Some call me cheap. Others stingy. I prefer thrifty. And 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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Maintaining the position of that middle finger placed firmly in the face of Brian Hoyer and the Browns offense following last week’s performance, here’s a look to Week 8 where we hate on passers and crush on tight ends.
Teddy Bridgewater ($5,100) @ TB
Not the most exciting pick considering Teddy B’s less than 15 combined fantasy points and five interceptions over the past two games, but quarterbacks are completing close to 72 percent of their passes and posting more than 22 fantasy points against the Bucs this season, meaning Bridgewater is certainly in play and providing your roster lots of flexibility at other positions.
Oh, and the last time Teddy faced a bad defense (Atlanta, Week 4, second career start), he threw for 317 yards and posted 26.3 points. That’s a nice byline.
Others Receiving Votes: Tom Brady ($7,200) v. CHI; Kyle Orton ($6,300) @ NYJ
Jerick McKinnon ($4,900) @ TB
Tampa Bay is allowing nearly 130 rushing yards per game and rookie Jerick McKinnon has quickly caught fire in Minnesota. Despite a couple of nice games from Matt Asiata, McKinnon is clearly the best back on the Vikings roster and he’s coming off a career-high 19 carries against a pretty tough Buffalo defense last week.
You get a primary dual-threat back in McKinnon who’s likely to net you somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 points, all for less than 10 percent of your salary cap.
Lamar Miller ($6,000) @ JAX
I don’t know if anyone understands what the hell happened to Ben Tate and the Browns offense last week against Jacksonville, but whatever it was isn’t enough to convince me Lamar Miller isn’t well worth his salary against this week.
In addition to giving up 110 rushing yards per game, this Jaguars offense could struggle against Miami’s defense. If the game goes as planned, Miller could see upwards of 17 carries and keep pace with his more than 16 fantasy points per game.
Justin Forsett ($5,100) @ CIN
It’s a bit surprising to see the Bengals giving up more than 146 rushing yards per contest this year, and Cincinnati is a team in a rut right now after two blowouts and a tie since their bye week.
In his first game against the Bengals this season, Justin Forsett ran for 70 yards and a touchdown, while chipping in with five receptions and posting 19.4 fantasy points.
The only thing that’s changed since that Week 1 mathchup and the game this Sunday is the fact that Forsett has solidified himself as the lead back in Baltimore.
It’s a little frustrating he doesn’t see more goal line stuff, but Forsett’s 12 carries and four targets per game average, along with the trust of his coaches makes his $5,100 a nice play this weekend.
Others Receiving Votes: Jamaal Charles ($6,700) v. STL
Dez Bryant ($6,900) v. WAS
This could be Dez Bryant’s first 30-point game of the season, and his cost this week is entirely too good to pass up.
On a scale from one to even, I can’t.
Michael Floyd ($4,900) v. PHI
It’s a whole new ball game for Michael Floyd now that Carson Palmer is under center, as he’s scored two touchdowns and combined for better than 27 fantasy points over the past two weeks.
This week the Cardinals host a Philadelphia team fresh off their bye, but with a defense giving up close to 260 passing yards per game and tied for third in the league with 13 touchdowns allowed through the air this season.
T.Y. Hilton ($6,800) @ PIT
It doesn’t matter what defense he faces, T.Y. Hilton’s average of nearly 10 targets per game warrants any salary under $7,000.
In addition to the targets, Hilton also has the ability to break plays/games wide open, providing your roster with some homerun potential.
Hilton’s salary doesn’t necessarily pass the smell test this week, but there’s lots of value here if even he turns out one of his typical (17-19 fPts) games to help keep the Colts rolling.
Others Receiving Votes: Andrew Hawkins ($4,700) v. OAK; Sammy Watkins ($5,700) @ NYJ; Greg Jennings ($4,000) @ TB
Jordan Reed ($4,000) @ DAL
I gave the same spiel last week about Jordan Reed facing major durability concerns, but always remaining a cog in the Redskins’ game plan when healthy. That applies here as well. Dallas may be on a roll, but they’re susceptible to tight ends, and a guy like Reed can create threatening mismatches.
Travis Kelce ($3,800) v. STL
For whatever reason, Travis Kelce still doesn’t play a large enough role in the Chiefs offense (he never will play a large enough role, IMO TBPH), but on a Sunday that I’m banking against the Rams, I like the Chiefs’ chances to hang some points.
And Kelce just so happens to be one of the best playmakers in Kansas City.
Jordan Cameron ($3,700) v. OAK
Anyone up for a little rebound with Jordan Cameron?
If you can muster the smell, Cameron comes at a fair price this week against the Raiders, who allow opposing quarterbacks to complete better than 70 percent of their passes and post 106.9 ratings (third-highest in the NFL).
Those are some numbers even Brian Hoyer can get behind.
Zach Ertz ($3,200) @ ARI
There’s a lot of passes to go around in the Eagles offense, so you go into this play knowing that you could be duped. The good news, however, is that Arizona is allowing an average of 5.5 catches, 64.5 yards, and 0.5 touchdowns per game to opposing tight ends.
Ertz is definitely a wildcard, but the Philly offense does give you some creative routes and plays, which then gives Ertz a shot at large chunks of yards at a time. He’s averaging a little over five targets a game and 16.1 yards per reception, which trails only Jeremy Maclin for highest on the team.
We’ve seen Ertz turn out three games so far this season with a double-digit output, and that’s clearly the chase here as well. His two touchdowns on the season don’t provide too much feel-good, but his salary is just so damn pretty in a week where lots of other players may totally forget about him.