Let’s start our week 4 analysis by recapping last week’s recommendations based on how they performed in PPR:
Kenyan Drake only had 3.0 points against the Raiders. This was a terrible outcome, but you can’t count on much production when a team only runs 39 offensive plays and the QB was slinging it. Alvin Kamara finished as the RB1 on the week with 34.0 points, so this worked out.
I was a week too soon with Aaron Jones. Jones carried 6 times for 42 which is much better than what they’ve been getting from Williams thus far. Although he was solid on a per carry basis, 6 touches simply isn’t enough work to get it done for fantasy football. Unless we hear a negative report on Jamaal Williams, I think we need to wait and see Jones come through before you can put him in your lineup with realistic expectations.
Latavius Murray was terrible but the entire Vikings offense was gross this week. Gio Bernard had 19.60 points which is a solid effort, he came through.
Corey Clement had10.50 points is OK but it’s not what you expected. If you needed him as a flex in a season long league then he didn’t hurt you, but if you played him in DFS this likely wasn’t enough to get it done.
Carolina plays a lot of zone and I thought Tyler Boyd would hurt them finding the open pockets. I crushed that call, I didn’t think he would blow up quite as much as he did though, I was thinking he would be a top 20 guy, not top 5. If AJ Green plays this week, I will go right back to the well with Boyd against the Falcons, especially since his price is still fairly low on DK at $4,600 and $5,800 on Fanduel. If for some reason Green does not play, I don’t like Boyd as much, as he will likely draw more coverage.
Michael Thomas was WR8 on the week and Julio Jones was WR31, nabbing 5 for 96 yards but no touchdowns. Thomas came through in a big way and unfortunately, 14.6 points is considered a disappointment from Julio Jones.
I told you to stay away from the Vikings receivers because the Vikings were going to stomp the putrid Buffalo Bills. Wow was I wrong on that one and Thielen blew up. However, Diggs was awful getting shadowed by White most of the day.
Chris Hogan – At the time I wrote the article, it looked like Darius Slay wasn’t going to play and Josh Gordon was going to command attention. Well, Slay played and Gordon didn’t, so this kind of blew up in my face.
Marquise Goodwin – Thank God he scored, otherwise this would have been a disaster. Goodwin is borderline unplayable now with CJ Beathard at QB, see if you can trade this guy if you have him.
Nelson Agholor – I expected a lot better than 4 for 24 yards regardless of the weather. This was disappointing. Now that Jordan Matthews is on the roster, Agholor may be asked to play on the outside more which isn’t is strength.
While 12.9 points from Golden Tate isn’t going to win you a million dollars, it’s not terrible either. Eh, at least Golden Tate didn’t absolutely kill your lineup. Thank God Jamison Crowder scored or he would have come up small.
Now that we put week 3 in the rear view mirror, it’s time to use what we learned and apply it moving forward. I want players in the Colts/Texans game, the Giants/Saints game, the Bengals/Falcons game and I may even target the Chiefs/Broncos game, as they look to be high scoring affairs next week. Moreover, in the receiving game, I want to target the Chiefs, 49ers, Steelers and Saints secondaries if at all possible.
Odell Beckham Jr. vs Saints – $8,600 FD/$8,700 DK – The Saints have been getting absolutely shredded through the air this season. In week 1, Fitzmagic torched them and this past week Matt Ryan absolutely went off. The Saints have given up nearly 350 yards per game through the air and 15.0 yards per catch to opposing pass catchers. Although that per catch number isn’t sustainable over the course of the entire season, it’s an indicator of the current state of affairs in New Orleans, it shows that the Saints defense is susceptible to the big play, and if anybody is going to hit a defense for a big one, it’s Odell Beckham Jr. Moreover, the Saints should score early and often on the Giants, meaning the game script should play heavily into a pass heavy game, all of which favors Beckham Jr.
If you are looking for a more low end option for DFS in the Giants/Saints game, or you were hit by injuries or byes this week and need a fill in, consider Sterling Shepard against the Saints. Shepard costs $6,200 on FD and $4,900 on DK. Evan Engram is out this Sunday, meaning targets will be freed up over the middle. Shepard figures to fill in as Eli’s possession receiver this week in what figures to be a high scoring affair. I am on board with both Giants wide receivers this weekend in season long and DFS, if you don’t get either Beckham and Shepard in a DFS lineup, you will likely regret it.
Emmanuel Sanders vs Chiefs – $6,700 FD/$6,900 DK – The Chiefs have been getting shredded through the air giving up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on the year. The Chiefs bad start on defense looks even worse when you consider they have surrendered those numbers with one of their games coming against the 49ers whose receivers didn’t do much damage at all. Out of all the receivers that faced the Chiefs so far this year, Keenan Allen and JuJu Smith-Schuster did the most damage and did so mainly out of the slot. Allen had 8 for 108 and a TD, Smith-Schuster had 13 for 121 and a TD. That is notable because Sanders takes much of his routes out of the slot similar to Allen and Smith-Schuster and he’s definitely developed chemistry with Case Keenum.
John Brown @ Pittsburgh – $6,200 FD/$5,800 DK – Everybody is roasting the Steelers this season and I mean everybody, but especially wide receivers that can burn you deep. The Steelers have given up 15 plays of 20 plus yards through the air which is near worst in the league. So far, the Steelers secondary has given up 16.4 fantasy points to Chris Godwin, 25.7 points to Mike Evans, 19.1 points to Sammy Watkins and 20.0 points to Tyreek Hill, all of which have deep threat ability. Given Brown’s long speed and the fact that the Steelers have done nothing to show they can stop opposing receivers, John Brown should be a solid play this week in all formats.
DeVante Parker @ Patriots – $5,500 FD/$3,500 DK – The Patriots were abused by Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay in the red zone on Sunday Night Football giving up a touchdown to each and although DeVante Parker hasn’t done anything to prove that he belongs in the conversation as an every week starter, he definitely has the pedigree and he fits the mold as somebody who could do some serious damage against the leaky Patriots secondary. In season long leagues, I would consider Parker if desperate and in DFS if I need a cheap option to fill the rest of my roster with studs.
Keenan Allen vs 49ers – $8,100 FD/$8,300 DK – This matchup is very good as the 49ers give up over 300 yards receiving per game, but you need to hope Allen comes through in the first half. With CJ Beathard set to take over running the 49ers offense now that Jimmy G is done for the year, the 49ers offense is going to take a major step back, so this game will not shoot out. That being said, the matchup is good, but game flow may not bode well for Allen. I am rolling Allen out there in season long leagues without hesitation, but I will pick my spots in DFS.
Allen Robinson vs Bucs – $6,500 FD/$5,900 DK – Mitch Trubisky isn’t exactly inspiring confidence in anybody right now, but he still has some positive moments. The Bucs give up over 10 yards per catch and 362.7 receiving yards per game. Trubisky likely won’t come close to 362.7 yards passing, but the matchup is friendly for Allen Robinson, the Bears #1 receiver, and he should come through.
TY Hilton vs Texans – $7,300 FD/$7,000 DK – This game could be a shoot out if Andrew Luck can get the ball out of his hands. TY Hilton is a big play wide receiver and the Texans are middle of the pack giving up 9 passing plays of 20 yards or more, but they are giving up a healthy 8.5 yards per pass attempt which bodes well for Luck and should result in serious usage and production from Hilton. On a per play basis the Texans pass defense is one of the worst in the league, which bodes well for Hilton who only needs to catch one long one to come through.
Antonio Callaway @ Raiders – $4,500 FD/$4,300 DK – Baker Mayfield makes Antonio Callaway a better player and a viable option in fantasy. Don’t wait to use him, because once he blows up, everybody will be all over him. The Raiders give up the second highest yards per catch in the league with 14.5 yards which bodes well for Callaway’s big play ability. If Callaway is available in your league, snag him.
Corey Davis vs Eagles – $5,400 FD/$5,300 DK – He has underwhelmed to this point in the season but he faces an Eagles defense in week 4 that’s giving up healthy numbers to the WR position. As Mariota and the Titans offensive line get healthier, Davis’ performance should approve along with it.
Dede Westbrook vs Jets – $5,200 FD/$4,400 DK – Buster Skrine can be had in the Jets secondary that is otherwise very solid. If the Jaguars are going to have success through the air against the Jets, it should be in the slot.
Jordan Howard vs Bucs – $7,200 FD/$6,900 DK – The Bucs haven’t given up a lot in the running game this year, but that’s because opposing running backs are running on them less than 20 times per game. Game script has dictated some shoot outs early on for the Bucs so teams have been slinging it against them, but the Bears have a great defense, and this game should slow down a little bit. Jordan Howard and the Bears should be the stiffest test on the ground that the Bucs have seen so far this season.
Gio Bernard @ Falcons – $6,400 FD/$6,300 DK – The Falcons give up 125.7 yards a game on the ground and 5.2 yards per carry which is second worst in the NFL, behind only the Lions. When Gio gets volume he’s solid, and with Mixon set to miss another week, he should tear up the Falcons who are extremely banged up. Moreover, the Falcons style of play on defense is designed to let backs catch the ball in the backfield and then rally and tackle them for a short gain, which means Gio may be in for a big PPR day. If Mixon plays, the same analysis goes for him, only he will bring more to the table in the run game, making him an even better play than Gio, but you need to be confident in his health before you roll him out there if he’s active.
Carlos Hyde @ Raiders – $6,800 FD/$5,500 DK – The Raiders may not have given up anything on the ground to the Dolphins last week, but that’s because Miami only ran 39 offensive plays. The Raiders are giving up 5.1 yards per carry through 3 games and 116.3 rushing yards per game. Now that Baker Mayfield is under center for the Browns, teams can no longer stack the box on Carlos Hyde, meaning it’s going to feel like he has massive lanes to run through compared to what he was facing weeks 1 and 2. Moreover, Mayfield is much better going through his progressions than Tyrod Taylor, which helps Hyde’s PPR appeal as a checkdown receiver.
Phillip Lindsay vs Chiefs – $6,100 FD/$4,500 DK – The Chiefs surrender 5.2 yards per carry thus far and as long as Phillip Lindsay doesn’t throw any haymakers, he should explode against this aging defensive unit. Both Matt Breida and Al Morris came through last week against them, so it’s likely Lindsay comes through as he has more explosion than both of the 49ers backs.
Lamar Miller @ Colts – $6,500 FD/$5,000 DK – The rookie linebacker for the Colts, Darius Leonard has been tearing it up lately, it seems like he’s in the backfield a lot. This is somewhat troubling for Lamar Miller as the Texans don’t have the best offensive line, but at the end of the day, he plays in a good offense and because you need to play Deshaun Watson a little differently than the traditional pocket passer, Miller should be ok. The Colts are still giving up over 100 yards per game on the ground at 4.2 yards a pop. The Colts should put some points on the board so the Texans should need to keep the foot on the pedal for the entire game which bodes well for Miller.
Kenyan Drake @ Patriots – $6,300 FD/$5,200 DK – The New England Patriots are fresh off a performance where they gave up the first 100 yard rusher to a Lions running back since 2013. This could go one of two ways. Either the Patriots are going to come back with a vengeance against the Dolphins this week and crush them, or, they haven’t hit rock bottom yet and they don’t have it quite figured out. To me, the Patriots are going to put points on the board, and Kenyan Drake is the Dolphins’ most explosive back. With the game on the line, the Dolphins will play their best player and feed him often, that is Drake, not Gore. I am going in on Drake this week, even after a small week 3. Even if the Dolphins go behind early, he should come through in PPR.