Bargain Bin Week 5
Each week I search for the cheapest viable options for your DFS lineups at every position. The plays are geared toward cash games unless otherwise indicated and I do try to use a price ceiling of $7000/$6000 for QB, $6000/$5000 for RB/WR, and $5500/$4500 (FD/DK) for TE insomuch as possible.
C.J. Beathard $6300 FD, $4900 DK: I promise not to write about Beathard every week, at least until his salary goes up, but he performed well last week (around 20 fantasy points) and gets another interesting matchup this week. Arizona isn’t a good on-paper fantasy matchup for QBs, but Vegas has the 49ers as four-point home favorites vs. the league’s worst offense. The Cardinals rank in the middle of the league in points allowed, sacks, interceptions, fumbles…they aren’t a defense I’d actively avoid. Beathard’s rapport with George Kittle was nice to see, though if Marquise Goodwin joins Dante Pettis on the inactive list, Kendrick Bourne would be a nice minimum salary pairing with Beathard for Week 5 tournament lineups.
Blake Bortles $7000 FD, $5500 DK: This is going to be the week’s most interesting game. Can the shut-down Jags defense keep Patrick Mahomes in check? Will the Chiefs find their defense? We saw flashes of it Monday night in Denver, but KC is still allowing the most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season (and second-most to RBs). The fact that this game has a high point total (48.5) and narrow spread (Chiefs by 3) means Vegas thinks that Jacksonville will score some points. A Bortles, Dede Westbrook/Donte Moncrief, T.J. Yeldon stack could be very interesting in tournaments.
Josh Rosen $6400 FD, $4700 DK: Rosen is a work in progress, but as cheap tournament QBs go, he could be a low-owned gem this week. The 49ers are among the best fantasy matchups for opposing teams, ranking eighth in fantasy points allowed to QBs. Rosen made strides with Christian Kirk, though the stat line didn’t ultimately show it, as well as Chad Williams in Week 4. If there was a week to get back to believing in David Johnson, too, this would be it.
(TNF) Nyheim Hines $5800 FD, $4600 DK: Sure to be a popular play after his 2-TD explosion in Week 4, Hines is a must play in the showdown slate and possibility on the full Thursday-Monday slate. The Colts are in need of healthy, talented bodies, and Hines showed he could be of value in Andrew Luck’s exclusively short passing game this season. Expect more of the same, against an admittedly tougher Houston defense.
Dion Lewis $5700 FD, $5400 DK: Who’s playing the Bills this week? Ah yes, a running back under $6K. Sign me up. Lewis has significantly out-performed Derrick Henry thus far in 2018, and should be a big part Sunday’s game plan. Coming off three tough matchups and playing in the week’s lowest point total game, Lewis could be a bit overlooked this weekend, but his getting back near 20 fantasy points is very doable.
Bilal Powell $5700 FD, $4400 DK: We just saw what Kareem Hunt was able to do in Denver (121 yards rushing and 54 yards receiving, 1 TD) and I expect the Jets to use their backfield in much the same way. I like Isaiah Crowell here too, but not as much as Powell. Powell’s advantage in the passing game was apparent last week vs. Jacksonville, and it gives him a floor/ceiling boost that Crowell can’t. In a game where the Jets are expected to be playing from behind, Powell’s the guy.
(SNF) Alfred Blue $5000 FD, $3600 DK: Lamar Miller is currently questionable, and if he were to miss Sunday Night Football vs. Dallas, you’d want to use Blue in any kind of showdown or Primetime contest.
Dede Westbrook $5900 FD, $4700 DK: I’m choosing Westbrook here because he’s coming off a 13-target game where he ran most of his routes in the slot. Donte Moncrief and Keelan Cole have similar numbers of targets on the season, and Moncrief is the leading red zone target for Bortles so far (2) as well as the deep threat. As noted above for Bortles, the Jaguars are going to need a strong passing offense to keep up with the Chiefs, so it’s really personal preference on which cheap Jags WR you roll with.
(SNF) Keke Coutee $5400 FD, $4200 DK: Coutee is the name on everyone’s lips this week, and not just because it’s fun to say. When Deshaun Watson targeted him 11 times in Week 4, it was hard not to notice. He ended with over 100 receiving yards, but it was DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller who found the endzone. With Lamar Miller less than 100 percent, Watson could rely on his receivers even more this week, though the matchup with Dallas isn’t a gimme.
(MNF) Jamison Crowder $5700 FD, $4300 DK: I haven’t mentioned the Redskins yet, but their matchup with New Orleans is among the best of the week. Another reason to play a full slate or definitely hit the showdowns. The Saints have so far been a WR matchup dream, allowing the most fantasy points to that position. Alex Smith is conservative, yes, and Adrian Peterson should be fresh off the bye, but against Drew Brees and the Saints powerful offense, Washington is going to need big plays and a lot of them. Crowder and Paul Richardson (assuming his shoulder is ok) should both be worth the low salary.
Tournament WR bargains I love but wouldn’t trust in all my lineps: Albert Wilson ($4900/$3700), Zay Jones ($4700/$3600), Michael Gallup ($4600/$3400), Torrey Smith ($4600/$3500), Chad Williams ($4500/$3000), Ryan Switzer ($4500/$3000)
Vance McDonald $4600 FD, $3700 DK: A no brainer on both sites, McDonald is turning into the kind of reliable security outlet that Ben Roethlisberger has been missing the past few years and that we thought he’d be in the preseason. This is a fairly high-floor role, and I love his upside in a matchup with the fantasy-friendly Falcons this weekend.
Nick Vannett $4300 FD, $2500 DK: With Will Dissly out, you may decide to save a bundle at tight end and roll with Vannett. It’s a risky strategy, as we saw with Rhett Ellison last week, but Seattle is at home vs. the Rams, a team that has been generous to opposing tight ends in the middle of the field. Guys in this range are always touchdown dependent, but Vannett has seen as many as five targets twice this season. At his price, 2-3 catches for 40 yards and a TD is huge.
San Francisco 49ers $3800 FD, $3000 DK: So it comes to this. I mentioned above that it’s not a bad spot for Josh Rosen and David Johnson, as the 49ers have been a plus matchup so far this season. However, Arizona is the league’s lowest scoring team, with the highest turnover differential. I think better things are on the horizon for the Cardinals but their young players are probably still going to make some mistakes on the way.
Tennessee Titans $3900 FD only: The most expensive defense on DraftKings, as they should be, is yet a bargain on FanDuel. Buffalo under Josh Allen has been a mixed bag; we all remember the Vikings defense putting up 3 fantasy points vs. Buffalo, but the Ravens, Chargers and Packers averaged over 15 fantasy points against them. Allen is definitely still making mistakes, while the Titans D has 12 sacks, five forced fumbles, and three picks so far. All of those numbers put them in the top half or top third of the league.