What a wild first couple weeks. Ryan Fitzmagic and Patrick Mahomes are playing like Pro-Bowlers and Desean Jackson is back to prime form. We’ll no doubt continue to get surprised as the season rolls on. As we enter into week three, we’re beginning to get a much better feel of how to value players and project their weekly usage and output. As you create your salary cap lineups for this weekend’s games, we want to give you these four players to keep in mind. They’re not the flashiest names, but at their relatively low cost, they’ll give you the best chance to make the most of your $55,000.
Best Value, QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Pittsburgh – $6,900 – 13% of Cap
Ryan Fitzpatrick proved he’s back in week one. He then proved he’s for real in week two. Against the same Eagles defense that made Matt Ryan look like a backup, Fitzpatrick absolutely dominated, putting up 417 yards and four touchdowns. The team he’s now going up against has been as bad as it gets against quarterbacks thus far. Through their first two games, Tyrod Taylor and Patrick Mahomes have gathered a total of 518 yards and eight touchdowns. Pittsburgh ranked 8th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks a year ago, but ever since they lost Ryan Shazier, they haven’t been the same. In six games without Shazier, the Steelers have let up an average of 250 yards and 2.2 touchdowns per game.
Best Value, RB: Giovani Bernard @ Carolina – $6,700 – 12% of Cap
For as long as Joe Mixon is out, Giovani Bernard is going to be a must-start. This week’s opponent, the Panthers, don’t present the easiest of tests. Nevertheless, Bernard’s high floor makes him an extremely valuable start at his low price. Carolina has faced two great rushing attacks to start 2018. Although they’ve only allowed one rushing touchdown, their combined 227 yards against through those two games paints a compelling picture for Bernard. Cincinnati has run the ball 48 times thus far, with 38 of those going to Mixon. With him sidelined, expect Bernard to inherit a high majority of those.
Best Value, WR: Cooper Kupp vs Los Angeles (Chargers) – $6,400 – 12% of Cap
In a battle for Los Angeles loaded with star power, it could be Cooper Kupp who ends up being the highlight. The Chargers have been carved up by opposing receivers through the first two weeks, having already allowed over 300 yards and four touchdowns to the position. Against “other” receivers (not number one or two) as Kupp is in the Rams offense, LA has struggled brutally in DVOA, ranking 26th. The second-year receiver has averaged 58 yards and .5 touchdowns over 5.5 receptions per game in 2018. If he can put up similar numbers against the reeling Chargers defense, he’ll be well worth his 12% cap hit.
Best Value, TE: Jesse James @ Tampa Bay – $4,700 – 9% of Cap
The Buccaneers haven’t allowed a touchdown to a tight end this year, and are still somehow ranked sixth worst in the league at fantasy points allowed at the position. They’ve been ravaged in both yards and receptions, as tight ends have averaged an insane 10 receptions and 110 yards per game thus far. Jesse James wasn’t even supposed to be ready for week one. Not only has he made it back on the field, but he’s been crushing it. James has only gathered eight receptions, but he’s made the very most of them, to the tune of 198 yards and one score. In a game that should be a shootout, James should see a plethora of targets and yards.
All game log information, and defense against specific position stats courtesy of fftoday.com
All DVOA, vs number one receiver stats, and deep ball 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.
Mat and Scott recap last weekend and what you need to know. They also give you a couple ways to get free money on Fanball and talk about plays they’ve been to after they both saw Hamilton this past weekend. Send questions for the Mailbag podcast to [email protected] Put “Mailbag” in the subject line!