Each week I search for the cheapest viable options for your FanDuel 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 for QB, $6000 for RB/WR, and $5500 for TE insomuch as possible.
The playoffs create a difficult pricing structure. Every team in the playoffs has its stars, and no one is willfully playing backups or “seeing what they have in a guy”. I’m not going to recommend cheap back up players unless there’s a sufficiently good reason to think they’ll play—we’re definitely not banking on in-game injuries providing opportunity. FanDuel somewhat flattens its pricing structure for the playoffs, so part of what we’ll be looking for are good values, players who might have been at a higher salary during the regular season when there were more options but fall at the lower end of the spectrum this week.
Blake Bortles $7600: Bortles has been conservative thus far in the playoffs, averaging just 145 passing yards per game. However, he’s going to have to do more than that to keep up with the Patriots and Tom Brady, who threw 53 passes last weekend. No team allowed more passing yards per game than the Pats during the regular season, and while Leonard Fournette is probably in must-play territory this week, I love pairing him with affordable Bortles to account for all the offensive points scored in what could be another high-scoring game for the Jags.
Corey Clement $5000: If you’re going to save at RB, you’re going to want to do it with a pass-catching back that has high variance. Clement rushed only once last week, but caught all five of his targets from Nick Foles. I expect a defensive showdown in Philly this week, and Clement looks like the creative and effective way to move the chains against the league’s best rushing defense. With a crowded backfield, there’s no guarantee the Eagles use Clement at all, making him a tournament play.
James White $4800: White was the star of the super bowl last year and the star of New England’s win over Tennessee last week. He’s a playoff touchdown machine? Maybe. His low salary will certainly drive people to roster him in hopes of a repeat 18 fantasy point performance, but the safer play from the New England backfield is Dion Lewis or maybe a healthy Rex Burkhead. There is some reason for optimism with White because you need to have an effective run game to move the ball against their stifling pass defense, but it could become a “hot hand” game. Try to even out your exposure to the different Patriots backs if you’re playing multiple lineups this weekend.
Jarius Wright $4900: Wright saw six targets and caught three of them for 56 yards vs. New Orleans last week. That is as almost as good as the Minnesota receivers you know and love for about $2.5K less. I like the decisions that Case Keenum is making, I like that the Vikings are favored on the road, and there is no other player in this price range seeing this volume in big games. I’ll probably have Wright in every lineup so I can afford running backs and a top tight end.
Danny Amendola $6400: Amendola is another Patriots’ playoff hero, and has the chance to be valuable once again. While I expect Brady to struggle to do much with Brandin Cooks or Chris Hogan, shorting crossing patterns with Amendola (and Rob Gronkowski in the middle of the field) are definitely in play, even against the Jaguars.
Marqise Lee $6100: I’m not high on any Jaguars receivers, partly because his passing volume has been low (even though I think it will be higher this week) and partly because there are so many good hands available. Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole held down the fort while Lee was out, and Allen Hurns, formerly the top receiver here, is back in the fold as well. I’m taking Lee if anyone because I think he has the most rapport with Bortles and has the best chance to score 2 TDs at just a couple hundred dollars more than the other guys.
Kyle Rudolph $6100: The Eagles have nearly as good a run defense as Minnesota does, so there is reason to target the Vikings pass game against an average pass defense. Rudolph has been a favorite end zone target of Vikings QBs for most of his career. If you’re forced to spend down here (I vastly prefer Gronkowski or Zach Ertz), Rudolph has the best odds to score.
Jacksonville Jaguars $4400: It seems crazy to take a defense in the higher scoring game, against the team that averaged the second most points per game, but I’m not taking the Jags D/ST because I think they’ll shut the Patriots out, I’m taking them for the sacks, the turnovers they force, and the way they score off those turnovers (seven touchdowns off turnovers in the regular season, one last week vs. Pittsburgh). If the $600-$800 you save with the talented Jaguars gets you a better TE, RB or WR, you have to do it.