Bargain Bin Week 16
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.
Taylor Heinicke (FD: $6000, DK: $4000)
And all of a sudden, silly season is upon us. That time of year when teams out of the playoff hunt want to see what they have in a young player, protect valuable stars for next year, or even when playoff bound teams start to rest their studs for the coming run at the superbowl. Anything can happen these next couple weeks, and one of those things is Heinicke starting at home vs. Atlanta, the league’s best QB matchup for fantasy. He wasn’t bad in the preseason, and has ample weapons around him (one to keep an eye on should be backup TE Ian Thomas as they likely practiced a lot together this season).
Sam Darnold (FD: $6700, DK: $4900)
I liked what Darnold did last Saturday vs. the Texans (253 yards, two touchdowns), and he gets a much better opportunity this weekend at home vs. Green Bay. The Packers are eliminated from the playoffs too, but it sounds like Aaron Rodgers is expected to play, which I think provides some motivation. Robby Anderson and Elijah McGuire were useful weapons for Darnold last week, and a Jets stack with these three guys makes for an interesting upside tournament lineup with piles of salary cash to spare.
Kalen Ballage (FD: $5500, DK: $3700)
Rather than trying to predict the Rams backfield (I like you too much to write up C.J. Anderson in the event that Todd Gurley is ruled out this week), half-heartedly suggest you consider T.J. Yeldon or Carlos Hyde (for zero ceiling in the Jags offense even when Leonard Fournette is out), or make sense of the beat up Bills backfield as they enter a game as two-touchdown underdogs in New England (Keith Ford is the most likely starter), let’s take a shot on some genuine upside. Ballage stood out in Week 15 for averaging over 10 yards per carry on 12 carries in Minnesota. He scored as well, but on fresh legs with an opportunity to impress to close out the season, Ballage could realistically be headed for a repeat 20-fantasy point performance as the Dolphins host the hapless Jaguars.
Jamal Williams (FD: $5700, DK: $5400)
Williams takes over as the lead back in Green Bay with Aaron Jones on IR. Williams has always had potential, if not opportunity, so this is a nice turn of events. He saw five targets (caught four for 42 yards) and ran for 55 yards and a touchdown on the Bears. That’s as good as anyone has done in Chicago this season. The volume alone, combined with Rodgers’ promise to play in New York this weekend make Williams a safe bargain in any DFS format.
Allen Robinson (FD: $6500, DK: $5400)
I feel like the Bears are about to get right on offense. They need to if they want to make a mark in the playoffs. We’ve seen Mitch Trubisky’s upside this season, and we’ve seen him target Robinson 15 times in the past two games. I also like Taylor Gabrielas a touchdown threat, but Robinson is the safer option against a very generous 49ers pass defense (fourth-most fantasy points allowed to WRs).
Calvin Ridley (FD: $5500, DK: $5100)
Ridley had his first career touchdown vs. the Panthers in Week 2. While he’s certainly been a bit of a roller coaster this season, typical of rookie WRs, there’s no denying his upside. A legit WR2 behind Julio Jones, Ridley has a solid 12.5 yards per reception and is seeing 7-8 targets most games. He’s also been relatively mistake-free, and while the Panthers will key in on stopping Jones (like they did with Michael Thomas), Ridley should find some room for success this week.
David Njoku (FD: $5300, DK: $3800)
One more time, Njoku is being targeted, is on the field all the time, and gets a great matchup. This is process over results and I’m honestly a little tired of it not working! Maybe this is the week Njoku reminds us of what a big end zone threat he can be; it was the Bengals against whom he caught his last touchdown pass (November 25).
Blake Jarwin (FD: $4700, DK: $3000)
In a game where Dallas scored zero points, Jarwin hauled in four-of-seven targets for 45 yards. I expect the Cowboys to fare much better at home vs. Tampa Bay, one of the best fantasy matchups for all concerned. If you’re stacking Cowboys or just looking to eek out value from the frustrating TE position, Jarwin’s usage and production deserve consideration.
Indianapolis Colts (FD: $4500, DK: $3300)
Noted in the Starting Points article earlier this week, the Colts are nearly 10-point favorites over the Giants at home this week. No one expected them to be so effective against Dallas last week, which is really the turning point for me. Over the past five weeks, the Colts are allowing an average of 12 points and have at least three sacks in four of those games. They add three interceptions and three fumble recoveries in that span as well. If you need to save a little, I’m not expecting a lot from a tired, downtrodden Giants team with Odell Beckham Jr. banged up/doubtful and Eli Manning determined to finish the season (his last?).