Week 10: Bargain Hunter
The great thing about fantasy football is that we always remember the historic performances and feel a special connection to them when we have the players on our team. I remember when Shaun Alexander scored five touchdowns in the first half of a Sunday Night Football game back in 2005. It was one of the first great memories of my fantasy football career. I remember Jerome Harrison breaking the Cleveland Brown's single game rushing record, previously held by the great Jim Brown, back in 2009, racking up 286 yards and three touchdowns, because it helped lead my fantasy team to a championship. This past weekend, I got to be a part of Doug Martin's historic second half performance. I am not the first one to make this point, I can guarantee that, but very few players have turned in a performance like that (especially as a rookie) and went on to have mediocre careers, which means that the future is very bright for Martin.
This Week 10 Bargain Hunter column is designed to give salary cap owners (and standard fantasy owners to a lesser extent) an edge by helping them find the best bargains in all of salary cap football. All of the dollar values used in this column are based off Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues.
Once again, like I say every week, FFToolbox.com is the ultimate resource to help give yourself the best chance to win in fantasy football. I am a company man afterall. The site has everything, from up to the minute player news throughout the week and on Sunday morning, to weekly rankings that you can customize to your leagues scoring system, to strategy articles (like this one) that are designed to give you an edge in your league. Another great feature that FFToolbox provides is the weekly podcast, which is availble to download on ITunes. With the Tuesday podcast already in the books, be sure to check out the Thursday, Week 10 Preview podcast where Ben Standig, Brian Murphy and I will take an in-depth look at every single Week 10 matchup and give you our sleepers of the week.
If nothing else, follow us on Twitter: @fftoolbox or you can follow me (I promise to be entertaining and answer all fantasy questions) @GeorgeBissell.
This Week 10 Bargain Hunter article features -- Vick Ballard, Ronnie Brown, Stevan Ridley, Jacquizz Rodgers, Danny Amendola, Davone Bess and Randy Moss. --
With incumbent starter veteran Donald Brown likely sidelined due to swelling in his knee and a hip injury suffered last weekend, rookie Vick Ballard is an intriguing option for salary cap owners looking to find a cheap (yet productive) option at the running back position. It is worth noting for both salary cap and standard fantasy owners that Ballard's path to the full-time starting job for the remainder of the season is relatively easy if he continues to play well like he did last weekend (16 carries for 60 yards in addition to three catches for 38 yards) and Brown's injury issues linger.
Priced at a modest $6.63 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues, Ballard is an extremely attractive option for salary cap owners, going up against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10. The Jaguars have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and are ranked 27th against the run this season, giving up over 137 yards per game on the ground. Salary cap owners should get Ballard in their lineups now before his stock rises exponentially.
Ronnie Brown is much more valuable in deep point-per-reception leagues than anywhere else, but it is worth noting that his production this season (second on the San Diego Chargers in receptions this season) has made him a worthy starter in salary cap leagues. Brown, who was featured in this column last week, delivered a season-high 38 yards on the ground while racking up five receptions for 35 yards. Brown will be the primary beneficiary of a favorable matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are ranked 29th in the NFL in total yards allowed per game this season, in Week 10.
Going up against one of the league's worst defensive units, Brown is an outstanding bargain for salary cap owners, valued at just $5.56 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues for Week 10.
Normally this column takes a look at the cheapest under the radar sleepers, but I would be doing the salary cap community a disservice if I failed to bring up the fact that Stevan Ridley needs to be in your lineup this weekend. Ridley is averaging 5.3 yards per carry in his young career against the Buffalo Bills, who are ranked 31st in the NFL against the run this season. In the previous meeting between these two teams back in Week 2, the Patriots steamrolled the Bills on the ground as Ridley racked up 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 22 carries.
Valued at just $10.13 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues, Ridley represents a bargain priced option (much cheaper than the elite class of running backs), who is in line for a monster performance against a porous Bills run defense. Ridley is a must-start for salary cap owners this weekend.
Lobbying on behalf of Jacquizz Rodgers is more of a gut call than anything because he has not put up outstanding fantasy numbers this season and is not guaranteed a significant workload with Michael Turner still in the picture. However, the reason I am asking salary cap owners to trust Rodgers this weekend is beacuse I loved what I saw from him late in the game against the Dallas Cowboys last weekend as a receiver out of the backfield; and the fact that Rodgers is facing the New Orleans Saints, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season.
Valued at just $5.65, Rodgers is a sneaky play for salary cap owners, who could pay big dividends in Week 10. Rodgers has the potential to either be a major part of the Falcons gameplan against the Saints, or to rack up some monster garbage time yardage. I feel good about one of those two predictions coming true.
Danny Amendola is back for the St. Louis Rams after missing three games due to a separated SC joint in his shoulder. While a Week 10 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers does not look all that appetizing from a fantasy perspective, with other options in the Rams passing game stepping up of late (Chris Givens and Brandon Gibson), Amendola will not be the primary focus of the 49ers defense. This gives him the opportunity to put up some solid numbers. Amendola is valued at just $6.91 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues and is a solid gamble for salary cap owners to roll with for Week 10.