Editor’s Note: We’re going to bring you an unprecedented amount of content this year during the season, mostly dynasty related. However, seeing the explosion of DFS games, we’ll also be providing daily coverage. Even if you don’t play in DFS games, these articles can help you in making lineup decisions or judge the current value of your dynasty assets.
Over the next 17 weeks (and into the post-season), I’ll be highlighting some of the best bargains on the best daily site in the industry, FanDuel.
Keep in mind that these suggestions relate to GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments with more than 50 participants 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 take into account for head-to-head or 50/50 games.
Matt Ryan, QB ATL $7,900
Ryan completed 27 of 39 passing for 334 yards and two touchdowns last week. Fantasy owners understand Ryan has a tendency to have a blowout of points and not be heard from again for a few weeks. The difference is a better crowd of receivers. He now has Mohamed Sanu, who he worked with on 70 percent of his plays and, of course, he still has one Julio Jones. The other aspect is the Oakland Raiders defense. Understand the Raiders defense is not as bad as Drew Brees made them look last week, but Ryan is also a tier or so below Brees in talent. Therefore, if Brees can throw for 423 yards and four touchdowns, Ryan can probably put up 320 yards and three touchdowns.
Others to Consider:
Marcus Mariota, QB TEN ($7,500)
Mariota completed 25 of 41 passes for 271 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in Sunday’s season-opening loss to the Vikings. He added four carries for 19 yards, but also lost a fumble. Mariota continues to fumble and throw interceptions as he did last season, so he needs to shore that up.
He did spread the ball around nicely and seemed to have a good rapport with rookie wide receiver Tajae Sharpe, though. Now he will face the Detroit Lions who boast one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Overall, they are ranked 30th, while defending the pass they are 31st. Their run defense would probably be worse if the Colts were not behind the whole game last week.
The nice offensive additions for the Titans have been rookie Derrick Henry and veteran DeMarco Murray. Both running backs keep teams at bay from bringing a heavy rush and will simply keep the pressure off Mariota by keeping the defenses honest. Also, the Titans have a strong offensive line that needs to be considered. Mariota could come out of this game with two touchdowns and 275 yards passing.
Carson Wentz QB PHI ($6,900)
It must have felt good for Wentz to play the Cleveland in week one. The Browns decided Wentz couldn’t be their franchise quarterback and traded down with the Eagles this Spring. Well, Wentz ripped them for 278 yards and two touchdowns while not throwing an interception. He did fumble twice and lost one, though. The Bears allowed Brock Osweiler to throw for 231 yards and two touchdowns and I expect the same from Carson Wentz this week. However, the Bears are an upgrade in defense over the Browns, so I would be surprised if Wentz doesn’t exit the game with at least one interception.
Josh McCown, QB CLE ($6,000)
This price represents a sweet deal for McCown as the FanDuel prices were released before the news of Robert Griffin III and his shoulder injury. He played well in eight starts last season, throwing 12 touchdowns to just four interceptions, but he didn’t have Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor.
The Ravens showed the Bills they would be a defense to reckon with (though the Buffalo offense isn’t tremendous), but McCown will most likely find himself in garbage duty and should pick up some points there. Also, his market price is less than quarterbacks Case Keenum, Blaine Gabbert and Trevor Siemian.
C.J. Anderson, RB DEN ($7,800)
All 2015 owners remember the two tales of C.J. Anderson, so when this year came around, many speculated which Anderson would show up. He had an excellent test against the Panthers defense and he passed the exam easily. Now, he is priced at this discount and playing a team the Broncos should blow out.
Anderson rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and added another 47 yards and a touchdown on four catches. He now will face a weak Indianapolis Colts defense which allowed gashing holes for Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. In summary, the Colts permitted 229 total yards (109 rushing, 120 receiving) and four touchdowns to the Lions running backs last week. The only issue I find is that he will be a popular grab, which goes against the grain of GPP plays.
Ryan Mathews RB, PHI ($6,300)
Mathews carried the rock 22 times for 77 yards and scored a touchdown last week. He struggled to get into the end zone as he plenty of carries inside the ten-yard line, though. His short yardage incapabilities have always been the knock on Mathews as well as his receiving skills. With the lack of running back depth in Philadelphia, Mathews should continue to get around 20 carries a game and Carson Wentz should eliminate the defense from crowdsourcing the box. The Bears allowed Lamar Miller to go over 100 yards, and Mathews should come close to that barrier if not go over.
He will also be playing under the lights of Monday Night Football.
Others to Consider:
Carlos Hyde, RB SF ($6,100)
Carlos Hyde showed what makes him talented on Monday Night. He tallied 25 touches, 93 total yards and two touchdowns against the St. Louis Rams, who possess a strong defense. Going against the Carolina Panthers will pose even more problems unless they play like they did against the Broncos, which put them as the 27th ranked rushing defense.
I expect Carolina to clean that mess up and make it tough on Hyde, but you can’t ignore his market value and his ability to be a workhorse back in the Chip Kelly system that is up-tempo and focuses on the run. You will also be buying him as the 30th most expensive running back, which seems like a good value.
Spencer Ware, RB KCC ($6,800)
It appears as though Jamaal Charles will miss his second straight game which could give another boost to Spencer Ware owners. Last week against the Chargers, he ran 11 times for 70 yards and touchdown – to go along with seven catches for 129 yards. Now he will have to face a tough Houston Texans defense that is 10th against the run. I would temper expectations from his week one status, but expect another full load of carries for Ware – his market value is what makes him an intriguing buy.
Danny Woodhead, RB SD ($6,400)
Danny Woodhead will most likely be my pick every week for the basement. His value is just always solid because of the role he plays in the offense. Last season he caught 80 passes and I don’t see why that will change this year. In week one, he rushed for 89 yards on 16 carries and added five catches for 31 yards and a touchdown.
This week he will face a good Jacksonville Jaguars defense. The Jags have the sixth rated overall defense as they’re 10th against the pass and 17th versus the rush. With Keenan Allen out for the year, Woodhead is going to have a big role in the Chargers’ passing game. He should make an excellent flex buy.
Michael Crabtree, WR OAK ($6,200)
Crabtree caught seven of his nine targets for 87 yards, but his biggest reception came on a two-point play when he leaped over the defender to snatch the ball and bring it down for the Oakland Raiders victory over the New Orleans Saints. He returned to his natural role of a possession receiver and it fit him quite well. He will be used quite often against the Atlanta Falcons and should prosper. The Falcons defense struggled and are 22nd against the pass and 21st overall. Projected as one of the highest scoring games of the week, Oakland and Atlanta has an over/under of 49.5. With the Raiders favored by 4.5 points at home, that gives them one of the highest projected team totals of the week at 27.
Tajae Sharpe, WR TEN ($6,000)
Marcus Mariota has found his go-to receiver in Sharpe. He saw four more targets than the next highest receiver and was by far the most in yards. The rookie receiver was targeted a whopping eleven times and caught seven passes for 76 yards. He will be facing the Detroit Lions secondary who were gashed by Andrew Luck. After week one, Detroit ranks 31st against the pass and 30th overall. His price and the competition is too awesome to pass up. The over/under is at 47.5 , so plenty of scoring should be expected.
Others to Consider:
Sterling Shepard, WR NYG ($6,200)
Shepherd was convincing in the preseason and it didn’t take him long to showcase his ability in week one of the regular season. He caught three of four targets for 43 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys last week. His touchdown came when he leaped, stretched his arms over the defensive back (rookie Anthony Brown) and brought in the ball nicely.
The Giants will now take on another defensive liability team in the New Orleans Saints. The Saints gave up chunks of yards to the Oakland Raiders and I don’t see why it will stop there against a similar offensive team. New Orleans allowed Michael Crabtree to catch seven passes for 87 yards and I expect similar results from Shepard. Plus, the over/under is at 53 points, you have to enjoy seeing that.
Jordan Matthews, WR PHI ($6,900)
Matthews was the main weapon of destruction against the Cleveland Browns. He lit them up for seven of 14 targets for 114 yards and a touchdown. He could have been worse if the lead was a lot closer.
Now, he is going to face the Chicago Bears, who are a little rugged when it comes to stopping the pass. They allowed Brock Osweiler only 231 yards on 35 attempts. Carson Wentz will probably throw for about as many yards and touchdowns as Osweiler (two). One of those should go to Matthews.
The over/under is not all that explosive. At this point, it’s only 42.5 points and the Bears are favored by three.
Eli Rogers, WR PIT ($5,500)
Rogers missed all of his rookie season with a foot injury. His first night out as a Pittsburgh Steeler couldn’t have gone any better. Rogers caught 6 of 7 targets for 59 yards and a touchdown. Even though the touchdown was fluky after it bounced off Sammie Coates into the waiting arms of Rogers. He worked mostly from the slot and showed good ability to get open and run after the catch.
This week, Pittsburgh will take on Bengals, whose defense is much better than the Washington Redskins. Cincinnati has the 9th best overall defense and is 15th against the pass. However, I like the over/under at 48.5 points and Rogers can make for an excellent flex option.
Gary Barnidge, TE CLE ($6,000)
With Robert Griffin now out with an injury, Barnidge will have the quarterback who helped him turn his career around in the form of Josh McCown. Barnidge did not catch a pass last week with Griffin behind center. The difference comes in quarterbacking. Griffin likes to go deep with his passes while McCown uses the short to intermediate routes to move the chains.
The Browns will face a tough Baltimore Ravens defense that finished first overall and first against the pass. The Ravens did allow two receptions and 42 yards to Charles Clay last week and Barnidge is a step above Clay at the tight end position. The over/under is 42.5 and Baltimore are a favorite to win by a touchdown.
Coby Fleener, TE NO ($5,600)
Many people were expecting a reuniting of a Drew Brees to Jimmy Graham scenario when the Saints signed Fleener. After week one, we are still expecting. Against the Oakland Raiders defense, Fleener only caught one pass for six yards on four targets. On the other hand, Fleener was involved in 56 of the 69 offensive snaps according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
New Orleans will now face the Giants who are middle of the pack in overall, rush, and pass defense. Last week the Giants allowed nine receptions and 66 yards to veteran Jason Witten. Expect similar results from Fleener with more yards and a touchdown. The over/under is at 53 points and the Giants are favored by 4.5.