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NFL DFS Value Plays: Week 5 Bargain Bin for DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo

Trevor Lawrence - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Welcome to the Week 5 Sunday main slate edition of RotoBaller's NFL DFS Bargain Bin, where the goal is to touch on some potentially mispriced players across the industry that find themselves in favorable match-ups and/or suddenly expanded roles.

Each week I’ll give you my thoughts on where there may be some value spots to exploit on the Sunday main slate and I hunt for value that might be site-specific on Yahoo, FanDuel, and DraftKings.

Week 5 presents more of a challenge than usual with respect to finding value plays in favorable matchups, but there are still some gems I've done my best to uncover. Therefore, as customary, we have multiple candidates to consider at each position, including a couple of site-specific specials that could pay off nicely.

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Bargain Bin Intro

Before we go NFL DFS Bargain Bin hunting, a few particulars about format and content.

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 sites price 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 a very important criterion.

 

Quarterback DFS Value Plays              

Trevor Lawrence, JAX vs. HOU | DK: $5,600, FD: $7,600, Yahoo: $26 

You can count on plenty of DFS players clicking on James Robinson's name this week given the tantalizing matchup against the Texans' run defense, and the talented back is indeed a solid play that I've included in my "Also Consider" section at running back. However, those looking to differentiate some in a game where Jacksonville has an eye-catching implied team total of 26 points as of Thursday afternoon would do well to consider Lawrence on a week where value at quarterback is far from easy to pinpoint.

The 2021 first overall pick is still naturally acclimating to new head coach Doug Pederson's offense, but it's already clear it's a system that should suit him well. Despite a rough Week 4 afternoon against the elite Eagles secondary where he completed under 50.0 percent of his throws and committed five turnovers (one INT, four lost fumbles), Lawrence still threw for a pair of scores and now has an 8:2 TD:INT along with 946 yards through four games. Additionally, the matchup is a lot more palatable this week, as the Texans have also given up 240.3 passing yards per game and 11.9 yards per completion.

While Houston does have impressive INT (four) and sack (11) numbers, it's worth noting the only QB they've faced thus far that's truly at the top of his game -- Justin Herbert in Week 4 -- torched the Texans secondary for 340 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just over 69.0 percent passing. While Lawrence isn't quite as accomplished, his impressive group of weapons gives him a chance to bounce back nicely in this matchup.

Teddy Bridgewater, MIA at NYJ | DK: $5,400, FD: $6,400, Yahoo: $25

Bridgewater was brought to Miami this offseason to serve as insurance behind Tua Tagovailoa in a couple of different ways -- not only would his veteran presence be highly valuable if Tagovailoa went down with injury, but even if no one will publicly concede it now, there wasn't a full buy-in on the 2020 first-round pick yet this spring as a new coaching staff settled in. Tagovailoa does appear to be well on his way to allaying any concerns about his play if his health will allow, but for this week, Bridgewater is called on to fulfill his primary purpose, i.e. keep the team's offense clicking while his teammate is sidelined.

The Jets could help facilitate a strong performance for Bridgewater after he completed 14 of 23 passes for 193 yards with a touchdown and interception in emergency duty during Week 4 against the Bengals. Bridgewater particularly showed strong chemistry with Tyreek Hill (10-160 on 14 targets), and he should have a healthier Jaylen Waddle at his disposal after the star second-year wideout returned to practice in limited fashion Thursday while finishing up his recovery from a groin injury.

Throw in the extra time Bridgewater has had to prepare for this game and the fact the Jets have allowed 11.8 yards per completion in two home games -- along with a 66.4 percent completion rate overall -- and it should put him in a favorable position to deliver strong returns on his salaries during a game Miami is projected for a solid 24 points in.

ALSO CONSIDER: Jameis Winston, NO vs. SEA | DK: $5,500, FD: $7,300, Yahoo: $24 or Andy Dalton, NO vs. SEA | DK: $5,200, FD: $6,500, Yahoo: $20

 

Running Back DFS Value Plays   

Dalvin Cook, MIN vs. CHI | DK: $7,300, FD: $7,300, Yahoo: $29

I typically won't include big names such as Cook in this article, for no other reason than they naturally aren't normally found at salaries that would qualify them as Bargain Bin candidates. However, Cook is a pleasantly surprising exception this week, as his DK, FD and Yahoo salaries are $1.2K, $2.1K and $9, respectively, below the highest-priced player at running back. Cook's failure to bust out for his first big game in new head coach Kevin O'Connell's offense may also be playing a part in his more-reasonable-than-usual salaries, but he draws a premium matchup against a Bears defense that's demonstrated a complete inability to slow down the run.

Chicago checks in allowing an NFL-high 183.3 rushing yards per game, along with 4.8 RB yards per carry. The Bears also carry a No. 24 ranking in rush defense DVOA per Football Outsiders, and they rank No. 21 in open-field yards per carry surrendered, certainly a vulnerability Cook can exploit with his speed. Cook surprisingly doesn't yet have a run of over 20 yards in 63 rush attempts, but with Chicago's tendency to let backs get into the second level and beyond and the star running back's 22.2 percent broken-tackle rate, something could certainly given in that regard.

Rhamondre Stevenson, NE vs. DET | DK: $5,500, FD: $6,000, Yahoo: $22

It's a bit tricky to pick between Stevenson and backfield mate Damien Harris, as both players are naturally in the same premium matchup and could have even more work than usual if the Patriots are forced to roll with rookie Bailey Zappe at quarterback. However, Harris has just a minimal passing game role and is carrying a higher salary on each site, with his $7.2K figure on FanDuel especially standing out in contrast to Stevenson's salary. Stevenson has logged over 30 snaps in three straight games after an abbreviated role in Week 1, and he's responded by averaging 13 DK/11.5 FD/11.5 Yahoo points per game in that span.

The Lions come in allowing a massive 165.5 rushing yards per game and 5.3 RB yards per carry. while also sporting No. 29 ranks in second-level and open-field yards per carry surrendered. In turn, Stevenson has an 18.6 percent broken-tackle rate and is gaining nearly three-quarters of his yards after first contact, making him a good candidate to potentially rip off some big runs if he can get past the initial line of defense. Finally, consider that no team has surrendered more red-zone rushing touchdowns through four weeks than the Lions' eight scores, while Stevenson is due to a boost in touches inside the 20 -- he's logged a modest four through four games after 27 a year ago as a rookie.

ALSO CONSIDER: Khalil Herbert (*if Montgomery ruled out*) CHI at MIN | DK: $5,900, FD: $7,100, Yahoo: $21
DK-only Special: James Robinson, JAX vs. HOU | $6,300

 

Wide Receiver DFS Value Plays   

Gabe Davis, BUF vs. PIT | DK: $6,400, FD: $6,000, Yahoo: $17     

The shine is undoubtedly off Davis to an extent in the DFS collective consciousness after a slow start to the season that's been partly the result of an ankle injury. Naturally, that makes it a great time to roster the speedster in tournaments, as his ankle should be healthier this week and he continues to be a key member of a high-powered offense. What's more, Buffalo's receiving corps could well be down up to three members Sunday -- Isaiah McKenzie (concussion) and Jake Kumerow (ankle) remain very questionable for this Week 5 contest, while Jamison Crowder (ankle) is already ruled out. The Steelers have also been appreciably more giving through the air over the first four weeks of this season than last year, as they're allowing 251.5 passing yards per game (223.8 in 2021).

Pittsburgh has also surrendered a completion percentage nearly nine points higher on the road (64.3 percent) than at home (55.6), along with tying for the seventh-most receptions (55) and giving up the seventh-most yards (717) to wide receivers. Moreover, the Steelers are tied for third-most touchdowns allowed to wideouts (five), and they're extremely banged up in the secondary at the moment with Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee), Terrell Edmunds (concussion), Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring), Cameron Sutton (groin) and Levi Wallace (foot) all dealing with issues that could conceivably keep them out of this contest.

Chris Olave, NO vs. SEA | DK: $5,700, FD: $6,900, Yahoo: $20

Olave's salaries on DK and Yahoo are especially noteworthy -- and the investment required to roster him on FD is very reasonable as well -- for a receiver of his upside and in his matchup. Given Andy Dalton is very effective as a backup as he just demonstrated against the Vikings in London, it also doesn't really matter whether it's the Red Rocket or Jameis Winston under center, especially considering Olave produced a 4-67-1 line on seven targets with Dalton as his signal-caller versus Minnesota.

The Seahawks have yielded 274.0 passing yards per game, along with an NFL-high figure of 13.0 yards per completion that dovetails nicely with Olave's speed, 18.2-yard aDOT and 16.0 yards per reception. New Orleans could also once again be without Michael Thomas (foot) in this game, which naturally would boost the expectations and workload for Olave, who could play a sizable part if the Saints approximate their implied team total of 26 points.

Elijah Moore, NYJ vs. MIA | DK: $5,000, FD: $5,300, Yahoo: $16  

Moore, Corey Davis and Garrett Wilson are all interesting candidates this week in what will be Zach Wilson's second game of the season, but Moore's combination of a downfield role, potentially lower rostering rate than the other two and solid chemistry with Wilson from last season all put him in play at extremely reasonable salaries. Additionally, the fact a Dolphins defense conceding 299.3 passing yards per game and 14.8 yards per completion on the road could also be down star cornerback Xavien Howard (groin) naturally makes Moore all the more appealing.

Moore has a relatively modest 15-192-3 line through four games, but he's drawn 25 targets overall and has already taken three of his catches for more than 20 yards. Moreover, Moore is logging a solid 84.5 air yards per game, a number that could certainly go up the more Wilson jumps back into the swing of things. The second-year speedster's aDOT of 14.1 yards is also certainly a point in his favor, especially with the Jets likely to be more aggressive through the air with Miami very effective versus the run and capable of keeping the pressure on New York to score points.

ALSO CONSIDER: Chris Godwin, TB vs. ATL | DK: $5,900, FD: $7,000, Yahoo: $24
DK/Yahoo Special: Christian Kirk, JAC vs. HOU | DK: $6,300, Yahoo: $24

Tight End DFS Value Plays  

Zach Ertz, ARI vs. PHI | DK: $4,800, FD: $5,900, Yahoo: $19

Ertz has already been heavily involved in the Cardinals' air attack over the first four games of the season, producing a 22-181-2 line on 31 targets over that span. The veteran's role encouragingly remained robust in Week 4 despite the season debut of Rondale Moore and rookie tight end Trey McBride recording the first three catches of his career, with Ertz generating a 6-47-1 tally across 56 snaps. Sunday, he gets a matchup against his former club, which has made life difficult on the perimeter for receivers and therefore tend to funnel more action toward the tight end.

Philadelphia has given up a miserly 51.6 percent catch rate to wideouts, but a much more favorable 64.0 percent figure to tight ends on 25 targets. Then, Philly actually hasn't been impossible to penetrate in the red zone through the air, giving up 12-for-22 passing for a total of 67 yards and four touchdowns in that part of the field thus far. Ertz has already tied a career high with 10 red-zone targets through only four games, making him an excellent candidate for some looks that could pay off nicely in a game the Cards figure to have to remain aggressive in.

Dallas Goedert, PHI at ARI | DK: $4,700, FD: $6,100, Yahoo: $22

Goedert makes for an interesting play on the other side of the Eagles-Cardinals clash, as he also has an appealing matchup and is even $100 less expensive than Ertz on DK. Arizona's run defense has actually been elite over the first four games as well, so Philadelphia could be going especially pass-heavy in a game they're still projected for 27 points for, but in which they're also only favored by a relatively modest 5.5 points.

The Cardinals have been a sieve against both tight ends and versus the air attack in the red zone overall, with a lot of that success being enjoyed by players at Goedert's position. Arizona has surrendered a 28-341-3 line to TEs in four games, and a 17-for-26, 111-yard, eight-touchdown tally through the air overall inside the 20-yard line. Goedert, who's already drawing a solid 17 percent of the Eagles' targets, could make for a great affordable pivot off what are likely to be more popular options in A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith in terms of the Philly passing game.

ALSO CONSIDER: Tyler Conklin, NYJ vs. MIA | DK: $3,700, FD: $5,300, Yahoo: $15



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