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.
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Notable NFL DFS Price Increases
Derek Carr, QB (New Orleans Saints) Week 8 DraftKings Price $5,500; Week 9 DraftKings Price $5,700
Derek Carr does not usually spell fantasy football excitement, but the veteran quarterback provides some consistency at a position that has seen a ton of injuries and volatility this season.
A top-15 fantasy quarterback each of the last four games, Carr seems to be finding his footing in New Orleans. He has three straight 300+ yard passing games and had his highest yards/attempt (11.5) and QB Rating (133.3) of the season last week in a shootout win over Indianapolis.
This production includes a lot of dump-off throws, but there may be more upside on the horizon if he can get his number one wideout Chris Olave cooking down the stretch. Olave has just two touchdowns and two 100 yard receiving games on the season
Alvin Kamara, RB (New Orleans Saints) Week 8 DraftKings Price $7,300; Week 9 DraftKings Price $8,100
Speaking of dump-off throws, most of those go to the PPR machine Alvin Kamara. Returning to his previous Pro Bowl form, Kamara has at least 17 PPR fantasy points in all five games he has suited up this season.
Kamara is one of the few dual-threat workhorse running backs in the league, with the likes of Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. He has two games this season with an incredible 14 targets and has at least 80 total yards each week.
When the touchdowns come, Kamara is one of the elite options in fantasy football. Derek Carr and the Saints offense seem to be finding their way. Kamara could continue his price hikes in the near future.
DeVonta Smith, WR (Philadelphia Eagles) Week 8 DraftKings Price $6,700; Week 9 DraftKings Price $7,100
DeVonta Smith finally got back on track for fantasy players in Week 8, catching all seven of his targets for 99 yards and a score.
The A.J. Brown show has taken over Philadelphia over the last month, and Smith’s production has been collateral damage. Before Week 8, Smith had not finished in the top 40 of PPR wide receivers in five straight weeks.
We know the potential is there for Smith to ratchet things up quickly. He totaled nearly 1,200 receiving yards last season with seven touchdowns. This could be a buying opportunity with his salary still a bit depressed from his season highs.
Trey McBride, TE (Arizona Cardinals) Week 8 DraftKings Price $2,800; Week 9 DraftKings Price $3,700
The sophomore tight end came out of nowhere to post the best fantasy performance at the position in Week 8 with 25.5 points.
He earned an outstanding 14 targets and caught 10 balls for 95 yards and a score as the Cardinals played catch-up throughout most of the game against Baltimore. McBride has seen a gradual uptick in targets lately, with five in Week 6 and six in Week 7 ahead of last week’s breakout.
With the quarterback position now in flux for the Cardinals, it is hard to know what the future holds for McBride. Joshua Dobbs is now playing for the Vikings, and Kyler Murray appears set to come back in the next few weeks with a potential Clayton Tune start or two in the middle. At least the promising young tight end seems to be earning more opportunities over longtime veteran Zach Ertz.
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Notable NFL DFS Price Decreases
Patrick Mahomes, QB (Kansas City Chiefs) Week 8 DraftKings Price $8,400; Week 9 DraftKings Price $8,100
It’s not very often that Patrick Mahomes goes on sale in DraftKings salary charts. He falls to third in quarterback pricing this week behind Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson after a surprising dud game against a Denver Broncos defense that has looked like Swiss cheese all season long.
Mahomes had one of the worst starts of his career, finishing 24-38 for 241 yards, two interceptions, a lost fumble, and zero touchdowns. He managed just a 59.2 QB Rating and finished 30th in fantasy points at the quarterback position.
Reports came out ahead of the game that Mahomes was suffering flu-like symptoms. Whether that impacted his play or not, expect the Chiefs to come out angry in Germany against the Dolphins this Sunday. This game has the potential to be a shootout, but often those games turn out into unexpected defensive struggles.
Miles Sanders, RB (Carolina Panthers) Week 8 DraftKings Price $4,900; Week 9 DraftKings Price $4,500
The Miles Sanders experiment in Carolina seems to be coming to an end. At the start of the season, the Panthers gave him workhorse treatment with 22 touches in Week 1. Those opportunities diminished to just two carries last week.
Carolina likely shopped Sanders at the trade deadline, but it does not seem like there was much interest around the league. Even as a deep lottery ticket, there should not be much fantasy interest any longer in Sanders, with Chuba Hubbard taking the lead role in the backfield.
Treylon Burks, WR (Tennessee Titans) Week 8 DraftKings Price $3,900; Week 9 DraftKings Price $3,600
Will Levis injected some needed excitement into the Tennessee Titans offense in Week 8, but that excitement did not extend to Treylon Burks.
The second-year wide receiver returned from a knee injury but couldn’t reel in a catch on two targets. Before the injury, Burks managed just six total catches in the first three weeks of the season.
The talent is there for the former first-round receiver who was brought in to replace A.J. Brown. Those dreams seem far away with the production Brown is putting up, but the Titans look set to see what Levis can do this season, and that could eventually involve more usage for Burks down the field.
T.J. Hockenson, TE (Minnesota Vikings) Week 8 DraftKings Price $6,200; Week 9 DraftKings Price $5,200
What a disappointment in Minnesota with the season-ending Achilles injury for Kirk Cousins. The setback comes just as the Vikings looked poised to turn their season around, and T.J. Hockenson returning as a key cog in the offensive mixture.
Jaren Hall will take the reins for Week 9, and potentially Joshua Dobbs could take over as soon as Week 10. Certainly, neither option will have the capabilities of Cousins in this offense. Expect Hockenson to still be involved, but the upside is much lower in the new reality for Minnesota.