I can’t believe that it is week 4 of the NFL season already, but time flies when you are having fun. At this stage in the season, we have a more robust data set to work with based on this season and we can start throwing the 2015 season into the rearview mirror. In my opinion, this is when we the daily fantasy season really begins in earnest and we can do our studying and make some winning lineups. I am feeling good about this week, so let’s see what we can do.
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Cam Newton vs. Falcons ($7,800) – Cam is the highest priced QB on the board, but with good reason. He faces a team that is ranked in the bottom 5 in defensive efficiency (per Football Outsiders) both against the pass and against the run. As we know, Newton excels in both of those areas. And while Newton’s numbers this season do not look spectacular, let’s not forget that he has faced two elite defenses in Minnesota and Denver. Atlanta is decidedly not an elite defense. I think 275 yards in the air and 50 more on the ground is a reasonable expectation here.
Bang for Your Buck
Blake Bortles vs. Colts ($6,400) – Let’s get this out of the way – Bortles was expected to take the next step in his development this year, and if anything, it has looked like he has regressed. That having been said, the Colts rank an abysmal 29th in defensive efficiency versus the pass, and the Jaguars will look to exploit the Colts’ pass defense early and often. This feels like a 300 yard 3+ touchdown game to me.
Ryan Tannehill vs. Bengals ($5,800) – Tannehill is quietly having a pretty solid fantasy season thus far, ranking 9th in the NFL in passing yards and 7th among QBs in rushing yards. The Bengals are not as great as many think against the pass, ranking 19th in defensive efficiency. Tannehill should be able to rack up some numbers tonight.
Ezekiel Elliott vs. 49ers ($6,900) – A narrative that I keep hearing is that Elliott has been disappointing thus far and that Alfred Morris may start eating into his playing time. Meanwhile, Elliott ranks a rock solid 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards. I feel like this will be a low owned play that could pay off in a big way in GPPs.
CJ Anderson vs. Bucs ($6,500) – The Bucs have only allowed 3.5 yards per carry which ranks among the best in the NFL, but they have allowed over 16 DraftKings points to a running back in each of the first three weeks of the season. David Johnson and Tevon Coleman were able to catch the ball effectively against Tampa and Todd Gurley was able to find the end zone twice. Anderson is an effective pass catcher, and I like him to exploit the Bucs defense who rank 31st in defensive efficiency against running backs catching the ball. This could be another low owned big game.
Bang for your Buck
LeGarrette Blount vs. Bills ($5,000) – Who is the leading rusher in the NFL this season? That would be the Patriots’ LeGarrette Blount who also leads the NFL in yards after contact. The Bills rank 21st in defensive efficiency against the run, and the Patriots will likely have a run first game plan again. Continue to ride Blount, at least until Tom Brady comes back next week.
Isaiah Crowell vs. Redskins ($4,400) – If Blount is a surprising rushing leader, it is even more surprising that Crowell ranks 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards (tied with Ezekiel Elliott). He is likely salivating at the prospect of facing the Redskins run defense who average 4.6 yards per carry allowed and 123 rush yards allowed per game. Crowell should be carrying the ball early and often and should have some success once again.
Jordan Howard vs. Lions ($3,700) – One man’s loss is another man’s gain, and now that Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey are both down for the Bears, they are left with rookie running back Howard and not much behind him. This is not the toughest match-up either as the Lions are worst in the NFL, allowing 5.1 yards per carry. This will likely be a well-owned play, so I might fade a bit in GPPs, but Howard should be a staple of your cash game lineups.
Cameron Artis-Payne vs. Falcons ($3,400) – Artis-Payne was not phenomenal in Jonathan Stewart’s absence last week, but he did get the most opportunity among Panthers running backs with 13 touches to 10 for Fozzy Whittaker. This week, CAP gets to hone his craft against the less than stellar Falcons run defense, allowing 4.7 yards a carry, instead of the fierce Vikings defense who allow 3.5 yards per carry. This is a bargain basement price, and I think Artis-Payne will have 70+ yards and a touchdown this week.
Allen Robinson vs. Colts ($8,000) – The Colts are allowing 310 yards per game in the air, and that means that Robinson will likely get his. It has been a bit of a rough start for Robinson, who has yet to go over 75 yards in a game this year, but he has had double-digit targets twice already. He will continue to get his looks, and he should finally cash in on those looks this week. Take advantage of what will likely be low ownership.
Marvin Jones Jr. vs. Bears ($7,300) – After lighting up the Packers last week, Jones will likely be a popular play this week, but that does not mean that you need to fade him. Jones has gotten 8 targets or more in every game this year and has gone for 85 yards in every game. He is a clear-cut #1 receiver that is not priced as such. Chicago is ranked only 28th in defensive efficiency versus the pass and Jones should have another solid outing.
Kelvin Benjamin vs. Falcons ($7,100) – Benjamin let his fantasy owners down last week as he was shut out by the Vikings strong defense. Hopefully this will lead to depressed ownership as Benjamin has had 9 targets or more and 90 yards or more in the other two games this season. Newton will make a concerted effort to get his #1 receiver the ball this week and Benjamin should benefit.
Bang for your Buck
Jarvis Landry vs. Bengals ($6,900) – It likely does not come as a surprise that Landry is top 3 in the NFL in both receptions and targets, which is valuable enough in DraftKings’ full point PPR scoring. But this year, Landry is turning his catches into big yardage and he ranks 3rd in the NFL in receiving yards as well. Landry is still priced at below market rates for a top NFL receiver and this year he is one of the league’s top receivers. Get on board the train.
Stefon Diggs vs. Giants ($6,100) – Much like Landry, Diggs is another guy whose price tag has not caught up with his production or role. The Vikings’ 2nd year man is tied for 5th in the NFL in catches and is 2nd in receiving yards. He had an off-week against the Panthers’ elite defense last week, but should do much better against the Giants. Diggs was over 100 yards and 9+ targets in each of the first two weeks. This could be a good week at a reasonable price.
Travis Benjamin vs. Saints ($5,900) – Frankly, I am sick of picking on the Saints every week as it makes writing boring. But, while they did not make it into my write-ups, I will have plenty of Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon exposure this week as well. My favorite play on the Chargers though is Travis Benjamin who has had 6+ targets every game so far and has been over 80 yards receiving in each game since Keenan Allen’s injury. Benjamin will cost $7,000 later in the season. Let’s take advantage of this great match-up and great price.
Phillip Dorsett vs. Jaguars ($4,700) – Dorsett only got 4 targets and 27 yards receiving last week in what I thought would be his breakout game. I am going back to the well again because Jacksonville really struggles with #2 receivers, ranking 25th in defensive efficiency. Dorsett is still cheap and will likely be low owned after his disappointing performance last week. I am still on board though.
Terrell Pryor vs. Redskins ($4,300) – The Browns have been absolutely decimated with injuries and Pryor responded to being their de facto #1 receiver last week with 144 receiving yards on 14 targets, and also ran the ball 4 times for 21 yards and a touchdown and threw the ball too. Pryor should continue seeing targets and continue seeing the ball as a QB as well making this Swiss army knife very valuable.
Cole Beasley vs. 49ers ($3,900) – This play is even better if Dez Bryant is out, but even if Bryant plays I love Beasley at this price. The Cowboys’ slot receiver is tied for 5th in receptions on the season, so he is getting plenty of looks from Dak Prescott. I expect Beasley to keep getting a lot of work and he is certainly worth playing at this very low price.
Rob Gronkowski vs. Bills ($6,500) – Well, he only ran one pass pattern last week and caught no balls, so I can’t base this pick on 2016 production. My gut feeling is that the Gronk is back in full force with a full complement of snaps this week. If that is the case, take advantage of the fact that he is not priced much more expensively than other tight ends. This is the one week to get Gronk at a discount and I think he is a great GPP play.
Bang for your Buck
Eric Ebron vs. Bears ($3,700) – The Bears rank 28th in defensive efficiency versus the tight-end and Ebron should be able to take advantage. The Lions tight-end has had a solid season so far and his targets and receiving yards have increased in each game. I like Ebron for a good game this week.
Ryan Griffin vs. Titans ($2,600) – To be honest, I am not sure that Griffin will duplicate last week’s effort any time soon, but you have to take notice of a guy this cheap that gets double digit targets. He is the Texans’ go to guy in the middle of the field and Osweiler likes him as a check down. If he gets 6+ targets again, he will more than exceed value and is a good play if you are looking to save money at tight end.
Bang for your buck
Broncos (vs. Bucs) $3,700 – Jameis Winston gets very careless with the ball against elite defenses. I think the Broncos great cornerbacks will bait him into a couple of mistakes and could have a high scoring fantasy afternoon.
Raiders (vs. Ravens) $2,500 – The Raiders’ defense has been sieve like so far this year, but Khalil Mack and the boys should get it going soon. This is as low a price as you’ll get for the Raiders who should, at the very least, rack up a few sacks.
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