It’s that time to start digging into Week 4 DFS NFL and what that slate is going to bring us so let’s break down the games and figure out who to play!
This DFS NFL slate is certainly interesting from the Vegas over/under standpoint. We have 12 games on the docket and four of the games are under 42 points, while only two are over 48. That might lead to some higher ownership levels among some of the players but that can also represent a chance to zig while many others zag. Let’s dive into what’s on tap and get a lay of the land for the DFS week ahead!
DFS NFL – Jets at Jaguars, O/U of 38.5 – Jaguars -7
Jets Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 7th, 12.1 RB – 17th, 16.3 WR – 16th, 22.5 TE – 6th, 4.2 D/ST – 3rd, 13.0 PPG
We’re starting with one of the ugliest games on the slate. It very well might just be a repeat of last week’s 9-6 snoozefest that involved the Jaguars in this one. Las Vegas would agree as the game is tied for lowest O/U on the slate. The state of the Jaguars running backs might have a lot to do with the lower total. Both T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette are being termed day-to-day at the moment. Even if they’re healthy, can you use them? The Jets have given up the 12th fewest rushing yards so far this season. If by some chance both of these guys are out, Corey Grant would be an awesome cheap play that let’s you get other studs in the lineup.
From the passing game lens, it’s sort of a guessing game as to what you’ll get. Blake “The Snake” Bortles went from king cobra against the Patriots to black pepper snake against the Titans and every time you try to pick the right week with him, it seems to backfire. Keelan Cole is up over 90 percent of the snaps, up every week so far and that’s great. It also helps that he leads the receiving corps in targets but the bad news is he’s yet to see a red zone target. With an offense that is hard to put any faith in, he’s likely a pass this week. There’s just so many wildly variant outcomes for the Jags offense that I won’t force anything with this game total.
Jaguars Players to Target
Cash Options – None, but Corey Grant if he happens to be the starter
GPP Options- Blake Bortles, Leonard Fournette, Keelan Cole, Jaguar D/ST
Jaguars Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 4th, 10.9 RB – 9th, 14.3 WR – 4th, 15.2 TE – 4th, 3.5 D/ST – 8th, 8.3 PPG
The Jets offense isn’t anything that I would be too interested here either. Unsurprisingly, Jacksonville ranks in the top 10 against every position in fantasy and New York isn’t equipped to beat them offensively. You certainly can’t start Sam Darnold on the road in Jacksonville. Quincy Enunwa has over 31 percent of the market share in targets, behind only Jarvis Landry, Adam Thielen and Julio Jones. That’s well and good but he probably doesn’t have the upside you want from a lower ownership player versus this secondary. Neither running back gets enough volume to trust. Bilal Powell is at 48.9 snap percentage and Isaiah Crowell is at about 44 percent. I grudgingly would admit that Powell could be on the map as a cheap option who could see 5-6 receptions since the Jaguar secondary is so good. You had better hit with your studs or hope he breaks a screen pass for a touchdown.
Jets Players to Target
Cash Options – Bilal Powell if he gets you that extra stud, Jets D/ST
GPP Options – Quincy Enunwa
DFS NFL – Dolphins at Patriots, O/U of 47.5 – Patriots -7
Dolphins Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 3rd, 10.5 RB – 26th, 21.0 WR – 9th, 18.5 TE – 15th, 6.2 D/ST – 4th, 11.3 PPG
The Pats only have 57 points through three games against Texans, Jaguars and Lions. Jacksonville was a tough matchup at home in a game they were hyped for but the other two are giving up at least 24 points a game. This has been a very un-New England start. Tom Brady’s best game has been 277 and three touchdowns which is great but he’s coming off one of his worst statistical games in quite a while. Miami is tied for the league lead with seven interceptions with Seattle and no other team has more than five. They are possibly being saved by the interceptions since they’ve given up the fourth most passing yards. Every other team in the top 10 of passing yards allowed is giving up at least 25 points a game. Miami sits at 17.
James White and Phillip Dorsett have more targets than Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan. Those two are under an 18 percent target share. Maybe the Patriot offense is “easier” to cover since Julian Edelman isn’t there yet, but the target distribution is odd. In addition, Gronk has as many red zone targets as I do. Since I’m a 33-year-old husky gentleman who’s never played football, that number is at zero for both of us. Sony Michel could be interesting if Rex Burkhead is out, but Miami is tied for the second fewest yards per carry allowed in the NFL. Seventh fewest rush yards at 89.0 per game. I’m not going to be surprised if New England inserts Josh Gordon into the lineup and he helps open things up, but he’s far too expensive without knowing his role in the offense. I’m not as heavy on the Patriots as I thought I might be as of this writing. That just means they’re dropping a 50 burger on Sunday.
Patriots Players to Target
Cash Options – Sony Michel(if Burkhead is out)
GPP Options – Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, James White
Patriots Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 23rd, 20.4 RB – 21st, 18.9 WR – 28th, 29.4 TE – 12th, 5.7 D/ST – 23rd, 4.6 PPG
It won’t be a lot, but I’m planning on having some type of exposure to Kenyan Drake this week. I know, it was an awful game for him last week with only five carries. However, after seeing Kerryon Johnson wreck the Patriots linebackers and exploit their lack of speed, it’s hard not to like the talent that Drake brings onto the field this week. The snaps stayed consistent for Drake and Gore at about a 65-35 split last week and I’m hoping that Drake gets some passing work if this game winds up going high scoring.
Ryan Tannehill is a fine cheap option and has been efficient with at least 230 yards and two touchdowns in two of three games. If he eclipses the 30 attempt mark and maintains the efficiency, he’s going to destroy his price tag. The slight issue is figuring out how to stack him. Five players are seeing a target share of at least 12.5 percent and nobody is over 18.7 percent(Grant), nobody has seen more than his seven targets in Week 1 any game so far and that seven target game went to Jakeem Grant. I’d still prefer Kenny Stills since he carries the highest upside of the bunch and you just have to hope he burns the Patriots secondary for a longer touchdown.
Dolphins Players to Target
Cash Options – Ryan Tannehill
GPP Options – Kenyan Drake, Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant
DFS NFL – Eagles at Titans, O/U of 41.5 – Eagles -4
Eagles Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 17th, 17.6 RB – 1st, 9.7 WR – 25th, 26.5 TE – 17th, 7.3 D/ST – 17th, 6.3 PPG
It’s really hard to get on board with any weapon in this offense. Marcus Mariota only attempted 18 passes and likely shouldn’t have been playing with nerve injuries in his throwing arm. As of this writing, coach Mike Vrabel is admitting there are throws that Mariota can’t make. That’s not exactly the most comforting thing I’ve ever heard. Corey Davis would be a GPP play only since this passing game is struggling so bad. He’s yet to exceed six receptions and 62 yards. That’s not entirely his fault but there’s not much of a reason to play him as things stand. The monster target share of over 30 percent in his offense is something we want to chase/ Sunday is probably not that day. Derrick Henry has gotten 18 carries in consecutive games, which is great. He also has nothing to show for it so I’m likely not going to try to tangle with this Eagles front four. They’re not the toughest team in the league against running backs by accident.
Titans Players to Target
Cash Options – None
GPP Options – Corey Davis
Titans Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 12th, 15.1 RB – 3rd, 11.4 WR – 22nd, 26.1 TE – 1st, 2.3 D/ST – 6th, 10.0 PPG
Do we take a chance at Dallas Goedert? His snaps jumped over 60 percent, which was the third highest of any Eagles player. Only Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz were on the field more. If Alshon Jeffery remains out, there’s plenty of reasons to believe that Philly continues to use the rookie in two tight end sets as Carson Wentz makes his way fully back from a torn ACL.Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles could both be back, which means we could have four players in that backfield at any time. I’m not messing with any of the backs since there’s going to be a heavy rotation and Tennessee quietly really good so far against the position. That’s a trend that was true last season as well since Tennessee was in the top eight last year against the position. Agholor is the only receiver worth a look unless you want to shoot in the dark with Jordan Matthews, who saw 40 percent of the snaps despite going the team shortly before game time. Agholor saw his targets dip from double digits in each of the first two weeks to five in Week 3 so perhaps players will feel burned and not be willing to go back to him. Wentz could be a nice pivot off the rest of the under $6,000 quarterbacks but that’s more an ownership play only. Given the quarterbacks on the slate, I’ll likely pass on Wentz’s first road game.
Eagles Players to Target
Cash Options – Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Eagles D/ST
GPP Options – Nelson Agholor, Carson Wentz
DFS NFL – Texans at Colts, O/U of 47.0 – Colts -1.5
Texans Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 15th, 16.7 RB – 19th, 18.3 WR – 10th, 18.9 TE – 24th, 9.9 D/ST – 24th, 4.6 PPG
I’m very hopeful that Jack Doyle will be back this week. He was playing almost every single snap for the Colts before he missed the last week with injury and he was commanding an 18 percent target share in the offense. That would be fantastic given his cheaper price tag this week. I would also be fine going right back to Eric Ebron if he’s not. The stat line looks poor, but Ebron saw 11 targets. Sign me up at a difficult position.
I can’t get on board with Andrew Luck yet just because of the concerns that are now surrounding his shoulder once again. T.Y. Hilton has been a target magnet with almost 11 per game but I’m not sure what the upside is yet. Only 16 of Luck’s 124 attempts have traveled over 15 yards from the line of scrimmage and if Hilton can’t get looks deep, that hurts his game significantly. Everyone can blow off the Hail Mary thing if they want. I’m not one of those folks and the depth of target is doing plenty of talking as well. Nyheim Hines would be the only back that you might use since he’s cheap and he’s fourth in targets on the offense. He also saw over 70 percent of the snaps last week but that would only be a potential play if Marlon Mack is out. Even then, I’m not sure how much work Hines would see in a neutral game script.
Colts Players to Target
Cash Options – Jack Doyle if healthy, Eric Ebron if he misses again
GPP Options – Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Nyheim Hines
Colts Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 9th, 13.6 RB – 23rd, 20.6 WR – 2nd, 13.4 TE – 26th, 10.5 D/ST – 10th, 8.0 PPG
The Indy defense has played a lot better than we were giving them credit for before the year started. I don’t think that will continue, but it’s definitely worth noting. They’ve only allowed seven pass play over 20 yards and three touchdown passes total. Still, the Houston offense is centered on Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. Nuk is at 31 percent of the targets and Fuller is at 29 percent so I’m going to take the cheaper one more often than not. There’s a $1,600 difference this week on DraftKings Fuller also has a higher aDOT and is only nine PPR points behind Hopkins, despite missing a game. He’s likely going to be pretty popular but he’s at the point where the boom-or-bust label needs to stop with him. When he and Watson are in the lineup, he’s a safe option. Lamar Miller is only $5,000 and should touch the ball at least 15 times but there might be cheaper backs with higher upside this week. Miller(like almost every week right now) is perfectly fine in cash but lacks upside. The Houston offense is so easy to figure out because of how the work is funneled through four players and that’s about it.
Texans Players to Target
Cash Options – Will Fuller, DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, Lamar Miller
GPP Options – Stack Watson with both receivers
DFS NFL – Bills at Packers, O/U of 45.5 – Packers -10
Bills Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 22nd, 19.8 RB – 28th, 22.9 WR – 16th, 22.8 TE – 22nd, 9.1 D/ST – 18th, 6.0 PPG
It figures a week after the Latavius Murray chalk wrecked everyone that the Bills go to face Green Bay, who doesn’t have any type of set running back rotation. Everyone is adamant that Aaron Jones is going to be the man but he finished third in snaps among the trio of himself, Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery. Nobody played more than Williams at 43 percent. That’s a tough sell in this spot. I will say that Jones is talented enough and cheap enough to merit GPP consideration. Davante Adams is also someone I’m not that interested in this week for Green Bay. I personally think Stefon Diggs is one of the most physically gifted receivers in football but Tre’Davious White from the Bills better start being recognized as one of the game’s best corners, period.
What that does say to me is that Geronimo Allison is the preferred play here. He has the highest aDOT on the team and has more yards and touchdowns than Randall Cobb despite seeing nine fewer targets. It doesn’t hurt he’s also $400 cheaper than Cobb on top of all those factors. I think I might pass on Aaron Rodgers. 286 yards and three touchdowns have been his best game so far and Buffalo brought the heat in Minnesota. Jerry Hughes is tied for the most pressures on the quarterback so far alongside Khalil Mack with 20.
Packers Players to Target
Cash Options – Geronimo Allison
GPP Options – Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, Packers D/ST
Packers Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 24th, 21.5 RB – 18th, 17.6 WR – 27th, 28.5 TE – 18th, 8.3 D/ST – 19th, 5.6 PPG
I’m not buying into anything we saw last week as fantasy value for this week. LeSean McCoy would be viable given his price tag but you’re not going to feel great about it. He hasn’t seen above 54 percent of the snaps yet but that’s likely due to blowout in Week 1 and injury in Week 2. Chris Ivory saw 80 percent of the snaps when he filled in for Shady last week so that’s likely more the workload he’d be looking at. Josh Allen is still uber cheap with his potential rushing upside but there’s too many cheap quarterbacks to take the unnecessary risk.
Bills Players to Target – None
DFS NFL – Lions at Cowboys, O/U of 43.5 – Cowboys -3.5
Lions Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 8th, 12.7 RB – 30th, 26.9 WR – 7th, 16.4 TE – 11th, 5.4 D/ST – 15th, 7.0 PPG
I’m the first to tell you that I’m not good at projecting ownerships for a particular player, but is this quietly a good spot for Ezekiel Elliott? The Lions have given up the most rushing yards in the league and that’s the only part of the Cowboys offense that works. Zeke rushed for over 120 yards last week in Seattle and now gets an even better match-up. He’s also averaging almost four receptions a game which raises his floor significantly. The price tag has dipped below $8,000 and I believe that all the running backs around that range will be more popular. As interested as I am in Zeke, that’s about the list for me. Dak Prescott is working with almost nothing at the receiver position and that’s partially to blame for him not passing for 200 yards yet this year. He’s not running the ball and I’m totally out on any other piece of the Dallas offense.
Cowboys Players to Target –
Cash and GPP Options – Ezekiel Elliott
Cowboys Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 14th, 15.8 RB – 14th, 16.4 WR – 3rd, 15.1 TE – 16th, 6.7 D/ST – 16th, 6.6 PPG
Dallas has a big issue with no Sean Lee. When he missed games that meant big things for running games last season. Opposing offenses saw their explosive run rate more than double, run success rate jump by eight percent and the yards per carry went from 3.5 to 4.8. Coming off his best performance of his young career, Kerryon Johnson is going to be a very attractive option this week. I will admit that I wish the snap percentage was higher but he did lead the backs at 44.6 percent snap rate last week with 18 total touches. He should smash his price tag here, only needing about 13 points to hit 3x. I’m not as interested in the passing game just because I’m not convinced that Detroit will have to lean on it as much as normal. Given the glacial pace of the Dallas offense, they might not be given the opportunity. For receivers, I’ll take Marvin Jones and not just because he’s the cheapest of the trio the Lions boast. Jones has more red zone targets(6) than Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay have combined(5) and I’ll take those targets all day long.
Lions Players to Target
Cash Options – Kerryon Johnson, Golden Tate
GPP Options – Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay(pretty expensive), Marvin Jones
DFS NFL – Buccaneers at Bears, O/U of 46.5 – Bears -3
Buccaneers Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 28th, 23.9 RB – 27th, 22.8 WR – 28th, 30.1 TE – 31st, 12.1 D/ST – 18th, 6.3 PPG
I want to love the Bears offense so much because the Tampa defense is beat up and they can’t stop just about anything. Playing Bears means I have to put my faith in Mitch Trubisky, and I’m not entirely sure I’m willing to do that yet. He’s yet to exceed 220 yards and has thrown two touchdowns to three interceptions(one of those touchdowns was a shovel to Trey Burton as well). Trubisky has yet to show signs of growth in Matt Nagy’s offense so it’s hard to believe he can float Allen Robinson to a good game, despite the Bucs being tied for the most passing yards given up through three games. I’ll likely end up with at least one lineup with Robinson in it but I won’t be heavy on him. This was the big issue when people compared these Bears to last year’s Rams – the quarterback.
Jordan Howard should be a solid option but it’s a little tougher to play him where he’s priced at. Most of the running backs around him are in better offenses and have decent/great matchups as well. Nagy has entrusted Howard as his lead back, giving him 25+ touches last week and the snaps backed it up at with over 62 percent. It was a little odd to see his snaps drop but it could also make sense since he touched the ball so much, he needed a breather a little more often. Howard should be a decent leverage option this week and the Bucs defense might make even the sketchy Bears offense look great.
Bears Players to Target
Cash Options – Jordan Howard
GPP Options – Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, Bears D/ST
Bears Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 13th, 15.6 RB – 2nd, 9.8 WR – 21st, 26.2 TE – 18th, 8.3 D/ST – 1st, 14.6 PPG
We got the full Ryan Fitzpatrick Monday night, and you never want to go full Ryan Fitzpatrick. There were awful throws that led to seemingly back-breaking picks only for him to have a chance to win the game at the end. He’s going to sling the ball but this is a tough spot. Chicago can put pressure on the quarterback like very few teams can and they lead the league in sacks. I wanted to play Chris Godwin but I’m having second thoughts after this –
Humphries is under a 60 percent reception rate and has a grand total of 65 yards receiving and no touchdowns. He’s running the second most routes because…well, I’ve got nothing. Mike Evans has a 27 market share and I have no issue playing him even in a tough spot. An under the radar play might just be O.J. Howard. He saw eight targets and Fitzpatrick was pressured on around 40 percent of the drop backs. If Howard functions as an explosive safety valve, he can be extremely involved this week as Fitzpatrick tries to dodge Khalil Mack and the Bears pass rush. I’m not going to play the Magical Beard of Fantasy(Fitzpatrick) but you can definitely use some of his weapons in this one.
Buccaneers Players to Target
Cash Options – Mike Evans
GPP Options – Chris Godwin, DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard
DFS NFL – Bengals at Falcons, O/U of 51.5 – Falcons -5
Bengals Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 26th, 22.5 RB – 22nd, 20.1 WR – 11th, 21.0 TE – 28th, 10.8 D/ST – 14th, 7.3 PPG
This is the highest over/under on the slate and it might be justified. The Falcons come in on fire from an offensive standpoint even though Julio Jones hasn’t seen a red zone target since Week 1. That defies a lot of things and common sense might be prime among them. Jones might see some William Jackson in this game on the boundary. I’m not suggesting Jackson can cover him, but I do have respect for his game. Calvin Ridley coming off the massive game but is still seeing significantly less snaps than Mohamed Sanu. That should change this week. Austin Hooper is tied for second in red zone targets with Ridley but only has a 12.9 market share of the overall targets and is probably best served as a dart throw. Cincinnati has scuffled with the tight end early.
Tevin Coleman disappointed a little bit last week but has gotten at least 17 touches in each game that Devonta Freeman has missed and is under $6,000 in a great spot. I’d have zero hesitation going back to him this week. Matt Ryan is on fire and Cincinnati has a tough task going from the Carolina passing attack to the Atlanta one. For everything Cam Newton does well, his receivers are Devin Funchess and …D.J. Moore, kind of. It’s not being bold to say Julio, Ridley and Sanu are a lot better. With how poor the Atlanta defense is playing, the Falcons have to score a lot in any given game.
Falcons Players to Target
Cash Options – Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Tevin Coleman
GPP Options – Calvin Ridley, Austin Hooper
Falcons Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 29th, 25.4 RB – 29th, 23.4 WR – 22nd, 26.4 TE – 10th, 5.0 D/ST – 30th, 2.6 PPG
I really hope A.J. Green plays because it will be all systems go for this Bengals offense. This is not to be a jerk, but I’m also hoping Joe Mixon is out for at least one more week. If Gio Bernard has this backfield to himself this week, he’s a stone cold lock of the century…of the week. The Falcons can’t stop backs catching the ball, giving up 36 receptions to the position in just three games. No other team is over 28 and they just allowed Alvin Kamara set a record for targets for a running back last week. Tyler Boyd is still massively under priced under $5,000 and he should take on Brian Poole who is currently the 94th ranked corner out of 107 according to Pro Football Focus. Boyd is also up to an 18 percent market share of the Bengals targets.
Atlanta has fallen apart at the seams on defense due to injury and they can’t deal with Green, Boyd, Tyler Eifert and Bernard in this spot. Bernard, Boyd and Andy Dalton stack make a ton of sense. That’s especially true since Dalton is only $100 more than the quarterback chalk this week. Atlanta has given up the seventh most passing yards and a 97.8 quarterback rating. This game stack might be the best on the board this week and some Bengals exposure might be a necessity in cash games, especially Bernard.
Bengals Players to Target
Cash Options – Gio Bernard, A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, Tyler Boyd
GPP Options – Tyler Eifert
DFS NFL – Seahawks at Cardinals, O/U of 38.5 – Seahawks -3
Seahawks Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 10th, 14.1 RB – 10th, 15.3 WR – 19th, 25.3 TE – 14th, 5.8 D/ST – 7th, 9.6 PPG
You just might be able to talk me into one or two Cards this week, just as a price point play. The most glaring player is David Johnson. As much as I’ve vented my frustrations(justifiably so, I might add), Johnson is all the way down to $6,600. Even though he disappointed again last week, you only need 19.8 points on DraftKings to hit 3x on his price. He did jump up to 86 percent of the snaps last week, which was his first time over 80 percent all season. Rookie Christian Kirk has seen his snaps and targets rise the past two weeks and it would make sense if he and fellow rookie Josh Rosen had a little chemistry from working with each other all through camp and the early part of the season. He would only need 11.1 points to hit his value at just $3,700 on DraftKings. Larry Fitzgerald played over 95 percent last week so that seems to dispel he was just a decoy. Still, I have no interest coming off a game with just two targets although $5,000 is tempting. Seattle has given up 14 sacks, tied for most in the NFL meaning the Arizona defense could be in play here.
Cardinals Players to Target
Cash Options – Christian Kirk
GPP Options – David Johnson, Arizona D/ST, Larry Fitzgerald
Cardinals Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 11th, 14.5 RB – 32nd, 32.6 WR – 6th, 16.3 TE – 20th, 8.4 D/ST – 23rd, 5.3 PPG
The Seattle offense isn’t vastly different from the Cowboys. They certainly have more talent and I’m not trying to take anything away from Russell Wilson but the Seahawks ran the ball more than they threw it last week. On top of that, Russ has seven rushing attempts for just 21 yards. I don’t get it either. Chris Carson got 32 carries and Penny got banished with a 14.5 snap percentage so it appears for now that Seattle has realized that Carson is the best back they have for right now. He’s definitely in play given how badly the Cardinals have struggled against backs this season. Tyler Lockett is always dangerous and Arizona isn’t moving Patrick Peterson around as much as the team has in the past. I would still think Peterson would try to slow down Lockett as often as possible. The Seattle defense very quietly is tied for the lead in interceptions and has eight sacks. The interceptions can be a result of having Earl Thomas back there in the secondary. This isn’t the best game on the slate by all accounts and the plays are limited. Seattle’s defense could be solid and has every chance at forcing a couple turnovers for the freshly minted starter Josh Rosen.
Seahawks Players to Target
Cash Options – Chris Carson
GPP Options – Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, Seahawks D/ST
DFS NFL – Browns at Raiders, O/U of 45.0 – Raiders -3
Browns Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 2nd, 9.8 RB – 26th, 22.6 WR – 13th, 21.6 TE – 3rd, 3.2 D/ST – 5th, 10.6 PPG
I’ve been waiting since the Browns took him with the 1.01 in the draft, but I’m playing an awful lot of Baker Mayfield this Sunday. He’s only $5,300 and now that he’s the man, that’s an easy tag to surpass. Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway face a burnable secondary as the Raiders have been gouged for the third most 20+ yard passing plays. Mayfield also has gotten the entire week to focus on taking first team reps and both those receivers saw double-digit targets last week. They also have generated very little pressure(five sacks through three games) and Mayfield should be able to pick them apart.
Oakland is in the top 12 of rushing yards allowed at over 5 yards per carry. This genuinely could be a sneaky Carlos Hyde spot since people(i.e. me will be infatuated with the passing game). Hyde dominates red zone work with 53 percent of the opportunities and I definitely feel like Cleveland will be able to move the ball in this game. Don’t forget about David Njoku either. He only saw two targets from Mayfield but I have the feeling that throwing to Njoku will be in the game plan this week. I love all the pieces from the Browns this week and would even play the defense I believe. They’re forcing turnovers and sacking the quarterback at a top 10 rate in football.
Browns Players to Target
Cash Options – Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Carlos Hyde
GPP Options – Antonio Callaway, David Njoku, Cleveland D/ST
Raiders Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 21st, 19.3 RB – 13th, 15.9 WR – 29th, 33.4 TE – 5th, 3.5 D/ST – 31st, 1.6 PPG
Cleveland is a top five scoring defense and I’m not sure I’m going to want to deal with the Raiders this week. Denzel Ward has done a pretty nice job through the first few weeks and could be developing into a nice cover corner in a hurry in at the NFL level. I don’t believe that Jordy Nelson resurrected himself from the fantasy graveyard last week, it was just a weird result. You could do worse than Marshawn Lynch as a cash option. He’s getting 16 rushing attempts a game and has found the end zone every game. He’s gotten a 55 snap percentage in the two games that the Raiders have been competitive and I don’t think the Browns get the score out of control in this game. Amari Cooper could be a GPP option but nothing more considering he’s doing his patented “one big game for at least two disappearing games” act once again. Oakland doesn’t have a very good offense right now and they’ll be a team that I mostly avoid.
Raiders Players to Target
Cash Options – Marshawn Lynch
DFS NFL – Saints at Giants, O/U of 50.0 – Saints -3.5
Saints Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 32nd, 32.3 RB – 4th, 11.8 WR – 32nd, 47.3 TE – 9th, 4.8 D/ST – 32nd, 0.3 PPG
I’m going to try to figure out at least one lineup that is made up close to exclusively of players from the Atlanta/Cincinnati game and this one. The fantasy goodness might just be too attractive to pass up. New Orleans hasn’t been able to stop anyone yet and the Giants have some serious players to take advantage of it. Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard are all in play. It appears Evan Engram will miss this game and once Engram went out last week, the offense concentrated the targets between those three players. Last week was 22 of a possible 29(Engram had 1) and Manning should have to throw more than 29 times in this one since the Saints offense is so lethal. Some folks are worried about Marshon Lattimore but Beckham got to Jacksonville for 11 receptions for 111 and should have had about a 40 yard touchdown on top of that. New Orleans also lost corner Patrick Robinson earlier this week and that won’t help a beleaguered defense. Lattimore is having a terrible start to his year as he’s allowing a passer rating of 145.8 on his targeted throws so far. Even Eli Manning might be in play in this one, that’s literally how bad the Saints have been this year. If the three skill players are doing damage, good old Eli is getting them the ball even though he’s close to being washed.
Giants Players to Target
Cash Options – Sterling Shepard, Odell Beckham, Saquon Barkley
GPP Options – Eli Manning
Giants Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 19th, 17.7 RB – 8th, 14.7 WR – 11th, 21.0 TE – 8th, 4.7 D/ST – 26th, 4.0 PPG
Do I really need to tell you who to play from the Saints? If you’re paying up at quarterback, it’s got to be Drew Brees. He’s completing over 80 percent of his passes and has thrown eight touchdowns to zero interceptions. New York’s numbers look good but they’re played the Jaguars on the road, the Texans and the Cowboys. If you put those offenses together, they might equal one Alvin Kamara or Michael Thomas. Those two are still accounting for 60 percent of the touches and targets but they are very expensive this week. I’ll have a lineup with both in all likelihood but I may wind up a little lighter on them than I would hope so just because of the exorbitant price tags they both have. Ben Watson is an interesting play as well. Last season, the Giants were flat awful against the tight end. I’m not sure that trend has fully reversed but we’ll start finding out with Ben Watson. He climbed up to seeing six targets last week and that’s plenty for me at the tight end spot.
Saints Players to Target
Cash Options – Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas
GPP Options – Ben Watson
DFS NFL – 49ers at Chargers, O/U of 47.0 – Chargers -10.5
49ers Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 27th, 23.4 RB – 14th, 16.4 WR – 27th, 29.4 TE – 29th, 12.0 D/ST – 28th, 2.6 PPG
The Chargers offense has been pretty concentrated through four main players in the passing game. Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler have accounted for 79 targets out of the 108 attempts that Philip Rivers has thrown so far. Gordon and Ekeler have accounted for the vast majority of the rising attempts as well. The 49ers are giving up under 100 yards rushing per game but these backs are lethal in the passing game as well. There’s a reasonable cane the 49ers lay an egg at this point. They have lost their starting quarterback and running back to ACL injuries and their season is very likely over. The Chargers offense is an excellent one led by a veteran quarterback and if everyone is going to flock to Allen, Williams is going to be a great leverage play. I love using Ekeler in GPP’s because he can break a big play at any moment and the 49ers have allowed the fourth most receptions to running backs so far. Fire away with the Chargers in this spot and they might be one of the least popular teams of the late games.
Chargers Players to Target
Cash Options – Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, Philip Rivers, Chargers D/ST
GPP Options – Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler
Chargers Defensive Ranks 2018
QB – 25th, 22.3 RB – 24th, 20.8 WR – 31st, 33.9 TE – 2nd, 2.9 D/ST – 29th, 2.6 PPG
It’s at least conceivable that second year quarterback C.J. Beathard has taken a step forward from his tough rookie season. I’m certainly not going to use any 49er players this week to find out but I will file away how this game goes for future use. The last time we saw him, he was peppering Carlos Hyde with targets so I’m interested in Matt Breida on DraftKings as a GPP play. The main issue is he’s so expensive, it’s hard not to use other running backs. Players like George Kittle and Marquise Goodwin could still hold some value in the right spot, but we need to see how things go before we use them for anything but tournaments. Goodwin especially could be super sneaky since the Chargers have allowed the second most 20+ yard passing plays at 16 already. They’re also eighth in total passing yards allowed and they really miss Joey Bosa and Jason Verrett. I wouldn’t play Beathard but he could do just enough to make the players in his offense worth something this week.
49ers Players to Target
Cash Options – None
GPP Options – Marquise Goodwin, Matt Breida, George Kittle
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