Photo: Chris Graythen, Getty
After this week, we will already have completed 25% of the NFL season and we already have two teams on a bye this week (Carolina and Washington). When I tell you the playoffs will be here before you know it, I mean it!
With no Chiefs or Steelers superstars on the main slate this week, we will have to target some of the other teams in the high-total games (Falcons, Saints, Giants, Bengals).
I will be in the Premium Discord chat all day today and will be going live with Jacob Wright (DFS Clutchboy) tomorrow AM to finalize our breakdown of the slate and field some Q&A. As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter @JMetz34,
let’s get to it!
For my NFL DFS Plays of the Week, I will highlight my top play at each position, a value play, and other options that I like to fill out the roster. You’ll be able to tell rather quick which teams I am targeting heavily.
Drew Brees | New Orleans Saints | FD: $8,700 DK: $6,600
One week after checking off yet another record in the record book (most career completions), Drew Brees comes into his Week 4 tilt against the Giants only 417 passing yards behind Peyton Manning for the all time lead. The game’s over/under has gone from 49.5 to 51.5 with a tight 4-point spread, having shootout written all over it. Brees has yet to toss an interception this season, totaling 8 passing TDs and 2 rushing touchdowns through the first three weeks. The Giants secondary doesn’t have a single DB with a Pro Football Focus grade over 63.7 (Janoris Jenkins), making this another smash spot for Brees.
Andy Dalton | Cincinnati Bengals | FD: $7,400 DK: $5,400
If you want to save some salary to spend up elsewhere, I think Dalton is the staple cash play this week. He always comes with a bit more volatility than some of the other options, but he’s been stellar this season with a PFF grade of 84.3. He did throw 4 picks last game, but his 352 yards and 2 touchdowns overshadowed that. One of the biggest strengths from a fantasy perspective is the sheer passing volume, as he’s thrown 98 attempts over the last two weeks. With Joe Mixon out again, we can expect CIN to rely on the aerial assault, especially given the fact that ATL will be without Justin Bethal, Deion James and Derrick Shelby, all anchors of their 2017 defense.
Other viable options: Matt Ryan, DeShaun Watson, Baker Mayfield
Alvin Kamara | New Orleans Saints | FD: $9,300 DK: $9,600
This play needs little explanation, but the fact that Kamara has been able to an average of 26.7 FanDuel points on less than 15 carries per game as a running back is insane. Want to know what’s crazier? He has more targets (38) than rushing attempts (37). His rushing attempts have gone up every week (8-13-16) and his 20 targets in week 3 were a career-high. There is no defense that can contain Kamara and there is nothing on the field that he cannot do. He easily offers the highest floor/ceiling combination of any player on the slate and I strongly suggest getting him into your lineup any way you can.
Gio Bernard | Cincinnati Bengals | FD: $6,400 DK: $6,300
With so many high-priced options in great spots this week, finding some salary relief will be integral and Bernard offers just that. With Joe Mixon out last week, Bernard accumulated 17 touches for 76 total yards and a touchdown. The yardage can be seen as rather underwhelming, but his 9 targets in the passing game and double-digit carries leave reason for optimism. The Falcons have given up the 4th most fantasy points per game to RBs (23.4) and have particularly had trouble defending the passes in the backfield, an area where Bernard excels. He may be chalky, but for good reason.
Other viable options: Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Tevin Coleman, Sony Michel, Kerryon Johnson
Michael Thomas | New Orleans Saints | FD: $9,000 DK: $9,100
While his 95% catch rate may be unsustainable, his 13.3 targets per game sure his. He’s totaled 398 yards (132.67 per game) and 3 touchdowns through his first three weeks of play and doesn’t look to let up this week against the Giants. Often regarded as an elite shut-down corner, Janoris Jenkins has been, well, not good this year. He’s posted a player grade of 63.7 (PFF) and has allowed a catch rate over 70%. He’s pricey, but Thomas offers the safest floor and highest upside of any wide receiver on the slate in what should be an absolute shootout.
Antonio Callaway | Cleveland Browns | FD: $4,500 DK: $4,300
While I expected it to take a bit longer for Callaway to make an impact for the Browns, the trade of Josh Gordon expedited that process. One week after a 3-81-1 line against the Saints, Callaway drew 11 targets (2nd behind Jarvis Landry) against the Jets. His 40% catch rate left a lot to be desired, but the insertion of Baker Mayfield into the starting QB role should help that rate spike immediately. He’s also seen his snap count increase over the first three weeks from 8%-81%-90% and his target share increase from 3%-13%-28%. At $4,500 on FanDuel, he’s my favorite value play of the day and someone I view as a free square this week against a leaky Oakland Raiders secondary.
Other viable options: Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, Will Fuller V, Jarvis Landry, Sterling Shepard, Tyler Boyd, Kenny Golladay
Zach Ertz | Philadelphia Eagles | FD: $7,000 DK: $6,200
Last week, Carson Wentz threw 57% of his attempted passes to TEs, with Zach Ertz garnering 10 of the targets. He’s posted 33 total targets through the first three weeks but has failed to reach the end zone. With Alshon Jeffrey questionable for Sunday (illness), there is a good chance we’ll see another week of the offense funneling through Ertz. Even if Jeffrey were to play, this would only cause the Titans defense to key in less on Ertz, as they are the stingiest defense in the league against TEs. If you are persistent about paying up at the position, Ertz is your safest bet.
Tyler Eifert | Cincinnati Bengals | FD: $4,600 DK: $3,800
I’m typically one to punt the TE position because of the lack of options, and the fact that I find Tyler Eifert in the punt range is a gift. After seeing only 23 snaps in Week 1, he’s seen 91 total snaps over the last two weeks and saw a season-high 8 targets last week. He was able to turn those 8 targets into 6 catches for 74 yards, something he’ll look to build on this week against the Falcons defense who are without key LB Deion Jones covering the middle of the field. While he has to compete with AJ Green and Tyler Boyd for targets, Eifert is a premier red-zone threat and given his production last week, we could see the Bengals finally unleash Eifert now that he looks 100% healthy. Even if he were to bust, his price doesn’t make it the worst situation in the world. He’s a fantastic cash play with a very high ceiling.
Other viable options: George Kittle, Eric Ebron
Los Angeles Chargers
Green Bay Packers