4 NFL DraftKings Values for Week 5
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 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!
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
DraftKings Price: $5,900
Projected Points: 22.5
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 3.81
The Atlanta Falcons are passing the ball 72.37% of the time this year. Not only does that lead the league, but it represents a massive jump over the 2018 Green Bay Packers, last year's most pass-heavy team, with a 67.54% passing play percentage. That type of split is unlikely to stop this week when they take on the Houston Texans in a game that could be a shootout.
Last week's game against Kyle Allen and the Carolina Panthers skewed their stats significantly, but up until that point, the Texans hadn't proven that they could stop a competent quarterback. Before forcing Allen into three fumbles, the Texans were allowing 24.75 DraftKings points per game, the sixth-most in the league.
The Texans are ranked 10th against the pass by numberFire's Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play metric, but they've also already allowed two 300-plus-yard, two-score games this year. The game is also looking like it could be a shootout, which plays more into the pass-heavy narrative that Ryan and the Falcons have written thus far.
The game has a total set at 49.0 points, which is second only to the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts. That's a high number, and it's scaring many bettors off. In fact, only 36% of bettors are currently taking the over. Looking deeper, however, suggests that the big money sees the points coming in droves. Despite the fact that only 36% of over/under bets are taking the over, a significant 60% of the money is being wagered on it. That means the high-rollers are looking to this game as a shootout, and Ryan will need to keep up his pass-heavy ways in order to go toe-to-toe with Deshaun Watson.
Ryan comes into Week 5 as the QB5 in DraftKings, averaging 23.70 points per game. His 1,325 yards are second only to Patrick Mahomes, and his 1,519 air yards rank third. We have Ryan projected to complete the most passes, throw for the most yards, and score the most DraftKings points of any quarterback this week. At $5,900, he's also our number one quarterback value of the week.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders
DraftKings Price: $4,500
Projected Points: 11.1
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 2.46
There is not a ton of running back value below $5,000 on DraftKings this week. A handful of enticing players just missed the cut; this includes Devonta Freeman ($5,300), a skilled receiving back who gets a matchup against the Houston Texans -- a team whose 34 receptions allowed to opposing backs leads the league -- and David Montgomery ($5,200), who looks poised for a breakout game against the Oakland Raiders.
Below $5K, you're looking at a collective meh. Frankly, there is probably no player below that price point who you should be rostering in cash games. Tournaments, however, offer the opportunity to take some chances, which can sometimes be a shot in the dark. Let's take one, shall we?
Absolutely nobody is looking to start Josh Jacobs against the Chicago Bears this week, and it's completely understandable. The Bears come into this week's game having allowed just 61.5 rushing yards per game, 3.0 yards per carry, and one rushing touchdown. The longest run against them is just 14 yards, the shortest long run allowed by any defense. The game also has a total set at just 40.5 points, and only 3% of bets and 4% of the money is being wagered on the over. These aren't exactly numbers to make you thrilled to use them.
Despite that, however, the Bears have one area that can be exploited, at least for fantasy purposes. Because of their ability to get to the quarterback, opposing teams have needed a way to quickly get the ball out, and that has oft resulted in short looks to running backs. Over the past three weeks, the Bears have allowed 26 receptions to opposing backs, the most in the league (fourth-most on the season). On a full PPR site like DraftKings, that presents a big opportunity.
It's true Jacobs hasn't really had the opportunity to be used in the passing game often this year; he has just three receptions on five targets. If there were ever a week to start throwing him the ball, this is the one. He showcased his receiving skills at Alabama, where he averaged at least 11.1 yards per reception in each of his three years there. The Raiders need to get their dynamic rookie the ball any way they can if they want to have a shot at beating the Bears this week.
Again, you are not going to touch him in cash games. That would not be wise. In tournaments, however, he offers some upside and will almost certainly have low ownership. In a week short on cheap RB value, Jacobs is an interesting option.
Auden Tate, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
DraftKings Price: $3,500
Projected Points: 10.5
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 3.01
Outside of running back, the rest of this article could be filled with Cincinnati Bengals players, who get to face a fantasy-friendly Arizona Cardinals defense. If you aren't looking Matt Ryan's way, for instance, Andy Dalton offers an excellent value at $5,700, despite his struggles last week.
Dalton lost a receiving option in John Ross, who was sent to IR after suffering a clavicle injury. Fortunately for the long-time Cincy QB, another player has already stepped up and shown he is ready to fill that WR2 role: Auden Tate.
Tate, a second-year player out of Florida State, didn't play in Week 1 and saw just two looks in Week 2, catching just one pass for six yards. Over the past two weeks, however, he's shot up the depth charts and has become one of Dalton's favorite receivers. Tate's 16 targets over the past two games is second to only Tyler Boyd's 17, and his 10 receptions for 138 yards in that time frame are the most on the team.
Tate's price has climbed as a result of his solid performances, but it still stands at just $3,500 on DraftKings this week heading into a game with a total set at 46.5 points, tied for the fourth-highest of the week. numberFire's models currently have Tate projected to return the second-highest value on the slate in term's of DraftKings points per $1,000.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
DraftKings Price: $3,300
Projected Points: 8.5
Projected Value (points per $1,000): 2.58
Trusting Tyler Eifert has been a difficult thing to do throughout his career. In previous years, the problem was injuries. He'd get off to a hot start, catch a lot of touchdowns, and inevitably find his way onto the injured reserve list.
This year, the problem has been completely different. While he has (thus far) stayed on the field, he isn't doing much with his time there. He has just 11 catches for 81 yards on the season, finding the end zone just once for a team who has struggled offensively. There have been some encouraging signs, however, and his matchup this week could not be any better.
Eifert has seen at least 5 targets in three of his four games this year, and his 16 targets are the fourth-most on Cincy. That number has a chance to spike this week for two reasons. First -- as I mentioned above -- John Ross is now on IR. His 32 targets (second-most on the team) go with him, which means Dalton will be needing to look elsewhere, and Eifert is likely to at least see some portion of that. Second, the Bengals face the Cardinals this week, which has proven to be tight end heaven.
The Cards have allowed 29.28 DraftKings points per game to the position, 8.15 more than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have given up the second-most. Thus far they've allowed two 100-plus-yard, one-score performances to the position, and every starting tight end has had a minimum of 6 catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. They've cumulatively allowed six touchdowns to the position; no other team has given up more than three.
If there was ever a time to take a chance on Eifert making a jump in production and scoring, it's this week. A touchdown would get him a minimum of 7.1 points on DraftKings, and that already represents a value of 2.15 points per $1,000. If the Bengals are smart (which is yet to be seen), they will target him often and exploit Arizona's clear weakness. We currently have Eifert projected as the third-best tight end value of the week.
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.