Premium Members
Login Register

Part of being able to build an elite roster in DFS is being able to find value/bargains at positions that allow you to roster the Aaron Rodgers and DeMarco Murray's of the world. Wide Receiver (WR) is probably the toughest position to find value at but there are some things you can research and look for to help you find those needles in the proverbial haystack. This article is going to give you a few ideas on how to do just that.

Targets = Opportunities

Any time I am evaluating which receivers to go after in my DFS lineups, the first question I am going to ask myself is “how often are they getting targeted" and the reason for that is self-explanatory. If a receiver isn't getting targeted then they don't have opportunities to catch passes and score TD's. I'd much rather go after a guy that is going to get the ball thrown his way eight times than a guy who is a home-run threat that might see two targets an entire game.

So the first thing you need to evaluate is if the bargain WR you are looking at is going to get targeted. Good ways to tell if he will is to look at recent trends. Did the WR go from just 0-2 targets the first few weeks and all of a sudden jumped up to 5-6 the most recent week? Was there a reason for that increase or was it an anomaly? Reasons why a receiver might start getting more looks can vary from an injury to another receiver on the team, to the QB feeling more comfortable/confident with the receiver. This is one reason why watching NFL games is so important because you can't measure this with just statistics but you can see it by watching the game.

A great example from the 2014 season is Martavis Bryant of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He missed the first six weeks of the season on the inactive list due to injury and caught 2 passes for 40 yards (on 5 targets) and a TD in his first game back against the Texans. It was obvious he was part of the game plan for the Steelers and facing a vulnerable secondary in the Colts the following week and at a great price he made for a great play. It would be one that would pay off for those who took a flier on the rookie as he would catch 5 passes for 83 yards and 2 TD's.

Another important consideration regarding targets is red zone targets. With how valuable TD's are in DFS, looking for players that the QB is looking for inside the 20 yard line is huge. Odell Beckham is a prime example of this – believe it or not he was at one time a great bargain in the 2014 season. Similar to Bryant, he did nothing early on but as the season started to progress, Eli Manning was obviously looking his way more and more. That much became apparent when he received two red zone TD's against the Cowboys on October 19th. Those that paid attention to this and rostered Beckham after the Giants bye week were rewarded with a staggering 8 catches for 156 yards on 11 targets. He wouldn't be a bargain again after that performance.


Sometimes you just have to punt a position and hope for the best, especially in GPP's where you are looking to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. One of the best ways to do that is look for explosive play makers that might not get the number of targets we ideally hope for but that have the potential to score a long TD. One TD catch for 60 yards is typically worth 13 fantasy points. That's more than a player that catches 5 passes for 70 yards and no TD's. Look for players with top notch speed and QB's that like to throw the deep ball – especially against vulnerable secondaries or teams that like to play press man one-on-one coverage as that defensive scheme affords the best opportunity for deep passes.

What is Value?

One method to determine value is to project a players fantasy points and figure out what their $/point ratio is. For example, let's say you projected Martavis Bryant to catch 3 passes for 50 yards and .4 TD's (yes, you want to project partial TD's as a % likelihood that a player will catch a TD). That would on most PPR sites be 10.4 fantasy points. If his salary on DraftKings is $4,500 then his $/point ratio would be $432.69. Let's say you are trying to decide between him and a higher priced player like Deandre Hopkins who you project for 4 catches for 60 yards and .5 TD's. That would be 13 fantasy points. If his salary is $6,200 then his $/point ratio would be $476.92. The lower the ratio the better, thus Bryant would be a better projected value and he'd allow you to save $1,700 that you can use to pay up for a stud.

Ownership Percentages

Repeat after me. The Internet and Twitter are your best friend in DFS. Say it one more time. The Internet and Twitter are your best friend in DFS. Especially when it comes to trying to be contrarian. People will tell you who they are on. Look at the message boards. Look at who people are tweeting about. Look at who all the experts are touting in their articles and podcasts. Just because someone looks like a no-brainer value play does it mean you have to follow along with everyone else. This is where your research will help you find a similarly priced player who might have as much upside as the one everyone is talking about. I'm not saying don't use the chalk play but if you're playing GPP's and constructing multiple lineups, make sure you are able to differentiate in some of your lineups.

No comments.