Week 7 Results:
Kirk Cousins: 33.1 David Carr: 23.9
Darren McFadden: 27.2 Theo Riddick: 7.8 Rishard Matthews: 16.5 Jamison Crowder: 9.8 Willie Snead: 5.5
Ladarius Green: 18.5
St. Louis Rams: 25.0
The bargain basement DFS plays are back for Week 8. Everyone knows to start Aaron Rodgers and Julio Jones most weeks. What can bring home the money in DFS is finding players who will produce at a lower salary but might not always be on many lineup cards.
Here are the bargain basement plays for this week:
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets (DraftKings: $5,200 FanDuel: $7,400 FantasyScore: $5,700)
Fitzpatrick is great value for the numbers he’s been putting up so far this season.
Fitzpatrick is averaging just under 19 fantasy points per game. To put that in perspective, Fitz is scoring more points on average this year than Eli Manning and Matt Ryan but his salary is still much lower.
Fitz should continue to rack up big numbers when he faces a Raiders’ defense that ranks in the bottom 10 at defending quarterbacks. Oakland is allowing 312.8 yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game to opposing quarterbacks this season.
Sometimes in fantasy sports we get stuck on names rather than production. Fitzpatrick is putting up the numbers, he has a favorable matchup and his salary is still low. Fitz is a strong DFS quarterback to build lineups around this week.
NFL 10 Person Draft
Entry: $0 Players: 3/10 Prizes: $0.00
NFL 5 Person
Entry: $5 Players: 2/5 Prizes: $22.50
NFL 20 Person
Entry: $1 Players: 1/20 Prizes: $18.00
NFL 20 Person
Entry: $0 Players: 1/20 Prizes: $0.00
NFL 5 Person
Entry: $0 Players: 1/5 Prizes: $0.00
I’m using Fitzpatrick as my starting quarterback in TheHuddle.com’s GPP tournament at FantasyScore.
Zach Mettenberger, Titans (DraftKings: $5,100
We won’t know who is starting for the Titans until closer to kickoff but if it’s Mettenberger, he’s a bargain basement salary option at quarterback. Marcus Mariota practiced both Wednesday and Thursday. If he starts versus the Texans, he gets the call here but at a higher salary.
Mettenberger was awful last week against the Falcons but Atlanta is much tougher on quarterbacks than Houston. The Falcons are a Top 5 defense when it comes to defending opposing quarterbacks.
In comparison, the Texans’ defense ranks 30th in the NFL at defending quarterbacks. Houston is giving up over 21 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. That’s almost seven points more than the Falcons give up, so Mettenberger would have a much more favorable matchup to exploit this week.
J.J. Watt has a back injury but he’s expected to play on Sunday. Still, the Texans’ defense has been awful this year and now Watt won’t be 100 percent.
Don’t be afraid to use Mariota or Mettenberger this week. Either quarterback should be able to exploit a struggling Texans’ defense. If Mettenberger does start, he has a chance to be one of the big fantasy surprises of Week 8.
Darren McFadden, Cowboys (DraftKings: $3,800 FanDuel: $6,400 FantasyScore: $5,600)
There’s good news and bad news with McFadden.
The good news is we have one more week where his salary is going to be this low. The bad news is McFadden will be one of the highest owned players this week.
When a player is highly owned we have to weigh the risk/reward of putting him in our lineup. In McFadden’s case, the rewards outweigh the risks.
The Seahawks are tough on running backs, so on paper McFadden has a bad matchup. Seattle only allows 75.1 yards, 0.3 touchdowns and 4.3 receptions per game to opposing running backs. So the metric world is going to call for a fade on McFadden. It makes sense.
Here’s the problem though. Joseph Randle is out and the biggest mismatch in this game is Seattle’s secondary versus Matt Cassel. The Cowboys’ offensive gameplan is going to revolve around McFadden as both a runner and receiver.
There are very few running backs in the NFL that are a lock for 20+ touches a game. None of those backs have a salary as low as McFadden does right now. Even in a tough matchup, McFadden will have an opportunity to top 20 fantasy points this week.
I’m using McFadden as one of my starting running backs in TheHuddle.com’s GPP tournament at FantasyScore.
Charles Sims, Buccaneers (DraftKings: $3,600 FanDuel: $5,100 FantasyScore: $4,700)
Doug Martin is having a strong season but Sims is also seeing enough touches to make a weekly fantasy impact.
Sims is averaging 11.1 fantasy points per game. That’s pretty good for a No.2 running back. Sims has the reputation as an excellent receiver but even with Martin playing well he’s seen 22 carries in Tampa Bay’s last two games.
There’s a big reason to love Sims this week. The Falcons rank 29th in the NFL when it comes to defending running backs, despite allowing just 74.9 yards per game on the ground. That’s because Atlanta gives up 9.1 receptions and 73.4 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs.
Sims has 16 receptions on the year and he’s used in a lot in passing situations. He’s also scored at least 13 fantasy points in three of his last four games. If you’re looking for a low-cost Flex play this week, Sims is a great option.
Marvin Jones, Bengals (DraftKings: $4,200 FanDuel: $5,400 FantasyScore: $4,800)
It’s hard enough trying to construct the perfect DFS lineup. Then trying to predict when Jones will have one of his big weeks makes it even more challenging.
Jones has been all over the map in terms of fantasy scoring this year. He has two games of 20+ points but has two others games of less than four points. The matchup looks good for Jones to have one of his better games on Sunday.
The Steelers’ defense gives up 14.7 receptions and 176.7 yards per game to opposing receivers. Pittsburgh’s corners can also be susceptible to big plays.
Jones has been up-and-down this year but he’s caught 14 balls for 144 yards and a touchdown on 20 targets in his last two games. He’s becoming a bigger part of the offense as the season goes on and Jones has a plus matchup this week. He’s a strong play for the price.
Tavon Austin, Rams (DraftKings: $4,600 FanDuel: $5,300 FantasyScore: $6,300)
You won’t make a living starting Rams’ receivers but Austin is quietly having a nice fantasy season and he has a great matchup this week.
Austin is averaging 13.5 fantasy points on the year. He’s scored at least 10 fantasy points in each of his last three games. That trend should continue this Sunday against the 49ers.
San Francisco’s defense has really struggled to defend receivers. The 49ers are giving up 13.7 receptions, 207.9 receptions and 1.1 touchdowns per game to opposing receivers. They also give up a lot of underneath receptions and big plays; both areas where Austin can do damage.
Austin saw seven targets in the Rams’ last game. The 49ers’ secondary has had so many breakdowns this year if he can see that kind of volume again this week, Austin has a chance to put up big fantasy numbers.
Stevie Johnson, Chargers (DraftKings: $3,200 FanDuel: $5,900
Johnson had a good start to the season but then a hamstring injury cost him two games. Johnson returned last week and caught four passes for 50 yards on eight targets.
The Chargers simply can’t run the football right now and it’s forcing Philip Rivers to throw a ton. Rivers has thrown the ball an absurd 171 times in his last three games.
That will likely continue this week. The Ravens rank 10th against the run but are 28th in the NFL versus the pass. Baltimore’s defense also struggles when it comes to defending receivers. The Ravens allow 15 receptions, 214 yards and 1.6 touchdowns per game to opposing receivers.
Johnson plays in an offense that throws the ball a lot and may be missing Antonio Gates for the second straight game. He’s facing a defense that allows the second most fantasy points to receivers this year and his salary is low. Johnson is certainly worth a look.
Ladarius Green, Chargers (DraftKings: $3,000 FanDuel: $5,300 FantasyScore: $3,500)
It’s hard not to consider Green for a second straight week at his low salary.
Green doesn’t have nearly the dream matchup he did last week when he took on the Raiders. The Ravens are much stingier against tight ends. While the Raiders rank last at defending tight ends, the Ravens rank second.
Still, Green’s salary is inviting and as mentioned above, Rivers has thrown the ball 171 times over his last three games. Green is also a big factor in the red zone. He’s caught four touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions in six games.
Green doesn’t have a great matchup this week but Rivers is still going to have to throw the ball a lot versus the Ravens’ defense. Green will once again be a strong DFS play if Gates misses another game as expected.
Tennessee Titans (DraftKings: $2,500
FanDuel: $4,500 FantasyScore: $1,800)
The Titans’ defense isn’t the best play on the board but it has a great matchup this week if you’re looking for a real under-the-radar option.
The Texans are a dumpster fire right now. Arian Foster is out for the year and if Houston has to continue to go to the air, the Titans’ defense ranks second in the NFL against the pass. Tennessee’s defense has actually played well in games versus Tampa Bay, Buffalo and Atlanta. It could be a long day for Brian Hoyer and Co. if the Texans can’t run the football.
The Texans have problems all over the place. The Titans’ defense has been inconsistent but it has a matchup this week it can exploit. In all honesty, you have to wonder how much fight the Texans have left at this point.
The Titans have the best chance to score big points out of those lower-tier defenses.