Each week, as we prepare to make some difficult lineup decisions, our team, which includes Rob Willette, Ryan McDowell, and Sal Leto, will bring you a few sleepers and landmines for each position. Our sleeper picks could be on your waiver wire or a low-priced DFS target or could simply be going overlooked this week. On the other hand, our landmine players are getting attention, too much attention. These are players we feel are being overvalued and overpriced and would avoid for this week.
Austin Ekeler $5,800
Chargers backup RB Austin Ekeler already has three top 24 fantasy performances this season and this week faces the Raiders, who have already allowed five top 24 performances through just four games. Ekeler is also averaging a ridiculous 8.6 yards per touch. Last week, Browns pass-catching back had his best game of the short season against the Raiders, racking up four catches for 45 yards. That should be the absolute floor for Ekeler this week. – Ryan McDowell
TJ Yeldon $5,700
For every bit that the Chiefs have been explosive on offense they have been equally as bad on defense. They don’t defend any aspect of the running back well. With over 800 total yards given up to the position in four weeks you can expect Jacksonville to continue to work Yeldon both rushing and receiving. A free agent at years end you can see TJ will be sought after as he continues to prove he can play three downs in this league. Racking up 100 total yards and two touchdowns last week vs the Jets the volume will be there as Fournette is set to miss some more time. – Sal Leto
Aaron Jones $5,600
Given Jamaal Williams’ pass-protecting prowess, I was skeptical Aaron Jones would carve out a significant role immediately following his return from suspension. But he has logged touch counts of 7 followed by 12, and has shown he is easily the most explosive back in Green Bay. With Aaron Rodgers still clearly not at full strength, the Packers would be wise to feature their best runner. They have a date with a Lions club which has been gashed on the ground to the tune of 5.3 yards per carry. The matchup, game script, and ever evolving role in the offense all point to Jones being a strong option in Week 5. – Rob Willette
Tevin Coleman $7,300
It appears that Week Five will be the week we see Falcons RB Devonta Freeman return to the field, yet many are still treating his teammate RB Tevin Coleman as the starter. The best we can hope for is a 50/50 split and even when Coleman had his shot to claim a significant role, he failed. In three games without Freeman, Coleman finished as the RB13, RB27 and RB28. This week, the Falcons face the Steelers and even in a game that could turn into a shootout, there should be many better options than Coleman. The Steelers have held opposing RBs to the fourth-fewest fantasy points through the first month of the season. – Ryan McDowell
Kareem Hunt $7,600
Hunt broke out on Monday for 175 total yards and two touchdowns so why wouldn’t we expect that he is back on track? As I pointed out last week when I said to avoid Isiah Crowell this Jags team is almost as good stopping the run as they are the pass. Giving up just 26 rushing yards total to Jets backs last week the Jags lowered their per game total to 72 yards a game and continued to not let an RB find paydirt since Barkley’s big run in week one. This will be the truest test all around for this Chiefs offense. – Sal Leto
Carlos Hyde $6,800
Carlos Hyde has been productive if unspectacular in 2018. He has found paydirt in every game this season and even flashed a high ceiling in a Week 2 tilt against the Jets. There’s plenty of cause for long-term concern, however. Hyde is averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per tote, has been a total zero in the pass game with four catches for 15 yards, and has an explosive Nick Chubb champing at the bit for more looks behind him. Baltimore has been effective in shutting down the run this year, allowing only 3.9 yards per carry, and the return of Jimmy Smith should elevate the entire defense. On the road in a game in which the Browns could be playing from behind, Hyde is a risky proposition. – Rob Willette
Sal Leto (@LetoSal), Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23), and Rob Willette (@RobWillette24) are freelance contributors for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.
Believe me. Odds are, none of these names are going to get you excited. But one of the keys to DFS success is ignoring flash, and going for value, every time you can. These four guys are as cost-effective as they get and are all set to put up some big numbers this weekend. So, as you figure out the best way to spend your $55,000 Fanball cap, keep this set of players in mind. They’ll give you the best shot to be counting your winnings at week’s end.
Best Value, QB: Alex Smith @ New Orleans – $6,600 – 12% of Cap
All the attention will go to Drew Brees in his quest to become the all-time passing leader. As has almost become his trademark, expect Alex Smith to quietly have a stout game, flying far below the radar, just how he likes it. Smith has been as consistent as it gets in his first season with Washington, throwing for at least 220 yards in every game he’s played. The problem? The famed “Gamer Manager” has yet to truly break out. Smith has yet to throw for either 300 yards nor three touchdowns, but Monday could finally be the night. The Saints have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterback this year, allowing an astonishing average of 323 yards, 2.8 touchdowns, and only .3 interceptions per game. Brees will get all the love, but Smith will likely be the better DFS play.
Best Value, RB: T.J. Yeldon @ Kansas City – $5,700 – 10% of Cap
I’m just going to level with you. If you’re not including T.J. Yeldon on your DFS teams this week, you’re building your team wrong. This reaches far past the Leonard Fournette injury that grants Yeldon lead-back status. This is about an opponent that has gotten shredded week after week after week. The Chiefs are allowing over 100 yards rushing yards per game to opposing running backs, on a salivating 5.5 yards per carry. Yeldon already has 125 receiving yards on the season, and that number is bound to go up significantly, as Kansas City is by far the worst in the league at covering backs in the passing game, surrendering 96 yards per game. Spending 13 percent of your cap may still be worth it for Yeldon. Only using 10 percent on him is highway robbery.
Best Value, WR: Mohamed Sanu @ Pittsburgh – $5,000 – 9% of Cap
It’s another Atlanta Falcons game, and we’re inclined to believe this will be yet another shootout. Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley should obviously be monsters in this matchup, but Mohamed Sanu, at a $2500 dollar price reduction, makes the most sense for your lineup. Sanu has been overshadowed by Ridley’s recent breakout but has been playing pretty good football himself over their last two games, totaling 10 receptions, 147 yards, and one touchdown during that span. Pittsburgh has been only better than New Orleans at defending the wide receiver position this year. Through the first quarter of the season, the Steelers have surrendered an average of 221 yards per game, and 1.8 touchdowns to wideouts. Skip the flashier Falcons receivers, and get the best bang for your buck with Sanu.
Best Value, TE: Jared Cook @ Los Angeles (Chargers) – $6,200 – 11% of Cap
Yuck. I don’t particularly like any tight end this week. But since we’re forced to play one, I’m offering Jared Cook as the least of all the evils. Cook wasn’t even rostered in most season-long leagues entering the year. Now, he sits as the number one fantasy tight end in football, and so far shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Cook now has multiple games with over 100 yards receiving, and after not finding the end zone at all through their first three games, scored twice in the Raiders week four win. This weeks’ opponent just let George Kittle go for 125 yards and a touchdown a week ago. But other than him, number one tight ends haven’t done anything against Los Angeles, averaging 23 yards, and zero touchdowns. Cook is a fine play, but if your looking to spend big on an elite player, tight end may be the place to do it this week.
All game log information, and defense against specific position stats courtesy of fftoday.com
All DVOA statistics courtesy of footballoutsiders.com
Bradley Ylitalo (@BradleyYlitalo) is a freelance contributor for the SportsHub Games Network, Inc., Fanball’s parent company. Any advice or strategies provided by SportsHub contributors represent their personal opinions; they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of SportsHub Games Network and are not necessarily reflective of the strategies they may employ in their own lineups.