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
Tua Tagovailoa, QB (Miami Dolphins) Week 3 DraftKings Price $7,000; Week 4 DraftKings Price $7,400
Putting up 70 points is an easy way to earn a jump in DraftKings salary. The Dolphins were incredible in Week 3, scoring 10 touchdowns against the Broncos, even with Jaylen Waddle missing the game.
Tua Tagovailoa has quelled the doubters so far in 2023 with a 3-0 start for Miami and solid fantasy numbers. He is currently third amongst quarterbacks with 23.3 fantasy points per game and second to Kirk Cousins in both passing touchdowns and passing yards.
The Dolphins have been historically good through three weeks, but can that continue? Tagovailoa has improved his QBR, yards/attempt, and completion rate in each of his first four seasons. That trend will be challenged this week in Buffalo, but his sixth-highest quarterback salary still seems like a value with the Dolphins’ offensive potential.
Christian McCaffrey, RB (San Francisco 49ers) Week 3 DraftKings Price $8,700; Week 4 DraftKings Price $9,200
The best running back in fantasy football extended his salary lead by an incredible $500 this week. A clear separation between Christian McCaffrey and the rest of the top-end tailbacks now exists for fantasy players to consider.
Aside from Raheem Mostert‘s improbable start, McCaffrey is the most consistent fantasy producer at the position, with a touchdown in each of the first three 49ers wins. He leads the NFL with 353 rushing yards and still has more upside on his targets. He received 6.35 targets per game in 2022 and has seen just 4.33 per game through Week 3.
The 49ers have one of the best offensive lines in the game with a coach who loves to scheme the run game. With injuries and other concerns stifling the likes of Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Saquon Barkley, and Austin Ekeler, McCaffrey’s value is unquestioned at the top of the salary chart.
Mike Evans, WR (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) Week 3 DraftKings Price $6,300; Week 4 DraftKings Price $7,000
Mike Evans is proving the fantasy community wrong in 2023 at age 30. He is the number five PPR wide receiver through Week 3 with 297 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
In a contract year, Evans is proving his worth with 17.5 yards per catch and still shows explosiveness with a 70-yard catch against the Bears in Week 2.
He sits 11th in receiving targets with 28 through three games. The Buccaneers continue to struggle on the ground, and Baker Mayfield should continue to take risks in the passing game.
Evans faces his personal rival Marshon Lattimore and the Saints this week. Stay in the flames.
Sam LaPorta, TE (Detroit Lions) Week 3 DraftKings Price $4,000; Week 4 DraftKings Price $4,600
Rookie tight ends are generally a fantasy football no-no, but Sam LaPorta has impressed over the first three weeks. He currently sits second in PPR fantasy points for tight ends behind T.J. Hockenson.
With only five tight ends earning 20 or more targets through three weeks, there are only a few difference makers at the position for fantasy lineups. Travis Kelce remains the top option, but LaPorta’s value may be creeping toward the next tier of options.
The Lions are a serious threat in the NFC North, and Jared Goff turned LaPorta into the number one fantasy tight end in Week 3 with eight catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. He has cracked the top PPR tight ends in each of his first three games.
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Notable NFL DFS Price Decreases
Dak Prescott, QB (Dallas Cowboys) Week 3 DraftKings Price $6,600; Week 4 DraftKings Price $6,200
Through three weeks, Dak Prescott is the 25th-best fantasy quarterback. Though Prescott certainly doesn’t reside in the Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts echelon, he has consistently flirted with top-10 quarterback performances over the last few seasons when healthy.
Prescott was unable to take advantage of a juicy matchup on Sunday as the Cowboys dropped a surprise game in Arizona. In the first two weeks, Dallas’ defense dominated the matchups to create a difficult game script for Prescott’s fantasy potential.
With the price drop, fantasy players may be interested in inserting Prescott into lineups, but the Patriots and 49ers pose stout defensive tests over the next two weeks.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB (New England Patriots) Week 3 DraftKings Price $6,700; Week 4 DraftKings Price $6,200
Expectations were high for Rhamondre Stevenson and the Patriots running game coming into the season. Despite failing to break the 15-point PPR or top-12 running back thresholds through three weeks, he is still the 16th-best fantasy running back so far in 2023.
Many of the top running back options are faltering thus far, but Ezekiel Elliott joining New England has lowered the ceiling for Stevenson to blast off into a higher tier. That said, his opportunities have increased each week, with 19 carries in Week 3 and four targets.
The Patriots have a difficult matchup against Micah Parsons and the Cowboys’ excellent defensive front this week, but the opportunities should be there for Stevenson to be an interesting contrarian play for lineups at this price point.
Calvin Ridley, WR (Jacksonville Jaguar) Week 3 DraftKings Price $7,200; Week 4 DraftKings Price $6,900
Through the first half of Week 1, Calvin Ridley looked like a world-beater and fantasy superstar. That perception was dashed quickly in the last two games as Trevor Lawrence and Jaguars offense have struggled.
Ridley caught eight passes on 11 targets for 101 yards and a score in Week 1. In the last two games, he has caught just five of his 15 targets for 72 total yards. With so many high-end receiver performances each week, those numbers spell disaster for fantasy lineups.
If you believe in a bounce back for Lawrence, you should also have faith in a bounce back for his new No. 1 target. After nearly two years off the field, Ridley is seeing a healthy 8.66 targets per game and faces his old Falcons team this week.
He should be motivated for a big performance in Week 4.
Mark Andrews, TE (Baltimore Ravens) Week 3 DraftKings Price $6,000; Week 4 DraftKings Price $5,400
Injuries have limited Mark Andrews to just nine catches on 13 targets through three weeks. This price drop knocks him to fourth in the salary chart for tight ends.
Andrews has been a mainstay in the top five tight end fantasy rankings since 2019. He has tallied over 100 targets each of the last two seasons with over 11 yards per reception.
The Ravens are in a familiar situation with multiple injuries in the running back room and Lamar Jackson looking for receiving options to carry the offense when he is not on the run himself. Andrews should earn a higher target share this week in Cleveland.
He is a serious buy-low candidate this week.