Week seven was a great one for bargains particularly at running back, where Todd Gurley was my favorite bargain of the week and came through in flying colors and Lamar Miller, Danny Woodhead and Latavius Murray also paid dividends at the position. Martavis Bryant and Stefon Diggs also outplayed their FanDuel salaries and were mentioned in last week’s article. Week eight looks just as promising.
Keep in mind that these suggestions are made for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments 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.
Matthew Stafford, QB DET
Stafford ($7,500) started off extremely slowly this season but has looked better of late, throwing six touchdowns over the last two weeks. Offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi got his walking papers this week and head coach Jim Caldwell hinted that the offense will adapt to the quarterback’s strengths – which should mean taking more shots down field to Calvin Johnson.
Stafford and Megatron get a tasty matchup this week with the Chiefs, who despite a couple decent showings against Teddy Bridgewater and Landry Jones over the last two weeks have struggled mightily defending opposing passing games, allowing 290 passing yards per game and 15 touchdown passes on the year.
Eli Manning, QB NYG
Daily players have short memories. Far too often we look at a good player who has struggled over the last couple weeks – or worse, burned us recently – and immediately dismiss the notion of using that player again. It’s called “recency bias.” And daily players have it when it comes to Manning ($7,300).
Manning has looked awful over the last couple weeks, throwing only one touchdown while averaging just 180 passing yards per game. Because of those putrid numbers, most daily players will shy away from the Giants’ signal caller. Not me.
Manning faces the Saints defense this week. New Orleans is among the worst in the league when it comes to limiting opposing quarterbacks. Over the last three weeks, they’ve given up seven touchdown passes and 320 passing yards per game.
His struggles over the last couple weeks have done nothing but lower Manning’s price tag for a cupcake matchup against the Saints. Getting an $8,000-plus quarterback at $7,300 is my kind of bargain and the recency bias among fellow daily players should keep his ownership levels low which is always a bonus.
Doug Martin, RB TB
Martin ($7,500) may not present the typical bargain as he’s listed as the ninth highest priced runner, but his matchup suggests he has the potential to outperform his salary. Matched up against a Falcons’ defense that gives up more fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (30.72) than any other in the league, he should continue get a heavy workload on Sunday afternoon both on the ground and through the air.
Martin has averaged 157 yards per game from scrimmage over his last three games and has been involved as a receiver, catching 11 passes over that stretch. Even if the Bucs fall behind in Atlanta on Sunday, he should be a lock to touch the ball early and often.
Justin Forsett, RB BAL
After being limited to just 13 carries per game over the first three weeks this season due to an ankle injury, Forsett ($6,900) has become a focal point of the Baltimore offense once again. Despite getting just 12 carries on Monday night against the Cardinals, he’s still averaging more than 19 carries per game over the last four weeks and been far more involved as a pass catcher of late.
Forsett will face the Chargers in week eight, who rank 31st in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (132.1) as well as fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs (29.35). Outside of the game last week where game flow dramatically affected his usage, the Ravens’ tailback is settling into a nice groove for fantasy players. He’s a good play this week on FanDuel.
Charcandrick West, RB KC
After a tough game in week six against the Vikings in his first since replacing Jamaal Charles, West ($6,600) had a strong showing on Sunday against the Steelers. Getting 22 carries, he ran for 110 yards and a scored while also securing two receptions for 19 yards.
It’s obvious at this point that Andy Reid and the Kansas City coaching staff prefer West over Knile Davis so fantasy owners should feel free to use him at will against Detroit. The Lions’ defense has been up and down at stopping the run so far this year, but are ranked among the five worst in the league in rushing yards per game allowed to tailbacks (104.7) and given up a league high 10 rushing touchdowns.
He’s a risky play, but at his salary West is certainly worth considering.
As stated above, the Steelers got ripped for 110 yards and a score by West last week and didn’t look good up front defensively. This week they’ll face the duo of Bernard ($6,700) and Hill ($6,300). While it’s difficult to know whether it will be a game for the slashing Bernard or the bruising Hill, there should be a chance for a lot of production from Bengals runners.
For the record, I prefer Bernard. Slightly.
Antonio Brown, WR PIT
Brown ($8,400) is listed as the fifth-highest priced wide out in week eight, but he’s a bargain nonetheless. That’s if – and only if – Ben Roethlisberger returns.
Brown and Roethlisberger don’t have a particularly great matchup this week against the Bengals, who rank in the middle of the pack in receiving yards allowed. But the Steelers’ duo has proven time and again that they’re the best tandem in the league regardless of matchup.
Early indications are that Big Ben plans to suit up this week. If he does, Brown is a $9,200 receiver with an $8,400 price tag. That’s a bargain.
Stefon Diggs, WR MIN
[inlinead[This is the third straight week I’ve recommended Diggs ($6,700) and he’s made me look good to this point, posting 37.1 fantasy points over the last two games. He’s already become the focal point of the Vikings’ passing game, getting 28 targets over their last three games. Now he’ll face a Bears defense that has struggled to slow down opposing receivers, giving up 35.37 fantasy points per game to the position – which ranks 27th in the league.
A couple weeks ago Diggs was listed at a minimum price of just $4,500 but he’s still a value despite getting a $2,200 hike in salary. I’ll keep playing him until somebody slows him down and I’d be willing to bet it won’t be the Bears this weekend.
Stevie Johnson, WR SD
Johnson ($5,900) returned from a hamstring injury last week and caught just four passes for 50 yards, but has a good chance to bounce back this week against the Ravens. Baltimore is among the worst in the league in pass defense and has been susceptible in the middle of the field throughout the season which is where Johnson typically roams. He’s a good bet to return to his form from earlier this year – particularly if Antonio Gates remains sidelined.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR CAR
Despite being the clear number two option in the Panthers’ offense behind Greg Olsen, Ginn Jr. ($5,300) has averaged just 9.9 fantasy points per game and hasn’t had more than five catches in a game. Still, he has a chance to make some noise this week against Indianapolis.
On top of allowing 193.2 receiving yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game to wide outs so far this year, the Colts are giving up a league worst 32 pass plays of 20-plus yards. That fits right into Ginn Jr’s wheelhouse. He’s incredibly risky, but nobody should be surprised if he gets loose down field a couple times on Sunday.
Martellus Bennett, TE CHI
Bennett ($5,700) has had an up and down season to this point, but his involvement in the Bears’ offense has spiked of late as he’s seen 35 targets over the last three games. He’ll face the Vikings this week, who have allowed big games to Travis Kelce (5/88/0) and Eric Ebron (5/89/1) over each of the last two weeks.
If you’re looking to save a few bucks at tight end this week, Bennett is my favorite bargain at the position.
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