My NFL DFS picks of a week ago felt great on paper. As it turns out, the Cowboys were a mirage and Kenyan Drake was an epic bust. I actually had some very solid hits beyond those two gaffes, however.
Jimmy Garoppolo ended up being a very solid play before being lost for the year with a torn ACL. Jordan Howard wasn’t amazing, but I can’t be mad about 15 fantasy points. The same goes for George Kittle, Julio Jones, Geronimo Allison and Sammy Watkins – none of which went completely nuts, but all of which were more than decent.
Todd Gurley was my big spend besides Julio and he paid off much like he always does.
It could have been a really fun week of it was Jones scoring three times instead of teammate Calvin Ridley, but I did at least mention Ridley in my Jones blurb.
Hopefully that or something else I said helped you at least cash in week three. The NFL can be unpredictable, but if you can combine the right mixture of studs and contrarian plays, you can win a lot of money.
Let’s go do that in week four with some of my favorite daily fantasy football picks at FanDuel:
QB: Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills ($6.4k)
Allen is my favorite cheap fantasy quarterback for week four. He just got done torching the Minnesota Vikings to the tune of 27 fantasy points and I am a little scared of what he might do to a pretty weak Packers defense.
Green Bay has not looked good defensively this year, specifically having serious issues tracking deep balls and also blowing assignments. Green Bay ranks 24th against fantasy passers in general so far in 2018 and they’ve been eaten alive by effective rushing quarterbacks in the past as well.
Allen may not face much resistance from Green Bay’s defense and he has the arm and athleticism to thrive in this matchup. Green Bay might win, but I get the feeling Allen will make them work for it.
This is a stand alone play for me. If you must stack Allen with someone, Kelvin Benjamin is probably the play.
RB: Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas Cowboys ($8.2k)
There are some solid running back values this week, but I’m not getting cute. Alvin Kamara might have insanely high ownership, but I’ll fade him and hope New Orleans going out on the road limits their upside. Pivoting to Zeke at home against the Lions (30th against fantasy running backs) sounds like a lot of fun.
Elliott was quite public about feeling like he let Dallas down last week and despite 13+ fantasy points in every game this year, he’s yet to truly explode. This feels like a great spot for him to do that.
RB: David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals ($7.6k)
Ditto for DJ, who should garner low ownership with his price still not being cheap and him not really delivering elite production through the first three weeks of the year. Johnson still has a great role and the switch at quarterback from Sam Bradford to rookie Josh Rosen can’t possibly make things worse.
Johnson should get more involved in the passing game and he still has the explosiveness to take any touch the distance. Against a Seahawks run defense that is allowing the 5th most rushing yards to backs in 2018, that’s something to get excited about.
WR: Sterling Shepard – New York Giants ($6.2k)
Odell Beckham Jr. is a great play this week, simply based on the fact that Eli Manning targets him all day and he’s pretty due to erupt after being held scoreless through the first three games.
I’m sure he’ll get his against a Saints pass defense that has reverted to it’s old ways (dead last against receivers), but Beckham should still see a ton of top New Orleans corner, Marshon Lattimore.
That type of matchup led to Calvin Ridley going nuts last week instead of Julio Jones, so I’m very interested in taking the $2.5k in savings and seeing if we can’t find similar success with the Giants. I’m not demanding 150 yards and three touchdowns here, but Shepard is a solid talent and could easily exploit this matchup.
Even if it’s Beckham that sounds off, I love the value and matchup here.
WR: Allen Robinson – Chicago Bears ($6.5k)
Robinson is a risky play just because he’s in a ball control offense that hasn’t found that much success through the air. I don’t think that lasts forever, however, while a date against the Buccaneers (28th against wide receivers) certainly is enticing.
Robinson has a nice role in the offense, but he’s yet to truly explode or even score a touchdown. I think he’s in for a big week and if you want more exposure to this matchup, consider Mitchell Trubisky and tight end, Trey Burton.
WR: Antonio Callaway – Cleveland Browns ($4.5k)
The Browns only have so many explosive weapons after trading Josh Gordon out of town, but with Baker Mayfield taking over under center, each and every one of them become more valuable.
Rookie speedster Antonio Callaway is my favorite at the moment, as he’s already displayed his explosiveness and he’s developed a rapport with Mayfield thanks to an entire summer of them working together with the second unit.
You pay nothing to take a chance on Callaway, who is the minimum and will try to test an Oakland pass defense that is giving up the third most fantasy points to receivers right now.
Given how polished Mayfield looked last week, I’m game for trying him and his Browns receivers out in week four. I won’t be stacking Cleveland offensive options in this lineup, though. Just give me the bare minimum-priced Callaway so I can load this roster up with elite talent.
TE: Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots ($8.1k)
The Gronk wrecked for us in week one and has since turned into a turd, along with the rest of New England’s offense.
I know they’ve struggled, but let’s keep some perspective here. Obviously a week two road date against an elite Jaguars defense was never expected to be an easy game, while Detroit rookie head coach Matt Patricia knows the Pats better than anybody.
I think the hate on New England is a bit “prisoner of the moment” and the thought of a slew of their options being absurdly low-owned is very exciting. The Pats actually added deep threat Josh Gordon, which should take some pressure off of intermediate and red-zone guys like Gronkowski.
Beyond that, Gronkowski has historically dominated Miami and scored twice against them the only time he faced them in 2017. The Dolphins have so far held firm against tight ends, but the Jets, Titans and Raiders don’t have anyone on Gronk’s level.
I’m willing to pay up here and hope others seek value. This is a bad slate for tight ends, so paying a premium for the best option makes sense – especially if there’s a chance few will follow suit.
FLEX: Saquon Barkley – New York Giants ($8k)
Considering FanDuel only offers 0.5 PPR scoring, there is a bigger emphasis on rostering players who put up monster yardage and score touchdowns. That’s why the FLEX spot is great for a third running back – especially if they can be an elite option.
Barkley has proven to be that, as the Giants keep him heavily involved no matter how the game is going. That’s helped him put up 17+ fantasy points in every single game this year and I don’t expect that streak to stop now.
New Orleans has been good against fantasy running backs so far, but they’ve been awful against the pass. Barkley should be able to chip away at them on the ground and I think he’ll be involved enough as a receiver to do more damage there as well.
Let’s also keep in mind that the Saints have gone up against Peyton Barber, Carlos Hyde and Tevin Coleman this year. Barkely is probably the best natural runner they’ve face and they’ll be on the road.
DEF: Chicago Bears ($4.3k)
Lastly, I’m really excited about the value I can get via Chicago’s defense. The addition of Khalil Mack has turned a very solid defense into possibly the best in the entire league. The Bears are really that good, as they can stop the run, put pressure on the quarterback and create turnovers.
It took Aaron Rodgers until the fourth quarter to inflict serious damage on this defense, while Chicago responded to a catastrophic collapse with two dominant efforts against the Seahawks and Cardinals. I know that Tampa Bay goes down as their biggest challenge to date, but the Ryan Fitzpatrick I know has a history of taking sacks and turning the ball over.
Fitzmagic tossed three picks in the first half last week against the Steelers and they’re not even a good defensive team. The Bears seem poised to end his crazy hot run and I’ll want to be on them this week.
My week four NFL DFS lineup build starts with Josh Allen. He looked good last week and is only going to get better.
Green Bay’s defense is not scary and they don’t seem to be much better than what they’ve been the last few years. If that’s to be true in week four, Allen is just way too cheap given what he did to the Vikings in an equally hostile environment.
A dirt cheap Allen could allow for this to be a special squad, as I have three elite rushing talents, three receivers in really good spots, a nice defense and the best tight end in football. I’d be much more inclined to chase down PPR demon receivers on DraftKings, but on FanDuel I covet rock solid runners a bit more.
Whether you like this team as it stands or not, hopefully I help you in some way and we can all win more money in week four. Good luck this week and enjoy the games!