If you are reading this article for the first time, I think it’s important to note that 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.
While we don’t know the exact formula that is used 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 since the payouts at the top of these contests provide considerably more return than those at the bottom.
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 levels, and risk.
The goal of this article is 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 that could return above average value on DraftKings in Week 6 for the featured 12-game slate this Sunday.
Jared Goff: $6000 – LAR @ DEN – Game Total 51.5 (LAR -7)
At the beginning of the week, there were three games that opened with an implied point total of more than 50 points. This game is one of them, which features an implied Vegas total of 52 with the Rams being favored by a TD.
While Goff is the eighth-most expensive QB on DraftKings, he is averaging 26.2 DK points through five games. That said, in his two road games this year, that average has dropped to 18.3. Combined with a matchup against the Broncos, I would expect these two factors to keep his ownership level lower than it should be. If Goff is able to hit his season average, that would result in over 4x value compared to his price.
In terms of points allowed to QBs over the first five weeks, Denver currently ranks 16th and is giving up 19.7 DraftKings points per game. In those games, however, they have faced Wilson, Carr, Flacco, Mahomes and Darnold. While Carr, Flacco and Darnold have had their moments this season, against the Broncos, Wilson put up 22.4 DK points and Mahomes scored 25.9. I believe you could argue that Goff offers similar upside to these two QBs, and as a result, could be a solid option this weekend.
Special Note Regarding This Game: There have been reports of a potential snow storm hitting Denver on Sunday morning. However, these same reports suggest it will hit before the game is scheduled to kick off. In addition, both Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks are listed as questionable, but Sean McVay stated earlier this week that he “feels good” about both receivers potential to play this weekend. Keep an eye on these situations prior to game time. Even with this information, the implied total has only dropped 1.5 points since opening at 53 earlier this week.
Cam Newton: $6100 – JAX @ KC – Game Total 45 (CAR -1)
As mentioned above, only three games on the Sunday main slate feature an implied point total of 50 or more points. As a result, there will be an opportunity to find value, upside, and reduced ownership levels in some of the games with slightly lower game totals. Cam Newton could present one such opportunity.
While a price tag of $6100 is hardly scraping the bottom of the barrel, we have to think about the possible range of outcomes for each player as compared to their price. Through four games this year (Carolina had their bye in Week 4), Newton is averaging 24.5 DK points. If he hits his average in this game, he would reach 4x value. Considering that he hasn’t scored less than 18 DK points in any game yet this season, he also offers a relatively safe floor. Conversely, his high this year came in Week 2 on the road in Atlanta, when he scored 31.6 DK points.
Although Washington is only allowing the 18th-most DraftKings points to QBs at 19.2 per game, that total may be misleading given the 4.8 point dud that Bradford put up against this defense in Week 1. If we remove that game, their average point total to QBs would increase to 21.3 and move them up to the 10th-most points allowed against the position. With Newton’s ability to run the ball, I don’t think we have seen him hit his ceiling this year. With a close 1-point spread in this game, Newton could return excellent value in Week 6.
Carlos Hyde: $4900 – CLE vs. LAC – Game Total 45 (LAC -1)
If you need salary cap relief this weekend, you might consider taking a look at Carlos Hyde. Through the first five games, Hyde is averaging 14.7 DK points per outing. Although the Chargers run defense has been stingy and is only allowing 23.6 DK points to running backs, which is the 10th fewest in the league, Hyde’s workload is too much to ignore.
Through the first five games of the season, Hyde is averaging 21.2 touches per game and has received at least 16 carries in each contest. While he is only averaging 3.5 yards per rush, he has also scored 5 TDs on the year and is currently ranked third among running backs in red zone opportunities.
Hyde certainly isn’t a slam dunk option this weekend, but due to this matchup against the Chargers defense, his ownership level should remain relatively low. However, when you consider his volume of work, red zone opportunities, the moderately high game total, and a close point spread, it’s not hard to see the potential value he could provide in GPP contests this weekend.
David Johnson: $5900 – ARI @ MIN – Game Total 43 (MIN -10)
Listed here last week, Johnson was priced at $6300 and turned in 21.1 DK points while scoring two TDs against the 49ers in Week 5. Fast forward to this week and he is priced even lower at $5900 in this road matchup against the Vikings. Since Josh Rosen has taken over at QB, Johnson has had his most productive outings of the year the past two weeks. On the year, Johnson is averaging 16.0 DK points and has scored at least that many in four out of five contests while scoring a total of 4 TDs.
Due to the fact that the Vikings are giving up the seventh-fewest DK points to running backs and that they are 10-point home favorites, I wouldn’t expect Johnson’s ownership levels to be especially high. However, the point spread and a tough matchup with the Vikings does add significant risk to using him in your lineups. This might especially be true considering that the Cardinals are ranked dead last in number of plays run per game, at 49.4.
That said, none of us expected Buffalo to beat the Vikings in Week 3, and in order to take down a GPP, we have to be willing to embrace and accept a certain level of risk. Just as I stated last week, in my opinion, a price tag of $5900 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. Although no one is going to argue that the Cardinals will turn into an offensive juggernaut this season, I firmly believe that Johnson still offers upside at this price point.
Tyler Lockett: $5100 – SEA @ OAK – Game Total 48 (SEA -2.5)
Through the first five weeks of the season, Lockett has been a useful weapon in Seattle’s offense. On the year, Lockett is averaging 4 receptions, 5.6 targets, 69.4 receiving yards, and 0.8 touchdowns per game. This stat line has translated into a 16.0 DK point per game average and he has scored at least 10 DK points in every game. Although Doug Baldwin returned to action last week against the Rams, I’m not convinced that he is 100% healthy, which should help Lockett remain a focal point in Seattle’s passing attack.
This week, Seattle travels to play the Raiders in a game that features the fourth-highest implied total on the main 12 game DraftKings slate. While I’m not a fan of Brian Schottenheimer’s play calling tendencies, Oakland is susceptible to the pass. At present, the Raiders are giving up the ninth-most DK points to wide receivers, at 41.2 per game. Given Lockett’s big play potential and due to the fact that he has been able to find the end zone four times this year, I’m going to want exposure to him in a few of my lineups this weekend.
Chris Godwin: $4400 – TB @ ATL – Game Total 57 (ATL -3)
Projected to be the highest-scoring game of the main slate on Sunday, this matchup featuring the Falcons and Buccaneers could be a fantasy goldmine. Although there are a lot of options to consider in this contest, Godwin’s price point of $4400 will provide us with an opportunity to get exposure to this game while simultaneously providing a fair amount of upside and salary cap relief for other high ceiling players.
The Bucs were off on their bye last week, but through four games, Godwin is averaging 3.75 receptions, 5.5 targets, 48.3 yards, 0.75 TDs, and 12.8 DK points per game. If not for a terrible Week 4 contest in which the Bucs got destroyed by the Bears, his stat line would look even better. Prior to that game against Chicago, Godwin had scored at least 13.1 fantasy points and a TD in each of his first three games.
In Sunday’s contest against the Falcons, the Bucs will be facing an Atlanta team that is giving up the fifth-most points to wide receivers, at 43.9 points per game. Despite his poor Week 4 showing, I’ll be banking on Godwin to get back on track against the Falcons this weekend.
Austin Hooper: $3500 – ATL vs. TB – Game Total 57 (ATL -3)
If you have read this article each of the past two weeks, you will probably be familiar with Austin Hooper by now. If you are getting Hooper fatigue, I promise you that he won’t be in this column every week. However, when a certain player has consistently good matchups, it’s not going to prevent me from recommending him just because I’ve listed him before. For the third straight week in a row, Hooper has a matchup that makes him worthy of roster consideration at his price point.
While he put up a 2.9 dud in a good matchup against the Bengals in Week 4, he turned around and had an excellent day against the Steelers last week, with 16.7 DK points. Before I state my case for him again this weekend against the Bucs, it’s important to note that due to his success last week, the high implied point total in this game, and his low price point, I’d expect Hooper to be a very popular play this Sunday. As a result, his ownership levels should be of some concern and it’s not as if Hooper’s production is a lock.
With that caveat out of the way, through the first five games, Hooper is averaging 4.2 receptions, 5.4 targets, 0.2 TDs, and 9.8 DK points per game. Tampa Bay is currently allowing the most DraftKings points to tight ends at 20.8 per game. If you plan on stacking players in this contest, I don’t think it would hurt to put both Godwin from Tampa Bay and Hooper into the same lineup. Combined, these two players would only cost $7900 and would leave considerable salary cap space to add players like Ryan, Winston, Evans, Jones, Ridley, Jackson, or Coleman.
C.J. Uzomah: $3000 – PIT @ CIN – Game Total 51.5 (CIN -1.5)
If you have Hooper fatigue and don’t believe that he can replicate last week’s performance or want to avoid what is likely to be a high ownership level, one possible pivot could be C.J. Uzomah. Uzomah hasn’t done much to start the year and has only caught 9 passes and a touchdown on 10 targets through the first five games. Putting him on your rosters this weekend will be like Indiana Jones taking a leap from the lion’s head in The Last Crusade.
However, it’s common knowledge that Tyler Eifert is now out for the year and Tyler Kroft has already been ruled out for this Sunday, which leaves Uzomah as the Bengals only realistic option at the tight end position. In addition, Pittsburgh is currently allowing the second-most DraftKings points to tight ends at 20.68 per game. Given the implied point total in this game and the Steelers inability to defend the position, Uzomah may well end up with elevated ownership levels as well, but at bargain basement price of $3000, it might be worth it to take the leap from the lion’s head and roster Uzomah in a lineup or two on Sunday.
Baltimore Ravens: $2800 – BAL @ TEN – Game Total 41.5 (BAL -2.5)
Yet another repeat recommendation from last week, the Ravens will travel to take on the Titans in a game featuring one of the lower implied game totals of the week. Through the first five games, the Ravens Defense is only allowing 215.4 yards passing and 88.4 yards rushing per game. They have also managed to generate 5 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and 15 sacks for an average of 7.8 DK points per game.
Other than a terrible Week 2 performance against the Bengals, the Ravens have scored 6 or more DK points in four out of five games and have scored more than 10 DK points in two of those contests. The Titans have been up and down to start the year, and at a price of $2800, the Ravens should have an opportunity to return value this weekend.
Indianapolis Colts: $2500 – IND @ NYJ – Game Total 45.5 (NYJ -1.5)
In Week 6, the Colts head to New York to take on the Jets. While the Colts haven’t been especially efficient at keeping points off the board, they have shown an ability to generate sacks and turnovers. Through the first five games of the season, the Colts Defense has 5 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries, and 17 sacks which has been good for 6.4 DK points per game. Although the Colts have failed to surpass their salary-based totals in two games, in the other three they have scored 8.0 or more DK points
Conversely, while throwing 7 TD passes to start the season, Sam Darnold has also thrown 6 interceptions and has been sacked 2.2 times per game. If the Colts are able to generate a turnover or two and get to Darnold on Sunday, they should be able to outperform their $2500 price tag.
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.