Another week of football, another profitable one for me at FanDuel. I hope you are having the same success.
I’ve been slowly building up a very meager FanDuel bankroll this season. I could transfer some money over from another site, but I like the challenge of starting with a buck and change and growing it into something more. Cash games, as I mentioned last week, are the key to building your bankroll the right way.
This week some values seem pretty obvious.
I bet you’ve considered some of the guys on this list. But I figure this may sway some of you in one direction or the other, or, more likely, it will back up what you’re already thinking.
Good luck to us this week. I’m still awaiting a decent tournament win. More on that to come before the Miami kickoff at 9:30 a.m.
My confidence is growing in our system. But it’s only Week 4. It’s best to remember a few important things.
- Only play 10% of your bankroll. Your bankroll is the amount you are going to play with this year. Wagering more than 10 percent sets you up to go bankrupt by week 6.
- Always follow rule No. 1, unless you find some serious overlay. And even then, don’t go overboard. We’re all going to have bad weeks, even when we do everything right. Don’t spend so much that you can’t recover from it the following week. This allows us to brush off a bad week and move on to the next.
Derek Carr, $7,000, OAK at CHI — Carr is not a sneaky value this week. Everybody and there brothers were on them in the early contests. They’ll be on him again Sunday. Since he’s facing the Bears I don’t mind sharing with everyone in cash games, but I’ll have few Carr lineups in tournaments.
Kirk Cousins, $6,100, WAS vs. PHI — The last time Cousins faced the Eagles he threw for 427 yards and three TDs. The season, the Eagles have allowed 113.6 yards receiving to No. 1 wide receivers, second-most in the NFL. At his price, it would be foolish of us to not consider Cousins.
Cam Newton, $8,300, CAR at TB — This could be a big game on the ground for Newton, but it is a division game and the passing matchup might not be as good or bad as the different metrics tell us. Have some Newton, but don’t go overboard.
Sam Bradford, $7,100 PHI at WAS — Washington has been tough on quarterbacks this season, according to fantasy points allowed. But in 2014, they were the worst team in the NFL against the pass, according to DVOA. Something has to give. If Cousins can repeat his 2014 performance, this could turn into a scorefest, which benefits all parties, including Bradford.
Russell Wilson, $8,200 SEA vs. DET — The Lions have been susceptible to No. 1 wide receivers, tight ends and pass-catching backs. So Jimmy Graham day? Either way, Wilson benefits like other quarterbacks have against them. They’ve allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks in 2015.
Karlos Williams, $6,300, BUF vs. NYG — Early reports indicate Williams may be owned in half the lineups in your tournament this week. That screams “PIVOT!” But I’m not going to abandon him completely. He represents too good of a value. I’ll differentiate elsewhere.
Devonta Freeman, $7,200, ATL vs. HOU — Despite a serious salary uptick, Freeman still needs to be considered this week against Houston, who has allowed more fantasy points to running backs than any team in the NFL. We can’t expect Freeman to get 30 carries again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets 18 rushes and makes four catches. That should be more than enough to pay for his salary. And if he does get 30 carries, or an absurd number of touchdowns, then you’re looking at a tournament winner.
Latavius Murray, $7,500, OAK at CHI — It’s usually not a good play to start a quarterback, running back and receiver from the same team, which means you may not want to start Carr, Murray and Amari Cooper, who will be our No. 2 wide receiver value. However, this is one of those situation — playing the 2015 Bears — where you can consider it. Carr to Cooper puts the game out of reach, Murray salts away the win with a hefty second-half workload. Murray has handled a lot of his team’s touches this season as well.
Matt Forte, 8,500, CHI vs. OAK — There are no real matchup advantages for Forte, but as one of only a handful of offensive weapons for the Bears, he ends up with piles of opportunities. He’s rushed 59 times at 4.7 yards a clip and is tied for second on the team with 16 targets.
Danny Woodhead, $6,100, SD vs. CLE — I still think Melvin Gordon comes out on top in this San Diego backfield battle, especially at FanDuel, where players only get a half point per reception. This is a good spot for both backs, against a Browns team that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs so far this season.
Jamaal Charles, $8,700, KC at CIN — Charles is one of my favorite plays this week. DVOA says the Bengals have been good against the run, but they’ve also allowed opposing running backs 64.7 receiving yards per game. If you’ve been playing fantasy long enough you know Charles can have a 10-carry, 25-yard game rushing with 8 catches for 120 yards and a pair of receiving touchdowns. This could be one of them.
Eddie Lacy, $7,800, GB at SF — The 49ers are the second-worst team in the NFL against the run, according to DVOA. Lacy could have a big day running the ball in the second half of a blowout.
Lance Dunbar, $5,600, DAL vs. NO — That’s a super low salary for the Cowboy’s leading receiver. You read that right. Dunbar leads the Cowboys in receptions (21), receiving yards (215) and receptions of 20 yards or more (3). He’s second in targets behind only Jason Witten, 25-23.
Frank Gore, $7,300, IND vs. JAX — Beware this advice. Gore’s value every week will come from around the goal line. He’s still at a reasonable price, but if Andrew Luck misses this game or leaves early after aggravating his injury, Gore loses quite a bit of value.
Amari Cooper, $7,200, OAK at CHI — Just like with Carr and Karlos Williams, Cooper is going to to be owned by everybody on Sunday. He may not be a strong tournament play, but I’ll have Cooper in plenty of cash lineups.
Jordan Matthews, $7,000, PHI at WAS — Matthews already has 30 targets this season. The next closest player is Darren Sproles with 20. They feed Matthews. He’s also coming off a disappointing game against a stacked New York Jets secondary so he should be low-owned in a game that could turn into a shootout if the weather cooperates.
James Jones, $6,000, GB at SF — James Jones has a better catch to target percentage, better yards per catch average, has as many touchdowns and more plays of more than 20 yards than Randall Cobb. He doesn’t get as much volume as Cobb, but he costs $2,200 less.
Allen Hurns, $5,300, JAX at IND — Hurns is a big play waiting to happen. I’ve said that here before. He’ll be one of a few options available for Blake Bortles and the passing game, which means he should get a few more opportunities for one of those big plays.
Larry Fitzgerald, $7,400, ARI vs. STL — After scoring five touchdowns in the last two weeks, Fitzgerald will be in a lot of lineups this week. It makes sense to consider fading him, but his salary is till too low for the top receiving option in a pass-happy offense. Fitzgerald should be priced at $8,500 the way he’s performed and the way the team has used him (28 targets) so far this season.
Pierre Garcon, $6,100, WAS vs. PHI — As we said above, if Cousins is to repeat his 2014 performance, he’s probably going to feed Pierre Garcon the ball a lot. He already leads the team in targets (27) and is second in receptions to Jordan Reed, 19-17.
Eddie Royal, $4,700, CHI vs. OAK — Royal again? Yuck. Yeah, I know, but he is tied for second on the Bears with 16 targets. That’s too much usage for a player priced like a kicker on FanDuel.
Donte Moncrief, $6,300, IND vs. JAX — Like Gore, Moncrief’s value takes a hit if Luck doesn’t play. But it’s a much bigger problem for Moncrief. If Luck does play, there are few passing offenses with the likes of Indianapolis’ volume.
Martellus Bennett, $5,500, CHI vs. OAK — Until Alshon Jeffery gets back, there are still two legitimate threats in Chicago — Bennett and Matt Forte. Bennett faces the Raiders this week who, famously by now, gave up more than 100 yards and a touchdown to Gary Barnidge on just five catches.
Charles Clay, $5,200, BUF vs. NYG — New York has allowed 76.6 yards per game to opposing tight ends, third-most in the NFL. Meanwhile, Clay was looking like a nifty wide receiver with his open-field moves last week. He’s a key player on an offense that has been way better than a lot of people expected.
Jordan Reed, $5,600, WAS vs. PHI — The Eagles have been stingy against tight ends so far this season, but Jordan Reed is a huge matchup problem and Cousins favorite target. He’s averaging six catches and 80 yards a game. Those are wide receiver numbers.
Eric Ebron, $$5,100, DET at SEA — The Seahawks are the third-worst team against the tight end, according to DVOA, and they’ve allowed 61.8 yards per game to them, one of the highest totals in the NFL this season. And Ebron is already third on the Lions in targets and yards and leads with two TDs.
Tyler Eifert, $5,700, CIN vs. KC — Eifert didn’t record a catch on three targets on Sunday, however, he had a touchdown called back. That would have been his fourth touchdown of the season, giving him a touchdown in every contest. The Bengals feed him the ball, especially in the red zone, as evidenced by his two-touchdown game in week 1. The Chiefs have been very effective against the tight end so far this season, but they haven’t faced one that is as much of a threat as Eifert.
Kyle Rudolph, $5,000, MIN at DEN — If you’re going cheap at TE and Ebron and Clay are just a bit too expensive, Rudolph should work. Denver has been a stout defense so far this season, but they have been susceptible to tight ends. They rank sixth-worst in DVOA against the position. Rudolph has Minnesota’s only receiving touchdown, he leads the team in targets, is tied for first in receptions and is second in receiving yards.
Joseph Lambo, $4,500, SD vs. CLE
Matt Bryant, $4,800, ATL vs. HOU
Dan Carpenter, $4,900, BUF vs. NYG
Brandon McManus, $4,900, DEN vs. MIN
Adam Vinatieri, $4,900, IND vs. JAX
Matt Prater, $4,500, DET at SEA
Zach Hocker, $4,500, NO vs. DAL
Denver Broncos vs. Minnesota
Atlanta Falcons vs. Houston
New York Jets vs. Miami
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco
Indidanapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville
St. Louis Rams vs. Arizona