Welcome back to the weekly FanDuel Value article. Every week (and into the post-season), I’ll be highlighting some of the best bargains on the best daily site in the industry, FanDuel.
We are concerned specifically with Grand Prize Pool (GPP) tournaments, which means these players offer higher upside and potentially lower floors. This week I’ve chosen to focus specifically on players who give you some cash relief to play higher priced players elsewhere in your lineup. Depending on how you construct your lineup their viability can change.
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Note: I use 4for4.com’s Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed (aFPA) to determine defensive rankings and pro-football-reference.com to find raw stats. When referring to defensive efficiency metrics I’m using www.sharpfootballstats.com.
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Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB ($6400)
The upside didn’t appear for us last week but I’m going back to the well. Our mistake in week ten may have been forgetting that Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t want to be fed, he just wants to hunt. (Yes, that’s a Jurassic Park reference and I’m comparing Ryan Fitzpatrick to a Tyrannosaurus Rex. YOLO.)
He has never targeted his tight ends much and the Cameron Brate chaser last week showed us that it’s still true. This week will be different…or at least a different situation. Fitzpatrick, a “DGAF” quarterback who fed two top 24 wide receivers not so many years ago with the Jets, gets Mike Evans back this week. This will help free up DeSean Jackson into his more usual role and allow Fitz to do what he does best (no, not throw interceptions… well, maybe).
It’s also a better matchup this week against a Miami defense that ranks 26 in aFPA to the position and who were just torn up on Monday Night Football by the Panthers to the tune of four passing touchdowns.
Other Options: Blaine Gabbert ($6000), Alex Smith ($7900),
Jordan Howard, CHI ($7400)
Coming off a week where he was heavily owned and greatly disappointed, Jordan Howard is priced as the running back eight on in week 11. While he projects to beat that ranking, but not by much, his main value for GPPs this week will be a lowered ownership due to recency bias (and lots and lots of angry disappointment.)
Howard’s projection at 4for4.com suggests he should hit the sliding value calculation I use to find a players necessary floor compared to his salary. Moreover, the Lions rank 22nd in aFPA to the running back position. Playing at home in what could be a letdown spot for the Lions (the Bears rank 13th against running backs and eighth against wide receivers in aFPA and are a substantial defense) Jordan Howard could see some week 11 fantasy redemption.
Other Options: Melvin Gordon ($7800), Alex Collins ($5500)
Sterling Shepard, NYG ($6500)
The Chiefs project to absolutely smash the Giants this week. Rumor is that the defense, at least, has already given up on the season. A volume player who gets consistent targets isn’t typically the FanDuel play. But there projects to be so much passing this week that even in a half point PPR format Sterling Shepard should be able to pay off his WR22 price rank. In fact 4for4.com has him finishing within the top 12 at the position and this ranking difference is a clear and easy value indicator.
As one of only two legitimate options left on the team Shepard should be able to put his 20% of red zone targets in the last 3 weeks to use. He is below Expected Value (EV) on the number and yard line of targets he has received so far compared to a three year average. This makes him a positive regression candidate in red zone touchdowns.
Other Options; DeVante Parker ($6200), Jeremy Maclin ($6000),
Vernon Davis, WAS ($5200)
Vernon Davis is priced as the TE12 this week but since pricing came out both Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor have been ruled out. The team is going to need to move the ball this week against a New Orleans juggernaut that has been steamrolling opponents every week.
The injuries leave relatively few avenues for targets to flow and while the Saints rank eighth in aFPA against the position, they also haven’t really faced many significant tight end matchups recently. The Saints biggest strength on defense is still on the outside with Marshon Lattimore at CB. This will continue to help channel targets to the inside, where Davis should benefit.
Other options: Travis Kelce ($7500), Marcedes Lewis ($4500)