Editor’s Note: Love those daily contests? Make sure you enter the exclusive DLF Football Championship for week four.
Last week was a good one for bargains. Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, Joseph Randle, LeGarrette Blount and James Jones were all featured in the article. We’re going to do it again this week!
Keep in mind these suggestions are made for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments with more where players are looking for bargains to fill out their lineups after already inserting their “studs” for the week. Many of them are risky plays and shouldn’t necessarily be considered in head to head or 50/50 games.
Andy Dalton, QB CIN
Although he threw a pick and fumbled in the Bengals’ week three win, Dalton ($7,600) turned out to be one of the best bargains under center a week ago when he lit up the Ravens for 383 passing yards and three touchdowns.
He has thrown for multiple touchdowns every week so far in 2015 and tossed three in each of the last two weeks. This week he faces the Chiefs defense that is worst in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and is coming off a game where Aaron Rodgers torched them for 333 yards and five scores.
Kansas City is allowing more than three touchdown passes per game on the season. Don’t be surprised when Dalton throws his third on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati.
Derek Carr, QB OAK
Carr ($7,000) has been sharp to start the season, completing 63.3% of his passes and sporting a 5:1 touchdown to interceptions ration. Over the last two weeks, he’s averaged 332.5 passing yards per game and tossed all five of his touchdowns.
This week, Carr gets a sweet matchup against the pitiful Bears defense that has allowed eight touchdown passes on the year and just traded away two of their best players.
Carr and Amari Cooper ($7,200) should hook up early and often at Soldier Field on Sunday. They make for a very nice combination in GPP’s.
Other Options: Ryan Fitzpatrick ($6,900), Michael Vick ($6,700) and Brandon Weeden ($6,400)
Melvin Gordon, RB SD
This is it! Gordon ($6,800) is going to have a breakout performance on Sunday against the Browns.
Over the first three weeks of the season, Cleveland has allowed a league worst 154.7 rushing yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry to tailbacks. Latavius Murray just scorched them for 139 yards and a touchdown and if Murray and the Raiders’ offensive line can do it, so can Gordon and the Chargers.
Although there is risk in counting on Gordon due to Danny Woodhead ($6,100) cutting into his workload, this matchup is perfect for the former Badger to pound the ball 18-plus times. He’s one of my favorite bargains of the week and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get his first career 100-yard game as well as his first (and potentially his second) career touchdown.
Chris Johnson, RB ARI
[inlinead]Word out of the desert is Andre Ellington ($7,000) has been practicing at a limited capacity and has an outside chance of playing in week four. Playing this quickly after a PCL sprain isn’t likely however so I’m betting Johnson ($6,700) gets the lion’s share of the carries once again for the Cardinals.
Over the last two weeks, Johnson has averaged 21 carries for 91 rushing yards. He’s also added 40 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns over that span. With a matchup against the Rams this week (whose defense has allowed 122 rushing yards per game, which ranks them among the worst in the league), Johnson has a very good chance to put up some nice numbers considering his salary.
Karlos Williams, RB BUF
It really is funny how after Williams ($6,300) rumbled for 110 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries (9.2 yards per carry) against the Dolphins in week three, suddenly the Bills’ coaching staff is considering allowing LeSean McCoy ($7,300) to rest his hamstring injury. If that indeed happens, Williams should instantly rise to the top of the week four bargain list.
The Giants are only allowing 75 rushing yards per game to tailbacks but have given up nearly nine catches for more than 80 receiving yards per week to the position. Playing him with McCoy healthy is a big risk because he could get only six to eight touches. But if Shady sits, he should be counted on for 20-plus touches and that equals a big opportunity to outperform his modest salary.
Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR
Although Stewart ($6,300) hasn’t really gotten things going yet this year, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry and without a touchdown, he gets a gravy matchup in week four against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is giving up 138 rushing yards per game and has allowed four rushing touchdowns. Last week they let the superior talent that is Alfred Blue run wild on them for 139 yards and score.
Daily players should be aware that Stewart is nursing an injury and could be a question mark to play this weekend. If he were to miss Sunday’s game however, it could create an even bigger bargain as Cameron Artis-Payne ($4,900) would likely pick up the slack.
Other Options: Frank Gore ($7,300), T.J. Yeldon ($6,400), Lance Dunbar ($5,600) and C.J. Spiller ($5,500)
Amari Cooper, WR OAK
Cooper ($7,200) has been as advertised to start his career, averaging just short of seven catches and nearly 100-yards per game through the first three of the year. Now he’ll face the Bears, who are allowing the sixth most fantasy points to wide outs at nearly 37 per game despite only giving up 12.7 receptions per game to the position. The only reason opposing offenses haven’t had to throw more against them is because the Bears aren’t good enough to stick with the Packers, Cardinals or Seahawks. Their game should be a bit closer this week against Oakland.
Cooper may be highly owned, so some may choose to go the contrarian route and roster Michael Crabtree ($5,800) but Cooper should be targeted early and often in Chicago so he’ll be my choice. With the 17th highest salary of the week among wideouts, he should put up WR1 numbers which makes him a bargain.
Allen Robinson, WR JAX
Due to a couple very average games sandwiched around a stellar performance in week two, Robinson ($6,500) still has an extremely reasonable salary. This week he heads to the fast track inside Lucas Oil Stadium to take on Indy’s defense which is struggling to slow down receivers – giving up five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown to Percy Harvin in week one, eight grabs for 97 yards and a score to Eric Decker and seven receptions for 101 yards and a touchdowns to Brandon Marshall in week two and seven catches for 95 yards and a touchdown to Kendall Wright in week three.
If the Colts – who are favored by 9 ½ – jump out to a big lead, the Jags with have to keep throwing to keep up. That means lots of targets and the potential for garbage time points for Robinson.
James Jones, WR GB
Sure, he’s not the most athletic, doesn’t have blazing speed and may lack great leaping ability, but it’s hard to argue with results. Over the first three weeks of the season, Jones ($6,000) has piled up 219 receiving yards and scored at least once each week. He’s got the trust of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and seems to be his preferred deep target when he draws the defense offsides with his hard count.
The Packers face the 49ers this week. San Francisco is allowing 221 receiving yards per game to wideouts on the year and has given up a league high 15 passes of 20-yards or more.
Although it’s difficult to see Jones continue his hot start for the entire season, it’s rather easy to see him keep it going for at least another week. He’s my favorite bargain of the week at receiver.
John Brown, WR ARI
All the defensive attention should go to Larry Fitzgerald ($7,400) after he’s averaged 111 yards per game and hauled in five touchdowns over the first three weeks of the year. The Rams have a good defense but the Cardinals’ passing attack with Carson Palmer as the trigger man has been incredibly effective.
Although Brown’s numbers haven’t been quite as good as his teammates, he’s still been a big part of Arizona’s game plan and is getting targeted deep on a weekly basis. At his bargain basement price, he’s worth a shot as a high upside WR3.
Other Options: Jordan Matthews ($7,000), Golden Tate ($6,600), Pierre Garcon ($6,100) and Stevie Johnson ($5,800)
Jason Witten, TE DAL
Although Witten ($6,000) is struggling with a couple sprained ankles and an injured knee, it hasn’t kept him from being very involved in the Cowboys’ attack. “Captain Check Down” Brandon Weeden will continue to look his way and this week, Dallas will take on the Saints’ defense who are one of the worst teams in the league at stopping the tight end – allowing 89.3 yards per game and three total touchdowns to the position. Even as the fourth highest priced tight end, Witten is one of the best values of the week.
Other options: Jordan Reed ($5,600), Martellus Bennett ($5,500), Charles Clay ($5,200) and Owen Daniels ($4,600)
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