Sometimes when constructing a daily fantasy football roster, you are able to fit most of the players that feel like staples. However, if spending up on certain positions, then salary will assuredly need to be saved on others by default. Here are a group of players listed at bargain costs who will help fill in the missing pieces of a mostly-constructed lineup:
Note: Each position includes a player who is expected to be highly owned amongst the value plays at the position (chalk) and one who will likely go vastly overlooked but still is worthy of consideration (contrarian).
Chalk: Kirk Cousins, Redskins, $11,000 – With every QB listed at an incredibly affordable price beyond the top seven, it is difficult to project exactly which one is going to garner the highest ownership percentage. Since Kirk Cousins will face the defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing QBs and is only priced $1,000 below the minimum, he is a solid candidate to come with a hefty ownership…and rightfully so. Even though Jordan Reed will sit this one out, Vernon Davis had filled in admirably for him (caught 2-4 targets for 50 yards and a TD last week). Cousins’ receiving core is loaded (DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder and Pierre Garcon) and this game carries the third highest over/under of the weekend. Cap it all off with the fact the game is being played in a dome so it will not have to battle weather elements and Cousins projects as one of the safest plays at the position.
Contrarian: Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins, $10,100 – Why is Ryan Tannehill nearly listed at exactly minimum price? He has failed to eclipse 11 fantasy points in three consecutive games but he is simply too talented for that to continue. Strangely, Tannehill attempted 113 pass attempts over the course of the first three weeks but has only attempted 75 passes in the three games since. The Jay Ajayi explosion last week accounts for part of the recent downtick in opportunity for Tannehill but his Week 7 opponent, the Bills, have only allowed 3.8 yards per carry (YPC) to this point. If they are able to slow down Ajayi, look for Tannehill to have to sling the ball more than usual. Like Cousins, Tannehill’s receiving core is more than adequate (Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills), so it is very difficult to pass on Tannehill at this price point even against a defense allowing the second fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs. By comparison, Geno Smith is priced $100 less, and that is usually the caliber of QB in this price range.
Chalk: Jacquizz Rodgers, Buccaneers, $8,500 – The matchup against the 49ers is one of the best an opposing back could possibly ask for. Those who were looking forward to rostering Doug Martin should not fret and should feel great pivoting to his much more affordable backup: Jacquizz Rodgers. A RB has rushed for at least 100 yards in five consecutive games against San Francisco and Rodgers literally set records for his insane usage last game. On the first drive alone, Rodgers carried a record-high 10 times and he finished with a whopping 35 touches (30 carries, five receptions) in Week 5. After Martin suffered a setback, Rodgers is slated to act as the team’s workhorse once again the team clearly is not going to be shy with how they use him. Typically, players with this sort of workload are priced at $11,000 or greater so it is very difficult to overlook Rodgers. I have him projected as a top 10 back this week and he is priced as RB25.
Contrarian: Jeremy Hill, Bengals, $7,800 – Game flow is the key as to how the Bengals divvy up the touches in the backfield and the Bengals certainly should be expected to hand it to the Browns in this matchup. Not only are the Browns going to be missing their best defensive player (Joe Haden) but it is possible their best offensive player as of late (Terrelle Pryor) sits as well. Through six games, Giovani Bernard leads the backfield in snaps 242-162 but Jeremy Hill leads in TDs 3-1. Since Hill has been targeted a combine three times over the past three ballgames, he is almost totally reliant on a heavy rushing workload and/or TDs. In tournaments, he is worth taking the shot on this week with his team listed as 10.5 point favorites in game his team is implied to score 27.5 points. When the Bengals get up, then Coach Marvin Lewis will be more likely to pound the ball, and Hill is obviously most likely to score in a game where the team is projected to score the most points. He is one of the favorites on the slate to find the end zone which is quite appealing at this bargain price tag. If he manages to break a long run or maybe even score two TDs then he could start competing for the lead in fantasy-points-per-dollar at the position.
Wide Receiver (WR)
Chalk: Pierre Garcon, Redskins, $7,300 – Pairing Kirk Cousins with Pierre Garcon increases a lineup’s potential upside but Garcon should also possess a safe floor this week. Although he is priced like a scrub, Garcon has been targeted a healthy 18 times over the past two weeks. During that span, he has caught 13 passes for 133 yards and a TD. In fact, Garcon led the receiving core in offensive snaps in Week 6 after playing just two less snaps than DeSean Jackson in Week 5. His rise in value has directly affected Jamison Crowder’s fall from relevance since early in the season and the matchup could not be any more enticing. The Lions have already allowed 17 passing TDs including nine to opposing receivers and Garcon is seeing enough volume on a weekly basis to potentially take advantage. If punting at the WR position in cash games, Garcon makes the most sense of anyone.
Contrarian: Adam Humphries, Buccaneers, $6,000 – At the bare minimum, Adam Humphries does not need to set the world on fire to provide value for fantasy owners. He caught 18 passes over the first three games but has been held to just two catches over the last two weeks. Due to the injury of Vincent Jackson, Humphries should be looking at additional snaps/opportunities this week which should increase his targets once again. Remember, Humphries caught six-plus passes in two straight games between Weeks 2 and 3 while averaging 11-plus yards per reception. With Jackson out of the lineup, Humphries may even be able to build on his 6.2 yard average depth of target (aDOT) with the secondary deep threat inactive (Jackson’s aDOT sits at 13.7 yards). On the Buccaneers, Humphries’ 7.2 yards per target (YPT) actually ranks respectably especially in comparison to Jackson’s 5.8. If his role were to be extended in any way, shape or form and he were to see an uptick in targets, he would easily justify this basement price tag.
Tight Ends (TE)
Chalk: Jack Doyle, Colts, $5,000 – The Colts have run a TE-by-committee to this point and now the main member of the committee, Dwayne Allen, has been deemed inactive. Similarly to when there are two RBs battling out a committee and one is deemed inactive, Jack Doyle now gains a fair amount of value because theoretically all of the targets at the position will be headed his way now. Oh and he is literally listed at the cheapest price an offensive player could possibly be listed on FantasyDraft. On paper, the Titans project as a middle of the road matchup for opposing TEs but the opportunity supersedes all in this case. Doyle has one of the best QBs in the league throwing to him (Andrew Luck), is developing rapport with him (four receptions for 53 yards and a TD last week) and he already leads the team’s TEs in receiving TDs. With more targets headed his way, there is no reason he should not be usable in cash games for virtually no cost.
Contrarian: Vernon Davis, Redskins, $5,600 – In Jordan Reed’s absence, Vernon Davis only needed two receptions en route to 50 yards and a TD in Week 6. Yet again, Reed will sit out in Week 7 and this is a giant missed opportunity for him because the Lions have been absolutely brutal against opposing TEs for an extended period of time. Over their past 22 games, the Lions have allowed a whopping 19 TDs to opposing TEs including a league-worst seven TDs allowed to the position so far this year. Sneakily, this game should prove to be a shootout and clearly I am nearly all-in on the Redskins passing game as this is the third member that has been mentioned. To be fair, Cousins’ 226 pass attempts rank seventh in the NFL and only nine teams have attempted more passes per game than the Redskins. Regardless of who was going to start at TE this week, they were going to be a top play at the position. While Davis is not Reed in terms of talent, the matchup and price tag more than make up for it and he should be started with confidence in all formats.