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 $6500 for QB, $6000 for RB/WR, and $5500 for TE insomuch as possible.
Kirk Cousins $6500: This is an amazing matchup play that we don’t often get to see in this price range. New Orleans allows the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. In numbers, that’s a league-leading 2757 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, and 2 rushing touchdowns. Cousins has been up and down this season, keeping his price in the basement, but those ups have all come against weak defenses. I’m ambivalent about the need to pay down for QB this week, but Cousins has a 30 fantasy point game in him and the Saints are the team to bring it out.
Teddy Bridgewater $6700: We are awaiting official word on Bridgewater’s status for Sunday but it seems like he’s progressing well through the concussion protocol. The Vikings visit Oakland to face the 4th most generous Raiders pass defense. The Bridgewater-Stefon Diggs connection has saved Teddy’s fantasy value this season, and is so strong that it doesn’t make sense to play Bridgewater without Diggs this week. The ceiling is pretty limited, but I also don’t think he’ll kill you and Diggs could have a great day. It opens up a lot of skill opportunity at RB/WR/TE to save this much on a pretty solid QB in a good situation.
James Starks $6000: It looks like Starks is getting the keys to the Packers run game this week. He’s outplayed Eddie Lacy most of the season, and while it looks like Lacy might be active, Starks will start against the Lions. This is obviously a great chance for Starks to shine as the Lions have given up 11 TDs (most in the league) to opposing RBs as well as the fourth most fantasy points. Starks has been most effective those weeks that he’s been involved in the passing game, but he’s also averaging 4.3 yards per carry (YPC). Don’t overthink it—Starks is the safest play in this range with serious upside.
Ryan Mathews $5600: It’s great to see DeMarco Murray looking like DeMarco Murray again and I like him as a higher priced RB play this week. Philadelphia is committed to the run game and there is enough volume in this offense to support both guys. Mathews makes the most of his time, averaging 6.1 YPC on 67 carries. He has touchdowns in the last two games. This week the Eagles host the Dolphins who allow the third most fantasy points to opposing running backs, and PFF rates them as the sixth worst in run defense.
Jamison Crowder $5600: If you believe the Redskins put up points this week as I do, where you look for value is Crowder. He’s taken on a bigger role in the offense as the season goes on and approaches Pierre Garcon in targets and catches (Crowder has 38 vs. 41 receptions for Garcon) despite only really starting to see the field in Week 3. He has yet to catch a touchdown…I think that changes vs. the Saints this weekend.
Corey (Philly) Brown $5000: Way down in the bargain bin we find a piece of a Carolina offense that is stepping up over the past few weeks. This is primarily a Cam Newton/Jonathan Stewart rushing offense with some big Greg Olsen days mixed in, but Brown has a touchdown in each of the last two games and is looking like the guy to spread the field and keep opposing defenses honest. He’s averaging 14 yards per catch. The Titans defense is better than expected, but Carolina is the road favorite and Brown is the cheapest way to get some exposure. I think the breakout game is coming and I want in at this price.
Ben Watson $5500: New Orleans and Drew Brees are on fire right now *all the flame emojis*. I admit I didn’t think Watson had another 20+ fantasy point game in him after he came out of nowhere vs. Atlanta, but then two weeks later he did it again. His price hasn’t really changed, and while I know as well as you that tight end production is extremely volatile, I do think he’s cemented a role in this prolific passing offense.
Richard Rodgers $5400: Sticking with a theme, use the bargain tight end with a good quarterback throwing him the ball. Aaron Rodgers may have slumped a bit for a few weeks, but mounted a vintage comeback attempt last week and gets to face the Detroit Lions, one of the best passing matchups there is. R. Rodgers has benefited when A. Rodgers is “on” and I think this is very much an “on” week for both of them.
Kyle Rudolph $4700: He’s a bonus pick which should have it’s own sub-heading: Tight end facing Oakland. That didn’t work out last week (thanks for nothing, Heath Miller), but Rudolph becomes a really interesting play for me if Teddy Bridgewater is out. I believe in the phenomenon of a back up quarterback looking often to his tight end in the short slant route. Shaun Hill is a veteran of the league, but still hasn’t played much, particularly with this group. Rudolph could prove to be his big-bodied safety blanket vs. the weakest tight end defense in the league.
Pittsburgh $4600: Cleveland should be on everyone’s radar when it comes to picking a defense. Hopefully for the Browns, Josh McCown will be starting this week, but even so, this is a team that has allowed opposing defenses the fourth most fantasy points this season. They’ve allowed 30 sacks, and Pittsburgh is graded highly by PFF in pass rush ability. You can throw on the Steelers…if you can throw. McCown has had some really nice games this year, but likely won’t be 100% if he does start. If Johnny Manziel starts, this is a no brainer defensive play.
Oakland $4300: If you absolutely can’t change the rest of your lineup, I think the Raiders are the best bet at the bottom of the DST list to not kill you. Teddy Bridgewater has a 6:6 TD:INT ratio and the team as a whole is 23rd in points scored per game. Vegas has it as a low scoring game with Oakland small home favorites. Minnesota has allowed 21 sacks and the Raiders, while not outstanding at generating sacks, do have an above average pass rush according to PFF. I like the play whether it’s Bridgewater or Shaun Hill starting on Sunday.