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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Matt Ryan ($6,300) @ TB
He hasn’t had an “oh-wow” game since Week 1, but Matt Ryan comes with a really friendly price tag coming off he and the Falcons’ bye week.
The last time these two teams met in Week 3 on Thursday night, the Bucs didn’t look like a real team and lost 56-14 on national television while Ryan passed for 286 and three scores.
Things have changed since then I guess (Atlanta is 2-6), but Tampa Bay still isn’t a good team. They’re allowing close to 286 passing yards per game and their 18 passing touchdowns allowed are tied for second-worst in the NFL.
Mark Sanchez ($5,400) v. CAR
The Return of Sanchez. In theaters November 10.
I’m actually buying Chip Kelly’s offense more than Mark Sanchez the quarterback, but he’s the benefactor of the former and he’s one of the cheapest starting options you’ll find this week. Carolina’s pass defense (17 pass touchdowns allowed) isn’t threatening enough to move us off a low-lying QB like Sanchez, so saddle up and hold on. This one should pay off fine.
LeSean McCoy ($5,600) v. CAR
The Panthers are giving up more than 130 rushing yards per game for an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Meanwhile, LeSean McCoy has received 20+ carries in his last four games with an average of 15.6 fantasy points over that span. This is a favorable matchup for less than you’d pay for guys like Jamaal Charles, Mark Ingram, and Lamar Miller, all of whom face much tougher defenses.
Justin Forsett ($5,000) v. TEN
There’s some sort of committee working in Baltimore, but Justin Forsett is the guy to have when the dust settles. Not only is he the most trusted member of the team’s backfield, but also the most versatile. He’s averaging 15 fPts per game thanks to his receiving contributions and Tennessee’s defense isn’t posing a threat on the road.
Bobby Rainey ($4,400) v. ATL
You’ll have to keep a close eye on Charles Sims’ status as we approach Sunday’s game, but it’s pretty clear the Bucs like Bobby Rainey. He’ll have a nice matchup against a bad Falcons defense this week and you’re hoping others have cooled on him given his three-game scoring drought.
Dez Bryant ($6,400) @ JAX (in London)
Tony Romo and his flailing spine are set to play, so Dez Bryant is very much a solid option this week. The Jaguars are arguably the worst team in the league, and Bryant shouldn’t have any trouble eating against this Jacksonville secondary. That sub-$6,500 salary is a steal.
But again — make sure Romo plays.
Percy Harvin ($5,300) v. PIT
Targets, targets, targets.
It doesn’t matter who starts at quarterback, it doesn’t matter how bad the Jets are, it doesn’t matter who has what kind of attitude. All that matters is that Percy Harvin is a weapon and the Jets need weapons.
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a sure-fire play, but the price is right for what could come of it. The Steelers offense should pick apart the Jets secondary, putting New York in position to throw, throw, throw in an effort to catch up.
Kelvin Benjamin ($4,200) @ PHI
This feels like easy money, which may be the very reason to run the other way.
At any rate, after putting up an atrocious offensive performance last week, Cam Newton and the Panthers are on the rebound and in desperate need of wins a. That’s not to say they’ll trot into Philly and steal one, but the Eagles defense isn’t anything special.
In a game that Vegas currently puts at 48, Kelvin Benjamin seems like the easy beneficiary against a Philly defense giving up the third-most passing touchdowns in the NFL, as well as playing for a Panthers team that’s sure to leave everything on the field.
Julio Jones ($6,600) @ TB
Nine catches, 161 yards, two touchdowns, 40+ fantasy points.
That was Julio Jones’ stat line the last time he played the Bucs. And perhaps he won’t hit quite the lottery this go’round, but I also wouldn’t rule it out.
Jones enters this game claiming that his ankle is now at 100 percent following the bye, and the Falcons are somehow still alive in the NFC South. This matchup is well worth the price tag.
Markus Wheaton ($4,100) @ NYJ
He may not be Antonio Brown or see a whole mess of targets, but Markus Wheaton is a sneaky wildcard this weekend against a pitiful Jets secondary. Yes, Martavis Bryant cuts into target share (especially in the redzone), but Wheaton has the speed to create for himself.
Travis Kelce ($5,100) @ BUF
I promise you there’s no one who loves Travis Kelce more than I love Travis Kelce.
- They’re somehow very much alive in their weak division despite a 3-6 record. (back)