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.
Drew Stanton $6400: With a low implied team total this week, and having spent his entire career as a backup QB, Stanton isn’t inspiring a ton of confidence in me. However…he finds himself in this week’s best QB matchup with the 49ers. San Francisco has given up more fantasy points to QBs than everyone but New England and opposing QBs have a 96.8 quarterback rating (QBR) vs. them.
C.J. Beathard $6200: In the same game, Beathard gets his fourth start for the 49ers, and finally it’s a favorable one. Arizona, despite the defensive prowess of Patrick Peterson, is the league’s third-best QB matchup in fantasy. They’ve given up 14 passing TDs (tied for fourth in the league) with 247 yards per game (QBR of 89.9). Again, the implied team total for the 49ers is low, but I think Beathard comes through this weekend. The signing of Jimmy Garoppolo has to have lit a fire in him, and all things considered, I think he can get you close to 3X value.
Jacoby Brissett $6500: While his opponent, DeShaun Watson, is the most expensive player on the slate and getting the most attention from fantasy analysts thanks to the woeful Colts defense, Brissett is likely flying under the radar. Houston is expected to score a LOT of points in this one, which means the Colts will probably be playing from behind. A favorable passing game script, combined with a better-than-you-think fantasy matchup with the Houston secondary (fourth-most fantasy points to QBs, ninth-most to WRs this season) makes Brissett a sneaky good tournament play.
Orleans Darkwa $5400: The Rams are quietly one of the league’s worst rushing defenses. Allowing 123 yards per game (4.6 yards per carry), they’ve given up eight rushing touchdowns to opposing backs. The Giants pass game is crippled by injury, leaving the game largely in the hands of New York’s running backs and defense. Darkwa out-carried Wayne Gallman two weeks ago and out-produced him in the last two games against two of the league’s best run defenses-Seattle and Denver. Coming off the bye week and facing a generous run defense at home, Darkwa makes for a quality value back in any format.
Kenyon Drake $4500: The trade of Jay Ajayi opens the door for the dynamic Kenyon Drake to make a name for himself in Miami. Oakland hasn’t been particularly effective at stopping the run this season, so it’s a reasonable spot to take a flier on the minimum priced back. The issue is Damien Williams, also $4500, who is arguably the better receiving back. I expect this to be somewhat of a hot hand game plan as the Dolphins figure out what they have at the position so don’t invest too much in either guy in terms of exposure.
Corey Davis $5500: The Titans host Baltimore this weekend, which isn’t what I could consider an ideal spot for Davis to return to, but they are decent favorites coming off the bye week. Let’s also consider for a moment that the defensive prowess ascribed to the Ravens comes against some terrible opponents. Every team they’ve faced ranks in the bottom half of the league in points per game, except the Jaguars, who scored 44 vs. Baltimore. That is all to say don’t let the matchup scare you off of Davis, who is cheaper than chalky Devon Funchess, and who is going to be great with Marcus Mariota. He saw 10 targets in Week 1, and with lackluster performance from the rest of the receiving corps since Davis’ injury, I expect him to quickly rise to the top of the Titans pecking order.
Brice Butler $5000/Terrance Williams $4600: The Chiefs-Cowboys game looks like a great one for DFS. A high point total, narrow spread and favorable passing defenses on both sides—it should be fun. Pivoting from Dez Bryant or Travis Kelce to save some salary cap with Butler (tournaments) or Williams (all formats) makes sense, given that Dallas won’t be relying on Ezekiel Elliott anymore. With an expected uptick in pass attempts, Butler and Williams could both be in line for a couple more targets per game. Butler has been the touchdown guy, but touchdowns are fluky…Williams is probably the safer pick of the two.
Ed Dickson $4900: While you’re scrambling trying to figure out the missing Kelvin Benjamin target shares, don’t forget Dickson. He’s had at least five targets in each of the last four games, with wildly variable results (18-175 yards). Cam Newton has cooled off after his hot Week 4-6 stretch, but is still getting a lot of passes up. Atlanta is a nice matchup for the Panthers in general, and Dickson is an interesting pivot from Funchess.
Austin Hooper $4700: Hooper saw another six targets vs. the Jets last weekend, and finally scored again. It looks like he’s a regular in Matt Ryan’s offense, though he’s still clearly behind Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones. Carolina has been effective in stopping the run, but is average vs. tight ends. There are several tight ends I’d much rather own this week, but if you’re forced to save at the position, Hooper should be a safe play.
Los Angeles Rams $4800: The Rams defense just raked against the Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars, and the New York Giants are worse than at least one of those teams. L.A.’s defense is ranked in the top 10 in sacks, interceptions, and passing yards allowed. Good defenses are going to cost this week, and I’m inclined to spend. If you want to save a little bit, the Rams against a struggling Giants offense is how I’d do it.