The best thing about daily fantasy football games is that injuries and unexpected performances don’t wreck your season or send you scrambling to the waiver wire in desperation. In DFS, you start over every week.
No one has to tell you who the best players are, but since you are on a budget, you can’t buy all the best players. Here are some less expensive options for you to consider.
Last week, Russell Wilson was listed as a good value at an upper-median price. This week, I really mean it. At home against San Francisco, Wilson should be a good play, but there are less expensive values for those saving to land a premier receiver or runner.
Philip Rivers had so many receiving options last week, he forgot about his pair of top-ten tight ends. Antonio Gates got three targets and Hunter Henry got none. Rivers still tallied 18 NFL fantasy points and should top that comfortably in Week 2’s matchup against Miami.
Alex Smith is even less expensive despite his opening weekend rampage in New England. No one believes he can repeat that performance against a better defense. Philadelphia might have a better front level defense, but without Ronald Darby, they are not much better in the backfield than the Patriots. Smith can be expected to feed Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Kareem Hunt, and even Chris Conley for another solid NFL fantasy performance.
For the truly desperate, you can have Jay Cutler at a bottom-of-the-barrel price. Miami has been in Los Angeles all week, so the travel does not bother me. Cutler will hurt himself with an interception or two, but he will keep throwing deep in between Jay Ajayi rushes. He could surprise with a substantial fantasy score in what is his opening day.
Between Tom Brady’s desire to permanently wipe any memories of last week’s debacle away, an opponent who gave up 18 catches to wide receivers, and his homecoming of sorts, Brandin Cooks is a premium play this week, for whom you will pay a premium price. But he is probably not going to have 18 catches.
That’s where Chris Hogan comes in. Hogan can be had for a far lower price. The best reason to go to him after his bad outing last week is that the five passes thrown to him averaged a team-leading 20 yards in the air. Without Danny Amendola, as well as Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan will keep seeing targets like that. He is sure to haul in more of them than last week against a porous Saints defense.
There are a lot of good mid-priced receiver options this week, including Keenan Allen, Stefon Diggs, and Davante Adams. But for those trying to score at a super-low price, I bring your attention to Jacksonville’s Marqise Lee.
A lot of people are down on Jaguar receivers because they are a rush-heavy team. But consider two things. First, will the Tennessee Titans’ offense let the Jaguars secure a lead to protect? Marcus Mariota has a much better offensive line and is mobile enough to avoid sacks. In a close game, it makes sense that Blake Bortles will pass more this week. But what if he doesn’t? The vast majority of his passes go to his wide receivers. If he only throws 20 times, 16 are probably split between Lee and Allen Hurns. For Lee’s price, a sure-handed receiver with eight targets is a potential bargain.
Devonta Freeman and the Atlanta Falcons are expected to revert to form after last week’s rough outing in Chicago. He is a good buy if he rebounds even part of the way to his norm. But the best running back bargain will be on the other side of the field.
Ty Montgomery carried the ball 19 times and caught all four pass targets in Week 1. His yardage wasn’t great, but he will have an easier time against the Falcons. His high floor and ceiling make him a bargain at his price.
Jacquizz Rodgers of Tampa will fill in for the suspended Doug Martin in the Buccaneers’ first game. Many of my peers are touting him as a bargain based on past efforts. I am not as high on him against the Chicago defense that just held Freeman under 40 total yards on 14 touches. But since I am in the minority, I share his name.
The bargain of the week will be Tarik Cohen. He might not have as big a day as he had against Atlanta, but all he needs is a few touches to have a fantasy-worthy day. With the lack of receivers in Chicago, I see Cohen lining up in various positions and sneaking out into the flat and underneath for Mike Glennon all day.
Jimmy Graham will bounce back from his uneventful opening game and is worth his price. For a much lower price, you can pick up Coby Fleener playing in a shootout off last week’s TE4 performance. For even less, you can land Charles Clay or Zach Miller, both of whom will be significantly involved in their teams’ passing game.
Seattle will have their way with the 49ers this week and are reasonably priced. If you want to save a few hundred bucks, the Oakland Raiders are probably the best value pick thanks to their opponent, the New York Jets. The bargain of the week might end up being the Los Angeles Rams who face a team their coaches have intimate knowledge about, the Washington Redskins. They probably won’t match the carnage they applied to Indianapolis last week, but they could easily be a top-five D/ST.
If you have any questions about DFS plays or anything related to NFL fantasy football, send it to us at [email protected]. We’ll publish answers every Wednesday throughout the season.
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