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Le’Veon Bell returns for Pittsburgh this week, and he’s expected to see a workhorse role. That could include more work as a receiver.
He’s just 1 of several high-upside options to consider on FanDuel. Let’s get right to the top players who should be on your radar.
Play of the Week: Kirk Cousins ($7,600) vs. Cleveland
Scroll down the QB list on FanDuel and you’ll find 10 passers more expensive than Cousins. The DS rankings find him 2nd, so he brings both value and a high raw fantasy point projection.
It’s easy to see why. Through 3 weeks, here’s what the Browns defense has allowed to enemy QBs:
Carson Wentz: 278 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
Joe Flacco: 302-2-2
Ryan Tannehill: 319-3-2
Now they face a Washington offense that’s deeper than any of the 3 they’ve faced so far. Mixing in the Redskins’ rushing struggles, it would be an upset if Cousins doesn’t rack up ~40 attempts with 270+ yards and 2+ scores.
Pay up for: None
I don’t think this is a week to splurge at QB. Cam Newton’s fine if you have the cash but he’s historically struggled in Atlanta and enters the game banged up. Andrew Luck plays in the London game that’s not included in FanDuel’s main slate. Elsewhere, Drew Brees is away from the Superdome, and Russell WIlson lacks rushing upside while playing through knee and ankle injuries.
While Week 4 provides us with plenty of values, use your extra cash on RB/WR/TE.
Value option: Brian Hoyer ($6,000) vs. Detroit
You certainly don’t need to go here this week. But Hoyer’s the cheapest projected starting QB on the board and enters a decent matchup vs. a Lions squad likely without Ziggy Ansah and DeAndre Levy.
Chicago’s lousy defense — one allowing nearly 28 points per game — only helps Hoyer’s volume upside. His first start in Dallas last week also turned up 317 yards and 2 scores…on 49 attempts.
If you’re playing 1 lineup, pass on Hoyer. But if you enter a dozen or so uniques, consider getting a share of such a cheap passer.
Tournament target: Joe Flacco ($7,700) vs. Oakland
Flacco gets an Oakland squad making their 2nd straight west-to-east-coast trip. Beyond the travel advantage, Flacco’s in a position to carry Baltimore’s offense.
The Ravens run game has combined for 3.3 yards per carry. (They badly need rookie Kenneth Dixon back, although that’s unlikely to happen until Week 5.) But there’s enough in the passing game — Mike Wallace, Steve Smith, Dennis Pitta — for Flacco to exceed value.
Play of the Week: Melvin Gordon ($7,600) vs. New Orleans
Ahh, the Saints …
Last week, they surrendered a laughable 296 total yards to Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. They might be more dynamic than Gordon, but that doesn’t mean the Charger can’t capitalize on the best matchup league-wide.
With the highest implied team total on the board (28.75), Gordon’s a strong TD bet and a near lock for 20 touches.
Pay up for and Tournament Target: Le’Veon Bell ($8,300) vs. Kansas City
HC Mike Tomlin indicated that his young RB looks great conditioning-wise. Good to hear, as he should see plenty of work vs. the Chiefs.
Last year, Bell averaged nearly 21 touches in his 5 full games. DeAngelo Williams combined for only 13 carries in those matchups. Williams might play slightly more this time around, but Ben Roethlisberger has already talked about Bell seeing more work in the receiving game. That makes sense, as slot target Eli Rogers will likely sit. And Markus Wheaton face-planted last week in his 2016 debut.
A stack of Big Ben, Antonio Brown and Bell is 1 of my favorites this week.
Value option: Jordan Howard ($5,600) vs. Detroit
As noted above, the Lions are missing some key defenders. Injury news on the Chicago side also turns up favorably for Howard.
Volume is king in fantasy football, and the rookie should see 18+ touches this week with Jeremy Langford out and Ka’Deem Carey likely sidelined, too.
*On the other side of this game, you can give consideration to a minimum priced Dwayne Washington, who’s impressed the coaching staff early in his career. Don’t be surprised if he sees 12-15 carries against a poor Chicago run defense.
Play of the Week: T.Y. Hilton ($7,600) vs. Jacksonville
If you’re playing on a slate that includes the Sunday morning London game, Hilton looks like a prime target.
The Jags pass D has allowed 80+ yards and/or 1 TD to #1 WRs in each of the first 3 weeks. Hilton, meanwhile, exploded last week to the tune of 8-174-1 vs. a strong Chargers secondary.
The targets should remain steady with Donte Moncrief sidelined. Hilton’s last matchup with the Jags also turned up 132 yards … on just 4 catches.
Pay up for: Antonio Brown ($9,400) vs. Kansas City
Unless Brown creeps closer to $10,000, he’ll be my top “pay up” option pretty much every week. He’s seen a massive 34% of Pittsburgh’s team targets to this point, and the return of Le’Veon Bell should boost Brown’s scoring opportunities. Thus far, he’s seen only 1 red zone target.
Value option: Tyrell Williams ($6,400) vs. New Orleans
Travis Benjamin checks in just $200 more than Williams. But I’ll take the better TD bet in FanDuel’s .5 PPR format.
Last week, Williams saw 2 targets inside the 15 yard-line. At 6’4, it makes sense that he sees an expanded role there — especially with Antonio Gates likely out again with a hamstring.
Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with a matchup vs. New Orleans. Their leaky secondary has allowed nearly 15 yards per catch to opposing WRs.
Tournament target: Jeremy Maclin ($6,900) at Pittsburgh
We’ve yet to see a monster game from Maclin, but it’s coming soon.
Through 3 weeks, he sits top 15 in targets (29). That number matches him with Marvin Jones and Amari Cooper.
After scoring in Week 1, Maclin faced a stingy Houston pass D in Week 2. Then in Week 3, the Chiefs defense took over, resulting in unfavorable game flow for the passing game. K.C. beat the Jets 24-3.
A meeting with Pittsburgh’s banged up defense provides his best matchup yet. And with a great offense on the other side, the Chiefs might be forced to throw late.
Play of the Week: Dennis Pitta ($5,400) vs. Oakland
What’s not to like about 20 targets over the past 2 weeks? Or his 20% target share for the year — 2nd highest among TEs? Pitta’s usage is certainly the main selling point.
A matchup vs. Oakland looks solid, too. They’ve faced an easy TE schedule (Saints, Falcons, and Titans minus Delanie Walker) but have allowed the 9th most fantasy points to the position.
Pay up for: Greg Olsen ($7,900) at Atlanta
Olsen leads all TEs in targets (27) and fantasy scoring through 3 weeks. His outlook remains favorable Sunday vs. an Atlanta team that’s already yielded 4 scores to the position. Plus, with Kelvin Benjamin set to see plenty of top CB Desmond Trufant, Olsen could see a few extra looks.
Value option: Hunter Henry ($4,500) vs. New Orleans
At bare minimum price, it’s tough to avoid Henry in cash games. He played all of San Diego’s offensive snaps last week and snagged 5 of 5 targets for 72 yards. Sure, his late-game fumble cost the Chargers a shot at a win. But it’s not like the coaches will ignore their TE of the future this week, especially with Antonio Gates (hamstring) likely to sit again.
A thin San Diego offense figures to funnel another 5-7+ targets to Henry, with the upside for more. And he gets a Saints defense that’s allowing 448.3 yards per game.
Tournament target: Jordan Reed ($7,500) vs. Cleveland
Surprisingly, Reed hasn’t reached the end zone through 3 games. In fact, he’s watched as Jamison Crowder’s drawn 7 red zone targets to his 3.
I’ll chalk that up to an early-season sample size. Reed was a red zone monster last year, seeing 21 targets in that area — 2nd most among TEs. Cleveland’s allowed 28 points per game thus far, while Vegas’ implied team total for Washington checks in 2nd highest for Week 4 (27).
Play of the Week: Redskins ($4,600) vs. Browns
Value option: 49ers ($4,200) vs. Cowboys
Tournament target: Vikings ($4,700) vs. Giants
Josh Lambo ($4,500) vs. New Orleans
Welcome to the Week 4 NFL FanDuel lineup article. This article will focus on the main slate on FanDuel which includes only 12 games this week since bye weeks have begun and there is a game in London (JAC vs. IND). Even though there were not many major injuries last week like there were in Week 2, there are still a lot of great value options which makes roster construction pretty easy. Let’s go ahead and take a look at my FanDuel lineup for Week 4.
Kirk Cousins (WAS) – $7,600 vs. CLE
Cousins has not passed the eye test so far this season. However, he is still putting up decent FanDuel numbers since the Redskins have thrown the ball a ton through three games. Cousins is currently fourth in the league in passing attempts, and that trend should continue since their running game is subpar. Cousins has an outstanding matchup against the Browns in Week 4. The Browns have allowed multiple touchdowns and at least 275 passing yards in each of the first three games.
- Cam Newton (CAR) – $9,300 at ATL
- Philip Rivers (SD) – $8,500 vs. NO
- Matthew Stafford (DET) – $8,300 at CHI
Melvin Gordon (SD) – $7,600 vs. NO
Gordon did not have a great game against the Colts in Week 3, but he was able to salvage the day by finding the end zone one time. The good news is he was by far the lead back for the Chargers with no one else receiving more than four carries. He has an excellent matchup in Week 4 against the Saints, who allowed a combined 296 yards and four touchdowns to Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman in Week 3.
Mark Ingram (NO) – $6,800 at SD
Ingram was mentioned in my value article, and as I stated there, I am going to lock him into almost all of my lineups. The Chargers have been bad against the run for years now, and Ingram is an extremely talented back. I can see the Saints focusing more on the run this week since Drew Brees is not nearly as great on the road as he is at home.
- Le’Veon Bell (PIT) – $8,300 vs. KC
- David Johnson (ARI) – $8,700 vs. LA
- Carlos Hyde (SF) – $6,800 vs. DAL
- Jordan Howard (CHI) – $5,600 vs. DET
Antonio Brown (PIT) – $9,400 vs. KC
On the surface, it looks like Brown has an incredibly difficult matchup against the Chiefs in Week 4. However, the Chiefs’ good numbers against wide receivers are incredibly skewed by a historically bad performance from Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 3. Don’t get me wrong, Marcus Peters of the Chiefs is a good defensive back, but he is not dominant enough to avoid using the best receiver in the league against him.
I imagine the Steelers will want to make a statement game in Week 4 since they were essentially shut down by the Eagles in Week 3. In order to do so, Brown will likely have to put up huge numbers.
Marvin Jones (DET) – $7,600 at CHI
Jones had a monster game in Week 3 against the Packers with six receptions, 205 receiving yards and two touchdowns. While I cannot predict he will have another monster game in Week 3, I can say that his performances this season have not been a fluke. Jones has clearly been the No. 1 receiving option for the Lions through three games with the most targets, receptions and receiving yards.
Travis Benjamin (SD) – $6,600 vs. NO
Benjamin has filled in nicely as the top wide receiver for the Chargers after Keenan Allen went down with a season-ending ACL injury. He currently leads the Chargers in targets, receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns through three games. This week he has a great matchup against the Saints, who have one of the worst pass defenses in the league.
- Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – $7,500 vs. LA
- Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) – $6,900 at TB
- DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) – $8,300 vs. TEN
Zach Miller (CHI) – $5,000 vs. DET
Miller is another player who was mentioned in my value article this week. Miller is in a great spot in Week 4 since the Lions have been atrocious against tight ends so far. The Lions have allowed five touchdowns to tight ends so far this season and I do not see that trend changing anytime soon.
- Dennis Pitta (BAL) – $5,400 vs. OAK
- Greg Olsen (CAR) – $7,900 at ATL
Josh Lambo (SD) – $4,500 vs. NO
Normally I do not recommend using a kicker in a lineup that already features two players from the same team. However, I think you can make an exception with Lambo since he is minimum salary and he is playing in the game with the highest projected total in Vegas.
- Graham Gano (CAR) – $4,800 at ATL
- Dan Bailey (DAL) – $4,600 at SF
Houston Texans D/ST (HOU) – $4,900 vs. TEN
Despite losing J.J. Watt to injury, the Texans still have good enough defense, especially in favorable matchups. The Texans have a great matchup in Week 4 against the Titans, who have allowed the most FanDuel points to defenses since the beginning of the 2015 season.
- Arizona Cardinals – $5,300 vs. LA
- Washington Redskins – $4,600 vs. CLE
- New England Patriots – $4,500 vs. BUF
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