Time to scrape the bottom of the FanDuel barrel for Week 3. Here are my picks for the absolute least amount of salary I'd consider spending at each position. I appreciate that everyone builds a lineup with different goals and strategies to reach those goals. So even if I have no intention of using these guys in my lineups-which I'll tell you-they are guys I can justify using. You have to save money somewhere right?
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I also try to avoid the super obvious plays when possible. I don't want you to read the same article over and over. Everyone knew Matt Asiata was a great play last week for example. Everyone's on Knile Davis this week.
Lastly, I put a strict salary threshold on my Bargain Bin picks. Mid-tier plays-in the $6000-7000 range are easy to come by. My picks come with some risk, but if they triple their salary in fantasy points and the stud you were able to fit in because of it doesn't leave the game in the first quarter, you've got a good shot at finishing in the money. Good luck this week!
- Ryan Fitzpatrick ($6400): The Houston Texans are running an efficient offense right now. They're averaging 5.4 yards per play, while running twice as many rushing plays than passing plays. Yet Fitzmagic has 3TD to Arian Foster's one. They've beaten the Redskins and the Raiders, not very inspiring competition, but guess what? Neither are the Giants. Fitzpatrick has been consistent; conservative, but consistent, making him your fairly safe bargain QB this week.
- Derek Carr ($6000): Here's your upside play. Scoring 13.94 and 18.32 FanDuel points against the Jets and Texans respectively, Carr heads into NE the biggest underdog of the week. Though the Patriots offense has struggled so far this season, Vegas and everyone else sees them getting up and staying up big in this game. That spells garbage time glory for Carr and his receivers. While not bad, NE's defense as a whole grades out lower than both the Jets and Texans two weeks into this young season. If Carr can avoid throwing picks, he has a chance to rack up the yardage and a couple of 4th quarter TDs.
What am I doing at QB in Week 3? For my cash games, I'm going to split lineups between Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. While Fitzpatrick makes a relatively safe cheap play, that's not my cash game philosophy; I'm willing to spend for a much higher floor with upside. That said, I intend to use an Oakland stack in a GPP for sure.
- Bernard Pierce ($5300): Cleveland has been gashed by opposing RB to the tune of >100 total yards and a TD in both its first two games. Le'Veon Bell was effective in the running and passing games going 21/109/1 and 6/88 in the opener, while Mark Ingram totaled 11/83/1 and 3/21 last week despite injuring his hand. Pierce is not lighting the NFL on fire by any means, but he carried the ball 22 times for 96 yards last week at Pittsburgh. Expect Forsett to get some work too, but if Baltimore attempts to attack the Browns on the ground, as it should, I see enough work for both backs to reach value.
- Bobby Rainey ($5700): The matchup with Atlanta is so good you have to have a TB RB. At FanDuel, Rainey is priced $1700 less than Doug Martin. Martin appears to be truly questionable, indicating to me that Rainey will play a significant role here even if he's not the 'lead' back. He had the receiving TD in Week 1, and gashed STL for 174 total yards last week. Atlanta is currently dead last in RuTD allowed, and 26th in RuYds. This projects as a reasonably high scoring game with little defense on either side of the ball.
I'm using Rainey, despite that this is a Thursday game, and trying to pair him with LeSean McCoy or, more likely, Gio Bernard who will carry the offensive load with AJ Green probably out. Normally, I don't use Thursday players in my Thursday start games, but I think an exception is in order here.
- Brian Quick ($5200): Having clearly established himself as the lead pass catching option for St Louis, Quick is still priced really low. That's probably because being the lead receiver on the Rams is not exactly what professional football players aspire to be. The Dallas defense is weak, though perhaps not as weak as we originally thought. I don't expect a crazy game from Quick, but think 8-10 catches for around 100 yards is a reasonable outcome. Touchdowns are hard to come by in STL, but not out of the question this week.
- Golden Tate ($5000): I admit, I was excited to see Tate at this price. The GB-DET game has the highest projected score at 53 with the Lions favored by two. Tate has been a reliable #2 WR for Stafford so far this year. With Calvin Johnson (whom I also LOVE this week) on the field, he's Stafford's first look in the end zone, but Tate is getting enough targets (14) to contribute and I think that he scores this Sunday.
I'm leaning toward Tate here, but there's a good chance he's highly owned given his price and matchup so Quick makes a more contrarian play. Another WR in this range I'll use is James Jones--but only in the Oakland garbage (time) GPP stack.
- Niles Paul ($5000): I'll spare your eyes, as more will probably be written about Paul this week than any other TE. He slots right into the Washington offense for Jordan Reed. He's not a dink and dunk TE; his yards/catch look more like a WR. He saw no drop off in production with RG3 going down, and I think he sustains value even with DeSean Jackson likely back for his revenge game. Double digit targets mean that even a small drop off would still be lucrative in what is predicted to be a high scoring affair in Philadelphia.
- Jermaine Gresham ($4500): If you want to spend even less on your TE this week, Gresham is a super contrarian play. Pass catchers in Cincy are few and far between right now, assuming AJ Green is out this weekend. Gresham has never been a flashy TE, but he's a been a reliable cog in this offense for a long time. I expect him to see more than three looks from Dalton against the Titans. Or maybe I'm just hoping someone takes that red zone target away from Dane Sanzenbacher.
Don't overthink this one. If you're not going with Jimmy Graham, I think Paul is the play at TE. Equal or greater upside for a lot less money than Witten, Bennett, Walker, Ertz or Fleener. Keep an eye on the SF TE situation as the matchup with Arizona seems appealing for 2014 too.
This is a tough week to save on defense. I'm probably spending on the Texans ($5200) personally. If you choose to go cheap, the Browns ($4700) are an option in a low scoring game at home. The NYJ ($4600) make a contrarian play but if they force (or fall into) a Jay Cutler disaster game Monday night, it could pay off in a big way. Plus, Monday night sweats are fun.