Fantasy football advice Week 15: FanDuel provides some sneaky bargains
Welcome to Week 15! We may have missed our season-long glory, but FanDuel does not discriminate against poor long-term planning. We’ve got a chance to redeem some of our lost year-long pride with this week full of interesting value plays. Here are six cheaper options to look at while creating your team. A reminder of the goal here: we’re looking less for diamonds in the rough and more for cheap cost per point. For our purposes, 15 points against $5000 will always trump 20 against $8300.
QB- Derek Anderson, $5000 vs TB
First and foremost, best wishes to Cam Newton on a speedy recovery. The usual processing of player injuries is callous at best, but rubbernecking an actual accident is extremely problematic. Hope Cam can get back soon and spark brawls with his goal line skills.
However, our FanDuel game must go on, and in his stead starts Derek Anderson, priced at the bare minimum for the week. I don’t believe we’re about to see 300 yards and four touchdowns, but what we will see are decent points against the absolute lowest price possible. Facing the Bucs — a team Anderson already faced, tossing for 230 yards and two touchdowns with a 108.7 passer rating — he has a plus matchup at home against a team allowing the 13th-most points to passers. Starting Anderson is a punt on elite QB production, but it does offer you vast roster flexibility with his minimal salary.
RB- Chris Ivory, $5200 at TEN
I know. Recommending a Jets offensive player is like suggesting one particular gas station has decent sushi; yeah, you might get a good deal, but ultimately you’ll end up with nausea and second-guessing every decision you’ve ever made. Grab your Tums, clear your schedule, and fire up Chris Ivory against the putrid Tennessee defense.
Ivory does come with certain risks; he’s stuck in a RBBC committee with the faded Chris Johnson (splitting 32 carries evenly last week) and there’s always the chance that the generous Jets defense, the generous Jets special teams, or the generous Jets quarterback will place the game out of reach long before the running game can get going. However, at $5200, Ivory has a chance to outperform his low-price point with only a couple goal-line touches. His price puts him around backups and handcuffs like Bernard Pierce, Joseph Randle, and Terrance West.
RB – Branden Oliver, $4800 vs DEN
Here is a play born out of desperation and the injury history of Ryan Mathews. Mathews suffered a knock after being tripped in the last game — I wince every time I hear that penalty, flashing back to the Jets’ Rick Lyle snapping his leg in a tackle attempt — and he’s currently missed all practice this week. Oliver had two weeks of amazing production before falling off a cliff, but he seems to have a firm grasp on the backup spot and would take the majority of the workload if Mathews can’t go. In Denver earlier this year, Oliver struggled on the ground but added seven catches, ending up with 9.8 points in a brutally tough game. He faces the Broncos again this week, and, while you can’t trust Oliver to replicate his two-week explosion, you can fire him up as a supremely cheap starting RB if Mathews can’t make the game.
WR- Marquess Wilson, $4500 vs NO
Wilson will probably figure into a good deal of starting lineups this week. Priced at bare minimum, the gigantic WR looks to take over for Brandon Marshall and perpetuate the Chicago Way of only employing massive wideouts. The strategy in employing Wilson is less an expectation of a top-10 total but more a return on the minimal investment; if Wilson can get midrange production out of that salary, it frees you up to invest heavier in other positions. Pairing Wilson and Derek Anderson is a cheap but risky way toward playing two or three studs this weekend.
TE- Delanie Walker, $5300 vs NYJ
We firmly believe that you should always play your pass-catchers against a Jets secondary consistently torched each week. With Justin Hunter out for the year, Kendall Wright struggling with a hand injury, and Nate Washington unable to provide any value thus far, Jake Locker will look to depend on Walker early and often. The Jets give up the seventh-most points to tight ends, and their run defense should ruin the Shonn Greene revenge game we’re all looking forward to. Expect a ton of targets and a chance at some red-zone action.
TE- Greg Olsen, $6700 vs TB
I love the concept of stacking Olsen and Anderson this week. In Anderson’s one start this year, against Tampa, he targeted Olsen 11 times, with Olsen turning those targets into eight catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Tampa Bay hasn’t improved at all against the tight end, allowing the ninth-most points per game this year to that position. He’ll be a nice safety net for Anderson, and worth his high price point this week.