4 NFL DraftKings Values for Week 9
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.
Finding cheap players who can bust out for big games is pivotal to fitting in high-priced players such as Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey, and it is a key component of tournament-winning lineups.
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 at or under $6,000, running backs and wide receivers priced at or under $5,000, and tight ends priced at or 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!
Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
DraftKings Price: $5,100
Projected Points: 21.4
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 4.19
Philip Rivers had a predictably poor fantasy outing last week. Against a Chicago Bears defense that is giving up the sixth-fewest DraftKings points per game to opposing quarterbacks, Rivers finished with just 11.04 DraftKings points, though he did throw the game-winning score midway through the fourth quarter.
He'll have a chance to bounce back this week when the Los Angeles Chargers head back to Southern California to host the red hot Green Bay Packers. Green Bay was stout against opposing signal callers in the first three weeks of the season, but since then they've dropped off dramatically.
In their past five games, the Pack have allowed quarterbacks to put up 296.8 yards, 2.0 touchdowns, and 20.5 DraftKings points per game to the position, including 18.98 points to journeyman Matt Moore last week. Rivers has faced Green Bay three times in his career, and his numbers are pretty ridiculous. He's averaged 398.0 yards, 3.0 scores, and put up more than 26 DraftKings points in each contest.
There should be no dearth of points this week in a game with a total set at 48.5 points, currently the third-highest on the slate. There is a wrinkle, however, as LA has a new offensive coordinator after firing Ken Whisenhunt this week. New OC Shane Steichen (the Chargers' quarterback coach for the past three seasons) has emphasized wanting to improve the run game, but don't let that throw you off of Rivers. Improving the run game is a no-brainer for a team that is averaging the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game this year, and being more effective in the run game will only make Rivers' life easier.
We project Rivers to not only lead all quarterbacks in DraftKings value this week; his projected 4.19 DraftKings points per $1,000 ranks first among all players.
Mark Walton, RB, Miami Dolphins
DraftKings Price: $4,500
Projected Points: 12.5
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 2.79
Walton has been a mixed bag in his first two weeks as the team's lead back. He averaged a solid 4.7 yards per carry on 14 totes in a 31-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 7, but he totaled just 35 yards on 11 touches and lost a fumble in last week's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
On the bright side, however, Walton received six targets last week, the second time in the past three games he's seen that many looks in the passing game, which bodes well for him on a full PPR site like DraftKings. He also has a much more palatable matchup this week against a New York Jets defense that has given up the eighth-most DraftKings points per game to opposing backs this year.
New York has allowed 7.1 receptions per game to the position this year, second only to the Houston Texans. Miami would be wise to exploit this with Walton; with Drake's 5.5 targets per game out of the way, there is a ton of room for Walton to capitalize, and we believe he'll perform solidly this week. numberFire projects Walton for a baseline of 2.79 DraftKings points per $1,000 with upside for 5.65. He's by no means a lock on a team averaging just 11.0 points per game this year, but the opportunity is there for him to shine.
Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins
DraftKings Price: $4,200
Projected Points: 13.7
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 3.27
I must be on something by detailing two Miami Dolphins players in the same fantasy article, but here we are; it's a fire sale on my sanity! All the little gray cells must go! Preston Williams has failed to have a true breakout performance this year, but the opportunity has been there, and it there is no reason to think it won't continue to be there as the Dolphins continue to tank and see what they have in their rookie.
Williams' 51 targets and 7.3 targets-per-game average are the most of any rookie ride receiver this year; that's five more than "Scary" Terry McLaurin, though the latter has one more reception, four more touchdowns, and 102 more yards than Williams.
Williams has a solid chance to find the end zone for a second time this season given that he takes on the Jets this week. The Jets have given up the eighth-most DraftKings points per game to opposing wideouts this year and have allowed four touchdowns to the position in the past two weeks.
We have Williams projected for 13.7 DraftKings points this week, which, if realized, would end up being his highest-scoring DraftKings game of the season. He's our highest-projected wide receiver value of the week on the site.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans
DraftKings Price: $3,800
Projected Points: 4.2
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 1.11
For the second week in a row, Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith makes an appearance in this column, and it looks like he'll have the opportunity to try and match last week's big performance, which came with teammate Delanie Walker on the sidelines.
Walker missed last week's game with an ankle injury, and he looks to be trending towards being out again after again missing practice on Thursday. Smith's six-catch, 78-yard, one-score performance without him last week was easily his best of his three-year career, but Smith has consistently provided solid value when Walker hasn't been able to take the field.
Smith has scored a touchdown and finished with double-digit DraftKings points in four of his past six contests without Walker. But Smith has been performing well recently, regardless of Walker's availability. He has at least 57 receiving yards in three of his past four contests.
The Carolina Panthers have proven difficult for opposing tight ends this season; they are giving up the eighth-fewest DraftKings points per game to the position this year, but they're giving up at least 12.7 DraftKings points to a tight end in each of the last two contests.
Smith led all Titans in targets, receptions, and receiving yards last week, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him once again become Ryan Tannehill's safety blanket. Our current projections for him are low, but much of that is because Walker's status has not yet been cemented. If he's ruled out, expect to see our projections for Smith rise.
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.