Everyone knows the high priced stars that they’d love to load their lineups with, but you’ll need low-priced value plays to make it all work. Let’s look at who that might be for Week 15.
First, let’s see what did and didn’t work in Week 14.
THINGS THAT WORKED IN WEEK 14
Huge week for the Value Plays last week. If you read this piece and played some of these guys as your value, you made out like masked bandits. Congrats!
1) Ryan Fitzpatrick – 24.82 – FitzMagic was money in the bank, literally, last week. He’s so good, it’s a wonder he’s still down here in our area.
2) Tim Hightower – 16.50 – Jumped up off the couch and scored a touchdown and grabbed about a thousand carries for the min salary.
3) Doug Baldwin and Ted Ginn – 32.2 and 29.50 – These guys have been in my column so long, they feel like family. And fam went off in Week 14.
4) St. Louis Rams – 13.0 – The Jags defense really went off, though (10x their 2.3K salary), but once again, the ‘punt the defense’ strategy worked like a champ.
THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK IN WEEK 14
1) Shaun Draughn – 7.10 – Still dominated the backfield for the Niners, who were stuck in the mud against the Browns.
2) Anquan Boldin – 4.2 – Yeah, and their passing game wasn’t any good, either.
3) DeVante Parker – 3.6 – Couldn’t keep it going, even as Miami abandoned the run in the second half.
4) Austin Seferian-Jenkins – 6.1 – Didn’t get the big jump in action, playing only 25 snaps, four more than Week 13.
As always, values are 5.5K and below for QBs, under 5K for RB/WR, under 4K for TE and under 3K for defenses. Contact me with any questions on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.
Let’s get to Week 15!
(Stats per FootballOutsiders, ProFootballFocus, FantasyLabs, teamrankings and numberfire)
Philip Rivers ($5,500) – I feel obligated to put him in here based on three things: 1. No team attempts more passes per game than San Diego and they are 3rd in passing play percentage. 2. The Dolphins are bottom ten in pass defense this season and are reeling. 3. QBs that drop over $1,000 in a month have some serious positive correlation with production moving forward. So, I guess you’re in, Phil, congrats.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,400) – You think I’m going to let a little thing like the Cowboys stop me from placing FitzMagic in here again this week? Three straight weeks of upper 20s DK points, solid offensive line protection and Marshall/Decker to throw to. The Cowboys do slow things down (6th fewest opp. plays per game), but Fitz doesn’t need much to do his stuff, as the Titans, who he just vanquished, allows even fewer opponent plays per game than the Cowboys.
Ryan Tannehill ($5,100) – Personal feelings about their use of Lamar Miller aside, San Diego has a bottom ten pass defense, and the Fins seem convinced they need to prove to America that their investment in Tannehill was not a mistake, so he’s going to get his chances to score. Also, Chargers have the fourth highest opponent plus/minus to the QB position.
Tim Hightower ($3,900) – Surprisingly, I don’t adore the matchup against the Lions, because the Lions aren’t a complete pushover against the run as they are the pass and, obviously, Hightower is no Todd Gurley. But hey, if the Saints are going to pull the guy up off the couch and give him 28 carries and now he’s in a game total of 51, at home, and the Saints are favored, I’m not going to leave him off a value plays list for 3.9K.
Brandon Bolden ($3,200) – The question is this: Does Bolden just get the carries when he’s filling in because he’s been there and can step in quick during a game without much practice run with the first team? Well, I’m putting him in here anyway because who’s left and also the Titans have been inconsistent with stopping the run this season. Lastly, the Patriots are favored by 14 against the Titans, so you have to think they’ll lean on their guy here.
Fozzy Whittaker ($3,000) – He made value last week, coming off the bench when needed. So this week he gets a team total of 26.8, a positive point spread and, at least, the starter’s share of running back carries. Sure, Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton may score, but Fozzy doesn’t need much to make good on min salary and the opportunity and opponent (Giants are in the bottom half of the league against the run), and he should provide enough to get there.
Frank Gore ($4,000) – How sad that I didn’t immediately fire up DeMarco Murray, who has dropped to 4K also, but given the choices between Gore, who is still getting between 75-80 percent of the snaps in Indianapolis, and Murray, who has seen 39 of 138 snaps the last two weeks in Philly, I have to pick Gore. Gore has delivered 3x this salary in eight out of the last 11 weeks and, as just described, is still dominating that backfield.
Anquan Boldin ($3,900) – He’s flopped two weeks in a row, so you can call this his last chance here, but to be honest, I’ll probably have him up here again. The reason? He’s still leads the team in targets, plays every snap and gets cheaper every week. Also, a very meh week out there on the WR Value Plays front.
Michael Floyd ($4,400) – Floyd is playing very well and has games of 12 and nine targets the last two weeks, leading to back to back 100 yard games and the end zone last week. There’s a 50.5 game total, also, that makes him an interesting play this week as well.
Stefon Diggs ($4,000) – Diggs played every single snap last week, gets a positive matchup with week against Kyle Fuller and the average Bears pass defense, and his salary has dropped $1,000 over the last month, a positive correlation with production for this week.
Nate Washington ($3,400) – Nate played 44 of 51 snaps last week, second most among WR and gets a plus matchup against the Colts, who as a team is bottom ten against the pass, and individually against Greg Toler.
Dontrelle Inman ($3,000) – Some good factors here for Inman, assuming he’s going this week as he’s back to practice and Stevie Johnson is not. One is the Phil Rivers Factor, as described above. Two is the lack of targets for Phil to go to, leaving Inman in play as a major factor in the passing game. Three is his min salary goodness, as he won’t need much to pass value and has the huge upside to crush it.
Eric Ebron ($3,000) – Ebron is a unicorn, but the Saints are still the worst against the tight end, the game total is 51 and the Lions, throw, throw, throw. It won’t take much to bring the unicorn into the value column this week.
Zach Ertz ($3,200) – The Cardinals are tough on tight ends, but Ertz played over 60 snaps last week and the Eagles are likely going to have to throw to keep up with Arizona. The game total is a healthy 50.5 for this one and Ertz has 25 targets over the last four weeks.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($3,400) – Still getting six targets per game despite the low snap counts as he works his way back into game shape. The Bucs clearly need him as a target and may get even more with Vincent Jackson set to miss this game.
New Orleans Saints ($2,000) – You can take your shots against the Lions, as the Rams proved last week. The Lions have given up a lot of sacks, and Stafford can be erratic, as we all know.
Indianapolis Colts ($2,000) – T.J. Yates behind a shaky pass protection line with a min salary to boot.