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.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets
I’m going to be honest, this is a pay up for QB week for me. If I were forced to roster a cheap QB, which I’m not, this is who I’d live with. Dalton’s back after the brief Ryan Finley experiment failed to produce any different results. Dalton actually wasn’t a disaster from a fantasy perspective when he was starting, having three 300-plus yard games and notching at least 18 fantasy points in six of his eight games. He has a decent home matchup on tap and interesting receiving options in the also-bargain worthy Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate, who was starting to see a lot of looks from Dalton before the switch.
Jamaal Williams, Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
I’m searching for the path to fitting Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Christian McCaffrey in my cash game lineup. That requires some deep bargain hunting, and Williams is a name I keep stopping on. He’s taking advantage while Aaron Jones is in the dog house. In fact, he’s been under 13 PPR fantasy points just once in his last six games (averaging 18 fpts in the other five). Against the Giants, look for more of the same from Williams.
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals vs. LA Rams
Edmonds, as is the case at his salary, is a huge risk/reward play this week. The Ravens just ran all over the Rams on MNF, but Arizona might have a three-headed backfield monster on the field. I’m actually not so worried about David Johnson, but Kenyan Drake has been good enough to earn the reps. Still, Edmonds has the receiving and big play ability. Among players with at least 50 rushing attempts, he has the sixth-highest breakaway rate (plays of 15 yards or longer), an average YPC of 5.1, and five total touchdowns.
Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins at Carolina
We’ve seen many times that you can attack Carolina on the ground, but it doesn’t look like Derrius Guice is as ready for primetime as I, for one, had hoped in Week 12. Adrian Peterson is not going away...yet. Guice is still cheap enough to be a GPP flier given that Carolina cedes the fifth-most fantasy points to the RB position, but don’t go overboard on him.
Demaryius Thomas, New York Jets at Cincinnati
The NFL DFS optimizer loved Thomas last week and I didn’t buy it, but he’s in another good matchup this week and was in line for a much better line than he ended with in Week 12 after his touchdown catch was called back for OPI. I need deep value more than ever this week, and the Jets are small road favorites over the ever-generous Bengals this week.
A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis
He’s completely boom or bust, as many rookies are, but at his salary, and given the targets he’s generally seeing…it’s not a bad way to balance a strong, but expensive core lineup.
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Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee
I would say that Doyle is underperforming relative to expectations but that applies to everyone in Indy, doesn’t it? He’s touchdown-dependent, period. For this salary, you expect it, and you hope that one or two of his 5-6 targets is in the red zone. Indy is a small home favorite in this game, and potentially in need of some good hands with T.Y. Hilton questionable with his calf.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins vs. Philadelphia
So, it looks like Miami might be finally trending toward seeing what Gesicki is capable of. So far, it’s not much, but he did see seven targets in the loss to Cleveland last week, catching his first NFL touchdown. He’s seen six targets or more in the last four games, so if you’re digging deep at this position, you could certainly do worse in terms of opportunity.
LA Chargers at Denver
Both defenses in this game are DFS-viable if you’re looking to come down from the Eagles-Panthers range, but you can save a bit more with LA. The Chargers D/ST has been something of a disappointment for fantasy this season, and are on the road here, but Denver’s conservative and ineffective offense, combined with their fifth-highest QB sack rate makes them playable this Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland
If you’re looking to save even more, consider the Chiefs. They are huge home favorites, so while Oakland isn’t particularly turnover-prone or sack-prone, Oakland’s low team total, in combination with Kansas City’s high one, suggests that they might be put into a situation where mistakes can be made. The Chiefs are above average in sacks and turnovers, so if Derek Carr is feeling the pressure, he can fall prey to the same kinds of trouble he had in Week 2 – two interceptions and two fumbles lost.