It’s probably safe to say that most of us remember the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I won’t bore you to death by going through the whole thing, but when she first goes into the bears’ house, the first item she comes across is three bowls of porridge.
As she starts to test them out, she discovers that one is too hot, one is too cold, and one is just right. She continues to do this throughout the rest of the house with various items until the Three Bears come home and discover her sleeping in Baby Bear’s bed. At this point in the story, they wake her up and she runs out of the house screaming never to return again.
Although I’m not really sure what in the hell the original story is supposed to be about – other than maybe you shouldn’t squat in someone’s house and help yourself to all their stuff – this is my fairly cheesy analogy for how to think about player pricing and player selection in daily fantasy GPP contests.
Each week, sites like DraftKings adjust their player pricing using an algorithm that isn’t available to the public. Based on reverse engineering by people much smarter than I am, we do know that they take recent performance and weekly matchups into consideration, among many other factors. Often times, they will overcompensate for these variables, and we can use this to our advantage.
When considering what players to roster each week, we don’t necessarily need to act like Goldilocks and run away screaming in fear from players in tough situations. Our goal is to figure out which ones are too high, which ones are too low, and which ones may be just right regardless of matchups.
However, we don’t necessarily want only the players that are just right. We also need to find players that are priced too low and put a few of these into our lineups. In other words, we need to try and find a balance between upside, ownership and risk.
If I haven’t lost you yet, moving forward my goal is to provide a list of players each week that may be under priced on DraftKings (DK). To take down a big GPP, you must be able to stomach some risk in order to differentiate your lineups and gain an advantage on the field. While I won’t recommend players solely based on their prices, I will try and focus on naming a few players that are under-priced, relative to their opportunities to score fantasy points.
Some of these plays will be obvious and come with slightly higher ownership levels, and others will carry considerably more risk. That said, get your antacids ready and let’s take a look at some players to consider in GPPs on DraftKings in Week 4.
Kirk Cousins – $5,300 – MIN @ LAR – Game Total 47 (LAR -7)
Who would have thought the Vikings would have laid an egg against the Bills last week? I’m not sure even the most optimistic Bills fans could have predicted the outcome of that game. That said, Cousins’ price has dropped by $1,500 on DraftKings this week and his Week 4 price tag of $5,300 is far too low. I expect him to bounce back against a Rams defense that will most likely be missing both of their starting corners.
Even with his poor performance in the Bills game, Cousins is averaging 23.63 DK points per game. Nick Steig at FlurrySports currently has Cousins projected for 17.44 DK points with an 18.76 point ceiling. Although the short week is a little concerning, Cousins could be a solid play this week and I expect him to outperform both his price tag and median projection.
Andy Dalton – $5,400 – CIN @ ATL – Game Total 48 (ATL -5.5)
Through three games this year, Dalton is averaging 21.73 DK points and is set to take on a depleted Atlanta defense. As a slight road underdog, I expect Dalton to also come with moderately-low ownership. Compared to last week, Dalton’s price has dropped $300, and at $5,400 if this game turns into a shoot-out, he could easily outperform his salary-based expectations. FlurrySports median projection for Dalton this week is 18.16 fantasy points and a 19.8 ceiling. Fire up the Red Rifle in GPPs this week.
Derek Carr – $5,100 – OAK vs. CLE – Game Total 44.5 (Pick’em)
This play is definitely not for the faint of heart. Although he will be facing an improved Cleveland defense, Carr’s stats through three games are somewhat hard to believe. On the season, he is averaging 28 completions on 37 attempts, a 76.58% completion rate, and 312 yards per game. While that is all fine and dandy, he only has 2 TD passes and 5 INT to show for it. This has resulted in a measly average of only 14.45 DK points per game. Keep in mind that his stats have come against the Rams at home, and the Broncos and Dolphins on the road.
This game features a moderate 44.5 game total, and if Mayfield plays like he did last week on the other side, this game could go over the implied total. Carr’s price has dropped $300 from last week and although the Raiders need to fix their red zone issues, a multi-passing touchdown game for Carr is coming soon. At only $5,100, this is the type of play that can help you win a GPP when he finally hits pay dirt. Carr’s median projection for this week is 16.08 DK points and his ceiling is projected at 17.24.
Chris Carson – $4,600 – SEA @ ARI – Game Total 37 (SEA -4)
Don’t let the low implied total in this game scare you away. Seattle’s offensive coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, wants to pound the rock early and often and Carson is Seattle’s most efficient running back. While Seattle’s offensive line gives some cause for concern, through the first three weeks of the season, Arizona’s defense is giving up the second-most DraftKings points to opposing running backs.
Although Carson’s price has gone up $300 after carrying the ball 32 times for 102 yards and a TD last week, he is still under-priced and I expect him to have another solid outing in this game. At a price tag of only $4,600, Carson’s median projection for this week is 11.99 points and a ceiling of 13.34. If he finds the end zone, he could he surpass these numbers.
Austin Ekeler – $4,200 – LAC vs SF – Game Total 47 (LAC -9.5)
Through the first three weeks, San Francisco is allowing 27.37 DK points to opposing running backs, which is good for 13th most to this point in the season. As we all know, however, the 49ers offense has been decimated by injuries and I expect the Chargers to control the time of possession in this game. This should afford them more opportunities to run more plays. Add in the large 9.5 point spread, and there are a number of factors in Ekeler’s favor this week.
Although he isn’t a bell-cow type of running back with Melvin Gordon in the picture, the Chargers have been working Ekeler into the game plan more so than in 2017. This season, Ekeler has averaged 98 yards on 10.3 touches, which is good for 9.51 yards per touch. He also scored a TD in Week 1 against the Chiefs. If this game plays out the way Vegas predicts, Ekeler could see a few more touches at the end of the game in mop-up duty. FlurrySports currently has Ekeler projected for 9.19 DK points and a 10.61 ceiling.
Isaiah Crowell – $3,700 – NYJ @ JAX – Game Total 38 (JAX -9)
Another game with a low implied total shouldn’t scare us away from the running backs. Even though Jacksonville is favored by 9 points, I don’t believe that this game will get to the point where the Jets will have to abandon the run. Despite a strong Week 3 performance, Crowell’s price has dropped by $800 in this matchup with the Jaguars. Over the course of the first three games, Crowell is averaging 14 touches and 16.73 DraftKings points per game. At a cost of only $3,700, that is simply too cheap for this type of workload.
Although everyone knows the Jags have a stingy defense, so far this season the only solid running back they have played against was Saquon Barkley, who scored 23.8 DK points against them in Week 1. They then faced the Patriots, who are not known for their running game and then the Titans, who have had injury problems all along their offensive line. This is a deep play, but if Crowell can find the end zone this Sunday, he could surpass his median projection of 8.06 DK points and ceiling of 10.57. At a price of only $3,700, putting Crowell into your lineup will free up cap space for other higher priced and consistent players.
Quincy Enunwa – $4,300 – NYJ @ JAX – Game Total 38 (JAX -9)
Yes, you are reading this correctly. This is another Jets player scheduled to go up against the Jaguars defense. While this might seem crazy, through the first three games of the season, Enunwa has received at least 8 targets in every game and is averaging 9.67 targets and 14.7 fantasy points per game. The strength of the Jaguars pass defense is on the outside and Enunwa primarily plays in the slot. This should enable him to continue to see a high number of targets again this week.
Although his price only dropped by $100 from last week, his target volume and fantasy point production is too much to ignore at this price point. Even with the tough matchup, we have Enunwa projected for 11.01 fantasy points and a 13.03 ceiling. As long as Darnold doesn’t implode, Enunwa has a chance to meet or possibly exceed his salary based expectations.
Adam Thielen – $6,500 – MIN @ LAR – Game Total 47 (LAR -7)
Although Thielen is a moderately priced option and doesn’t carry a bottom basement price tag, his price dropped by $400 this week. This reduction is most likely due to the matchup against the Rams defense. However, as I noted earlier, the Rams are likely to be without both of their starting corners and may not be as stout against the pass as they have been through the first part of the year.
Moreover, over the first three games of the season, Thielen has received at least 12 targets in every game. On the year, he has received a total of 44 targets for an average of 14.6 targets per game. That is a consistently solid total that leads me to believe that even at $6500, he is still under-priced. There will be plenty of people that are too scared to roster him against the Rams defense, but with his target share he could easily surpass his median projection of 16.0 DK points and ceiling of 17.68. Pair him with Cousins for a solid GPP stack with plenty of upside in Week 4.
DeVante Parker – $3,500 – MIA @ NE – Game Total 48 (NE -7)
This play certainly has its risks and is a deep tournament play only. Parker finally returned to action in Week 3, after breaking his right middle finger earlier in the year. Although he was eased back into the offense against the Raiders last week and only had 2 catches on 2 targets, when healthy, Parker averaged 7.4 targets per game in 2017.
Based on recent reports, Parker has been a full practice participant since September 19th and should be rounding into better physical condition. With big play ability and a median projection of 9.77 fantasy points and a 10.69 ceiling, Parker could out-perform his projections against the Patriots. At only $3,500, he has the type of upside that could provide excellent value in tournaments this week.
Austin Hooper – $2,900 – ATL vs. CIN – Game Total 48 (ATL -5.5)
Tight Ends don’t get any less expensive than this and I simply cannot explain this price tag based on the matchup and Hooper’s weekly target share. On the year, Hooper has received at least four targets in each game and is facing a Cincinnati defense that has allowed the fifth most DK points to tight ends. On average, the Bengals defense has allowed 7.67 receptions and 0.67 TDs to the position. With a median projection of 7.53 fantasy points and a ceiling of 8.6, I want Hooper in my lineups this weekend as a cheap option that could easily surpass his price tag.
Trey Burton – $3,900 – TB @ CHI – Game Total 47 (CHI -3)
So far in the 2018, no team has given up more fantasy points to tight ends than the Buccaneers. Through the first three games, the Bucs are allowing a whopping 22.3 fantasy points per game to the position. Over the same period, Burton is averaging five targets per game and has hauled in one TD. Add in the offensive creativity that Bears coach Matt Nagy has implemented in the Windy City, and Burton could be in line for a big day. FlurrySports projects Burton for 8.76 DK points and a ceiling of 10.41. With a choice matchup, it’s worth taking a chance or two on Burton this weekend in GPPs.
Indianapolis Colts – $2,200 – HOU @ IND – Game Total 47 (IND -2.5)
Needless to say, Houston’s offense has not been the same high-scoring machine that it was prior to Deshaun Watson’s ACL injury in 2017. Meanwhile, the Colts Defense has been fairly solid in 2018 and is averaging 8.0 fantasy points per game. Last week against the Eagles solid offensive line, they tallied 5 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery. Houston’s offensive line may be one of worst in the league and if the Colts can keep up its current form, they should have no problem surpassing their projection of 6.61 DK points.
Chicago Bears – $2,600 – TB @ CHI – Game Total 47 (CHI -3)
With the addition of Khalil Mack, the Bears Defense has been dynamite through the first three weeks. Although Ryan Fitzpatrick has been playing out of his mind and is the first QB in NFL history to start the season with three straight 400 yard games, he has to come back down to earth at some point and it could very well be this weekend. The Bears are projected for 7.2 DK points and have scored more than 10 fantasy points in all three games so far this season.
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.