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: Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, $11,200 – Currently, the Raiders/Buccaneers tilt on Sunday is listed as a “pick’em,” meaning neither team is a clear favorite. Both teams possess high-powered offenses so the masses are projecting this game as a shootout considering 49.0 point over/under. According to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic, the Raiders rank 26th in terms of passing defense and they have also allowed the most passing yards per game. These trends has led to the defense allowing the eighth most fantasy points to opposing QBs and Jameis Winston is coming off his best week since Week 3. He is absolutely worth using in cash games but it should be noted his passing volume has been down substantially over the past three weeks. If he is able to convert at a high efficiency against a bad defense, it will not matter. However, if Jacquizz Rodgers takes over the game and scores a TD or two, then Winston could potentially possess a lower floor than most would like to believe.
Contrarian: Josh McCown, Browns, $10,200 – The Jets team as a whole, but specifically the defense, is an absolute mess. Heading into the year, who would have guessed the Jets would fare as a bottom nine passing defense? Yes, the Jets have allowed the eighth most fantasy points to the QB position including 282 yards passing per game and 13 passing TDs. When healthy, Josh McCown and Gary Barnidge developed a connection and honestly he is the best pure passer of the entire bunch of QBs the team has lined up under center this season. Since the Browns defense is so terrible as well, any of their games can either morph into a shootout or a perfect game script where the team is playing from behind. Coming off injury is never the most comfortable spot to deploy a player but it also means he will garner a depreciated ownership percentage for tournaments.
Chalk: Devontae Booker, Broncos, $7,300 – The lock of the week in the “punt” pricing tier is clearly Devontae Booker with the Broncos actually considering placing C.J. Anderson on injured reserve. Last week, Booker already surpassed Anderson in terms of both snaps and workload anyways so he was already on the rise. At just $7,300, Booker is a true workhorse back now and squaring off against a Chargers defense allowing the sixth most fantasy points to opposing backs. Most notably, opposing backs have already racked up 471 yards receiving (second most of any team) and Booker excels in the passing game. It is difficult to believe any other player at the position will exceed his value in terms of fantasy-points-per-dollar.
Contrarian: Matt Asiata, Vikings, $6,800 – Jerick McKinnon was sporting a walking boot earlier this week and still has yet to practice so Matt Asiata seems destined to start. Now the Vikings do not play until Monday Night so there is still a possibility McKinnon practices on Saturday and plays although that seems unlikely at this point. In Week 7, Asiata quietly put up a respectable stat line: 12 carries for 55 yards (4.6 yards per carry) with six receptions for 25 yards. It should be noted as well he is the goal line back so he is going to get all of the team’s red zone and goal line carries against a terrible Bears team who turns the ball over. Basically, the Bears will probably gift the Vikings into multiple red zone opportunities so he should have an excellent chance to score. Even if he does not, he is involved enough in the passing game and cheap enough where rostering him makes sense in literally all formats.
Wide Receiver (WR)
Chalk: Ty Montgomery, Packers, $10,500 – How do you defend Ty Montgomery? Defenses basically have to decide whether they are going to treat him lining up in the backfield as another WR or a RB. Essentially, they have to make the personnel decision to decide if they should treat him in the backfield as a five WR set. To this point, teams have not figured it out considering Montgomery has caught a whopping 10 passes in back-to-back games to go along with 6.7 yards per carry (YPC) in Week 7. He is the equivalent of a RB2 and low-end WR1 all in one right now and yet he is priced as a WR3. With all the opportunities he is likely to be given, even with Knile Davis expected to see an expanded role, it is hard to recommend fading him.
Contrarian: Tyler Lockett, Seahawks, $7,700 – Squaring off against the Saints defense in the Superdome is the equivalent of hitters playing in Coors Field. This defense legitimately cannot stop anyone as they have allowed a ridiculous 39.3 points allowed per game at home. Look for both the Seahawks’ passing and running game to do work in this game. While everyone is hemming and hawing over Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham (rightfully so), this actually presents a perfect matchup for the explosive Tyler Lockett. Volume has been tough to come by for Lockett but he can turn one play into a productive day and this is the defense to do it against. The Saints have allowed 1,722 yards passing so far this season including 23 plays of 20-plus yards. Fantasy owners have been waiting all season for Lockett to bust out and this finally could be the game. While it is far from a safe play, it certainly helps differentiate from the pack and Lockett is oozing with upside.
Tight Ends (TE)
Chalk: C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans, $5,600 – When a TE is facing the Lions, they are automatically worthy of consideration at this point. Not only have the Lions allowed the third most fantasy points to the position but they have also surrendered the most passing TDs to the position. Over their past 23 games, the Lions have allowed 19 receiving TDs to opposing TEs and Vernon Davis finished as TE4 last week without even scoring (although he did drop a TD). C.J. Fiedorowicz’s role in the offense has been growing for about a month now and it peaked last week when he played on 74.3-percent of the team’s offensive snaps. Assuming he stays involved in the passing game, and there is no reason to believe he will not, then he should be in for a productive game against a porous defense.
Contrarian: Cameron Brate, Buccaneers, $6,300 – With the whole world assuming Jameis Winston will have a monster day, most have only thought to pair him with Mike Evans. Amongst all TEs, Cameron Brate has actually enjoyed the sixth largest target share (in terms of percentage) inside the red zone for his respective team (24.1-percent). If the Buccaneers are going to move the ball and make multiple trips to the red zone, Brate should be given opportunities to score. Sure his targets have been down the past two games but why would Winston avoid him against a defense allowing the sixth most fantasy points…and one that ranks 21st in terms of DVOA against the position. For tournament purposes, Brate could help enhance the upside of lineups built around Winston.