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King for a Day: Luck's On Your Side

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 6:

QUARTERBACK

Andrew Luck, IND, $8300 vs. SD – Coming off a solid performance against the vaunted Seattle defense, Luck will have a much easier task this week. The Chargers have been a punching bag for opposing quarterbacks, allowing a 69.8 completion percentage and a whopping 8.6 yards per pass attempt through their first five games, despite facing a rather ordinary slate of signal-callers. Luck has been steady but unspectacular for fantasy purposes this season, and is seemingly on the verge of putting together a huge game.

Geno Smith, NYJ, $5200 vs. PIT – For all the Steelers’ struggles this season, the team has actually done a decent job defending the pass. Still, Smith’s $5200 price tag is enticing, with inferior options like Nick Foles ($5800), Chad Henne ($6200), and Andy Dalton ($6900) all costing significantly more. Nobody will mistake this for a safe pick, but Smith has shown impressive big-play ability, as his 8.26 yards per pass attempt ranks sixth in the NFL.


RUNNING BACK

Marshawn Lynch, SEA, $7400 vs. TEN
– The Seattle running game really got going the last two weeks, and Week 6 brings another matchup that should favor a ground-and-pound approach. The Tennessee pass defense has been a pleasant surprise this season, but the Titans have given up 4.3 yards per carry. We know that the Seahawks prefer a run-heavy approach, so why expect anything different when that’s what the matchup dictates? I view Lynch as a top-five option this week, and his $7400 price tag ranks just eighth among running backs.

Knowshon Moreno, DEN, $6000 vs. JAX – Your biggest concern here is that the Broncos quickly build up a huge lead, and then turn to Ronnie Hillman ($3800) and Monte Ball ($3600) in relief of Moreno. While the concern is legitimate, Moreno should have time to pile up some numbers, even if he spends most of the fourth quarter watching from the sidelines. The Jaguars are allowing 4.9 yards per carry and rank last in the NFL in run defense. Matchups simply don’t get any better, yet Moreno is somehow just the 17th most expensive running back on DraftKings this week. Hillman also makes for a sneaky good play at $3800, as it’s not hard to imagine multiple Denver backs putting together big games. Ball is a bit further off, as he seems to have fallen back to third on the depth chart.

Willis McGahee, CLE, $3300 vs. DET – McGahee isn’t an explosive runner anymore, and his team hasn’t had much luck on the ground this season. But, he’s the clear-cut starter, and he’ll be facing a Detroit team that’s allowing 5.3 yards per carry. With 41 carries over the last two weeks, McGahee looks like a steal at $3300, despite his limited upside.


WIDE RECEIVER

Randall Cobb, GB, $7800 vs. BAL
Aaron Rodgers should be busy this week, and that’s good news for his favorite receiver. Cobb’s 40 targets easily lead the Packers, with Jordy Nelson’s ($7000) 30 targets ranking second. Lardarius Webb is the Ravens’ only dependable cornerback right now, and Webb probably won’t be asked to follow Cobb around, as Nelson and James Jones ($6800) are legitimate threats on the outside. The Packers only needed 30 pass attempts to beat the Lions in Week 5, but a matchup against the stout Baltimore run defense should lead to 40+ attempts for Rodgers.

Pierre Garcon, WAS, $6800 vs. DAL – Undoubtedly Robert Griffin’s favorite target, Garcon is quietly on pace to finish with 116 receptions for 1,356 yards and eight touchdowns. The Dallas pass defense isn’t as bad as Peyton Manning made it look last week, but it isn’t particularly good, either. If what we’ve seen from the Washington defense thus far is any indication, Griffin may have to sling the ball around to keep up with Tony Romo and the Cowboys. If nothing else, Griffin and Co. have proven that they can put up some solid numbers in garbage time.

Jeremy Kerley, NYJ, $3100 vs. PIT – With Santonio Holmes (hamstring) likely out again, Kerley is arguably the biggest threat in a surprisingly competent passing game. While the big performance has yet to come, Kerley’s having a very efficient season, with 14 receptions for 203 yards on just 20 targets through four games. His six targets led the Jets in a Week 5 win over the Falcons, as Geno Smith attempted just 20 passes. The Jets won’t be able to get away with throwing just 20 passes most weeks, and Kerley should emerge as the team’s top receiver in Holmes’ absence. Stephen Hill at $3600 is also an intriguing option, but I view Kerley as the superior player, making him an easy choice over Hill.


TIGHT END

Jordan Cameron, CLE, $5800 vs. DET
– The tight end middle-class is plagued with injuries, while Jimmy Graham’s price ($9300) has finally caught up to his production. Cameron is coming off a disappointing performance, but he still appears to be one of the best values in a tough week for the position. I’m not too worried about the loss of Brian Hoyer (knee), as Cameron caught 14 passes for 203 yards in the first two weeks of the season with Brandon Weeden under center.

Heath Miller, PIT, $3600 vs. NYJ – The big games have been few and far between throughout Miller’s career, but the veteran looks like the best play among discount options at tight end this week. As I mentioned before, it’s a tough week for the position, so it might be wise to go with a cheap option such as Miller, and save your budget for other spots. With the Steelers going pass-heavy this season, and Miller seeing eight targets last week, this is hardly punting the position. The other sub-$4000 tight ends aren’t particularly enticing, as the group includes names like Kyle Rudolph ($3800), Brent Celek ($3800), and Coby Fleener ($3900).


TEAM D/ST

NYJ, $3000 vs. PIT
– The Jets have done a solid job on defense this season, but haven’t had much luck forcing turnovers. Given that the team has 16 sacks through five games, and is allowing 3.0 yards per carry and 6.3 yards per pass attempt, this looks like one of the better units in the NFL. The turnovers should come eventually, and this week’s opponent has one of the worst offensive lines in the league. The $3000 price tag doesn’t account for the volatile nature of turnovers, so jump on this while you still can. The Jets are one or two big performances away from earning consideration as a top defense.

KICKER

Robbie Gould, CHI, $3100 vs. NYG
– Normally, I stick with the $3000 kickers, but I like Gould’s matchup enough to justify spending the extra $100. The Giants have been consistently bad on defense this season, and Gould is as reliable as they come. For those looking to save the extra $100, Cincinnati’s Mike Nugent is my favorite $3000 kicker by a hair over Pittsburgh’s Shaun Suisham.