NFL DFS is a tough game. But whether you are playing cash games or tournaments, you need to be acutely aware of the slate’s top values.
These are the best plays of the slate once price, matchup, median projection, and a player’s floor and ceiling are factored in.
You’ll want to maximize your exposure to these players in cash games (50/50s, head-to-head contests, etc). And you’ll be mixing these players into your tournament lineups alongside some of our favorite GPP plays – which are discussed in Scott Barrett’s DFS Breakdown.
It’s important to note that ownership will not be a factor in this article. These are simply the best values of the slate once all other variables are considered. Plays are listed in descending order of salary, but a full ranking of the slate’s best plays in order can be found in Scott Barrett’s DFS Breakdown.
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals (@ HOU)
DraftKings: $6,100 (QB10) | FanDuel: $7,600 (QB8)
Murray looked like himself in his first game back. And that’s huge for fantasy, considering he averaged 22.7 DraftKings FPG in healthy starts prior to injury – a mark that ranks 2nd-best among all slate-eligible QBs this season. Houston is a top-12 schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing QBs, and Arizona being listed as 5.0-point underdogs suggests they will need to lean on Murray to win this game. After all, we just saw the Cardinals post their first positive PROE (pass rate over expectation) in Murray’s season debut. He’s right there with Brock Purdy as the cash QB on DraftKings and is my lean as the cash QB on FanDuel.
Brock Purdy, QB, San Francisco 49ers (VS. TB)
DraftKings: $5,800 (QB13) | FanDuel: $7,500 (QB9)
DraftKings refuses to move up Purdy’s price – and that’s a huge mistake on their part, as Purdy has averaged 19.7 DraftKings FPG across his 16 healthy starts, a mark that would rank 7th-best among slate-eligible QBs this season. He’s a strong technical value and is faced with an outstanding matchup. Tampa Bay is a top-3 pass funnel by PROE allowed (+6.9%), and the 12th-softest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing passers (+1.1 passing FPG). You can flip a coin between Purdy and Kyler Murray as the cash QB on DraftKings – both are truly excellent QB values.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, San Francisco 49ers (VS. TB)
DraftKings: $9,300 (RB1) | FanDuel: $10,000 (RB1)
McCaffrey had a “bad game” last week, which means it was still a great game for just about anyone else. He scored 20.2 fantasy points despite not scoring a touchdown – for the first time in 17 games – and earned 16 carries and 10 targets (6 more than anyone else on the team). Since Week 5, McCaffrey has earned an absurd 50% of team usage (XFP) in the red zone since Week 5 (1st by 8%). His TD upside is truly unmatched. That said, this is a bottom-6 matchup, which arguably takes McCaffrey out of the cash game conversation unless you can afford to pay up. Still – he’s undeniably the position's best fantasy asset and a top-6 value on both sites this week.
Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (VS. TEN)
DraftKings: $7,200 (RB3) | FanDuel: $8,300 (RB4)
I wouldn’t read too much into Etienne’s disappointing performance last week, in a game that got out of hand quickly and ended 3-34. Gamescript should be much better this week, favored by 6.5 points up against a Titans defense that is giving up the 4th-most rushing YPG to RBs since Week 5 (115.2). Prior to last week, Etienne ranked 3rd among all RBs in snap share (81%), 8th in XFP/G (16.2), and 4th in FPG (20.5). He’s a fringe cash play on DraftKings, priced about $1,000 too low.
Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys (@ CAR)
DraftKings: $6,600 (RB9) | FanDuel: $6,900 (RB16)
Listen, I know what you’re thinking, but Pollard’s usage was still pretty great last week. He played on 90% of the team’s snaps (would have led all RBs on the week) before Dak Prescott came out of the game… And if there were ever a week to play him, it would be the week he’s under-owned when Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb are both chalk, and in a week the matchup is firmly in his favor – Carolina profiles as a top run-funnel defense, ranking 2nd-best in schedule-adjusted passing FPG allowed (-3.9) but 2nd-worst in schedule-adjusted rushing FPG allowed to RBs (+3.2). Pollard is a top-8 RB value on DraftKings but a cash-viable play on FanDuel – where he is objectively too cheap.
Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers (VS. LAC)
DraftKings: $6,200 (RB14) | FanDuel: $7,000 (RB15)
Recent usage suggests Jones is a lock for 6 targets plus somewhere between ~12 carries (in losses) and ~20 carries (in wins). And Jones has long been similarly gamescript-dependent – Jones averages 6.0 more FPG in wins than losses since 2021. So, he profiles as a strong value regardless, but really a “great play” if Green Bay wins and only a “fine play” if Green Bay loses. Unfortunately, the Packers opened as 3.0-point underdogs against the Chargers this week. But the matchup looks strong – the Chargers are giving up the 5th-most FPG to opposing RBs (25.8), including 43.8 to the Lions last week. Jones is a fringe cash play on both sites.
Devin Singletary, RB, Houston Texans (VS. ARI)
DraftKings: $5,300 (RB21) | FanDuel: $6,500 (RB22)
Singletary is the premier RB value on both sites this week. Dameon Pierce looks unlikely to play for the third straight game, and Singletary has earned a 78% snap share, 52% route share, and 15.0 XFP/G in his absence. Over the full season, those marks would rank 5th, 9th, and 13th among RBs. If that wasn’t enough, the Texans should be faced with plenty of positive gamescript as a 5.0-point favorite, and Arizona is the 2nd-softest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing RBs (+4.3 FPG). Singletary is a cash game must-play across the board.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins (VS. LV)
DraftKings: $9,300 (WR1) | FanDuel: $9,800 (WR1)
Hill has exceeded 25.0 DK fantasy points in 6 of 9 games this year and 31.0 in 4 of 9, averaging 26.7 DK FPG (+12% more than the next-closest WR, who costs just $100 less). He’s an incredible value and offers unrivaled slate-wrecking potential. This is a below-average matchup on paper, but certainly not a prohibitive one. We consider Hill a top-3 WR value on both sites, and a strong cash play.
Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets (@ BUF)
DraftKings: $6,400 (WR17) | FanDuel: $7,000 (WR16)
Wilson leads all players in first-read target share (42.5%). He ranks 10th among all WRs in XFP/G (18.1), but just 19th in FPG (14.5). Or, since Week 6, 2nd in XFP/G (22.8), 8th in YPG (90.8), and 10th in FPG (16.7). He pops as a strong value in a game Zach Wilson should be forced to throw more than typical, even if the on-paper matchup is below average, and even if the QB is terrible.
Note: Wilson is listed as questionable with an elbow injury, but he’s publicly stated he’s playing. I don’t believe this should have any notable impact on his projection or production.
Tank Dell, WR, Houston Texans (VS. ARI)
DraftKings: $5,900 (WR23) | FanDuel: $7,000 (WR17)
Tank Dell has ranked top-4 among all pass catchers in XFP in each of the last two weeks. Over that span, he’s posted a 40% first-read target share (4th-highest) on the back of 12.5 targets per game (4th-most).
You could argue Dell’s volume has been aided by the recent absences of Robert Woods and Nico Collins. That’s probably true, but it’s also true that rookie WRs are typically far more productive in the 2nd-half of their rookie seasons. It’s very possible we are seeing Dell cement his status as an alpha target-earner, injuries or not. For this week, Dell draws an Arizona defense that ranks as the 3rd-softest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing outside WRs (+7.0 FPG). He’s a cash play on both sites.
The Cardinals play Cover 4 at more than 2X the league-average rate (33.9%, 2nd-most)— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) November 17, 2023
Texans WR/TEs PPR per route run against Cover 4:
Tank Dell: 7th-best of 135 qualifiers
Dalton Schultz: 8th-best
Robert Woods: 32nd-worst
Noah Brown: 21st-worst
Nico Collins: 8th-worst pic.twitter.com/zojHKakl0E
Marquise Brown and Michael Wilson, WRs, Arizona Cardinals (@ HOU)
The matchup is tough(ish), and neither player managed to do much last week (in one of the worst possible matchups), but the role for both Wilson and Brown is dramatically better than their DraftKings’ salaries would imply. Brown’s WR28 price is a joke relative to the 19.1 XFP/G and 10.3 targets per game he averaged in his six games with Kyler Murray but without DeAndre Hopkins in 2022. And Wilson shouldn’t be within $400 of the stone minimum after three consecutive games with five or more targets, alongside a strong schematic matchup. Don’t forget this is the highest-total game of the slate, and Arizona will likely air it out as 5.0-point underdogs. Both Wilson and Brown are cash game viable on DraftKings but merely above-average values on FanDuel.
Trey McBride, TE, Arizona Cardinals (@ HOU)
DraftKings: $4,400 (TE6) | FanDuel: $5,900 (TE5)
McBride was a featured element of the Cardinals' offense in Weeks 8 and 9, ranking top-5 among TEs in usage (XFP) and target share. But Kyler Murray’s return supercharged this offense – further adding to Mcbride’s fantasy value. On Sunday, McBride earned 28% of Arizona’s targets – one of just 16 games this season where a TE has posted a target share at or above 28%. Somewhat unbelievably, McBride is actually responsible for two of those games in the last three weeks. For Week 11, McBride draws a top-3 schedule-adjusted matchup in Houston, and Arizona should (once again) be forced to throw as 4.5-point underdogs. You could argue McBride should be priced as the TE1 on this slate; that’s how strong of a value he is.