In the world of daily fantasy sports, finding the best bargains can lead you to the promise land of those jubilant $3.60 pots at the end of the pretend football rainbow.
These are my bargain bin dumpster dives for the upcoming NFL week.
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Carson Palmer ($6,700) @ CHI
This will mark the second consecutive week of Classic Carson on the bargain list, and like last week, he draws another favorable matchup, this time against a Bears defense that allowed three passing touchdowns in Week 1. And for an added kicker, Michael Floyd should be healthier for more snaps this week, which would only seem to help the Cardinals’ receiving weapons.
Sam Bradford ($6,900) v. DAL
Volume, volume, and more volume; all of which leads to opportunity. Sam Bradford and the Eagles threw the ball 52 times last Monday night against the Falcons and we shouldn’t expect much change against the division-rival Cowboys on Sunday. I’d take Palmer over Bradford based on matchup, but at least you know there’s potential here.
Carlos Hyde ($5,100) @ PIT
The 49ers showed us their intended use of their primary back, as Carlos Hyde rushed 26 times for 168 yards and two scores (two catches for 14 yards, too) last Monday night against the Vikings. The injury to Reggie Bush may also help to pump Hyde’s stock a bit, but beware of heavy ownership stake after a primetime performance like the one we saw in Week 1.
Chris Johnson ($3,800) @ CHI
It sounds like a sprained PCL for starter Andre Ellington, and the next man up would appear to be Chris Johnson. Expect other guys to get some run too, but it’s Johnson who should receive a majority of the carries, which makes for great value at this price. The Bears defense isn’t exactly a good one and the Cardinals can threaten both on the ground and through the air. Slight risk, but worth the roster flexibility it should provide.
Bishop Sankey ($4,500) @ CLE
There was once faith had in the Cleveland defense, but then Chris Ivory rushed for 90 yards and two scores last week and suddenly Bishop Sankey feels like a decent play. Sankey was no small fry himself in Week 1 either, rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown, while also chipping in with a receiving score against a brutal looking Tampa Bay team. There’s lots of running backs in Tennessee, but Sankey looks the best and Ken Whisenhunt is likely to stick with the hot guy.
Ameer Abdullah ($4,500) @ MIN
That preseason hype was apparently real. Ameer Abdullah is a gamebreaking talent and the Lions have to find ways to get him the ball, whether it be as a rusher or receiver. With his speed and explosiveness, Abdullah is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball and that would bode well for his fantasy stock against a Vikings defense that just let Carlos Hyde run all over them.
Tevin Coleman ($4,500) @ NYG
The Giants did a nice job of containing the Cowboys rushing game last week, but starting Tevin Coleman this week has just as much to do with the system Kyle Shanahan is running in Atlanta as it does with the running back’s matchup against New York.
Darren Sproles ($3,500) v. DAL
It feels like the predictability of Chip Kelly’s offense (particularly at running back) will haunt us all worse than that of Bill Belichick’s, but it’s no secret the love for Darren Sproles in Philly. He made the most of his five carries last Monday night against the Falcons, rushing for 50 yards, but also chipping in with seven catches for 76 yards, taking dump passes out of the backfield, as well as lining up in the slot. He’s a solid weapon in this offense; the only concern is game flow and how that correlates with the touches/snaps of the other backs, DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews.
Danny Woodhead ($4,000) @ CIN
Watching Danny Woodhead get goal line work last week was probably more like a nightmare for Melvin Gordon owners, but not so much for those who threw him into their lineups as a cheap flex option. With this kind of work, Woodhead is a pretty valuable dude in PPR formats and his $4,000 price feels like a fine deal.
Terrance Williams ($4,200) @ PHI
With Dez Bryant out for at least four weeks, Terrance Williams should receive plenty of new attention in Dallas. Philly’s pass defense didn’t wow us last week against the Falcons (sup, Julio), and Williams has flashed his potential in the past. For this price, why not?
John Brown ($5,100) @ CHI
Even if Michael Floyd receives more attention with a higher snap count as he returns closer and closer to full strength, Smokey Brown remains a solid option in the Cardinals offense.
Pierre Garcon ($5,000) v. STL
No DeSean Jackson means more love for Pierre Garcon. The Redskins should have their hands full against a tough St. Louis defense, so Kirk Cousins will need to look to get the ball out quick, with Garcon and tight end Jordan Reed being the primary beneficiaries.
Kendall Wright ($5,000) @ CLE
Tampa Bay didn’t look good, but neither did Cleveland. If you want to call Marcus Mariota and the Titans a Week 1 fad, that’s fine. But that doesn’t stop the argument of Kendall Wright being an undervalued receiver for (what will likely be) all season.
Donte Moncrief ($4,600) v. NYJ
Keep a close eye on T.Y. Hilton’s status leading up to game time, but even if he’s in the lineup, Donte Moncrief is a legitimate part of the Colts high-powered offense. Sure, that offense wasn’t exactly win-effective last week, but there’s points to be had.
Cole Beasley ($3,300) @ PHI
Cole Beasley is probably a sneaky option with or without Dez Bryant in the lineup, but without him you’d have to think Tony Romo will look Beasley’s way even more so.
Stevie Johnson ($4,200) @ CIN
After working out so well last week, Stevie Johnson finds himself back on the bargain list. In that slot receiver role in San Diego, anything under $5,000 is at least worth a look, and Johnson proved he’s ready after posting a 6/82/1 line in a win over Detroit in Week 1.
Jordan Reed ($3,700) v. STL
Without DeSean Jackson, Jordan Reed is arguably the Redskins’ top playmaker on offense right now and he should remain a favorite target of Kirk Cousins. Play him now while he’s still healthy!!
Jordan Cameron ($4,000) @ JAX
We see a $200 increase from last week in Jordan Cameron’s salary, but he’s still a worthy bargain bin candidate. The Miami offense needs to pass and Cameron’s athleticism helps to make him a really nice target in the middle of the defense, as well as in the red zone.
Crockett Gillmore ($2,500) @ OAK
The Raiders weren’t great against tight ends last week, allowing Tyler Eifert to go for nine catches, 104 yards, and two touchdowns in a blowout loss. This week they take on a guy who isn’t nearly on the level of Eifert, but still capable of putting up decent points and for a good price. Crockett Gillmore is the Ravens’ primary tight end for right now and here’s to hoping Joe Flacco and Baltimore get that offense on track.
Titans ($3,000) @ CLE
If you’re into the “anything against Cleveland” method, the Titans aren’t a bad way to go after having their way with the Bucs last week.
Rams ($3,100) @ WAS
Not exactly a cheap find when it comes to defenses, but the Rams look damn good and the Redskins are operating with limited playmakers.
Ravens ($2,900) @ OAK
Matt McGloin might play. And even if he doesn’t, Baltimore is solid here.