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Value Plays: Week 6

A comparison of the weekly positional rankings and the Top 200, this is an output of the players who could have unexpected big fantasy weeks.

This article will take a weekly look at players who could provide value in a given week. The basis for this value will be the difference between the Top 200 forward, a look at the top 200 players with the whole season in mind, and the weekly rankings. Both of these are from the Insider content. An emphasis will be on the players with the largest differences between the season outlook and this week only. Also, a preference will be given to differences for the higher ranked players. Some of these differences will be due to injury, the matchup of the week, or short-term situation. Now, let's take a look at this week's value players.


Ben Roethlisberger

  • Top 200 ranking: 6
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +3

Roethlisberger and the Steelers travel to Miami to face the Dolphins this in a matchup of teams heading in opposite directions.  The Pittsburgh pass offense was clicking on all cylinders last week and should have another big outing.  Miami gives up the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.  The emergence of Sammie Coates Jr and the return of Le'Veon Bell have propelled Roethlisberger to big numbers.

Carson Palmer

  • Top 200 ranking: 20
  • Weekly ranking: 8
  • Difference: +12

This week, Palmer has been cleared from the concussion that kept him out of the Thursday night game against San Francisco.  The matchup against the Jets is a juicy one as only Oakland, Atlanta, and Detroit yield as many fantasy points to the quarterback position as does New York.  With the Cardinals playing so poorly of late, we like this contest as a rebound opportunity for Palmer and company.

Running Back

Jordan Howard

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +9

Howard has shown up on this in consecutive weeks.  He has been a very solid fantasy starter while Jeremy Langford has been sidelined.  The game against the soft Jacksonville Jaguars should provide the Bears running game enough opportunities for Howard to once again eclipse expectations. 

Frank Gore

  • Top 200 ranking: 22
  • Weekly ranking: 15
  • Difference: +7

Gore and the Colts travel to Houston to face the division-rival Texans in a huge game for both franchises.  Indianapolis has struggled of late and desperately needs the victory to have a chance at the playoffs. The Texans are in the middle of the pack as far as giving up points to opposing tailbacks.  With the injury-decimated Colts offense, we are expecting a heavy dose of the running game.  

Ryan Mathews

  • Top 200 ranking: 34
  • Weekly ranking:  17
  • Difference: +17

Mathews has not enjoyed the statistical success many expected.  He has split time with Darren Sproles in the passing game and not received many red zone carries.  Well, the game against Washington this week should be high scoring, and allow the veteran ball carrier scoring opportunities.  Washington allows 32 PPR fantasy points to opposing running backs (fourth-worst in the league) so this could be the week Mathews gets untracked.

Wide Receiver

Brandon Marshall

  • Top 200 ranking: 26
  • Weekly ranking: 5
  • Difference: +21

Marshall has continued to produce solid fantasy numbers even though he is the last remaining threat in the passing game.  As the Jets face the Cardinals, many will consider this a tough matchup.  It should be, but the veteran receiver is expected to be targeted early and often by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.  In addition, this game should be high scoring, leading to more receiving targets for Marshall.  He could excel in garbage time for fantasy owners if Arizona jumps out to a comfortable lead.  Eric Decker landing on injured reserve only adds to Marshall’s appeal.

Kelvin Benjamin

  • Top 200 ranking: 21
  • Weekly ranking: 7
  • Difference: +14

Benjamin and the Panthers offense will welcome quarterback Cam Newton back to the lineup in a division test against the Saints in New Orleans.  Let’s remind everyone that the games played in New Orleans are usually high scoring.  After the dismal loss against the Buccaneers on Monday night, Newton and the Panthers will be hungry for a strong showing versus the defense which allows the third most PPR fantasy points to opposing wide receivers (42 points per game).  The situation sets up for Carolina’s top pass catcher to have a monster game. 

Randall Cobb

  • Top 200 ranking: 30
  • Weekly ranking: 18
  • Difference: +12

The Packers worked to get Cobb involved in the offense on Sunday night against the Giants.  It was successful.  As the slot receiver becomes more involved, the offense is able to open up the field.  The game against Dallas in Green Bay should be one where the veteran receiver can excel. 

Tight End

Delanie Walker

  • Top 200 ranking: 9
  • Weekly ranking: 3
  • Difference: +6

Walker and the Titans host the Browns this week in a game either team could win.  The matchup is good news for fantasy owners of the veteran tight end.  Cleveland is the worst (by a big margin) in defending opposing tight ends.  The Browns yield 24.62 PPR fantasy points per contest to tight ends.  The second-worst team is the Lions at 19.18.  So, to recap, Cleveland is horrible defending the tight end position.  Walker is a great play this week.

Coby Fleener

  • Top 200 ranking: 16
  • Weekly ranking: 9
  • Difference: +7

The New Orleans skill position players are all good options when the Saints play at home.  Helping matters, Carolina comes to town, licking their collective wounds after a rough start to the season.  The usually-strong defense has been a sieve to opposing passing games.  Further, the Panthers are the eighth-worst defense in defending against fantasy tight ends, yielding 15.18 PPR fantasy points per contest.  We expect Fleener to make that number go up even further. 

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