Top FanDuel Football Values Wild Card
Matt Stein offers up his Wild Card Weekend picks for daily leagues over at Fanduel.
Top FanDuel Football Values Wild Card
*For those that are weekly readers, simply skip the first few paragraphs of explanation and jump down to the ideal matchups. Don’t forget that the promo code ‘PFF’ is worth a 100 percent deposit bonus.
If you’ve never played weekly salary cap games, you’re missing out on an exciting game to play throughout the NFL season. The game that we’ll be breaking down in this weekly article is for the website FanDuel.
For those of you that have never played a salary cap game before, I’ll quickly go over the rules so you can understand how these games work. Each player is given a monetary value based on statistics, matchups and that player’s hype. You then try to create the ideal lineup using as salary cap, such as $60,000.
The purpose of this weekly article is to point out the best values each week so you can make the most ideal lineup. A few positions you’ll never see on this article is defenses and kickers. With these positions you’re just basically looking for the most ideal matchup, whether that’s a rookie quarterback for a defense or a terrible defense for a kicker.
With all this information, let’s now take a look at some of the most ideal matchups over at FanDuel. We’ll also give you an ideal lineup using these bargain players while also breaking down a handful of huge upside plays for the riskier folks out there.
Ideal Matchup at Each Position
Quarterback – Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
With only eight teams playing this week, Smith offers the most value with a cost of only $7,500. His matchup against the Indianapolis Colts isn’t a terrible one, either.
In fact, the Chiefs might need to put points on the board just to keep up with Indianapolis on the road. While Smith hasn’t been great this year (24th-overall quarterback), the Colts pass coverage hasn’t been much better.
Don’t be surprised if Smith has a solid game this week to keep the Chiefs and their playoff hopes alive.
Running Back – James Starks, Green Bay Packers
It might sound crazy to have Starks as an ideal matchup since he sits behind rookie Eddie Lacy on the depth chart. However, Lacy is injured and Starks has looked as good as ever in limited time this year.
Sure, Lacy’s injury isn’t enough to keep him off the field Sunday, but it may be bad enough to put Starks on the field for more offensive possessions. Last week against the Chicago Bears, Starks actually outgained Lacy 88-66 despite receiving 10 less carries.
If he can get more touches this week, he could prove to be extremely valuable at a cost of only $4,900.
Wide Receiver – T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
This second-year receiver is having a fantastic season for the Colts. He currently is the No. 29 overall receiver in the league.
However, what makes him such a steal at a cost of only $5,600 is the amount of targets he receives. On the year, Hilton has seen 134 balls thrown his way, good enough for the 15th-most in the league.
With everything on the line for Indianapolis, don’t be surprised if quarterback Andrew Luck looks Hilton’s way more often than he did during the regular season. And once Hilton gets that ball in his hands, anything can happen.
Tight End – Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
No player is a riskier start that Ertz this week. However, at a cost of only $4,900, Ertz could pay off in a huge way.
Ertz’s athleticism has been highlighted in the recent weeks by Philadelphia. He’s a big-play threat at tight end with the ability to turn short gains into game-changing plays.
While he is still behind Brent Celek on the depth chart, look for Ertz to get plenty of opportunities to touch the ball in a likely shootout with the New Orleans Saints.
Ideal $60K Salary Team
Putting together a $60K salary team during the NFL playoffs isn’t the easiest of tasks. The best way to get the most points is to pick two players that you must have on your roster. Those two players are the ones you think are going to have absolutely huge games this weekend.
After they are picked, you build the rest of your roster by selecting some discount players with ideal matchups and some solid players you know are going to put points on the board. Take a look below at our ideal $60K salary team for this weekend.
QB – Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers ($8,100) – Kaepernick gets the Packers this week. He torched them for 412 passing yards and three touchdowns. In last year’s playoffs, Kaepernick ran for a playoff-record 181 yards. No matter how you slice it, Kaepernick is likely going to torch the Packers defense this week.
RB – LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles ($9,800) – McCoy is a must-start this week. He’s been one of the premier running backs in the league and his matchup against the New Orleans Saints is an ideal one. Look for McCoy to have an impact in both the ground and passing game in a high-scoring matchup between the Saints and Eagles.
RB – James Starks, Green Bay Packers ($4,900) – With Lacy still struggling with an injured ankle, Starks could potentially see an increase in his workload against the 49ers. He’ll also have an impact in the passing game now that Aaron Rodgers is back under center.
WR – Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers ($7,200) – Speaking of Rodgers, the All-Pro quarterback targeted Nelson 16 times in Week 17. Nelson caught 10 of those passes for 161 yards. He’s a top-five receiver when Rodgers is on the field and a must start.
WR – Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers ($6,500) – Allen has been one of the premier rookies in fantasy football and he’s becoming the only stable target for quarterback Philip Rivers. In a must-win game, don’t be surprised if Rivers targets his rookie receiver early and often.
WR – T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts ($5,600) – While Hilton doesn’t have an ideal matchup with the Chiefs coming to town, quarterback Andrew Luck needs to throw the ball to someone. In the past, that someone has been Hilton who has used his speed and playmaking abilities to make big impacts in games.
TE – Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles ($4,900) – Ertz is easily the riskiest play this week. However, he saw 15 targets in the final three weeks of the regular season and is becoming a major weapon for the Eagles.
K – Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts ($5,700) – When it comes to the playoffs, no kicker is as important as Vinatieri. The legend should continue his strong postseason play against the Chiefs this weekend.
DEF – Cincinnati Bengals ($6,200) – Of all the defenses, the Bengals have the best chance at shutting out an opponent. With the Chargers coming to town with a quarterback who is known to make mistakes in the playoffs, don’t be surprised if the Bengals create multiple turnovers in this game.