For each skill position, pick your favorite low-salary option this week from the list below:
Ryan Tannehill (vs. New England)
Case Keenum (at San Francisco)
Derek Carr (vs. Pittsburgh)
Eli Manning (at Washington)
Spencer Ware (vs. Baltimore)
Peyton Barber (vs. New Orleans)
LeSean McCoy (vs. New York Jets)
Jeff Wilson (vs. Denver)
Nyheim Hines (at Houston)
Jalen Richard (vs. Pittsburgh)
Courtland Sutton (at San Francisco)
Chris Godwin (vs. New Orleans)
Dante Pettis (vs. Denver)
DeVante Parker (vs. New England)
Devin Funchess (at Cleveland)
Michael Crabtree (at Kansas City)
John Brown (at Kansas City)
Michael Gallup (vs. Philadelphia)
Chris Herndon (at Buffalo)
Vance McDonald (at Oakland)
C.J. Uzomah (at Los Angeles Chargers)
Cameron Brate (vs. New Orleans)
Ian Thomas (at Cleveland)
Mark Andrews (at Kansas City)
Matt LaCosse (at San Francisco)
Ryan Tannehill (vs. New England) - This is a rough list, but give me Tannehill on the chance New England travels to Miami and the game script goes wonky as it seems to every year. Tannehill has at least shown a respectable 16-point floor in both games since returning from injury.
None - I'm going off the grid here with Justin Jackson. His great finish on Sunday Night Football may have earned him more playing time regardless, but if the Chargers are sitting on a big lead in the second half, as will likely be the case with the team favored by two touchdowns at home, I'm fairly certain LA will use Jackson as a hammer to finish the Bengals. The Chargers murky depth chart should help keep his ownership low.
Chris Godwin (vs. New Orleans) - Godwin is the clear answer here provided DeSean Jackson is out again. This tweet from NFL.com's Graham Barfield says it all:
Mark Andrews (at Kansas City) - Vance McDonald is tempting here, but Andrews is significantly cheaper and Kansas City is just as bad against tight ends as Oakland. The Chiefs have been blown up by Gerald Everett (3-49-2) and Jared Cook (7-100-1) in their last two games and Andrews has developed into the only viable pass-catcher on the Ravens since Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback.
I like either Tannehill or Keenum here as both teams are still fighting for the playoffs. As far as Carr and Manning their teams seasons are over and really expecting a high ceiling type of game out of either of them doesn’t seem to be in the cards the rest of the way. Out of Tannehill and Keenum I would probably side with Tannehill as he has two games under his best with good health and has thrown five touchdown passes in those two games. The task will be much harder this week against the Patriots but the home matchup should help Tannehill’s cause.
I am not crazy about any of these running back options this week so if I had to choose I would probably look for the cheapest guy who has potential to see the most volume and that guy would be Jeff Wilson. We know very little about Wilson right now as he has only played in the 49ers past two games. In that span, he has rushed the ball 22 times for 94 yards and has seen 10 targets for nine catches and 81 additional yards.
With the recent news of Emmanuel Sanders going down in practice with an injury I think you have just insert Courtland Sutton into your lineup and move on. Sutton has had a fine rookie season with 28/558/3 line and now as the top receiving option in the offense against a 49ers team that gives up big plays and points he almost is an auto pick.
With so many names that I want no part of here, I think at tight end you just want to pay up for Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz the rest of the season and make the tough calls at the WR position instead. If I had to choose from this group I would probably look to Cameron Brate against the Saints as the game has potential to be high scoring and Brate has touchdown potential.
Eli Manning is a solid low-priced option against Washington, who has allowed 300+ passing yards five times since Week 5. Manning has an extremely talented group of pass catchers at his disposal and this could be a week where Saquon Barkley gets a high percentage of his touches through the air instead of trying to make hay against the stout Washington front.
Jeff Wilson is the low-priced running back I am focused in on the most. He has at least as much upside as Jaylen Samuels and should come in just slightly below the radar compared to the chalky Samuels,
Courtland Sutton was a good play even before the recent news that Emmanuel Sanders tore his Achilles in practice on Wednesday. He is not a slam-dunk play as the clear go-to option in the Denver passing attack. He is a similar talent and now in a similar role to Kenny Golladay. However, he is priced almost $2,000 below Golladay on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
I am not interested in any of the super low-salary tight ends because Eric Ebron remains so underpriced. For example, Vance McDonald is a solid enough play this week. However, he is priced just $700 below Ebron on FanDuel. Ebron had 10 catches last week (on 16 targets) while McDonald has just 10 catches over his last three games. It makes sense to do what it takes to find the extra $700 to squeeze in Ebron.
QB - Yuck, but give me Carr. There's a big landmine in play here, with the Steelers pass rush firing on all cylinders. That obviously could spell trouble for the skittish Carr, who struggles mightily against pressure. But Jon Gruden has schemed away from the pass rush, giving Carr a sanitized, low-risk gameplan for the last two months. Carr subsides on dump offs and quick-release throws underneath, which get the ball away before danger strikes. The Pittsburgh secondary feeds off that pass rush; without it, this is an undermanned, undertalented group that's routinely beaten by catch-and-run receivers. The cornerbacks are shaky at best, and the safeties are often tied up in run support. That's allowed Emmanuel Sanders (7-86-1) and Keenan Allen (14-148-1) have posted monster lines the last 2 weeks. None of these options are pretty, but Carr at least boasts the potential for a line around 25-35-275-2.
RB - I swear I'm not into the Raiders this week - or ever - but Richard looks like the strongest upside stab here. I worry about Wilson, who lost a fumble last week and could find himself competing with Matt Breida, who's apparently made of iron. Some of the other matchups (Ware, Hines) are prohibitive, and Barber carries almost no upside beyond 80 yards and a score. Richard already has a sizeable share in the offense, catching 4.7 passes a week, and could take on a bigger role if Doug Martin is forced to sit. Over his last 2 games with real ground usage, Richard has produced 156 yards on 17 carries.
WR - Godwin Godwin Godwin! If you're not starting your cash-game build with Godwin ($4,900 on DraftKings), then to quote Steve Harvey, "you done missed it." The guys have already laid out the case: talent + usage + Tampa Bay volume = big opportunity for the big-bodied Godwin to shine. There's game theory in play here, as everyone and their grandmothers will roster him in both cash and tournament games. But in general, you don't want to be left without these savings when he posts his usual 5-100-1 type of line.
TE - McDonald is probably the upside play here, running routes against a Raiders defense that's allowed recent tight end performances of 6-70-1, 4-108-1, 1-74, and 12-168-2. But I'll throw a hat in the ring for Brate, too, who's historically been a big favorite of Jameis Winston's. Over his career, he's found the end zone on 14% of his receptions, and he dropped a sure touchdown last week. That game could get way out of hand, Brate would be a cheap way to buy in.
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