Daily Fantasy Football Bargains and Best Buys: Week 9
All of those fantasy-relevant quarterbacks (plus their receivers, backs, and tight ends) are on a bye this week, as the NFL's scheduling computer aligned the bye weeks of several of the league's best offensive teams. After a few weeks with only two teams on bye, this week features six and includes lots of big names.
And while bye weeks are rough in season-long leagues, as you have to replace players and make tough lineup decisions every week, they're also rough in daily fantasy. Removing some of the big, "sure thing" names from the player pool means it will be tougher to find good plays and even tougher to differentiate from other peoples' lineups.
Yet we soldier on, and with big prizes being given away across the industry this weekend, you need to build your lineup around the right players. Allow me to help, by presenting eight options split into two categories.
The first category - Bargains - is pretty obvious. These are undervalued players who will allow you to spend more elsewhere. The other category is Best Buys, which includes players who are more than worth a large chunk of your budget.
Keep in mind that these players may or may not be used in our weekly optimal lineups. To see who the algorithms are selecting on the week, check out our optimal lineup section and don't forget to use our custom optimal lineup tool.
Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars - Denard Robinson and the Jaguars take on the Bengals this weekend, who rank last in our Adjusted Defensive Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. Cincinnati has also allowed the ninth-most points per game to opposing running backs, which bodes well for the Jaguars' new starter at the position.
The man known as "Shoelace" has over 20 touches in his first 2 games as the starter in the backfield for Jacksonville and has gone over 100 yards in both of those outings. This is a great matchup for Robinson, who gets touches even when his team is losing, and he should continue to produce this week at a still reduced cost in DFS.
Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals - I had Michael Floyd in my lineups last weekend. I'm not exactly happy with Michael Floyd, either. (I know you're upset at him. The mere mention of your name makes your blood boil.) It's not easy to handle a player posting a zero in your daily fantasy lineup, especially not in a game with such a great matchup.
But don't let last week's letdown beat you again this week. Floyd had seen six or more targets per game before his last two contests, which were an easy win against Oakland and last week's injury-interrupted game against the Eagles. This week the Cardinals face Dallas, and that means Floyd goes up against the defense that allowed DeSean Jackson's big game a week ago and gave up two scores to Odell Beckham Jr. two weeks ago.
Floyd has way too much volume and big play potential to be as cheap as he is this week, especially on DraftKings. Take advantage of that price and build a stacked lineup around him.
Alfred Morris, Washington - Alfred Morris hasn't been lighting the world on fire this season, but he's posted back-to-back 18-carry games and has received consistent touches all season. He's been waiting patiently for his situation to improve, and it does improve this weekend with the return of Robert Griffin III.
Morris plays better with Griffin on the field, and that boost for Alf will help even more in a matchup against Minnesota, who rank 22nd in our run defense metrics and are top-10 in points per game allowed to opposing running backs. His price has slid down over the past few weeks, which makes him a great play in a great matchup this week.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens - Pittsburgh has the 24th-best passing defense in the league, according to our metrics, and that will be a welcome sight for Joe Flacco, who is coming off a game against our top pass defense (the Bengals) which led to no touchdowns for the Delaware product. That's helped his price stay low for a big game against a division rival.
Flacco had seven touchdowns in the two games leading up to last week's goose egg and has been a bit streaky all year. But if we're going to bank on an upward swing in his momentum, a rivalry game against a bad defense is as good of a chance as we'll get. Flacco is way below the top-tier of quarterbacks on every site this weekend, which makes him a great play to build a lineup with lots of high-priced options elsewhere.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles - If you're going to pay up for a player in daily fantasy, you need to make sure he's getting volume in his offense. In Jeremy Maclin's case, that box is checked, and there's plenty of production to boot.
Maclin has over 10 targets in every game this season apart from the 27-0 blowout win over the Giants, yet is priced below the top-tier receivers on most sites. He scores, he creates big plays, and he sees lots of action in a high-flying offense, which is about all you can ask of a DFS receiver.
This week the Eagles play the Texans, who allow the sixth-most points per game to opposing wideouts despite being one of the better defenses in our pass defense rankings. Teams may not be efficient against the Texans pass defense, but they do find ways to score points through the air.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks - Marshawn Lynch has 18 or more touches in 4 of 7 games this season, which may surprise someone who follows the news surrounding his relationship with his head coach and teammates. Beast Mode is "all about that action," however, and he does his job on Sundays even if no one in the building likes him from Monday to Saturday.
This week, the Seahawks play Oakland, who allow the third-most points per game to opposing running backs. Lynch hasn't scored on the ground in a month, and he's due to find the end zone on a carry in what should be an easy win for Seattle. Oakland's weak run defense should provide him with every opportunity.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots - This game is projected to light up the scoreboard in Vegas, but the winds will be a factor. That means both teams may have to stick to short or intermediate passes to handle the weather, which favors Rob Gronkowski (who dominates the middle of the field).
Denver has allowed the 11th-most points per game to tight ends so far this year, while Gronkowski is trending upward in snaps played, targets, receptions and overall production. His price is reaching the top of the charts among tight ends, but it's still cheap enough to fit into a reasonable lineup this weekend.
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys - Arizona has allowed the second-most points per game to opposing wideouts this season despite having Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, and company lining up at defensive back. The unit has underperformed as a whole, and their task doesn't get any easier this weekend with a game against the Cowboys on the schedule.
Dez Bryant has 6 or more targets in every game, and 10 or more looks in the passing game in half of his games this year. He's provided a 100-yard outing and/or a touchdown in 6 of his 8 appearances, and he should make that 7 of 9 against the Cardinals this weekend. Vegas likes the Cowboys to score around four touchdowns in this game, and Dez is virtually guaranteed to be one of those players finding the end zone.