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Four-Down Duel: Manning Up

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Tip of The Week

Every week we see lesser-known players step up and have big games. Every week we see studs come up with bad fantasy games that put such a bad taste in your mouth you refuse to use them the following week. Don’t. Look what Antonio Brown did last week or DeMarco Murray after being extremely quiet in Week 2. I’d recommend this gamble mainly in tournament play where you have to go against the grain with some “pot odds” play. For example, this week I’d take a look at some players highlighted in the “bargains” section below. At first glance, you might think I’m crazy but every week a couple of those players pan out using this philosophy.

Bargains Of The Week

Here are some players whose price doesn't appear too low, making them a bargain to put into your lineup with your high priced studs. This could also be a player in the midst of a breakout season and the price still doesn't reflect what they've done, especially early in the season.

Quarterback

Eli Manning, NYG, $7100 – I’m guessing it was much easier to be Cooper this week than Eli. After their 38-0 drubbing at Carolina, it’s hard to imagine a lot of people taking him going on the road against a rested, undefeated team in Kansas City. However, Eli threw for over 800 yards the first two weeks and still has some potent weapons at his disposal. If you use him, I’d recommend considering fellow values Victor Cruz ($7000) or Hakeem Nicks ($6300) with Manning.

Terrelle Pryor, OAK, $6300 – Last week I picked on the Washington defense suggesting Matthew Stafford and I have no problem going back to the well this weekend with Pryor. He did suffer a concussion against the Broncos but appears ready to pass the concussion test and be under center. In a small three-game sample size, he has a respectable 7.7 YPA and has averaged 66 yards rushing per contest. Watching Pryor, he has looked accurate when he’s had time to step up in the pocket. The Redskins don’t appear to know how to tackle and their secondary has been weak, making Pryor a solid value play.


Running back

Brandon Bolden, NE, $4500 – It would be great to know ahead of time how the New England backfield is going to shake out, but we’re never going to get that with Bill Belichick. Bolden looked like the best running back last week against Tampa Bay and he could be in for an expanded role this weekend. This week’s game in Atlanta could turn into a shootout, which would put the pass-catching Bolden on the field for plenty of snaps.

Wide Receiver

Ryan Broyles, DET, $5000 – With the freak pizza injury to Nate Burleson, it’s likely that Broyles sees a fair amount of targets against the Bears this weekend. Chicago will be keyed in on slowing down Calvin Johnson and the Lions have brought Broyles along slowly to make sure he’s 100 percent. While it was mostly garbage time, the Bears gave up over 400 passing yards to Big Ben last week, so Broyles looks like a nice low-priced play.

The Big Boys
Here are the expensive players who have favorable matchups and should be able to earn their price this week.

Quarterback

Peyton Manning, DEN, $9900 – I know it’s pretty obvious to use Manning every week given his early-season success, but this week he has an exceptionally nice matchup against the Eagles. This game should be one of the highest scoring games of the week with both teams more than capable of putting points on the board. That means Manning could still be throwing late in the game. There are 10 other quarterbacks within $1500 of Manning’s price and the majority have much tougher matchups. Again, he’s an obvious choice but the safe call in 50/50 or heads up leagues.

Running Back

Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC, $7000 – I really like this pick in tournament play this week. Indianapolis is the highest favorite this week, but their defense has given up four rushing touchdowns and 4.7 YPC (seventh worst) through three games. Jones-Drew got 21 touches last week at Seattle, showing he’s completely healthy and should get a full workload. With Blaine Gabbert back under center, the Colts will stack the box in an attempt to stop the run. If that happens, there’s a good chance that MJD breaks through and hits a long run.

Wide Receiver

Dez Bryant, DAL, $8600 – I get the feeling that people will be off Bryant after stuggling Week 1 and then only recording 38 receiving yards last week. You have to wonder how much his back is bothering him but going up against the lowly Chargers defense should mean a monster fantasy day. The Chargers have given up over 1,000 yards through the air so far including 131 yard to Nate Washington, 193 yards to DeSean Jackson and 146 yards to Andre Johnson. So it looks like Dez could be in for a monster game.

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