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King for a Day: Bite the Bullet

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 4:

QUARTERBACK

Andrew Luck, IND, $8400 vs. JAX
- Luck has surprisingly attempted just 93 passes through three games, but he's compensated fantasy owners with 100 rushing yards and a pair of scores on the ground. After facing tough defenses the last two weeks, Luck should find a comfort zone against one of the league's worst units. Jacksonville's opponents have completed 65.5 percent of their passes this season with seven touchdowns and an interception. Seattle's Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson combined to throw for five touchdowns on just 29 pass attempts in a 45-17 win over the Jags last week.

Peyton Manning, DEN, $9900 vs. PHI - There's nothing sneaky or original about this pick, and it will drain a good portion of your budget. But Manning is clearly the top fantasy QB in the league, and he faces a leaky Philadelphia defense. While no quarterback is ever a lock to throw three touchdowns, it would be a surprise if Manning doesn't reach that mark this week. He has the highest ceiling and the highest floor at his position, and that's worth paying top dollar for.

RUNNING BACK

Jamaal Charles, KC, $8100 vs. NYG
- Charles is off to a fantastic start with 375 total yards, 18 receptions and three touchdowns through three games. Granted, he's done his work against a friendly slate of defenses, but that's not a huge concern for Sunday, as the Giants don't look particularly good themselves. As if it weren't enough that Charles is one of the league's most talented runners, he also leads the Chiefs by a wide margin with 24 targets. Odd as it may seem, it really won't be all that surprising if Charles finishes the year as the team leader in both targets and receptions. He's the featured player in a conservative offense that wants to pepper the field with short crossing routes and screens.

Bernard Pierce, BAL, $3800 vs. BUF - You can probably ignore this pick if Ray Rice (hip) ends up playing, but Pierce is arguably the best bargain of the week if Rice can't go. While the Baltimore running game has yet to get going this year, a matchup with the Bills should provide a spark. Buffalo had one of the league's worst run defenses last year and was shredded for 149 yards by Bilal Powell in Week 3. Most important, Pierce figures to handle a full workload if Rice can't go. Third-string running back Shaun Draughn was never a serious threat to see more than a handful of carries, even before he suffered a knee injury during last week's game.

Bilal Powell, NYJ, $4200 vs. TEN - A repeat of last week's performance may be too much to ask for, but with Chris Ivory (hamstring) looking unlikely to play, Powell should be an every-down player against a questionable Tennessee defense. At $4200 you can't ask for much more than a feature back with a decent matchup, so once you take Powell's Week 3 performance into consideration, this looks like an absolute steal. A starting combination of Powell and Pierce won't be mistaken for a world-beating duo, but it leaves you with tons of cash for other positions. Given the way things have played out this year, it might be best to skimp on running backs and direct your dollars towards elite quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends.

WIDE RECEIVER

Dez Bryant, DAL, $7800 vs. SD
- While he isn't off to the torrid start that many were expecting, Bryant still has been a solid option through three weeks with 17 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns. The San Diego pass defense has been atrocious since the first half of its first game, allowing Matt Schaub, Michael Vick and Jake Locker to look like superstars. This may be your last chance to get Bryant at a second-tier price, so don't miss out.

Julio Jones, ATL, $8400 vs. NE - Again, nothing sneaky about this pick, but sometimes it's just about making your lay-ups. With 27 receptions for 373 yards on 36 targets through three games, Jones is as close to a sure thing as the fantasy football world offers, outside of the Peyton Manning category. We may have to re-evaluate that stance once Roddy White (ankle) is fully healthy, but in a weekly format that's none of your concern. Until he shows us something, White can't be viewed as a credible threat to Jones' workload.

Pierre Garcon, WAS, $6400 vs. OAK - This isn't exactly bargain shopping, but the $6400 price tag won't kill you, either. The Raiders have a poor secondary, and Garcon ranks third in the NFL with 37 targets through three weeks. Santana Moss ranks next on the Redskins with 23 looks, so there's no doubt about who is RG3's favorite receiver. Garcon hasn't received a ton of national attention, but with 23 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown, you can hardly say that he's been quiet. The only concern is that the Redskins will start to run the ball more frequently, but even if that's the case, Garcon still figures to see quite a few targets.

TIGHT END

Jimmy Graham, NO, $7600 vs. MIA
- The price tag is enormous compared to other tight ends, but unless you've been using Jordan Cameron ($6100) or Julius Thomas ($5300), you've probably come out of every week thinking that you should have just forked over the extra dollars for Graham. Reliable tight ends are hard to come by, and the Saints' superstar ranks among the top four players in the NFL in targets, receptions, yards and receiving touchdowns. Even with a tricky matchup against the Dolphins waiting, Graham is miles ahead of every other tight end.

Martellus Bennett, CHI, $4400 vs. DET - Bennett looks like the best of the bargain options at tight end, as he combines a good matchup with a high level of involvement in his team's offense. While touchdowns are notoriously hard to predict from year-to-year, Bennett's skill set and early results indicate that he won't have much trouble finding pay-dirt. The Bears' enormous tight end has already scored three times on 21 targets; so don't worry too much about his modest total of 135 receiving yards.

TEAM DEFENSE

NYJ, $3400, vs. TEN
- While they've only produced one turnover, the Jets appear to have one of the better defenses in the league. Given that the team has 12 sacks through three games, the takeaways should be coming, possibly as soon as Sunday. Jake Locker is hardly known for his accuracy, and Chris Johnson is off to a decidedly mediocre start. Despite a solid Week 3 performance, it's hard to have much faith in the Tennessee offense. Among the handful of good defenses with good matchups this week, the Jets are easily the cheapest of the bunch. Otherwise, the "whoever Jacksonville is playing" strategy isn't a bad one, though I'm a bit hesitant to fork over $4400 for the Colts D.