How’s it going Rush Nation?! My name’s Nick and I am here to bring you weekly picks going forward on DFS (daily fantasy sports).

What is DFS?

To give a brief introduction on DFS, you may know this more commonly as Draftkings or FanDuel, but there are multiple websites that offer daily/weekly competitions that will allow you to build your line up within a budget. This allows you to compete with players around the globe in different formats, to potentially make a financial gain. For example, you may enter a contest on draft kings with a $3 entry fee, and draft a team within a set budget of $50,000. You will then use this team for that one contest in an attempt to finish as high as possible on the leaderboard and hopefully make DFS as profitable as possible for yourselves!

My weekly article aims to give you a platform to help build that team. DFS is different to regular fantasy, in that you don’t have a tie-in to your team as such. It is one individual contest on one specific day of the week. You won’t keep that team like you would in a re-draft fantasy league (for the season) or a dynasty league, so if you struggle to manage a team all season round, this could really appeal! The benefit of this is that DFS requires a lot less maintenance, because you don’t have to worry about waivers, there is no trades, and injuries won’t make or break your team (hopefully!). The attention to detail needs to be at its peak though, or you will fall foul to players who really know what they’re doing, the people who research stat after stat to help them make decisions based on match ups and trends.

Spending Wisely 

You can’t play this game by just picking the best in every position, your budget won’t allow it. With that in mind, I want to try to help you in your DFS selection by digging out the value, the golden nuggets, the players who don’t cost as much but have the potential to return you some fantasy points based on their matchup. With that said, there will also be players who you just can’t turn down, players who you will absolutely want in your line up at all costs. Hopefully, this weekly article will provide you with a nice mix of both, you’re going to need that if you are going to succeed in this game!

For simplicity, I will be using DraftKings player prices and point scoring format. DraftKings tends to be the market lead on DFS, so it’s a great starting platform for anyone who wants to try their hand at DFS. I will be focusing on the games spanning Sunday through to Monday evening.

QB
Safe pick: Aaron Rodgers vs WAS ($6,800)

Value picks:
Sam Darnold vs MIA ($6,000), Carson Wentz vs NYG ($6,100)

Aaron Rodgers is an obvious starter candidate against a below average Washington Defense. The value here for me lies with two “risk” based picks, and I use the term “risk” loosely because it depends on where you stand on these guys. Sam Darnold didn’t perform last week against the winless Bengals, but he faces a Miami Defense that is ranked #32 in points allowed and has allowed 29 passing TDs this season. Before last week, Darnold was in great form, scoring 8 TDs in previous 4 games and running 2 in while he was at it. The jets have a better Defense than their record suggests and should provide the offence with plenty opportunities to take to the field. The Jets also lost to the Dolphins in week 9 and will want to right the wrong.

Carson Wentz welcomes the Giants, a win would see the Eagles move to 6-7, level with Dallas in the NFC (L)east. The Giants are not a good passing Defense, allowing 22 TDs with only 7 teams worse across the league. Eli Manning also returns for the Giants, that could well go one way or the other! I fancy Wentz to continue where he left off in Miami, which despite the result was a decent stat line for the former #2 pick.

RB
Safe pick: Dalvin Cook Q vs DET ($9,500)

Value picks:
Devonta Freeman vs CAR ($5,400), Kareem Hunt vs CIN ($6,600)

Dalvin Cook has a great match up this week vs the Lions and looks set to play after showing on the injury report as questionable earlier this week. Devonta Freeman also has a great match up, welcoming a Carolina Panthers team that just sacked their Coach, Ron Rivera. Not to mention that the Panthers are the worst team against the Rush, by some margin too! They’ve allowed 5.3 yards per rushing attempt and have conceded 22 TDs, that’s 5 worse than the next team!!! Carolina have also lost their last 4 games and look to be a franchise in disarray at the minute.

Kareem Hunt look to have settled into the Cleveland offense with ease. It’s very much still Chubb seeing the majority carries, but Hunt poses a threat in both the Run game and on passing downs. Lucky for him, he plays the Bengals, who are the worst team in the NFL on yards allowed per pass (7.7), and rank #29 in rushing yards allowed per attempt (5.2). Hunt is also averaging 14.1 Fantasy points per game so far.

WR
Safe pick: Davante Adams vs WAS ($8,000)

Value picks:
Alshon Jeffrey vs NYG ($6,000), Darius Slayton @ PHI ($4,900), Jamison Crowder vs MIA ($5,300) OR Robby Anderson ($5,100)

Davante Adams has landed! 3 TDs in the past two weeks and an average of 19.15 over his last 4 games makes Adams an obvious starter against the Redskins at Lambeau. Alshon Jeffrey is coming off a big game against Miami, finishing 9 of 16 for 137y and a TD. He’s Wentz go-to Receiver and the eagles are a team struggling with drops, Jeffrey has been Wentz guy for the past couple of seasons and I’m expecting a big game against a NY Giants team that allow an average of 312.8 passing yards per game in road games.

Darius Slayton is quietly having a decent rookie season for the struggling Giants. He has been targeted 40 times on the road vs 22 in home games, he’s capable of making a big play, and has found the end zone 5 times this season. We don’t know how the Eli Manning recall will impact his output, but I’m willing to take the risk at $4,900. After all, Philadelphia just conceded 37 points to the Miami Dolphins.

Jamison Crowder is another receiver who’s not been target shy. He’s due a big game and is the Jets most targeted receiver. The Jets are hosting Miami who have allowed 29 passing TDs.

Robby Anderson may be the more attractive alternative at $5,100. However, as he is the in form Jets receiver, coming off a 100 yard game and 86 yards with a score the week before. There is upside to both, but your decision may come down to budget!

TE
Safe pick: Darren Waller vs TEN ($5,800)

Value pick:
Kyle Rudolph vs DET ($4,400), Vance McDonald @ ARI ($4,300)

Darren Waller has had a great season, and racked up 100 receiving yards last week against the chiefs. The Titans have allowed 6 TDs and 675 yards from receptions to opposing Tight Ends this season. There are a few Tight End match ups this week that could return big points, but I like the Kyle Rudolph vs Detroit Lions match up. Detroit aren’t a great defense against the pass, intact they rank #30 in passing yards allowed. Adam Thielen may see the field, and if that is the case, this may weaken Rudolph’s upside. However during Thielen’s absence, Kyle Rudolph has profited hugely, bringing in 5 scores in his last 4 game weeks. Thielen didn’t practice again today (Friday). Despite being given a “good chance” to play Sunday, if Thielen is out again, I expect another big game from the in form Vikings Tight End!

If you are unsure on this one, Vance McDonald plays the Cardinals. A team who don’t seem to realise that the Tight End position exists! Opposing Tight ends have scored 13 TDs against their Defense this season. If there is a record out there for this, the Cardinals Defense must be on the verge of breaking it, surely?!

D/ST
Safe pick: Packers vs WAS ($4,000)

Value pick: Jets vs MIA ($3,200)

I like the Packers chance of keeping the Redskins to a low score and they warrant the high price tag. But the value here for me may lie with the Jets. This is by no means a guarantee, but they have had 14 sacks and 5 takeaways in their last 4 games. Despite posting 37 on the Eagles, the Dolphins Offense ranks #24 passing and #32 Rushing. At $3,200 that feels about right for a Defense that is better than it’s record suggests.

Best of luck to you all. I hope to hear of some of your success stories throughout the week. Hopefully see you all again for Week 15!

Happy Drafting Nation, and keep rushing!

-Nick Owen @nickofwigan