After a two week sample size, there are many fluctuations in value as compared to Preseason perceptions. The players below can be owned at relative bargains, especially when looking to fill the final spots of your lineups with a limited budget.
The goal here is to identify players at the low-end of their average price ranges to fit other high priced talent into your $50,000 salary cap.
Russell Wilson, DEN @ SEA, $6,800 – Wilson has been a consistent play scoring 2 TDs in each of the first 2 games, while averaging over 18 PPG. Although he does not tend to mount high attempt totals, he is efficient with his throws and has posted a 114.7 passer rating, good for 3rd in the NFL. At 15th on the QB salary list, Wilson is $2000 less than his Week 3 opponent, Peyton Manning. If the Seahawks fall behind early it should only increase his passing numbers. He has potential to post his best game of the season this week, returning home after a surprising loss to the Chargers.
Wes Welker, DEN @ SEA, $5,600 – The league just announced changes to its drug policy which will lift Welker’s 4-game ban and allow him to suit up this weekend. It has been a tough start for Welker who suffered a concussion in Preseason Week 3 and then received word of his suspension for substance abuse. With all of that behind him, he can finally focus on football and making an impact in the slot for the Broncos. The way Peyton Manning operates, Welker could be heavily targeted early and post some nice PPR numbers. At 20th on the list you do not need to pay much for his productivity.
Victor Cruz, HOU @ NYG, $5,200 – Cruz and the Giants have gotten off to a tough start this year at 0-2 and return home to try to right the ship. As a new team captain, Cruz has extra pressure to elevate his game and is more capable than the player who dropped 3 balls last week. In his first 2 seasons, he averaged roughly 84 receptions 1,300 yards and 10 TDs. Now in his 4th season, he has not scored a TD since last September. He is far too talented for this streak to last much longer and is due for a breakout game. At this price it could be worth the risk.
Zach Ertz, WAS @ PHI, $5,200 – Surpassing longtime starter Brent Celek for playing time in Week 2, Ertz was on the field for 76% of the team’s snaps. After drafting him at the beginning of the 2nd round last year, it was only a matter of time before he was featured, and it appears that time is now. He has gone for over 75 yards in each of his first 2 contests, with a TD in Week 1. He is a big target for Nick Foles over the middle, and with all the drops on Monday from Jeremy Maclin, Jordan Matthews, and Riley Cooper, his targets should continue to grow. At 9th on the TE list, it might not be long until Ertz cracks the Top 5.
Pierre Thomas, MIN @ NO, $4,900 – The Saints backfield has been a committee approach for a long time, but Thomas has been the primary option recent years when healthy. Last season in the passing game alone, he caught 77 balls for over 500 yards and 3 TDs. These receiving numbers are even more impressive when you factor in the 71 catches that came from Darren Sproles, who signed with the Eagles this offseason. With Mark Ingram breaking his hand, Thomas is set to inherit anywhere from 5 to 10 extra carries per game. At 28th overall and $3,000 less than the top RB, his receiving abilities alone warrant starting consideration. He should be very involved as the Saints look to rebound at home after a bad late game loss to the Browns.
5 More to Consider
Tony Romo, DAL @ STL, $6,500
Percy Harvin, DEN @ SEA, $5,400
Matt Asiata, MIN @ NO, $4,600
Kyle Rudolph, MIN @ NO, $4,200
Justin Hunter, TEN @ CIN, $3,600