Thursday, November 5, 2015

Staff Thursday Cash Plays - Week 9

We’re about to enter the throes of Week 9 of the NFL and Fantasy Football season, and at this point should have a good sense of where all the various players we have examined sit.

Or we did until about half of them got hurt last weekend. At least, it seemed like half of them got hurt, though the biggest and most immediate player to end up on Injured Reserve was Le’Veon Bell. We also lost Steve Smith, lost Keenan Allen, the Miami Dolphins defense lost Cameron Wake and Colin Kaepernick got benched.

They like to keep us on our toes, the NFL does.

The Footballguys staff shook all that off and got right back to work though. They’ve compiled their Thursday cash picks for you and I’ve pulled out some of the choice bits worthy of discussion. You can find all the lineups here.

Staff Trends

Heavy on the Brady
Normally we’re talking about the lack of top quarterbacks getting use on a Thursday lineup but not today, as Tom Brady was in four out of ten lineups. The matchup is choice of course, as Washington continues to have issues and while the $9500 price is a bit steep, he’s close to a sure thing at this point. We’d also point out that the Interactive Value Chart loves him (link for subscribers) and while there are strong values elsewhere at quarterback, the price/value combo is worth a look.

Alshon Abounds
Eight out of ten staff members added Alshon Jeffery into their lineups. That’s a pretty string statement of support. Jeffery is facing a banged up Chargers defense, potentially without Eric Weddle and it’s vulnerable. $7900 isn’t cheap but for a guy who could put up WR1 numbers, it’s worth it. As Chad Parsons points out in the Value article, “Alshon Jeffery has seen 11, 11, and 15 targets in his three games this season. The Bears have an optimistic matchup against San Diego and Jeffery, outside of Martellus Bennett, is the only weapon of note in Chicago's passing game.

You know who got as much love as Alshon? Michael Crabtree. He’s had more targets than Amari Cooper so far and with the rookie getting plenty of attention, he’s taking advantage of single coverage and matchup advantages. At $5800 he’s a good bargain and against a poor Steelers defense I can see the appeal. For myself I went with Cooper, as there isn’t anyone to stop him in the Steelers secondary, but Crabtree is equally appealing.

Glaring Omissions

I’m a little surprised at the lack of Todd Gurley, who has high value and a solid matchup, but the $9000 is turning people off. Also, while Brady got some love, everyone is fading Rob Gronkowski. At $8500, he’s $1900 more than the next guy up, Gary Barnidge. Antonio Gates ($6000), Greg Olsen ($6400) and Barnidge are all as appealing for a lot less money.

Diamonds in the Rough

Darren McFadden is getting some love with Joseph Randle released. He seems to be healthy (a rarity) and is proving to be quite the workhorse behind a great offensive line and at $6500 he is a nice value in a solid matchup against the Eagles.

We also liked Steve Johnson as Allen is now on injured reserve. Johnson did leave the Week 8 game with a shoulder injury, but his $5400 salary and the lack of Allen could put Johnson in line for some big production. In the Value article, Danny Tuccitto said that “given his salary and projected points, Johnson has a 55.4% chance of achieving cash game value, which ranks third among wide receivers.

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