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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Philip Rivers ($6,900) v. CHI
He’s up $300 from last week, but Philip Rivers stays on the list. He’s yet to let us down and he throws a billion times a game. Chicago’s defense isn’t nearly threatening enough (20+ FPPG to opposing quarterbacks) to scare you off and he’s in a good spot to earn his value again this week.
Jay Cutler ($5,200) @ SD
Look no further than the other side of the field to find your next bargain play at quarterback this week. Jay Cutler may be one of the more underrated guys in the league right now (omg?) and he enters this game with at least 18 fantasy points in his last four outings.
Jameis Winston ($5,200) v. NYG
Speaking of riding waves, rookie Jameis Winston has pinned together impressive back-to-back performances over the past couple weeks and this Sunday’s New York opponent doesn’t show any signs of rerouting that ship, as the Giants are allowing 21+ FPPG to opposing passers. Winston hasn’t thrown an interception in three games (jinx!), the Vegas line (48) on this one plays to our favor, and the rookie’s salary this week is entirely too low to pass on.
DeAngelo Williams ($5,500) v. OAK
Prepare to get in line — every fake footballer and their mother will be rostering DeAngelo Williams this weekend. With Le’Veon Bell done for the year (so long, year-long teams), Williams is the next man up and the Raiders setup nicely as an opponent allowing better than 25 FPPG to running backs this season. You can expect high ownership, but the running back market seems a bit flaky this week, so it might be a move you just have to roll with.
Shane Vereen ($4,400) @ TB
He’s much more receiver than running back and his weekly outputs are all over the place, but Shane Vereen at this number is attractive…assuming we get one of those eight reception games. Thing is, Vereen has four games this season in which he’s posted double-digits, and the other four in which he’s combined for just 14 total fantasy points. You won’t rest easy with him in your lineups, but there is payoff potential.
Stefon Diggs ($5,300) v. STL
The matchup doesn’t appear rich on paper (STL is pretty good against opposing wideouts) and the total (39.5) certainly does us no favors, but it’s hard to ignore Stefon Diggs and his 21.5-point average in just four games this season. Maybe he doesn’t score (hell, maybe no one does), but Diggs is Teddy Bridgewater’s right-hand man and he’ll at least get his catches.
Pierre Garcon ($5,000) @ NE
I’m stacking every Redskins pass catcher there is this week. How’s that for strategy? The line is high (51.5), the Pats are favored by two touchdowns, and the Redskins have no choice but to pass the ball (whether that’s due to an inept rushing attack as of late, or the likely chance they’ll be playing catchup for most of the game). That said, Pierre Garcon has been a decent play lately anyway, averaging nearly 13 FPPG this season while hauling in an average of five catches per game.
Jamison Crowder ($3,700) @ NE
For the same reasons as listed above regarding Garcon, but also because Jamison Crowder is a really good football player. The Redskins work to get him involved in the offense and they rely on him for the spark, as his quickness and speed allows him to be really effective as an in-space guy. He hasn’t posted double-digits the last couple games, but the targets and opportunity are sure to be there.
Jordan Reed ($4,500) @ NE
Tired of this all-Redskins strategy yet? Despite the Pats effectiveness against opposing tight ends, Jordan Reed remains the best offensive playmaker in Washington (assuming DeSean Jackson still doesn’t make it out onto the field) and the Redskins rely on him every game. He’s missed a double-digit total only once this season and Washington will need a big showing out of him if they have any chance of keeping this game competitive.
Vikings ($3,100) v. STL
I know St. Louis has been the hot defense of late, but the total on his game is brutal (39.5) and the Vikings defense comes into it with 24 points over their last three games. Roll with the cheaper of the two in this one.
Eagles ($2,700) @ DAL
We’ve seen Philly put up big numbers as a defense (16, 14, 19) and that kind of thing is doable against Dallas. Really nice price for that high of a ceiling.