It is always important to find value for DFS lineups. What is also important is finding value with a reasonable upside, especially for tournaments. This article digs into the cheap players in the Awesemo NFL DFS projections that have the best points-per-dollar ratings. Using those projections, here are the top Week 18 NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
Best Low-Priced NFL DFS Value Picks for Week 18
FanDuel Value Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill — $7,300
There are not any truly low-priced options atop the value ranks in Awesemo’s projections this week. The lower-priced quarterbacks this week are mostly backups, some of whom may not play the entire game. Tannehill certainly will, though, unless the game gets out of hand. The Titans can secure the AFC’s top seed — and the all-important first-round bye — with a win on Sunday.
With Derrick Henry still out, much of the offense should flow through the air. The Titans are implied for a top-four team total on the slate, so Vegas is expecting a solid offensive output. Expect Tannehill and the Titans to keep the pedal to the floor against a bad Texans team in this one. Tannehill is tied for third in value in Awesemo’s projections, but he is the cheapest quarterback in the top five.
DraftKings Value Quarterback: Taysom Hill — $6,200
The Saints are still alive in the playoff chase heading into Week 18. They need a win and a 49ers loss (to the Rams) to get in. That means the dual-threat abilities of Hill should be on full display against the Falcons. Hill’s price has risen beyond the point of being the free square he was when he first took over as starter. However, he is still the cheapest quarterback with at least a 20-point projection in Awesemo’s projections for Week 18.
Hill has a great matchup with a terrible Falcons defense. Besides their overall futility (30th-ranked defense by DVOA), Atlanta has struggled against quarterbacks. They allow the fourth-most DraftKings points to the position. Hill has the second-best value score among quarterbacks in Awesemo’s projections this week, behind only Justin Fields, who just went on COVID reserve.
FanDuel Value Running Back: Devonta Freeman — $5,600
The Ravens are still mathematically able to make the playoffs this season, despite a five-game losing streak. They will need some help to do it, but they have an early game Sunday. That means they will be fighting for a win against a similarly incentivized Steelers team. Regardless of whether Lamar Jackson or Tyler Huntley is in at quarterback, their game plan should center around the ground game. That is their strength, and it is also the weakness of the Steelers defense (27th in DVOA against the pass).
Lately that ground game has run through Freeman. He had three more carries than teammate Latavius Murray and the team’s only running back target (yes, target singular). Freeman has also been the more effective rusher, averaging almost a yard per carry more than Murray on the season. He is not explosive anymore by any stretch, but he should find some success against the Steelers in a must-win game for Baltimore. Freeman is tied for fourth in value score in Awesemo’s projections.
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DraftKings Value Running Back: Antonio Gibson — $5,800
Gibson has served as one of the league’s few every-down back at times this year. That is rare for any back in today’s NFL but unheard of for one at Gibson’s Week 18 price point, especially considering the matchup. The Giants defense is far from threatening, allowing over 120 yards per game on the ground. Gibson also contributes in the passing game, with over five targets per game over his last five.
Of course, Gibson is a risky option this week. He missed last week due to COVID, and teams have kept returning players on a snap count frequently this season. It is also a meaningless game for Washington, so it would make sense to limit Gibson’s usage — particularly since he has been banged up for much of the season. Still, it is hard to fade him given the combination of usage, talent and matchup. He is the clear leader in value in Awesemo’s projections for Week 18 backs,
FanDuel Value Wide Receiver: Russel Gage — $5,700
Gage has been Atlanta’s top wide receiver since Calvin Ridley has been out of the lineup, averaging over seven targets per game over the past nine weeks. While that is not a lucrative fantasy position given the dismal state of the Falcons offense, Ridley has turned in some good performances. He has topped 15 FanDuel points thrice in the last six weeks.
He should be heavily utilized this week as the Falcons look to play spoiler against the Saints, particularly if tight end Kyle Pitts (hamstring) is unable to play or limited. This is a pure bet on volume play. The Saints have a top-five pass defense. However, that volume could be enough at only $5,700 on FanDuel. That is too cheap for a player who could see 10 targets in an expected negative game script. Gage ranks second in value in Awesemo’s projections for Week 18.
DraftKings Value Wide Receiver: D.J. Moore — $5,800
Like Gage, Moore is far too cheap for his WR1 role this week. Moore has 50 targets over the Panthers past five games and scored double-digit fantasy points in all but one of them. Of course, a score in the low teens is not exceptional at his current price. There is reason for optimism, though. Moore has Sam Darnold back as his (full time) quarterback in this one. Prior to Darnold’s injury, Moore was the PPR WR10.
The game should set up nicely for plenty of Darnold to Moore action. Tampa Bay faces the highest opponent pass rate in the league. The Buccaneers are also favored by 8 points, and a negative game script would increase Carolina’s pass volume. While the matchup is challenging from an efficiency standpoint — Tampa has a top-10 pass defense by DVOA — Moore can make up for it in volume. He is the top value option in Awesemo’s projections for DraftKings receivers in Week 18.
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