Last week, I bottomed out at Draft Kings. I missed out on the $1 games and spent $5 on a tournament and my account fell to zero.
I have had quite a bit of success at Draft Kings and Yahoo, so I took some of the winnings from there and put $25 in my FanDuel account. I’ve already locked in a handful of cash games for Sunday so I won’t make the same mistake.
I’ve been playing this game long enough, I should have a better routine. Well, that’s another column for another time. This column is about sleepers and values that should help us turn a profit this week on FanDuel.
Over the course of the week I talk about all of the players I use in my lineups at Draft Kings, Yahoo and FanDuel. It’s a cumulative thing, so check out our matchups posts and rankings and on Sunday I’ll post my tournament-only and GPP plays of the week.
This week there are a pile of interesting plays, especially if some of these injuries pan out certain ways. We can’t rely too heavily on them, so you’ll want to double check those aforementioned Sunday articles and our final rankings which will also post Sunday.
My confidence continues to grow in our system, however it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
- 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 8.
- 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.
All of that said, I’ve been wagering almost 50% of my bankroll at Draft Kings this year and an even higher percentage at FanDuel, apparently. I’ve had quite a bit of success, thanks in large part to the amount of work I’m doing for you, Ninja. Thank you. I hope you’ve taken advantage and grown your bankroll here early in the season.
Here are my FanDuel sleepers and value plays for this week.
E.J. Manuel, $5,500, BUF vs. CIN — Manuel is my quarterback in my only Thursday FanDuel lineup. He is 0.2% owned which means it’s me and maybe one other guy who has him. Here’s why you might consider Manuel today: Nobody, NOBODY, is going to roster him, making him a contrarian play. It’ll cost you more to roster Matt Moore and Matt Flynn than Manuel. Manuel needs like 150 yards and a touchdown for you to be happy and he gives you $2,000-$3,000 extra to work into other spots. Tyrod Taylor, who is still questionable and could start as of this writing, has proven there can be fantasy goodness on this offense.
Teddy Bridgewater, $6,600, MIN vs. KC — Bridgewater is a little more expensive but is still an extreme value. One of the concerns with Bridgewater is the amount of work Adrian Peterson is sure to get. This is a run-first offense.
Carson Palmer, $8,000, ARI at PIT — Over the last two seasons, 11 games, Palmer is averaging 267 yards, 2.2 touchdowns and .5 interceptions a game. Those are Tom Brady/Aaron Rodgers numbers. But you get them at a $1,100 price break.
Eli Manning, $7,800, NYG at PHI — This Giants-Eagles game has the third-highest projected total of the week. Manning has the most elite receiver in the game, a handful of other weapons and the Giants like to throw the ball around the end zone.
Andy Dalton, $7,600, CIN at BUF — Dalton is the top fantasy quarterback of the season. The Bills haven’t been able to stop quarterbacks. Yes, Buffalo is at home, but Dalton is still a play until he proves us otherwise.
Brian Hoyer, $6,700, HOU at JAC — The projected score in this one is low, so the ceiling isn’t very high. Hoyer is more of a cash game play, but if he hooks up with DeAndre Hopkins for 200 yards and a couple touchdowns, he doesn’t need to throw it to many more times to put up an elite score.
Danny Woodhead, $6,000, SD at GB — Woodhead is a key component in a high-powered pass-heavy offense, at a discounted price.
Dion Lewis, $7,200, NE at IND — Lewis is a much better value at Draft Kings, but he’s still one of the top plays across the industry as long as he is the primary pass-catching back for the Patriots.
Le’Veon Bell, $9,00, PIT vs. ARI — Would Bell appear on this “values” list if his price was $9,500? Maybe. He’s an elite talent who is the primary focus of the offense. Michael Vick limits his top-shelf upside, so I wouldn’t consider him in a tournament.
Duke Johnson, $5,900, CLE vs. DEN — Johnson is second on the team in rushing yards and third or tied for third in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He’s the lowest-priced player on this running backs list.
Arian Foster, $8,500, HOU at JAC — Guess who had 29 touches last week, is off the injury report and gets to face the Jaguars this week?
Eddie Lacy, $7,300, GB vs. SD — Lacy struggled to start last season too. This week he gets the best matchup he could have asked for. I expect a big week for Lacy.
Theo Riddick, $5,000, DET vs. CHI — While we’re waiting around for Ameer Abdullah to come around, Riddick is second on the team in receptions and third or tied for third in receiving yards, targets and receptions.
Anthony Dixon, $4,600, BUF vs. CIN — LeSean McCoy is probably, but Karlos Williams is out. After disappointing last week, Dixon will be low-owned and could put up serviceable numbers, which is all you need at his current salary — he costs less than Foswhitt Whitaker and Ka’Deem Carey. If he gets in the end zone twice, he gives you a tournament-winning performance.
Larry Fitzgerald, $7,500, ARI at PIT — Hey, guess who’s getting a ton of targets and doing a lot with them? It’s a theme for these great WRs in the $7,000-$7,900 range.
Mike Wallace, $5,400, MIN vs. KC — Like Bridgewater above, Wallace has a plus matchup this week, the only downside is the amount of work Adrian Peterson might get. Still, Wallace should be low-owned in tournaments and could make for an interesting stack this week.
Allen Robinson, $6,700, JAC vs. HOU — Robinson should be in that $7,000-$7,600 range like the WRs above but he’s still only $5,900. So Robinson must be considered regardless of matchup for cash and tournament lineups.
Kendall Wright, $5,800, TEN vs. MIA — Wright was part of the first stacked lineup I put together this week. I like pairing him and Mariota against the Dolphins, who are one of the five least-efficient offenses in the NFL, according to DVOA.
Julian Edelman, $7,600, NE at IND — Edelman may compete with Hopkins for that most-owned crown. Again, tons of targets and catches here. The big difference is that the Patriots are expected to score 10 more real football points, making Edelman more likely to get in the end zone.
Jordan Matthews, $6,600, PHI vs. NYG — I think just about everyone could see this Eagles-Giants game turn into a shootout. If that happens, Matthews is one of the players I want on my roster. Even if it’s not a shootout, Matthews leads the fast-paced Eagles offense in catches by 12 and in targets by nearly 20. That’s a lot of volume for a player that costs $1,000 less than Edelman and $900 less than Fitzgerald.
DeAndre Hopkins, $8,500, HOU at JAC — Tons of targets=fantasy points, in Hopkins case. He’s not as good a value at FanDuel as he is at Draft Kings, but Hopkins should still be one of the most-owned players of the week because of the matchup with Jacksonville.
A.J. Green, $8,100, CIN at BUF — I love this matchup for both Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. Like Hopkins, Green isn’t as good a value at FanDuel, but he’s one of the wide receivers in the $8,000+ price range I’m considering this week.
James Jones, $6,600, GB vs. SD — Jones is strictly a tournament play because his points have come mostly on long touchdowns, but like Matthews, his price is so low and his offense is so good he should be one of your top considerations. He is questionable, so stay on top of the injury report.
Allen Hurns, $5,000, JAC vs. HOU — I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Blake Bortles, Robinson, Hurns lineup win a big tournament this season. Hurns, like his teammate Robinson is too low-priced to ignore, but I consider him more of a tournament play.
Antonio Gates, $5,500, SD at GB — Gates returned with authority last week. I don’t expect another 85 yards and two touchdowns this week, but it’s possible. At the least he should easily pay off his salary.
Martellus Bennett, $5,800, CHI at DET — As long as Jay Cutler is the quarterback and Bennett is nearly $3,000 cheaper than the No. 1 TE, he’s a great value.
Richard Rodgers, $5,100, GB vs. SD — After Andrew Quarless’ sprained MCL, Rodgers is the last man standing in Green Bay’s tight end ranks. He is already second on the team in targets (25), tied for second in catches (19), third in receiving yards (155) and tied for third in receiving touchdowns (2). Considering his near minimum price, we have to consider Rodgers.
Delanie Walker, $5,400, TEN vs. MIA — Like I said above, I like this matchup for Mariota and the Tennessee passing game, but more in tournaments than in cash games. Like a lot of players in this column, he is second on his team in catches, yards and targets and tied for third in receiving touchdowns.
Kyle Rudolph, $5,000,MIN vs. KC — Rudolph makes a very sneaky play this week because the Chiefs have allowed so many fantasy points to quarterbacks and he is second on the Vikings in receptions, targets and receiving yards and tied for first in receiving touchdowns. After having five catches the first two weeks, he only had two each of the last two and saw his targets drop from 7 to 5 and 4. that means he has a very low floor but a potentially high ceiling.
Early rankings | Final rankings
Robbie Gould, $4,500, CHI at DET
Justin Tucker, $4,800, BAL at SF
Dan Carpenter, $4,600, BUF vs. CIN
Matt Prater, $4,500, DET vs. CHI
Brandon McManus, $4,800, DEN at CLE
There are a lot of potential defense options this week, including some super cheap options. I’ll probably go mostly with the Jets, Broncos and Packers, but in terms of values, this is how they rank:
New York Jets, $4,800, vs WAS
Minnesota Vikings, $4,500, vs. KC
Denver Broncos, $5,000, at CLE
Seattle Seahawks, $5,000 vs. CAR
Cincinnati Bengals, $4,700, at BUF
Green Bay Packers, $4,700, vs. SD
Arizona Cardinals, $5,000, at PIT