FanDuel Bargain Bin
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 use a price ceiling of $6500 for QB, $6000 for RB/WR, and $5500 for TE insomuch as possible.
Brandon Weeden $6400: It’s slim pickings down here in bargain territory, but Weeden isn’t a terrible option. Quarterbacking the underdog in the week’s highest projected scoring game might be ugly in reality, but high scoring in fantasy. Weeden lost a key dump off man in Lance Dunbar, but it actually seemed to force him to throw deep to Terrence Williams a couple times. He still has Cole Beasley and Jason Witten for the underneath stuff, and I could see an expanded role for Gavin Escobar here too. Look, Weeden isn’t the guy I want in this shootout (Tom Brady is that guy), but if you want to spend up elsewhere for Le’Veon Bell, Rob Gronkowski, Julio Jones, etc. he is one way to get you there.
Jameis Winston $6400: Winston didn’t kill you last week with 287/2 despite FOUR interceptions. Jeez…good defense, bad decisions, poor WR play, whatever the excuses for Week 4 I still expect the rookie to keep improving. For context, consider that Winston has a very narrow range of fantasy point performances (approx. 13-18 fpts) and is averaging more than Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco, and Sam Bradford, among others you’d expect with 16.2 fpts/game so far. This week he faces a much easier matchup with the Jaguars where he should meet or exceed that average. The sample is small, but so far the floor is very palatable for the price.
Antonio Andrews $5600: The running back who delighted Titans fans in Week 3 is the first of two fliers I’m considering in this range. I don’t know how much a part of the game plan Andrews will be, but I think the Titans have to consider featuring him at least as much if not more than before the bye week. Andrews rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown. The matchup with Buffalo is a tough one, but if his volume increases and/or he finds his way into the endzone again, he reaches value easily at this price.
Chris Thompson $5100: An even better value is Thompson, who like Andrews finds himself in a crowded backfield…a backfield in which he’s supplied the spark recently, particularly in the passing game. I mention that because the Redskins are considerable underdogs this week in Atlanta, and while the Falcons are allowing the most fantasy points to running backs overall, they have been equally stung by receiving backs (365 receiving yards allowed to opposing RBs). Plus, it goes without saying that Washington will probably need to rely more on the passing game than the plodding Alfred Morris to stay in this game. Any running back by committee situation is risky and game-flow dependent, so I’m not viewing either player as a reliable cash game option.
Kamar Aiken $5800: One of the least appealing picks to find its way into this column so far is the Ravens’ new #1 receiver, Kamar Aiken. This is purely a volume play, as Joe Flacco will throw 20-30 times and if not to Aiken, to whom will it be? I fully expect Justin Forsett to have a great game here and honestly don’t think Aiken has a terribly high ceiling, but the target volume should be there for him and that makes him worthy of consideration in all formats at this price.
Jamison Crowder $5200: A tournament only bargain bin play, Crowder has been seeing increasing action in the Redskins passing game. He’s caught 13 passes for 110 yards over the past two weeks and everything I said about game flow with respect to Thompson applies here as well. If DeSean Jackson plays, which seems unlikely, I won’t use Crowder.
Owen Daniels $4900: Who’s playing the Raiders? They have allowed 388 yards and 6 touchdowns to TE so far this year. Owen Daniels has been a bit of a disappointment, but he has caught touchdowns in each of the Broncos’ last two games. Overall, Peyton Manning’s offense is hitting its stride at the moment, and they should be effective once again in Oakland. The problem with Daniels is that he isn’t the only one with a solid matchup—there’s no reason to look to him over Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders other than price. In other words, don’t look for a significant bump in targets (or catches) just because they’re facing the Raiders, but expect Daniels to have an easier time with his limited role, which could mean another touchdown.
Richard Rodgers $5100: Rodgers continues to play a small, but steady role in the Packers offense. When Aaron Rodgers is throwing you the ball, particularly in or near the end zone, good things will happen, and R. Rodgers already has two touchdowns this year. With Andrew Quarless out, there is even less competition in terms of tight end snaps, and while the volume is relatively low, all he needs is a touchdown grab to meet value. He’s a contrarian play in a slate with Rob Gronkowski, but if you’re spending up on Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, and Bell, he can fill this TE spot adequately.
New York Giants $4300: I’d like the Giants this week regardless of price, to be honest. They’re at home facing the 49ers who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing defenses. Turnover machine Colin Kaepernick has five interceptions, three fumbles (one lost), and has been sacked 17 times. San Francisco has scored the fewest points in the league. That’s not likely to improve on this east coast trip.