I won’t have a ton of fantasy football lineups going at Draft Kings tonight for the Thursday night game. I like to focus my energy on the Sunday games when we have a more full idea about what this week will hold.
On FanDuel I will have no lineups. They don’t offer late swap and I don’t want to be stuck with a player who goes from not on the injury report today, to questionable to tomorrow, to oh-my-gosh-he’s-really-not-playing on Sunday.
That said, I know many of you will test the waters. You want to start Travis Kelce. I get it. He is a great value this week — at Draft Kings, not so much at FanDuel.
Let’s get to this week’s values
Andy Dalton, $6,900, CIN vs. SD — Matthew Stafford didn’t burn them last week, but the Chargers were even worse than the Buccaneers against the pass last season, according to Football Outsider’s Defense-adjusted Value Over Average. It also doesn’t hurt that Dalton put up 269 and two touchdowns last week and A.J. Green was barely involved (5 catches for 63 yards). There’s room for the Bengals offense to grow.
Nick Foles, $6,500, STL at WAS — Foles impressed last week with 297 yards and a touchdown against the vaunted Seahawks pass defense. This week there is no vaunt. He faces the Redskins, the least efficient team against the pass in 2014, according to DVOA.
Tyrod Taylor, $6,300 BUF vs. NE — Taylor was a big value play last week. He paid off for a lot of people. He comes in this week with another super-low salary. I’ll probably shy away from him and go with one of these other guys this week, but he does present the best potential value this week.
Sam Bradford, $7,500 PHI vs. DAL — Bradford disappointed a bit last week. He threw for 336 yards and a touchdown. He also got picked twice, keeping his fantasy total under 16 points at FanDuel. However, if he’s going to throw 50 passes a game, there will be fantasy points aplenty. The Eagles are favored by five points in a game with the highest over/under of the week.
Danny Woodhead, $6,200, SD @ CIN —Woodhead was a beast at Draft Kings last week, scoring 22 points. You don’t get a full point per reception at FanDuel, but Woodhead still finished with 20.2 points and represented one of the best values of the week. Now he gets to face a Bengals team that was fifth-least efficient against the run last season.
Marshawn Lynch, $8,500, SEA @ GB — Sorry, another high-priced value, sure, but Matt Forte torched the packers for 141 yards and a touchdown last week. Lynch has to be salivating at the opportunity.
Justin Forsett, $6,400, BAL @ OAK — We got burned by Forsett last week. I’m sure a lot of other people did, too. That means many will likely shy away from him this week even though he’s facing the Oakland Raiders.
Ameer Abdullah, $4,500, DET @ MIN — The Vikings were probably a little better against the run than you remember them last season, but after Carlos Hyde‘s arrival against them last week, most running backs will likely be looking forward to facing them again this season. Abdullah showed well in his NFL debut, scoring a touchdown on his first carry. It was relatively easy — there was a huge hole and he had to make one move on one defender at the goal line — but it was still a 24-yard scoring play the first time he touched the ball.
Carlos Hyde, $7,000, SF @ PIT — Well, that was quite a way to start 2015. Hyde erupted against the Viking, dashing fantasy dreams that had been building for some beginning Thursday and surprising many fantasy owners with an unexpected win when they woke Tuesday morning, certain to find an L instead of a W. Hyde gets his chance at an encore against a defense that gave up just 3.3 yards a carry last week against the Patriots.
Antonio Brown, $9,200, PIT vs. SF — I’m not trying to make you angry with all of these non-values. It’s just that for the second week in a row our formulas say there are absolute studs that will more than be worth the price. Brown is so far ahead of the competition this week it’s pretty ridiculous.
Jordan Matthews, $8,100, PHI vs. DAL — Matthews didn’t disappoint getting his first opportunity to be the top threat in the Eagles offense. Ten catches, 103 yards and 13 targets. This offense produces targets upon targets, which means Matthews should outperform his salary.
Pierre Garcon, $5,400, WAS vs. STL — While St. Louis was good at stopping the run last season, they were mediocre against the pass. Specifically they were pretty bad against wide receivers. With DeSean Jackson out, Garcon should see an uptick in opportunities which should mean extra fantasy points at a truly cheap price.
Allen Robinson, $5,700, JAX vs. MIA — Robinson left many fantasy owners dejected after last week’s poor outing. Miami has a stout defense, but they weren’t particularly effective against No. 1 or slot/bench wide receivers in 2014. He hurt his knee last week but still played 60 of 67 offensive snaps. If Blake Bortles is better, Robinson will benefit
Larry Fitzgerald, $5,900, ARI @ CHI — The Bears were the fourth-least efficient team against the pass last season, according to DVOA. If there wasn’t so much other value out there this week, you’d see Carson Palmer on the QBs list and John Brown joining Fitzgerald here. Fitz comes in at a better price, but this should be a big week for all Arizona recievers.
Heath Miller, $5,400, PIT vs. SF — People keep wanting Miller to be too old. Last week: 8 catches on 11 targets for 84 yards. Sorry, but he’s still here, effective and super-cheap at Draft Kings this week.
Jordan Reed, $5,000, WAS vs. STL — Reed showed up on the injury report today with a bad quad. The big probably with Reed his whole, short pro career has been injury. If he does play, there’s a good chance he’ll lead the team in targets again (11 last week) and be a red zone threat. QB Kirk Cousins likes to throw to him.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, $4,500, TB @ NO — ASJ was on our list last week and didn’t disappoint. This week he doesn’t have a great matchup, but I suspect he’ll have at least as many targets as last week (7), which means he’ll have ample opportunity to score at minimum salary.
Jordan Cameron, $5,500, MIA @JAX — While Ryan Tannehill’s 2015 debut was a dud and Cameron only caught four passes for 73 yards, his seven targets were encouraging. Jacksonville was in the bottom third in efficiency against tight ends last season.
Dan Bailey, $5,000, DAL @PHI
Josh Brown, $4,500, NYG vs. ATL
Zack Hocker, $4,500, NO vs. TB
Josh Lambo, $4,500, SD @CIN
St. Louis Rams, $4,900, at Washington Redskins
Denver Broncos, $4,200, at Kansas City Chiefs
Houston Texans, $4,600, at Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers, $4,700 vs. Houston Texans