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., the idea of even considering Brian Hoyer!).
Before I jump into the Week 6 DFS value plays, here's a look at the Week 5 Report Card ...
- The quarterback position (as expected) continues to provide easy value finds every single week. In Week 5, Blake Bortles, Jay Cutler, and Sam Bradford were all QB1 plays.
- Darren McFadden and T.J. Yeldon came up as solid hits. Anthony Dixon failed to hit double-digits in his rare start.
- Both Michael Floyd and Chris Givens flopped, but Willie Snead was a resounding hit, on his way to finishing as the 11th-best wideout last weekend.
- This position was a mess last week. Vernon Davis didn't dress, Heath Miller was only so-so, and (as warned) everyone's push of Owen Daniels (ZERO POINTS!!!) was one of the biggest expert misses of 2015.
- There were also no hits at the defensive spot as Cincinnati, Chicago, and, certainly, Jacksonville failed to return value payoffs.
Overall Week 5 Grade - C-
Teddy Bridgewater ($5,300) vs. KC - Bridgewater's supposed 'break-through' season has yet to even show up on the horizon. After a powerful final kick to his rookie season, the Vikes' second-year man has struggled time and time again through the first four games. Even with 115 passes to his name in '15, he's stuck with a miniscule two scoring throws. Thus far, the addition of Mike Wallace, the expected pass-catching of Adrian Peterson, and the numbers-pop expectations for both Charles Johnson and Kyle Rudolph have nearly all failed. With a bye week to fix things, I expect Minnesota to come out with some new goals, new calls, and new routes versus the overmatched KC secondary. Bridgewater has talent in his bones and talent around him. Just as I noted a week ago when suggesting the use of Sam Bradford ... if it doesn't happen against Kansas City, then it isn't gonna happen this year.
If you save here, spend here - Jordan Matthews ($6,200) vs. NYG
Jay Cutler ($5,200) @ DET - The oft-pounded and oft-criticized Bears' man has actually been very solid since returning from his early season hamstring injury. He's received raves on his pocket passing, which is critical when you're hesitant to push your healing legs beyond a five-step, shuffle-here, shuffle-there drop back. He's been even more impressive for fantasy players when you consider that Alshon Jeffrey is still nowhere to be found. All in all, a tentative Cutler is a much better Cutler ... he can't 'go rouge' and instead has to either toss the football away or wait for something to open up. And, the more his feet are set, the better he's always been. He's up against the Lions (3rd-worst in the NFL on yards allowed per pass) and he should push his run of two passing TD efforts up to three in a row this weekend.
If you save here, spend here - Eddie Lacy ($6,300) vs. SD
Brian Hoyer ($5,100) @ JAC - As tough as reading this particular name might be, I ask you to understand that it's even more difficult to ... t ... y ... p ... e. Still, Hoyer has a pair of pass-catching weapons in DeAndre Hopkins and the still-recovering, Arian Foster, and combined, they should be good for at least a dozen catches. Hoyer is mistake-prone (see my suggestion of Jacksonville's defense, below), but he's almost assured of throwing the football 30+ times on Sunday. The cost here is about as low as you'll ever find for a starting QB who is completing over 62% of his passes and is facing a defense that has allowed the 2nd-most points in the NFL, while intercepting just one of 183 passes this year.
If you save here, spend here - DeAndre Hopkins ($7,300) @ JAC
Top of the Chart - Tom Brady ($8,100) @ IND - 8.6
Lamar Miller ($4,300) @ TEN - The expectation is that the 'Fins will come back as a new-look team following their bye and a change on the sidelines. There's also the reported expectation that the new-feel staff wants to return to the rushing attack and give Miller the chances that he deserves. Coming off a 1,000 yard season in '14, Miller was expected to once again see 13-15 carries per game in '15. Instead, Miami has somehow given him the football fewer than 10 times per game. He has been unable to get into any flow and has yet to find the end zone, as well. I'll buy the reporting and call Miller for 15 carries this weekend. The Titans have been stiff against the pass all year, but they're below-average, across-the-board in the rushing stats. Miller's best game of the year, thus far, (admittedly, not saying a whole lot!) comes in Week 6.
If you save here, spend here - Larry Fitzgerald ($7,000) @ PIT
Shane Vereen ($4,200) @ PHI - Heading into the weekend, the Giants still have question marks concerning the health of their top two wideouts, Odell Beckham, Jr. and Ruben Randle. In Week 5, after both guys pulled up lame, Eli Manning, turned to Vereen and he answered with a big PPR-effort, finishing with eight catches, 86 yards, and a score. No matter if both of the NY WR's get onto the field, I think they'll both be compromised. As usual, the daily sites overlook the high-end PPR options, valuing them in a spot that makes them very tempting each week. Danny Woodhead and Gio Bernard were overlooked for weeks before the sites corrected course. Vereen will be the next guy to move up the valuation charts.
If you save here, spend here - Adrian Peterson ($7,600) vs. KC
Theo Riddick ($3,300) vs. CHI - Riddick is in a very similar spot as Vereen. Just like New York, Detroit has no rhyme or reason when it comes to their backfield. We don't know what they'll do and they don't know what they'll do. The closest that we can get to any certainty is that Riddick will get very few carries, but many, many targets as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Seriously, how is a running back with 30 catches (and, thus, 30 points off of catches alone!), coming in at this ridiculous cost?! It's highway robbery at this price point. Just hope that your competition doesn't cycle all the way down to the bottom of the chart and find Riddick, too.
If you save here, spend here - Le'Veon Bell ($8,500) vs. ARZ
Top of the Chart - Le'Veon Bell ($8,500) vs. ARZ - 8.3
Anquan Boldin ($4,300) vs. BAL - This is a true risk when you consider that Colin Kaepernick is quite possibly a full-blow, below-average passer. He's been more bad than good for two seasons. Last week, though, Kaepernick turned in his second-best showing of the year and Boldin was a huge beneficiary of it. Boldin has been a sturdy fantasy option for more than a decade, but he's currently stuck in a rut where all success seems to be based off of which version of his QB shows up each week. Baltimore's secondary has been exposed all season, ranking as a lower-tier unit in almost all statistical rankings. If you have a bit of faith in that continuing versus Kaepernick, then show some faith in Boldin.
If you save here, spend here - Justin Forsett ($6,400) @ SF
Marquess Wilson ($4,000) @ DET - Do you realize that Alshon Jeffrey has been 'day-to-day' since July? I'm not kidding! Once again, we enter a weekend where Jeffrey has a chance at playing, but at this point, you'd be foolish to really expect anything from a guy who has provided nothing for so long now. While we all wait and wait and wait on Jeffrey, Wilson has shown some spark in the past two weeks. He's registered 12 receptions on 17 targets, leading to 165 yards, and a score. Since Jay Cutler has had seemingly no consistent options in the receiving attack this year, he's liable to head back in the direction of his emerging consistent option ... Wilson. Detroit's got problems all around, so even if Jeffrey is back, or even if Eddie Royal is in play, I still believe Wilson is a fine 3rd DFS WR.
If you save here, spend here - Carson Palmer ($6,600) @ PIT
Stefon Diggs ($3,500) vs. KC - This suggestion follows up on the Bridgewater write-up above. Diggs' gets the love here because of the match-up, the price, the issues around him, and his slight move up the depth chart. The rookie still has a lot to prove and by no means would you consider this to be a good play. It's a play you make to allow yourself to get hog-wild on three or four huge names elsewhere. This price is incredibly cheap for a guy coming off a 6 catch, 87 yard effort two weeks ago. He's worth a shot against the befuddled Chief secondary.
If you save here, spend here - Arian Foster ($7,000) @ JAC
Top of the Chart - Odell Beckham, Jr. ($8,900) @ PHI - 5.4
Zach Ertz ($2,900) vs. NYG - Tight ends have been incredibly hard to predict from week-to-week all season low. In all honesty, depending on how you contemplate such a glob of mediocrity, it should be the spot you spend either the least (or the most) time on! Ertz is a fine example. He's been out and playing for the Eagles all season, but has run hot-and-cold every week. He gets a solid match-up against the Giants this week (they've allowed four TDs to opposing TEs. And, he had a solid showing in last week's blowout of New Orleans (five catches, 60 yards). The price is right to give him a call.
If you save here, spend here - Brandon Marshall ($7,100) vs. WAS
Larry Donnell ($2,800) @ PHI - On the other side of the Eagle-Giant head-to-head is Donnell. He's, well, been a lot like Ertz this year! But, slightly more consistent. He gets a lot of looks in the West Coast offense, totaling 26 targets over the past four games. Of course, even with all those looks, he hasn't hit 40 yards receiving in any of the games! Such is the life of one who delves into this position. Again, the price is downright cheap and even a measly five catches for Donnell on Sunday night would count as a bargain win.
If you save here, spend here - Matt Forte ($7,100) @ DET
Crockett Gillmore ($2,700) @ SF - As of this writing, Gillmore is still uncertain to start/play on Sunday, but most signs/opinions have him taking the field in the Bay Area. As long as that's the case, he works as another dirt-cheap option. He hasn't played since Week 3 because of a calf issue. The 49ers have a solid group of linebackers, but overall, their defense is currently allowing the 8th-most points to opposing tight ends. It's chancy with Gillmore at less than full-speed, but the Ravens are desperate for someone to step forth and become a high-volume target. Crockett has a 40/60 shot of being that guy this weekend.
If you save here, spend here - Aaron Rodgers ($7,700) vs. SD
Top of the Chart - Rob Gronkowski ($7,600) @ IND - 9.0
Miami ($2,800) @ TEN - Have you ever heard the story of the defense that gets a new coach and suddenly turns thigs around, becoming a full-fledged, slobbering, monster after the changing of the guard? No? Well, it's not a given, but the Dolphins should have renewed vigor heading into this game at Nashville. Their early-season performance has cost two coaches their jobs. They had a bye last week to try and right the ship and they have plenty of talent on the defensive side. If you're into storylines, you can take a shot at going after this one early as they square off with an offense that frightens nobody.
If you save here, spend here - Julian Edelman ($7,600) @ IND
Jacksonville ($2,700) vs. HOU - Fantasy football allows for a quarterback to, quote, play 'badly', yet still put up points. You'll have noticed that I suggested Brian Hoyer up near the top of this column as a value QB. How can I then suggest going with the Jaguars as a value defense? It's easy ... all the Jags have to do is get a couple of picks (Hoyer serves those up regularly), wrap up a few sacks (Jacksonville has an ordinary 11 in five games, but Houston drops back to throw more than any other team in football), and keep the Texans under 20, and you have a plus-play.
If you save here, spend here - Rob Gronkowski ($7,600) @ IND
Cleveland ($2,200) vs. DEN - When was the last time I have been able to suggest a defense opposing Peyton Manning? Close to never. But, Manning has been a mess all season. A look at the numbers shows a dink-and-dunk passer who has more interceptions than TD passes. Now, the next question is the key one ... Can the Browns actually seize the advantage they should have? That's a true debate, but I think that a lot of people will totally avoid Cleveland purely because of the reputation that the Broncos bring to the table. All it take is one floated pass (from a QB that throws a few of them) or a lucky bounce or two, and you have a huge winner with this pick.
If you save here, spend here - Tom Brady ($8,100) @ IND
Top of the Chart - Seattle (3,800) vs. CAR - 8.8
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.