Bargain Bin Week 13
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.
Case Keenum (FD: $6900, DK: $5200)
Keenum is the kind of ‘shrug, grimace’ underwhelming kind of bargain QB I wish I didn’t have to write about, but he must be considered against one of the league’s worst pass defenses. The Bengals allow the most fantasy points to opposing QBs, and have been playing so badly that even the 5-6 Broncos are 4.5-point favorites on the road this weekend. He’s shown an acceptable floor even in much tougher matchups so I’d even consider him in cash games.
Cody Kessler (FD: $6000, DK: $4500)
Whoa boy. Now Kessler is a 100 percent risk/reward play. He has a bad track record (e.g. 0-8 with the Browns two seasons ago), but faced with a fresh opportunity could exceed expectations against a wholly average Colts Defense. There is something about shaking things up that can fire up an offense, especially when that shakeup includes coaches – everyone has something to prove.
Doug Martin (FD: $6100, DK: $4200)
Later, I’ll recommend the Chiefs D/ST, but if you don’t go that way, it’s worth noting that Martin lucks out with the league-best RB matchup for fantasy. The Chiefs surrender the most fantasy points to his position, and Martin is the undisputed lead back in Oakland. The issue I have with him is simply the rest of Oakland’s offense. Can they get him near the goal line? Can they sustain enough drives to get him 15-plus touches?
LeSean McCoy(FD: $5700, DK: $4900)
Miami’s D/ST will be a popular one this weekend as Buffalo travels to sunny Florida for the first of these formerly exciting divisional showdowns. Yes, Buffalo has been a disaster offensively, blah, blah, blah, but Miami consistently ranks as one of the best RB matchups for fantasy. McCoy could easily repeat his heroic effort vs. the Jets from two games ago…or he could rush for 40 yards on 11 carries. One thing is for sure, he’ll be low owned and has upside. That’s two things.
Nyheim Hines (FD: $4900, DK: $4100)
If Marlon Mack fails to pass the concussion protocol, Hines would be my pick of replacement RBs over Jordan Wilkins. Hines showed some nice versatility earlier in the season when Mack missed time, and even though it’s the Jaguars, they haven’t been as shut down as we think they are.
T.J. Yeldon (FD: $4800, DK: $4400)
Speaking of the Jaguars, Leonard Fournette is very likely to have his suspension upheld this week, meaning the Jags will be relying on the combination of Yeldon and Carlos Hyde to fill his shoes. Hyde hasn’t impressed at all, though with the state of the Jacksonville offense, no one has impressed. I’d still go with Yeldon this week because he’s a reliable part of the passing offense when on the field. Or was. Like I said above, Kessler is as unpredictable as the weather in upstate NY.
Demaryius Thomas (FD: $5300, DK: $4300)
These salaries might be higher if they had been set after Thomas’ two-touchdown game Monday night. Or maybe not. Those two scores were beauties, but they came on only four targets and Thomas amassed only 38 receiving yards. Thomas used to be a TD hog in Denver when anyone thought of throwing passes his way (it’s been awhile), so one take on his big game is that the Houston staff and Deshaun Watson intend to use his big body/competitive hands combination when they’re in the red zone. Houston is a decent home favorite over the Browns this week, and I think Thomas is an underpriced way to get exposure to a Texans Offense that was humming Monday night.
Bruce Ellington (FD: $4900, DK: $3500)
He didn’t do anything to write home about on Thanksgiving, but he is clearly the No. 2 receiving option in Detroit. The Lions host the Rams in one of the higher point total games this weekend (55), and though they are big underdogs, that actually plays to Matthew Stafford’s, Kenny Golladay’s and Ellington’s favor. Thanks in part to the Monday night fireworks with Kansas City, the Rams now rank in the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing WRs (and QBs). There are worse options than Ellington in this deep bargain salary range.
Matt LeCosse(FD: $4700, DK: $2500)
With Thomas out of town and Jeff Heuerman on IR, the Broncos are a bit thin when it comes to pass catchers. Courtland Sutton is on the injury report to start the week, leaving LeCosse ample opportunity to step up vs. the Bengals (second-most fantasy points allowed to tight ends). It’s a nice spot for the young TE to back up his first touchdown with another double-digit fantasy day for near-minimum salary.
Jonnu Smith (FD: $5300, DK: $3300)
There’s a pretty substantial pricing difference on the two sites here, but on a week where TE is bleaker than usual, we have to consider Smith even on FanDuel. He has double-digit fantasy points on DraftKings in each of the last four games. I can’t explain why he wasn’t targeted more often Sunday night after making a beautiful catch and run for a touchdown in the first quarter. I guess the Titans are just addicted to those one-yard passes to Dion Lewis. Anyway, Smith has as much upside as anyone at the position in this price range and is at least healthy, playing at home, with a decent team total backing him.
Green Bay Packers (FD: $4400, DK: $2800)
We’re not going to the bottom of the barrel this week, because we get two great opportunities at enough savings. Arizona ranks dead last in the league in points per game, passing yards per game and rushing yards per game. The very lack of offense makes them an attractive target for any defense, but the fact that they’re playing on the road in the frozen tundra makes it even better. The Cardinals also tie for third in turnovers (22), so even though the Packers haven’t been a very effective or opportunistic defense this season, they might just get lucky this week.
Kansas City Chiefs (FD: $4300, DK: $2700)
The Chiefs D/ST had 11 fantasy points vs. the Rams, when the Rams scored 54 points on them. They are a no-brainer mid-range play against Oakland, a team that ranks near the bottom of the league in points scored (17). Besides the Raiders terribleness, the Chiefs D/ST can rely on the Chiefs Offense to stay on the field for long drives against a Raiders Defense that has no hope of stopping Patrick Mahomes and Kareem Hunt. That means they’ll stay fresh and ready to take advantage of any Derek Carr mistakes.