I tend to focus on the value over at DraftKings just because it’s better. You can find a longer list of cheaper players to use and it seems like you don’t have to force things too much to get a roster you’re comfortable with. Truth be told, the value plays I’ve used in 2015 are not what keep my daily fantasy football teams down. It’s actually studs not performing.
Last week, for example, I had an awesome team get flat out hosed by Adrian Peterson and Le’Veon Bell, who combined for about 14 fantasy points. Neither scored obviously, while Bell, a usual PPR fiend, had ZERO receptions. Just crazy.
Stuff like that happens, so you gotta be careful who you pick at the top of the pile. And really, I should have known. Bell was facing a very good Cardinals defense and Peterson was facing a Chiefs defense that has been good against the run in the past. I figured that wouldn’t be the case at home and with Dontari Poe inactive, but I digress.
All that being said, I’m taking a look over at FanDuel this week to give you a taste of both worlds. Mostly because I actually like some of the value I happened upon. I don’t like that they have kickers and price defenses so high, while they also have the top plays insanely priced when you compare the two pricing models.
Still, there is a lot of quality value. Let’s dig through it for week 7:
Note: All bargain buys will be at or below $7k for all main positions and below $5k for kickers and defenses.
Quarterbacks: Josh McCown – Browns ($6.9k), Derek Carr – Raiders ($6.7k), Zach Mettenberger – Titans ($5.9k)
The best pure value at quarterback this week is going to be Philip Rivers ($8k), while Carson Palmer is right there with him at $8.2k. Those are the two quarterbacks I’m using just about everywhere. If you’re looking for a bargain buy though, these three guys could do the trick. McCown has a tough matchup with a stingy Rams pass defense that made even Aaron Rodgers look pedestrian, but McCown has defied all logic associated with his name in 2015. Carr also has a tough matchup by the numbers against the Chargers secondary, but he’s got weapons and has been pretty good even when he’s been weak. He’s fairly stable and has some upside with this price. Mettenberger is going to start with Marcus Mariota dealing with a knee injury and he has a chance to return serious value. He’s at home and has put up numbers in the past, while Atlanta’s pass defense really isn’t very good at all.
Running Backs: Latavius Murray – Raiders ($7k), Lamar Miller – Dolphins ($6.7k), Danny Woodhead – Chargers ($6k), Christine Michael – Cowboys ($5.9k)
There is some really solid value above our pricing threshold, as Todd Gurley is a solid $7.4k. Murray is just as good of a value, if not better, as he’s due to have a big game again and draws a weak Bolts run defense. He should be heavily involved and could have a huge week. Ditto for Miller, who is even cheaper and has a solid matchup a week after finally having a big day.
Danny Woodhead is a staple. You typically can count on a few catches and a shot at a red-zone score, while he racks up yardage as a runner and receiver. Melvin Gordon’s fumble problems only boost his already solid value. I’m personally not overly into Michael, other than to get a talented guy who has a role and do so at a cheap price. The point would be to stack elsewhere, and that’s fine for a GPP. For safety, though, I’m refraining from Michael just because he’s insanely unproven. Even so, the value is obvious and he certainly has serious upside.
Wide Receivers: Martavis Bryant – Steelers ($6.9k), Brandin Cooks – Saints ($6.7k), Eric Decker – Jets ($6.2k)
Wide receiver is where you get your points for the most part, but it’s also insanely expensive. DeAndre Hopkins is now like $9.2k which is deserving but also disgusting in the same breath. Bryant is probably the best pure value at wide receiver this week, as he carries insane upside like we saw in week six and is clearly a good price. He also gets a terrible Chiefs pass defense and could have Ben Roethlisberger back this week. I like him regardless. You can toss guys like Steve Smith, Vincent Jackson and Jeremy Maclin all into this same pot, as they’re similar prices – I like Bryant the most, though.
Cooks is just a tad cheaper and he’s in the mix. He’s come to life lately and I love him against a beatable Colts secondary. Not sure what is up with Vontae Davis, but it won’t matter with how New Orleans spreads things out and moves Cooks around. Decker is a terrific value, too. His touchdown streak could end at any time but New England will be focused on Chris Ivory and Brandon Marshall, so one way or another I like him to be productive. There are a few other guys like Stefon Diggs and Jamison Crowder that are even cheaper, but they’re far less stable. However, of those two Diggs is the easy choice and he does help save some cash.
Tight Ends: Antonio Gates – Chargers ($5.8k) and Gary Barnidge – Browns ($5.9k)
Rob Gronkowski is just too expensive. Not only is he pricey and hasn’t been truly elite the past couple of games, but he’s also facing a strong Jets defense that is especially good against tight ends. I’m not saying he can’t crush – he totally can – but the value just isn’t there. It absolutely is with Gates, however, who has completely wrecked since returning from a four-game suspension two weeks ago. Over that span he has 18 catches and two touchdowns, remaining heavily involved in San Diego’s pass-happy scheme. Gates now gets Oakland, who are league worst against tight ends. I’d be surprised if he isn’t at least in the top-5 this week and I heavily expect him to be the top overall tight end.
I can’t fully buy Barnidge this week just because the Rams are so solid against tight ends, but I also didn’t think he score twice against the Broncos. Or just be his good in general. Give him credit, though, as he’s made highlight reel catches, has racked up yardage and has been a monster red-zone producer. Josh McCown also loves looking his way and no matter the situation, he’ll continue to do so this week. That being said, I’m taking Gates over him all day this week. There are cheaper tight ends out there like Larry Donnell and Kyle Rudolph, but they’re not worth it. Gates is going to be insanely highly owned and you might not be able to avoid it.
Kickers: Matt Prater – Lions ($4.5k) and Josh Lambo – Chargers ($4.7k)
I don’t like kickers or that FD makes us use them, but this is our reality. When I first started out I used to use cheap kickers and only cheap kickers, but they tend to be cheap or a reason and they rarely work out. Even so, you have to try Prater this week. He’s at home, his offense finally came to life last week and he’s Matt Prater. That’s it, man. Lambo is close enough and is a great value, as he has a solid matchup and is working out of a very good offense. He’s been solid to great in every game but one this year.
Team Defenses: Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($4k) and St. Louis Rams ($4.5k)
Defenses suck this week. Arizona is really the only defense you can trust at all, and even they can be a little shaky – like last week. So if you don’t want to pay top dollar, consider these two squads. Tampa Bay gets Kirk Cousins and they’ve had a couple strong outings. Cousins is all the argument needed, really, especially since they’re as cheap as it gets. I do prefer the Rams, though, as they sack the quarterback, are at home and also are stingy against the pass. That’s bad news for Josh McCown and the Browns potentially. I know, this goes against McCown being a value, but I think both could still work out to a certain degree.