If I told you I was featuring Texans and Jaguars in here would you keep reading? If not, then forget what I just said and let’s talk about price fluctuations.

It’s hard to watch one of our favorite value plays graduate to mid-level status because it means I likely won’t be playing them the next week. It’s a tough breakup, though, I have to admit. I get connected with those plays, remember the good times and nice finishes they helped me achieve and it’s hard to turn away from them when they get more expensive and lose their value as the price gets more inline with their production.


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But while it’s hard, you must break it off. Like the Steelers used to do with their linebackers and the Patriots do all the time, no matter the achievements, they understand that today’s bargain is tomorrow’s regret. You must find the next love of your DFS life, even if it means goodbye to someone who has treated you so well.

Players filling in for injuries is a great place to look for that value play, but on the other side there is the price dropper. This is a player whose price has dropped considerably over the past month. If they are still in a position, role wise, to produce given the matchup, the buy-low mentality certainly applies and you should take advantage of the dissatisfaction and general statistical malaise. Have they been up against irrationally good defensive matchups? Has there been a change in strategy that now has this player in position to get back to where he was previously? In tournaments, this is a great place to watch and pounce on the opportunity to get a player whose skills and situation indicate that he should be a thousand or so dollars higher for a nice bargain price.

Anyway, on to Week Three while I lament not sticking with my 2.5K Crockett Gilmore write-up last week…Contact me @JasonWalker_72 with any other value questions through the rest of Week 3. Good luck!

Quarterback

Ryan Mallett ($5,000) – What team has run the most plays per game in the admittedly so-so-short 2015 season? Why yes, it is the Texans, at a whopping 77.5 plays per game. That doesn’t meant they’ve been a great offense (they haven’t), but the volume is providing opportunity. And this week in Houston, that opportunity goes to Ryan Mallett. Houston’s team total is a solid 23.5 and the face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have been below average defensively and pretty neutral so far to the QB. Still, Mallett is min priced and has DeAndre Hopkins ready to roll making him a good value.

Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,100) – The Jets are at home and get the reeling Eagles in town. The Eagles are still committed to a fast paced game, but haven’t been able to translate that to the field, falling only 21st in plays per game with nine fewer plays than their 2014 average. Thier opponents, however are still enjoying the goodness, getting off the same 70 plays per game against the Eagles as they did last season. The Jets seems to want to go at a more pedestrian pace of 61-62 plays per game, so the Eagles pace should pull the Jets up a little, playing into the 46 point game total. I say all of that, to say this: At 5.1K, with the fifth highest team total on the board, Fitz is another low priced gem.

Nick Foles ($5,200) – It was tempting to stick Blake Bortles in here against the Patriots, but the Pats have a funny way of shutting down young QBs and haunting them for the rest of their lives. Something like that, anyway. It was especially tempting in light of the ten-point nothing fest Foles gave us in Week 2 against Washington. But, we need short memories in DFS and so we are back on Foles this week against the Steelers. The Steelers give the biggest boost to opposing QBs so far this season, the game is in St. Louis and the spread is nearly a pick ’em with a solid 47.5 game total. St. Louis has run the fewest plays per game this season, but the Steelers yield the sixth most. Pittsburgh isn’t stopping anyone, including Foles. At this price, he’s a solid value play to get to your other higher priced studs.

Running Back

Dion Lewis
Dion Lewis. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Dion Lewis ($4,200) – Let’s go ahead and make this Pats/Jags game a LeGarrette Blount game by finally buying into Lewis, who has been great in his first two games. He’s getting steady work in the Patriots up tempo, tenth most plays per game offense and he’s currently the tenth highest rated running back on Pro Football Focus’ board. By the way, you know who has had the most snaps at RB in the NFL this season? If you guessed Dion Lewis, you probably know that they show the random golfer replay when he’s on the green because he’s making the putt. I’ve held off putting Lewis on the board because of the Patriots long standing switcheroo at the running back position, so here’s to Blount this Sunday, I guess. Otherwise, go ahead and pull the trigger on Lewis.

James Starks ($3,000) – Depending on how available Eddie Lacy is, of course, but if Lacy is out or even limited, Starks becomes a top-end value at 3K. Starks isn’t a dynamic runner, he’s pretty much the definition of backup, but Aaron Rodgers, a 49 point game total and playing at home gives Starks a solid floor to work with, which alone makes his low price a solid value.

T.J. Yeldon ($4,400) – If we were in Wal-Mart, we might see a PRICE DROP ALERT on the aisle that features T.J. Yeldon. Yeldon’s price has dropped $1100 so far and there has been demonstrated strong positive correlation between performance and salary change like that over the last month (per Bales/Jennings). The Pats may focus on making Bortles’ life hell, leaving Yeldon and his top five PFF ranked, seventh most snaps among RBs self to make some value. Yeldon has been on the field for 104 plays, including 48 pass plays. Also, he has been targeted four times in each of the first two weeks, catching three passes in each game, so if the game script moves to passing, Yeldon still has value here.

Lance Dunbar ($3,200) – An 8.3 DK point, five target game was not what we were hoping for last week from Dunbar, but little about that Cowboys/Eagles game delivered what we, or anybody, was hoping for. So onto this week and the Falcons, who have been giving opposing RBs a slight boost so far this season. In a tight game as Vegas anticipates (45 pt total, Cowboys +1), and Brandon Weeden at QB for the Cowboys, there should be plenty of checkdown action to Dunbar, who has played almost as many snaps as Joseph Randle this season. It won’t take much to make value at 3.2K and this matchup should allow him to do it.

Wide Receiver

Aaron Dobson ($3,000) – Dobson replaces Amendola on our weekly Patriot in the Value Plays WR column. And why not? The 2nd WR slot has good value in this offense and Dobson has 100 snaps this season to Amendola’s 70. Dobson had as many snaps in Week 2 (70) as Amendola for the season. It’s this trend, and Dobson’s eight targets in the pass happy game plan of the Patriots last week, that gives Dobson the nod this week. His 3K price tag also helps.

Allen Hurns ($3,700) – With both New England and Jacksonville in the top 10 in offensive snaps per game and top half of the league in opposition snaps per game, this game figures to run quite a few plays. With the Patriots likely to try and take away the Jags best option (Robinson) that leaves the other Allen to bear the fruit of so much opportunity. At a reasonable projection on 11 FP, he can be a solid value in a game script that will likely see the Jags playing from behind.

Cecil Shorts ($3,500) – In the Mallett section, I showed the Texans massive plays per game and that means there is plenty of opportunity for a guy like Shorts. He’s been targeted 16 times in two games and he leads the league in routes out of the slot. The guy lining up opposite Shorts will likely be Sterling Moore, who has struggled in the first two games this season covering the slot.

Ted Ginn, Jr. ($3,300) – Ginn has been active for the Panthers in the receiving game, getting 16 targets in the first two games. His ratings have been solid and he goes up against the New Orleans Saints, who are bottom three worst pass coverage team in the league. The game total is 45, which is modest considering the Saints are involved, but they are on the road in Charlotte, and Ginn’s Panthers are a field goal favorite. The 24.3 game total for Carolina and Ginn’s surprising role in the Panthers offense makes his 3.3K price look like a solid value.

Doug Baldwin ($4,000) – The Seahawks are 0-2. They are at home, feisty and likely to tear the Cutler-less, Jimmy Clausen led Chicago into shreds. So why tout Baldwin as a value? Baldwin has 17 targets, 14 catches and 32.7 DK points and goes against a Bears defense that is having a very hard time defensively, especially in pass coverage. Alan Ball, Kyle Fuller and Sherrick McManis are all top 12 worst rated CBs by PFF in terms of their NFL Rating metric. It won’t take long for Baldwin to hit value at 4K even if the game eventually gets out of hand.

Tight End

Jared Cook ($2,800) – I can’t see his name without hearing someone say, “They went to Jared!” like the jewelry commercials that basically shame all men who have the gall to give a thoughtful present that isn’t thousands of dollars for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and just generally because you love her. OK, about Cook – he’s sixth in yards per route run, is at home against the giving Steelers and is below 3K, offering even more value. Cook has had six and seven targets in his first two games and the Steelers are more leaky defensively that either team the Rams played so far this season.

Larry Donnell ($3,100) – Another guy I’m going back to the well for because the targets are there, his price is right, the team total is in line and Washington is the friendliest towards TE this seasons so far, more so than even the Raiders. There will be a game soon that Donnell catches a pair of TDs from Eli Manning and this may be the one.

Vernon Davis ($3,200) – I still believe. Nobody has played more snaps at TE this season than Davis and he’s tied for fourth behind Gronk, Owen Daniels (a nice 2.9K value himself), Jimmy Graham and tied with Jason Witten in routes run. The Cardinals have historically been kind to TEs and are already second behind Washington in that category as well.

Defense/Special Teams

Indianapolis Colts ($2,800) – Sticking with under 3K defenses this week and it’s not easy finding no-brainers down here. The Colts are in Nashville to play the Titans pass blocking is a little below average, which could allow the Colts to take advantage of a spread that has them winning by 3 1/2.

Cleveland Browns ($2,900) – The Browns gets Oakland in Cleveland and the Raiders have the lowest team total (19.3) for any team facing a sub 3K defense this week. That’s all I got here.