You know what’s cooler than winning $100 for just a $1 entry, which you can do in this week’s Razzball FanDuel Tournament (click that link to join)? Spending just $3 to win $175 – and it turns out, yes, you can also do that in this week’s tournament. Crazier than Lindsay Lohan, right? For just one measly dollar, you can enter this week’s tournament over at FanDuel. It’s real simple: pick your team, stay under the salary cap, score more fantasy points than everyone else, and win money. But wait, Ghost of Billy Mays, there’s more! You can enter the contest up to three times! If you’re feeling really cocky, you can enter one lineup three times and take home $175 if you have the best score. Or enter three different lineups to try and maximize your chances of getting any one of the multiple prizes. Since the top five all make at least $10 (more than I make during an hour at my day job, which is actually at night… it’s complicated), you’re more than tripling your money when you cash even if you entered the maximum number of lineups. So why wouldn’t you? As if you needed more encouragement, I’ve taken the liberty of listing this week’s best values right down below. You’re welcome.
Matt Hasselbeck ($6,200 vs. BUF): It turns out not having Mario Williams was not the problem with the Buffalo defense last year. Nope, they’re just bad, which is why this won’t be the last Titan we see on this list. And if you’re worried Tennessee can’t put up a huge point total against even a weak defense, just remember that 44-spot they put up on Detroit earlier in the year. Jake Locker is still a week away from returning, which makes this entirely Hasselbeck’s show. A very tidy return on the price tag is very possible as he goes up against the squad giving up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this year.
Mark Sanchez ($5,900 vs. NE): Yeah, I’m doing it. I’m recommending Mark Sanchez as a fantasy football quarterback. On the road. Against the Patriots, who, by the way, are giving up the third most points to opposing QBs so far. So I’m not entirely insane. I said entirely, okay? You don’t think Shonn Greene is going to punch in three scores in a game the Jets will probably be losing by 14 at the half, do you? That would be nuttier than an Almond Joy bar (remember, Almond Joy has nuts, Mounds don’t). The question will be all about how many times Sanchez can find the end zone. If you think it’s at least two, this price is almost too good to pass up.
Doug Martin ($6,300 vs. NO): This recommendation also terrifies me, but the key to value in weekly fantasy games is finding those players who haven’t been performing as well with the talent and opportunity to do better. Like how C.J. Craig came into her own on The West Wing after Leo had his (in-show) heart attack and had to resign as chief of staff. You’ll recall it wasn’t two months ago that Martin was regarded as a second-round pick (now, I thought that was lunacy, which is why I only have him in one, RB-hating, league, but that misses the point. Skill set. Lots of it). And this week a New Orleans defense giving up the most fantasy points to opposing RBs comes calling. It’s risky. LeGarrette Blount looms in the rear-view mirror, but the risk-taking owner could be rewarded with a monster day that would intimidate even Cloverfield.
Felix Jones ($5,600 vs. CAR): Even better than finding low-cost players who have been performing poorly is finding low-cost players who just haven’t had the opportunity, but will this week due to injury. Enter Jones and the Panthers defense, giving up the third most points to opposing RBs. You know the book on Jones by now, so long as he can avoid injury he could torch Carolina like he’s part of Sherman’s march to the sea. At this price, you almost have to.
Fred Jackson ($5,900 vs. TEN): Pop quiz: Who lead the Bills in carries last week? Okay, the answer to that question was more obvious than figuring out “Who’s the Boss?” but the point remains. Jackson secured 16 carries last week, C.J. Spiller had just 12. Yes, Spiller did more with his touches, but he costs $7,400 on FanDuel. Who wants to spend that kind of money when Jackson’s 50+ yards and touchdown produce a tidy sum for a fraction of the price? Chan Gailey says the rotation will continue this week, which means Jackson will get plenty of opportunity against the fantasy defense giving up the fifth most points to opposing RBs. Don’t let the time-share scare you, this is good value for the price.
Now, I’m going to level with you here. I firmly believe Percy Harvin, Reggie Wayne, and Vincent Jackson should be your trio of wide receivers this week. They’re the top targets on their teams, have excellent matchups, and aren’t ridiculously expensive. I shouldn’t have to sell you on any of them. But in the event you’re a risk-taker (or entering an expert-level contest with $5,000 shaved off the salary cap), I do have some other options for you to consider.
Lance Moore ($5,600 vs. TB): It looks like he’s healthy, the matchup is great (Tampa Bay is giving up the fifth most points to opposing WRs), and his team has almost no running game to speak of, which means tons of opportunity. This is another one of those “value in the cellar” plays where the upside is like Denise Richards before she married Charlie Sheen. You knew back in August that Moore could be a productive option, so all you have to do now is remember that to get a big reward now.
Josh Gordon ($5,600 vs. IND): Gordon is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the Browns offense, pushing the ineffective Greg Little to the bench more often. He’s been targeted at least four times in three of the last four weeks and scored in the last two of those weeks. The trend is clearly upwards for the supplemental draft pick and a matchup against a Colts passing defense in the bottom third of the league could be just what the doctor ordered (and I tried to fit a M*A*S*H reference in here, I really did. I just couldn’t quite make it work. Suggestions in the comments?).
Kendall Wright ($5,300 vs. BUF): 37, 24, 41, 46, 66, 71. That’s Wright’s receiving totals, week by week. Notice a trend there? Remember how I discussed Hasselbeck’s potential to exploit the Bills defense earlier? He has to throw to somebody. And given that Kenny Britt hasn’t looked 100% all season and Nate Washington is, well, Nate Washington, that means Wright might actually be the most talented wideout on the roster. Given his results, it seems like the coaching staff might finally be getting hip to that fact. You should too.
Scott Chandler ($5,100 vs. TEN)): Anyone who saw Dante Rosario’s three-touchdown performance against the Titans in Week Two would not be surprised to find out they’re allowing the most points to opposing TEs this season. Chandler is somebody who has already shown an ability to find the end zone, which shouldn’t be a problem in a game where you can expect more points than the final contest in Little Giants (Actually that was just 27-21 – since I’m pretty sure they [incorrectly] didn’t kick the extra point after the game-winning touchdown). Still, that’s more than enough points for Chandler to get his Sunday.
Shayne Graham ($5,000 vs. BAL): Personally, I think it’s just awesome that FanDuel keeps on letting Graham stay right at the minimum salary despite being a consistent and reliable kicking option. So long as they keep doing that, I’m going to keep picking him. Especially against a Ravens defense that already somewhat resembles Swiss cheese and has added some more injury issues. Houston should have no problem finding themselves in field goal range Sunday, which means another solid outing from Graham.
Oakland DEF ($5,000 vs. JAX): So this is my second run-through of the second half of this post. A faulty Internet connection and the folly of writing directly in WordPress led to the loss of some great material. Including all the stats about how bad Jacksonville’s offense has been. It was something like three sacks and a turnover and a half per game, never more than 23 points scored this season, and ten or fewer points scored three times… but I really could be going all John Edwards (the psychic) and making all that up. Suffice it to say, the Jaguars offense is bad enough you should ignore the nearly 30 points per game the Raiders are giving up and just roll with the savings of using the cheapest defense possible.