Renee Miller

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FanDuel Bargain Bin: Wild Card

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Each week I search for the cheapest viable options for your FanDuel lineups at every position. The plays are geared toward cash games unless otherwise indicated and I do try to use a price ceiling of $7000 for QB, $6000 for RB/WR, and $5500 for TE insomuch as possible.

 


The playoffs create a difficult pricing structure. Every team in the playoffs has its stars, and no one is willfully playing backups or “seeing what they have in a guy”. I’m not going to recommend cheap back up players unless there’s a sufficiently good reason to think they’ll play—we’re definitely not banking on in-game injuries providing opportunity. FanDuel somewhat flattens its pricing structure for the playoffs, so part of what we’ll be looking for are good values, players who might have been at a higher salary during the regular season when there were more options but fall at the lower end of the spectrum this week.

 



Quarterback

 

There are a lot of good to great pass defenses taking the field this week, as one should expect in the playoffs, making it difficult to key in on a quarterback. Alex Smith is probably my favorite option, followed by Jared Goff, but they each have their issues. Cam Newton and Drew Brees know each other well, and haven’t lit the fantasy world on fire this year, for the most part.

 


Tyrod Taylor $6700: The position I’m most comfortable spending up on this week is running back, and Taylor makes that happen in a way I can live with. While the Jaguars secondary has smothered top passers and receivers all season, Taylor isn’t a top passer. He’s a low volume guy, with the second fewest passing yards in the league. That’s not how the Bills win games. Taylor comes in third among quarterbacks in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns (4), and is effective because of his ability to scramble and extend plays, something we saw similarly minded Russell Wilson do to the Jags in Week 14. I’m not saying Taylor is as good as Wilson at what he does, but for the money, I like Taylor’s chances to reach value this weekend.

 

 


Running Back

 

Christian McCaffrey $6800: McCaffrey should be the centerpiece of the Panthers’ offense this weekend, and after Leonard Fournette and Todd Gurley, he’s my top option at RB. His ability to break big plays on short passes is a big reason the Panthers are where they are. The Saints secondary is very good, ranking third with 20 interceptions on the season, but they come in second with five receiving touchdowns allowed to running backs. McCaffrey accounted for one of those the last time they played, while racking up over 100 yards receiving in the other game vs. New Orleans. I think there’s a decent chance he hits both those marks this weekend, making him one of the better values at RB, despite the higher than Bargain Bin salary.

 


Tevin Coleman $5700: Devonta Freeman will likely play through his knee injury this weekend, but that’s not the reason Coleman is here. If I were the Falcons, I’d attempt to beat the Rams on the ground. Los Angeles has allowed the fifth-most rushing yards per game, and fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season while ranking among the best in pass defense. The ability of Atlanta to feature both Freeman and Coleman is their best chance to keep the Rams defense off balance and wear them down with long drives that keep the ball out of Goff’s and Gurley’s hands.

 


Marcus Murphy $5400: If LeSean McCoy plays, I’m not using Murphy but at this stage, it’s too soon to tell. If McCoy is out, Murphy will likely become the chalk value play given that he looked pretty good in Week 17. The Jaguars are easier to run on than throw on, it’s true, but Murphy will split back-up duties with Mike Tolbert ($5100), who is more likely to see any goal line rushes too. I’m listing Murphy as an option, but not one I’m overly enthusiastic about. Between he, Tolbert and Coleman, I think Coleman has the better chance at 15 FanDuel points this week.

 

 

 

Wide Receiver

 

Ted Ginn Jr. $5900: Carolina allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, including 15 receiving touchdowns, and four of those were to New Orleans. One of those went to Ginn Jr., who is the next in line after Michael Thomas among Saints receivers. Capable of big plays any given week, Ginn can be frustratingly boom or bust, but has some opportunity here as I expect Carolina to focus on shutting down Thomas and Alvin Kamara.

 


Mohamed Sanu $5800: The Falcons and Matt Ryan don’t look great right now (Ryan has 4 TD/4 INT in the last five games), and I alluded earlier to prioritizing the run game in Los Angeles. So why like Sanu? For one thing, he figures to be more open than Julio Jones, and has been seeing a lot of targets, including 11 in Week 17. For another, you’ll need to save salary somewhere at wide receiver this week, and Sanu has been Mr. Reliable most weeks for Ryan.

 

 


Tight End

 

Austin Hooper $4800: Although I’m not high on the Falcons chances to win this game, it does carry a high Vegas point total, and the savings you get with him make Hooper a possibility this week. He’s a low-confidence, tournament only play for me, but if Atlanta is looking to do something different, Hooper could find himself more involved. The Rams have been susceptible to opposing tight ends this season and Hooper boasts a 75 percent catch rate. He hasn’t scored since Week 9, but if you’re using the salary saved here wisely, and Travis Kelce is a dud, I think Hooper could be interesting.

 


 

Defense

 

Buffalo $4200: This game carries the lowest point total of the week, 39 points, and neither of these teams is familiar with the playoffs. The Jaguars and Chiefs are the two most popular defenses for good reason, but if you find yourself in need of savings, go all the way down to the Bills. Buffalo has allowed opposing QBs the fifth-fewest fantasy points this season, with only 14 passing touchdowns and 18 interceptions to their credit. Bortles is enjoying a terrific season, but is prone to mistakes, making the Bills a reasonable flier for very little of the salary cap.



Renee Miller, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist and has been a daily fantasy sports fanatic since 2011. She is the author of "Cognitive Bias in Fantasy Sports: Is your brain sabotaging your team?". You can find her on twitter @reneemiller01.
Email :Renee Miller



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