Although I usually don’t enjoy the short slate of games during the regular season such as prime time slate and late afternoon only slate, the NFL post season is one of my favorite times to play on FanDuel. I’m not sure if it’s because time is running out to play weekly fantasy football or if it’s because this short slate is flooded with players from the best teams in the league but either way, it’s a lot of fun. Let’s get to the bargains!
Keep in mind that these suggestions are made for large field 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.
A.J. McCarron, QB CIN
Now that we can no longer pick on the Saints’ putrid pass defense, we’ll have to go elsewhere for fantasy points from the quarterback position.
If you’re looking for big savings at the position, the only options under $7,000 are Brian Hoyer ($6,900), Teddy Bridgewater ($6,700) and McCarron ($6,400). Although Hoyer has an outside chance at a nice game at home, McCarron is the best option (presuming Andy Dalton isn’t ready to play.)
Since taking over under center four weeks ago, McCarron has averaged just 14.15 fantasy points per game. His biggest game came in week 14 however, which happened to be at home against the Steelers. He threw for 280 yards and a pair of touchdowns in that game, scoring 18 points on FanDuel.
Although they’ve been better against quarterbacks of late, Pittsburgh ranked among the worst in the league for much of the season and their strong play against the position over the last month can be attributed at least partly to taking on Ryan Mallett and Austin Davis over the last two weeks.
While I fully expect McCarron to throw for at least 250 yards and a couple touchdowns which is good enough to build a solid FanDuel lineup around, this may be the week to spend on quarterback and find value at other positions.
Spencer Ware, RB KC
In preparation for this article I took a quick glance through the pricing at running back for this weekend. The player that stuck out immediately more than any other as a potential bargain was Ware ($5,400). Running for 76 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries against the Raiders on Sunday while fellow tailback Charcandrick West ($6,400) struggled, gaining just 34 yards on 13 carries, he easily outscored West on FanDuel, 13.6 – 3.7.
While it’s unknown who will get a majority of the touches this week against the Texans’ tough run defense, Ware has been the preferred option near the goal line which makes him the most likely of the two to find the end zone. If the Chiefs control the game like many (including myself) believe they will, both running backs should have a role. At a $1,000 discount and almost sure to have a lower ownership number, I’d much rather have the goal line back coming off the big game.
Pierre Thomas, RB WAS
If you’re looking for a minimum priced option likely to have extremely low ownership numbers, Thomas ($4,500) may be your guy. The Packers’ linebackers have struggled for much of the season to cover opposing running backs out of the backfield but particularly of late. David Johnson torched them for 88 receiving yards in week 16 and Jerick McKinnon should have caught a 69-yard touchdown after roasting Jake Ryan on the opening series of the game in week 17 but Bridgewater overthrew him badly.
If Matt Jones ($5,400) is active, Thomas’ chances of making a splash go down. But if not, Thomas should play the part of pass catcher out of the Redskins’ backfield and could be in line for a busy day.
Other Options: Alfred Blue ($5,700) and Fitzgerald Toussaint ($5,700) if De’Angelo Williams ($8,100) is out.
Randall Cobb, WR GB
I know it sounds crazy considering Cobb ($6,500) hasn’t scored more than 13 fantasy points in a game since back in week nine and has averaged just 7.7 fantasy points per game in his last eight games, but he has an excellent chance of finally going off this week against the Redskins.
Washington has struggled mightily against receivers throughout the year, allowing 32.89 fantasy points per game to the position which ranks among the five worst defenses in the league against wide outs. To make things even more intriguing, the Redskins have given up big games to slot receivers in back-to-back weeks coming into this game. Jordan Matthews caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown in week 16 (19.4 fantasy points) and Cole Beasley hauled in five passes for 53 yards and a pair of scores (19.8 fantasy points) last week.
Sure, Cobb could catch three balls for 23 yards on Sunday. But with what should be a low ownership rate and his lowest price tag of the year to go along with a good matchup, he has a chance to be the bargain of the week at receiver and may be well worth the risk.
Jaelen Strong, WR HOU
Strong ($5,000) saw the field more on Sunday than he has all season and came through, catching six passes for 56 yards. With both Nate Washington ($5,300) and Cecil Shorts ($5,200) nursing injuries and questionable at best to play on Saturday, Strong could see a rise in playing time once again.
The Kansas City defensive backfield has been the weak link of that defense all year and has allowed some big games to wide outs – many of which being number two pass catchers. Strong is an incredibly risky option, but he has the upside to put up a similar performance as Davante Adams did in last year’s playoffs against the Cowboys.
Other Options: Markus Wheaton($5,500) if Martavis Bryant isn’t active and James Jones($5,700)because two-touchdown potential is hard to find at such a low price.
Richard Rodgers, TE GB
Jordan Reed ($7,400) and Tyler Eifert ($6,400) will be highly owned for good reason this weekend but if you’re looking for a discount and lower ownership numbers at tight end, Richard Rodgers ($5,200) is your guy. Despite his up and down season, he’s shown he can be a playmaker in the red zone throughout the year and is coming off a game where he caught seven passes for 59 yards and a touchdown.
The Redskins have allowed big games to tight ends in three of the last four weeks, allowing 17.00 fantasy points to Zach Miller in week 14, 16.70 fantasy points to Zach Ertz in week 16 and 14.80 fantasy points to Jason Witten in week 17.
Come back next week as we’ll cover the divisional bargains.
Find Dan on Twitter at @dmeylor22
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