Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Well, not really boys and girls, since you’re too young to have an account on Fanduel, but everyone else! Step right up and claim your chance to win some cash! That’s right, we’re just giving out cold, hard cash, guaranteed, and there are no costs associated! You there, in the hat! You want to try out our game, don’t you? Of course you do! So step right up!
The carnival barker routine may not be very original (like the tenth time you saw a “Call Me Maybe” parody), but it does come with something that you haven’t gotten in a while: a freeroll! Just click on this magical link and it will whisk you away to an enchanted world where you can win money for getting the right players for the right week. Of course, we don’t want to leave you feeling lost or alone so we’ve provided some helpful tips on the cheapest players to roll with for this here free roll. Good luck everyone!
Sam Bradford ($6,200 vs. NE): This game is in London, which makes you pine for next year’s Steelers-Vikings matchup across the pond. Big Ben playing underneath Big Ben? That marketing practically writes itself, which is why Roethlesberger will probably be injured in the opening week of the 2013 season. Oh, right, Bradford. Well, over five years, the London games have averaged 43 points per, which is pretty much what you’d expect from NFL games. So throw any narratives about the location of the game out the window and focus on the Patriots allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Mark Sanchez of all people looked solid against them last week, and he doesn’t have any receivers, either! So Bradford is worth a shot as a low-cost QB…
Brady Quinn ($5,100 vs. OAK): …Unless you’re feeling insane, then you could go even lower cost with the Chiefs new starter, Quinn. Pretty much all you need to know here is that he’s really cheap and the Raiders are giving up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Just stay away from the nachos and chicken wings Sunday if you do this. The end result might be decent, but the effect watching it has on your stomach will not be.
Alex Green ($5,300 vs. JAX): Green is going to break out at some point, right? Even with last week’s pedestrian effort from Darren McFadden (who has been less Run DMC and more Weird Al), the Jaguars are still giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing RBs. So if that Green breakout is coming, it’s got to be now, right? At this price, it seems worth finding out.
Rashard Jennings ($5,600 at GB): Yes, the matchup isn’t great (GB is giving up the 16th most fantasy points to RBs), and the game situation might damn well be terrible (hard to run when you’re down 28 points at halftime), but Jennings has enough versatility to overcome those issues. Fact of the matter is, you don’t often get a workhorse back (even if it’s just for a few weeks) at this price point. And you won’t again if he actually produces. It’s a gamble, but Jennings could be the focal point of the offense with Chad Henne starting.
The real lesson here, however, is that you should spend the money on one good back this week – just understand that “a good back” might mean trusting Chris Johnson against Indianapolis.
Antonio Brown ($6,200 vs. WSH): Did you see Mike Wallace spending 60 Minutes (ha!) dropping the ball last week? What you saw right there was the beginning of Ben Roethlisberger losing his trust in his ‘top’ wideout. With Wallace on the outs in the Steel City, it makes sense for his quarterback to make like Katie Holmes and explore other options. Enter Antonio Brown and the Redskins woeful pass defense (a unit that looks to be without London Fletcher this week). The only thing that makes me weary about this pick at this price, is the prison jumpsuits the Steelers will be wearing this weekend. The costume designer for the Shawshank Redemption would be proud.
Eric Decker ($6,200 vs. NO): Granted, I like Demaryius Thomas even more as Denver hosts the squad giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to wideouts, but he’s a bit too costly for this space. Really, it might be worth it to toss both of them on a lineup with Peyton Manning and see if they all make it look like the 4th of July. But as a value play, Decker has some upside. If the Saints (with new interim head coach Joe Vitt at the helm finally) key in on Thomas as the big threat, that could make Decker’s day as easy as shooting a hockey puck into a soccer net.
Kenny Britt ($5,900 vs. IND): There are really no great 3rd WR options this week, so this might be another place to spend some of your extra cash. Still, Britt is getting increasingly healthy and the Colts are surrendering the 9th most points to opposing wide receivers. He’s really the only member of this offense with a consistent role when he’s healthy (the frequent Chris Johnson Houdini act makes this the case), so he’s worth a flyer if you need another cheap option.
Heath Miller ($5,900 vs. WSH): Miller is the new Tony Gonzalez, this year’s tight end who does nothing but score, yet finds himself continually undervalued over at FanDuel. Big Ben has delivered on his promise to make Miller a Pro Bowlers this year, an effort which should continue as the team giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to tight ends rolls into town. I really shouldn’t need to sell you on this one, Miller is having a better year than Joss Whedon.
David Akers ($5,000 at ARZ): My lazy go-to pick at kicker, Shayne Graham, is on the bye this week. But that’s probably a good thing since it opens my eyes up to another undervalued kicker in Akers. Pop quiz: How many games this season has Akers not converted a field goal in? Before I answer, let me point out that’s at least the second time in this column I’ve ended a sentence with a preposition. Somewhere Mrs. Craig’s Spider Senses just started tingling. Anyways, it’s zero. Every single game, Akers has converted at least one field goal attempt. Arizona’s defense is just good enough to slow you down. So think of it like barring the door before the zombies bust it down. Sure, they get through eventually (here, with field goals), but you don’t die right away (by giving up touchdowns). That analogy worked, right?
San Francisco Defense ($5,400 at ARZ): I know, a defense that costs more than the minimum. What’s come over me? Well, the absolute terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad offensive line has come over me. Minnesota was sacking John Skelton at will last week with just four-man pressure. Could you imagine what havoc the 49ers talented blitzers could do to him this week? Ryan Lindley, the sixth-round pick out of San Diego State could make his NFL debut on MNF the way things are shaping up. Even Skelton is averaging more than an interception per game for his career. With no running game to speak of, this could even be a shutout. Trust me, the extra four grand will be well worth it. Plus, it gives you somebody in the Monday Night game, so you can always hold out hope that you can leapfrog that bastard ten points ahead of you.