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).

Quarterback (QB)

Chalk: Sam Bradford, Vikings, $10,000 – On Monday Night Football, Sam Bradford played a miserable game and still finished with 228 and a TD (even if it came in garbage time). There are two reasons to like him this week:

  1. He is priced at the bare minimum
  2. He draws a matchup against the defense that has allowed the second most fantasy points to QBs

Combine those two aspects and there is very little downside to Bradford. Legitimately every single week the Lions allow a big performance to a TE and Kyle Rudolph is one of Bradford’s favorite targets. Additionally, Stefon Diggs re-emerged as the team’s top dog in the passing game last week as he was targeted 13 times and caught eight passes for 76 yards and a TD. Hell, the Lions have already allowed 19 passing TDs and the 10th most passing yards (2,176) so every QB should have a high floor against this defense in theory. At this price tag, he should be able to produce value by accident in such an elite matchup. Rostering Bradford allows you fit just about anyone else you want alongside him so it is a worthwhile sacrifice in multiple ways.

Contrarian: Colin Kaepernick, 49ers, $11,100 – Okay so Colin Kaepernick is priced a little more expensively than a true punt but I was shocked to find he was two-percent owned in cash games on Thursday. Remember, Kaepernick and the 49ers draw a matchup against arguably the worst defense in football (Saints) who have allowed the 10th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Much of Kaepernick’s value comes from his ability to scramble and the Saints have already allowed 161 first downs (19th most in the NFL) along with 110.7 yards rushing per game. The Saints just do not pass the eye test, have only taken the ball away nine times and rank 28th in both passing and rushing defense in terms of Football Outsiders’ defense-value adjusted over average (DVOA) statistic. A dual-threat like Kaepernick should be able to take advantage and is worth the risk in GPPs.

Running Back (RB):

Chalk: Charcandrick West, Chiefs, $8,800 – With Spencer Ware ruled out, the backfield is Charcandrick West’s once again. In 160 carries last season, West averaged 4.0 yards per carry and he caught at least two passes in six of his final nine games while averaging 15.4 carries per game during that stretch. While he did not find the end zone as much as fantasy owners would like (five times during that stretch), he still saw enough volume to justify this sort of price tag on most weeks. If he were to catch three passes for a fair amount of yards or find the end zone, he would likely crush value. The team’s opponent, the Jaguars, ranks middle of the road in terms of fantasy points allowed to the RB position so the matchup is not exactly scary. When a workhorse back is priced below $9,000, he is almost always worth using as a price play alone.

Contrarian: Darren Sproles, Eagles, $7,700 – Speaking of guys seeing a majority of their respective backfield’s workload, Darren Sproles touched the ball 20 times compared to just five for “lead back” Ryan Mathews. If Mathews is a lead back then Ringo Starr was the lead singer of the Beatles. The great part about Sproles is his ability to catch the football which directly translates to fantasy success in concurrence with FantasyDraft’s PPR scoring system. In Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich’s offense last season, he schemed Danny Woodhead all the way to RB4 in the scoring format. With the team seemingly ready to commit to Sproles in a similar way, the sky is the ceiling moving forward. Even in a less than ideal matchup, Sproles is just too talented for this price tag is assuming an extended role in the offense (which he is).

Wide Receiver (WR)

Chalk: Kenny Britt, Rams, $8,700 – Quietly, Kenny Britt has transformed into both a consistent WR and true number one option in the offense. Week 7 was the first time all season he failed to catch four passes although he was targeted eight times. In seven games, Britt has only failed to reach six targets just once and the Panthers rank 29th in terms of DVOA against number one WRs. Amazingly, they allow a whopping 110.9 yards per game to the position partially due to Julio Jones’ absolute explosion against them. Even though Britt is nowhere as talented, he is a big WR and should still be able to get his against this defense. If looking for a safe cheap option, there are not many this week, and Britt stands out as the safest.

Contrarian: Dontrelle Inman, Chargers, $6,000 – With both Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams banged up and listed as questionable, Dontrelle Inman could be in line for some additional looks this weekend. The Titans rank in the bottom half of DVOA against both number two and number three WRs so Inman should draw a favorable matchup regardless of who is active…and he is priced at the bare minimum. Since Melvin Gordon has been inefficient lately and the Titans defense presents a difficult task for him, Rivers may be forced to throw more than usual. Inman’s receiving yardage totals have been on the rise for three consecutive weeks and it was only five weeks ago when he busted out for seven receptions (RECs), 120 yards and a TD. Considering the health of the receiving core, he could be in for another big week at a joke of a price tag.

Tight Ends (TE)

Chalk: Antonio Gates, Chargers, $5,900 – The receivers are not the only injured members of the Chargers as Hunter Henry has already been ruled out. This leaves Antonio Gates and his career-worst 3.9 yards per target (YPT) to handle all of the TE targets for the team. Even though he should be popular this week, his ceiling is much lower than perceived these days because he is averaging just 7.2 yards per REC. Simply put: Gates has lost a step or two in his elder age. In order for him to crush value, he will need to catch 4-5 passes and find the end zone. While the end zone is certainly possible, Gates has caught more than four passes just once this season and more than three passes just thrice. Would you believe the highest yardage total he has managed this season is just 38 yards? He is not the same player he once was but he should have an excellent chance to score this week if you want to punt the position.

Contrarian: Virgil Green, Broncos, $5,000 – Preseason sleeper Virgil Green has yet to bust out this season but he showed signs last week when he played 48 snaps (second most this season) which led to a season-high four RECs and 55 receiving yards. Sure Trevor Siemian is pretty brutal and the team is considering a QB change but the fact is he finally resorted to Green as his security blanket last week. As long as he is still under center, Green is worth taking a shot on considering he is ascending on the totem pole. As icing on the cake, the Chargers rank 21st in terms of DVOA to opposing TEs so it not like they are an unbeatable matchup (or even an overly imposing one).

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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