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Week 15: Holiday bargains hard to find

We've had another successful week in our FanDuel fantasy challenge. This week's winner, 'taximike', took home $100, and we'd like to thank everyone for participating.

This week, the payouts will be slightly adjusted, allowing for more people to win money. Instead of just the top three finishers taking home some cash, the top four will receive money.

The first-place winner will receive $80. Second place gets $40, while third receives $20. A fourth-place finish will double your money and win you $10. The entry fee, as always, is $5.

It's a $60K salary cap league, in which all players are available to every team, and you make picks on a weekly basis. Thursday night players are not included, which gives you until Sunday at 1 p.m. to tinker with your lineup.

Just click here to get started picking your lineup.

Last week, we did pretty well assessing the best bargains and busts. The big exception was Matt Schaub against the Ravens, our pick for bust at the quarterback spot. Schaub went out and scored the most points for a quarterback against one of the better defenses in the league. We apologize to both you, and especially Schaub, for doubting his abilities.

This week, there are fewer favorable matchups than last week. Therefore, bargains may be tough to find. But on weeks when bargain-bins are empty, there are always a multitude of busts.

Michael Vick will cost you $8,800 dollars. Not too bad for one of the most productive players in the league. But when you factor in that he is playing against the Giants - the only team this season to hold him without a passing touchdown - and that he will be playing in the windy Meadowlands where forecasts predict cold weather, he doesn't quite seem worth the money.

For some reason, Kyle Orton continues to rank among the most expensive quarterbacks. He will cost you $7,800 but is playing against a Raiders defense that is allowing just over 200 passing yards per game, good for seventh in the NFL.

Greg Jennings ($8,200) and Dwayne Bowe ($8,000) are the most expensive wide receivers this week. Not to knock their abilities, but it's hard to believe that either will get the production to make them cost-effective.

Both Jennings and Bowe could be playing on the road without their starting quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers (concussion) and Matt Cassel (appendix, or lack thereof) aren't looking good this week. Rodgers hasn't been practicing, while Cassel has participated, but in a limited role.

Neither's status will be decided until the weekend, possibly as late as Sunday morning.

If you're like us and like to sleep in on the weekend, make sure you are up in time to make some changes if you select either of these wideouts, as neither can be expected to produce without their quarterbacks.

Like we said, bargains could be hard to come by, but here is our list of some players that could make your team this weekend, as well as those that could doom it:

Week 15 Bargains

QB - Jon Kitna - $6,000 (44th among quarterbacks)

Kitna has been more than serviceable as Tony Romo's replacement, especially fantasy-wise. Why he's priced lower than the likes of Byron Leftwich, Matt Moore and John David Booty is beyond us. This week he faces the Redskins, who either have quit on Mike Shanahan or simply cannot do anything right. Either way, Kitna should have a big day.

RB - Matt Forte - $7,000 (21st among running backs)

The Giants' duo of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs had a big game against the Vikings' defense. Forte could do the same thing this week, especially with the Vikings again being displaced, albeit only to the outdoor stadium of nearby University of Minnesota. The Bears are looking to rebound from their blowout loss at the hands of the Patriots, and Forte will be an essential part in doing that.

WR - DeSean Jackson - $5,700 (35th among wide receivers)

Jackson had a quiet game against the Giants a few weeks back, but had two big games against them last season. It's been an up-and-down season for DeSean, none more up than last week's 210-yard performance against the Cowboys. It's far from a stretch to say Jackson could explode again vs. the Giants.

TE - Benjamin Watson - $5,100 (15th among tight ends)

Watson has been a valuable safety blanket for Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy this season. He was quiet last week, but had 100 yards the week before. Expect a solid bounce-back effort at the Bengals this week.

K - Shayne Graham - $5,100 (36th among kickers)

With the way the Patriots' offense has been rolling, Graham might not get the opportunity to attempt a single field goal, but could end up with at least five points solely on point-after tries. At the very least, Graham won't get blanked. He'll either be there for the field goal if the offense stalls out or grab an easy point after yet another touchdown.

DEF - Chicago Bears - $6,200 (30th among defenses)

The Bears got it handed to them by Tom Brady last week. Fortunately, they have either the Brett Favre or Tarvaris Jackson-led Vikings this week, with the chance to regain their NFL-best form. Plus, there's always the chance Devin Hester breaks off a kick or punt return. Or both.

Week 15 Busts

QB - Michael Vick - $8,800 (3rd among quarterbacks)

Vick has put up points each and every week as the leader of the Eagles' explosive offense, but was held to only a rushing touchdown in the first meeting with the Giants. He has been banged up in recent weeks and will face the formidable Giants' pass rush with a ragtag offensive line protecting him. Considering that and his price, there are better options than Vick this week.

RB - Adrian Peterson - $9,800 (2nd among running backs)

Peterson did not fare well with Jackson behind center - the two could not even complete a handoff without bumping knees and injuring each other. This week, Peterson faces what is sure to be an angry Bears defense. With the added motivation, expect them to key on AD all day.

WR - Greg Jennings - $8,200 (1st among wide receivers)

Call it the curse of the most expensive receiver. Jennings is likely to be without Rodgers Sunday night against a New England team coming off two straight wins in which they it helds its opponent to seven points or less. That does not bode well for a Matt Flynn-led Pack attack. Nor for Jennings.

TE - Marcedes Lewis - $5,900 (4th among tight ends)

Lewis has been among the top-five tight ends in production, but he is a risky proposition at his price. It will do you better to upgrade at either quarterback, running back or wide receiver and take a chance on a lower-priced tight end producing at the same level (or higher) as Lewis.

K - Dan Carpenter - $6,400 (2nd among kickers)

Carpenter has been at or near the top of the list of kickers for most of the season, but he is not getting many opportunities to earn points for his owners. He goes as the Dolphins' offense goes, which lately has meant Carpenter getting only a few field goal and extra point attempts each week. That won't justify his price.

DEF - Baltimore - $6,900 (1st among defenses)

The Ravens got lit up in the second half of their Monday Night Football escape in Houston, but salvaged their numbers with a kickoff return touchdown and a game-winning pick-six. This week, they face the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. Don't expect Drew Brees to be nearly as careless with the ball as Schaub was.

Our Week 14 Roster

This week, we've decided to give Peyton Hillis one last chance. We've played him each of the last two weeks and received just modest results. His matchup against the Bengals this week looks favorable, and he's more than due for a big game, especially after how he produced earlier in the season.

Another matchup we are looking to expose this weekend is Andre Johnson against his old friend Cortland Finnegan. Everyone remembers how well they got along the last time these two teams met up, right? Hopefully Johnson's day wont be cut short again, but we don't think he's that stupid.

Darren McFadden had a big game last week, and if we trust his previous results, he could be ready for another. The only game better than last week's for McFadden owners was Week 7, when he faced the Broncos, who will visit Oakland this weekend.

Hopefully this roster will yield better results than last week, as we would like to see our name on the final leader board. Here are our picks for Week 15:

QB - Jon Kitna (WAS@DAL) - $6,000

RB - Darren McFadden (DEN@OAK) - $8,300

RB - Peyton Hillis (CLE@CIN) - $8,300

WR - Roddy White (ATL@SEA) - $7,400

WR - Andre Johnson (HOU@TEN) - $7,000

WR - Terrell Owens (CLE@CIN) - $6,800

TE - Owen Daniels (HOU@TEN) - $4,800

K - Josh Scobee (JAC@IND) - $5,200

D - Chicago Bears (CHI@MIN) - $6,200

Salary cap remaining: $0

Don't forget to sign up and join our league by clicking here. Rosters must be submitted before 1 p.m. on Sunday. Good luck.

Matt Mullin is a sports producer at and can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @matt_mullin.

Andrew O'Brien works on the sports desk at and can be reached at