Fill us in on your favorite salary-saving value plays for Wild Card Weekend. But we don't just want your value plays: we all know Dede Westbrook is underpriced, after all. Dig deeper and give us your two best mega-value plays - let's say, under $4,000 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel.
Jason Wood: I think the core plays will be so highly owned, it's whoever hits on their fringe value plays that will be seeing the best ROI this week. With that in mind, I'll offer my favorite choices at each position:
RB Jonathan Stewart ($3,500) – Stewart has taken a back seat to McCaffrey in most game scripts, but we saw a few weeks ago how valuable he remains as a workhorse and short-yardage option. If the Panthers win this game – and they're capable – Stewart could end up being the surprise star with 15+ touches and multiple touchdowns.
TE Josh Hill ($2,500) – Coby Fleener is gone, and the Saints are projected to be the highest-scoring team this weekend. You want to own pieces of the Saints, and Hill is probably the least-owned option on the docket.
RB T.J. Yeldon ($4,800) -- Yeldon played well in Fournette's absence, and the hope here, if you use him, is that the Jaguars win so convincingly there are enough running snaps for both Fournette and Yeldon. It’s a risky, but not impossible, outcome.
WR Eric Decker ($4,800) – The pickings are slim below $5K at receiver, but Decker at least has a long resume to hint at the rare playoff breakout.
TE Josh Hill ($4,500) – See above.
Justin Bonnema: I honestly don't have many options outside of what Jason has already pegged as great value plays. One guy you can consider on both sites is Austin Hooper ($4,500 FD/$2,900 DK). Tight ends are sort of forgotten in the Falcons offense, and Hooper didn't do much in the absence of Levine Toilolo last week, but that was mostly because Devonta Freeman soaked up 11 targets. The Falcons will need to be more creative on the road against a solid Rams offense that can be explosive when it needs to – and grind clock when called upon. The Rams have allowed eight touchdowns to tight ends this season and have been tough on wide receivers; I expect the Falcons to attack the middle of the field with running backs and tight ends. I'll be especially intrigued with Hooper if Toilolo misses another game.
John Mamula: Jason and Bonnema nailed many of the great value plays. Hitting on the correct 1-2 of those is what will decide whether you make it to the cash window or not.
On this short slate, I prefer to eat the chalk with Todd Gurley and pay down at wide receiver and tight end. At receiver, Albert Wilson and Benjamin stand out as a strong value plays this week. Wilson is fresh off a 10-reception, 147-yard performance against the Broncos. As Jason mentioned, with McCoy injured, Benjamin will have to absorb some more targets.
At tight end, I will be spreading out my exposure with Clay, Hooper, and Hill. All three tight ends are attractively-priced and will pay dividends if they find the end zone.
Justin Howe: Ding ding ding on Jason’s call of Stewart, who comes embarrassingly cheaply against this pitiful Saints run defense. Only four teams allowed more yards per carry on the year, and Stewart turned in two solid performances (a combined 23 for 102 and 1 touchdown) against them. Stewart represents such a cheap and low-owned way to buy into this game that he can’t be ignored, and he’ll be in most of my lineups.
I also like the cheap Bills receivers. Yes, they’re playing Jacksonville, but this isn’t the time of year to play it ultra-safe. Besides, the matchup will keep ownership nice and low on Benjamin, who can be rostered for a song on DraftKings ($3,500). Clay is underpriced as well. This is a guy with 8+ targets in each of the Bills’ last 3 games, and he carries funnel potential as the Jaguars’ elite secondary swarms the wideouts. Garbage time could also come into play here, which would set up Tyrod Taylor for 30-35 attempts. Playing both Benjamin and Clay is quite the contrarian stab, but it’s a tiny DraftKings investment ($7,500) that would put you on a GPP island. On a four-game slate, that’s the type of asset you should be chasing in a large-field tournament. Putting all your eggs into Todd Gurley and Travis Kelce will only take you so far this weekend.
Chris Feery: The best value plays have already been mentioned by my colleagues. For this week in general, I’ll be paying up at QB and RB while looking for value at WR and TE. At receiver, Albert Wilson, Benjamin, Decker, and Sanu are the names that stick out. If you're going with two higher-priced backs, it's pretty challenging to fit in a Julio Jones or a Tyreek Hill. In addition to saving the needed salary cap dollars, some of these value plays could sneak in under the radar, and that gives you some much-needed differentiation for this short slate.
Over at tight end, I’ll be looking to split my exposure between Clay and Hooper. Travis Kelce is going to be mega-chalk this week, and it’s pretty tough to pass on the upside he brings to the table. However, with so many appealing/expensive running back options on the docket, you simply have to find a spot to save salary cap dollars.
James Brimacombe: Jason and Bonnema hit the cheapies this week. The sites did a great job of pricing the top players up, which in turn didn't create much value at all. Stewart and Benjamin both jump off the page to me at DK for $3,500. Hill also almost feels like a value at $6,800 on DK as he is priced well below Jones and Michael Thomas.
I think Freeman is a nice play on both sites and not really as a value play, but he is a mid-priced play who has been getting a heavy workload as of late. Sanu is another player that I would consider if you are having a hard time paying up for Jones.