Salary cap advice: Manning bros worth the price tag this week
Eli Manning is a good value against a weak Washington Redskins secondary
Bills have allowed 14 rushing TDs, which is good for Jags' Rashad Jennings
Broncos have been strong defensively, but have struggled against tight ends
With five weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, there's plenty of great football left. What better way to enjoy it than by playing in a salary cap league? As the season goes on, the smart plays become a little more predictable, if you know where to look.
This position-by-position look at some of the best bargains entering Week 13 is based on current prices in FanDuel 10-team leagues. If you're looking for a salary cap challenge, test your skills by going head-to-head with SI's Peter King in the Peter King Fantasy Challenge.
Quarterbacks: The cream of the crop is Comeback Player of the Year and MVP candidate Peyton Manning, who plays host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one of the NFL's most abused passing defenses. Another pick worth the investment is Cam Newton, who will take his vast, yet somewhat untapped, talents into Arrowhead to take on the hapless Chiefs. If you drop down a bit on the menu you'll find defending Super Bowl champ Eli Manning facing the prospect of passing against a Redskins defense that has been victimized for 313.7 passing yards per game and an NFL-high 23 touchdowns.
Running backs: Bryce Brown was terrific against the Panthers in Week 12, and with the interior of the Cowboys' defense suffering, he'll be a solid value again. So will Trent Richardson, who is poised to become the latest back to run into, through and around a Raiders defense that made the Bengals' BenJarvus Green-Ellis look like an All-Pro last Sunday. And just one week after losing his starting job to Jalen Parmele, Rashad Jennings is back atop the Jaguars' depth chart. On the field, he'll face a Bills defense that has yielded 14 rushing touchdowns to opposing backs.
Wide receivers: Calvin Johnson is well worth the high price he'll command in Week 13. Most teams have trouble guarding Megatron, but a Colts unit playing at less than 10 percent of capacity is in for a particularly long day in Detroit. Peyton Manning's dangerous duo of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker both are well worth the investment this week at home versus Tampa Bay's iffy pass defense. For those looking to save a little, consider San Diego's Danario Alexander. A waiver-wire find in standard fantasy leagues, Alexander's price has slowly increased while his value has skyrocketed. And for the truly thrifty, Miami's Davone Bess has been a consistent scorer against this week's opponent, the Patriots, while Josh Gordon will have Brandon Weeden back under center to lead him through a porous Raiders pass defense.
Tight ends: With Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez having already played, and with Rob Gronkowski on the shelf, the options get a little tricky. Atop the totem pole this week is Owen Daniels, Matt Schaub's second-favorite receiver and a tough cover for the Titans. The Broncos' defense has been the easiest for opposing tight ends to score against, which sets up nicely for the resurgent Dallas Clark this week. Also underpriced: ex-Florida Gator Aaron Hernandez, who returns to the Sunshine State to face the Dolphins as the Pats' primary option at the position.
Kickers: No one has been hotter than Cleveland's Phil Dawson, who is going up against the easiest defense to score against for kickers (and virtually every other position): the Raiders. If you just can't bring yourself to spend a little extra on a kicker, value plays are available in Arizona's Jay Feely (at the Jets), Miami's Dan Carpenter (versus the Patriots) and St. Louis' mortal Greg Zuerlein (who faces the 49ers in the Edward Jones Dome).
Defense: The Bears and their takeaway specialists are deservedly top-ranked, and therefore, top-priced. However, you can get a bargain with the Texans, who are coming off of a rough two-game stretch but are ready to clamp down on the Titans. Other cheap options include the sack-happy Cardinals, who host the nose-diving Jets, and the Cowboys, who face the equally tumultuous Eagles.
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