The Fantasy Football Party will post a values story every week at ZoneCoverage.com to help you set winning DFS lineups for the show listener league and all the other great games at FantasyDraft.com — our exclusive DFS partner for 2018!
Whether you’re getting in our weekly listener league for just $5 or playing for some big money in tournaments like the $100,000 Run & Gun, you’re going to want to take advantage of the value plays on the board at FantasyDraft.com this week while avoiding the overpriced guys. Below are some of the players at each position who stand out one way or another using the modeling tool at FantasyLabs.com.
All scoring projections/rankings are from their cash model for Week 5. If you’ve never played at FantasyDraft before, use the listener league link above and deposit at least $10 and you’ll automatically get a free $4 GPP ticket! And if you’re not a FantasyLabs subscriber, get half off a trial membership with the code 50OFF.
Deshaun Watson vs. Dallas — $12,100
Watson’s put up fantasy numbers in every game since Week 1’s dud, easily topping his projections in each of the last three weeks. With a price this week below eight others at the position, Watson is the highest-rated value at quarterback in Week 5 with the fourth highest projection. Dallas hasn’t done enough defensively for me to worry about them getting too much pressure despite Houston’s leaky offensive line, and Watson’s produced regardless. Will Fuller’s potential absence with a hamstring injury dings Watson a little, but rookie Keke Coutee certainly filled in admirably last week with Bruce Ellington on IR. Without Fuller, I’m less inclined to force in Watson, but Coutee would definitely be tough to pass up.
Philip Rivers vs. Oakland — $13,100
Patrick Mahomes, Ben Roethlisberger and Rivers are all atop the pay scale in Week 5 at $13,100, but Rivers is probably the odd man out for me when making tournament lineups in that group. Most “home” games for the Chargers are filled with visiting fans, and that’s likely to be even more the case against the formerly Los Angeles and soon to be Las Vegas Raiders.
Oakland’s no defensive powerhouse, but it did hold Jared Goff to his lowest output of the season and hasn’t allowed a 300-yard passer this season. Sure, Rivers still has plenty of upside with all those weapons in Los Angeles, I just don’t think he’s worth the price of admission this week. FantasyLabs has him way down at No. 18 in terms of value rating at the position this week.
Christian McCaffrey vs. NY Giants — $14,800
He’s spendy, but he’s spectacular. I don’t expect McCaffrey to find a ton of success in the running game, but this is a spot where he should flirt with double-digit catches for a nice PPR head start before yardage and touchdowns come into play. The FantasyLabs model loves McCaffrey this week, with the top value rating at the position and the fourth-highest ceiling — behind only Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliot and Melvin Gordon. But all three of those guys cost at least $800 more.
Ty Montgomery at Detroit — $7,400
Randall Cobb is nursing a hamstring injury. Geronimo Allison is in the concussion protocol. If both come back and play in Week 5, Montgomery is a reasonable dart throw at this price, giving you room to fit in an extra stud elsewhere with a bit of upside. If one of those receivers misses the game, Montgomery becomes intriguing. If BOTH miss, I could see Montgomery — already fifth on the team in catches — getting a heavy dose of targets in the passing game. With all this still in question, FantasyLabs still has Montgomery as it’s eighth-best value at running back, where there are plenty of question marks up and down the list after that initial group of studs.
T.J. Yeldon at Kansas City — $10,500
With Leonard Fournette out for a few weeks again thanks to a balky hamstring, Yeldon is the next man up. But at his price, he’s not a slam dunk. In fact, the FantasyLabs model likes Corey Grant slightly better from a value perspective thanks to the $3,100 in savings. Sure, Yeldon has more upside as the guy slated to get most of the carries against a bad Chiefs defense. But Blake Bortles has tended to make hay in the passing game with Fournette on the shelf, which is where Grant would make his mark.
Personally, I’m going against the model on this one and still leaning Yeldon given my choice between the two even considering the salary, in part because of the two touchdown receptions to his name this season.
Julio Jones at Pittsburgh — $15,600
Yeah, Calvin Ridley’s been a stud the last two weeks. Yes, Jones is on pace for zero touchdowns this year. But he’s also on pace for over 2,000 receiving yards, and the touchdowns — while still potentially underwhelming by season’s end — will positively regress. Despite being the second-highest price on the main slate, FantasyLabs still has Jones as the best value play due in part thanks to his juicy matchup with Pittsburgh corner Coty Sensabaugh. Julio has explosion games like few others, and this has all the makings of one of those eruption spots.
Marvin Jones vs. Green Bay — $9,200
Last week was Golden Tate week. Weeks 1 and 2 were Kenny Golladay weeks. But for under $10K against the Packers, it’s time to bet on Jones week. He actually leads the Lions in air yards this season — 13 ahead of Golladay — per airyards.com, which is a strong predictive metric of future success. And right now, Jones is priced well below his teammates to the point that he’s FantasyLabs’ No.2-rated value at receiver on the main slate. With Stafford also a reasonable value, at $11,900, this is a lower priced, likely lower owned stack that could pay dividends.
Odell Beckham Jr. at Carolina — $14,000
Beckham’s price is as low as it’s been since Week 1 against the elite Jaguars defense, but that’s not enough for the FantasyLabs model to bite on him here. The matchup against James Bradberry isn’t anything to worry about, but Beckham’s usage is. Sure, he’s always a threat to break a slant 75 yards to the house and make your fantasy day. But Beckham doesn’t even crack the league’s top 10 in air yards, while Eli Manning is way down at 30th in average depth of target at just 6.8. All that adds up to Beckham clocking in as the 28th-“best” value in the FantasyLabs model.
Jimmy Graham at Detroit — $8,700
I noted the injury issues for the Packers’ receiving corps earlier, and Graham, who found the end zone for the first time this season in Week 4, could wind up benefiting. His targets have been steady — eight, seven and six in the last three weeks, respectively — and he’s always a threat for a touchdown, which, combined with Graham’s price, makes him FantasyLabs’ top value rated tight end this week.
David Njoku vs. Baltimore — $6,700
Njoku’s going to have a blow-up game here soon. He’s got seven targets in three of his last four games, and Baker Mayfield offers far more upside than Tyrod Taylor did. But last week’s 52 yards in an overtime game mark Njoku’s season high, and he’s yet to find the end zone in 2018.
Meanwhile, Baltimore’s defense has yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end. Sure, at such a low price you could throw a dart here, but FantasyLabs has Njoku way down at 19th in value at the position.
New York Jets vs. Denver Broncos, $4,500
The Jets have quieted down since their Week 1 dominance of Detroit, but have still been respectable with 10 sacks and five forced turnovers in their last three. Meanwhile Denver quarterback Case Keenum is tied for second in the league with six interceptions and has been sacked nine times in four games. New York doesn’t have the highest projection, but with such a low price its the third-best value per FantasyLabs.
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo, $6,400
Paying up at defense isn’t my preferred methodology, but FantasyLabs has Tennessee as the best value despite it being the third highest priced unit on the slate. That’s in part due to a pass rush that’s led to 11 sacks the last three weeks on top of two fumbles recovered and an interception. But it’s more due to facing Josh Allen who has four interceptions in 3-plus games and has been sacked a whopping 18 times.
There is an endless trove of additional data plus incredible tools for modeling, lineup building and more at FantasyLabs.com. If you play DFS, FantasyLabs will make you a better player. Use the code 50OFF to get half off a trial membership. And be sure to get in on the DFS fun at FantasyDraft! Start by joining the listener league for just $5. Good luck this week!
The Fantasy Football Party is recorded each week by John Tuvey, Bo Mitchell and Anthony Maggio. You can also find a story from one of the three each week right here at ZoneCoverage.com. Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode by clicking here for iTunes or here for Android.
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