DFS: Stop paying up for quarterbacks

By JOHN SAHLY – jsahly@shawmedia.com
Published:
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Butch Dill) — Butch Dill

It's fun to put Drew Brees – when he's at home – on your Daily Fantasy Sports roster.

It's fun to click his name, then sit back, and watch him throw for 300 yards and at least two touchdowns in the Superdome, and know that position on your roster is secure. As a football fan, it's just fun to watch Drew Brees. Put him on your DFS roster, and it makes it even more fun.

At the same time, if you don't roster him, it can be heartburn-inducing to watch his stats roll up like they did on Sunday: 465 yards, 4 touchdowns, good for 36.6 points on DraftKings. In their big Millionaire Maker tournament this past weekend, he was on six of the top 10 lineups.

"Big deal, Sahly," I hear you saying. "Rostering Drew Brees is fun. Drew Brees is good. Big newsbreaker, there. Where's the but? There's always a but in this column setup."

OK, you got me. But....

You don't have to roster him. You can. And like I said, you're safe. Brees at home is always, always, always in play in cash games.

But. (There it is again). He's expensive. He was the second-most expensive quarterback this past week, and you can find savings without giving up much in the way of points or safety and find yourself in position to roster better skill position players. We want efficient quarterbacks, not necessarily high-volume QBs.

And this doesn't just apply to Brees. Guys like Cam Newton and Tom Brady are usually at the top of the salary chart, and you don't have to roster them, either.

I'd rather take the salary savings and find solid quarterbacks in good matchups. One example from last week: Matthew Stafford at home against a Rams team missing its best cornerback. Stafford has a higher fantasy output at home, and has been a top-10 fantasy QB since Jim Bob Cooter took over the Lions' offense. Stafford, for a savings of $1,700 this past week, got you 28.2 points, which was four times his salary, which is more than enough to find big success in DFS.

Oh, and he was on the winning Millionaire Maker lineup this week at just 4.7 percent ownership. Brees was on 10.5 percent of rosters. Paying down at quarterback is a way to differentiate yourself in tournaments.

Think of your season-long league. You either reached up to get Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton or Drew Brees in the first four rounds, or you waited until the ninth or 10th to take a guy like Matt Ryan. The difference between Ryan and those top-flight QBs isn't all that much, but waiting to take Ryan allowed you to get a better skill-position player like a Lamar Miller or a T.Y. Hilton.

The same applies in DFS. What do you want to pay for? A high-priced QB is a luxury, not a necessity.

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