Week 4 is setting up to be very different than the first 3 from an ownership standpoint. The first three weeks there have been varying degrees of chalk that has been pretty hard to get away from in most lineups. This week has some nice totals and good spots, but I don’t think there are a bunch of “cash game locks” or “can’t miss plays” this week. I really like this because I think that you can really get a bigger advantage by finding the best plays compared to other weeks.
As I have said before, QB is one of the least variant positions in DFS because of how the QB position is used. In the first 3 weeks, however, we have seen some massive QB scores with Mahomes, Fitzmagic, Brees, Matt Ryan all being outstanding in a game or more. I think this takes a step back this week, but the QB pricing has become less spread out. This kind of forces me to really just try and key in on the best options and take a slight price decrease if I find one I like.
Three players stand out at the top of the position to me as guys that have a clear route to 30+ points. Brady, Brees, and Watson all have a rather high team total this week in games that project to be somewhat close. They also all have lackluster rushing capabilities. If these teams score 4 TDsor more, it is very likely these QBs throw 3 or more of them and I obviously like that for tournaments. When trying to pick just one of them out of the pack, I struggle to really commit and I think it is simply a roster construction play. I’d suggest some correlation with both Brees and Watson. For example, some people are really high on T.Y. Hilton this week. In that case, I’d suggest maybe running a Watson/Fuller and/or Hopkins stack with him or maybe Brees stack with someone like OBJ, Sterling Shepard, or Saquon.
Baker Mayfield is the only cheap QB I want to play this week. I may dabble with Eli, Tannehill, or even Trubisky and Allen if I make 150, but Baker is the one I want. I think the pricing this week will draw more people away from Baker than it would have a year ago, which I do like. I like Baker because he has the tools to pick apart this horrible Raiders defense and really put up a lot of points. We all know that Baker would like nothing more than to come out firing in his first start and I think he may do so. He also has 4 viable receiving options that are all relevant for their price because Baker should throw the ball more and better than Tyrod did.
First, let’s talk Kamara. He’s been great but I will not be playing him this week base on how I think this game may go. Before this season, everyone knew that the Saints wanted to limit Kamara’s touches. In the first 2 weeks, they did that and Kamara went off based on 3 TD’s one game and had a fine (not for the price) score in the second. Last week, in a back and forth playoff atmosphere between a division rival, that went out the window. I do not think that will be the case this week and I’m not paying top dollar for a guy that gets 19 touches in a game they are winning. Maybe it’s a hot take, but it is a pretty confident one from my standpoint. Kamara could score 3 TDs because the Saints are good and it won’t work out, but we’re not seeing 35 touches this week.
Ezekiel Elliott has been a solid fantasy producer in horrible game scripts for him on a horrible offense. He is getting a lot of targets and eventually, those will produce even better results. Last week, we all saw the Patriots get destroyed by the Lions defense last week, but that was because they tried to exploit them in a facet of the game they are not good at, which is running the football. Ezekiel Elliott is good at running the football and should be able to showcase that this week.
Giovani Bernard had 12 carries and 9 targets last week and I expect that to continue. The Falcons have been horrible at stopping the RB catches and I think Bernard continues this trend. I think this provides Bernard with the safety to be a good play regardless of game script and a possible smash play if he falls into the end zone and catches 10 passes.
The cheap play on the board for me is Kerryon Johnson. He has emerged as the Lions lead back and he is too cheap to ignore. The matchup isn’t great, but it won’t be hard for Kerryon to get to value if he can fall into the end zone and catch a few passes, which isn’t a stretch at all.
Michael Thomas should see an increase in volume if my Kamara take is on. Last week, Kamara was almost always the bailout option. I expect them to target Thomas more in that role this week in a real effort to avoid using Kamara that much. Thomas has caught more TD than he has incomplete targets. That is absurd. He is as sure-handed as they come with one of the most accurate QBs ever in Drew Brees. His floor is impeccable and the ceiling always exists if he can find the box.
Will Fuller is another interesting play dependent on his ownership. He has seen a massive price jump recently, but deservedly so. Watson clearly loves throwing the ball to Fuller and I think this is a great spot for receivers. Fuller has TD upside every time he touches the ball. The Colts can’t keep up with Fuller from the cornerback position and I think he should be able to get open enough to secure a floor while maintaining that upside.
Tyler Boyd and Sterling Shepard are similar good plays. Both are the clear second receiving option on their team in a game where they project to trail but score a good amount of points. Their #1 WR also faces a drastically tougher matchup than they do this week. That can often funnel targets to these guys that they normally don’t see. I like both of these guys in any format and I will be overweight on both of them.
Antonio Callaway is a burner that has worked with Mayfield well after coming over from Buffalo. Callaway is a first-round talent that has struggled with substance problems in college and even in his short time in the NFL. This has made Callaway seem a bit under-the-radar from a talent perspective. I think Callaway isn’t the most sure-handed receiver out there but should see 6+ targets with an improved QB vs a bad defense. Sign me up.
None of these options are smash spots in my opinions. There are a bunch of “options” though.
Eric Ebron is the clear cash play based on his involvement with the offense. He saw 11 targets and 2 end zone targets last week. Now, he can’t really catch and Luck is struggling a bit to throw the ball downfield, but 11 targets are still too good to pass up. I plan on just being around the field on Ebron in GPP’s.
Eventually, Trey Burton will be involved in this offense. I don’t know when, but he is an athletic tight end with reliable hands that should really be featured in an offense with a struggling QB and a bunch of young players around him. I don’t know when this will be, but I really think playing Burton every week will eventually pay off in a big way this season.
In the first 2 weeks, David Njoku saw 14 targets for 33 yards. When Baker Mayfield came in, he saw 2 targets for 2 catches and 36 yards in one half. I think Njoku’s talent will start to shine through with more talent on the field and is a nice option at a really nice price.