DFS Football, Week 9: Carson Palmer again makes for a sexy value play

carson palmer

Carson Palmer has been undervalued since returning to the Cardinals’ lineup.  That attractive price tag – and Bruce Arians’ commitment to the pass – make him a downright sexy Week Nine play in any DFS setting.

FanDuel Plays/Fades

by Justin Howe, DFS Editor/Content Manager

QUARTERBACK

High-Dollar Boys

I’m not usually a huge fan of paying high salaries for QBs on the road, but I still want you to play Nick Foles (@HOU, $8,400).  He travels to Houston, a defense that’s been worked over by QBs all year long.  They’ve allowed 281 yards/game and 15 TDs through eight weeks, and Foles presides over an offense that runs 71.1 plays/game.  They’re likely to give him every opportunity to match those marks.  Foles looks like the safest bet under $9,000 to post top-three numbers for the week.

While his matchup is juicy, Russell Wilson (vOAK, $8,600) just isn’t worth the cost to me this week.  He’s posted fairly pedestrian FanDuel numbers through the air, and I’ve never been a proponent of investing highly in QBs that require you to pray for rushing production.  And Wilson has run for an unsustainable 69 yards/game over the last four weeks.  This looks to me like a get-back-on-track game for Seattle; I think they pound 30+ carries with their RBs and sit on a lead, landing Wilson in the 15-point vicinity.  Which is just not enough to justify this cost.

From the Bargain Bin

Carson Palmer (@DAL, $7,800) – Again, I hate using road QBs, especially ones with poor offensive lines.  But Palmer carries a nice price tag for a guy with a real shot at a top-five QB finish.  Palmer has thrown two TDs and racked up 250+ yards in each of his last four starts, and the talent-starved Cowboy D was worked over by Colt McCoy on Monday.  Not to mention, the Cowboy QB situation looks murky enough that quick turnarounds and short fields are in the cards.

Cam Newton (vNO, $7,800) – Gotta love the cake matchup in a huge divisional showdown.  Newton’s passing has fallen off lately, but he’s he’s facing a pathetic secondary that’s giving up 307 yards/game and eight TDs over its last four games.  Not to mention, he’s re-established his legs, averaging 10.5 rushes over his last four.

Cheaper than Dirt

Teddy Bridgewater (vWAS, $5,900) – This is a bit of a desperation play, but the salary would allow you to absolutely stock up elsewhere.  Bridgewater settled down last week after a gruesome start, ultimately hanging 241 and a TD on the hapless Bucs defense.  I expect similar a yardage number this week, with the caveat that the Redskins have allowed a staggering 17 TDs through the air.  Bridgewater looks like a dirt-cheap swing at a high-end QB2.

RUNNING BACK

High-Dollar Boys

It’s hard to love the top-dollar RBs this week, as they face some pretty brutal matchups.  But if you’re looking for something close to a sure thing, roll with Arian Foster (vPHI, $9,400) for a great mix of volume and matchup.  Any team that faces the Eagles has the opportunity to run a high number of snaps, and Foster has accounted for 66.3% of the Texans’ yardage and 60% of their TDs in his seven healthy games.  And the Eagles are allowing 116.7 yards/game on the ground, numbers that have even been padded by facing some weak running games.

It’s really hard to recommend spending the highest available cost on DeMarco Murray (vARI, $9,600) this week.  The matchup, of course, is brutal; Arizona is allowing a pitiful 3.3 yards/rush, and no back has topped 83 yards against them all year.  Now consider that Murray will likely be running with Brandon Weeden under center, which likely means the offense will suffer for scoring chances as Murray churns through stacked fronts.  Don’t get me wrong: Murray is never a bad play.  But this isn’t the week to pay the top salary for his services.

From the Bargain Bin

Shane Vereen (vDEN, $6,600) – None of us like owning this guy in yearly leagues, but when you pick your spots, he can be a goldmine.  Game flow is key here; when the Pats are throwing, Vereen is likely to be much more involved in the game.  Sunday’s tilt with the Broncos looks like a pass-happy affair; no team has allowed fewer rush yards than Denver, and the teams are likely to be trading scores all afternoon.  That spells a solid chance for Vereen to see 6+ targets with his smattering of 5-12 rushes.  And he’s been seeing action on the goal line all season.  Vereen’s middle-of-the-road cost – lower than that of Frank Gore and Ben Tate – makes him a fine play this week.

Justin Forsett (@PIT, $6,500) – The Steelers have been gashed by quick-cut zone rushing all season, making Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro solid mid-budget plays.  Journeyman Forsett has defied the odds, topping 96 scrimmage yards for five straight games and averaging 13 FanDuel points on the year.  In his Week Two battle against Pittsburgh, he ran for seven yards/carry and has a much more defined role now.  Taliaferro will vulture his short TDs, but expect another solid yardage total and a handful of receptions to provide another cheap RB2 line.  Forsett has been underpriced all year and checks in with the week’s #23 salary.

Jerick McKinnon (vWAS, $6,300) – Washington has posted good overall numbers against the run, but they’re a but inflated.  They’ve been very susceptible to better backs and have allowed a solid 4.2 yards/rush on the year.  McKinnon looks like he’s hitting his stride; he’s thoroughly beaten out Matt Asiata for the lion’s share of snaps and has ripped off 5.4 yards/rush over the last two games.  His workload isn’t dependent on game flow, so regardless of how this game unfolds, you can safely expect a floor of 15-20 high-impact touches, and TD regression is likely to swing his way any day now.  He’s again way, way too cheap to pass up on FanDuel (#29 salary).

Cheaper than Dirt

Jeremy Hill (vJAX, $5,200) – Hoo boy, here it is.  Maybe.  Are you excited?  You should be.  Now, here in fantasy football we don’t take pleasure in injuries, so I’m not gloating over Giovani Bernard’s hip pointer.  But the time may have come for Hill – not only for this week, but for the future – to showcase his wares.  Hill can not only chew apart the Jags’ thoroughly beatable run D, he can also stake a claim for an increased role going forward.  If Bernard sits, Hill is an absolute must-play who should flirt with RB1 production.  FanDuel didn’t see this coming, so take advantage and pay less for Hill than you would for the likes of Matt Asiata and Fozzy Whittaker.

WIDE RECEIVER

High-Dollar Boys

The matchup-proof Antonio Brown (vBAL, $9,000) looks poised for another big line.  He’s scored 11+ FanDuel points in every game thus far, including an impressive 7-90 effort against the Ravens in Week Two despite missing time with a near-concussion.  His floor is so high that there’s never a week to completely fade the guy, and his ceiling is so impressive he’s a weekly threat to top all wideouts in fantasy scoring.  Baltimore will be without top corner Jimmy Smith for the near future, making Brown’s matchup all the more tantalizing.

You don’t want to pay the week’s top salary for Demaryius Thomas (@NE, $9,200), who squares off against the Patriot’s awesome pass defense.  The one that’s only coughing up 228 yards/game through the air.  Peyton Manning will surpass that by a good margin, of course, but there’s no guarantee how much production will go to Thomas, who figures to draw coverage from Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner for much of the day.  Revis has been solid all year, allowing a 65.9 rating in his coverage, and Browner is rounding into shape after missing the first six games.  Thomas will likely produce, but the top-notch numbers you’re paying for likely won’t materialize.  Spend that cash elsewhere.

From the Bargain Bin

Keenan Allen (@MIA, $6,700) – It appears Allen is rounding into form.  After a sluggish start that prompted fantasy players to bail like scared mice, Allen has posted a 15-131-1 line over the last two weeks as Eddie Royal has faded into the background.  Allen and Antonio Gates are again the focal points of the Chargers’ potent pass game.  Note that Allen is on pace to match his rookie breakout pretty evenly in terms of targets and catches, and his six red zone targets over the past four weeks suggest he’s close to progressing to the mean in the TD category.  He’s a true PPR asset again, and this is a pretty cheap salary for such a strong 8-90 threat.

Andrew Hawkins (vTB, $6,400) – Most of the fantasy world bailed on Hawkins after two miserable weeks, but he appears to be back to fantasy relevance.  He’s posted a 12-200-1 line over the last two games on a team-high 18 targets and looks like by far the most dynamic and consistent threat in Cleveland.  And his matchup couldn’t be juicier.  The Bucs’ pass D is simply atrocious, where #3 corner Leonard Johnson has allowed an 84.2% catch rate and a 124.1 rating in the slot.  Hawkins looks like a great threat to catch 7-10 passes, which makes for a nice FanDuel payoff at the #31 salary.

Martavis Bryant (vBAL, $6,300) – I’m on this bandwagon.  I wrote yesterday about the mega impact Bryant’s size and dynamism has already added to the Steeler offense.  He’s seeing big-time looks when he’s on the field, running a route on 68.4% of his snaps and drawing 12 targets over the last two games He’s winning plenty of one-on-one matchups, especially in the red zone, where he converted both targets into TDs last week.  It doesn’t look like much will change anytime soon, with Ben Roethlisberger throwing 37.6 passes/game and utilizing his big-play toy heavily.  I wish Bryant’s FanDuel price tag hadn’t risen so sharply, but he’s a safer play than you think at the #36 salary.  And the ceiling, of course, is monumental.

Mike Evans (@CLE, $6,000) – Evans has posted a better rookie season than you’ve probably noticed.  On a poor team with mediocre quarterbacking no running game to speak of, Evans has posted solid WR4 numbers.  He’s caught at least four passes in every game he’s played, and in three games with Mike Glennon, he’s averaged 66 yards and scored twice, just missing a third on an overthrown deep ball.  I like his matchup against the tag team of Buster Skrine and rookie Justin Gilbert, who have combined to allow six TDs and 92 yards/game on the year.  Look for another solid WR2/3 line in the neighborhood of 5-80-1 – and he’s the 47th-salaried wideout on FanDuel.

Cheaper than Dirt

Riley Cooper (@HOU, $5,300) – After a devastatingly poor start in which he was all but invisible in the Eagle offense, Cooper has rebounded nicely this month.  He’s caught at least five balls or a TD in each of his last four games and could really feast on a poor Texan secondary.  If you’re loading up heavily at other positions, Cooper could be an unexpected stud this week.

Steadman Bailey (@SF, $4,700) – Bailey steps into the shoes of Brian Quick, and while not nearly the same athletic talent, he’s an intriguing name to file away.  Bailey started opposite Tavon Austin at West Virginia, posting a line of 186-2,901-37 over his final two seasons.  That’s not a misprint: 37 TDs over 26 games.  Bailey has the pedigree and red zone chops to make real WR4 noise going forward, even in a spread-the-wealth offense.  If you’re spending big elsewhere and have some rock-solid points installed, he could be an interesting flier near the FanDuel minimum salary.

TIGHT END

I’m not going to insult your intelligence by explaining why you want to play Rob Gronkowski (vDEN, $7,900).  Especially when he’s taking on the Broncos, who allow 59.8 yards/game to TEs, in a likely shootout.  Just Gronk all over the place.

There’s no way to justify paying Tim Wright’s (vDEN, $5,800) hefty price tag anytime soon.  His usage just isn’t nearly consistent enough to pay top dollar for, having topped three targets just twice all year and seeing zero or one look five times.  We’re looking at a floor of 0-2 catches here.  If you’re willing to pay $5,800 on a dice roll, there are much better options for much cheaper.

From the Bargain Bin

Jordan Reed (@MIN, $5,500) – He won’t be this cheap much longer.  Reed has returned from his latest ailment and averaged a 7-62 line, serving as a safety blanket for both Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy – and he’s always been a favorite of Robert Griffin III.  He’s a supreme talent at the position, and if he stays healthy, the best is yet to come.  Playing Reed at the #11 salary gives you a great shot at a cheap top-five TE.

Travis Kelce (vNYJ, $5,400) – The Jets are coughing up more than a TD/game to TEs, making Kelce a strong bet to get into the end zone.  He’s become a major part of the passing game and his talent level is bordering on Gronkian.  Ride this train whenever he’s this cheap.

Cheaper than Dirt

Chase Ford (vWAS, $5,000) – Ford has stepped into the Kyle Rudolph role as the Vikes’ pass-catching TE.  He’s an imposing target at 6’6 255, and massive TEs often serve as security blankets for rookie QBs.  Ford is a decent bet to match last week’s target total of six, making him a 5-60 threat at just five grand.

KICKER

Shayne Graham (@CAR, $4,800) – Another likely shootout and another dirt-cheap price tag make Graham a studly option.  He’s banked home three FGs in each of his last three games.

Cairo Santos (vNYJ, $4,800) – The rookie has nailed all eight attempts over his last four games.  On the year, he’s drilled five of six from 40+ and looks legit.  And scoring opportunities should be plenty as his Chiefs host the combustible Jets.

DEFENSE

Indianapolis (@NYG, $5,200) – Catch the bounceback: the Giants are back to their turnover-prone ways in 2014, and the Eagles’ eight-sack onslaught two weeks ago is a good sign for the rush-happy Colts.  There’s a low floor here, but an awesome ceiling.

Cleveland (vTB, $4,800) – The Browns make for a strong mix of value and opportunity as they host the struggling Bucs.  Tampa Bay mounts no real run game to capitalize on the Browns’ defensive weakness, and Mike Glennon is likely to be throwing into the teeth of an underrated pass defense.

EXPERT ROSTERS

 dfs9   dfs92

 

DraftKings Plays/Fades

by Mitch Jahnke, DFS Staff Writer

QUARTERBACK

High-Dollar Boys

If there is a safe play this week, it’s Andrew Luck (@NYG, $10,000).  The Colts have shown that they are willing to live and die by their franchise quarterback, and this week, Luck gets to play on Monday night with the world watching.  I expect him to torch the Giants’ secondary this week.  Play this high-dollar boy with ease as I expect him to be the top QB this week.

The quarterback that I am staying away from this week is Drew Brees (@CAR, $8,300).  Divisional game, the Saints on the road, and Brees never plays well in Carolina.  The risk is just too much for me to feel confident in playing Brees this week.

From the Value Pool

Robert Griffin III (@MIN, $6,400) – If you are feeling lucky this week, your play at quarterback is RGIII.  He has shown us that he can put up top-five numbers, and if he is fully healthy we could see some big numbers from Griffin this week.  A very risky play, but it could pay off since I doubt a lot of people will play him.

Carson Palmer (@DAL, $6,800) – Still relatively cheap and gets to face a defense that allowed Colt McCoy to throw for nearly 300 yards.  The difference between Palmer and McCoy will be that Palmer will throw a couple of touchdown passes against the Cowboys.  The Cowboys’ defense was exposed last week against a third-string quarterback, and I think this week they’re fully exposed going against one of the best offenses in the NFL.

Cheaper than Dirt

Brandon Weeden (v ARI, $5,000) – Dallas has already said that Tony Romo will be a game-time decision Sunday, and if Romo doesn’t play, Weeden is more than capable of running Dallas’ offense at a high enough level to make you some money.  If Weeden starts, I can see him connecting on multiple touchdowns with former Oklahoma State teammate Dez Bryant.

RUNNING BACK

High-Dollar Boys

I don’t see the Jets having the ball a lot, so I can see a ton of carries for Jamaal Charles (v NYJ, $7,100).  Charles is due for a monster game and I think the stars are aligning for it to come this week.  I don’t think he has much luck between the tackles, but the Chiefs will get him out in space like they always do and Charles will go off.

I’m still fading LeSean McCoy (@ARI $5,000).  He just doesn’t have it this year; I would much rather spend less money on a player with just as much upside this year then pay for a name. You just can’t trust him at all this year, which is very sad for last year’s rushing leader.

From the Value Pool

Ronnie Hillman (@NE, $5,600) – He has the reins of the Broncos’ running game and he gets a great match up this week against the Patriots.  Since Week Six, when Hillman has been the clear cut number-one back, he has averaged just over 21 fantasy points.  Being the number-one running back in a Peyton Manning offense pays dividends; feel free to place Hillman in your lineups this week.

Lamar Miller (v. SD, $5,600) – I think this game stays close, and I think the Dolphins accomplish that by running the ball with Miller.  He gets a decent matchup this week and is the only back the Dolphins use.  Miller is averaging just under 16 points/game this year and I think he clips 20 this week.  Get him in at least one of your lineups.

Mark Ingram (@CAR, $5,500) – He came back with a bang last week and he gets another juicy match up against the Panthers.  As I said earlier,I think the Saints try and lean on the run and get Ingram involved early in the game.  It will also help Ingram’s value if Khiry Robinson and Pierre Thomasmiss more time.

Cheaper than Dirt

Jeremy Hill (v. JAX, $4,000) – If A.J. Green doesn’t play this week, the Bengals will have to lean on the running game with Gio Benard and Hill.  I do think this is Hill’s coming-out party and he may just get into the end zone multiple times.  I think it’s one of the safest risky plays this week.

WIDE RECEIVER

High-Dollar Boys

My high-dollar boy at wide receiver this week is again Dez Bryant (vARI, $8,200).  Whoever is under center for the Cowboys will look for Bryant whenever they decide to throw the ball.  I am assuming Patrick Peterson will be on Dez most of the day, but that doesn’t scare me one bit.  Bryant is playing at an elite level right now and I don’t think it matters who is covering him or throwing him the ball.  He has scored five times this year and I think he adds to that total this week.

The one wide receiver that I am staying away from this week is Mohamed Sanu (vJAX, $6,400).If A.J. Green returns, and I think he will, Sanu won’t get all the looks he has been getting.  His price is outrageous if Green does play, especially since Green’s price is actually $100 cheaper.  

From the Value Pool

Kelvin Benjamin (vNO, $6,600) – He is starting to raise his number of catches/game, and that is just helping his connection with Cam Newton grow.  The Saints’ defense is a joke and they will have no one to cover the huge rookie wide receiver who gets all of the red zone looks.

Martavis Bryant (vBAL, $5,500) – The rookie is really starting to shine in the Steeler offense.  His price is still at a good level for what he will give as the Steelers’ big-play wide receiver, and Ben Roethlisberger is looking Bryant’s way in the red zone.  I think the rookie comes up big in this divisional matchup.

Odell Beckham (vIND, $5,000) – He had his coming-out party two weeks ago against Dallas, and this week he gets to face a Colt defense that was torched by the Steelers last week.  I expect Beckham to continue to soar high.

Allen Robinson (@CIN, $4,900) – Since Blake Bortles has taken over as quarterback, Robinson has been the clear-cut number-one wide receiver in Jacksonville.  All of Robinson’s fantasy value has come during garbage time, but all of the points in fantasy are the same.  Robinson’s price is slowly rising, but at this point he is still in the value pool.

Terrance Williams (vARI, $4,900) – I am playing at least one Dallas wide receiver this week with such a great matchup.  Williams didn’t find the end zone last week, but I think he does here.  With Dez Bryant being covered by Patrick Peterson for most of the day, Williams should have the field open for himself to run around and do what he does best.

Cheaper than Dirt

Michael Floyd (@DAL, $3,800) – I am still on the Floyd bandwagon and I think he has a good opportunity to finally turn things around this week against Dallas.  The knee injury is minor and doesn’t scare me.  He’s got big-day potential, if I’m in need of a cheap wide receiver my choice would be Floyd.

TIGHT END

High-Dollar Boys

Julius Thomas (@NE, $5,600) is the highest I will go on a top end tight end.  And I think this is the right choice. Thomas hasn’t caught a touchdown in the last two weeks, but I think Peyton Manning gets him into the end zone once or twice this week.

I’m staying away from Larry Donnell (vIND, $4,600) this week.  He hasn’t done anything fantasy worthy since scoring those three touchdowns against Washington, so his price is just too high for my liking.

From the Value Pool

Heath Miller (vBAL, $4,300) – He finally got into the end zone last week, and the ageless wonder has still got it.  Miller always seems to turn it on at the halfway point of the season, so I fully expect him to put up decent numbers this week.

Dwayne Allen (@NYG, $4,100) – The connection between him and Andrew Luckcontinues to grow, and Allen’s price is still decent enough.  With Allen, you can save some money on a very capable tight end and spend elsewhere in your lineups.

Cheaper than Dirt

Jason Witten (vARI, $3,200) – He has scored twice in the last three games and always seems to come around during the second half of the season.  He is starting to perform right when the Cowboys need it, too.  If Tony Romo misses the game, I expect Brandon Weeden to look to Witten a lot.

DEFENSE

Cincinnati (vJAX, $3,300) – The Bengals win the Jaguars sweepstakes this week.  If you’ve been streaming the defenses that have played Jacksonville, you have fared very well.  Continue doing so.

Minnesota (vWAS, $3,000) – I am going with the Vikings for the second straight week.  Even if they face Griffin, I expect them to force some turnovers and get after the guy.

EXPERT ROSTER

week 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lead photo By Greg Buch FFSwami.com (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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