In part one of DFS Week 1 salaries edition, I pointed out some of the quarterbacks and wide receivers that presented value. This second part will focus on the running backs and tight ends. Please keep in mind, DraftKings is a full PPR and FanDuel is half point PPR. Pass-catching backs present more value on DraftKings than they do on FanDuel. Let’s dive right into it and discuss some value plays at the running back and tight end position.
Above are the top 30 running backs (sorted by salary) for both DraftKings & FanDuel. Unlike the wide receiver and quarterback position, the running back position appears to be more evenly priced as far as the top tier goes. If you look at the top three most expensive running backs on both sites, they each cost exactly 15 percent of the salary cap. What I do notice, is that much like the receiver position, once you step out of the top 25 running backs on DraftKings, there is more value than there is on FanDuel for the most part. The first running back that takes up fewer than 10 percent of your salary on FanDuel is Duke Johnson, who is the 38th-most expensive back.
Despite finding more value plays on DraftKings, I still see a decent amount value on both sites. For instance, Jeremy Langford absorbs 10 percent of your salary on FanDuel and nine percent on DraftKings. This is a running back that could easily touch the ball 20+ times in the season opener. At this cost, it should take much for him to pay off his salary. Another running back who jumps off the page at me is Latavius Murray. On both sites, he will cost you 11 percent of your salary. I honestly feel like it is way too cheap for a bell cow back such as Murray. Not to mention, he faces off against the Saints who surrendered the third-most Fantasy points to opposing backs last season. They allowed 129.8 rushing yards per game and 12 rushing touchdowns. At this time in the preseason, this appears to be a favorable situation for Murray at an excellent price. Frank Gore is another back that intrigues me. He takes up no more than 11 percent of your salary cap on both sites. He too has a favorable matchup against the Lions defense that allowed the third-most rushing touchdowns to opposing backs. Gore could also be little owned in Week 1 as most people will gravitate more on the quarterback and receivers on this offense. As I mentioned in the QB and WR edition of this article, DraftKings is a PPR format, and since Gore catches passes out of the backfield, he offers a bit more value on DraftKings. That being said, I think he could find the end zone Week 1, making him a solid value play on both sites. Ryan Mathews offers some value as well.
James White is near the absolute minimum on both sites, and he could play a significant role in Week 1. I’m more interested in him on DraftKings as he will catch passes out of the backfield. The matchup isn’t great, but the price is too good to avoid. The one concern is his potential ownership percentage. Just make sure to monitor the buzz surrounding White heading into the season opener. If you feel like you can’t pass up on his price, there are other ways to be contrarian. Another back that has my attention is Theo Riddick. More so on DraftKings his involvement in the passing game. Last season he averaged 6.2 targets per game. He costs just eight percent of the salary cap and is in a good spot. I would only recommend him in tournaments, however, as he does not offer the safest of floors.
For the tight end position, I decided to show the top 15 (sorted by price) on both sites. There are some tight ends below this price range that are intriguing, and I will share those with you. Right off the bat, I notice that the pricing of tight ends is softer on DraftKings. Once you go past Gronk, all tight ends cost 10 percent or fewer. On FanDuel that is not the case.
In Week 1, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Dwayne Allen, Martellus Bennett, Jared Cook, and Clive Walford all seem to be very affordable. Neither of these tight ends costs more than nine percent of the salary cap on either site. Seferian-Jenkins averaged 6.5 targets per game last season. He is only $2,800 on DraftKings. Dwayne Allen will get a shot at being the lone tight end in Indy now that Coby Fleener is gone. His first matchup is against the Lions who surrendered the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends last season. He is just $3,200 on DraftKings. Clive Walford is probably the one that makes the most sense on FanDuel of this group but makes a fine play on both sites. He is a big red zone target and has one of the best matchups a tight end can ask for versus the Saints. He close to the bare minimum on FanDuel at $4,700 and is also reasonably priced on DraftKings, $3,000.
There is still some time left in the preseason and injuries could create value at any position. Keep an eye on all the news and continue studying the prices so that you are fully prepared for Week 1.
If you have any questions, I am always available on Twitter: @Armando_Marsal