doubt about Fuller’s talent. His major drop-off last season was a disappointment, but those days appear to be long gone. Fuller has posted consecutive two-touchdown games, and sky is the limit against the defensively-challenged Browns. Teams must give help to the equally rejuvenated DeAndre Hopkins and that means Fuller is free to match his recent output.
Discount Darling: Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins ($4,600 DK, $5,800 FD)
The Dolphins defense is really not good. This could be the week Julio Jones goes nuts and finally rewards his season-long owners. But in DFS, the guy we like this week is the super-cheap Gabriel, who should see a spike in targets with Mohamed Sanu out of the lineup. Gabriel has big-play ability, and so does the Miami secondary.
Avoid: Mike Evans, Buccaneers at Cardinals ($6,900 DK, $8,100 FD)
As mentioned above with DJax, Evans is going to get Patrick Peterson in coverage. Jameis Winston will still force-feed targets to Evans, but the production should be way below what we’re used to from Evans. His price reflects that anticipated dip, but it’s still too high to justify a roster spot. With so much savings at QB and RB, you might as well shoot high for someone like Julio.
Also consider: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons; Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings; John Brown, Arizona Cardinals
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, New York Jets vs. New England Patriots ($4,300 DK, $5,600 FD)
Jenkins finally found the end zone last week, and also hit highs in targets (8) and catches (6) in his third game back off suspension. In those three weeks, he has been Josh McCown’s favorite receiver, and that should continue this week against the defensively-challenged Patriots.
Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders ($4,100 DK, $5,400 FD)
Henry was finally utilized the way we all expected he would be last week against the Giants. His eight targets were a season-high, and that should be the norm going forward. Like the Giants, the Raiders are another team that struggles to deal with tight ends, so at least one touchdown seems like a strong bet this week.
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers at Washington ($3,400 DK, $5,300 FD)
Kittle was a preseason darling who is finally coming into his own in the regular season. Tight ends have gone bananas against Washington all season, so if Kittle can get another nine targets this week, he is going to threaten 100 yards and a score, which would likely make him the top point-per-dollar tight end on the slate.
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans ($3,000 DK, $4,500 FD)
All he does is catch touchdowns. Njoku has three in his past four games, which is pretty impressive considering he’s only had 13 targets in that span. Njoku has 10 catches on those 13 targets, and both numbers could increase with Kevin Hogan at the controls. If he blows up this week, you’ll want to be ahead of the curve.
Discount Darling: Zach Miller, Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens ($2,900 DK, $5,000 FD)
Miller and Mitchell Trubisky had great chemistry on Monday night, with Miller targeted seven times and snagging a touchdown. With the receiving corps devastated by injury, Miller should continue to serve as Trubiksy’s security blanket, and a touchdown this week will pay off his salary nicely.
Avoid: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers ($3,800 DK, $5,300 FD)
The difference between Case Keenum and Sam Bradford means everything to Rudolph. It’s Keenum again this week, and that’s the wrong side of the equation here.
Also consider: Jordan Reed, Washington; Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons; Ryan Griffin, Houston Texans.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Chicago Bears ($3,700 DK, $4,900 FD)
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Rams ($3,600 DK, $4,900 FD)
Atlanta Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins ($3,500 DK, $5,000 FD)
Washington vs. San Francisco 49ers ($3,400 DK, $4,700 FD)
Discount Darling: New Orleans Saints ($2,700 DK, $4,200 FD)
Avoid: Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Browns ($3,900 DK, $5,400 FD)