Week 2: 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 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 brand-new Bargain Hunter column will serve as your guide to assembling the best possible lineup week in and week out all season long, helping you mine for the best possible values and create the ultimate salary cap squad. The advice in this column can also be applied to standard fantasy football leagues, but the focus will be primarily on finding the best dollar values and exploiting them throughout the season. The following players highlighted in this Week 2 Bargain Hunters column (Robert Griffin II, Peyton Manning, Darren McFadden, Stevan Ridley, Brandon Marshall, Reggie Wayne and Aaron Hernandez) are players that salary cap owners should target when looking for bargains and undervalued studs.
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 2 (Malcom Floyd) here. Best of luck to all fantasy and salary cap owners in Week 2!
If you have any questions, feel free to follow me on Twitter @GeorgeBissell or FFToolbox @fftoolbox and send us your questions all season long!
Robert Griffin III displayed poise under pressure, pinpoint accuracy and ability to avoid pressure and hit the open receiver, putting up outstanding numbers in one of the toughest environments to play in on the road at New Orleans in his NFL debut in Week 1. Griffin III completed 19-of-26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns and also added 42 yards on 10 carries.
His dollar value in Yahoo salary cap leagues is up $2.65 this week and now stands at $10.21, which makes him an incredible bargain when compared to some of the elite options at the quarterback position (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees), who are all (with the exception of Brady) priced over $30. Griffin III's value should continue to rise, which means that salary cap owners should lock in Griffin III at a discounted rate now.
We all witnessed a vintage Peyton Manning performance (19-of-26 for 253 yards and a pair of touchdowns) in a Week 1 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Manning's value is on the rise in Yahoo Salary Cap leagues, up $2.72 from Week 1, but at just $13.59 he remains one of the best values on the board, right up there with Robert Griffin III.
If Darren McFadden can stay healthy, he is a lock to outperform his Week 2 Yahoo Salary Cap price of $13.81, up just $0.79 from his season opening value. McFadden is slated to face the struggling Miami Dolphins, who allowed 83 yards and a pair of scores on the ground to Houston last week, in a tasty Week 2 matchup.
McFadden is really the only elite weapon in the Raiders offense, playing 70 offensive snaps, rushing for just 32 yards on 15 carries, while hauling in 13 passes for 86 yards on an astounding 18 targets. McFadden will be relied upon heavily by the Raiders in the coming weeks and at just $13.81, his upside warrants a buy for salary cap owners.
Stevan Ridley's value is up $1.97 this week to just a paltry $7.39, which makes him one of the best bargains at the running back position in Yahoo Salary Cap football leagues. Ridley ran for 125 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and played a vital role in the Patriots offense, in on a career-high 40 of 67 offensive snaps.
With Tom Brady at the helm, the Patriots will always be a pass-first team, but Ridley has clearly carved out a role in the Patriots offense and should dominate the carries in the Patriots backfield all season, which makes him an incredible value for salary cap owners.
The re-united duo of Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler picked up right where they left off in Denver several years ago, in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts. Marshall reeled in nine catches for 119 yards and a touchdown and was targeted 15 times by Cutler in the victory. Cutler hasn't had a receiver of Marshall's caliber during his time in Chicago and now that he does, he will be targeting him early and often.
Marshall's Yahoo salary cap value experienced the fourth largest increase out of any player at the wide receiver position, up $1.70, to $11.48. Salary cap owners should consider Marshall an incredible bargain at that price, as his value should continue to rise.
Reggie Wayne was featured in the Week 1 edition of Bargain Hunters and did not disappoint, catching nine passes for 135 yards on 18 targets (the most in the NFL) in a Week 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears. Wayne and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck appeared to have a solid connection during the pre-season and that carried over into the regular season. Luck will look to Wayne often, especially with Austin Collie sidelined, and at just $9.53, up $0.62 from Week 1, he is an incredible bargain for those using a stars and scrubs strategy and in need of a number two or three wideout.