Just about everyone around us is running to the store or hopping online to take advantage of the hot deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Since everyone is looking for a bargain this weekend, it’s a good time to see what players we can land on the cheap to help maximize our DraftKings lineups. Being frugal and analyzing the salaries and the values for each position can go a long way to building a winning lineup.
Nick Mullens, QB SF ($5,400)
You are not going to pay more than $6,500 for a quarterback on the main slate this week. Usually, I advise to pay down as much as possible on the position. However, there isn’t a bad play at quarterback. All of them are at a tremendous value. Mullens is catching my eye this week. He’s the 14th-cheapest quarterback on the slate and has a favorable matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Mullens is coming off a bye week and he threw for at least 250 yards in each of his last two games. Those are not phenomenal statistics, but it gets the job done when you are paying just $5,400 for a quarterback who can deliver QB2 results. Due to the uncharacteristically low-price points set at quarterback, he won’t be heavily owned in DFS, making him a good play in tournament formats. I would advise limiting your exposure to him because he still has the potential of bottoming out on you.
The over/under for this game is set at 55 points and Vegas is giving the Buccaneers the home-field advantage by favoriting them by 3.5 points. This game has one of the highest implied point totals for week 12 and could become a shootout. Even though they have not played to their potential this season, Tampa Bay does have the ability to put up a lot of points on the scoreboard. Since there’s a lot of volatility with both teams, this might be one of those whacky games where anything can happen. With that being said, I wouldn’t be afraid of rostering Mullens in a small portion of your GPP lineups.
Elijah McGuire, RB NYJ ($3,600)
Normally, I’m willing to pay a premium for running backs, but it’s too cliché to tell you to draft the higher priced backs like Saquon Barkley and David Johnson because everyone already knows those players are borderline locks and should be jammed into as many lineups as possible. If you are looking for a contrarian option this week, then you might want to think about utilizing McGuire. Since coming back from his injury in week nine, he has received 14 percent of the team’s passing targets. He is also looking like the most explosive running back on the team.
Sooner than later the Jets are going to realize that they need to give him a full workload to see if he can be the team’s feature back for the future. If he gets his shot this week then he will be a steal at his current price point. His salary will allow you to pay more at other positions which could possibly allow you to jam in another stud player into your lineup. Even if he flops, he’s still providing value to your roster because without his discounted price point, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to roster another stud player into your lineup. That’s a scenario you have to think about while you’re filling out your lineups.
Vegas has the over/under for this game set at 46.5 points and they have the Patriots favored to win by ten points. The game script might not be optimal for his fantasy output, but we do know the Jets like to target him in the passing game and that could benefit his fantasy value if he gets some looks in garbage time. He’s also a threat to break off a long run anytime he touches the ball. When considering price alone, this is a can’t lose situation.
Marcell Ateman, WR OAK ($3,100)
Ateman appears to be the next man up in an injury-plagued wide receiver corps. He was heavily targeted after Brandon LaFell suffered an injury in the third quarter of last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. At 6’5’’ and 216 pounds, he’s a big-bodied receiver who has the potential to deliver a spark to an underwhelming Raiders offense. What’s most impressive about Ateman is that he managed to own 22.85 percent of Oklahoma State’s passing offense while also sharing the field with James Washington who led the nation with 1,549 receiving yards last year. He has the stereotypical profile of a forgotten prospect who comes out of nowhere and takes the league by storm.
The only thing certain about Ateman is his price point. With $3,000 being the minimum salary on DraftKings, he’s about as cheap as you can get. Even though he’s going to see an increase in playing time, it doesn’t mean he’s 100 percent safe to play in your lineups. I suggest rostering him in only tournament formats since there’s a chance he could provide limited results. After all, he’s still a little bit of a wild card. I’m also advocating mitigating your ownership shares. Limiting your exposure will keep you from bottoming out your weekly bankroll if he completely busts.
The over/under is set at 42.5 points and the Baltimore Ravens are favored to win by 11 points. This isn’t the most optimal matchup for him, considering the Ravens have a stout pass defense. However, the bad matchup will drive down his ownership rates, making him a solid contrarian option for GPP lineups.
Nick Vannett, TE SEA ($2,700)
At tight end, I either want to go all in and buy one of the studs or I want to go the opposite route and pay down to get one of the cheaper options. Vannett is one of my favorite plays this week. Of course, I love his salary. I’m always going to recommend dirt cheap players who can deliver TE2 results. If he can provide just ten fantasy points and allow you to spend more of your capital at other positions, then he’s still providing value to your lineup.
Russell Wilson likes to target him around the end zone. He has a touchdown in each of his last two games. If he can find the end zone for his third straight game, then his production will more than exceed expectations. The tight end position as a whole has been very volatile this year, and it’s a safe bet to spend less at the position and allocate a larger percent of your bankroll on relatively safe players with high ceilings at other positions.
The over/under for this game is set at 47.5 points and the Carolina Panthers are favored to win this game by three points. Obviously, Vegas is telling us that this is going to be a tight game and the game script is more than likely going to benefit the pass. All-in-all, just like any other touchdown-dependent player, we are just hoping he lands in the end zone.