Week 4 NFL DFS – A Tale of Injuries and Opportunities

Let’s take a look at the state of affairs here. We have already had one game pulled completely off the books for Week 4 (Steelers Titans) and we have another hovering on doing the same (Patriots Chiefs). Lest we forget the host of injuries that we know have already ruled players out and the literal laundry list of questionable tags that are attached to Players. With all of it – who is left to play in your DFS Lineups on Sunday?

Today’s article will mainly focus on players that we a). know are actually playing in week 4 and b). are in games that we (at least at the time of this writing) know will play this weekend, that I like and will be targeting in my DFS Lineups. As I go through the positions I will also mention a player who is questionable that I like “if he plays”.

Before I start on the picks though I wanted to call out to two things that regular DFS players will recognize as important but novice DFS players may not. The first is “building your Player Pool”. Likely this is not the only DFS article or podcast you listen to with “experts” giving you picks. That is great, different opinions are important to consider when you are spending money. But ultimately the decision on who you play is up to YOU and by building a Player Pool to pull from as your constructing your lineups (and not deviating from that Player Pool) you will be able to fine tune the players you want to focus on. This is very important if you are using a Lineup Optimizer because if you don’t weed out players you don’t like, when you end up with 20 lineups to plug in there very well be plays you consider bad that you aren’t even aware of in your lineups because the system you are using is trying to use up the salary cap space as much as you tell it to. Even if you are “hand building” lineups, having your player pool together will help you save time and will also allow you to know your “optimal” play depending on the position and the price tag. A Player Pool is very important with so many players out or questionable – maybe you don’t want to roster anyone in any lineup that has a Q tag next to them. Well, keep them out of your Player Pool and you won’t have to worry about it. Make Sense?

The second thing I wanted to mention is that even though Draft Kings has a $50,000 salary cap and FanDuel has a $60,000 cap per lineup, it doesn’t mean you have to use all of it. Especially when you are playing large field tournaments, there will be players who want to see that they have spent every dollar available in their lineup and often times they will cram players in based on their price to fit their build – but just because you have $3,000 left it doesn’t mean that the guys priced $3,000 are the best plays. Maybe there is a guy priced $2,500 who is going to smash because he is the next man up due to an injury or for whatever reason and he is a better play than all of the guys priced $500 more. So what if you leave $500 or $1,000 left in your salary, if you’re lineup is full of the right players you will come out ahead of a lot of less experienced players trying to make sure every dollar is spent. You are trying to field the best lineup, not the most expensive lineup. I mean how often do you hear professional sports teams are “staying under the salary cap” and are winning. A lot right. Get it?

Ok so let’s talk week 4 DFS. I will highlight my picks for High Priced and Low Priced per position, include some honorable mentions to consider and a player “if he plays” that I like. After the positional discussion I will give you the Defenses I am targeting on Draft Kings and the Games that I like the most, which I want to have the most exposure to (most players from) in my lineups.

QB

High Priced Option:

Josh Allen: $7,300 DK, 8,600 FanDuel

Let me be the first to say that a few weeks ago I called Josh Allen a “Proceed with Caution” player, I was dead wrong. You want to talk about Lights Out – Josh Allen has been the definition of the term. Over the first 3 weeks of the season he has thrown for 1,038 yards and 10 Touchdowns. He also has 2 rushing scores to his name. I mean Good Night Irene. Why I am choosing Allen here over the other high priced studs is the matchup. I think the Bills and Raiders have the potential to be one of the highest scoring games of the week. The Bills’ defensive strengths lie in their ability to shut down outside receivers. Well Derek Carr’s two number one outside targets are out this week (Ruggs, Edwards) which means over the middle to Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow he will go and the Bills have been mediocre at best at stopping the pass over the middle of the field. So if the Raiders can keep this game competitive I see Allen throwing, throwing and throwing some more. While Allen himself is garnering plenty of ownership, his receivers – Stefon Diggs and John Brown are not as much, Brown is noticeably coming in with lower ownership. I like Allen today and I like the stack with Diggs or Brown or BOTH!

Other High Priced Targets: Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, Deshaun Watson

Value Option:

Teddy Bridgewater $5,600 DK $6,800 FD

Surprised? Yes Teddy Bridgewater. Everyone is talking about what an amazing opportunity Ryan Fitzpatrick has – and he does – but I also need to remind people, this is Ryan Fitzpatrick who is always Fitzmagic and when I am looking at building a contrarian lineup, the nearly very chalky Fitzpatrick isn’t who I am looking at. Teddy Bridgwater isn’t sexy, but he is consistent and coming off a BIG TIME win. Confidence. Mike Davis is doing his best Christian McCaffery impersonation and succeeding. DJ Moore is an extremely talented player and Bridgewater’s favorite target, Robby Anderson, has breathed new life into his career in Carolina. The Panthers play the Cardinals today and it should be a high scoring game with Deandre Hopkins now playing especially. My spidey sense is tingling here and I think Bridgewater could have a career game pending and NO ONE IS PLAYING TEDDY BRIDGEWATER. Seriously. Who EVERYONE seems to be playing today though is DJ Moore who at the time of this writing is hovering in the 30% range. Want to have a Contrarian Pivot – Stack Bridgewater and Anderson and leave Moore off. Panther UP!

Other Value Targets: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr

RB

EDITOR’S NOTE: Alvin Kamara is not only the highest owned player across the industry today in DFS Contests (nearly 40% ownership) but he is also the best value despite his high salary ($8,000) and has the consensus best opportunity today to smash. I don’t think you will be able to get away from playing Kamara today, to find yourself in a top position to Cash. So I would like you to consider my picks below as who I am targeting to PAIR WITH Kamara – not pivot away from Kamara. Hope that makes sense.

High Price Target:

James Robinson $6,500 DK, $6,600 FD

Yes, James Robinson of the Jags is who I am highlighting here. A few reasons. First do you remember how Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt literally ate the Bengals Defense on Primetime television? I am not saying James Robinson is either Nick Chubb or Kareem Hunt but I am saying, Robinson who took 11 carries for 46 yards and two touchdowns against a very game Dolphins Defense last week is in a SMASH spot against the Bengals and he is being largely forgotten about today – 6% ownership across the industry! C’mon. This is a player who has scored 56 Fantasy Points over the last two weeks he has been featured and again – he has the Bengals defense! If Joe Burrow throws another 60 Passes it’s because James Robinson has found the end zone twice and is dominating the time of possession for the Jags. You want a contrarian play to offset the Kamara Chalk? James Robinson is your guy!

Other High Price Targets: Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliot, Josh Jacobs

Value Option:

Malcolm Brown $4,700 DK $5,300 FD

I bet you are thinking, man Sean is off the reservation today – but hear me out. Yes the Rams backfield has been dominated by Darrel Henderson. Yes Darrel Henderson has been dynamic and he is also a great play today. But you need to remember that Coach McVay has stated over and over again that he likes the “rotation” of his running backs and so I have to believe that now with Brown past the bum pinky, he is going to play. You need to remember this is a guy who after Week 1, the lead role in the committee was his to lose – and he may have. Or he may be about to reclaim it. No one is playing Malcolm Brown today or even giving him the time of day – But, should the Rams take a nice lead in this game – or should they get down by that Goal Line – I really wouldn’t be surprised to see Brown get his number called. I’ll have some shots.

Other Value Targets: Darrell Henderson, Mike Davis*, Myles Gaskin

*Mike Davis is the second highest owned Running Back behind Alvin Kamara today, so please do not roster him thinking you are being sneaky. However, the Contrarian play here would be to stack Davis with Kamara and use your flex spot for an opposing Wide Receiver in either’s game. Just an idea*

WR

High Priced Target

Deandre Hopkins $8,500 DK $8,700 FD

I do not need to extol too much about why Deandre Hopkins is a good play every week. I do not need to extol too much on why Deandre Hopkins is in a great spot to smash today against the Panthers … but what I am going to do is tell you, at the time of this writing, Deandre Hopkins is only 11% owned on DK and 15% owned on FD. This is largely due to Hopkins carrying a red Q next to his name all week and news that he is playing could lead to higher ownership. But you are talking about DHOP having 11% ownership today on DK? C’mon now. Get ‘Er Dun.

Other High Priced Targets: Tyler Lockett, DJ Metcalf, Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp

Value Target:

Hunter Renfrow $4,600 DK $5,300 FD

I think many other sites will be talking about low priced Russell Gage with both Ridley and Jones potentially being limited. Or low priced Greg Ward being the only starting Eagles WR to practice this week. But I think Hunter Renfrow is being overlooked and while I would mainly be looking at him as flex play and a way to get some other big studs in my lineup it is with GREAT reason. Both Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards are OUT this week. While Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones are also on the team, I like Renfrow a lot today. The Bill’s secondary’s strength is against outside receivers (Cancel out Agholor and Jones) and where they have given up a ton of yards is middle of the field (enter Renfrow). I also believe the Bills will do everything they can to slow Darren Waller – Enter Hunter Renfrow who in week 3 took 6 catches for 84 yards and a score. Seany Likey. If the Raiders are to stay competitive, look for Carr to find Renfrow early and often today.

Other Value Targets: Russell Gage, Greg Ward, Tee Higgins, Andy Isabella

Tight End

High Priced Target

Mark Andrews $6,000 DK $7,400 FD

Mark Andrews is coming in (at the time of this writing) at 7% ownership on DK and 12% ownership on FD. Are you kidding me? He has had a couple down weeks I grant you – BUT – you are talking about Lamar Jackson’s favorite target, Lamar Jackson who is coming off an embarrassing loss mind you, who is now playing the Washington Football Team who have practically had a Welcome Banner for Tight Ends stretched across the field every week. If there ever was a get right game for Mark Andrews, it is today. The majority of the field is paying DOWN at Tight End. I would encourage you to do the opposite. Eat the Chalk on Kamara or Mike Davis, be contrarian with Mark Andrews.

Other High Priced Targets: Tyler Higbee, Darren Waller, Mike Gesicki

Value Target:

Mo Alley-Cox $3,900 DK $5,300 FD

Most of the field is leaning towards Dalton Schultz today for good reason and also Jimmy Graham is seeing a lot of ownership in this same game. That is fine. Give me the biggest player on the field running routes with Philip “I love me some Tight Ends” Rivers throwing him the ball all day long and twice on Sunday. Last week he saw 3 targets took it 50 yards and a Touchdown and 2 weeks ago he had the breakout game for 111 yards. I’m going to say he falls in the middle of these two but I definitely feel a Touchdown coming from the big man. Give me some Mo Alley-Cox today against the Bears.

Other Value Targets: Rob Gronkowski, Logan Thomas, Dalton Schultz

Defenses I am Targeting Today on Draft Kings:

Ravens vs Washington Football Team

Rams vs The Giants

Bucs vs the Chargers

Jags vs the Bengals

Bengals vs the Jags

GOOD LUCK IN YOUR CONTESTS!!

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