You can have nice things, dear daily gamer. Selective frugality is the key to your happiness.
Daily fantasy football, in that way, is not so different from re-draft leagues: exploiting market inefficiencies – gaps between value perception and reality — is the key to both.
That’s certainly what we did in Week 2 on Star Fantasy Leagues, where a few underpriced values made room for reliable fantasy studs, many of whom lit up the fantasy scoreboard last Sunday.
I had Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne pegged for 15.1 fantasy points at the low, low cost of $397 dollars per point (DPP). He ended his day with 14.5 points. Terrelle Pryor, thanks to game flow, underperformed by about 50 percent of his Week 2 projection.
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Let’s see if we can keep up the selective frugality in Week 3, as screaming market efficiencies are exacerbated by injuries to star players.
- Hoyer is this week’s Chad Henne: a quarterback at a rock-bottom price who might post decent numbers thanks to volume throwing. Cleveland’s expulsion of Trent Richardson leaves an already moribund run game dead on arrival, so I’d expect Hoyer to chuck it quite a bit against a Minnesota secondary that has given up 880 yards passing through two weeks.
- Pryor can still free up a truckload of money to spend at other positions, including the second quarterback spot required on Star Fantasy Leagues. Game flow destroyed Pryor’s Week 2 fantasy production, as the corpse that is the Jacksonville offense didn’t push Oakland to score in the second half. Expect Pryor to be turned loose in a desperate attempt to keep pace with the Broncos’ merciless offensive machine. I think this could be the game Pryor enthusiasts have waited for.
- You’re still paying a whole lot less for Vick’s points compared to other elite fantasy signal callers. Aaron Rodgers’ DPP, for instance, is $847, and Drew Brees sits at a hefty $763. Vick doesn’t represent the most egregious market inefficiency, of course, but daily gamers should continue to take full advantage.
- An important note: I’ve projected Bell and Pierce as if they’ll start and receive something close to a starter’s workload. If Ray Rice or Reggie Bush suit up – a 50-50 shot at the moment – these projections should be docked by a healthy margin. Bell, in particular, becomes a must-play against a Washington front seven that has been unerringly friendly to running backs, giving up 402 rushing yards through two weeks.
- Gore’s lackluster start to the season plays into the hands of anyone who thinks the maulers on the 49ers’ offensive line will dismantle the Colts’ front seven this week. Indianapolis has allowed the fourth most rushing yards through Week 2. I’m pretty sure the 49ers are aware of that little tidbit.
- Montee Ball enthusiasts were dealt a gut shot last week. They watched in frozen horror at Moreno played 46 of the Broncos’ 75 offensive snaps and piled up 93 yards and two touchdowns. Peyton Manning and Denver’s coaches trust Moreno; that’s all that really matters. Moreno represents a decent value this week against a shreddable Oakland front line.
- Edelman, just as he did in Week 2, is the preeminent value play among wide receivers. His price is exceedingly low for a guy who has been targeted more than any pass catcher in the league. Probably Edelman won’t post huge yardage outputs, but as long as Tom Brady is force-feeding his only reliable receiver, Edelman is a fantastic daily play.
- This week’s Detroit-Washington throw-down could have all sorts of fantasy football goodness. There’s no reason to expect Washington’s secondary to stiffen against the pass-happy Lions. That leaves room for Garcon to fill the stat sheet once again, as Robert Griffin III peppers him with targets. Garcon has 15 receptions through two weeks, at a clip of 13.8 yards per catch.
- Royal, like Edelman, will score by default. My projection is likely lower than many in the business of daily fantasy prognostication, so if you like Royal to keep up his torrid pace and think he could easily score another 15 or 20 points this week against the Titans, please adjust his DPP to your liking. Jerricho Cotchery and Davone Bess have been targeted more than Royal, for the record.
- Clay, who I’ve ranted and raved about for the better part of September, still represents a glaring market inefficiency. He’s seventh in tight end targets, and has become more than an underneath security blanket for Ryan Tannehill. His potential role as a goal line vulture has not been incorporated into the above projection. I have to see it happen again.
- Fleener’s new role as Indy’s only pass-catching tight end has yet to be factored into his price point. Dwayne Allen is out for the year, leaving Fleener a nice little opportunity spike. He ran 36 pass routes in Week 2, with Allen on the shelf, after running just 24 routes in Week 1. The 49ers are a tough draw, but Fleener can still save you cash to spend elsewhere in Week 3.
- What’s Gonzo doing on our tight end value board? There are 13 tight ends priced higher than the future Hall of Famer after a less-than-stellar start to the season (seven catches for 69 yards and a score). Matt Ryan, who was always going to throw a lot, is going to throw even more with old man Steven Jackson out for the next few weeks. Gonzalez, among others, will reap the benefits.