Like any healthy market, price fluctuations are expected for players in daily fantasy football (NFL DFS). Exploring those fluctuations can often reveal bargain players to target after down weeks or players that are rising too high in price above future expectations.
Each week, we will analyze one player at each position that has notably increased and decreased in price.
Notable NFL DFS Price Increases
Jordan Love, QB (Green Bay Packers) Week 1 DraftKings Price $5,000; Week 2 DraftKings Price $5,500
Deja vu is setting in for the rest of the NFC North division after another young Packers quarterback impressed on Sunday. Jordan Love may be in his fourth NFL season, but his debut after taking the reins from Aaron Rodgers showed maturity far above his 83 previous pass attempts.
Love finished 15-27 for 245 yards and three touchdowns in a game that was over early in Chicago. He posted the highest passer rating of any quarterback in week one, despite a 55.6% completion rate. He finished third with 9.1 yards/attempt behind Tua Tagovailoa and Derek Carr.
Even with a $500 salary jump, Love is a screaming value in lineups if he can manufacture a similar performance against the Falcons this week. Atlanta allowed just 10 points to the Panthers in Bryce Young‘s rookie debut, but the Packers should prove to be a better test against a Falcons defense that finished in the bottom 10 of points allowed per game last season.
Austin Ekeler, RB (Los Angeles Chargers) Week 1 DraftKings Price $8,200; Week 2 DraftKings Price $8,700
New season — same results for Austin Ekeler in this Chargers offense. Despite playing just 41 total snaps due to an ankle injury, he saw 20 total touches for 164 total yards and a rushing touchdown.
Head Coach Brandon Staley has announced that Ekeler’s status is uncertain for practices this week, but there is still hope he will play his normal role against the Titans in Week 2.
In 2022, Ekeler tallied eight top-10 running back fantasy weeks and led all backs with 21.9 PPR points per game. The Chargers face a difficult defensive front in Tennessee for week two, but Ekeler should still have plenty of opportunities to produce for fantasy owners if his ankle is ready to go on Sunday.
Tyreek Hill, WR (Miami Dolphins) Week 1 DraftKings Price $8,200; Week 2 DraftKings Price $8,800
Any reservations for Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, Jalen Waddle, and the rest of the Miami Dolphins offense were quickly quelled on Sunday in a 36-34 shootout win over the Chargers. Hill led all fantasy scorers in week one with 44.5 PPR points on 11 receptions for 215 yards and two touchdowns.
Hill remains one of the most dangerous wideouts in the league and Tagovailoa proved that he can distribute the ball effectively to his playmakers. Ascending to a clear number two in the wide receiver salary rankings, behind Justin Jefferson, Hill has the highest ceiling at the position this week against New England.
That said, Bill Belichick and the Patriots excel at stopping the No. 1 offensive threat of their opponents. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ potent offense sputtered in an ugly opening-week victory against New England. This could be a trap game for the Dolphins after an exciting week one win.
Darren Waller, TE (New York Giants) Week 1 DraftKings Price $5,100; Week 2 DraftKings Price $5,500
After the 40-0 shellacking the Giants took on Sunday night against the Cowboys, it’s amazing that any New York player could increase in DraftKings salary. Tight end Darren Waller did lead the team in receptions and receiving yards, but that resulted in just three catches for 36 yards.
Daniel Jones was under fire all night from the likes of Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence, and two early defensive/special teams scores for the Cowboys turned the game into a negative script quickly for the Giants.
The buzz on Waller was strong all offseason that he would be the leading receiving option in New York. Week 1 may not be a good barometer for the rest of the season, but no wide receivers seemed to step up as leading target competition. Rookie Jalin Hyatt, last season’s Biletnikoff Award Winner, saw just one target.
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Notable NFL DFS Price Decreases
Joe Burrow, QB (Cincinnati Bengals) Week 1 DraftKings Price $7,100; Week 2 DraftKings Price $6,900
The Bengals and Joe Burrow have the number of most AFC teams but, surprisingly, cannot beat their in-state rivals. The Browns have won six of the last seven matchups with Cincinnati, and their defensive pressure dismantled the Bengals on Sunday to the tune of 142 total yards in a 24-3 trouncing.
Burrow had possibly the worst outing of his career after returning from a pre-season injury. He threw for just 82 yards on 14 completions in steady rain for a 55.2 QBR, the lowest of his career. He managed a startling 2.6 yards/attempt and added nothing with his legs.
All of that said, the Bengals have a tendency to start slow and Burrow remains one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league with outstanding offensive weapons around him. His price decrease may be a buying opportunity as the Bengals look to rebound against a stingy Ravens defensive front.
Expect low ownership this week based on the matchup and last week’s performance. Burrow could be an interesting against-the-grain lineup play in Week 2 and the Ravens’ secondary saw multiple injuries in their win over the Texans.
Cam Akers, RB (Los Angeles Rams) Week 1 DraftKings Price $6,100; Week 2 DraftKings Price $5,700
The Rams were one of the league’s biggest surprises in week one as they dominated Seattle in a 30-13 road victory. Matthew Stafford appears to be back to his pre-injury form, but the Rams’ backfield failed to pull their weight.
Cam Akers earned an impressive 22 carries on the day but managed a pitiful 1.3 average yards per rush for 29 total yards. Backup Kyren Williams was somewhat better at 3.5 yards per carry on 15 attempts. Neither tallied a reception.
The workload for Akers is encouraging, but he will need to start taking advantage of his opportunities quickly to keep the number one role. The Rams face a 49ers rushing defense that looked incredible in week one while routing Pittsburgh. Akers could be an interesting contrarian play for tournament lineups.
Tee Higgins, WR (Cincinnati Bengals) Week 1 DraftKings Price $6,800; Week 2 DraftKings Price $6,400
Tee Higgins was the biggest fantasy disappointment stemming from Burrow’s rough day. Despite receiving eight targets, Higgins finished without a reception in week one against the Browns.
As one of the best number two receivers in the league, Higgins has topped 100 targets and 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons. Better days are ahead for the former Clemson star, but his ceiling is certainly capped with Ja’Marr Chase on the field. Higgins did manage four top-six weekly finishes in 2022 but finished 17th or lower in every other game.
The Ravens’ top cornerback Marlon Humphrey is questionable for Sunday’s game with a foot injury, and starting safety Marcus Williams is out. Look for Burrow, Higgins, and Chase to air it out in Week 2 against a beat-up secondary and strong defensive front.
Kyle Pitts, TE (Atlanta Falcons) Week 1 DraftKings Price $4,500; Week 2 DraftKings Price $4,200
In year three, fantasy owners are still waiting for Kyle Pitts to break out and turn his freaky athletic gifts into high-end production. Based on the Atlanta offense in Week 1, it appears they may be waiting well into the future.
Sophomore quarterback Desmond Ridder led the Falcons to a 24-10 victory over the Panthers with just 115 passing yards on 18 attempts. Pitts led the team in receiving yards with a lackluster two catches for 44 yards. Atlanta ran just 48 plays compared to 72 for Carolina, and former first-round receiver Drake London saw just one target.
Head coach Arthur Smith directly addressed fantasy owners after the game by reinforcing that the team is interested only in winning, not fantasy production. With superstar rookie Bijan Robinson and a solid backfield running mate in Tyler Allgeier, expect Atlanta to keep the ball on the ground.
There is simply not enough passing production to make Pitts a top-end tight option.