The high-low drafting method within daily fantasy sports is well known, but not well used. The concept is really simple, but to use it right requires thinking outside the box and looking for players that are not actually low worth, just low in price. As you get ready to draft your daily fantasy football team, here are two underrated players with a lot of potential to keep in mind for your “scrubs” selections. We’ll let you pick the “stars” on your own. Going with either or both of these players will allow you to spend a lot more in other areas to try and maximize your point return and win your league without worrying about how you’re going to score any other points after drafting a top wide receiver like Julio Jones or Odell Beckham, Jr.
QB Tyrod Taylor. Buffalo Bills.
Taylor had a phenomenal preseason, and while that’s a little unreliable to go by when drafting a fantasy roster, do consider that he earned the starting slot in Buffalo over their previously slated star QB, E.J. Manuel and veteran Matt Cassel. He went 24 for 31 in passing, showing that he’s a lot more accurate than previously thought, and being chosen to start is pretty impressive considering he was expected to be third string. Besides being accurate, he’s also fast and mobile, which is a plus on a strong defensive team, but not one that’s known for a strong offense. This gives the Bills a weapon that they didn’t have before.
The downside. Going with Taylor is going to give you good value, but he’s not the best QB in the NFL, and you are losing points on him. There are other QBs that will score far more points, but perhaps not at the price level Taylor is going for. On DraftKings, Taylor can be picked up for $5,000, and on FanDuel he’s priced at the same. Both sites have given him negative values for expected fantasy points contributed, but that’s not likely to happen, even though the Colts currently have the 8th best defensive ranking going into the season.
The upside. Taylor will not score negative points against the Colts. Taylor is untested, and will more than likely not be picked up by many daily fantasy sports players. That gives your roster a ton of potential when he does better than expected. He’s cheap too, which gives you the ability to spend your money on top receivers and running backs in order to find bonus points elsewhere. He is a perfect fill in as a “low” player because he won’t score points like a low player. That’s a perfect example of value.
RB Darren McFadden. Dallas Cowboys.
McFadden will be relied upon heavily by QB Tony Romo this weekend. Romo’s top weapon from last year is gone, and McFadden will be a nice tool for him to use. There’s been a lot of speculation on who the top RB will be in Dallas this year, but McFadden has the skill set to take the role on. He’s fast, smart, and durable, and that spells success for Romo and the Cowboys.
The downside. McFadden has a low expected average fantasy point return for his price tag on both of the major DFS sites. However, he’s in a situation unlike what he’s been in before, and that could lead to unexpected results. The stats don’t show this, and if you’re looking for stability and predictability, he can be a bit of a reach. On DraftKings, McFadden can be picked up for $4,400 and is expected to return 7.6 points. At FanDuel, he’s worth $6,600 and expected to return 6.4 points. These are both decent, but a quick look shows cheaper or similar players with better expectations.
The upside. McFadden was in Oakland last year when his stats were accumulated working with a very different quarterback. Romo was arguably the best QB in the NFL last season, and it was largely because he has the unarguably best running back in the league to work with. McFadden will see much more action this year than he did in Oakland and therefore his comparatively low fantasy points are a nonissue. If McFadden does not score 9 or more points at FanDuel, and 12 or more at DraftKings, it would be very surprising.