Friday, September 4, 2015

Thursday Night Contests

FanDuel released player salaries for the Sunday and Monday games several weeks ago, but held off opening contests that start Thursday night until yesterday. Player salaries in the Thursday night game are now available.

I was hoping DeAngelo Williams would be cheaper, but at $7,600, he is merely a decent value, not an exceptional value. I like Williams' prospects in Week 1, but at that salary, he will probably not be in many of my cash-game lineups. He is still one of the better values in the $7,000-$8,000 range (along with Andre Ellington at $7,900, Justin Forsett and Mark Ingram at $7,800, Frank Gore at $7,500, and Lamar Miller at $7,300), but given my significantly higher projections for them, I'm leaning toward paying up for the higher-priced backs like Eddie Lacy ($8,500), Adrian Peterson ($9,200), Matt Forte ($8,800), and Jamaal Charles ($8,900).

Rob Gronkowski, on the other hand, is every bit as cheap as I was hoping he'd be at $8,100. That's $1,200 more than the next highest-priced tight end (Jimmy Graham at $6,900), but worth every penny in my opinion. He might be in every single one of my Thursday cash-game lineups and in a decent number of my Thursday tournament lineups as well.

As with Gronkowski, Antonio Brown ($9,300) is also the highest-priced player at his position, but still a great value.

Both Ben Roethlisberger ($8,600) and Tom Brady ($8,400) are somewhat expensive quarterback options, but far below the very top tier (Aaron Rodgers leads the pack at $9,700). Of the two, I like Roethlisberger better in Week 1, but I may be in the minority on that. They're both good values in their price range, but I'd probably prefer either to pay up for Aaron Rodgers ($9,700) or Andrew Luck ($9,200), or hit the next-lower tier like Sam Bradford ($7,500), or go bargain-hunting for Jameis Winston ($6,900 in a great matchup vs. TEN) or Tyrod Taylor ($5,000, obviously priced as a backup).

Jonas Gray ($6,400) is the best of the New England running backs in Week 1, but I'm really not comfortable projecting that backfield without LeGarrette Blount, so I won't play Gray in any cash games. (Update 09/07/15: The Patriots have released Jonas Gray, so now I'm definitely not including him in any of my lineups. I'm staying away from all Patriots RBs in Week 1.)

There are a few bargain-basement wide receivers to consider from this game -- namely Marcus Wheaton at $5,700 and Danny Amendola at $5,600. But ultimately, I don't think they'll be in any of my lineups. The problem in cash games is that Devante Adams ($5,500) is a much better value in the same price range. The problem in tournaments is that players from Thursday night games are likely to have abnormally high ownership percentages -- so even if they have great games, you're not separating yourself from the pack as much as you'd like. That's okay for truly elite values like Gronkowski, but it's not what you want in your dart throws. Other players I'd rather take a chance on in that price range include Nelson Agholor ($5,500), Reuben Randle ($5,300), Eddie Royal ($5,000), and Stevie Johnson ($4,700).

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