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Fantasy Football: Cheaper players to grab in auction leagues

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

With all of your studs taken care of and funds mostly drained, it’s time to focus on lower-level options in your fantasy footabll auction draft.

Going off my previous strategy, I already have Adrian Peterson, DeMarco Murray, A.J. Green and Donte Moncrief for about $140.

With roughly $60 to spend on the rest of my roster, my main needs are at quarterback and tight end. In both cases, I may lean to two options since I have some of the most trustworthy players at RB and WR (Peterson, Green).

Again, I’m using the FantasyPros auction values as a basis.

Eli Manning, $5
Getting him at $5 may be tough, but I’d still be okay with spending $10 on Manning. He was the No. 10 quarterback last year in standard leagues, and while it was a career season, I think he can build off that.

In addition to Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants bring in Sterling Shepard and a hopefully healthy Victor Cruz. Even Larry Donnell returns to the offense after missing half of last season, so they’ll have two viable tight ends with Will Tye included.

Manning was also fairly consistent last year, finishing with at least 18 fantasy points in nine games. His two worst games surprisingly came against the Cowboys and I don’t see that happening again.

If I can’t get Manning, a combination involving Derek Carr and Matt Ryan isn’t all that bad, either. Needless to say, the options at quarterback are endless.

Julius Thomas, $4
I originally had Eric Ebron in this spot, but after a potentially serious injury in practice Saturday, had to remove him. And so, Thomas enters the team for a couple more bucks.

Thomas’s value is low mainly because of his injury-riddled past — he’s never played more than 14 games in a season. That said, he’s healthy right now (fingers crossed).

If he can stay healthy, one has to think he’s going to have a much better season with the Jaguars after never really getting off the ground last year, injured early on and never fully recovering. With Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns taking plenty attention, Thomas is going to be a huge red-zone target.

If you don’t trust Thomas all that much, you could always spend another dollar or two on Martellus Bennett or Clive Walford.

Let’s say I did go with two QBs and two TEs, but that’s still only about $20 if all goes to plan. Take a couple bucks away for kicker and defense and I should have about $35 to stock up on the rest of my RBs and WRs.

I really like Brandin Cooks and would definitely grab him at $24, but it’s hard to see him going for that much. As I said in my first auction article, Frank Gore and Rashad Jennings catch my eye.

Frank Gore, $14
I’m rolling with Gore because his offseason touting hasn’t been as much as Jennings and he’s as consistent as they get. Yes, the Colts will probably limit his touches, but I think this is the last real chance that Gore has at 1,000 rushing yards and he’s going to go for it.

Last year, in a bad offense, Gore still finished as the 12th-best RB in standard leagues and that includes the multiple times he fumbled right on the goal line.

As my third running back, it doesn’t get any more consistent that this and it’s hard to see people spending more than $15 on him.

Tevin Coleman, $2; Jordan Howard, $2
To round out my cheaper running backs, I’ll go with two of my favorite low-end options in Coleman and Howard.

I’m not completely sold on Devonta Freeman as the lead back for an entire season and neither are the Falcons. The same can be said about Jeremy Langford for the Bears.

Coleman and Howard will get their chances to shine at some point this year.

For the rest of my wide receivers, I’ll have about $15 to spend, which is okay with me.

Depending on how the draft goes, I already know I want Sammie Coates ($0) on my squad, who will probably be in the $1-$3 range. Maybe someone really likes him and will spend $5. I still want him.

I would say that Phillip Dorsett is on my list as well, but I’ll stop with all of the Colts hype as I already have Moncrief and Gore on this team.

Instead, I’ll go with rookie Tyler Boyd ($0), who will get time on the field. I don’t care that I already have Green on my team. It wouldn’t be surprising if Boyd becomes the No. 2 wide out on the Bengals, especially with Brandon LaFell his main competition.

Kevin White, $8
Depending on how much those guys go for, I’d like another high-upside WR on my team and White fits the bill. He’s playing on the opposite side of an elite wide out in Alshon Jeffery and Jay Cutler has shown that he can produce with good receivers.

If I have the money to spend, there’s no point in not going for White, who I believe provides more value than the players around him like Vincent Jackson and Torrey Smith.

Final roster:

Eli Manning ($5), Matt Ryan ($1)
Adrian Peterson ($50), DeMarco Murray ($20), Frank Gore ($14), Tevin Coleman ($2), Jordan Howard ($2)
A.J. Green ($35), Donte Moncrief ($14), Kevin White ($8), Sammie Coates ($1), Tyler Boyd ($1)
Julius Thomas ($4), Martellus Bennett ($1)

Total according to FantasyPros values: $160 with DEF/K included.

Of course, this is on the small end. As I said before, Peterson could be $60, Green could be $45 or Manning could even be $15. That said, what more do you need?

This team has consistency, upside and depth, meaning a championship is in sight. You’re welcome.

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