FanDuel Bargain Bin Week 9
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.
Derek Carr $7000: I liked, but didn’t fully trust Derek Carr until what he did against the Jets in Week 8. His wide receivers very nearly doubled the fantasy output of any other duo that has faced the Jets this season as he completed 64% of his passes for 333 yards and 4 TDs. This week Carr and company play the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The matchup is fairly positive, as the Steelers are rated as the second worst pass coverage unit by PFF, though they just gave Andy Dalton a pretty hard time. Oakland has a healthy, well-balanced offense that is allowing Carr to succeed in tougher situations than Pittsburgh. Where I’m not using Tom Brady, I’m using Carr a ton.
Jameis Winston $ 6700: If there was a week to play Winston in cash games, this is it. The Giants allow the third most fantasy points to opposing QBs among teams playing this week. Winston has had a very high floor relative to anyone else in this range, as well as decent ceiling, ranging from 13-20 FanDuel points. He’s been making better decisions the past couple games, and despite being without his 2nd and 3rd receivers and tight end, is coming off two solid performances. I love a Winston-Mike Evans stack this weekend.
Shane Vereen $5700: I liked Vereen last week in a positive passing matchup for the Giants and he came through with 8/60/1. Reuben Randle tweaked his hamstring, Victor Cruz is not going to play, and New York visits Tampa Bay, whose defense is allowing the most fantasy points to receivers (among teams that play this week). Vereen isn’t being used effectively as a receiver in every game the Giants have played, but he is in every game they’ve played well. If you’re buying a Giants repeat, and I am, Vereen should be a nice low-owned option to pair with Devonta Freeman or Todd Gurley.
I don’t like going cheap at RB this week. There aren’t any plays down here that I can recommend confidently so I’m not going to force it. Antonio Andrews ($5700), who’s appeared here several times before and has now been designated the workhorse in Tennessee, is the best option, but you’re far better off saving at WR and TE
Michael Crabtree $5800: My love for Crabtree knows no bounds. If he would stop being so impressive (at least four catches in every game, touchdowns in the last two) or sites raised his price, that might change but until either thing happens, he’s in most of my lineups. The outing last week against the Jets really sealed it. Going for 7/102/1 against that defense, not to mention 6/63/1 in San Diego, another solid pass defense, is reminiscent of the year he made Colin Kaepernick look good. I like Carr this week, as you just read, and while I think Amari Cooper will be just as good as Crabtree again this week, he simply costs a lot more of your cap.
Stevie Johnson $5400/Dontrelle Inman $5000: The very sad season-ending injury to Keenan Allen opens the door for Stevie Johnson to make a fantasy impact this week. The Chargers are at home, where they’ve played significantly better this season, and facing a Bears team that allows the sixth most fantasy points to opposing receivers (4th among teams playing this week). Johnson has 12 targets in the two games he’s played since returning from injury (with Allen) though he hasn’t scored since Week 2. Inman is a riskier play, but as noted by Chris Raybon, did see 8+ targets per game when Allen missed time last year. Malcolm Floyd will remain the deep threat and is another decent value ($6100). The issue is further muddled with the TE situation. It looks like Antonio Gates will be good to go, but Ladarius Green still isn’t practicing. Philip Rivers is in a great spot this week, leads the league in passing yards, and will find a way to get it done somehow…my favorite player of the bunch to benefit is Johnson.
Jacob Tamme $5200: It looks like Atlanta is getting more comfortable with using Tamme in the passing game, as he had 12 targets last week and scored his first touchdown against the Bucs. The Falcons face the 49ers in a dream matchup for the whole team. I favor Devonta Freeman this week in terms of the studs, but there should be enough fantasy value here to spill over to Tamme if you want to save at TE. Roddy White simply isn’t the player he wishes he still was and a subtle shift to more looks for Tamme helps keep defenses honest. Not that it matters in San Francisco, where the 49ers make every opponent look like a hall of fame material.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins $5200: IF he plays, you might want some exposure to ASJ. Everyone remembers what he did in Week 1 (5/110/2) before hurting his shoulder in Week 2. With the receiving corps of the Bucs in dire straits, it would be nice to see Sefarian-Jenkins back out there, particularly against a Giants defense that has allowed the most receptions (58) and yards (684 yds) to opposing TEs (second most fantasy points, behind the Raiders).
Philadelphia Eagles $4700: Facing Matt Cassel earns you a spot here every week. There is a glut of defenses at this price, including the Jets and the Vikings, who are both intriguing as well if you’re not going with Denver or Atlanta (see below). The Eagles are my choice because it’s fairly inevitable that Cassel throws at least one pick and the Eagles lead the league in takeaways with 19 this season.
Atlanta Falcons $4900: The Falcons will be the chalk defense as they get to feast on Blaine Gabbert in San Francisco. Not only was SF scoring the fewest points in the league and allowing their QB to be sacked the third most (28 times) before, they now turn to Gabbert to fix it. Gabbert has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his career and last started in an NFL game in 2013 (three starts that year with the Jaguars). I’m not typically a fan of taking bad defenses in good matchups, but I’ll make an exception here. Also, it’s worth noting that the Falcons D has scored four touchdowns off turnovers this season, though they’re near last in the league in sacks and middle of the pack in points allowed.