You know the drill by now. You’re in the market for some cheapies to pick up on Draft Kings this weekend, and I’m here to help. Because you want to win money, because you are a money-loving human like the rest of us.
As always, these are players that cost less than $5k this weekend, except for quarterbacks, because none of them are less than $5k. Even though some of them should be free. You know, because they suck.
Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota Vikings) $5.7k
Ol’ Ted makes his first start for the Vikings this weekend at home against the Atlanta Falcons. You may remember the last time we saw the Falcons, when they looked like the greatest football team in Earth’s history against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. BREAKING: The Falcons aren’t THAT great, especially on defense. In the two weeks before that shellacking of Tampa, ATL’s D was shredded by both the Saints and the Bengals. While the Vikes’ offense obviously isn’t of the same caliber as those teams, they still have quite a few playmakers. Bridgewater looked surprisingly comfortable in his time on the field against New Orleans a week ago, and he also has the ability to run the ball a little bit. He could be in for a surprisingly solid debut.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Houston Texans) $5.8k
I know, I know. Fitz has appeared in all three editions of this column, and last week was an unmitigated disaster for him against the Giants. But back-to-back road games are tough for any team, and the Texans had to go from Oakland to New York. Now they’re back at home, and against Ryan’s former team, the Bills. Buffalo has allowed 267 yards passing per game to opponents through the season’s first four games, which is good for 26th in the league. With the weapons he has and back in the comforts of his home stadium, Fitz has a chance to put up passable numbers this week. Also, REVENGE FACTOR.
Blake Bortles (Jacksonville Jaguars) $5.8k
The Jaguars told us that this would essentially be a redshirt year for Bort, but here he is starting for them in Week 4. Classic Jags. Anyway, these sad sacks travel to San Diego this week to take on a Chargers team that sports a surprisingly decent defense. However, with the Chargers seemingly likely to steamroll poor Jacksonville, Bortles may well be able to cash-in on some garbage time numbers.
Charlie Whitehurst (Tennessee Titans) $5k
Still in the league! And by god, AFC South QBs are terrrrrible. Jake Locker is looking pretty iffy for this week, which is probably good news for the Titans since he sucks. Unfortunately, his backup is Charlie Whitehurst, who probably sucks, too. Considering he’s barely played in the NFL despite having been a part of it for about a century, I guess we don’t really know how much he really sucks. He may be leading the Titans into Indianapolis this week against the Colts, and the Colts have a pretty mediocre defense. If you’re really feeling ballsy (and stupid), you can throw some crap against the wall and hope it sticks by using Chuck Whitehurst.
Ryan Tannehill (Miami Dolphins) $6k
Joe Philbin spent all week giving Ryan Tannehill whatever the opposite of a vote of confidence is, but he’ll still be starting this Sunday when the Dolphins take on the Raiders from Wembley. In case you haven’t been paying attention to football for the last decade, the Raiders are bad. Tannehill should be able to regain some of his shattered confidence with a good outing against them, so throwing him into a lineup isn’t the worst idea. The worst idea would be using Whitehurst. Again, don’t do that shit.
Branden Oliver (San Diego Chargers) $3.5k
Oliver is the next man up in the Chargers backfield as his teammates continue to drop like flies. With Ryan Mathews still on the shelf and Danny Woodhead tossed out to sea, Oliver should get a few looks in the backfield behind Donald Brown. While Brown will surely get the bulk of the work, the Chargers like Oliver as a bit of a Woodhead/Darren Sproles clone. He’s a total scatback at 5’6″, but he can make some things happen if given the chance. As mentioned above, the Jaguars are coming to town this week, so there’s upside here.
DeAngelo Williams (Carolina Panthers) $3.9k
Williams has missed the last couple of games but is listed as “probable” for this week’s match with the Ravens. His backfield buddies, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert and Fozzy Whittaker are all expected to sit, which makes Williams a suddenly appealing option. Obviously using Panther backs has been a risky proposition in the last few years, but if Williams turns out to be the only healthy one, why not give him a chance? He’s cheap.
Bishop Sankey (Tennessee Titans) $4.1k
The rookie split 20 total carries with Shonn Greene last week, but outgained that plodder 61 yards to 33. However, it was Greene that got the look near the end zone and subsequent TD, so that kinda sucks. Sankey is obviously the better of the two backs, but the Titans maintain that they’ll ride “the hot hand” among the runners. Nice and unpredictable. The Colts have been middle-of-the-pack this year in terms of stopping the run. Use Sanks at your own risk.
Alfred Blue (Houston Texans) $4.5k
This one is contingent upon Arian Foster’s health, obviously. Foster is once again listed as “questionable” this week after missing the loss to the Giants last week. In his place, Blue looked pretty decent, running 13 times for 78 yards and catching a pass for another 10. Unfortunately, the Bills have been pretty stingy against the run so far, but you never know when a guy will benefit from a nice one-yard plunge from the goal line.
Matt Asiata (Minnesota Vikings) $4.5k
Asiata has been serviceable as the replacement for Adrian Peterson, registering double-digit points on Draft Kings in back-to-back games. As I said earlier, the Falcons’ defense isn’t nearly as good as it looked last week against the Bucs and I think Asiata should find plenty of room in which to roam. He looks like a solid pass-catching option out of the backfield, too, which is always a nice asset for a young QB.
Lorenzo Taliaferro (Baltimore Ravens) $4.6k
Taliaferro got his first major action last week against the Browns and responded incredibly well, rushing 18 times for 91 yards and a TD. With Bernard Pierce likely sidelined for a second consecutive game, it sounds as though Taliaferro and Justin Forsett will be splitting the carries for the Ravens this time around against Carolina. The Panthers were excellent against the run last year, but have struggled stopping it so far this year, so they’re tough to read. But if given the reps, Taliaferro isn’t a bad option.
Jeremy Kerley (New York Jets) $3.5k
Kerley was Geno Smith’s primary target in Monday night’s loss to the Bears last week catching 7 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. With Eric Decker still battling a hamstring injury and possibly missing this game, Kerley may well be the No. 1 WR once again this week. The Jets’ passing game obviously leaves much to be desired, but Kerley is capable of putting up numbers if given this kind of role. The Jets draw a Lions defense that has been uncharacteristically sturdy so far this season, so keep that in mind.
Malcom Floyd (San Diego Chargers) $3.9k
Last week, Floyd did about as well as a guy can with just 2 catches, as he racked-up 98 yards. He’s not really lit things up so far this year, but let’s reiterate that the Chargers have the Jaguars this week who just got obliterated by the Colts’ passing attack a week ago. Philip Rivers should have a field day against this bunch, and the cheap Floyd could be one of the beneficiaries.
Allen Hurns (Jacksonville Jaguars) $4k
If the Jaguars are to get throttled as many are expecting, then Bortles and friends should be doing quite a bit of throwing. Their top pass-catcher this season has (surprisingly) been the rookie, Hurns, who scored on his lone reception a week ago. Not expecting something huge here, but if any Jaguar is going to be reaching the end zone it’ll probably be him.
Sammy Watkins (Buffalo Bills) $4.7k
Last week was a disappointing one for Watkins as he caught just 2 passes for 19 yards. On the bright side, E.J. Manuel still targeted him 8 times, so it’s not like he was just being ignored over there. Manuel being mediocre is likely to blame. Watkins has a rib issue but it sounds like he’s going to fight through it and play in Houston this week, where he’ll surely have a better day than he did against the Chargers. The Texans’ defense is solid, but Watkins is option No. 1 for Buffalo’s passing attack.
Golden Tate (Detroit Lions) $4.7k
Calvin Johnson is still the Lions’ offense, but Tate has gotten off to a nice start with his new team. He has at least 5 receptions in each of the first 3 games this season and looks to be a solid underneath option for Matthew Stafford. The Jets excel in stifling the run but are super vulnerable through-the-air, which is where the Lions should feast this week. Gotta love Tate for this price.
DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans) $4.8k
Hopkins has been the Texans’ top WR this season, yet is still at a bargain price. Blame Fitzpatrick. He’s the best bet right now among Houston’s receivers and the Bills have been vulnerable to opposing passing games.
Owen Daniels (Baltimore Ravens) $4.1k
With Dennis Pitta sidelined yet again with a hip injury, Daniels suddenly becomes the TE1 in Baltimore. Gary Kubiak’s offense loves to feature the tight end, particularly in scoring situations, so Daniels is looking decent.
Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles) $4k
Ertz didn’t do much in the shootout against the Redskins, but he was nursing a knee issue. He should be healthier this week when the Eagles take on San Francisco. Everyone is dangerous in Philadelphia’s offense, and Ertz is a major part of that.
Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers) $4.4k
Delaine Walker (Tennessee Titans) $4.9k
Walker has been a primary target for the Titans this season, but that was with Jake Locker throwing to him. There’s no telling how he’ll look with Charlie Whitehurst at the helm, so it’s a bit risky.