It’s championship week in most fantasy leagues and unless you were lucky enough to make it to the championship game, you are more than likely don’t have any lineups to set or tinker with for the remainder of the year. If you haven’t lost the urge to play, then head over to DraftKings and make a few lineups.
To be successful in DFS we want to maximize the value of our lineups. By analyzing the salaries listed on DraftKings, we can find lower-cost players who are more than likely going to exceed expectations for the week. Finding a few diamonds in the rough will exponentially impact the potential of our lineups.
Andrew Luck, QB IND ($6,200)
Usually, I try to promote players who are set at a basement-level price point. However, the salaries are tight on DraftKings and spending a little more at certain positions might yield the most economic gain for your lineup. In other words, the price variance between Andrew Luck and Sam Darnold is just $1,300. We also have a few options in Luck’s price range to choose from. Cam Newton ($6,200), Baker Mayfield ($6,100) and Matt Ryan ($6,100) all have promising matchups. Even though the salaries are tight, we still have plenty of options and strategies we can implement to shake up our lineups.
Game script prevented Luck from providing his typical QB1 fantasy output. The Colts’ defense shut down the Cowboys’ offense which allowed their offense to kick it into cruise control and lean on the run to keep Dallas’ offense on the field. It doesn’t hurt that Marlon Mack was able to rush for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Put Luck’s dismal statistical output in the rearview mirror and focus on this week. He has eight games with three or more passing touchdowns. In terms of fantasy, he has ten games this year where he produced QB1 results, making him one of the most reliable quarterbacks in fantasy. The sheer explosiveness of the offense only elevates his ceiling.
Luck is a great play in both cash games and tournaments. He’s a safe option and his ceiling is high enough to help you take down a big GPP. His ownership should be rather low since he didn’t produce the previous week against the Cowboys. There are also some intriguing higher priced options that could defer other fantasy players from rostering Luck. With that being said, he’s a great option this week in DFS.
Vegas has the Colts as nine points favorites this week against the New York Giants. Luck should have no problem ripping the Giants defense for multiple touchdowns in this game. The over/under is also set at 47 points, giving this game one of the highest implied point totals for the week. Luck is in a prime spot to produce a QB1 week.
Other options: Cam Newton $6,200, Baker Mayfield $6,100, Dak Prescott $5,700
Kenyan Drake, RB MIA ($3,900)
Drake will get the opportunity to play against a broken Jaguars defense allowing 119.6 yards per game on the ground. They are on a two-game losing streak and they allowed Derrick Henry to rush for 238 yards and four touchdowns in week 15. Drake rushed for 123 yards and one touchdown and caught three passes for 28 yards last week against the Minnesota Vikings. He’s a heavy contributor in the offensive game plan and he should continue to be a focal point in the offense this week. Frank Gore will be out due to a foot sprain and Drake should see a massive uptick in carries during the last few weeks of the season.
He’s one of the cheapest starting running backs on DK this week. His low price point is going to allow you to jam in higher-priced options at other positions. Drake is a great option for GPP formats because he’s cheap and packs plenty of upside. However, he’s a little bit too risky for cash games. I would only play him in cash if he allows you to input an extra stud player into your roster.
The Dolphins are 6-1 at home this year and they are favored to win this game by 4.5 points. Not to mention that the over/under is set at 40 points. I wouldn’t be surprised if they win by a larger margin than that since they are battling for a playoff spot and the Jaguars are just trying to get through the season. Since the Dolphins are expecting to have the lead during the majority of the game, the game script should allow Drake to be on the field more and see more touches out of the backfield.
Michael Thomas, WR NO ($8,100)
Thomas is one of the highest priced wide receivers on Sunday’s slate, but given his matchup, target share and his historical output, he’s still can be considered a value this week. There are four receivers who are priced higher, and, in a week, where he is playing in one of his best matchups of the season, Thomas should be priced closer to $9,000. Since the Saints played the Monday night game and DraftKings issues the salaries on Sunday night, he received a small discount.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the worst pass defenses in the league. It’s going to be almost impossible for them to slow down Thomas and the Saints’ passing game. This seems like a dream matchup, but keep in mind, Brees hasn’t passed for more than 202 yards since week 11. One thing to note here, in those games the Saints either had a bad matchup or they established a large enough lead to keep them from relying on the pass. Both of those factors will negatively affect the team’s offensive output.
The over/under for this game is set at 53.5 points and the Saints are favored to win by six points. This game is going to be a shootout. Just about everyone is predicting this game to be one of the highest scoring games of the week. Thomas is the main target hog for the Saints and he should see an uptick in volume, making him a safe bet in fantasy this week.
David Njoku, TE CLE ($3,800)
Njoku will take part in a rivalry game against the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday. The last time these two teams played, he caught five passes for 63 yards and one touchdown. In the Browns’ last three games he has received 16 percent of the targets. He’s getting the workload; the matchup is good, and it looks he’s in a prime spot to contribute in fantasy this week.
When it comes to pricing, Njoku is about as cheap as you can get. His low-price tag will allow you to pay more at other positions. He also has the potential to prove TE1 results, making him a great option for both cash and GPP games. The salaries at tight end are tight and there aren’t too many dependable options to choose from which make Njoku one of the top plays this week. He might be heavily owned this week due to his price point and upside. I recommend limiting your exposure to him to mitigate the risk just in case a large portion of the field slide Njoku in their lineups.
The over/under for this game is set at 46 points and the Browns are favored to win this game by seven points. Cleveland should easily win this game and Baker Mayfield will shred the Bengals’ defense for multiple passing touchdowns. Njoku should see a lot of looks in the passing game and he should get plenty of opportunities to produce big numbers in the box score.
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