The big freeroll this week at Fantasy Aces is a $250 SalaryPro tournament. It pays 75 of 1,500 entries. For those unfamiliar with the format, bonus points are awarded for a lineup that is under the $45,000 salary cap (0.3 pts for every $50 under the cap, up to $5,000) and penalized for going over (-0.4 points for every $50 over).
In week 2, I built a sleeper-heavy SalaryPro lineup that finished strong, but I'm not seeing the bargains in the player pool this Saturday, so I may try to maximize points and worry about cost later.
Greg Ward Jr., Houston (at Tulsa) - $6,600
It's hard to pass up both quarterbacks from the Texas Tech-Baylor game, but Pat Mahomes has a banged up knee and has been limited in practice this week (keep an eye on that Red Raiders injury report, because Davis Webb could become a steal if he's needed to start). Baylor's Seth Russell is a solid play too, but Ward is cheaper, averages more points per game and has a matchup that should be a shootout against a leaky Tulsa defense that allowed Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield to throw for 487 yards and four touchdowns.
Jared Goff, Cal (vs. Washington State) - $6,200
Last year, the Golden Bears and Cougars combined to score 119 points in a 60-59 win for Cal. Goff passed for 527 yards and five touchdowns in that game. Cal's defense has improved in 2015, and the Bears likely won't need to score 60 again, but this one could easily go over the 71-point Vegas line.
Others to consider: Trevone Boykin, Seth Russell, Pat Mahomes, Luke Falk
Aaron Green, TCU (vs. Texas) - $6,150
Texas has allowed the 17th most yards on the ground (825) in the country and Green is coming off back-to-back games of 150-plus. I like TCU's chances at home versus a down Longhorns program, which could equal a huge day for the talented tailback.
Shock Linwood, Baylor (vs. Texas Tech) - $6,050
This is where I knew I'd be playing the over-budget side of the SalaryPro game. I needed to save too much money at running back, but didn't like a lot of the low-cost options. So, now I have a stake in the game with the biggest point total with Linwood, who can score big in a shootout or gouge the poor Red Raiders run defense if Baylor ends up protecting a lead.
Others to consider: Ezekiel Elliott, Matthew Dayes
Demarcus Ayers, Houston (at Tulsa) - $5,650
Ayers is Ward's clear No. 1 target in an explosive Cougars offense. The junior is averaging eight-plus catches, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown over the first three games. This week's matchup with Tulsa features one of the biggest over/unders on the Saturday slate (81). I love this underrated stack that could payoff as big as some QB-WR duos that cost $1k more in week 5.
Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa (vs. Houston) - $5,500
You may not realize that Garrett, not Keevan Lucas, leads Tulsa in targets, catches and receiving yards this season. It's Lucas' 5-to-1 touchdown lead that has given him the edge in fantasy scoring. I expect the 6-foot-4 Garrett to find the end zone more often if he continues to see an abundance of targets, like he should this week against Houston.
Others to consider: Keevan Lucas, Josh Doctson, Jakeem Grant, Gabe Marks
Stephen Anderson, Cal (vs. Washington State) - $4,000
I usually prefer to go cheaper at tight end, but I really like Anderson in this matchup vs. Washington State. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is more of a wide receiver and is a great value being listed among tight ends for only $4,000. This also gives me a nice stack to go with Jared Goff.
Others to consider: Austin Hooper, Josiah Price
Bralon Addison, Oregon (at Colorado) - $4,850
It's a good time to grab a piece of Oregon's uptempo offense at discounted prices. The Ducks will be looking for blood, coming off an embarrassing defeat at home to Utah, and this game has a nice little over/under of 70 points. Addison, who already leads Oregon in receptions, should see even more targets now that Byron Marshall is out for the season with a leg injury.
Desmon White, TCU (vs. Texas) - $4,100
Even going over the cap in this format, I had to save some cash in a few spots, and I like White's ability to breakout as TCU's slot receiver, especially with Kolby Listenbee's status still in doubt. There's a good chance White gets the most looks from quarterback Trevone Boykin after star wideout Josh Doctson. I expect Texas to pay special attention to Doctson on the outside this week, opening things up for Green in the run game and White out of the slot.
My lineup is over the cap by $4,150, which means I'll pay a 33.2 point penalty. I'm confident this squad will score huge, but that is a ton of points to make up. I would have likely gone cheap at running back, so it will be interesting to see if Green and Linwood were worth the upgrade from players who each would have been about $2k less expensive.