4 NFL DraftKings Values for Week 4
Fantasy value can be defined in so many ways. In season-long leagues, one might determine value by looking at output compared to draft position. In daily leagues, we're often looking at output per $1,000 in salary.
Everyone has their own idea of where the salary cutoff for a value player is. For DraftKings, this article looks at quarterbacks who are priced under $6,000, running backs and wide receivers priced under $5,000, and tight ends priced under $4,000.
Some value players jump out and will have wildly high ownership, while others aren't as obvious. To make your decisions easier, we're here to crunch the numbers and do our best to point out those bargains to you.
So, what are we waiting for? Let's go digging for value!
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
DraftKings Price: $5,500
Projected Points: 17.7
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 3.21
There is always a lot of value at the quarterback position. Despite that, the presence of Patrick Mahomes makes you sometimes question if you even want to go cheap at the position. When you know you can likely get a guaranteed 25-plus points from him, why switch it up, right?
While that's a perfectly sound strategy, you can still often get more bang for your buck by looking into the discount bin.
One player you should be targeting this week just so happens to be Mahomes' opponent, Matthew Stafford. Stafford in the QB14 on DraftKings this season, putting up 20.28 points per game. Many who used him last week -- including myself -- got burned, in large part to an early kickoff return score that put the Detroit Lions up and changed the game script. C'est la vie.
Stafford will look to bounce back from that 12.14-DraftKings-point performance against the Philadelphia Eagles when he heads back indoors this week to take on the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that has been a gold matchup for quarterbacks away from Arrowhead since the start of last year.
Arrowhead is a tough place to play. People say it anecdotally, but you can also see it in stats for opposing quarterbacks. Starting opposing quarterbacks have averaged just 17.36 DraftKings points versus KC in the Chiefs' nine home games since Mahomes took over the reins. Know how many have thrown for more than two scores? That's right, zero.
The road is a completely different story. Ten quarterbacks have hosted the Chiefs since the start of last year. That DraftKings average jumps from 17.36 to 25.90, and six quarterbacks (well, five, but I'm counting the Nick Foles/Gardner Minshew combo as one) have thrown for at least three touchdowns in a game, according to Pro Football Reference.
Opposing teams have scored just 19.1 points against KC at Arrowhead this year and last (playoffs excluded). The over is just 3-5-1 in those games. Away from Arrowhead, the average jumps to 31.3, and the over is 8-2. Expect another shootout here, and Stafford can take advantage. We project him for a baseline of 17.66 DraftKings points, but we put his upside at 32.76, giving him a safe floor for cash games and tremendous upside for tournaments.
Chris Thompson, RB, Washington
DraftKings Price: $4,500
Projected Points: 14.1
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 3.13
Looking for a strong floor from a cheaper running back? Look no further than the Washington's Chris Thompson. While Thompson adds very little value in the running game -- he has just 12 carries for 42 yards on the season -- he thrives as a receiving back.
Thompson's 23 targets are tied with Le'Veon Bell for the most in the NFL among running backs, and his 195 receiving yards are second only to Austin Ekeler, the DraftKings RB3 on the season. He's caught at least four passes in each game thus far, and he's produced double-digit DraftKings points in each game, as well.
Despite his success, his salary has fallen $300 heading into this week's contest against the New York Giants. The Giants have allowed just 10 receptions to running backs this year, but they've also not faced teams who have needed to focus on their passing backs. Opponents have generally gotten up big on the Giants early and run the ball. An 0-3 Washington squad likely won't have that type of luxury.
Washington has allowed at least 31 points each week. If bettors are right, we're going to see Washington giving up a lot of points again, making the need for Thompson heightened. The game has a total set at 49.0 points, the third-highest on the slate. According to oddsFire, over/under bettors are expecting more; 81% of the bets and 99% -- yes, 99% -- of the money is being bet on the over in this contest.
Opportunities should abound, and we project many of those go Thompson's way. We have him projected for 4.35 receptions, 70.59 total yards, and 14.09 DraftKings points (with an upside of 27.03). He's our second-highest projected running back value on the slate.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington
DraftKings Price: $4,500
Projected Points: 14.4
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 3.2
"Scary" Terry McLaurin has certainly lived up to his moniker, at least in the eyes of opposing defensive coordinators. The DraftKings WR11 on the season has been one of the most consistent receiving options in daily fantasy this year.
He's scored at least 17.2 DraftKings points per game, posting at least five receptions, 62 yards, and a score in each outing. He's the only player to have at least five receptions and a score in each of the first three games of his career, according to Pro-Football Reference.
This week, he gets to face the Giants in a game we've already touched on being a possible shootout. It just so happens to come against the team allowing the most DraftKings points to wide receivers. The Giants have already allowed three 100-yard receivers, including Mike Evans' monstrous eight-catch, 190-yard, three-score game last week.
McLaurin has a 100% Reception Success Rate, per our numbers, and has 1.24 Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per target, which ranks sixth among all receivers with at least 10 targets. The Giants rank second-worst against the pass, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics.
It lines up for McLaurin to have another solid week, and you can get him for a discount. Scary Terry's salary dropped $500 week-over-week, down to just $4,500, a steal for a player with his consistency and upside and who also happens to have one of the best matchups of the week. He'll likely be heavily owned, but that shouldn't stop you from using him.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions
DraftKings Price: $3,300
Projected Points: 8.7
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 2.64
We'll dip our toes back in the Chiefs-Lions well again as we look at tight end value. T.J. Hockenson thrilled fantasy owners in Week 1 with a transcendent six-catch, 131-yard, one-score performance. He then combined for two catches for eight yards over his next two contests.
Owners should not be so fast to write him off, however. The Lions ran a run-heavy game plan in Week 2's win over the Los Angeles Chargers, and they did the same thing against the Eagles last week, opting to target Philly's weakness defending receivers when they did go to the air. The Lions are not going to have the luxury of running the ball more than 50% of the time against the Chiefs this week.
Chiefs' opponents are forced to pass and pass often. So far this season, KC opponents have run 114 passing plays to just 67 running plays. Many of those pass plays have gone toward tight ends. Kansas City has allowed 26 receptions to tight ends this year, the most in the league. Tight ends have combined for at least eight receptions every week against them.
It's the perfect opportunity for Hockenson to bounce back, and we have him projected to do so. We have him projected for a base of 8.72 DraftKings points and an upside of 18.68. Focus on using guys like Darren Waller and Evan Engram in your cash games, but for tournaments, Hockenson is a solid option.
Ian Goldsmith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian Goldsmith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zoidbergs_revenge. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.