NFL Salary Exploitation is a weekly piece based around finding the best and most egregious value-based plays from site-to-site. We'll be taking a look at DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo!, deciphering where to look for the best values on a position-by-position basis. Some weeks will be more cash game plays and other will be more tournament based, it's simply how the sites adjust to injuries, news and other related materials that can shift snaps, match-ups and other research reliant variables.


PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Josh McCownKC$5,500$7,700$28
Eli Manning@OAK$5,000$6,600$25

Kansas City ranks 20th in DVOA against the pass, and are struggling on both sides of the ball right now. Josh McCown continues to put up serviceable fantasy weeks, coming off of a three touchdown games against Carolina. McCown has been over 20 fantasy points in three of the last six games. Outside of his earlier game against Jacksonville, McCown has surpassed value. His price tag on DraftKings is where he is most appealing, while on FanDuel he has more competition in the range.

Single-digit fantasy points in two of the last three games is obviously not appealing, but for near bare-minimum across the industry against one of the league's worst defenses is appealing. One thing to note that Manning needs Sterling Shepard back in the mix, or else I am a little more hesitant to deploy Eli Manning. Oakland ranks 32nd in DVOA against the pass this season, and are allowing the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.

Some honorable mentions varying between sites -- Tyrod Taylor ($7,300 on FD and $5,400 on DK) is cheap and in a positive game script. Case Keenum at $7,600 on FD is worth a look this week, as Atlanta boasts a middle of the road defense against the pass.

Running Backs

PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Jordan HowardSF$6,500$7,500$31
Dion Lewis@BUF$5,500$6,300$21
Duke Johnson@LAC$4,800$5,700$19
Marshawn LynchNYG$4,800$6,200$19

For the potential workload this week, Jordan Howard pops up on the radar in this mid-range, as San Francisco are allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season. Howard was in an awful game script last weekend, but should be back to a 20 carry workload this week at home.

The recent Dion Lewis weeks have been strong, while the New England running back rotation is three guys, Lewis has three 10+ fantasy point weeks in a row. Lewis is only averaging about 15 touches over the last four weeks, but has racked up a total of 308 all-purpose yards in that span and two touchdowns. This is a favorable spot for Lewis as New England's offense is running down hill, and Buffalo's run defense has done a nose dive in the second half of the season.

DraftKings gives a bump to PPR backs, and there are a couple of bargains at the position this week. Duke Johnson is one of them, who has seen at least five targets in all but one games this season. At just $4,800, Johnson should be able to bring a ten fantasy point floor to the table on DraftKings this week, and be in a favorable spot.

Marshawn Lynch rushed the ball 26 times and caught three passes in the win over Denver this Sunday. He racked up over 100 all-purpose yards and one score. While this may have something to do with Oakland losing both of their wide receivers early in this game, that might hold till next week which would put Oakland in a run first situation. Lynch could be an interesting value if volume sets up like this again, especially in a better matchup. New York ranks 25th in DVOA against the run.

Wide Receivers

PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Corey Coleman@LAC$4,300$5,800$17
Dede WestbrookIND$4,100$4,700$15
Marquise Goodwin@CHI$4,000$5,300$13

Corey Coleman continues to impress in tough spots this season, and things won't get any easier for him this week. I anticipate that Casey Hayward will be shadowing Coleman, which puts Coleman in a down spot. However, he is still cheap enough to take a shot on, especially given the 19 targets have gone his way over the last two weeks. He has seen three top ten secondaries and a top 15 secondary in every healthy game this season. Keep an eye on Coleman.

It doesn't seem like Allen Hurns is due back anytime soon, so Dede Westbrook and Marqise Lee are both extremely cheap options against Indy this season. They lost Rashad Melvin mid-game yesterday, which would hurt their defense if he missed Week 13. Lee dealt with Patrick Peterson this past week, and Westbrook saw ten targets, catching six of them for 41 yards. He has seen 16 targets since coming off the IR. The Colts have allowed the eighth most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs.

Marquise Goodwin is always going to be a shot in the dark play given the fantasy production relies on the one big play, but he is going to see a steady dose of targets, and why he is in here is the fact we might get Jimmy G under center in Week 13. This is definitely an improvement for Goodwin. Chicago ranks 24th in DVOA against passes that travel 15+ yards, and Goodwin's aDOT is 17.2.

Tight Ends

PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Jared CookNYG$5,400$5,500$19
Hunter HenryCLE$4,700$5,400$19

At an early glance, there are not many cheap tight ends to use this week, so this is about as cheap as I will go. Jared Cook is coming off a disappointing performance against Denver, although he did have a tough luck touchdown called back. He went from facing a team that allowed the second most fantasy points to tight ends last week, to the first this week. I am back on board, especially if Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are in question.

Hunter Henry just comes into our lives as he pleases, and for some reason we can't quit him. If you have, you are a strong one. Cleveland is allowing the third most fantasy points per game, and the passing games against Cleveland is what I like to target. Henry has seen ten targets in the last two weeks, and we can only hope that trend continues in this matchup.


PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Green Bay PackersTB$2,800$4,400$11

With defenses being such a high scoring position this season and algorithms having such glaring matchups to price up teams, we aren't getting a huge bargain anymore. Teams like Jacksonville and Los Angeles are priced up quite a bit, but it is hard to ignore the floor they bring. Green Bay was the one that popped out at me for cheap this week, getting a Tampa Bay team that has averaged 18.3 points per game over the last three.

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