Outside of Thursday Night Football, 30 NFL teams will be playing on Sunday and Monday, allowing for numerous options in one-week leagues. Last week I suggested several bargain plays such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shaun Hill, Tre Mason, and Kenny Stills — all of whom worked out quite well.
Out of over 80,000 entries, the $175,000 winner of last Sunday’s Million Dollar contest racked up 252.02 points with the following lineup.
QB – Ryan Fitzpatrick, ($5,000) 8.6 percent owned, 39.32 points
RB – Le’Veon Bell ($9,200) 20.0 percent owned, 35.4 points
RB – Tre Mason ($6,000) 34.7 percent owned, 35.9 points
WR – Demaryius Thomas ($9,400) 6.8 percent owned, 15.3 points
WR – Antonio Brown ($9,200) 22 percent owned, 27.7 points
WR – Kenny Stills ($5,100) 33.6 percent owned, 24.7 points
TE – Coby Fleener ($5,800) 9.3 percent owned, 26.7 points
K – Justin Tucker ($5,000) 7 percent owned, 15 points
DEF – St. Louis Rams ($5,200) 12.6 percent owned, 32 points
Just to prove a winning lineup can be fielded while leaving salary on the table, last week’s optimal (perfect) lineup produced 287.12 points utilizing $58,600 of the $60,000 cap. Receivers included DeAndre Hopkins (40.3), Julio Jones (29.9) and Keenan Allen (29.6).
Look hard enough, and many more bargains can be found this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (HOU) $7,200
I suggested him last week figuring 230 yards and a couple of scores would justify the price tag. Six-Patrick ended up far exceeding all expectations. Houston gets an equally juicy matchup in Jacksonville. Fitzpatrick will be worth his value again.
Matthew Stafford (DET) $8,300
After destroying the Bears for 390 passing yards and two scores on Thanksgiving, Stafford comes back for seconds playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. At $8,300, he can be squeezed in most lineups and comes at a price point below the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson.
Aaron Rodgers (GB) $10,400
You have likely seen the ESPN promos, this could be the week Rodgers drops historic numbers on a lousy Falcons secondary at frigid Lambeau Field. The only negative is owners will have to do like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker slashing the budget with the rest of the squad. But I would give Aaron a run in a cheap tournament format – forget the fire codes, everybody polka!
C.J. Anderson (DEN) $7,800
This is not a good week for running backs. DeMarco Murray and Matt Forte went on Thursday, LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles have been saddled with tough matchups, and Arian Foster has a groin that could pop again at any time. That leaves Anderson, who got heavy usage last week in Kansas City last week as frigid, blustery winds hampered Peyton Manning and the passing game. Buffalo is not an easy draw, but Anderson is the best running back play, especially in 50/50 or Triple Up formats.
Joique Bell (DET) $6,800
Reggie Bush is supposed to be back this week, I will believe it when I see it. Bell will remain in the game plan and I see 70 yards and a possible score. Joique is another good conservative play.
Latavius Murray (OAK) $6,700
Coming off a concussion, look for around 10-12 touches as the Raiders continue to treat Murray with kid gloves. It only took four carries two weeks ago for Murray to rack up 23.2 fantasy points, but the sledding will be tougher against the 49ers.
Andre Williams (NYG) $6,500
Rashard Jennings (ankle) is not looking good as a DNP this week. That would result in Andre and his 2.9 YPC against the Titans bottom-ranked run defense. 60 yards and a score is a reasonable expectation. It is an early kick so there will be clarity come Sunday morning.
Frank Gore (SF) $5,700
Gore has not recorded a 100-yard rushing day since early October, but he starts, draws the Raiders and will get at least 15 carries. Gore definitely works in 50/50 play.
Stepfan Taylor (ARI) $5,500
Announced by HC Bruce Arians as the starter this week over Marion Grice ($5,000) with Andre Ellington now on the shelf. Do not expect tremendous production, but the salary should work if employing a Zero RB approach.
Carlos Hyde (SF) $5,000
Hyde is a lottery ticket for tournament formats. Ideally, the 49ers build a lead and Hyde gives Frank Gore a rest and puts the finishing touches on the Raiders with a couple long fourth quarter runs. Be aware Hyde has been a limited participant in practice this week with a shoulder and the game is obviously a late kickoff. Hyde has appeared slightly better than Gore in recent game, but is still averaging just 3.7 yards a carry.
Josh Gordon (CLE) $8,000
Gordon has 15 receptions for 195 yards over the past two weeks, he remains a bargain in all formats. Odell Beckham ($8,200) is also a good value at a similar price point.
Golden Tate (DET) $7,800
On pace for a 1,500 yard receiving season, Tate makes for a good combo platter if also playing Matthew Stafford.
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) $7,500
Part of last week’s winning combo I would roll with Fitzpatrick and Hopkins again this weekend.
Kenny Stills (NO) $6,400
Stills burned Ike Taylor on a long touchdown en route to 162 receiving yards. Stills is ranked top-20 amongst receivers this week and remains a bargain compared to similarly ranked receivers.
Rob Gronkowski (NE) $7,700
While the likes of Jimmy Graham and Delanie Walker disappointed, Gronkowski continued to role with seven catches for 98 yards. Gronk remains head and shoulders amongst the tight end field.
Jordan Reed (WAS) $5,300
Received strong recommendations on ESPN last Sunday morning and did not disappoint, catching nine passes for 123 yards. Should be a strong budget play.
Connor Barth (DEN) $4,700
Kicked five field goals in his Broncos debut last week, nice work if you can get it. Be aware Brandon McManus has been brought back as a kickoff specialist and its conceivable he could be called on for a long field goal attempt.
Green Bay Packers $5,100
Packers primetime home blowouts usually get punctuated by late defensive or special teams scores. This weeks Monday night game v. Atlanta has that feel.
Minnesota Vikings $5,000
FanDuel players found out last week that points do not get rewarded for blocked kicks returned for touchdowns. Nonetheless, the Vikings should be a strong play at home for a second straight week as Geno Smith and the Jets will be toast on the heated TCF Bank Stadium turf.
Denver Broncos $4,700
The Broncos come in cheap, a nice defense to plug in at a cheap price for a plus home matchup against former Denver QB Kyle Orton.
Tennessee Titans $4,500
A rock-bottom value play, the Titans defense ranks middle of the pack going against the Giants at home.