I've been writing the Bargain Buys articles for FanDuel since the beginning of last year (see this week's here) with the basic premise that the more studs you can have in your lineup the better. Of course, to get those studs you'll need some low cost options, and that's where the Bargain Buys come in. We're looking for high-upside players with low costs to subsidize the 3-4 high dollar players you have on your roster. The Value Play at each position is based off of the projections of David Dodds, while the Bargain Buy is my personal recommendation. You don't want a roster full of these guys, but using 1-2 of them could help you win your GPP.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5400) vs. Washington- As I mentioned in the FanDuel version, Dodds also loves Shaun Hill, but Fitzpatrick is a sneakier play here. People have spent the offseason lambasting Houston for not upgrading the quarterback position and that's led to some overly negative views on Fitzpatrick. He has a great stable of weapons and he faces a questionable Washington defense that will have their hands full trying to stop Arian Foster.
Geno Smith ($6500) vs. Oakland- I don't believe that either of these teams will have much success running the ball and there are huge holes in both secondaries. Smith has much better weapons than he had at his disposal in 2013 and he faces a Raiders defense that is completely rebuilt and already banged up. They're also travelling across the country in their first game of the year. I like Smith as a likely top 12 guy with top 8 potential for below average cost.
Bernard Pierce ($4600) vs. Cincinnati- Pierce's price is just about right for a RB2, but for the first two weeks of the season he's the RB1 in Baltimore and a likely workhorse at that. This is a good Bengals defense, but they aren't going to be as good as they were last year and we have every reason to believe that the Ravens will be better. Pierce's abysmal YPC will be much improved and he's an excellent candidate to score a touchdown.
Dexter McCluster ($3000) vs. Kansas City- There are a lot of jokes made about revenge games, but this is about as close as you can get. McCluster returns to face his old team in his very first game with his new team. The bonuses for McCluster in this one (outside of his cost) are that the Chiefs defense is not very good and the Titans do not trust Bishop Sankey yet. The Titans have raved all offseason about McCluster and I'd expect them to design several plays for their new toy in week one.
Donnie Avery ($3000) vs. Tennessee- Avery, like Pierce, benefits from the absence of the team's WR1. With Dwayne Bowe suspended the team will start Avery and Frankie Hammond at wide receiver. Don't feel bad if you've never heard of Hammond, that's kind of the point. Travis Kelce is still trying to prove that he can block well enough to play regularly, so Avery will be the only target Smith can trust. Avery has the speed to get behind the secondary on occasion and this Titans defense is not one to be feared.
Brian Hartline ($4500) vs. New England- Hartline has had moderate success (29-379-1) against the Patriots over the past three years and this one sets up well for him. With Revis locked in on Mike Wallace Ryan Tannehill will have to look elsewhere, and the Patriots really struggled last year with opposing team's WR2s. Hartline should see plenty of targets for a Miami team that will likely be chasing the scoreboard all day long.
Kyle Rudolph ($4300) vs. St. Louis- Rudolph's price tag against St. Louis is hard to understand. He's the team's best red zone target and Cassel like to use his tight end. The Rams pass rush is going to be tough for anyone to combat, so the Vikings may try with dump offs to Rudolph in the middle of the field. His targets may take a slight hit with the emergence of Cordarrelle Patterson, but his red zone prowess still makes him a high upside play.
Martellus Bennett ($3800) vs. Buffalo- Bennett made news in camp by getting suspended for a fight, but that shouldn't have any impact on him in week one. The Bills have holes in the secondary as well as their linebacking corps so they'll have trouble stopping much of anything the Bears try to do. I'd anticipate them doubling their effort outside to shutdown Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, leaving the middle of the field open for Bennett.
Dallas Cowboys ($1900) vs. San Francisco- Yes, I do think the Cowboys could have one of the worst defenses in the NFL this year, and I do think this game is a potential shootout. What you're betting on by playing the Cowboys the 49ers struggling offensive line. The Cowboys should have at least a couple of sack/turnover opportunities created by that line, and at $1900 that's all you really need.