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.
Teddy Bridgewater $6600: After crushing our preseason expectations heartily in Weeks 1 & 3, Bridgewater bounced back against the Broncos somewhat in Week 5. It was a team loss to a great defense, but Bridgewater managed to salvage his fantasy day with 269 passing yards, 23 rushing yards and a touchdown despite losing a fumble. The Vikings are coming off their bye and although the status of the top two wideouts is in question, they get to face the Kansas City defense, which has allowed 13 TDs and the second most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Bridgewater is about as cheap as I’m willing to go at QB this week, and then only in tournaments.
Ryan Fitzpatrick $6900: Fitzpatrick made this column a couple times last season and one of those was a 6 TD outing. Not that I’m taking credit but…. To be serious, Fitzpatrick has been competent for the Jets in all of his first four starts, scoring between 14-17 FanDuel points in each. This week he faces the Redskins with their tough run D. The way to win here is through the air (Devonta Freeman being the exception), meaning we can expect some real Fitzmagic in New York this weekend. I love both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker this week as well.
Theo Riddick $5000: Riddick is a prototypical PPR back, and while FanDuel offers only 0.5 PPR, we still get some of the benefit from his pass-catching abilities. Leading all RBs with 30 catches, Riddick is the one piece of the Lions offense that I trust right now. In a matchup that has been average to opposing RBs with the Bears, I expect Riddick to maintain his role as a key outlet for Matthew Stafford. The pending return of Joique Bell doesn’t scare me, as Bell has been extremely ineffective in his minimal role. Whether that’s due to injury, chemistry, or the fact that he just isn’t a special talent doesn’t matter. Riddick makes a nice cheaper pivot from the more popular and less proven Charcandrick West.
Danny Woodhead $6000: Sticking with a theme here, Woodhead is used less often on FanDuel due to his PPR label. Consider that he has 153/2 rushing and 24/270 receiving. That puts him in the same production range as many higher priced elite backs. The Chargers travel to Green Bay this weekend, which is always a tough situation, but especially with the WR injuries on San Diego, Woodhead is matchup proof. Besides, the Packers have actually allowed decent rushing/receiving totals to good opposing dual-purpose backs (Matt Forte and Jamaal Charles).
Stefon Diggs $4500: Minnesota has a great matchup on paper this week vs. Kansas City, as mentioned above. The wide receiver situation for the Vikings is messy, with Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson both dealing with injuries and not yet practicing in full. It was Diggs who stepped up in Week 5 with the best WR performance by any of these guys yet this season. While the Chiefs can’t seem to score any WR TDs of their own, they have given up a league most 11 to their opponents. I like Bridgewater and Diggs to build on their rapport this weekend.
Dwayne Harris $5300: The other guy I want to mention is Harris, who has 11 catches on 14 targets over the last two weeks and is averaging 12 fantasy points per game over that span. With Victor Cruz still looking unlikely and both Reuben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr. (clean MRI) still dealing with hamstring strains, who is Eli Manning going to throw to in what is projected to be a shootout with Philadelphia? Harris isn’t a big name guy, but he could play a big role on Monday Night.
Antonio Gates $5500: For the last week, I’m sure, Gates will fit into the bargain bin. He won’t always be as productive as he was in his return from suspension (9/92/2) but he hasn’t lost a bit of chemistry with Philip Rivers and remains a favorite outlet for those 5-10 yard passes Rivers likes to throw. He looked strong Monday night and heads to Green Bay to face a tough Packers D, but I include him here because he is simply much safer AND much higher upside than anyone else in this price range.
Richard Rodgers $5100: Any part of the Packers offense is a good part of the Packers offense. San Diego allows the ninth most fantasy points to TEs and receives a negative grade for pass coverage from PFF. Rodgers has carved out a small, but consistent role and appears to be a reliable red zone target for Aaron Rodgers. He’s not going to win the week for you, but shouldn’t kill you if you have to go this cheap at your TE position.
Chicago Bears $4300: Detroit has scored the 3rd fewest points this season and leads the league in turnovers with 15 total giveaways. Oh, you’re waiting for more? Like something positive about the Bears? There isn’t much to say. They’ve definitely improved over the past three weeks, holding opponents to an average of 18 pts/game over the last two compared to allowing 34 pts/game in the first three weeks of this season. Hopefully they can capitalize on some Lions mistakes.