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.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans
Minshew represents the cheapest QB value on this slate, hands down. He gets a Top 3 matchup for fantasy with the Saints in a fantasy-friendly game at home. Moreover, the Saints have been a stout run defense again this season, so expect Leonard Fournette to play a bigger role in the short pass game this weekend, which indirectly helps Minshew too. Minshew has had some fumbling issues, but hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 1, and has thrown at high volume with a lot of success against four solid defenses since that point. Pair him with Fournette or the still-undervalued D.J. Chark in any lineups.
Chase Edmunds, Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta
David Johnson is dealing with a spasming back, which is not a good thing. Backs are unpredictable, and can flare up any time without warning. I think that despite this excellent game environment, that injury is too worrying to trust Johnson. Edmunds has been a player on my radar since he got rave reviews ahead of his rookie season. Having never had the real opportunity or (last season) favorable coaching to make an impact, he did so in Week 5. Even if Johnson is active and starting, I expect Edmunds to be more involved in the game plan. The Cardinals are still down receivers, and Edmunds can excel in that role. For the price, there’s little risk and high potential reward.
Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins at Miami
I was surprised to see Thompson sitting with the third-highest receiving yards among running backs, with an average of five catches and 54 ReYds per game. He hasn’t scored, yet, but he does get the league’s most generous run defense this weekend. Plus Case Keenum should be under center for Washington, which has to be an upgrade, right? Regardless of who starts, Thompson is the kind of back that rarely if ever kills your lineups. I think he’ll get his first touchdown this weekend.
Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons at Arizona
There are a few games where the value just screams at you. This is one of them. With the second-highest point total of the main slate (52.5 points) and the Falcons being slight road favorites, Matt Ryan and Co. are set to rack up some fantasy points. Ridley is more favorably priced on FanDuel, but should be worth the salary anywhere. He’s averaging about 12 half-PPR fantasy points per game and that includes an absolute stinker vs. the Colts in Week 3 and another downer vs. the Titans in Week 4. So, he’s a bit boom or bust, and this is a boom situation as the Cardinals struggle almost as much as the Falcons themselves to contain opposing wideouts.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta
Enter Fitzgerald, who gets the week’s best WR matchup. Of course, Atlanta gave up a ton of fantasy points to a very different kind of receiver in Will Fuller last weekend, but they’re still a defense to target through the air. Fitzgerald is tied with Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins at sixth in targets this season, and has been one of the steadier fantasy contributors so far. His last two games have been a bit underwhelming, but I’m not concerned; that’s why his salary is lower than it probably should be for this showdown. With little receiving power (assuming Christian Kirk is out again) behind him, I expect Fitz to be targeted often, probably getting back into double-digits this week.
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Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville
FanDuel is getting really tough on tight ends, salary-wise, but if you believe the connection Cook appears to be developing with Teddy Bridgewater, his price is more than right. It’s a neutral on-paper matchup for tight ends with the Jaguars, but Cook has always been able to win individual matchups and produce when he’s involved enough. The Jaguars should have their hands full with Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas, which could free up Cook to have an even bigger day than he had in Week 5.
San Francisco 49ers at LA Rams
Though the Rams aren’t leading the league in scoring yet this season, they are still in the Top 10 in that department, so the SF D/ST represents a fairly contrarian bargain option. However, their talent is undeniable, and I don’t think opponent matters a whole lot. The Niners rank fourth in takeaways and are allowing opposing QBs a 62.8 QBR and only 175 passing yards per game. Moreover, they are just behind the Patriots in allowing only 24.8 percent of opponent plays to go for first downs (per NFL.com). The Rams have a lot of offensive weapons, so this will definitely be a test for the 49ers D, but I think they’ll come out on the plus side for fantasy.
Washington Redskins at Miami
The Redskins have shown flashes of defensive competence this season. My Primacy Bias takes me right back to Week 1 where the Eagles were shut down for the whole first half of the game. There have been others. The thing is, good or even mediocre offenses have been able to overcome them in the second half. I’m not sure that’s going to be the case here, with Miami taking a ton of sacks and the Dolphins are scoring the fewest points in the league.