Week 3: 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 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 3 Bargain Hunters column (Robert Griffin III, Doug Martin, Ryan Mathews, Danny Amendola, Julio Jones, Reggie Wayne, Jermaine Gresham) 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 3: Jermaine Gresham. Best of luck to all fantasy and salary cap owners in Week 3!
If you have any questions, feel free to follow me on Twitter @GeorgeBissell or FFToolbox @fftoolbox and send us your questions all season long!
There isn't much left to say about Robert Griffin III that the average NFL fan hasn't heard by now, but it bears repeating that Griffin III remains one of the best bargains in Yahoo! Salary Cap football this season at just $12.50, up just $2.29 this week.
Griffin III has been the second-most valuable player in salary cap football this season, costing just $0.28 per point this season, which trails only Kevin Ogletree, who was valued at only $4.04 when he exploded for a monster game in Week 1. That's pretty much all you need to know. As the best value in salary cap football formats this season, owners would be foolish not to invest in Griffin III (a top-five quarterback option at a reduced price) and use the savings to re-invest in the remainder of their team.
Mathews is slated to return from a broken clavicle this week and at a price of just $11.10 in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues, he looks like an excellent bargain (salary cap owners can lock in at a lower price and hope he breaks out and produces at an elite level). Mathews will be a gametime decision this weekend, so it might be wise to hold off a week before investing, but if you are looking to save a couple dollars at the running back position, Mathews is cheaper than other elite options right now and could be a fit for your roster.
The centerpiece of the Cleveland Browns offense, rookie running back Trent Richardson experienced the second highest dollar value increase from Week 2 to Week 3 in Yahoo! Salary Cap football, jumping up $3.04 to a total cap hit of $8.15 after a strong performance against Cincinnatti -- ran for 109 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and added four catches for 36 yards and another score.
The Alabama product will be given every opportunity to succeed as the Browns' only real playmaker on offense. So as long as he can stay healthy, Richardson should be able to outperform his current dollar value in salary cap leagues, making him a tremendous bargain for his owners.
Danny Amendola burst onto the scene as a rookie, but missed all of his sophomore campaign after suffering an arm injury in Week 1 last season. Somewhat of an afterthought in fantasy football entering this season (with the notable exception of point-per-reception league, where he was snapped up by savvy owners in the late rounds on draft day), Amendola has shown through two weeks that he can have a major impact for his owners and has developed into one of the best bargains in salary cap football.
With 20 catches for 230 yards and a touchdown in the first two weeks of the season, Amendola has proven to be a tremendous value in Yahoo! Salary Cap leagues and was featured in the column in Week 1 at the bargain price of just $4.14. Amendola's Week 3 value has jumped to $5.99, which still makes him a solid value pick if you need a cheap third wide receiver. Amendola has emerged as Sam Bradford's number one target with the Rams and is tied for second in the NFL with 25 targets through two weeks, which is a solid indicator that he will be a productive option every week for the remainder of the season.
Julio Jones' unique game-breaking, big-play ability makes him one of the most intriguing players to watch in the entire league and one of the most exciting to own in Yahoo Salary Cap leagues this season. At just $10.56, which is up $1.00 from his Week 1 price, he remains one of the best values in salary cap leagues this season because of his tremendous upside. There will be plenty of weeks like Week 1 in which he explodes (six catches, 108 yards and two touchdowns) and there will also be weeks like Week 2 (four catches for 14 yards), but his ability to explode for a monster week makes him a bargain at anything less than $12.00 in salary cap leagues this season. Salary cap owners should continue to buy in to Jones.