Not that we wanted to play Odell Beckham Jr. or Brandon Marshall against Denver this week, but I would have liked the option to! Yes, injuries continue to pile up quickly. What else is new? We also have the Seahawks, Cowboys, Bengals, and Bills on bye this week. Those teams feature a few really solid running backs and wide receivers that we’ll miss this week. The absence of all of these studs make paying up for the high performers even more appealing this week. To do so, we’ll need to find some value elsewhere. That is exactly what I’m looking to help you with here.
These are players who could be valuable and help you with roster construction. They are NOT players you’re necessarily targeting, but rather the players that allow you to target the best plays on the board. They are also the ones that may provide low ownership, thus making them good tournament plays. Let’s reach into the bargain bin and see what we have for this week!
Ben Roethlisberger, at KC
DraftKings: $5,700 | FanDuel: $7,400
Big Ben has been pretty terrible through five weeks. This is not a play of confidence, but it’s one that could win you a GPP. Ownership will be off of him, he has obvious high upside, and the Chiefs give up the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks. I wouldn’t have high exposure to Big Ben, but make sure you at least throw him into a small GPP.
Case Keenum, vs. GB
DraftKings: $5,000 | FanDuel: $6,700
Keenum will be starting for the injured Sam Bradford against an exploitable Packers secondary. The loss of Diggs certainly hurts, but the Vikings did get Michael Floyd back last week. He’s an obvious downgrade of a receiver, but he could still prove to be useful in this matchup.
Kevin Hogan, at HOU
DraftKings: $4,600 | FanDuel: $6,100
Hogan gets the start over Kizer after impressing last week. To date, the Texans rank 22nd against the pass, so they’re below average. Houston will also be without Watt and Mercilus for the rest of the season, which is a tremendous blow to the pass rush. For a price like $4,600 on DraftKings, Hogan doesn’t need to do much to hit value.
Alvin Kamara, vs. DET
DraftKings: $4,500 | FanDuel: $5,800
Buh bye, Adrian Peterson! This frees up more snaps for the talented rookie, and in what seems to be a high-scoring affair, he should get in on the action.
Samaje Perine, vs. SF
DraftKings: $4,400 | FanDuel: $4,900
Perine will be given most of the touches out of the backfield against the defense who gives up the most points to opposing running backs. He’s been disappointing when given the opportunity so far, but I think he finds the end zone in this one.
Jerick McKinnon, vs. GB
DraftKings: $4,100 | FanDuel: $5,600
Like I’ve said since I first saw Latavius Murray play in Oakland, he is not a good football player. Suddenly, Dalvin Cook goes down and everyone rushes to pick him up or play him. Me? I happily played as much Jerick McKinnon as I could last week, and I was very happy with the decision. His price is still too low, and even though I don’t love the matchup, I’m playing him. I don’t expect many yards on the ground, but they’ll need to pass to keep up with the Packers in this one. McKinnon will see his fair share of looks through the air.
Taylor Gabriel, vs. MIA
DraftKings: $4,600 | FanDuel: $5,800
The speedster sees an increased role this week with Sanu out of action. You also have to like the matchup at home against Miami. Gabriel is another possible GPP winner this week.
John Brown, vs. TB
DraftKings: $4,500 | FanDuel: $6,300
His on-field role is growing every single week, as he works back into form after injury. The Cardinals aren’t suddenly going to be a run-first team with the addition of Peterson. They will still want to pass a lot, especially in this matchup. The Bucs give up the most points to wide receivers, and this could be another rough week for the Tampa secondary.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, at KC
DraftKings: $3,600 | FanDuel: $5,200
If you’re looking for a cheap GPP stack, Big Ben and JuJu could be a fun one. He should see a lot of coverage from Gaines in the slot, which is a matchup he can win. If I’m picking a Steelers receiver to play this week, it’ll be him.
Michael Floyd, vs. GB
DraftKings: $3,500 | FanDuel: $4,500
I mentioned him a bit earlier when talking about his quarterback. Do I love him as a player? No, but opportunity often outweighs talent in fantasy. With Diggs out for this game, you know Dom Capers and the Packers will cheat over towards Thielen when they can. Thielen burnt them for 243 yards over two games last season, and trust me, they haven’t forgot about it. This could lead to some soft coverage on Floyd that he could take advantage of. Like I’ve said a few times in this article, I wouldn’t have high exposure to him, but he’s worth a tournament play.
Ryan Griffin, vs. CLE
DraftKings: $4,000 | FanDuel: $4,500
The Browns are atrocious against tight ends yet again this season, giving up the second-most points to the position in the league. I think his price on DraftKings reflects his opportunity this week, but that FanDuel price may be too good to pass up. I’m not sure why they’d make the starting tight end against the Browns be priced at minimum, but Griffin on FanDuel is the perfect representation of what this article is all about.
Austin Hooper, vs. MIA
DraftKings: $3,500 | FanDuel: $4,800
The Dolphins give up the sixth-most points to tight ends, and much like Gabriel, Hooper sees a boost with Sanu out.
George Kittle, at WAS
DraftKings: $3,400 | FanDuel: $5,300
Coming off a breakout performance of seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, the 49ers will see if they can get Kittle involved again early. While Washington has a pretty solid defense, they do give up the third-most points to tight ends.
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