When playing DFS (daily fantasy sports) such as draft DraftKings, understanding player values is key. Top-dollar guys are important to every DFS roster, but contests are won and lost on how you fill out your roster with less expensive players.
Antonio Brown (WR-Pit), the most expensive player on DraftKings this week at $9800, will be in plenty of lineups - and for good reason - but at nearly 20% of your overall salary cap ($50000), he has to score 24 points just to return value in a standard cash game. In a high-stakes tournament, it's more like 35.
Brown is a tremendous asset, and one I will have in a few cash-game lineups, but he's not a value play. And value is key.
Now that we have a pretty good idea of who is playing this week and who is not, we can look at DraftKings salaries and decide who is a bargain and who is not.
Here are the DraftKings Discounts for the first week of the 2016 NFL season.
- Jameis Winston (TB) - $6600. The Atlanta defense doesn't scare anyone, and the Buccaneers-Falcons game has a nice under-the-radar Over/Under of 47.5., which is tied for the fifth highest of the week. This game also has shootout potential, and I think it's getting lost in the Raiders-Saints and Lions-Colts frenzy.
- Robert Griffin, III (Cle) - $5600. RGIII was recently voted team captain and rumors are that he's well-liked by his Browns teammates, so that's progress. This week, he also draws an Eagles defense that was awful last year. It's a risky play, but RGIII should be money for 3-5 rushing points.
- Dak Prescott (Dal) - $5000. Everyone in the industry is on Dak Prescott this week, so his ownership percentage will be through the roof. But at $5000 it's hard to fade Dak in cash games, especially since he only needs to score 12 fantasy points to return value.
- Spencer Ware (KC) - $4400. Ware could very well be the highest owned player in week one. At his price point, it's almost a no-brainer. Plug Ware into your cash lineups and try and differentiate your lineups else-Ware.
- Christine Michael (Sea) - $3700. Thomas Rawls (RB-Sea) will be "limited" according to reports, and there is a potential for a blowout, which could mean a lot of Michael in the fourth quarter. He only needs to score 9 points to return value in cash games, so play him.
- James White (NE) $3600. The Cardinals defense is good. However, the game script could have the Patriots chasing points, and DraftKings is a full PPR (point per reception). White is a decent punt play in what appears to be a tough matchup.
- Marvin Jones (Det) $4600. Golden Tate's (WR-Det) DraftKings salary is $7,300. Enough said. Jones is obviously the value play.
- Pierre Garcon (Was) $4400. At worst, Garcon is a co-No. 1 with DeSean Jackson (WR-Was). For $4400, he's a bargain. Garcon would need 7 points to return value, and, outside of Jordan Reed (TE-Was), he's as good of a bet as anyone to score a touchdown.
- Cole Beasley (Dal) $3200. Dak seems to have developed a bit of a rapport with Beasley, and the Giants-Cowboys always has shootout potential. In a PPR, Beasley could have a big game. It's not a lock, but he's a perfect tournament play.
- Jason Witten (Dal) $4100. Everything I said about Beasley: ditto.
- Jesse James (Pit) $3400. Believe it or not, Big Ben will target others besides Antonio Brown. Not very often, but he will, and those targets have to go somewhere. No one else seems to have emerged as the obvious candidate. One touchdown and James pays off his price tag.
- Dwayne Allen (Ind) $3200. I must confess, I do not understand this salary. Allen is a touchdown machine when Fleener doesn't play, and, by the way, Fleener isn't playing (for Indy). Allen will be in a lot of my lineups.
- Packers (GB) - $2800. The GB@JAX game is one of the marquee DFS match-ups of the week. A shootout is expected. It's got the 4th highest Over/Under at 48. However, Bortles is no stranger to interceptions, and he will throw the ball a lot.
- Titans (Ten) - $2600. The Vikings quarterback will not be Sam Bradford (QB-Min), but Bradford was brought in to replace him as soon as he gets the playbook down. Think about that for a second.
- Browns (Cle) - $2300. The Eagles decided to trade Bradford and start the Wentz era early. Lucky for the Browns.
There are plenty of other discounts to be found, but these should help you fill out your DFS lineups. If you don't already play or have a DraftKings account, sign up and play against us.