DraftKings increased the salaries for all of the key players, making it harder to piece together lineups. There aren’t as many bargains to choose from this week. It’s going to take some trial and error along with some creativity to generate lineups. This might be the toughest week of the season to field a roster.
To help create some extra room on our rosters, let’s take a look at some of the bargains on DraftKings:
Brandon Allen, DEN ($4,100)
If you want to roster studs and duds then Brandon Allen is a quarterback you are going to be very interested in rostering. He is priced almost at the bare minimum and will get the starting nod this week against the Cleveland Browns. Allen will be more of a salary relief strategy than a functional piece to your lineup. Depending on how you build your rosters he might allow you to jam in multiple studs like Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook into your lineup.
Allen will be playing at home against the Cleveland Browns who rank sixth in the league, allowing 219.50 passing yards per game. Expectations should be limited, considering this will be his first NFL start. We don’t need him to finish the week as a QB1, we just need him to not bottom out. Part of his production is coming from the higher-priced running backs that his low salary allows you to fit them on to your roster.
Salary relief options are fun because they are an easy way to field a contrarian lineup while still being able to roster some of the mainstream studs. This approach does best in GPP formats and should only work in cash games if you can fit high-floor players throughout the rest of your lineup. If you can’t get the puzzle to work, then you have to scrap Allen and build around another quarterback.
Melvin Gordon, LAC ($5,000)
There aren’t many true value plays to choose from at running back. Melvin Gordon will be suiting up against the Green Bay Packers this week. This might not be an optimal matchup since the Packers are ranked sixth in the league averaging 84 rushing yards per game on the road. Vegas does have the over/under set at 47.5 points which is the third-highest total on the Sunday slate. I imagine the Chargers will be pressing to keep pace with Green Bay’s offense which could allow for some added opportunities for Gordon to produce.
Gordon really hasn’t hit the ball out of the park lately. His ownership rate should be low since he’s in a timeshare with Austin Ekeler and hasn’t looked like himself since he returned from his holdout. If you need a contrarian option that has the potential to break the slate, then Gordon might be a player you want to sprinkle in a few lineups.
Hopefully, he bounces back to be the RB1 that we are familiar with. He has already proven that he can be a mega-producer, we just need him to revert to his old form.
Against the Bears in week nine, Gordon out-touched Austin Ekeler ten to five. It’s a small sample against one of the toughest defenses in the league, but it could be a sign of the team’s touch distribution going forward. Last year, we saw Gordon receive a 49.56 percent touch share out of the backfield. Touches are hard to predict for running backs who are priced at $5,000 or less on DraftKings. If he can hit the 40 percent touch share mark, then he could develop into an under the radar gem in DFS.
Limit your exposure to Gordon. He’s a good option for GPP lineups but he’s too risky for cash games. There’s a chance that he fails to reach RB2 status, costing your lineup the opportunity to be in the money this week. We are just using him as a piece to differentiate our lineup from the rest of the field. If you are only able to play a few lineups, then Gordon might not be the best option for you.
Curtis Samuel, CAR ($4,300)
The Carolina Panthers will be playing the Tennessee Titans at home this Sunday. Vegas has the over/under set at a mere 41.5 points and they have the Panthers favored to win by 3.5 points. This is expected to be a low scoring game that might not supply multiple fantasy producers. However, Mike Evans was able to torch the Titans defense last week for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Samuel isn’t considered on the same level as Evans, but he has the speed to stretch the field and get behind the defense.
In his last three games, Samuel has seen 23 targets and 332 air yards, equating to a 14.43 average depth of target. He is seeing enough targets on a regular basis to make him a threat to blow up the box score on any given week. The deep targets are the money maker. If he can reel in a few of his deep targets then he will easily finish as a WR1.
At $4,300 on DraftKings, Samuel is one of the cheapest wide receivers on the slate that regularly sees a hefty amount of targets and air yards. He owns a 22 percent target share and a 38 percent market share of the team’s total air yards.
Samuel is a player that you are going to be very interested in if you are planning on loading up for stud running backs. His price tag is very affordable and he is cheap enough to allow you to cram other high priced options onto your roster. Like I said before, the receiving volume is there, making him a breakout candidate for week nine.
He is one of the few wide receivers priced below $5,000 that can be considered a decent GPP and cash play. He presents a lot of value for his price point. His risk is limited and his upside through the roof. I’m more than likely going to have Samuel rostered in the majority of my lineups this week.
Dallas Goedert, PHI ($3,100)
There’s a lot of junk at the tight end position this year. You either want one of the higher-priced players or you are just hoping that your cheap flier can fall into the end zone. Goedert isn’t priced at the bare minimum but he’s one of the more dependable tight ends priced around the $3,000 price point.
His usage is on the rise. Goedert has seen 17 targets in his last three games, reeling in 12 of those targets for 139 yards and two targets. Even though he’s playing against a tough Bears defense, he could see some looks around the end zone. His role in the offense is growing and Carson Wentz will look to get him the football.
We are not going to always find the safest options while rummaging the bottom of the bargain bin. Goedert isn’t a safe play. There’s a chance that he bottoms out and scores less than five points. He’s playing against one of the toughest defenses in the league and he’s not even the TE1 on his own offense. His risk also makes him a solid contrarian option in GPP lineups. His low price tag will make it easier to fit some of the more lucrative higher-priced players at other positions.