Welcome to the Week 4 NFL DFS DraftKings and FanDuel game-by-game breakdown! This piece will give the reader an in-depth look at every game for the main slate on Sunday. To this point of the year 2020 has sucked – Kobe passing, COVID hitting, and now election propaganda in full swing. The one area of normalcy we’ve been able to look forward to is football. We’ve been able to enjoy it for three weeks and now that week four is around the corner it saddens me to think we’re a quarter of the way through! Each passing week gives us valuable data that we use to make informed decisions that will get us into the green each week. This is the last week with a full slate of games without byes, with that in mind – let’s go!
The Colts are coming off an absolute shellacking of the Jets. However, it was the defense that did most of the damager scoring two defensive touchdowns. The offense to this point has put up pedestrian numbers. Phillip Rivers, the new signal-caller, has yet to throw for multiple touchdowns this season and has only cracked 300 yards passing just once. The Colts wide receivers’ group has been hit with some injuries. Parris Campbell was put on IR though it doesn’t look like he’ll miss the season and rookie Michael Pittman will miss extended time due to surgery on his leg. What this means is that we can narrow down the target pool in Indy to TY, Zach Pascal, Mo Alie-Cox, and Jack Doyle. Looking over DVOA stats, it looks like the Bears possess a top 5 defense but struggle against the run. I would look toward Jonathan Taylor this week. He was chalk last week and didn’t put up the numbers we expected but with 20+ touch upside, I would suggest having some shares.
Quarterback controversy? Mitchell Trubisky was benched in the second half of last week’s game against the Falcons, and Nick Foles led the charge on the comeback. Bears coach Matt Nagy has already come out and said Nick Foles will be the starter this weekend. This will be a huge plus for Bears’ pass catchers. While the Colts defense is formidable, ranked first in DVOA against the pass, I still want them to prove it against someone other than Sam Darnolds of the world. Allen Robinson again led the way with 13 targets, and I would expect that to continue with Foles under center. Jimmy Graham and Anthony Miller caught Foles’ other two touchdown passes. If we think the Bears are going to be in a negative game script these pass catchers are worthy of a GPP dart. Chicago lost their pass-catching running back Tarik Cohen to what is being reported as a torn ACL. This could mean an uptick in usage for David Montgomery if the Bears can keep the game close. Montgomery lead the Bears in carries last week with 14 and caught two of three targets.
New Orleans Saints
Now we’re talking! This is the first of eight games with an implied total of over 50 points. The Saint’s offense has looked a bit out of sorts to start the season and to add insult to injury (pun intended) they’ve been without star wide receiver Michael Thomas since his early exit week one with a high ankle sprain. According to Adam Schefter, Thomas is eyeing a return this week. He does carry a suppressed price on DraftKings due to his injury and this very well may be the cheapest we see him all year. Yet he is the highest priced receiver on FanDuel – go figure. Alvin Kamara did Alvin Kamara things on Sunday night against the Packers. He only ran the ball six times for 58 yards but was targeted 14 times through the air and brought in 13 of them for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Drew Brees just hasn’t been the Brees of old and that’s to be expected as father time is undefeated. If Michael Thomas plays, I like him, Bress, and Kamara as a sneaky GPP stack. I don’t fear Detroit’s bottom third defense.
Detroit is coming off a big win against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The team had an injection of life with the return of wide receiver Kenny Golladay. The New Orleans defense is a pass funnel, ranking high against the run while forcing teams to throw the ball. Considering that the Lions choose to run a three-headed backfield I will choose to fade Adrian Peterson, Kerryon Johnson, and D’Andre Swift. I will be looking at Lion’s pass catchers. It looked like Golladay got through the game unscathed from his previous hamstring injury. It’s safe to assume he will continue to be Matthew Stafford’s go-to target as long as he’s healthy. I’m not overly excited about tight end TJ Hockenson or WR2 Marvin Jones Jr, but if you believe the volume will be there feel free to plug them in your lineups.
The Cardinals are coming off a disappointing loss to the Lions at home this past Sunday. While Kyler Murray looked unstoppable the first two weeks of the season he crashed back down to earth in week three. I don’t expect him to be grounded for long. This will be an “easy” get-right spot for the Cards. The Panthers rank in the bottom of the league against the run and pass. Kyler Murray will continue to target Nuk Hopkins at a record rate. Hopkins has 37 targets through three games, and what’s even scarier is that he only has one touchdown – can you say touchdown regression? If you’re feeling frisky you can fire up Kenyan Drake. I know he’s left a sour taste in the mouth of those who’ve played him in recent weeks but this is a prime spot to break out of his current rut.
The Panthers are missing their main man Christian McCaffrey who will be out a few more weeks, and honestly, I wouldn’t expect the team to push him to return anytime soon. There are still some spots that catch my attention in GPPs. While I wouldn’t force Teddy Bridgewater into my lineups I wouldn’t mind one of these pass catchers. If you’re going to stack the Cardinals I think D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson, and even Curtis Samuel can be viable options to run it back. If running back Mike Davis continues to fill the role of McCaffrey and get McCaffrey-like touches (21 touches this past Sunday), he is an option as well.
I’ll let you in a little secret of mine. If you’re MMEing I like this game as a sneaky game stack. Jacksonville is throwing the ball nearly 64% of the time, most likely due to its defense being an absolute sieve. Wide receiver DK Chark missed last Thursday’s game against Miami due to a chest injury and has not been cleared to play this week. If Chark misses this week, Keelan Cole and rookie Laviska Shenault will continue to receive a majority of the target share. You can’t forget about James Robinson. He continues to produce as he gets the opportunity.
This is the part of the game I’m stacking if I’m looking to MME. Joe Burrow has looked the part of being the number one pick in this year’s draft. He’s looked cool, calm, and collected and I think he’s in a smash spot. Jacksonville defense is a shell of what it was a few years ago and I fully expect Burrow to shine. I’m also looking for a Joe Mixon breakout game. He’s averaged 20 touches each of the first three games and if the Bengals jump out early I can see the team feeding him. A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd lead the teams in targets per game with nine and eight, respectively. Tee Higgins flashed last Sunday with two short touchdown passes. Plant your flag on who you think will produce and move on!
This is an interesting week for the Browns. If they want to compete with the Cowboys they’re going to have to put up points. Baker Mayfield has been underwhelming so far this season and I can see the Browns trying to control the clock to keep the potent Cowboy offense off the field. If we feel like this is the route they’re going to take we can look toward both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Both running backs have been used, but I’m having a hard time investing that much salary on both sites into a timeshare. Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham are both in play and are reasonable priced on both sites are if the game script follows suit the Browns will be playing catch-up having to throw the ball.
What can we say about this team that has not already been said? We have a home favorite with a potent offense going against a bottom third defense. Dak has been on fire the last two weeks and I don’t see him slowing down this week. Even with one of the best running backs in the league the Cowboys just flat out refuse to establish the run. The Cowboy’s offensive line has been the monster unit we’ve seen the last few years which can attribute to the fact they haven’t fed Zeke. The difference this year is that Zeke has been getting targets out of the backfield, so he is still averaging around 24 touches per game. The wide receiver core of the Cowboys is arguably the best in the league. Amari Cooper leads the charge averaging over ten targets per game, followed by the rookie CeeDee Lamb at seven per game, then Michael Gallup with six per game. Touchdown variance can and will bite you on the bottom so plant your flag on who you think scores and move on. Also, don’t sleep on Blake Jarwin’s replacement Dalton Schultz who has seen ten and six targets since Jarwin’s injury.
Dalvin Cook finally has the breakout game we’ve been waiting for (22/181/1). The Texans trot out one of the league’s worst rushing defenses, giving up an average of 188 yards a game on the ground at 5.2 yards per carry. Kirk Cousins isn’t in play for me as he’s struggled mightily this season throwing interceptions in all three games and multiple picks in two games. I’m not overly interested in the pass catchers other than Adam Theilen. I know Justin Jefferson had a breakout game but until the rookie can prove it consistently he’ll not be in my player pool.
If I’m attacking this game I’m stacking Deshaun Watson and one of his receivers, while running it back with either Theilen or Cook. The Vikings defense is middle of the road defending the run but bottom of the league against the pass. Fuller looks to be free of the hamstring that was hindering him for what seems like forever, but proceed with caution as soft tissue injuries tend to linger. If David Johnson continues to build on his touches he’s a viable play.
The Seahawks will be very chalky on this slate. Russell Wilson is playing out of his mind with throwing 14 touchdowns to one interception in three games this season. While he is not doing as much damage on the group he still provides a nice rushing floor. Chris Carson was hurt late last game against the Cowboys and as of now, he’s listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. If Carson is out, look for Carlos Hyde to fill in. Hyde is affordable on both DraftKings and FanDuel. I love the condense target share among the Seattle wide receivers. We know most of the time the ball is going to Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf. This duo accounts for a little more than 50% of Wilson yardage and exactly 50% of his touchdowns. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but plant your flag on who you feel is in the better spot (or double stack) and move on.
The Dolphins are coming off a win against the Jaguars. On a side note, beards are better than mustaches. Ryan Fitzpatrick is as volatile a DFS play as they come. He does have the ability to put up the outlier big day, and those DFSers who are season remember that random 7 touchdown game from a few years ago. I feel the game script will dictate the Dolphins will have to throw to stay in the game so it’s the pass catchers that interest me more than Fitzpatrick. I’m looking to Devante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki. None of the three are exactly lighting the world on fire with target share or numbers but the Seattle pass defense ranks near the bottom of the league.
Los Angeles Chargers
Though the Chargers have some fantasy viable players I’m not entirely sure they are the best option on the slate. With the lowest implied team total on the slate and going against a tough Buccaneer defense I most like won’t be looking to any of the Chargers skill players. If I was forced to play anyone, I’m going Keenan Allen. Again, I’m thinking game script will have the rookie quarterback Justin Herbert throwing the ball, and as last week shows his go-to-guy is looking like Allen.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Again, with the lowest implied game total on the slate and seven other games with totals over 50, I don’t feel this spot is necessarily the one I want to attack. If your inclined to do so, I’d go Tom Brady with Mike Evans. Chris Godwin was ruled out earlier today with a hamstring injury he suffered last week. One piece of advice I didn’t understand when I first heard it was, “Play good players.” It seemed so simple but week in and week out you see people play guys like Scotty Miller because a guy like Godwin is out. Don’t do that! I’ll relay the same advice I received – Play good players!
I’m expecting Lamar Jackson to come out and go full scorched earth. He’s coming off a rough outing against the Chiefs on Monday night, and by rough, I mean rough. He threw for less than 100 yards and was sacked four times. The Washington defensive front is no joke but I’m not doubting Lamar this week. I’m not too keen on targeting the Ravens backfield as its essentially a four-headed monster (Ingram, Dobbins, Edward, and Lamar). Mark Andrews has been quiet after catching two touchdowns opening week. We can look back to week one and see Washington struggle against the Eagle’s tight ends. I don’t know if Andrews can replicate this success but it could be worth the exposure. I wouldn’t be opposed to stacking Lamar with one of his wide receivers – Boykins, Brown, or Snead.
Washington Football Team
Pray for Dwayne Haskins. He’s going to have to throw but I don’t like the poor kid’s chances. However, I do like Terry McLaurin. He’s Haskins go-to-guy and I would expect to see him peppered with targets. In all honesty, I’m not going back to the Logan Thomas well or anywhere else on the Washington offense for that matter.
New York Giants
This is far from a spot I want to invest in. Quarterback Daniel Jones has struggled this season throwing an interception in each of the first three games. The lack of a running threat now that Saquon Barkley is out for the year with a torn ACL puts the offense squarely on Jones’ shoulders. I don’t think he has the surrounding cast or talent to carry the team. I’m fading the three-headed backfield of Devonta Freeman, Wayne Gallman, and Dion Lewis. The anemic run game is averaging 3.2 yards per carry this season – hard pass. If you feel the need to run back a Rams stack you can look to one of the Giants pass catchers. My preference would be Darius Slayton as he leads the team in targets and a wider route tree than Golden Tate, who serves primarily in the slot. If the team ever featured Evan Ingram and intentionally fed him he would be of great interest.
Los Angeles Rams
There’s a lot to like about this Rams offense. Jared Goff has a juicy matchup again a bottom tier pass defense that just gave up nearly 350 yards to a backup quarterback. Goff has thrown for multiple touchdowns in his last two outings and I can see that trend continuing this Sunday. Darrell Henderson has been a pleasant surprise to start the season as most expected rookie Cam Akers to take control of the backfield. Henderson’s workload has continually increased since week one culminating with a 21 touch outing last Sunday. As far as pass catchers go, I’m looking to the two main targets, Cooper Cupp and Robert Woods. As stated in my early week four preview, Cupp is looking explosive two years removed from his torn ACL. He’s responsible for 24.71% of the team’s target share. On the other side of the field and in the slot is Robert Woods. Woods represents a 22.4% target share, but what’s interesting is that he’s had multiple carries the last two weeks. I don’t know if this trend will continue but it’s nice to see McVay make a concerted effort to get him the ball.
Let me start by saying I don’t mean to pee in anyone’s cheerios. Yes, Allen has been playing like a man possessed, however, in two of three games he’s gone up against two of the worst teams in the like in the Dolphins and Jets. It was encouraging to see him put up numbers this past Sunday against the Rams but I’d like to see him continue his success deeper into the season. Again, like most of the quarterbacks, I like to ‘run’ in DFS, Allen gives you a nice little rushing floor. Oakland sports a middle of the pack DVOA pass defense. According to reports, it looks like John Brown missed practice with an injured calf on Wednesday. We’ll have to monitor his status for the remainder of the week. If John Brown is out, I want all the Stefon Diggs. We’ve seen Diggs and Allen mesh well through the first few weeks of the season and I would expect his 25% target share to increase if Brown is out. We will also have to keep an eye on Zack Moss’ status. He missed last week’s game with an ankle injury and Devin Singletary took full advantage of the opportunity. Singletary saw a season-high 19 touches and I would imagine that can be repeated if Moss is out this week.
Las Vegas Raiders
I’m not sure if I’m looking to invest a whole lot in Captain Checkdown Derek Carr. I don’t believe he provides enough of a floor or ceiling in cash or GPPs to warrant locking him into our lineups. On the other hand, Josh Jacobs is someone that interests me. While his last two outings weren’t quite earth-shattering performances he gives you the touchdown equity you crave on touchdown-dependent sites such as FanDuel and provides 20+ touch potential, a milestone he’s passed in two of three games. Darren Waller is the only pass catcher that interests me. Last week showed just how volatile targets can be from one week to another with Waller going from 16 targets in week two down to four last Sunday.
Feed Miles Sanders. The Eagles let a winnable game slip right through their hands (stares at Nelson Aghalor). Sanders, who missed the Eagles season opener with an injury, has posted back to back 20+ touch games and is averaging 5 yards a carry on the season. We’ve seen the struggles quarterback Carson Wentz has faced early this season and his plethora of turnovers, so why feed Miles? This can be a Wentz get-right game with the 49ers defensive line in shambles, missing their stud pass rushers, Joey Bosa and Dee Ford. While not overly interested in any of the Eagles pass catchers, I can see DeSean Jackson taking a few deep shots against the depleted 49ers secondary. I do think a combination of Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander shut down tight end Zach Ertz.
San Francisco 49ers
All signs point to the handsome quarterback – I mean, starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo returning from an ankle injury that kept him out of last week’s win over the Giants. Raheem Mostert’s status is still up in the air as of Wednesday so we’ll have to keep tabs on that news. If Mostert is out, look for Jet McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr to continue to split carries in the backfield. The 49ers also get a few receiving options back from injury. George Kittle will be back in uniform along with second-year man Deebo Samuel. I’m not sure their return is great for fantasy purposes as we saw last year that even when the team is completely healthy they were not fantasy studs.
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