- With all the attention on Packers-Falcons in Atlanta and Patriots-Saints in New Orleans, you're going to need to find some values for your DFS lineups this week. Luckily, Larry Fitzgerald and Melvin Gordon are here for you.
Players on the Falcons, Packers, Saints and Patriots are always going to be popular in DFS formats, regardless of opponent. When the four of them get together, as they do this week with the Packers visiting the Falcons and the Saints hosting the Patriots, DFS players do seemingly whatever it takes to get invested. With the oddsmakers installing game totals in the mid-50s for both of those matchups, Green Bay at Atlanta and New England at New Orleans games are likely to be the two most popular games in DFS contests.
The most notable players in these games—the quarterbacks and the primary pass catchers—are priced so high, though, that building a roster with these games as the foundation proves to be a daunting task. Especially in cash games, roster construction revolves around value, so it’s not always necessary to force in players from the the highest scoring contests.
Week 2 is especially unique in that salaries on both FanDuel and DraftKings allow for a multitude of roster compositions without giving up much in way of value. For example, Le’Veon Bell is often a shoo-in for cash game purposes, regardless of salary, but he struggled in Week 1 and is playing a tough Minnesota defense. While paying up for running back is usually the preferred technique in cash games, it’s the high-priced receivers, such as Julio Jones, that project to have the most consistent return of all the skill position players in Week 2. When lineups can go in so many directions, it’s always good to give yourself a proverbial gut check and a tool like 4for4’s Lineup Generator can help make sure that your research is guiding you in the right direction.
The following will highlight the most notable values from our optimal lineups for both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Matt Ryan ($8,200) vs. Packers
Only 10 games in the last decade have had a higher over/under than this week’s matchup between the Falcons and the Packers, which is projected for 56 total points. Quarterbacks that are home favorites generally offer the most consistency and upside, and the Falcons are favored by 3 points at home. What’s especially intriguing about Ryan on FanDuel is his price relative to the other top quarterbacks—priced as the QB5 on the main slate, Ryan is $500 cheaper than any of the signal callers in the two big games and comes at a $1,000 discount to Tom Brady, the QB1 on the week.
Larry Fitzgerald ($6,600) at Colts
There’s enough value at every position on FanDuel that you don’t have to go dumpster diving at any position to build an optimal lineup, making Larry Fitzgerald one of the best values on the slate, even though his price is squarely in the middle range of wide receivers. Fitzgerald is coming off of a 13-target game, and with David Johnson out, he could see one of the most significant red-zone roles in the league going forward. Projected for more than 25 points, the Cardinals should find themselves in scoring position often against a Colts team that is decimated on both sides of the ball. Only four receivers have better odds of hitting cash-game value than Arizona’s primary pass-catcher, but Fitzgerald comes at a noticeable discount to those other top plays.
Melvin Gordon ($7,000) vs. Dolphins
In the Chargers first home game in Los Angeles in 57 years, they are favored by 4.5 points over the Dolphins, and home-favorite status is the holy grail at running back. In Week 1, Melvin Gordon netted 23 touches, and 4for4’s John Paulsen projects Gordon for another 23 this week. From a dollar-per-projected-touch standpoint, no running back priced at $7,000 or more is a better value this week than the Chargers featured back, and Gordon has the second-best odds to hit cash-game value of any player on the entire slate.
Pierre Garcon ($4,900) at Seahawks
Most people will look at the matchup against the Seahawks and automatically cross Pierre Garcon off of their list, but 4for4 ranks Seattle 27th against receivers in full PPR formats. In his first game as a 49er, Garcon saw 10 targets, which accounted for nearly 30% the team share. Since Kyle Shanahan will likely scheme the offense to keep Garcon away from Richard Sherman, the 49ers primary receiver should continue to see heavy volume in Week 2. Volume is the driver of value on DraftKings, thanks to its full-PPR scoring format.