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NFL DFS Bargain Bin: Value Plays for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo

Welcome to the Week 1 Sunday slates edition of RotoBaller's NFL DFS Bargain Bin, where the goal is to touch on some potentially mis-priced players across the industry that find themselves in favorable match-ups and/or suddenly expanded roles.

  • The nature of the beast with value plays is at least a modest amount (and sometimes substantially more) of risk. Therefore, the Bargain Bin may prove to be a bit more of a roller-coaster ride on some slates than your typical “tout” article!
  • Naturally, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an upside to be had. All of these selections are therefore suitable for GPPs and can also often serve as solid cash game plays, while often helping you accommodate multiple higher-priced studs into your lineup.
  • Typically, I’ll suggest players that are value-priced across three major DFS sites (DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo). However, there are certainly occasions where one or more site prices a player significantly lower than others. Whenever possible, I’ll typically at least note those players as an “XYZ site special.”
  • This article is by no means intended to serve as an exhaustive list of all value options for the week. Rather, it’s meant to take a deeper dive into those I feel offer some of the best combinations of savings and upside.
  • The goal is to recommend truly affordable players, as opposed to, say, a player priced just $300-$400 away from the highest-priced option at his position. I don’t have set-in-stone price limits in mind for each site, but I do consider legitimate affordability very important criteria.

With those housekeeping items out of the way, I’ll give you my thoughts on where there may be some value spots to exploit on the Week 1 Sunday slates!

 

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Quarterback DFS Value Plays

Jalen Hurts, PHI at ATL | DK: $6,400, FD: $7,600, Yahoo: $26 

Hurts demonstrated plenty of upside in Weeks 15 and 16 against the Cardinals and Cowboys during his rookie 2020 campaign, throwing for over 300 yards in each contest. The second-year signal-caller also racked up 106 rushing yards against the Saints in Week 14, flashing more than enough for the Eagles to make the difficult decision to part ways with Carson Wentz this offseason.

The Falcons shape up as an appealing Week 1 matchup for Hurts on the fast track of Mercedes Benz Stadium, as they gave up a 65-344-6 line on the ground to quarterbacks last season while surrendering an NFL-high 26.1 DK points per contest and the second-most FD points per game (24.0) to the position overall. Atlanta also surrendered the most passing yards to QBs (4,918) in 2020, and even under a completely new coaching regime, they're still expected to be one of the poorest teams in the NFC.

Sam Darnold, CAR vs. NYJ | DK: $5,000, FD: $6,500, Yahoo: $25

Much like Wentz, Darnold is a former high first-round pick getting a fresh start in a new locale this season. As fate would have it, the one-time third overall pick gets an immediate shot in 2021 at the team that drafted him. The Jets are undergoing a major makeover under new head coach Robert Saleh, but some of the pieces that contributed to the team finishing 2020 having allowed the fifth-most passing yards (4,563) and fifth-most passing touchdowns (33) -- along with the third-most DK points (24.1) and third-most FD points (22.6) per game to QBs -- still remain.

Darnold looked good in preseason, has some decent rushing upside, and is blessed with a talented group of pass-catchers that includes a now-healthy Christian McCaffrey, who should help the fourth-year quarterback supplement his numbers nicely with his receiving prowess. With a home game that could well tilt heavily in favor of the Panthers as it unfolds, Darnold could deliver some nice returns on the modest investments required to roster him across all three sites.

ALSO CONSIDER: Trevor Lawrence, JAC at HOU | DK: $6,200, FD: $6,800, Yahoo: $23

 

Running Back DFS Value Plays

Miles Sanders, PHI at ATL | DK: $6,500, FD: $6,600, Yahoo: $21

Sanders comes at a nice discount over several other big-name backs, yet his explosiveness affords him as much upside as nearly any runner on the slate. The third-year back averaged an efficient 5.3 yards per contest last season and once again displayed some solid pass-catching acumen with a 28-197 line through the air. Sanders' impressive speed also afforded him three runs of greater than 40 yards last season, and what's more, Atlanta also yielded an 89-612-4 line through the air to running backs last season.

Philadelphia's offensive line also finished in the top five last season with 4.9 RB yards per carry facilitated, while the Falcons were ranked in the bottom half of the league with 1.3 second-level yards per carry allowed. The latter figure is a particularly encouraging number for Sanders' prospects, considering his excellent 16.5 percent broken-tackle rate and 2.8 average yards after contact from a season ago.

James Robinson, JAC at HOU | DK: $6,400, FD: $5,900, Yahoo: $27

Travis Ettiene's season-ending foot injury paves the way for Robinson to reprise his lead-back role from last season when he averaged 4.5 yards per carry on his way to a 1,070-yard tally and seven rushing TDs. Robinson also contributed an impressive 49-344-3 line through the air on 60 targets, and although it's a new coaching regime in Jacksonville, the Illinois State product appears set to see significant volume again despite the presence of Carlos Hyde.

The defensive matchup could hardly line up any better right from the jump for Robinson, as the Texans finished 2020 allowing an NFL-high 160.2 rushing yards per contest, along with an NFL-high 21 rushing touchdowns to running backs as well.  Houston also gave up a robust 80-722-1 line through the air to the position, and Robinson notched a 99-yard, one-touchdown effort on the ground against the Texans in a Week 9 matchup last season. What's more, the Texans could come into this contest missing some key pieces along the front seven, as Whitney Mercilus (hamstring), Maliek Collins (knee), and Kevin Pierre-Louis (thigh) all are dealing with injury concerns as of mid-week.

ALSO CONSIDER: Najee Harris, PIT at BUF | DK: $6,300, FD: $6,500, Yahoo: $20

 

 

Wide Receiver DFS Value Plays

Deebo Samuel, SF at DET | DK: $5,900, FD: $6,300, Yahoo: $18

Samuel saw his 2020 season get largely derailed by injury, as he ended up appearing in only seven games and produced a 33-391-1 line that he complemented with eight rushes for 26 yards. The versatile third-year speedster is back to full health now, however, and like several 49ers teammates, primed to make up for a highly disappointing 2020 campaign. Samuel gets an excellent opportunity to get a jump start on that redemption quest against the lowly Lions, which allowed the second-most passing yards per contest (284.9) last season, including 315.1 per home game. Additionally, Samuel's fellow wideout Brandon Aiyuk is also dealing with a hamstring injury heading into Week 1 and could therefore be limited after also seeing very sparse preseason action. Meanwhile, the Lions allowed elevated passer ratings of 128 and 134 in the deep left and right passing windows a season ago, furthering Samuel's prospects of potentially hitting some big plays.

Tee Higgins, CIN vs. MIN | DK: $4,700, FD: $6,000, Yahoo: $20

Higgins enjoyed an even better-than-expected rookie season, posting a 67-908-6 line while playing all 16 games. The valuable experience he gained while working with both Joe Burrow and a number of less talented options after the latter went down for the season should serve him well in his sophomore campaign when a fully healthy Burrow returns and explosive, defensive-attention-drawing rookie Ja'Marr Chase joins him in the wideout corps. Higgins will have a good chance of delivering on his very affordable salaries in Week 1 as well, considering the Vikings yielded a robust 282.0 passing yards per game at home last season, as well as passer ratings of 123 and 116 in the left and deep right passing windows, respectively.

Michael Pittman Jr., IND vs. SEA | DK: $4,100, FD: $5,300, Yahoo: $17

T.Y. Hilton is on injured reserve for at least the first three weeks of the season due to a neck issue, bumping Pittman up to No. 1 receiver status to start the campaign. The second-year wideout had a serviceable rookie season while working with the now-retired Philip Rivers in 2020, posting a 40-503-1 line across 13 games. Pittman was excellent after the catch last season with an average of 7.1 yards gained after receptions, frequently leveraging his 6-foot-4, 220-pound-plus frame to his advantage in that regard. Meanwhile, the Seahawks surrendered an NFC-high 308.2 passing yards per road game in 2020, and while a healthy Jamal Adams should help shore up some of those deficiencies, it's worth noting the area of the field Pittman enjoyed his most consistent success in, the short middle (63.0 percent catch rate), is the same window where Seattle gave up its highest receiver success rate (59.0 percent).

ALSO CONSIDER: Cooper Kupp, LAR vs. CHI | DK: $5,500, FD: $6,200, Yahoo: $18

 

Tight End DFS Value Plays

Dallas Goedert, PHI at ATL | DK: $4,800, FD: $5,900, Yahoo: $16

Goedert asserted himself as the top tight end in Philadelphia last season on his way to a 46-524-3 line across 11 games, so much so that there were strong expectations position mate Zach Ertz would be traded away in the offseason. While that ultimately didn't come to fruition, Goedert is unquestionably the future of the position, and his solid work with Jalen Hurts under center in the latter portion of the campaign (28-338-2 line over last six games of the season) should start paying dividends immediately in 2021. The season-opening matchup bodes well for Goedert offering a strong return on his very modest salaries, as the Falcons tied with the Jets for second-most receptions allowed to tight ends last season (91) while also yielding 956 yards and 10 TDs to the position, with the latter pair of figures ranking in the bottom five of the league.

Kyle Pitts, ATL vs. PHI | DK: $4,400, FD: $6,000, Yahoo: $19

As appealing a play as Goedert is on one side of the Eagles-Falcons matchup, Pitts is on the other. The rookie fourth overall pick's elite athleticism will make him a matchup problem for every defense he faces this season, and he already began flashing some of that explosiveness during the preseason. Pitts will be in a good position to make an immediate impact now that the games start to count, as the now-Julio-Jones-less Falcons are in desperate need of pass-catching playmakers and will therefore undoubtedly afford Pitts no shortage of volume. The Eagles also gave up an 80-835-9 line to tight ends last season, furthering Pitts' case in a game he could easily see 7-10 targets in to officially kick off his NFL career.

ALSO CONSIDER: Dan Arnold, CAR vs. NYJ | DK: $2,600, FD: $4,500, Yahoo: $13



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