Each week I search for the cheapest viable options for your DFS 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/$6000 for QB, $6000/$5000 for RB/WR, and $5500/$4500 (FD/DK) for TE insomuch as possible.
Josh Rosen ($6400 FD, $4700 DK): Rosen, like most bargain QBs, isn’t someone I’d use in cash games, but he is a player that I think continues to improve as the season goes on. Arizona has some very talented playmakers around him. While we can get him at this salary, against the sixth-best QB defense for fantasy (Minnesota), I’m taking a shot.
Case Keenum ($6700 FD, $5500 DK): Keenum should be in a position that requires him to pass a lot. Keeping up with a Rams offense that has averaged the second-most points per game is no easy task. Fortunately, the LA defense has surrendered an average of 28 points per game over the last three…with no interceptions. Turnovers have been a weakness of Keenum this season, and he did have three games in a row without a TD pass. He’s not for the weak-hearted, but I think at home, he and Emmanuel Sanders make a great cheap and low-owned GPP stack.
(MNF) Kyle Juszczyk ($5300 FD, $3800 DK): Without Matt Breida, the 49ers are down to Alfred Morris and Juszczuyk at RB. Morris will get what early down work he was getting before, and the goal line work he was getting before, but I expect Juszczyk’s role in the passing game, already surprisingly large, to expand. The 49ers get a fairly neutral matchup for running backs in Green Bay, but a game script that is going to favor a pass-catching back. At his low, low price, Juszczyk had six catches on seven targets last week and I expect more of the same in Week 6. One TD pays off his salary.
Bilal Powell ($5800 FD, $4500 DK): Powell provides a solid floor with upside in cash game lineups, especially on PPR site DK. In what should be a competitive game with an average run defense, Powell could be the Jets back making headlines this weekend.
Ronald Jones II ($5600 FD, $3900 DK): So, neither Bucs back has shown us anything that would make us clamor to get them in our lineups. My guess is that given how bad Peyton Barber has been, the TB coaches are going to keep feeding Jones more each week and that he will eventually show up. Atlanta is a fantasy treasure trove for pass-catching backs, and NFL draft experts predicted that Jones could be more of a factor in that aspect of the game than he was at USC. In desperate need to get some kind of running game going, Jameis Winston could try to connect with Jones as soon as this week. Worth a shot in a tournament lineup.
Keke Coutee ($5700 FD, $4600 DK): A reasonable price jump coming off two solid weeks, Coutee falls into an interesting salary range. There are other viable players there to be sure, so people who think Coutee is a flash in the pan may overlook him at this higher salary. Ditto those who are afraid of the Bills secondary (I’m not in his case—Tre’Davious White should shadow DeAndre Hopkins). Houston and DeShaun Watson have shown a strong enough commitment to the pass game, with or without Lamar Miller healthy, that Coutee should continue to see multiple high-value targets per game. Roll with him in any format.
Taylor Gabriel ($5600 FD, $4300 DK): Chicago was on bye last week, almost always something that triggers our recency bias, causing us to ignore or discount players that did nothing for us lately. Of course, that makes no sense when talking about bye weeks, but it’s how our brains work. Needless to say, Taylor had his breakout 2-TD game just before the off week, and has averaged around eight targets (six catches) per game this year. Miami hasn’t been the friendliest fantasy defense for wide receivers this season, but I expect Chicago’s defense to routinely get Mitch Trubisky back on the field with good field position this week, providing plenty of solid opportunities for Gabriel and the not-too-expensive Allen Robinson too (though Robinson faces the better cornerback in Xavien Howard, per Mike Clay ESPN).
Christian Kirk ($5400 FD, $4200 DK): It’s not often the higher projected player is cheaper (than Larry Fitzgerald), but Kirk is both this week. If Rosen is going to make waves and score points in Minnesota, it’s going to have something to do with the quick and – so far – sure-handed Kirk. Defenses still pay attention to Fitzgerald, and Kirk should avoid Xavier Rhodes for the most part on Sunday, not that the Vikings secondary has posed much of an impediment lately.
David Njoku ($5500 FD, $3800 DK): Njoku was a preseason favorite of mine and others, who has started very, very slowly. We finally saw him targeted a team-high 11 times by Baker Mayfield in Week 6’s overtime win, and despite not scoring yet, his value is trending upward. Scoring is all he did in 2017, when he barely played, so Cleveland knows that his sure hands work in the end zone. It’s only a matter of time, and with Higgins out this week, there should be plenty of volume for the Browns TE at home vs. a LA Chargers defense that has ranked in the top 10 vs. the pass for fantasy.
Cameron Brate ($4500 FD, $3700 DK): O.J. Howard sprained his MCL and is expected out for 2-4 games, leaving open what has been a valuable role on this pass-happy Bucs team. Passing volume matters when choosing a cheap TE, and that’s part of the reason I’m inclined to use Brate over guys like Ricky Seals-Jones or Charles Clay this week. Tampa Bay is playing in the highest point total game of the week (at Atlanta) and should have to pass a ton to keep up with Matt Ryan’s multi-dimensional offense. Brate and Winston go way back, and Brate stepped right into Week 4 after Howard’s injury with a 3/29/1 stat line.
Dallas Cowboys ($4100 FD, $2300 DK): Playing in the week’s lowest point total game gets you a spot in this space fairly often. When you’re a defense facing the turnover-prone Jacksonville Jaguars at a huge discount in the lowest scoring game, it’s a no brainer. Dallas ranks in the top five teams for fewest fantasy points and real points allowed to opponents this season, while Jacksonville ranks in the bottom five teams for points scored. Dallas is sixth in sacks, and although they haven’t created as many turnovers as I like in a DFS D/ST, I think Blake Bortles has a chance to change that.