We only have a few weeks left of the NFL season. It’s very important that we don’t take these games for granted because come February we are going to wish we had football to watch on Sundays. Salaries are tight at almost every position on DraftKings this week. By highlighting some of the top values, we can easily strategize how we want to build our lineups which will help us maximize our potential in our GPP and cash games.
Nick Mullens, QB SF ($4,800)
Mullens is one of the cheapest starting quarterbacks on the main slate and he will be set in a prime matchup against the Seattle Seahawks who are allowing 251 passing yards per game. He has passed for 220 yards or more in each of his last five games. The last time he played against the Seahawks he mustered a solid 22.66 fantasy points. Granted most of those statistics came from playing from behind, but it’s something to keep in mind when you look forward to this week’s matchups.
I recommended rostering Mullens last week due to his low salary and I’m going back to the well this week, mainly, because DraftKings only increased his salary by $200 from the week before. There are only two viable starting quarterbacks who are cheaper than Mullens this week and they are Josh Rosen ($4,700) and Cody Kessler ($4,700). It’s quite apparent that Mullens is one of the safest dirt-cheap options for this week. His discounted price tag will allow you to pay up at other positions, maximizing the overall value of your lineup.
Most betting sites have the Seahawks as heavy favorites in this game. They are expected to blow out the 49ers and they are favored to win by six points. Garbage time opportunities should boost Mullens’ stats. The flow of the game will aid his production, making him a safe start this week on DraftKings.
Ito Smith, RB ATL ($3,700)
Smith gets a favorable matchup this week against an Arizona Cardinals team who are giving up 139.5 rushing yards per game. They are also allowing 28.8 fantasy points per game to running backs. Smith has out-touched Tevin Coleman two games in a row and he has been very efficient with his touches. This week presents a great opportunity for him to blow up against one of the worst run defenses in the league.
He’s about as cheap as you can get on DraftKings this week. Due to his low cost, there’s very little risk in rostering him. He will allow you to jam in other high-priced players at other positions into your lineup while also providing enough upside to help your team leverage the field in tournament play. He might be the best candidate at running back to outproduce his salary. To mitigate risk, I recommend limiting your exposure since he is sharing the backfield with Tevin Coleman.
The over/under is set at 44 points for this game and the Atlanta Falcons are favorited to win by nine points. Vegas is implying that they expect the Falcons to win this game by a wide margin which should make the game script very favorable for Atlanta’s run game. Smith should see some extra carries once the Falcons establish a large lead over the Cardinals.
Michael Gallup, WR DAL ($3,600)
In his last three games, Gallup has seen 22 targets for 326 air yards, equating to a 14.8 average depth of target. He has a 20% target share of the passing offense. The workload is there, we just need him to churn out some production. This week he gets an advantageous matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Even though they are one of the stingiest defenses against the pass, allowing just 29 fantasy points per game to wide receivers, the overall game flow should present some added opportunities for Gallup in the passing game.
Wide receiver is typically the position where most people try to find value. DraftKings currently has him priced as one of the cheaper receivers on the main slate. With him seeing close to seven targets per game, he has the potential to break out any given week. His volume in the passing game elevates his floor and makes him a popular target at $3,600. His ownership-rate might be lower than expected this week considering he has only produced 22.9 fantasy points in the last three weeks.
Vegas has the over/under at 47 points and they have the Colts favored to win this game by three points. I expect this game to be very competitive with multiple lead changes. I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams combine for more than 50 points. Dallas will need to consistently pass the ball in order to keep up with the Colts’ explosive offense which will provide extra opportunities for Gallup to blow up the box score.
Cameron Brate, TE TB ($4,000)
The Baltimore Ravens have one of the best pass defenses in the league. However, opposing tight ends are averaging 15.3 PPR fantasy points a game against them which is ninth worst in the league. In other words, their defense is so good at shutting down the other team’s wide receivers that opposing quarterbacks will often funnel their targets to the tight end. The Buccaneers like to dial up plays to their tight ends, targeting them on 19.34% of their pass attempts.
Brate isn’t the cheapest tight end this week, but he does present some value in tournament formats because the majority of the field is going to pivot away from him due to his perceived bad matchup. This might not be a smash opportunity for him, but the odds are good that he will receive a heavy workload. If you’re not going to pay full price for George Kittle, Travis Kelce or Eric Ebron, then I would pay down a little bit and roster Brate.
With the over/under set at 47 points, this game should have one of the highest implied point totals for the week. The game script should bode well for Brate considering the Buccaneers are expected to be playing from behind during most of the game. Vegas has the Ravens as an eight-point favorite to win this game. Brate should be one of your top targets on DraftKings this week.
Other options: George Kittle $6,300, Eric Ebron $5,900, Kyle Rudolph $3,500
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