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In this weekly article, we’ll look at the cheaper options that should return good value to your NFL DFS lineups. The bargain threshold varies by site, and position, but generally we’ll aim for our bargain plays to take up about 8-10 percent of your salary cap, except for quarterbacks, which we’ll allow 11-12 percent. A great tool to find bargains is our DFS projection system, which gives a dollar per fantasy point projection for each player. I refer to it often!
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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco at LA Rams
If you are planning to save this weekend, there are only a couple spots I feel OK doing it, and only in certain situations when it comes to QB. Arguably the most important position on the roster, you need to reach value here. So, two factors in putting Jimmy G in this spot this week: 1) he’s actually cheap. Burrow and Stafford are less salary than Mahomes, but they are still reasonably priced. Garoppolo gets you meaningful savings that can be applied elsewhere in your lineups. 2) he’s been terrible in the playoffs for DFS but this is well below his season average and average is what he was in two meetings with the Rams during the regular season. This, along with the better Southern California weather, should make him a great candidate for some positive regression in his stat line this week. I also can’t rule out the possibility that the 49ers have been limping in to this spot with some a totally different game plan that involves actually passing the ball (to George Kittle and Deebo Samuel!) waiting in the wings.
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City
Boyd has a similar physical profile to Gabriel Davis, and the Chiefs had a lot of success shutting down Buffalo’s top receiver in the Divisional Round. If they deploy the same tactics, Ja’Marr Chase could be in for a rough performance – but note that Kansas City utterly failed to contain Chase in the first meeting (11 catches on 12 targets and three touchdowns). Tee Higgins was shut down in that game after his explosive effort the week prior against the Ravens. My expectation is that the Chiefs double Chase, which could leave a lot on the field for Boyd. Before the win over Tennessee, he was rocking a four-game touchdown reception streak. Clearly not the best receiver or top choice for Burrow, Boyd’s salary is firmly in the bargain tier and he isn’t such a long shot to break for a long TD on a catch and run play.
Byron Pringle, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati
This is the game to target for cheap WR. Pringle feels like 100 percent fluke but he is still so cheap and has three playoff touchdowns. Even with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce also doing work, Pringle has carved out a role on this pass-happy offense. This game profiles as another shootout and I don’t think the Chiefs will start relying on the run game now, which means Pringle should have the opportunity to reach value again this week.
Cincinnati Bengals ($11 Yahoo, $2600 DK, $3200 FD)
Most of us will look to the Rams – Niners game for our D/ST, with its lower total and frankly better defensive players. If you are looking to go outside the box or just save significant enough salary dollars that help you upgrade to Kelce, Mixon or Cooper Kupp, saving on defense is a fine strategy. The D/ST fantasy output is likely to be fairly low across the board in this round of the playoffs, so getting two fantasy points instead of five at this position might be easily compensated for by upgrading at another position. Since putting up zero stats vs. the Chiefs in Week 16, the Bengals have averaged nine fantasy points per game.