This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Football series.
With all of the injuries and the start of Bye weeks, I have the feeling there will be several "economic" options this week for all lineups. Of course, FanDuel is running their usual Million $5 entry contest this week with an extra $100,000 bonus split between the owners of any defense or special teams who score a touchdown. Let's take a look at the DFS landscape for Sunday.
I say this every week, but I wouldn't point it out unless I really believe in the player: It's kind of lame to suggest the player with the highest salary cap hit at any position. However, Patrick Mahomes ($9,000) is facing the second-worst defense against opposing quarterbacks in the Washington Football Team. Mahomes and company will like to get the taste of the Buffalo loss out of their mouths, and, even with three interceptions Monday night, Mahomes still scored more than 20 fantasy points (as he has every game this season). Here's a good cornerstone for a cash game lineup with economical options at the other positions.
For the first time all season I'm going to mention both quarterbacks from the same game, so let's look at Taylor Heinicke ($7,300). Kansas City has been the worst team in the league against opposing quarterbacks, and they've allowed at least 29 real points to opposing teams this season. Taking out last week's struggles, Heinicke scored 27.9, 22.88 and 21.04 fantasy points in his other three games as a starter including at least two touchdowns in each. Stacking this game on both sides could be a big winner for tournaments.
It's hard to trust Christian McCaffrey ($10,000) or Dalvin Cook ($8,800) given their price points and that they're both not 100 percent. If I feel the need to spend up this week, I'm going after Austin Ekeler ($8,400). If you look at the top prices for the position, you'll see he's one of the few upper-tier guys without an injury designation next to his name. The matchup with the Ravens is excellent, as we just saw Jonathan Taylor and the Colts do a ton of damage Monday night. Ekeler has at least 18 fantasy points in his last four games showing there's a nice floor here.
My favorite midrange option for the week is the Los Angeles Rams' Darrell Henderson ($7,300). I feel like you'll need a piece of the Rams offense to be successful this week, and fading Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods in tournaments seems like a good contrarian strategy. It's doubtful the Giants defense slows down this offense, so counting on Henderson plays into that contrarian strategy. Henderson has been very consistent for the Rams, scoring at least 14.1 fantasy points in every game, and the Giants have been 26th in the league against opposing running backs.
There are several value plays for this week at the running back spot. Let's start with the Giants' Devontae Booker ($5,900). Saquon Barkley will be sidelined this week, leading Booker to take over as the team's workhorse. In relief of Barkley last Sunday, Booker had 19 touches, which means he's almost a lock for 15-plus this week. While the Rams are not a good matchup, the game is in New York, and Aaron Donald is dealing with a swollen knee. Booker is in line for three-down work plus get the touches as the goal-line back.
This is probably the chalk pick of the week, but the Chiefs' Darrel Williams ($5,200) doesn't need to do much to make value here. He should handle the bulk of the workload in the Chiefs' backfield and was able to get 44 yards off eight touches in relief of Clyde Edwards-Helaire Monday night. He's a capable pass-catcher and should get the work at the goal line as well. If you're looking a shot in the dark, using teammate Jerick McKinnon ($4,600) will be an unpopular play.
Late Thursday night we discovered that Damien Williams was placed on the COVID-19 list, meaning that Khalil Herbert ($5,500) will be the starting running back. A sixth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, he had 18 carries with Williams in the lineup, so he will likely see at least that many touches. It remains to be seen if the Bears involve him in the passing game (zero targets this season) which could potentially help his fantasy value.
Tyreek Hill ($8,700) should have a much easier time this week cracking the WFT secondary than he did Monday night. Pairing him with Mahomes (even in cash games) makes a lot of sense. Looking at the landscape of wide receivers after him, it's never a bad idea to use Davante Adams ($8,500) in any format. Using both Hill and Adams is plausible (most weeks it is not) given the savings possibilities at running back, tight end and defense.
The midrange receiver I like the most this week is Keenan Allen ($7,100). "He's due" is an awful argument for any fantasy take (I'm doing that), but let me back it up with some facts. The matchup with the Ravens is better than league average, and teams have finally taken notice of Mike Williams taking coverage away from Allen. Keenan has seen plenty of targets (53 or 10.6 per game) and just hasn't found the end zone yet. He's been extremely unlucky to have scored only one touchdown with 10 red zone targets (four inside of the 10), so there should be some positive regression to the mean. I think this is the week we see him break out.
Looking at value wide receivers, Odell Beckham ($6,000) is in play for GPPs. Every week is another week he gets healthier, and it's a matter of time before he breaks a long play on a short catch-and-run. This could be a high scoring game in Cleveland against the Cardinals, and Arizona will likely sell out to stop the run, leaving OBJ open downfield.
*Rashod Bateman ($5,000) could be activated and make an immediate impact for the Ravens.
Tight end has been a mess this season, and no one would argue about going back to the well and paying up for Travis Kelce ($8,500). His 14.1 fantasy points against the Bills was impressive considering how the game didn't go as well for his teammates. If I'm looking at what to do with this spot for cash games, it's hard to pass up Mark Andrews ($6,300). Coming off of what most certainly will be his best performance of the season (36.2), he'll be a popular play, but that doesn't mean you should shy away from him in cash games. The Chargers rank 31st against the position this season, showing what a good matchup it is for Baltimore's tight end.
Crazy as it sounds, I like the Cleveland Browns defense ($3,600) if you're looking to save some salary cap space this week. They're at home, where they've scored 16 and seven fantasy points over two games (small sample) and they are three-point favorites. This is a good choice if you need to pivot off the upper-tier options at the position.