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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.

Quarterbacks

PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Deshaun WatsonCLE$6,700$7,900$36
Carson PalmerTB$6,100$7,100$27

I am going to come out and say that Deshaun Watson is not priced high enough. Salaries were obviously being cooked up and released after Watson's garbage time fantasy attack last night. Be is still below $8,000 on FanDuel, and below $7,000 on DraftKings. This is despite 12 touchdowns over the last three weeks. Watson's gets a subpar Cleveland secondary at home this week, so this production should continue. Yahoo made Watson QB3 in pricing, just behind Brady and Rodgers this week, so hats off to them.

Carson Palmer still managed 15.6 on DK this week, after what was a horrendous performance by the Arizona offense. He is $6,100, which is still too steep for a guy who has thrown over one touchdowns just once this season. A possible 300-yard bonus helps, but if he doesn't get it, then he is sort of screwed. On FanDuel he isn't a bad price, and is back at home against a banged up Tampa Bay defense.

At first glance this is setting up for a pay up week at the quarterback position. Usually we like to look at a few QBs below the $6,000 mark on DraftKings, yet I don't find any to be extremely useful. Joe Flacco against the Bears, Josh McCown against New England, Brian Hoyer against Washington, and Ben Roethlisberger against the Chiefs. These are the four that would be in consideration, but early on I am not thrilled to use any. I would look to the mid-range with the guys above, also Kirk Cousins, and then the elite guys.

Running Backs

PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Mike Gillislee@NYJ$5,500$6,200$18
Lamar MillerCLE$5,400$6,800$25
Andre EllingtonTB$5,300$5,500$13

We have the usual suspects up top in pricing this week, as Kareem Hunt and Le'Veon Bell have continued to be the more expensive backs to own. Todd Gurley saw a price jump of $600 on FanDuel this week, and saw a $300 drop on DraftKings. Bell put up a clunker this past week, but his price remains the same. Hunt topped 100 yards again this week, but didn't find the end zone. His price tag is deserving of where he is at right now, despite coming back to earth a tad. Leonard Fournette took the big price jump this week, moving from $7,000 on DK last week to $8,000. Fournette jumped from $7,600 to $8,600 on FD. He has seen 24+ touches in three of five games this season, and has a touchdown in every game this season.

A few guys that caught my eye this week were all in this similar range. New England will open up as large favorites on the road against the Jets, which should set up a positive game script for Mike Gillislee. He has seen at least 12 rushing attempts in each game, but has not topped more than six fantasy points in his last three outings. Guessing the New England running back rotation is about as fun as Russian Roulette, but can pay off at lower ownership. Lamer Miller has averaged 16.6 rushing attempts per game this season, and is about to have an easier stretch of matchups. Cleveland isn't a bad rush defense, but Houston's offense is moving the ball well right now. Andre Ellington is essentially WR2 on Arizona, seeing 32 targets over the last three weeks.

C.J. Anderson is very cheap for workload and matchup against New York this week. He is $22 on Yahoo and $7,000 on FanDuel. The Giants ranked 31st in DVOA against the rush, and were torched by Melvin Gordon in Week 5. Elijah McGuire is expected to see a heavy workload and is worth a look this week.

Wide Receivers

PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Amari CooperLAC$5,000$6,400$16
Terrelle PryorSF$5,700$6,800$19
Randall Cobb@MIN$5,900$6,200$18

People hate Amari Cooper right now, and whether it is DFS or Season Long, the industry is ripping him. Salaries are down to lows on him, and the fact E.J. Manuel might be under center again this week doesn't bode well either. Cooper is going to be a GPP flyer moving forward, but it has now become easier to drop him in a lineup or two. Terrelle Pryor is in a similar boat, and found the end zone in his last outing. The potential for breakout games are huge here, yet the overall drive to play these guys have reached lows.

Adam Thielen, Randall Cobb, Jarvis Landry, Golden Tate, Devante Adams, and Michael Crabtree are all sitting in this mid-range this week worthy of a look. There is a sweet spot on Yahoo from $16-$22 for wide receivers, where Brandin Cooks continues to be cheap. Cobb is one I am focusing on, especially after a letdown against Dallas. He will avoid Xavier Rhodes, which is always a big advantage when facing the Vikings.

DraftKings has continued the trend of pricing mediocre wide receivers into a range that we start to feel iffy about using the. Given lineup construction with paying up for running backs and quarterbacks, we might have to look at them.

Tight Ends

PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Austin Seferian-JenkinsNE$4,300$5,600$16
Hunter Henry@OAK$4,100$5,400$18

The tight end position is getting uglier and uglier. There are a few injuries to keep an eye on this week up top, but we still have a few guys down in this lower range. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is still on the cheaper side and clearly has carved out a role in this passing game. There wasn't much overtake, but ASJ is going to be a viable tight end moving forward. He has seen 18 targets over the last three weeks, and scored his first touchdown last year.

When Hunter Henry is targeted, he produces. We keep getting this weird Antonio Gates games in between. Henry played over 70% of the snaps last week, and saw eight targets. He finished with a 3-42-1 line, and has back-to-back games with a touchdown.

Defenses

PlayerOpponentDraftKings SalaryFanDuel SalaryYahoo! Salary
Houston TexansCLE$3,900$5,400$19
Jacksonville JaguarsLAR$3,600$4,900$18

Blah, Week 6 defenses are nothing exciting, especially for cheap options. These two are going to be 1A and 1B this week, so we can look at their price tags. They are expensive, but might be worthwhile paying up. We aren't getting discounts on Atlanta, Washington, or Baltimore who are also in play. Cleveland is playing rotating quarterbacks, while Jacksonville continues to show tremendous upside.



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