Daily Fantasy Football: DraftKings Values for Divisional Round Contests
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If you play daily fantasy football (and who doesn't these days?!), you know that one of the keys to success is uncovering values since these sites use a salary-cap format.
When I use the term "values," that does not exclusively mean the players will be cheap in absolute terms. Again, the key here is relative value.
Sorted by position (and then price), here are some DraftKings values for this weekend's games:
QB - Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at DEN), $7,700 salary
Compared to Rivers, only Colin Kaepernick has a lower salary among starting quarterbacks on DraftKings this weekend. Like I wrote in my post on values in FanDuel leagues, I'm concerned to some degree about the volume of Rivers' pass attempts in this game.
In their upset over the Broncos in Week 15, Rivers threw it a season-low 20 times (not counting the playoffs) for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Considering the explosiveness of the Broncos' offense, it's easy to understand why the Bolts would like to keep Peyton Manning on the sidelines as much as possible by controlling the clock. In turn, they may be forced to throw more than they'd like if they fall behind early.
RB - Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints (at SEA), $4,000
Ingram's value this weekend is closely tied to the status of teammate Pierre Thomas, who missed last week's game. While he practiced Thursday on a limited basis, it appears unlikely at this point that he will play. The good news is the Saints play in the first playoff game of the weekend, so you will know PT's status in time to adjust, if applicable.
Against the Eagles on Saturday, Ingram carried the ball 18 times for 97 yards and a touchdown and also had three receptions for 17 yards. Seattle has the league's best defense, but it is less difficult to run on them than it is to throw against them.
RB - Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (at CAR), $4,600
As my fifth-ranked fantasy running back, Gore's salary is only the ninth-highest among running backs on DraftKings. If you remember back to the first time these two teams met, it was a defensive battle as both offenses struggled. One of the exceptions was Gore, though. Gore had nearly as many rushing yards (82) as Kaepernick had passing yards (91) on his 16 carries, which is an average of more than five yards per carry.
RB - Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (at DEN), $5,800
If Mathews (ankle) is able to play a full game this weekend, he should see a heavy workload. In their most recent matchup, Mathews carried the ball 29 times for 127 yards and a touchdown. Although he spent much of the second half of last week's game on the sidelines, Mathews had 107 carries for 473 yards and three touchdowns and nine receptions for 64 yards in the final four regular-season games.
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WR - Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers (vs. SF), $3,000
With the status of Steve Smith unclear for this week's game, LaFell, who has the 18th-highest salary among receivers, could be in line for more targets than usual. LaFell had career highs this season in receptions (49) and touchdowns (four) and finished with 627 yards.
WR - Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (vs. NO), $3,200
Although Percy Harvin (hip) is expected to return (again), it's unclear how much he will be involved. That said, Baldwin had four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown in his first game against the Saints and is an excellent value based on cost. The third-year receiver out of Stanford is my 12th-ranked receiver — but only the 17th-most expensive — for the week.
WR - Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers (at CAR), $5,800
Returning to pre-injury (Achilles) form, Crabtree has either 100-plus yards or a touchdown in three of his past four games including season highs of eight catches and 125 yards in last week's playoff win against the Packers. Crabtree is my sixth-ranked WR, but he has the eighth-highest cost among DraftKings WRs this week.
TE - Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (at CAR), $5,500
Not necessarily cheap in absolute terms as Davis has the third-highest salary at the position, but he is my second-ranked tight end. A physical freak at tight end, Davis finished second behind only Jimmy Graham in touchdowns at tight end this season with 13.
For whatever reason, however, Davis has never really dominated in the regular season the way he has dominated in playoff games. In six career postseason games, Davis has four 100-yard games and six touchdowns.
For a sortable grid of players in DraftKings, click here.