As I mentioned in the introduction to last week’s article, daily fantasy sites like DraftKings adjust their player pricing using an algorithm that accounts for a variety of factors to come up with an implied value for each player.
Again, while don’t know the exact formula on each site, we do know that they take recent performance and weekly matchups into consideration when player pricing is released at the beginning of each week. Often times, they will overcompensate for poor recent production and/or difficult matchups and we can use this to our advantage in guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contests.
When entering GPPs, our goal shouldn’t be to simply hit the cash line. Rather, what we should be focused on is optimizing our chances to win. To accomplish this, we need to figure out which players are priced too low and match these players with high value-high ceiling players to build optimum lineups that balance upside, ownership, and risk.
The goal of this article to provide a list of players that may be priced too low on DraftKings (DK). While I won’t recommend players simply based on their price alone, I will try and focus on naming a few players that are underpriced relative to their opportunities to score fantasy points.
Some of these plays will be obvious and come with higher ownership levels, and others carry considerably more risk. With that in mind, here are some players to consider on DraftKings in Week 5.
Carson Wentz: $5800 – vs. MIN – Game Total 46 (PHI -3)
Projected DK Points: Median = 19.0 – Ceiling = 20.1
Since the beginning of the 2017 season and including last year’s playoffs, the Eagles are 11-1 at home. Their only loss came during a meaningless Week 17 matchup against the Cowboys in which the Eagles starters barely played. To start the week, there were seven games that opened with an implied point total of more than 49 points. With a Vegas total of 46 points, this is game that could go overlooked.
Although the Eagles lost to Tennessee last weekend, Wentz is starting to round into form. Against the Titans, Wentz threw for 348 yards, completed 33 of 50 pass attempts, and 2 TDs, which was good for 24.7 DK points. Add in a Vikings pass defense which has been porous to start the season, and this could be a game in which Wentz puts up big numbers. With Alshon Jeffery back in the fold and an Eagles running back corps that is currently struggling with injuries, they should lean on the passing attack in this game. Fire Wentz up with confidence this week.
Blake Bortles: $5500 – @ KC – Game Total 49 (KC -3)
Projected DK Points: Median = 20.1 – Ceiling = 21.6
Through the first four games of this season, Blake Bortles is averaging 22.0 DK points per game. If he were to hit that average in this game against a weak Chiefs pass defense, he would return 4x value on his salary. Although Bortles has an opportunity to outperform his price point, putting him into your lineup isn’t without risk. As we all know, Bortles can certainly play Dr. Jekyll to his Mr. Hyde. Case in point, to start the year he has had two games below 15 DK points and two games over 28.
That said, we’ve seen what the Chiefs are capable of doing on offense with Mahomes running the show. With Leonard Fournette out and T.J. Yeldon dealing with a slight ankle injury, if the Chiefs can have similar success against a tough Jaguars defense, it will force Bortles to throw more in this game to keep pace. With so many games featuring high implied point totals, Bortles has an opportunity to provide good value in Week 5.
Matt Stafford: $5700 – vs. GB – Game Total 51 (Pick’em)
Projected DK Points: Median = 19.9 – Ceiling = 20.5
Since a dismal Week 1 performance against the Jets, Stafford has looked more like his usual self the past three weeks. During that time, he has averaged 23.7 DK points per game. Although the Packers are only giving up 18.8 DK points to QBs through the first four weeks, two of those games were against the Bears in Week 1 and the Bills in Week 4. In Week 2 against the Vikings and Week 3 against the Redskins, they allowed an average of 27.8 DK points.
Fast forward to this week, and Stafford could be in for a big game against a division rival. Although the Lions are -1.5 home underdogs, this game features a 51-point game total. The only concern here is that all three of Green Bay starting wideouts are currently questionable and if they are all held out this weekend, we will need to watch how Vegas reacts. However, considering that both teams like to pass, Stafford should be in line for a solid day which makes his $5700 price tag a potential bargain.
David Johnson – $6300 – @ SF – Game Total 40 (SF -4)
Projected DK Points: Median = 19.1 – Ceiling = 20.3
If you own David Johnson in season-long leagues, you’ve no doubt gone through the five stages of grief that Matthew Berry outlined in his column last week over at the Mothership. While he hasn’t produced at the level we expected prior to the season, with Josh Rosen under center, he had his most productive outing last week against the Seahawks with 19.2 DK points. On the season, he has also managed to score at least 16 DK points in three out of four contests and has a total of 3 TDs.
While the Cardinals are ranked dead last in number of plays run per game at 49.5, in my opinion, a price tag of $6300 is too low for someone with David Johnson’s ability. He is still the centerpiece of the Cardinals offense and offers a relatively safe floor.
In Week 5, he gets to face the 49ers, who are allowing 31.7 DK points to RBs, which is good for the ninth-most in the NFL. At a discounted price tag, I don’t believe that his ownership will be through the roof. But if he manages to break a long run and/or reception and score multiple TDs, he could finally have the game we have all been waiting for. Even if he doesn’t have a monster game, he isn’t likely to kill your lineups.
Austin Ekeler – $4200 – vs OAK – Game Total 52.5 (LAC -5)
Projected DK Points: Median = 10.4 – Ceiling = 12.3
Last week, I listed Ekeler as a potential GPP play, and I’m listing him as a possibility again in Week 5. His price has not changed since last week, and at $4200, he could provide salary relief while also adding upside if he can find the end zone. On the season, he is averaging 14.8 DK points, which is enough to cover the cost of putting him on your roster and he offers a relatively safe floor.
Although he isn’t going to touch the ball 15+ times unless Gordon gets injured, the Chargers have been giving Ekeler more touches than they did in 2017. Through four games, he is averaging 87.8 yards on 10.3 touches per game. He has also scored two TDs on the year and with a 52.5 point total, he could have the opportunity to add another against the Raiders. Oakland is currently giving up the eleventh most DraftKings points to RBs at 28.3 per game.
Aaron Jones – $4300 – @ DET – Game Total 51 (Pick’em)
Projected DK Points: Median = 11.3 – Ceiling = 13.8
Last week in his second game back after serving a two-game suspension to start the year, Jones was able to turn 12 touches into 65 yards rushing, 17 yards receiving, and 1 TD which was good for 15.2 DK points. Although he doesn’t dictate who gets to start at running back, earlier this week Aaron Rodgers suggested to the media that Jones needs to be more involved in the offense, which certainly doesn’t hurt his cause.
In Week 5, the Packers take on the Lions, who have allowed the fifth-most points to RBs this season at 35.1 per game. When we take into account the implied game total of 51 points and the fact that all three starting WRs for Green Bay are currently questionable to play, the Packers could decide to give Jones a few more touches this week. That said, if none of the starting WRs suit up on Sunday, can the Packers keep the game close enough to run the ball consistently? With Rodgers at QB, it’s a chance I’m willing to take given the matchup and Jones’ price point.
Marvin Jones Jr. – $4700 – vs GB – Game Total 51 (Pick’em)
Projected DK Points: Median = 13.5 – Ceiling = 14.9
Through the first four weeks of the season, Marvin Jones has been the third option on the Lions passing attack, but he leads the team in air yards per target at 16.4. By comparison, Golladay is averaging 12 and Tate comes in at 6.5. However, Jones is priced $1300 less than Golladay and $2000 less than Tate, and at $4700, Jones could be a steal. On the season, Jones is currently averaging 7.3 targets per game, 58.3 receiving yards, and 0.5 TDs.
In Week 5, the Lions take on the Packers at home. In Week 2, the Vikings wideouts were able to absolutely torch this secondary. Although that game went into overtime, Thielen and Diggs combined for a total of 73 DK points. Furthermore, over his last four contests against the Packers, Jones has averaged 8.5 targets, 5.5 receptions, 117.3 receiving yards, and 1.25 TDs per game. Given his history against the Packers, I’d expect Jones to have elevated ownership this week, but he is hard to fade at this price. I’d recommend stacking Stafford with Jones, which provides plenty of upside while also leaving plenty of cap space for other high value players.
Mohamed Sanu – $4000 – @ PIT – Game Total 58 (PIT -3.5)
Projected DK Points: Median = 10.6 – Ceiling = 12.2
According to the oddsmakers in Vegas, this matchup between the Steelers and Falcons is supposed to be the highest scoring game of the week, with an implied total of 58 points. Both teams are more than capable of putting up lots of points, and if this game live up to the hype, there might be enough fantasy goodness to go around.
While this game is likely to be fairly popular amongst DFS players, Mohamed Sanu might afford an opportunity to get in on the action at a reduced cost. Based on Calvin Ridley’s recent success finding the end zone, we might be able to get Sanu at slightly reduced ownership levels as compared to Ridley. On the season, Sanu is averaging 4 receptions, 6 targets, 46 yards, and 0.5 TDs per game. Given the sorry state of both defenses in this game, Sanu might very well have an opportunity to return excellent value on this weekend’s slate.
Mike Williams – $4200 – vs OAK – Game Total 52.5 (LAC -5)
Projected DK Points: Median = 11.5 – Ceiling = 15.5
Based on his volume in the passing game, putting Williams into your lineups isn’t without its risks, but it also provides plenty of upside in a game that Vegas projects to be one of the higher scoring contests on Sunday. Although he has managed to score at least 10 DK points in three out of four games this year, Williams might be a boom or bust option, which are the types of players that can be useful in large-field GPPs.
Through the first four games, Williams is only averaging 3 receptions on 4.5 targets per game. However, in two of those games, he saw 7 targets against the Rams and 6 against the Chiefs. In addition, he has also scored three TDs to start the year. While his consistency can wane from game-to-game, if this game turns into a shootout, Williams could be in line for a big day and possibly another TD to add to his total.
Austin Hooper – $3000 – @ PIT – Game Total 58 (PIT -3.5)
Projected DK Points: Median = 7.6 – Ceiling = 8.8
While I recommended Hooper last week against the Bengals, he unfortunately only caught one ball for 19 yards. So naturally, when I considered recommending him again this week, I thought back to an old episode of The Office. In one particular scene, Dwight says “Whenever I’m about to do something, I think, would an idiot do that? And if they would, I do not do that thing.” Maybe I was an idiot for recommending Hooper last week, but I don’t believe so. Although he didn’t come through, the Bengals did in fact give up a TD to a tight end, it just wasn’t Hooper.
Given his one catch performance against the Bengals, I’d absolutely expect Hooper’s ownership to be very low, and he is about as cheap as it gets at the TE spot. He has another tasty matchup against the Steelers in the highest projected scoring game of the week. On the year, the Steelers are giving up 21.2 DK points to the position, which is the most in the league. Make no mistake, Hooper is definitely risky, but if he finds the end zone this week, he might provide huge value while simultaneously offering big-time salary relief.
Jared Cook – $4800 – @ LAC – Game Total 52.5 (LAC -5)
Projected DK Points: Median = 11.3 – Ceiling = 13.8
Over the first four weeks, 31-year-old Jared Cook is averaging 20.3 DK points per game. Just like we all thought he would, right? On the year, Cook is averaging 6.5 receptions, 8.75 targets, 92.5 receiving yards, and 0.5 TDs per game. Those averages are somewhat skewed by two games in which he has scored 30 DK points or more. In the other two, he scored 8.1 and 8.9. While he is likely to come with elevated ownership levels on Sunday due to his recent performance, a price tag of $4800 is simply too low for this type of upside in GPPs. Add in the implied 52.5 game total, and this is a no brainer. As Forest Gump would say, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
Philadelphia Eagles – $2600 – vs. MIN – Game Total 46 (PHI -3)
Projected DK Points: Median = 6.2
As mentioned in the write-up on Carson Wentz above, dating back to the beginning of the 2017 season and including last year’s playoffs, the Eagles are 11-1 at home. Over that span, they have only allowed an average of 12.7 points per game. While the Vikings offense can certainly put up points, the offensive line has been a problem and is currently giving up the 10th-most sacks to start the year.
The Eagles Defense still has a solid crop of pass rushers and I expect them to get after Cousins on Sunday. That said, this play does have risk as well. The Vikings can sling it and the Eagles have been prone to giving up big plays in the passing game so far this year. Before using Philly’s Defense this weekend, you have to decide whether you think the Eagles defensive line wins out or if the Vikings can get rid of the ball fast enough to minimize the effects of their pass rush.
Baltimore Ravens – $2800 – @ CLE – Game Total 46 (BAL -3)
Projected DK Points: Median = 7.7
The Ravens Defense welcomes back Jimmy Smith this week. With a healthy Smith playing corner in Weeks 1 through 12 last year, the Ravens only surrendered 198.6 passing yards per game. After he suffered an Achilles injury in Week 13, that total jumped up to 259.5 yards per game. To this point in the season, the Ravens defense has been solid and now with Smith, who just finished serving a four-game suspension, it could get even better.
Other than a terrible Week 2 performance against the Bengals, the Ravens have scored 6 or more DK points in three out of four games to start the season. As a unit, they also have 10 sacks, 4 interceptions, and one fumble recovery. Although the Browns are improved compared to last year, I still like the Ravens chances to return value in this contest.
As always, good luck with your lineups this week and stay tuned to FlurrySports for all the best season-long and daily fantasy information on the web. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @JoshHarman20.
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