Week 6: Bargain Hunter
FFToolbox is venturing into the exciting (and growing) world of salary cap football when we launch a new salary cap format this season. The major appeal of salary cap football is that unlike regular football, you are more like a true NFL general manager -- dealing with player salaries and trying to construct the best possible team for a set budget all the while competing against the rest of the fantasy universe (not just the other nine or 11 teams in your standard league). The key to winning in a salary cap league is simple, in theory: put together the best possible team for the budget that you have to spend. The advice in this column is based off the basic Yahoo salary cap format which requires you to start the following positions: one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one defense and one kicker using a $100 budget.
This Week 6 edition of Bargain Hunter -- featuring Tim Tebow, Donald Brown, Kendall Hunter, Randall Cobb, Andrew Hawkins, Jordan Norwood and Heath Miller -- is designed to help salary cap owners find a cheap, under the radar sleeper that will help their teams this weekend.
Don't forget to check out the rest of the great advice columns here on FFToolbox.com as well as the FFToolbox.com Weekly Radio Show, hosted by Ben Standig (@BenStandig on Twitter) Tuesday's and Thursday's at 8:00 p.m. For those of you who don't listen to the show, we do a "Sleeper of the Week" pick every show, so I'm going to list my pick for Week 6: Heath Miller. Best of luck to all fantasy and salary cap owners in Week 6.
If you have any questions, feel free to follow me on Twitter @GeorgeBissell or FFToolbox @fftoolbox and send us your questions all season long.
Tim Tebow is not a quality starting quarterback for an NFL franchise for a number of reasons; the biggest of which are his accuracy issues. For fantasy purposes, he is a legitimate starting option thanks to his running ability. Salary cap owners need to consider picking up Tebow for their team in the near future, because if he ends up taking over the starting job, his current Yahoo! Salary Cap price of $10.10 will surely go up.
Mark Sanchez has been atrocious, posting just six touchdowns to go along with six interceptions and a 66.6 quarterback rating through five games this season. At some point the Jets, who have lost three of their last four games, are going to have to make a change at quarterback and Tebow has shown that he can be a productive fantasy option in the past. The weapons around Tebow are just abysmal at this point due to injuries and ineffectiveness, but if he can be a factor running the football and score a couple touchdowns, he could be a tremendous value for salary cap owners in the near future.
The perception of the New York Jets defense as elite is severly outdated and it opens up a major opportunity for salary cap football owners to pick up a bargain with major upside in Week 6 in Donald Brown. The UConn product has been consistent, but hasn't exactly produced at an elite level this season (despite receiving at least 16 carries in all but one game this season).
Brown --rushed for a season-high 84 yards last week-- should be the beneficiary of a Week 6 matchup against the Jets defense which has allowed both the second-most yards per game (170) and touchdowns (eight) on the ground this season. While the Colts' passing game has been garnering most of the headlines early this season (rightfully so), salary cap owners shouldn't forget what Brown can do for them this weekend. Valued at just $9.86 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues, Brown is a tremendous bargain in Week 6.
With 19 carries for 137 yards in the last two games, Kendall Hunter is giving Dwayne Bowe a run for his money as the king of "garbage time." The expression never gets old and it bears repeating here: garbage yards count just as much as regular yards in fantasy football. Hunter may have racked up most of his yards in junk time, but he's putting up quality numbers and is on the verge of carving out a legitimate role in the 49ers offense.
If anything were to happen to starter Frank Gore, Hunter would step into the limelight and could be a useful option for salary cap owners in Week 6 against the New York Giants, valued at $6.47 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues. More of a long-term option than a Week 6 plug-in, Hunter's role in the San Francisco offense is expanding and fantasy owners should keep an eye on him.
With starter Cedric Benson slated to miss at least eight weeks with a Lisranc foot injury that could potentially require season-ending surgery, second-year back Alex Green will take over the starting role, but the player that receives the biggest fantasy boost could be wide receiver Randall Cobb.
Cobb has seen his playing time increase exponentially with the injury to stud wideout Greg Jennings. In his absence, Cobb and James Jones (not Jordy Nelson) have stepped up in his place. Now with Benson out and serious questions in the run game, the Packers will have to rely on the pass even more than usual. Cobb has reeled in 11 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown in the last two games and despite a tough matchup on the road against the Houston Texans, ranked fourth against the pass this season. In Week 6, he is a tremendous bargain in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues at just $6.10.Injury Status: Injured Reserve
Andrew Hawkins has enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign in Cincinnati, flashing big-play potential on numerous occasions this season. After scoring long touchdowns in Week 2 and 3, Hawkins was held under 50 yards receiving for the second consecutive game in Week 5 despite 13 targets (which tied him for the team lead with fantasy superstar A.J. Green). Hawkins is an excellent bet to rebound in Week 6 thanks to an appetizing matchup against the division-rival Cleveland Browns.
The Browns' porous pass defense has allowed the second-most passing touchdowns (12) and has also served up the most touchdowns to opposing wide receivers (seven) in the NFL this season. Hawkins is a nice sleeper this week for salary cap football owners and can be snapped up at the bargain price of $6.08 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues.