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King for a Day: Bargain Buying

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian

Jerry Donabedian writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Welcome to King for a Day - Our new weekly feature focusing on DraftKings' Fantasy Football contests.

For the uninitiated, DraftKings runs fantasy salary-based football contests where users can take home cash each week instead of waiting for the end of the season. It's a great time to start playing fantasy football contests on DraftKings, as new depositors receive a free qualifier ticket into the Millionaire Grand Finale.

Like most fantasy football formats, it's all about value on DraftKings. Don't be afraid to scroll down a bit when picking players, as the beginning of the season is the best time to cash in on some of your "sleepers". Is there a rookie who you believe is headed for instant stardom? If so, now would be the best time to pick him on DraftKings. If he breaks out like you think he will, the player's cost will rise over the course of the season. He may be one of the cheapest options at his position this week, but that won't be the case after a string of 100-yard games.

Now, on to some of the best values in Week 3:

QUARTERBACK

Colin Kaepernick, SF, $8800 vs. IND – The 49ers’ offense figures to bounce back from last week’s disaster in Seattle, and a matchup against the Colts could be just what the doctor ordered. Indianapolis’ front seven looks questionable at best, so it comes as no surprise that the Colts rank 29th in rushing defense through two weeks. Kaepernick should piece together a nice mix of passing and rushing stats, after doing all of his damage through the air in Week 1, and solely producing on the ground in Week 2. The San Francisco offense doesn’t have many good matchups early in the season, but there’s little doubt that this is one of them.

Ryan Tannehill, MIA, $6300 vs. ATL – This doesn’t look like a great week to skimp at quarterback, but Tannehill’s price is pretty tempting if you decide to take that route, as he’ll face an Atlanta defense that was already questionable before losing DE Kroy Biermann (Achilles) and LB Sean Weatherspoon (foot) for the season. It also doesn’t hurt that Tannehill is off to a fast start, with 591 passing yards and a 65.3 completion percentage through two weeks.

RUNNING BACK

Matt Forte, CHI, $7800 vs. PIT – While his 138 rushing yards leave something to be desired, Forte has been a PPR beast, with 14 receptions for 114 yards. The Pittsburgh defense doesn’t exactly look like a pushover, but the once-proud unit seems to have taken a step back in 2013. It’s hard to see the Bears running away with this one, so Forte should be active throughout the game.

Joique Bell, DET, $4600 vs. WAS – This one’s pretty simple, really. The Redskins defense has been atrocious so far, and Reggie Bush ($8000) is looking shaky with a knee injury. Bell comes at a great price given the matchup, though if you select him, you’ll want to track Bush’s injury before finalizing your lineup.

WIDE RECEIVER

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI, $7800 vs. NO – Fitzgerald turned in a disappointing performance against the Lions last week, but he will have a nice opportunity to bounce back against the Saints, as long as he plays. Despite playing relatively low-scoring games through the first two weeks, New Orleans still figures to be involved in a number of shootouts this season. While Carson Palmer ($7300) may be as mistake-prone as ever, there’s little doubt that the veteran will be better than the likes of John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, and Kevin Kolb when it comes to getting Fitzgerald the ball. Don’t be afraid to use him even if he is a bit slowed by his hamstring injury.

Dez Bryant, DAL, $7700 vs. STL – Bryant has a sore back and is facing a decent defense, but this price is simply too good to pass up if he’s able to practice during the week and suit up Sunday. Larry Fitzgerald and Julio Jones already torched the Rams this season, as St. Louis has struggled against the pass despite having a nice collection of talent on the defensive side.

Brian Hartline, MIA, $5000 vs. ATL – While you probably don’t want to double down on the Miami passing game with both Ryan Tannehill ($6300) and Hartline, picking one or the other is a good way to save some dollars without turning to any lousy players or buying into a tough matchup. Hartline leads the Dolphins with 23 targets, and he has turned those looks into 14 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown. Some of the top wide receivers – notably Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green ($9500 each) – have great matchups and high prices this week, so it will be enticing to pair a cheap option like Hartline with an elite receiver like Johnson or Green.

TIGHT END

Greg Olsen, CAR, $5200 vs. NYG – Olsen is off to a strong start this season, with 12 receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown on 16 targets. The Giants D hasn’t been terrible thus far, but the unit appears to be weak at linebacker and safety, which bodes well for opposing tight ends. It’s certainly worked out that way so far, as Big Blue has already surrendered three touchdowns to tight ends through two weeks.

TEAM DEFENSE

Buffalo, $3600 vs. Jets – The Buffalo defense looks surprisingly strong so far, while the Jets’ offense has been just as bad as everyone expected. The Bills have some serious questions in the secondary, but Geno Smith probably isn’t the guy to exploit those weaknesses. A strong defensive line should go a long ways for Buffalo against a Jets team that makes no secret of its desire to run the ball.

KICKER

Mike Nugent, CIN, $3000 vs. GB –There’s no need to spend $3500+ on a kicker when you can get a perfectly good one for the minimum. Nugent is reliable, and the Cincinnati offense should be able to put up some points against the Packers.

BONUS THURSDAY PICK

Dwayne Bowe, KC, $6200 vs. PHIPhilip Rivers piled up 419 passing yards against the Eagles last week, and there’s no real reason to have faith in the Philadelphia defense. While the Chiefs don’t figure to put up big passing numbers throughout the year, Week 3 could be an exception. Bowe is the top receiving option in the Kansas City offense, and it’s not even close.