Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-week long $350,000 Fantasy Football contest for Week 3. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $30,000. Starts Sunday, September 21st at 1 p.m. ET. Enter now to join Jamey.
This was a fun week in setting a lineup for FanDuel. The litany of injured players either allowed for some good values or ruined some potential studs.
For example, I really wanted to use Knile Davis at Miami, but it appears now like Jamaal Charles (ankle) will play. With the potential headache, you should avoid both Chiefs running backs in this format.
Conversely, with Mark Ingram (hand) out, it allows for Khiry Robinson to be a great starting option, and he's one of the best values you'll find this week based on his price, which we'll address below. You can also consider Lamar Miller with Knowshon Moreno (elbow) out, Donald Brown with Ryan Mathews (knee) gone and Matt Asiata with Adrian Peterson (deactivated) away from the team.
A.J. Green (toe) is now expected to play, but it's risky to trust him with his price. We also would avoid DeSean Jackson (shoulder) and Eric Decker (hamstring) among the other injured guys who are questionable to play.
And you have to decide if the Broncos are worth the money given their matchup at Seattle, which is obviously tough. Most of Denver's main weapons -- Peyton Manning, Montee Ball, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas -- are priced too high to make it worth your while.
This week, we're looking at the $350,000 Sunday Kickoff tournament, which is $10 to enter. The top winner takes home $30,000, and the top 6,764 teams win money.
The tournament is based on a $60,000 salary cap, and you have to fill out a lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K and D. The scoring is 0.5 PPR, and passing touchdowns are worth four points, with interceptions minus-1 point. All other touchdowns are worth six points. It's decimal scoring for all positions with 0.1 points for rushing and receiving yards and 0.04 points for passing yards.
I'll be playing in this tournament as well, and you can play against me by clicking here. You can see my lineup below.
What we're doing in this space is finding the players who have the best value to help you build your team. You don't have to use all these players in one lineup, but these are guys to mix and match with some more expensive players.
We're also looking at players to avoid based on their price tag being too high. Let other people buy into the big name studs who could falter while you thrive off the better value picks.
Russell Wilson (vs. DEN)
The last time we saw Wilson against the Broncos, he won the biggest game of his life in the Super Bowl. He had 206 passing yards and two touchdowns and three carries for 26 yards. We'll take a similar performance this week, and he's usually much better at home than on the road, although he played well in Week 2 at San Diego with 202 passing yards and two touchdowns and two carries for 18 yards. He has four touchdowns and no interceptions through two games this year.
Peyton Manning (at SEA)
We're not telling you to sit Manning in a seasonal league, but he's not worth the cost in FanDuel this week. He will perform better against the Seahawks than he did in the Super Bowl when he passed for 280 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and lost a fumble. But will he outscore every other quarterback since he's the highest priced one this week? That's unlikely. You can do better at quarterback this week, and I'll take Stafford at $900 less.
Ahmad Bradshaw (at JAC)
Bradshaw is off to a good start this season with 85 total yards, including five catches in Week 1 at Denver and 126 total yards, including five catches and two touchdowns, in Week 2 against Philadelphia. He should keep up the production against the Jaguars, who have allowed four touchdowns to running backs in two games. Trent Richardson will likely continue to be an annoyance to Bradshaw, but the matchup is too good, along with the price, to pass on him here.
Khiry Robinson (vs. MIN)
Ingram will miss a few weeks with a broken hand, and someone has to fill his role as the main rusher for the Saints. That should be Robinson, who already has one touchdown on the season. Ingram scored three touchdowns and was averaging 6.0 yards per carry on 24 carries. We figure if Robinson can get 12-15 carries against the Vikings, who allowed 101 rushing yards and a touchdown to Stevan Ridley last week, he should come through. His value also makes him a tremendous buy with the expected boost in production.
Other good value picks: Lamar Miller (vs. KC) for $6,600, Stevan Ridley (vs. OAK) for $6,200, Matt Asiata (at NO) for $6,200, Donald Brown (at BUF) for $6,200, Darren Sproles (vs. WAS) for $6,000, Terrance West (vs. BAL) for $5,800, Bernard Pierce (at CLE) for $5,300, Jonathan Stewart (vs. PIT) for $5,100 and Jeremy Hill (vs. TEN) for $4,900
Montee Ball (at SEA)
Running backs don't typically fare well in Seattle, as you would expect. And running backs haven't done well against the Seahawks so far this season with Eddie Lacy (concussion) and Mathews getting knocked out in consecutive weeks. Ball hopefully will avoid an injury, and he's played well through two games with 83 total yards, including two catches and a touchdown in Week 1 against the Colts and 89 total yards, including three catches, in Week 2 against the Chiefs. But this is clearly a tougher test, and we would avoid him based on the cost.
Frank Gore (at ARI)
Gore is an easy running back to avoid this week since the Cardinals have a good run defense, he was bad at Arizona last year and his cost isn't worth the production. He was good last week against the Bears with 13 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 12 yards, but last year against the Cardinals he had 13 carries for 14 yards. Arizona has been tough on Mathews and Rashad Jennings through two games, and this should be a difficult matchup for Gore to succeed.
Brandin Cooks (vs. MIN)
The last time we saw Cooks indoors was Week 1 at the Falcons when he had seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown on eight targets and one carry for 18 yards. He followed that up with a dud outdoors at Cleveland last week with three catches for 17 yards and two carries for 31 yards, but we're expecting a rebound game. The nice thing is the targets are there with 14 in two games, and we think the Saints are going to demolish the Vikings at home. Look for Cooks and Marques Colston to play a prominent role, and they are great value buys this week.
Golden Tate (vs. GB)
I want as many players in the Lions-Packers game as possible, which you'll see with my lineup below, and Tate should have his best game as a member of the Lions this week. The Packers won't pose much of a threat defensively, and Tate is seeing plenty of targets with 14 in two games. He played well in his last home game in Week 1 against the Giants with six catches for 93 yards, and I love his value this week. This should be the Fantasy matchup of the week, and I'm counting on the Lions to deliver.
Other good value picks: Jeremy Maclin (vs. WAS) for $6,300, Steve Smith (at CLE) for $6,200, Marques Colston (vs. MIN) for $5,600, Brian Quick (vs. DAL) for $5,200, Aaron Dobson (vs. OAK) for $4,800, Jermaine Kearse (vs. DEN) for $4,700, Davante Adams (at DET) for $4,600
Larry Fitzgerald (vs. SF)
Drew Stanton will start again for the injured Carson Palmer (shoulder), and that means bad news for Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd ($6,300). Last week at the Giants, Fitzgerald had six catches for 51 yards on 10 targets, and Floyd had one catch for 19 yards on six targets. The 49ers were just beat up by the Bears with Cutler throwing four touchdowns, but Stanton isn't likely to come close to that. I'd rather pass on the Cardinals guys and go with two guys from the Saints in Cooks and Colston.
Victor Cruz (vs. HOU)
Cruz is clearly struggling right now with just seven catches for 84 yards on the season. He asked for more targets in Week 2 against the Cardinals, and he was rewarded with 10, but he finished with three drops to go with five catches and 60 yards. We can't trust Cruz right now, and seeing him at a higher price then guys like Cooks, Colston, Maclin, Tate and several others gives you an idea that it's easy to avoid him. Better days are ahead, especially if the targets remain high, but he needs to prove himself first.
Other bad value picks: Demaryius Thomas (at SEA) for $8,700, Emmanuel Sanders (at SEA) for $7,800, Cordarrelle Patterson (at NO) for $6,900, T.Y. Hilton (at JAC) for $6,500, Dwayne Bowe (at MIA) for $6,400
Larry Donnell (vs. HOU)
While Cruz has struggled, Donnell has shined. He leads the Giants in catches, yards and targets this season, and he should continue to play well against the Texans. Houston struggled to defend Niles Paul in Week 1 when he took over for the injured Jordan Reed (hamstring) with four catches for 86 yards, and Donnell could have a similar outing. Donnell, Paul and Derek Carrier are three of my favorite value picks this week at tight end. Carrier could start for the 49ers against the Cardinals with Vernon Davis (ankle) and Vance McDonald (knee) both banged up, and that's an excellent matchup.
Jason Witten (at STL)
When Witten faced the Rams last year he had five catches for 67 yards on six targets. That would be a dream stat line this week. Through two games, Witten has been held to six catches for 46 yards on 13 targets. It's nice the targets are there, but he has to start producing. And this is a tough matchup since the Rams have locked down tight ends for the past two seasons. At some point Witten will start playing at a high level again, but he's not worth using this week, especially at the cost. I'd rather have Donnell, Paul or even Carrier if he starts.
Cody Parkey (vs. WAS)
Randy Bullock (at NYG)
Shayne Graham (vs. MIN)
Phil Dawson (at ARI)
Brandon McManus (at SEA)
Ryan Succop (at CIN)
Ravens (at CLE)
Chargers (at BUF)
Saints (vs. MIN)
Chiefs (at MIA)
Broncos (at SEA)
Vikings (at NO)
QB: Matthew Stafford (vs. GB): $9,000
RB: Stevan Ridley (vs. OAK): $6,200
RB: Khiry Robinson (vs. MIN): $4,700
WR: Calvin Johnson (vs. GB): $9,00
WR: Jordy Nelson (at DET) $8,600
WR: Golden Tate (vs. GB): $5,000
TE: Jimmy Graham (vs. MIN): $8,400
K: Nate Freese (vs. GB): $4,500
D: Saints (vs. MIN): $4,600
If the Lions have a bad game this week then I'm in trouble, but I'm expecting a shootout in Detroit with the Packers. As stated above, I love the value for Tate this week, and I wanted Johnson in my lineup. I loaded up on big-name receiving options with Nelson and Graham as well, and I like Stafford at his value compared to Manning, Aaron Rodgers ($9,800) and Andrew Luck ($9,500). The position I spent the least on was running back, but I think Ridley and Robinson could both score. Ridley is our Start of the Week, and I expect a dominant performance against the Raiders.