START: Matt Ryan ($8600) – Ryan is the only quarterback above the $8000 salary range that is playing at home this week, all other quarterbacks will be on the road. Yes, Peyton Manning has a great matchup, probably one of the better matchups this week, but Ryan is $800 cheaper and can easily put Manning like numbers when playing in the Georgia Dome. At home, Ryan is one of the better quarterbacks in the league. He has a 79 to 29 touchdown to interception ratio. His QB rating is 15 points higher at home and his winning percentage is 32 percent higher. It’s clear that there’s a big difference in production when he’s on the road as opposed to when he’s at home. No to mention, this week Ryan faces the Bears defense that is allowing 16.4 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. The Bears are allowing 246 passing yards per game and have allowed nine passing touchdowns. In the two games in Atlanta this season, Ryan has thrown for 734 yards, six touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Look for his success at home to continue this week. So why not pay top dollar to the only elite QB playing at home?
I’d start him over: Peyton Manning $9400, Aaron Rodgers $8400, Matthew Stafford $8200
SIT: Matthew Stafford ($8200) – Since the first week of the season, Stafford has failed to throw for 300+ yards. In the last four games he’s averaging just one touchdown and one interception per game. It could be that his number one receiver isn’t healthy and is having an impact on Stafford’s production. This week there have been reports that Calvin Johnson could miss the game, as well as Reggie Bush. These are two key weapons that Stafford may be without in Week 6. He’s also on the road playing a Vikings defense that is quietly allowing just 13.8 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Stafford’s price this week is not much of a bargain considering the circumstances. All quarterbacks I mentioned below that I would start over Stafford have just as good of a matchup as or better than Stafford, and all average more than him for the exception of Eli which averages about the same.
I’d rather start: Philip Rivers $8200, Jay Cutler $8000, Eli Manning $7800.
START: Russell Wilson ($7600) – If you’re looking for yardage, Wilson is not the quarterback to target. However, if you’re looking for a dynamic quarterback that doesn’t make many mistakes he’s your guy. Last week, Wilson threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown. What makes Wilson particularly valuable is his ability to run the ball. He can score touchdowns with his legs which accounts for six points on Draft Kings. He’s thrown two touchdowns in every game this season and has only thrown one pick the entire year. This week’s matchup is a favorable one. The Cowboys allow 248 passing yards per game and have given up eight touchdown passes this year. Much like Matt Ryan, Wilson plays much better when at home. At home he’s thrown 35 of his 60 career passing touchdowns, just eight of his 20 career touchdowns, and has a QB rating is 111.7. Wilson has yet to score less than 17.88 fantasy points this season. He’s 21.28 fantasy points at home. His floor is high, along with his ceiling, and the price is just right.
I’d start him over: Matthew Stafford $8200, Colin Kaepernick $7200, and Carson Palmer $6800.
SIT: Kirk Cousins ($6700) – Talk about a quarterback that’s all over the place as far as stats. One week he threw 400+ yards, three touchdowns, and a pick. The next he threw 257 yards and four interceptions. Then last week against a very tough defense, Cousins performed well. He threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns without turning the ball over. This week he heads to the west coast to play the Cardinals. Arizona’s defense is dealing with injuries to their front seven, which is a big blow to what they do defensively, but still have a good secondary. The Cardinals have allowed eight passing touchdowns this season, but four were to Peyton Manning in Week 4. Cousins has six touchdowns and five interceptions in three games as a starter. The lack of consistency, price, and, matchup all have to do with fading Cousins. At his current price, there’s not enough value to justify the risk you’re taking.
I’d rather start: Joe Flacco $6700, Ben Roethlisberger $6500, Tom Brady $6000.
SNEAKY START: Ryan Tannenhill ($6100) – Call me crazy for this one, but the Dolphins could be chasing points this weekend. The Dolphins are coming off a bye week, but prior to that, Tannenhill had his best performance of the year in Week 4 against the Raiders. Granted it was against arguably the worst team in the NFL, but nevertheless, it was a good week for Tannenhill. Consistency has been an issue with him throughout his career, along with the deep pass. He’s thrown for multiple touchdowns in two of his four games this season. This week he plays a Packers team that has done fairly well against the pass, but two of their best three defensive games came against Christian Ponder and Geno Smith. Tannenhill is the cheapest QB option on the market. Mike Glennon is cheaper, but has a tougher matchup. If you’re trying to be a contrarian in a GPP and are looking for the cheapest QB that can possibly throw for multiple touchdowns and close to 300 yards this week, Tannenhill is that guy.
START: Matt Forte ($8800) – What do you do when you have one of the better running backs in the league facing the worst run defense in the league? Start him! That’s exactly the case with Forte this week. Yes, you’re paying top dollar, but it’ll be totally worth every penny. Forte has rushed for 319 yards this season with no rushing touchdowns. With that said, he has caught 36 passes for 299 yards and one touchdown. He has at least five receptions in every game and is clearly a focal point in the Bears offense. This week he takes on the Falcons which have allowed the most rushing touchdowns this season (10), nine of which were to running backs. They are also allowing 147.6 rushing yards per game and 27.4 fantasy points to opposing backs. This is one of those perfect matchups that fantasy owners dream of. Sometimes it’s better to avoid the highest paid player in order to build a more complete roster, but this week, feel free to splurge a little on Forte.
I’d start him over: All running backs
SIT: DeMarco Murray ($7600) – Let’s be honest regardless of matchups in a yearly league, you’re starting DeMarco Murray every week. The guy is running better than any other back in the league right now. But, we’re talking about daily leagues and having the freedom to choose any running back you want, so why pay top dollar for a back that has such a tough matchup? Murray leads all running backs in fantasy points per game on Draft Kings with 27.4. His worst game was 25.1 fantasy points. This week he faces a stingy Seahawks run defense. In fact it’s the best run defense in the NFL. They are allowing the smallest amount of yards per game (62.3), have only allowed one rushing touchdown this season, and allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Keep in mind they have played backs such as; Eddie Lacy, Ryan Mathews, Monte Ball, and Alfred Morris. All of those mentioned are respectable starting backs in the league. Not to say they’ll be able to completely shut down Murray, but if you’re paying $7600, a subpar game is not acceptable. There are other backs at a better price with a better matchup this week. Take a shot at one of those.
I’d rather start: Giovanni Bernard $7700, Le’Veon Bell $7200, Eddie Lacy $6300.
START: Andre Ellington ($5100) – Ellington is coming off his best game of the season. In Week 5, he totaled 144 yards, caught four passes, and scored two touchdowns. This week he has a tough matchup, as he faces a Redskins defense that has allowed just one running back to rush for a touchdown this season, Andre Williams. However, they’ve already allowed two 100+ rushers this season, Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch. Not only is Ellington a good runner, but he’s also shown his pass catching abilities. The Cardinals may have to go with Logan Thomas as their starting quarterback, which only means they hand it off or throw short dumps to Ellington for the most part. What’s most intriguing about Ellington is the price. He’s the cheapest he’s been all season, and with a ceiling like his, it’s too good of a bargain to pass up.
I’d start him over: Darren Sproles $5600, C.J. Spiller $5300, and Alfred Morris $4900
SIT: C.J. Spiller ($5300) – Just like Ellington, Spiller’s price is at the lowest it’s been all season. However, the lack of production this season from Spiller is more than likely the cause of that. He carried the ball 10 times for eight yards in Week 5. He is averaging a little over 12 carries per game. His highest rushing total this season in a single game is 69 and he has yet to score a rushing touchdown. It’s hard to pass up on a “talent” like Spiller’s at a price of $5300, but there’s just not enough production and volume to consider him an option. This week he will face the Patriots defense that has allowed just two rushing touchdowns this season. There are much better values and bargains out there for you to spend a little over 10 percent of your salary cap on Spiller.
I’d rather start: LeSean McCoy $6000, Andre Williams $5400, and Bishop Sankey $3500
SNEAKY START: Ronnie Hillman ($3000) – The starting running back in Peyton Manning’s offense at the lowest price possible would probably be a bargain that most wouldn’t pass up. Yes, he’s facing a stingy, stingy Jets run defense, but he’s expected to be the team’s workhorse this week. Hillman played well when he replaced Montee Ball in Week 5. He carried the ball 15 times for 64 yards. The Broncos will probably have plenty of red zone opportunities this week, and if Hillman is on the field for most of those attempts, it’s likely that he’ll get several looks. This low investment can pay huge dividends this week, and if not, well, it was only a min salary.
START: Emmanuel Sanders ($6900) – Sanders price finally erupted above $6000 which was his previous highest salary. In fact, his priced jumped $1800 from what it was last week, but it’s still a great value. Sanders has posted three consecutive 100+ receiving yards games, which you get a bonus for on Draft Kings. He’s also caught six or more passes in every game so far. Sanders is having a great season, he’s caught 32 passes for 435 yards in four games. The only thing that he’s been unable to do is get in the end zone. That can very possibly change this weekend. The Jets defense is allowing 260.6 receiving yards per game and has allowed the second most receiving touchdowns (12). Wide receivers are averaging 23.6 fantasy points per game against the Jets. The Jets secondary is vulnerable and will likely get picked apart by Manning. Look for Sander’s streak of 100+ receiving yards in a game to continue this week.
I’d start him over: Calvin Johnson $7400, Jeremy Maclin $6800, and Dez Bryant $6600.
SIT: Dez Bryant ($6600) – Just like DeMarco Murray, benching Dez Bryant in a yearly league is almost never an option, but again this is a daily league. This is the lowest that his salary has been all season, in fact it’s the first time it’s been below $7100. That just goes to show you how tough of a matchup he’s headed for. The Seahawks have only given up three touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, but only one at home. They kept all of the Denver Broncos receivers out of the end zone in Week 3. Bryant isn’t the cheapest of the elite class this week, yet he has arguably the toughest matchup. Brandon Marshall, who I will talk about below, is $300 cheaper. This is probably the lowest you’ll pay for Bryant all season, but it’s not a good bargain when you way out the variables.
I’d rather start: Alshon Jeffery $6500, Golden Tate $6300, Mike Wallace $5900.
START: Brandon Marshall ($6300) – Like Bryant, Marshall is also at his lowest salary of the season. Contrary to Bryant, this is an amazing bargain. Marshall is not 100 percent healthy, but was able to play through his injury last week. Granted, he wasn’t that effective. The important part is that he didn’t suffer any setbacks. This week Marshall heads to Atlanta in what could be a shootout. The Falcons are allowing 266.2 receiving yard per game and have given up five rushing touchdowns. Opposing receivers average 21.6 fantasy points against them. Marshall has been out of the fantasy radar in the last couple of weeks because of the injury, but this is the week he can pop back in. Even at less than 100 percent he was able to score a touchdown against the Packers. So, why not take that chance at a season low salary of $6300 with such a great matchup?
I’d start him over: Dez Byrant $6600, Steve Smith $6200, and Julian Edelman $5900.
SIT: Kelvin Benjamin ($5800) – Benjamin’s price is back up to the second highest it’s been all season. However, the matchup is not appealing. Last week he caught three passes for 38 yards and lost a fumble, which was his worst game, fantasy point wise. Not to mention, that was against a defense that allows the seventh most fantasy points to opposing receivers. The matchup this week is much more difficult as he takes on the Bengals. Cincy’s defense is allowing just 15.3 fantasy points per game to receivers, tied for seventh fewest. They have only allowed two touchdowns to receivers this season and haven’t allowed 100 yards to receivers in the last two games. This is the toughest matchup of the season for Benjamin, and his price is $100 shy of the most it’s been all season.
I’d rather start: Vincent Jackson $5700, Percy Harvin $5400, DeSean Jackson $4900
SNEAKY START: Reuben Randle ($4600) – Despite being the highest price tag for Randle all season, it’s still a good deal. The Giants take on their division rivals, the Eagles. The Eagles give up the most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers (27.8). They are allowing 291.6 receiving yards per game and lead the league in receiving touchdowns allowed (13). Randle has had solid games in the last two weeks. Here’s something that caught my eye about Randle, he leads the team with 12 red zone targets. Eli Manning looks his way when they are near the end zone and Randle is playing a defense that allows plenty of touchdowns.
START: Julius Thomas ($6700) – Thomas has scored at least one touchdown in every game this season. That streak has a good chance to continue this week. He has 20 catches for 226 yards and seven touchdowns in four games. He averages six targets per game and five catches per game. The Broncos face a Jets defense that has allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Thomas is averaging 21.9 points on Draft Kings and should benefit from a good matchup. He is the most expensive tight end on the market this week, but is well worth it, and has a good chance to produce like the highest paid. He’s cheaper than what he was last week, so consider this a mini discount.
I’d start him over: All tight ends.
SIT: Niles Paul ($4800) – Paul struggled in his first game back after being concussed. He caught one pass for six yards. This week he’s the seventh most expensive tight end. The salary this week is a tad high for Paul. Here’s why, there’s a chance that Jordan Reed returns into the lineup this week. If he does, we don’t know how Paul will be utilized in the offense. In addition, it would be more comforting to see Paul have a good game, post concussion. Despite of a good matchup, the uncertainty surround Paul this week is not worth the $4800.
I’d rather start: Delanie Walker $5300, Owen Daniels $4300, and Jordan Cameron $3600
SNEAKY START: Larry Donnell ($3500) – This could be one of the steals of the week. Prior to the goose egg he provided fantasy owners with last week, Donnell had five or more catches in the first four games. He’s also had 45 or more yards in each game and has scored four touchdowns this season. Last week may have left a bitter taste in the mouths of those who drafted him, but let’s move on to this week and take advantage of this great deal. Donnell leads all tight ends in red zone targets this season and is second in the Giants behind Reuben Randle. I wouldn’t let one bad week ruin a good thing. Jump back on the bandwagon before the price goes up.
I’ve provided you with low-risk, high-reward players for each position. If you’re drafting a lineup that’s top heavy in salaries and need to find some inexpensive players to plug in, then my sneaky starts can be useful.