A lot of good teams are on their byes this week which makes the player pool for the late slate of games pretty interesting. There is a nice mixture of high and low priced players this week. Once again, the defensive options are not great, but the other positions provide some nice options. Without further ado, here are some players I like this week:
Drew Brees, New Orleans, $9,300 – Brees has not been nearly as good as expected this season. What better way for Brees to get on track then a prime-time game against the Dallas defense. The Cowboys have made strides in their rushing D, but they still have major secondary issues. Dallas ranks 21st against QB this season; I think Brees finally tops 20 points this week.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville, $5,800 – Yes, I am going with a cheap option this week at quarterback. You know that anyone at this price range is a huge risk. Bortles, however did score 17.92 points last week in a partial game. Jacksonville is bad, and their defense is a major issue. While that is not good for the Jaguars as a team, it is a good thing for Bortles. He will be throwing a lot to try and keep up with the Chargers offense. By the way, the Chargers rank 25th against opposing quarterbacks this season.
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City, $7,400 – If Charles is out then use Knile Davis instead but all indications are Charles will play. Charles is a risk, and it is tough to take a risk on a player priced that high. If you are brave, I do think there is nice profit potential from Charles. New England has not done very well against running backs this season – 22nd so far against running backs – and the Chiefs seemed to realize last week that if they run a lot, they win.
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, $7,000 – Let’s be clear, the matchup is not why I like McCoy this week. Despite all of San Francisco’s problems this season, they have been tough against opposing running backs – 5th best this season against running backs. I think that Philadelphia is going to make sure they get the ball in McCoy’s hands this week both on the ground and through the air. Maybe it is a gut call, but I really like McCoy this week.
Donald Brown, San Diego, $5,400 – No team has been worse against running backs than Jacksonville has been. On top of that, Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead are out, so Brown’s only competition for touches at running back are Braden Oliver and Shaun Draughn – It is fine if you have never heard of either guy, most people have not. So, we have a guy who has been a solid running back, who is going to get a lot of touches, facing a horrible D. Sign me up!
Matt Asiata, Minnesota, $4,500 – Asiata is far from the most talented back in the league, but he is the Vikings starter for now. He has also topped ten points in both of his starts, so you are pretty much guaranteed double value. Atlanta is bad against opposing running backs too – they rank 30th against RB this season. I like Asiata if you want a cheap RB option this week.
Dez Bryant, Dallas, $7,900 – Raise your hand if you think that the Dallas vs. New Orleans game will be a defensive struggle… No one? Well, they do say there is wisdom in crowds. The Saints have issues against receivers – ranked 26th against WR so far in 2014 – and Dez Bryant is one of the best wide receivers around. I would be shocked if Bryant did not provide triple value this week.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia, $6,300 – San Francisco has been very tough against running backs, but very bad against wide receivers – they rank 29th so far against wide receivers. Maclin has been great this season, the 49ers have struggled against receivers, and Philadelphia defense cannot stop opposing offenses. To me, that is the formula for a big game from Maclin this week.
Cecil Shorts III, Jacksonville, $5,000 – We have already discussed the fact that the Jaguars defense is bad so they will be throwing a lot. Shorts should see a lot of targets from Bortles this week. Staying healthy is an issue for Shorts, but you only need him healthy this week; for $5,000 Shorts is a nice bargain.
Malcom Floyd, San Diego, $3,600 — If you want to go really cheap at wide receiver this week, yet still have the potential for a big game, then Malcom Floyd is the guy for you. Floyd has game of 15 and 11 points this season. He is also averaging over 24 yards per reception this season – he did in 2013 too. So, why is Floyd so cheap? His other game this season was zero points in a game in which he played 71 snaps, he also is not a guy who is going to get you eight receptions in a game. Risk/Reward, thy name is Malcom Floyd this week.
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, $7,500 — I think it is safe to say everyone expected a bigger game from Graham than six receptions for 54 yards at home, against the Vikings. The silver lining in the sub-par game in week three is Graham is only $7,500 this week. Graham draw the Dallas D which has been horrible against tight ends this season; last week St. Louis tight ends – Jered Cook and Lance Kendricks — had 13 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown against the Cowboys. I expect a big game from Graham this week.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City, $3,700 – There is no truth to the rumor that I am considering changing the title of the “Affordable TE” section to the “Travis Kelce” section. What can I say, I think the guy is way underpriced. In week one he provided better than double value, in week two he provided quadruple value, last week he provided better than triple value. New England has been tough against opposing tight ends this season, but I still like Kelce this week.
New England, $3,500 – Kansas City’s offense has not been very good. Alex Smith has already thrown three interceptions in 102 pass attempts. Their best running back in hurting too. The Patriots are very good at taking away their opponent’s strength which for the Chiefs is their running game. When Alex Smith is forced to win games, he struggles, presses and turns the ball over.
Kansas City, $2,800 – New England’s offense managed 16 points, at home, against Oakland last week. The Raiders managed two sacks in that game – as many as they had in their other two games combined. Despite the Chiefs struggles this season, they have one of the best home field advantages in the league; this game will be played and ArrowHead on Monday Night Football so the crowd will be fired up. The Chiefs are a pretty good option if you want to save money to spend at other positions this week.
It should be an interesting week, good luck with your teams. You can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.