This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.
Sunday's 11-game slate not only has just one game with a total of 48.0 points at DraftKings Sportsbook but also four games at 41.5 or below. That doesn't mean there aren't games worthy of stacking, and while there could be low-scoring games, there are strangely still paths for a high number of fantasy points.
Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs. WAS ($10,500): McCaffrey is once again the most expensive player on a slate, but there is more value this week that will make it fairly easy to fit in the best fantasy player in the league. McCaffrey is pretty matchup proof as it is, but facing a Washington defense that's allowed the 11th-most fantasy points per game to running backs, and there really isn't a solid reason to fade him in cash games. Part of that fade includes using the extra salary you get from cheaper upper-tier running backs, but a lot of them have some issues. Nick Chubb ($7,800) has continued his high volume despite the return of Kareem Hunt ($5,500), at least in terms of carries, but the Steelers have allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position. The same matchup problems are presented to Derrick Henry ($7,600) and Leonard Fournette ($7,500), and while Saquon Barkley ($7,400) has a good opportunity against the Packers, the Giants have done a terrible job this season using him in a way where he's productive from a fantasy perspective. The further you go down the salary list, the easier it becomes to just pay up for McCaffrey.
Jonathan Williams, IND vs. TEN ($5,300): There are multiple running backs below $6,000 who are likely to warrant plenty of consideration because of their lower prices and solid matchups, with Williams one of the better ones against a Titans defense that's allowed the 12th-most fantasy points per game to running backs, including multiple touchdowns in two of their last three games. While Jordan Wilkins ($3,300) is supposed to get more involved in the offense, he only played one offensive snap last week (zero carries, zero targets) when Williams rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, his second consecutive game with more than 100. It would be tough for Wilkins to get less work, so the marginal increase shouldn't push fantasy players away from Williams. The other running backs in the range who should get lots of looks are Kenyan Drake ($5,600) against the Rams, though the return of Chase Edmonds ($4,500) could take a few carries away, Miles Sanders ($5,400) on road against the Dolphins, Ronald Jones ($5,100) at Jacksonville and Phillip Lindsay ($5,000) at home against the Chargers. Sanders has been a pretty consistent disappointment with his increased workload, which puts him behind Jones and Lindsay, the latter of whom was a popular play last week in Buffalo when he cost $200 more. With a better matchup this week, only eight teams have allowed more fantasy points per game to running backs, he could be a very popular play, especially because of the salary savings to get McCaffrey in. Then again, one of those eight teams that have allowed more rushing yards than the Chargers is the Jaguars.
Todd Gurley, LAR at AZ ($6,500): The salary range around Gurley is a bit of a tough one because of McCaffrey up top and the solid number of cheaper guys who could be just as effective. With that said, Gurley has a very encouraging matchup against the Cardinals, who have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points per game to running backs this season. Gurley's usage has been really inconsistent this season, but the Rams don't have the luxury of easing his workload as they fall further away from the playoffs. With plenty of volume expected, especially given quarterback Jared Goff's struggles of late, Gurley could be an explosive performer Sunday.
Patrick Mahomes, KC v. OAK ($7,400): Mahomes is the most expensive quarterback on the slate, but the values at other spots means he's not a prohibitive cost. He is $400 more than Lamar Jackson, who has been the best fantasy quarterback this season, but the matchup against the 49ers defense isn't nearly as enticing given they've allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to the position while the Raiders have allowed the fourth-most. Coming off a bye that was preceded by one of his worst games of the season, Mahomes figures to be highly owned, both as a one-off and in stacks given the affordability of some of his receivers.
Nick Foles, JAX vs. TB ($5,700): Mahomes' matchup is certainly great, but it's not as good as the one for Foles, who faces a Buccaneers defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season, and it's helped by the fact that they are so dominant against the run. Before holding Matt Ryan to 326 yards and one touchdown in Week 12, the Buccaneers had allowed multiple passing touchdowns in eight consecutive games, and Foles will face them after throwing 47 and 48 passes in the past two games, respectively. Only the Raiders vs. Chiefs game has a higher total on the slate, and given the way these offenses can put up points, it wouldn't be surprising to see it go over 47.5, with much of that work coming from Foles because Fournette will be trying to run against the defense that's allowed the third-fewest fantasy points per game to running games.
Davante Adams, GB at NYG ($7,000): Tyreek Hill ($8,900) is the most expensive wide receiver on the slate, and while he can put up some monster scores, that salary range really should only be for Michael Thomas, who gets double-digit targets, double-digit receptions and over 100 yards in almost every game. Hill is certainly capable of the yards because of his incredible speed, and yes, he does get a decent number of targets, but it's not enough to be $1,200 more than the next highest-priced receiver, Tampa Bay's Chris Godwin ($7,700). The matchup is there for Hill against an awful Raiders secondary, and he's likely to have a very good game, but there are sacrifices that need to be made to roster him, especially if you do so with Mahomes. Meanwhile, Adams is $1,900 cheaper and faces a Giants defense that's allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers (the Buccaneers have allowed the most). Additionally, he's been targeted at least 10 times in four straight games (he was injured for a bit, so those came in Weeks 4, 9, 10 and 12), and with the Giants slightly better against the run than the pass, Adams should stay plenty busy.
D.J. Chark JAX vs. TB ($6,600): Chark is one of the best ways to take advantage of the Buccaneers' struggles in the passing game, and he's almost a required play for those who have Foles as their quarterback. He was only targeted six times last week, catching five for 38 yards, but he had at least nine targets in each of the three games before that, including at least 12 twice. Again, with the Buccaneers presenting a very strong front against the run, the Jaguars have every reason to air it out, giving Chark, Chris Conley ($4,500) and Dede Westbrook ($5,000) reason to be considered.
Auden Tate, CIN vs. NYJ ($3,800): The Bengals' receivers are still priced as if Ryan Finley ($4,700) is starting, and while Andy Dalton ($4,700) is hardly a greatl quarterback – he was benched for Finley, after all – he's good enough where his no. 2 wideout shouldn't be priced below $4,000 against a Jets defense that's allowed the 10th-most fantasy points per game to the position this season, including tying for the third-most wide receiver touchdowns. Tyler Boyd ($5,500) is also a very solid option against the Jets, though the salary savings to Tate is pretty significant. Additionally, it's tough to look past the fact that Robert Woods is the same price as Boyd while getting 20 targets in his last two games, finishing with 95 and 97 yards, respectively. Woods leads the league in targets (80) among players who haven't scored a receiving touchdown, and he'll be a weekly touchdown regression candidate until he hits pay dirt. Nevertheless, a high target volume against a Cardinals defense that's allowed the seventh-most receptions to wide receivers this season will surely make him popular, even with Goff's recent struggles.
Jack Doyle, IND vs. TEN ($3,300): With Eric Ebron ruled out for the season because of two ankle injuries and T.Y. Hilton out because of a quad injury, Doyle seemingly has a path to increased targets. However, that's been the case for a few weeks and it really hasn't resulted in much production, as he caught three of four targets in three of his last four games, failing to reach even 45 receiving yards. There are other pay-down tight ends worth considering, such as Noah Fant ($3,700) and Jonnu Smith ($3,300), but fantasy players may be better off going even lower, with the Giants likely to start Kaden Smith ($2,900) in place of the injured Evan Engram ($5,200) and Rhett Ellison ($3,200), while Tyler Higbee ($2,500) could be the Rams' starting tight end if Gerard Everett ($4,600) isn't able to play because of a knee injury.
Darren Waller, OAK at KC ($5,500): Travis Kelce ($7,200) is always a solid pay-up option, but Waller is a solid target in the same game because of the Raiders' expected passing volume. Keeping up with the Chiefs' offense doesn't usually lend itself to a ton of carries, so with Derek Carr ($5,500) potentially having to air it out, Waller seems likely to see an increase in targets versus what he's been getting recently, now four straight games with fewer than eight. That all being said, paying up for a tight end doesn't seem like it'll be a popular cash-game strategy, and the lower-priced options aren't likely to be so owned that fading one could be detrimental.
Cardinals vs. Rams ($2,000): Would you pay only $2,000 for a defense against a quarterback that hasn't thrown for more than 245 yards in his past three games while turning it over multiple times twice in that span? That's what you get with the Cardinals, who are 3.0-point home underdogs to the struggling Rams. Paying down always means they can get blown up, so for those not interested in going this low, the Broncos ($3,000) are a solid bet at home against the Chargers, especially after quarterback Philip Rivers ($5,500) threw seven interceptions in the past two games.