When playing in tournaments, it’s vital we find those “diamond in the rough” players to help us gain an edge over the rest of the field. In this article, I’ll point out some players that you may normally glaze over as you build your lineups. These players are in no particular order. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Alex Smith ($5,400)
One of the great minds on the DraftKings website is Adam Levitan. He states that he rarely pays up at the quarterback position when building his lineup. So if we’re taking that mentality into this week’s slate of games, I present to you, Alex Smith. Smith has been solid this season, even with the limited ceiling that he possesses. During the regular season, Smith only exceeded 300+ passing yards once and that came all the way back on week four against the Bengals. On average, he checks in with 216 passing yards. Doesn’t sound awfully enticing, but he does also get you some rushing yards as well. Smith averages 30 rushing yards per game and went in for a touchdown twice. With Jeremy Maclin most likely missing this contest, the Chiefs are going to have to get creative with their offense in this one. I fully expect Smith to be low owned and could grab you an edge for points while everyone else collects theirs at quarterback from the likes of Carson Palmer and Tom Brady.
Spencer Ware ($4,500)
Another player on the Chiefs that I think will go overlooked. Charcandrick West is perceived as the lead back in the Chiefs offense, but it’s been Ware who’s been getting the goal line looks. Ware has scored seven touchdowns on the season compared to the five that West has. Ware even out-touched West last week 18-8. I could fully see West seeing more targets than he’s used to this week and Ware carrying the bulk of the loads in this week. Ware will also save you $1,000 compared to West as they both check in at $4,500 and $5,500 respectively.
Fred Jackson ($3,500)
Jackson isn’t even listed as the lead back in the Seahawks offense, but it’s the receiving game that has me intrigued. If Marshawn Lynch misses this game, Christine Michael should once again carry the bulk of the load for the Seahawks. In his last two games, Michael has rushed for 172 yards on 39 carries. That’s all well and good, but everyone and their mother knows that Michael is the lead back. With Jackson, you’re saving $1,100 on your salary cap and someone who’s seen his fair share of targets as of late. Since Lynch was injured in week 10, Jackson is averaging 3.3 targets per game. Yes, I realize that’s not a lot, but if we tighten this up a bit, Jackson is seeing 4.6 over his last three. Again, it’s not huge, but in a tournament, if Jackson can turn one of those opportunities into something, you’ll strike gold here at the price of $3,500.
J.J. Nelson ($3,000)
If you aren’t a Cardinals fan, you more than likely haven’t even heard of Nelson this season. That’s quite ok, as unfortunately for him, the depth on the Cardinals offense has him riding the pine the majority of the time. However, when the opportunities have come for Nelson, boy has he made them count. In the four games this season where Nelson has had at least one reception, he’s averaging 74.75 yards per game with two touchdowns. With that being said, this is about as risky of a pick as you can get as he hasn’t seen a reception in four weeks. In a tournament, it’s a huge play from a guy like Nelson that can completely put you ahead of so many teams that wouldn’t have Nelson. Truly, he could go under 2% owned this week. Are you willing to take a shot?
Emmanuel Sanders ($5,800)
Usually, when we think about the offense for the Broncos, it comes down to one man, Demaryius Thomas and rightfully so. With Thomas averaging 11 targets per game, he should be very heavily owned this week. But let’s not forget about Sanders. Even with the mix of quarterbacks this season, Sanders is still averaging 9.1 targets and 75.7 yards per game. Believe it or not, Sanders also only has one less touchdown than Thomas this season at six. If you’re planning on taking the Broncos defense, you might want to get Sanders in that lineup as well. With the potential for him to break away and return a special teams TD, we always welcome the opportunity to double dip in points.
Jared Abbrederis ($3,000)
With injuries come opportunities. So for our next contestant on the Price is Right, we’re calling down Jared Abbrederis! With Davante Adams potentially missing this contest, Abbrederis should one again be featured in the weeks game. Last week against the Redskins, Abbrederis was targeted four times catching two of those for 14 yards. It wasn’t a huge game for him, but with Randall Cobb seeing Patrick Peterson this week, we could see more opportunities for Abbrederis.