As you finalize your weekly Salary Cap league lineup for Draft Kings, FanDuel, or Draftstreet, it’s important that you find some value options that give you maximum points for minimum cost. Each Sunday, I’ll give you some last-minute options that can help provide solid scoring without taking a big chunk of your salary.
You won’t find big-name options here even though Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and Adrian Peterson will probably be on many rosters and provide some serious scoring. Instead, we’ll be looking at the lesser-priced options who are in good matchups, will get plenty of work, and can fill your roster at a much cheaper price.
Pricing from site-to-site varies, but I’ll do my best to find players that are outside of the top ten most expensive options on the sites as well as representing a variety of positions.
Week One it’s always a little tricky to find value since we have no track record that applies directly since every team has turnover in the offseason either in the coaches, coordinators, personnel, or all of the above. Here’s my take, though, on who could have a big game to start the season…
Michael Vick-Philadelphia Eagles
Vick is a nice value as he opens the season on Monday Night Football against the Eagles. If Chip Kelly’s offense works, Vick will get plenty of chances to make plays and has done so before against the Redskins. He probably won’t match his epic Monday Night Football performance the last time he put up last time he faced them on Monday Night (333 yards passing, 4 TDs, 2 rushing TDs, 80 rushing yards), but he has never lost to Washington and has a total of 1,076 passing yards, 10 passing TDs, 226 yards rushing, and 2 rushing TDs against the ‘Skins in his career. If you’re going cheap at QB, Vick is a great option for week 1.
Alex Smith-Kansas City Chiefs
Smith looks to get his Chiefs career off to a good start as he faces the Jags in Jacksonville. It’s a great matchup against a bad secondary that should allow Smith to use his new weapons and showcase Andy Reid’s offense against lesser opposition. If the Chiefs offense is going to work, Smith should be able to have a good game against Jacksonville. All the Chiefs are good value options on Sunday, especially their new QB.
Stevan Ridley-New England Patriots
Ridley ran wild against the Bills last year running for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Buffalo and for another touchdown and 98 yards at home in New England later in the season. The Patriots will probably pull away from the Bills, so expect plenty of carries for Ridley leading to a big game in the opener.
Ahmad Bradshaw-Indianapolis Colts
There was serious question as to whether Bradshaw would play week 1, but all signs now point to him getting the start and plenty of work today for his new team the Colts. Bradshaw has a great matchup against the Raiders defense, so the only question is how much work he’ll shoulder. He’s a great value if he’s healthy enough to exploit his matchup tomorrow.
Daryl Richardson-St. Louis Rams
Richardson is about the cheapest starting running back available as he and the Rams take on the Cardinals in week 1. Not only is Richardson the primary starter, but the player who he is expected to share time with-Isaiah Pead-is suspended for week 1 which should result in lots of work for Richardson.
Vincent Jackson-Tampa Bay Buccanneers
V-Jax takes on the Jets and his former teammate Antonio Cromartie to start the season. The Jets defense struggles last season without Darrelle Revis. Jackson should be in for a solid day as long as Josh Freeman can get him the ball.
Antonio Brown-Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown is the clear #1 option for Big Ben after Mike Wallace headed to Miami this offseason. Brown and the Steelers open against the Titans who finished in the bottom seven in both total yards and passing yards allowed per game. Brown finished last year with four straight games with a touchdown and should get targeted early and often this Sunday.
Greg Jennings-Minnesota Vikings
Jennings is another under-priced #1 option who should get plenty of looks the first week. He’ll face the beatable Lions secondary in week one, but the downside is he has to rely on Christian Ponder to get him the ball. Remember, the last couple seasons Ponder did make Percy Harvin viable, so I think Jennings will be decent which at his price-point is all you can ask for.
Alshon Jeffery-Chicago Bears
Jeffery is an even cheaper option since he’s unproven and the second option behind Brandon Marshall. Marshall struggled last time he played against the Bengals secondary which will again be keyed in on stopping him this year. Jeffery showed flashes last season and this Preseason
Vincent Brown-San Diego Chargers
Brown is a extreme-value option who should get some work on Monday Night. He missed all last season after a broken ankle and had just one catch this Preseason. He’s the best receiver in the Chargers offense, and he’s shown potential when healthy in the past. If you’re going high-price with your other options, you’ll need someone like Brown to balance out your salary, and he’s one of the few in this price-bracket that could go off with a big game.
Zach Sudfeld-New England Patriots
Sudfeld is one of the worst kept secrets in fantasy football but is still surprisingly cheap in some formats. He could have a Gronk-like week one as he replaces number-87 for at least this week in Buffalo. Sudfeld had a great camp and has emerged as a top-ten option for this week at a much-less than top-ten price.
Brent Celek-Philadelphia Eagles
Celek also had a great preseason catching more passes than he had since his rookie year. The idea of Chip Kelly’s offense is to run lots of plays and get the ball in the hands of people who make plays. Celek looks to be a part of that plan and could be a nice sleeper option which you can pick up cheap.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs defense added Darrelle Revis to their secondary which needed a boost and still has a solid, young front seven. They could grow into a top ten option for the season, but are definitely a good play this week as they host the Jets in week 1. Geno Smith will be thrown right into the fire by the Jets which could be great for the Bucs Defense