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Last week I got myself back on the winning track with my Weekly Value-Based Drafting strategy … somewhat. While the overall scores were not great, I used the basic principles that had worked for the first half of the season and won every one of my head to head matchups.

In general, I think Weekly Fantasy scores were a little low last week: with injuries to widely used guys (Devonta Freeman, Charcandrick West) and the best scorer of the week not even seen as a starter until almost game time, but we will get to him in a minute.

My top-play, Darren McFadden, did perform well at his modest price, scoring over 16 points and rushing for more than 100 yards. Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald also did their parts, while I went to the well of the Chiefs’ stack one too many times.

This week I tried to throw in some Thursday plays since it is the strangest week as far as contest setups. Some are Thursday only, some are just the late Thursday game with the rest of the weekend, some are Sunday only… there are just so many more options with three Thursday games.

As usual, these prices and projections are for the FanDuel style of play, but I have thrown in a few DraftKings nuggets as well. The Value Factor (VF) is a quantity of the player’s projected points against the cost to put him on your roster.

Value-Based Drafting Targets

Value of the Week : Thomas Rawls, VF : 4.26

Thomas Rawls is the aforementioned backup that came in and just crushed it with over 200 yards rushing. In the games he has been the primary option, Rawls is averaging almost 20 Fantasy points a game. He fits the bill of the backup with a wider role as Marshawn Lynch will remain out for the immediate future.

At just $6,300 on FanDuel and $4,500 on DraftKings, Rawls is a must-own or you will be playing  from behind against your opponent.


QB Values

Brian Hoyer, VF : 3.63

Blake Bortles, VF : 3.80

Hoyer is set to start after passing through the concussion protocol (which, by the way, how did Case Keenum not get taken out of that game last week!?) and he is getting the Saints’ defense. As the 19th highest priced quarterback, he is a great value.

Bortles only costs a $200 more than Hoyer and his matchup against the injury ravaged Chargers is just as juicy. I have these two as my third and fourth highest scoring quarterbacks this week.

There aren’t any quarterbacks playing Thursday that I am that high on, but if I was forced to pick one, I would go with Jay Cutler.


RB Values

Frank Gore, VF : 4.85

T.J. Yeldon, VF : 4.86

DeMarco Murray, VF : 4.95

Chris Ivory, VF : 4.97

Gore, Yeldon and Ivory all had been performing solidly and consistently all season, then all three laid eggs last week. Each back had different reasons, whether it was a bad matchup (Ivory against a surprisingly good Titans’ rush defense) or unlucky minor injury timing (Gore being out when Bradshaw scored for the Colts).

I project all three to bounce back strongly and their prices have been slightly adjusted due to down games last week.

Murray is the best value for the Thursday games as I have him projected as the second highest scoring running back of the week. On DraftKings, I really like Javorius Allen at just $4,600 as he fits the backup role that has thrived this year in the Weekly Value-Based Drafting strategy.


WR Values

Larry Fitzgerald, VF : 4.93

Julio Jones, VF : 5.07

DeAndre Hopkins, VF : 5.12

Stevie Johnson, VF : 5.23

I really believe that Fitzgerald, Jones and Hopkins are oblivious to matchup at this point and love the guarantee they provide. I have them projected as the Top 3 scoring receivers this week, and Fitzgerald’s price is especially enticing.

Stevie Johnson has not exactly blown up since the Keenan Allen injury, but if you look beyond the final amount of points, you can see the potential. He has had 14 catches on 18 targets over the past two games, but his yards per catch sunk to just below nine yards a reception. I think he breaks one of these shorter routes to finish with a strong week.

On DraftKings, both New England receivers are priced too low with Brandon LaFell at $4,300 and Danny Amendola (if he plays, of course) at $4,700. For Thursday games, I still would go elite with Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson.


TE Values

Greg Olsen, VF : 5.29

Tyler Eifert, VF : 5.59

Olsen is now the leading scorer in a good amount of scoring formats among all tight ends. He has also been remarkably consistent since the dud in Week 1. He has at least three catches for 54 yards in all but one game since. The conundrum is he is only available to use in some weekly formats this week due to the strange setups.

If I’m not using Olsen, then I am definitely using Eifert. He also has had at least three receptions in all but one game this year, but he has become the only red zone target that Andy Dalton looks for. I have both of these guys projected as the Top 2 scorers at the tight end position this week.

On DraftKings, Heath Miller is a good cheap value at just $3,100.


My All-Value Team

QB: Brian Hoyer

RB: Thomas Rawls

RB: Chris Ivory

WR: DeAndre Hopkins

WR: Julio Jones

WR: Stevie Johnson

TE: Tyler Eifert

K: Nick Novak

D/ST: Pittsburgh Steelers

With Hoyer’s good matchup, I love going with the Texans’ stack. Combining my top play of Thomas Rawls with the bounce back chances of Chris Ivory gives you the money flexibility to use the two highest priced receivers that also should produce. I would love to fit Fitzgerald in, but Stevie Johnson is too good to pass up.

After still getting an elite tight end with Eifert, you are able to use the Steelers defense facing the oft-sacked Seahawks. I am rolling with Houston’s scoring chances against New Orleans, and figure Novak should get some chances.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and let’s make some money to complement all of the turkey!

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