Onto the next battle. Since we're still early in the season, here's a bullet point list of what you'll find in 'Value Plays' article each Friday ...
- Each position features three players that I believe are strong value selections for the upcoming weekend, plus the reasoning behind the choice.
- The price tag indicated in parentheses is what you will find over at DraftKings.com.
- Following a quick write-up of why each particular player is a solid value, I'll offer a suggestion on where you should then take your money savings. This works to provide a run-down of the more highly-priced guys that I do like for the upcoming weekend.
- At each position I will also list the highest-priced player in that spot, alongside a 1-10 score which references how confident I would be in that player earning back their cost (10 being a guarantee).
Of course, when you're dealing with a salary cap structure, a good portion of the players I recommend do not correlate to top-notch starting options in season-long play. About half the time, a DFS recommendation is not a thumbs' up for that same player in your season-long set-up (i.e., suggesting a start of 'Boobie Dixon for this week).
Before I jump into the Week 3 DFS value plays, here's a look at the Week 4 Report Card ...
- For the first time in 2015, I turned in a below-average showing on the quarterbacks. Andy Dalton was just fine, but both Derek Carr and Brandon Weeden were a mess.
- A late TD catch saved the day for Karlos Williams, but Lance Dunbar's blown ACL ruined what was lining up to be a good showing. And, don't even get me started on Houston getting smoked out so badly in Atlanta that Alfred Blue had no chance to run the ball.
- I can now join the rest of the fantasy-playing universe and bury Roddy White under six feet of dirt. Giving a shot to Ty Montgomery ended in pain. Jermaine Kearse turned in double-digit scoring, though.
- Both Coby Fleener and Gary Barnidge answered the call by turning in resounding efforts. Meanwhile, Kyle Rudolph ignored the call with resounding silence.
- San Diego under-performed, but both Jacksonville and Oakland were top-12 defenses.
Overall Week 4 Grade - C
Sam Bradford ($6,000) vs. NO - Although the natives are getting restless in Philly, it hasn't been utterly terrible in the City of Brotherly Love. Bad? Yes. Hideously awful? Talk to 49er fans. Bradford has not been sharp this season, but he has been allowed to throw the football a great deal (145 passes in four games). He'll be tossing the pigskin again this weekend as he's 'challenged' by a New Orleans defense that gives up passing yardage (20th in the NFL), passing TDs (middle-of-the-pack), and has yet to snag an interception. All of that mediocrity comes while facing just one truly legitimate passing QB (Carson Palmer). Bradford is the 2nd-best passer they've faced and he should hit 20 points.
If you save here, spend here - Green Bay Defense ($3,100) vs. STL
Jay Cutler ($5,300) @ KC - Cutler was the 'good' Cutler last week, coming back from a hamstring injury to post 280+ yards and a pair of scores against Oakland. All of that should be do-able against a Kansas City defense that has been carved up all season. The Chiefs have allowed a ton of yards through the air (nearly 1,200 yards), while giving up 11 passing TDs (worst in the NFL). Cutler may have Alshon Jeffrey at his disposal and that should only help matters. He can casually implode for three picks at any moment, but at this price and in this head-to-head, Cutler is a cheap solution.
If you save here, spend here - Rob Gronkowski ($7,500) @ DAL
Blake Bortles ($5,100) @ TB - After a rough first go-around in Week 1, Bortles has turned in three consecutive solid-to-above-average efforts with a total of 813 yards and a 5:1 TD:INT ratio. Yet, his price tag continues to hang out in the low-rent district. A quick glance at his opponent for Week 5, shows a Tampa squad that has not allowed many passing yards. But, pay attention to what they've gone up against. Outside of a banged-up, Drew Brees, they haven't faced a true passing threat. With Jacksonville, Bortles is that guy and his blossoming relationship with both Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson should lead to some big moments on Sunday.
If you save here, spend here - Le'Veon Bell ($8,500) @ SD
Top of the Chart - Aaron Rodgers ($7,900) vs. STL - 8.5
T.J. Yeldon ($4,400) @ TB - We'll go back-to-back Jags! While other rookies get all the attention, Yeldon has quietly gone about his duties. Last week, he pushed over 100 with 22 attempts. It was the second time that he's been over 20 carries already this season. I figure that Jags-Bucs will be a fairly close battle in Week 5 and that should lead to 15+ carries for the rook. Anytime you're hitting that mark with a guy who has some measure of skill and subsequent success AND he's costing less than 4.5K ... you do it.
If you save here, spend here - Justin Forsett ($5,800) vs. CLE
Darren McFadden ($3,400) vs. NE - The unfortunate ACL tear to Lance Dunbar has erased the Cowboys biggest receiving threat. McFadden should, at the very least, see more chances and opportunities. Joseph Randle is healthy and still starting, but he certainly set alarms off with the coaching staff last week thanks to some careless ball protection last week. DMC has been little more than 'OK' to begin his career in Big D, but he should get to double-digit touches this week versus the Patriots. That's more than you can say coming into any of the other four games this season, yet this price is still treating him like a 3rd-string runner. If you do chance it with McFadden, he should be the lone bargain grab on your entire DFS team.
If you save here, spend here - Randall Cobb ($7,500) vs. STL
Anthony 'Boobie' Dixon ($3,000) @ TEN - I would also put Dan 'Boom' Herron's name alongside Dixon's, but he's currently not available for play at DraftKings. So, you're left with just Dixon who is fighting a slight calf injury heading into a possible start against the Titans. There are plenty of things to understand here. Most importantly, Dixon just isn't that good. He has zero yards on eight carries this year and when given an opportunity last season, he did very, very little. Secondly, there's still an outside chance that Karlos Williams (concussion) finds his way back onto the gridiron. Finally, there's some thought that Herron, who was just signed off the street, could get just as much work as Dixon this week. It's a massive risk, but at a massive bottom basement cost.
If you save here, spend here - Tom Brady ($7,800) @ DAL
Top of the Chart - Le'Veon Bell ($8,500) @ SD - 7.9
Michael Floyd ($3,000) @ DET - Wherefore art thou, Romeo? Or, is it 'Floyd-io'? Whatever the set-up, there's no question that Floyd has been Mr. Forgotten in Arizona this year. Through four games, Floyd has just seven catches. But, on the plus side, five of those came in last week's game with St. Louis. He also saw a season-high seven targets in the Week 4 tilt and another 5-7 should surprise no one this week. After all, he saw his snap count go over 70% last week. Look for that to continue and when you toss in the fact that none of Detroit's corners are performing at an even average level this year ... Floyd looks quite tasty at three grand.
If you save here, spend here - Philip Rivers ($6,200) vs. PIT
Willie Snead ($3,000) @ PHI - Snead is another guy who has continually seen an uptick in snap count. He's clearly moved ahead of both Marques Colston and Brandon Coleman in the Saints' pecking order. He's still an entirely unproven asset, but if New Orleans still plans to let Drew Brees drop back about 35 times per outing, then Snead should see some looks. Beyond the pure volume, the Saints are also embracing a short-game pass attack as they try to massage Brees through the season. That plays into Snead's strengths and pays off in PPR leagues.
If you save here, spend here - Eddie Lacy ($6,700) vs. STL
Chris Givens ($3,000) vs. CLE - Did you even know he was still playing football? If you did, did you know he was now suiting up for the Ravens?? Givens flamed out in St. Louis and the Rams decided to throw the Baltimore receiving corps a leaky life raft. He was traded just about a week ago and is expected to jump onto the field this week. With the state of Baltimore's depth chart, he could get an opportunity right away. He's a major deep threat (that's about all he is) and neither Sam Bradford (formerly of the Rams) or Nick Foles (currently of the Rams), could really do much with that talent. Joe Flacco is a better bet to find the deep pass and pull of a big 40+ yard completion at some point versus the Browns. It's not a very likely scenario, but it is a possible scenario. If you go cheap here, blow it out with 'guarantees' elsewhere.
If you save here, spend here - Matt Forte ($7,000) @ KC
Top of the Chart - Julio Jones ($9,200) vs. WAS - 8.4
Heath Miller ($3,300) @ SD - We've reached the point in the schedule/season where you can start to see trends developing. One of the biggest to follow is which defenses struggle to contain opposing tight ends. Heading into Week 5, San Diego is one of those teams that, for whatever reason, gives up catches and yards to the other squads' tight end (9th-worst in the league). Now, Miller was a blocker last week in Michael Vick's first rehersal, but perhaps he gets out for 5-6 targets this week. I'd feel great if he was working with Ben Roethlisberger this Sunday. Alongside Vick, I'll settle for 'pretty good.'
If you save here, spend here - Julian Edelman ($7,000) @ DAL
Vernon Davis ($3,000) @ NYG - Make sure to check Davis's status as he's trying to overcome some knee pain, but if he's in the lineup, he's a decent selection for DFS. So little is going right for the San Francisco offense, that you'd think the offensive play-calling might want to revert to the basic and simple reads. That usually means 'first' read. This is where Davis can come into play. Furthermore, again, we have a defense in the Giants that was pushed around by Charles Clay last week and others before that. Players costing $3,000 are never wonderful bets to pay off, but if your goal is a five catches and 50 yards that's a certain win helping to support your 'hits' elsewhere.
If you save here, spend here - Jamaal Charles ($7,800) vs. CHI
Owen Daniels ($2,700) @ OAK - If you care one iota about the DFS world, then you've come across this name all week long. So, let me just join the chorus. As has been reported in thousands of other places, the Oakland Raiders are degenerates against other tight ends. It's truly bad. Every single opposing TE has come through with a productive showing. As long as you're cool with the fact that Daniels' ownership rate will be stratospheric in most leagues, he's a definite grab at this price point. Hey, it doesn't hurt that he has TDs in each of the last two games, either.
If you save here, spend here - Julio Jones ($9,200) vs. WAS
Top of the Chart - Rob Gronkowski ($7,500) @ DAL - 8.9
Cincinnati ($2,800) vs. SEA - Without Marshawn Lynch on Monday Night, the Seahawks should very little on offense against Detroit. With Lynch hobbled, at best, for this week's trip to Cincinnati, the always-home-happy Bengals' defense jumps into the value conversation. They have talent scattered all over the defensive field and can hold their own with the 'Hawks. It's also evident that Russell Wilson is having some ball protection issues this year.
If you save here, spend here - Keenan Allen ($7,200) vs. PIT
Jacksonville ($2,700) @ TB - Quite simply, Jameis Winston, is a turnover machine. That's why you make this play. The Jaguars are nothing special in terms of fantasy defensive rankings, but they have been on the positive side of the ledger in three of their four games. With the way Winston is flinging the ball around, it would be a rather large let-down if Jacksonville failed to find their way to a couple of interceptions.
If you save here, spend here - Aaron Rodgers ($7,900) vs. STL
Chicago ($2,400) @ KC - Alex Smith has been under siege all season. In fact, he's been sacked more than any other QB in all of the NFL, thus far, hitting the turf for 18 sacks. That's not his fault, either. His offensive line puts up less of a fight than tissue paper, right now. Now, the Bears will get to put their ears back and hunt down Smith. Chicago has been fairly bad this year when it comes to stopping opposing offenses, but they do have a half-dozen sacks over the past two weeks. They could net another 3-4 this week.
If you save here, spend here - Odell Beckham, Jr. ($9,000) vs. SF
Top of the Chart - Seattle ($4,000) @ CIN - 6.9
You can hear Kyle, Monday-Thursday from 8-10 ET and Friday's from 10-midnight ET, on 'The SiriusXM Fantasy Drive', on Sirius 210, XM 87.