Week 1 NFL DFS: The Value Rundown

Welcome to the Value Rundown for Week 1. Sharing top value plays at each position for FanDuel, DraftKings & Yahoo! contests.

There are a lot of different ways to determine who is a value play when it comes to DFS.

You have your traditional way of basing value strictly off of salary. X player is only Y in salary thus he is a value play. I personally don’t like to determine value that way as just because a player is cheap doesn’t actually mean they are a value. Instead of using just salary to determine value, I like to use projections and salary. I look at how high a player is projected relative to his peers and his salary relative to his peers as well.

For example, Player X is the 5th highest projected wide receiver on DraftKings but is only the 15th most expensive wide receiver. That to me is a great value. Another way I like to look at value is to look at how expensive a player is relative to other sites. For instance Player G is the 4th most expensive quarterback on FanDuel and the 5th most expensive quarterback on DraftKings but is the 13th most expensive quarterback on Yahoo. That player would also stand out as a value for me on Yahoo. In this article, we will be breaking down some of the top values we have found using those two formulas on each of the three sites for each of the positions.

Quarterback Values

The biggest value at quarterback I have found on FanDuel this week is Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence grades out well in both projections relative to salary and salary compared to the other sites. Among starting quarterbacks on FanDuel Lawrence is the 15th most expensive quarterback on the site but is my eighth-highest projected quarterback. The seven-spot leap between salary and projection is the highest on FanDuel. When looking at his salary between FanDuel and DraftKings we will see that Lawrence has a five-spot difference between the two sites as Lawrence is the 10th most expensive starting quarterback on DraftKings this week.

Moving on to DraftKings Sam Darnold stands out as the biggest value when comparing his projections to salary. Darnold is my 15th highest projected quarterback over on DraftKings this week but sits just 23rd in salary. Matt Ryan also stands out as an excellent value as he sees a five-spot jump from projections as he is my seventh-highest projected quarterback and is the 12th most expensive starting quarterback on the slate. None of the quarterbacks stand out to me as being elite values when comparing their salaries between FanDuel and DraftKings. Darnold does stand out when comparing DraftKings to Yahoo however as Darnold is the 15th most expensive quarterback over on that site.

Yahoo is always an interesting site when it comes to comparing salaries between the sites as they adjust salaries more drastically than the other sites do. Week one is also interesting as they don’t release their salaries as early as FanDuel and DraftKings do. With that being said the biggest value I see at the position between Yahoo compared to FanDuel and DraftKings is Jalen Hurts. Hurts is the 13th most expensive quarterback at the position compared to the 7th most expensive on FanDuel and 8th most expensive on DraftKings. Hurts also grades out highly on the projection aspect as he is my fifth-highest projected quarterback on Yahoo. Trevor Lawrence also grades out highly on the projection front as he is my eighth-highest projected quarterback on Yahoo but only the 18th most expensive quarterback.

Running Back Values

James Robinson jumped out at me as an elite value on FanDuel. Robinson is the 21st highest salaried running back among running backs that I have projected for at least five DraftKings points on FanDuel yet has the 14th highest projection. The seven-spot jump is the fourth-highest over on that site. The three players ahead of him are Trey Sermond who sees a nine-spot jump as he is the 34th highest priced running back but has the 25th highest projection, James White who sees a ten-spot jump from 39th in salary to 29th in projection and Jamaal Williams who has an eight-spot jump going from 38th in salary to 30th in projection. Robinson also grades out highly when looking at his salary rank between the sites as he is the 13th highest priced running back on DraftKings and seventh-highest priced running back on FanDuel.

Moving on to DraftKings Joe Mixon stands out for me as an elite value when comparing his salary to projection. Mixon is the 15th most expensive running back on that site but is my fifth-highest projected running back. Some other running backs that grade out very high in the salary to projection category is Chris Carson who sees a seven-spot jump from 17th to 10th, James White who sees another big jump from 36th to 26th, Chase Edmonds who goes from 31st in salary to 21st in projections and Javonte Williams who goes from 37th to 29th. Edmons also grades out highly when comparing salaries between the two sites as Edmons is once again the 31st most expensive running back on DraftKings but is the 20th most expensive running back on Yahoo and 21st most expensive running back on FanDuel.

On Yahoo, I don’t see any huge values when comparing salaries between the two sites but Clyde Edwards-Helarie does grade out solidly in that category. CEH is the 18th most expensive running back on Yahoo but is the 11th most expensive on DraftKings and 12th most expensive on FanDuel. CEH also grades out highly when looking at projection rank compared to salary as he is my tenth highest projected running back on Yahoo. Joe Mixon grades out highly once again when you look at salary compared to projection as he sees a seven-spot jump on Yahoo from 12th to fifth.

Wide Receiver Values

There are a lot of wide receivers that you can compare so I narrowed down my options for this article to my 40 highest projected receivers on DraftKings. I also only included receivers I have projected for more than five DraftKings points in my initial list. This does not mean there are not some values in the guys projected lower as plenty of players in that tier meet the criteria, especially when comparing salary to projection. Marquez Callaway is one of the guys in that tier that jumps right out at me as he is my 41st highest projected receiving but has a salary that ranks between 54th highest and 64th highest between the sites.

Moving on to the guys in the top 40 in my projections the first guy that jumps out at me on DraftKings is Tee Higgins. Higgins is a great value using both salaries between sites and projection compared to salary. Higgins is the 40th most expensive wide receiver on DraftKings this week but is the 14th most expensive on Yahoo and 26th most expensive on FanDuel. Higgins is also my 14th highest projected wide receiver on DraftKings. That is a jump of 26 spots which is just not something we are going to see a lot of throughout the year. Two Jaguars receivers also stand out to me in the salary to projections category. Laviska Shenault Jr. is 33rd in salary on DraftKings yet my 20th highest projected wide receiver while Marvin Jones is just behind Higgins in the number of spots he jumps jumping 25 spots from 60th to 35th.

Moving to Yahoo DJ Moore stands out as an elite value when comparing salaries between the three sites. Moore is the 30th most expensive wide receiver on Yahoo yet is in the teens on both DraftKings (16th) and FanDuel (14th). Moore also stands out when it comes to projections as he is my 13th highest projected wide receiver on Yahoo. Laviska Shenault Jr. grades out highly in the salary to projection metric as he is the 35th most expensive wide receiver over at Yahoo and 20th once again in projections. Two other wideouts that jump out projection to salary-wise over on Yahoo are Tyler Lockett who goes from 18th to 9th and Keenan Allen who goes from 20th to 10th.

I don’t really see any elite values on FanDuel comparing salaries between the sites on this slate. I also don’t see any elite values projection-wise to salary-wise outside of two guys we have mentioned already in Tee Higgins (26th to 14th) and Laviska Shenalut Jr (35th to 20th).

Tight End Values

There is not much difference between the three sites when it comes to who they have as their most expensive tight ends except for two guys and they both come over on Yahoo. Mike Gesicki is just the 16th most expensive tight end over on Yahoo compared to the seventh most expensive on both FanDuel and DraftKings. The name that really shocked me when comparing salaries from the sites is T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson is in the top five for most expensive tight ends on DraftKings (3rd) and FanDuel (5th) but is the 12th most expensive on Yahoo. Hockenson also jumps out projection-wise on Yahoo as he is my fourth-highest projected tight end on that site.

Anthony Firkser is the only other tight end that jumps out at me as an elite value based on projections compared to salary and he is a value in this department on all three sites. Firkser is my 12th highest projected tight end on all three sites this week but sits in the upper teens on each of the three sites salary-wise. Firkser is the 19th most expensive tight end on DraftKings, 17th on Yahoo, and 20th on FanDuel.

Defense Values

Defense is a position that most DFS players either play the chalk defense or any cheap defense that fits their lineups. While I understand both methods I have found a lot of success playing a defense that meets one of the value criteria. On DraftKings this week that means I am going to be looking at the Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons. The Bills grade out highly on the salary to projection method going from the 16th most expensive defense to my seventh-highest projected defense. The Falcons grade out very highly on both methods. The Falcons are the 25th most expensive defense on DraftKings but the 13th most expensive on Yahoo and 12th most expensive on FanDuel. They also are my sixth-highest projected defense this week.

Over on FanDuel, the New York Giants jump out at me as an elite value comparing the salaries between the three sites. The Giants are the 16th most expensive defense on FanDuel but the third most expensive on both DraftKings and Yahoo. The Buffalo Bills and Atlanta Falcons grade out highly on FanDuel as they did on DraftKings in the salary to projection method with the Denver Broncos also joining the party in that category. The Broncos are the eighth-most expensive defense on FanDuel and my second-highest projected defense this week.

On Yahoo, there are several defenses that could be considered values using the various methods but I am only going to talk about one defense in this article as there is only one defense I feel you should even consider on that site due to the big pricing mismatch over on that site. That defense is the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are the 13th most expensive defense on Yahoo and the most expensive defense on both FanDuel and DraftKings. The 49ers are also my highest projected defense this week.

About Zach Qualtieri

Zach is an accomplished fantasy player who has had success in multiple sports across multiple platforms. Zach specializes in cash games where he can often be found playing $25 H2Hs but has also had a lot of success in GPPs as an 11-time winner of a large field GPP. When not talking about fantasy sports, Zach enjoys hanging out with his son. If you have any questions about fantasy or sports in general Zach can be found on Twitter @zachsgotmoxy.

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