The NFL has seen fit to schedule a whole four games with kick off later than 4 PM Eastern this week. While I know that I prefer a larger player pool to chose from, there is nothing that we can do about the schedule, it is what it is. I guess the consolation is that the smaller player pool also means you have to research fewer players? To help you with your research, here are some of the players I like this week:
Jay Cutler, Chicago, $8,100 — Only one team has allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks this season than the New York Jets have. Sure, the Jets faced Aaron Rodgers last week, but week one they allowed Derek Carr to score 13.94 points against them. Even with his stud receivers not at 100%, Cutler against the Jets is a nice play this week.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami, $6,300 – Speaking of over 13 points, Tannehill has scored over 13 fantasy points in both of his games this season. This week he faces a generous Kansas City defense – so far they rank 26th against opposing quarterbacks. You should not be expecting a huge game if you take Tannehill, yet you would be reasonable to expect a double return on your investment in him.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle, $7,900 – Denver did a very good stopping Lynch in the Super Bowl, holding him to only 2.6 yards per carry. This is not the Super Bowl, and it is also a different Broncos defense. Despite Jamaal Charles having only two rushing attempts last week, Denver allowed Kansas City 133 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns.
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh, $7,300 — Carolina has a good defense for sure, but they have been slightly below average against running backs this season. Even if Bell is shut down on the ground, he is likely to earn value as a receiver as he has already had 11 receptions this season. As with many of the late options this week, Bell is not likely to provide a huge profit, but is a pretty good bet to provide double value.
Lamar Miller, Miami, $5,000 — Miller is an opportunity selection. Kansas City might be 0-2, but it has nothing to do with their rushing defense which has been the 7th toughest against opposing running backs this season. With Knowshon Moreno out, Miller is going to see a lot of touches. I like getting a starting running back who is going to get the majority of his team’s touches for only $5,000.
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina, $4,000 – Even if DeAngelo Williams plays this week, Stewart is going to get a decent work-load. I like Stewart much more if Williams is out; if Williams plays, Stewart is still a decent play. He is more likely to see goal line carries than Williams is and Pittsburgh just does not have a very good defense.
Brandon Marshall, Chicago, $8,300 — For a guy not 100%, Marshall sure looked good against San Francisco. Marshall should be closer to full strength this week, just in time to face a New York Jets D that has been the most generous to opposing wide receivers this season. $8,300 is a lot for a receiver, but Marshall is worth it given the match up.
Mike Wallace, Miami, $5,800 — Kansas City has not been as generous to opposing wide receiver as the Jets have been, but are still well below average – ranking 25th so far on the season. Wallace is averaging over 18 fantasy points per game this season; for a $5,800 price tag, he seems like a very good bargain to me this week.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona, $4,800 – My cutoff for affordable at wide receiver was $5,000 this week — though I could easily argue that Wallace is affordable for $5,800. I like Fitzgerald slightly more if Carson Palmer plays, even if Palmer is out though, Fitzgerald is not a bad option. San Francisco has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Last season, Fitzgerald managed 12 receptions for 230 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers; last season the 49ers D looked much better than it has thus far this year.
Brian Hartline, Miami, $3,700 – What can I say? I am a sucker for guys I know will get me some points. Hartline is one of those guys, even in a bad game you can pretty much bank on four fantasy points. While he is unlikely to have a huge game, it is not out of the realm of possibilities given his match up. Hartline is a solid low-risk/medium-reward play this week.
Julius Thomas, Denver, $6,600 – Thomas is clearly trending down. He went from seven to four receptions from week one to week two and from three to one touchdown. Do not look for the trend to continue. Yes, Thomas is facing Seattle. You know, the Seahawks D that just allowed Antonio Gates to catch three touchdowns? Thomas is not a sure thing, but I would not be afraid to use him this week.
Zach Miller, Seattle, $3,000 – It is very risky recommending a guy coming of a one reception for 22 yards game — which is what Miller did in week two. The reason he is on this list is because he is facing the Denver defense. Denver has allowed the most yards to opposing tight ends this season – 215 yards in two games. As with most of the guys on the bargain bin list, Miller is far from a sure thing, yet also provides the potential for profit this week given his match up.
Carolina, $3,300 – Last week the Carolina defense managed 14 fantasy points against a usually potent Detroit offense. In week one, they scored ten points against Tampa Bay. This week they face a Pittsburgh offense that has been pretty generous to opposing defenses having allowed the 8th most fantasy points to the opposition’s D/ST this season.
Miami, $2,800 — Miami was bad last week, in fact, their defense actually would have cost you a point. Seems like a bad play, but the Dolphins did score 11 fantasy points against New England week one, and Kansas City’s offense is the 23rd toughest for opposing D/ST to face. Miami is a risk this week, but worst-case is another -1 point game and they could easily provide triple value.
Despite only four games this week, there are a good number of options at all the positions, both in the expensive and affordable ranges. Good luck in your leagues this week, and if you are looking to follow someone who almost never posts, you can find me on Twitter @STCDub.