A quarterback change for Cleveland could lead to more opportunities for Duke Johnson
Week 3’s Daily Fantasy Football (DFS) picks produced another week in the green, albeit barely, but profit is profit. Kenyan Drake was the weakest link of all of the picks while Julio Jones’ trademark lack of touchdowns was exacerbated by rookie Calvin Ridley’s breakout performance.
For Week 4 we have some decent game score projections, although not as high as last week, but it still is a solid week to try some game stacks.
Bengals at Falcons with a game total of 51
Saints at Giants with a game total of 50
Browns at Raiders with a game total of 45
These games should have loads of fantasy goodness so I would consider getting players from these games as much as possible.
So, now that my synopsis is out of the way let’s get into my Week 4 DFS Picks shall we?
Teams on bye: Carolina, Washington
Week 4 Core Plays
These will be my top plays for the Sunday-Monday slate of games. These are players who I will try to have in as many lineups of mine as possible. If I can, I will use three or all four in one lineup. A reminder that for cash games going with an elite quarterback is typically recommended. If you go value at quarterback he MUST meet value for your loaded lineup to be worth it.
QB: Deshaun Watson, Houston at Indianapolis
Watson has had a nice few weeks after his rocky Week 1 start in his return from a torn ACL. If the youngster can reduce his mistakes and continue throwing the ball to his two amazingly talented wide receivers (DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller) to put together 300-yard passing games then he will become a must-start fantasy QB once again. This week is one of those where he is facing an appealing defense, as the Colts are allowing more than 240 yards per game through the air. Tom Brady is poised for a better matchup (vs. Miami), but he is more expensive. Watson also has more mobility which results in more possibility to score some points on the ground (yards, TDs).
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas vs. Detroit
Elliott is tied for the league lead in rushing with 274 yards through three weeks. This week he faces a defense that has been getting shredded on the ground so far this season. Elliott is getting fed the ball plenty and that should continue. Zeke’s price is right given the volume, and there’s added upside of getting some red-zone carries this week. The concern is that the Lions get ahead early, but the Cowboys need Elliott too much to remove him entirely from the game plan, even when playing from behind.
WR: Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants vs. Saints
The Saints are a high-flying and high-scoring offense, but on the other side they have one of the worst pass defenses in the league this season, allowing a whopping 246 yards through the air in the early going. Beckham has yet to find the end zone this season, but he is averaging 10 targets per game and the production with those has been there. Beckham’s breakout game is coming and this is the week it could happen. This could be a trap week where a teammate like Sterling Shephard has the big game (a la Calvin Ridley last week). I think Beckham is worth the price though this week. If Beckham feels too risky for cash contests, go ahead and pay up for Michael Thomas this week.
WR: Jarvis Landry, Cleveland at Oakland
Landry will have an entire week to continue developing a connection with his new starting quarterback, Baker Mayfield. Landry should be the focal point of the passing game and Mayfield’s top target. I would fully expect Landry to keep seeing 15-plus targets as he has twice this year already, and Mayfield showed last Thursday night that he’s pretty accurate with his throws. Yes it’s an incredibly small sample size, but the early signs are very promising. If this continues, expect better numbers from Landry.
TE: Eric Ebron, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Ebron has already developed a nice rapport with Andrew Luck, something that has been helped by Jack Doyle’s injury issues. Ebron already has caught two touchdown passes in three games compared to four in 16 games with Detroit last season. Drops are still an issue (five catches on 11 targets thus far), but as long as Doyle is out/limited, the volume should be there, especially in the red zone. All of that and he’s available at a fair price too.
Value Plays of the Week
QB: Josh Allen, Buffalo at Green Bay
Allen had a spectacular debut against the Vikings in what was one of the most surprising upsets in recent memory. Allen looked poised, mobile and most importantly, accurate. He also had plenty of catchable balls dropped by Kelvin Benjamin. Green Bay’s defense is not better than Minnesota’s, even given the struggles the Vikings had last week. Allen will not likely duplicate his Week 3 production, these still are the Bills, but he should be able to meet value in relation to his cheap price, especially if Buffalo falls behind early (as expected). In GPP using Allen and loading up at WR or RB is not a terrible idea.
RB: Duke Johnson, Cleveland at Oakland
Johnson has not been involved nearly as much as fantasy owners had hoped this season. Carlos Hyde is taking the feature back role and, well, running with it. This week though I can certainly see a back like Johnson being utilized more as a safety valve with Baker Mayfield taking over at quarterback. This price means Johnson only needs to get to eight points to double his value. There hasn’t been much foreshadowing this year for Johnson, but at this price I am taking a leap of faith.
WR: Sterling Shepard, New York Giants vs. Saints
Remember I mentioned a potential Calvin Ridley-esque performance happening in this game because of the presence of Odell Beckham Jr.? Well, why not cover our bases with this receiver stack this week? If you have more money to spend you also could add Eli Manning and make it a full stack. For all of the reasons I mentioned earlier Shepard is a nice play as well.