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Four-Down Duel: Weeden Out the Discounts

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.

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Here’s a look at some recommended plays on FanDuel for Week 6:


Brandon Weeden, CLE, $6100 – After his horrific performance (12-for-35, 118 yards, 0 TDs, 4 INTs) in the first week of the season, many were writing Weeden. Since then he’s had at least 291 passing yards in three of his last four games. Against the Bengals in Week 2, Weeden threw for 322 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Now at home against that same squad, Weeden could be in for a similar game and comes at a price $2400 less than the seven most expensive quarterbacks.

Brady Quinn, KC, $5400 – Want to gamble this weekend? Before you laugh off this recommendation, keep in mind that he’ll be going up against the worst pass defense as far as YPA (9.0). Quinn looked comfortable in relief of Matt Cassel last week and would have completed a touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe if offensive pass interference had not been called. Keep in mind that Quinn never had a great receiving corps while in Cleveland and has a decent pedigree. With much better weapons in Kansas City and what appears to be a good matchup, now may be the time to take a chance on Quinn.

Running Back

Rashard Mendenhall, PIT, $6100 – Are you looking for a guy to root for on Thursday night if you decide to enter one of the early week contests? Then take a gander at Mendenhall, who like his league-mates Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles seems to have fully recovered from ACL surgery. While Pittsburgh has claimed they’re going to a committee format in their backfield, it’s hard to ignore what Mendenhall did in Week 5. He ended the day with 101 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown on three catches. Mendy should see his workload increase as the weeks go on and has a great road matchup staring him in the face.

Mikel Leshoure, DET, $5700 – Leshoure followed his coming out party against the Titans with something of a dud against Minnesota. And while the Lions aren’t heading towards the greatest matchup playing in Philadelphia, Detroit did have the advantage of getting two weeks of preparation for Sunday’s matchup. Leshoure is one of the few running backs in the league who sees the lion’s share of carries while also possessing the ability to catch passes and get the goal-line carries. When those goal-line carries happen, it helps that opposing defenses have been double-teaming Calvin Johnson, taking an extra man out of the box.

Fred Jackson, BUF, $5400 – With this recommendation, it’s an example of how the mighty have fallen. Freddy here is a pot-odds tournament type of play considering his lack of production this season. Of course the Bills have been in pass mode the last two games while they were blown out and he dealt with injuries. While he’ll be in a timeshare with C.J. Spiller, there’s still a lot of potential here, especially given the reduced price. Jackson will be best used this weekend in tournament play as a high-risk, high-reward type of play that the other owners in the tournament won’t use.

Vick Ballard, IND, $4500 – After the surprise announcement Wednesday that Donald Brown will miss the next 2-3 weeks with a knee injury, Ballard appears to be in line to take over as the Colts starting running back. Ballard hasn’t done much, as his 2.0 YPC indicates so far, but he hasn’t been allowed to stay in the game long enough to establish any rhythm either. It appears he’ll have that opportunity against the Jets this weekend and comes as the cheapest price any running back can have.

Wide Receiver

Jeremy Kerley, NYJ, $5000 – With the slew of injuries at wide receiver, Kerley currently finds himself as the top target in the Jets’ passing attack. Kerley has a decent skill set with good downfield speed, but he’s really best suited for the No.3 receiver role. Since the Jets don’t currently have any better options, he’ll see the same number of snaps and targets as a No.1 wide receiver. Indianapolis doesn’t have a great pass defense, so this should be a good matchup for the Jets at home.

Brandon Gibson, STL, $5000 – With Danny Amendola lucky to be alive after his collarbone injury, Gibson has moved into the starting lineup and could easily be considered the Rams’ No.1 receiver now. Gibson has had at least four targets each week and could be in line for more considering how many targets Amendola is leaving on the table. Chris Givens could end up stealing some thunder here, but Gibson has a lot more NFL experience and should see more snaps.

Tight End

Jason Witten, DAL, $5200 – Here is one of the cheaper tight ends, likely still low due to the slow start Witten had at the start of the season. Week 4 was a different story, though, as Witten finished 13 catches for 112 yards and one touchdown (23.7 points on FanDuel). Baltimore’s pass defense isn’t as good as one would think considering they’re 20th in the league in YPA with a 7.6 mark (tied with Oakland and Carolina). With Baltimore running a lot of no-huddle offense this season, this game could be high scoring, which helps Witten’s potential as well. $500 Contest on

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