Welcome to Week 4, the beginning of the bye weeks with a little London sprinkled in for good measure. If you’re playing in the 1pm games, remember that you’re actually six teams shy of the full array of options. Therefore, I’m going to go over some fades based on matchups and possible ownership percentages, but I understand if one of these guys creeps into your lineup. We’re all getting used to working with less.
Karlos Williams versus New York Giants - $6,300
I’m listing him first because you need to know that I WILL START Karlos Williams… along with a majority of the cognizant DFS community. You can’t turn on a fantasy show, go to a fantasy site, or even set a fantasy lineup without some popup screaming at you to take Karlos Williams. And again, I agree with them. Williams scored a touchdown in all three games so far this season while splitting time with LeSean McCoy. Imagine what he’ll do as the solo back against the Giants! I believe that getting a bargain is all about what you do with all of the money you saved, so starting a popular player doesn’t bother me. But it does seem that Karlos Williams will be one of the highest owned players this week. If that bothers you, you have been warned.
Eli Manning at Buffalo - $7,000
Manning has a tough time with physical defenses. The Bills gave up points to Luck in garbage time and Tom Brady had their way with them, but they are very good and eat up quarterbacks like Eli. I’m even more passionate about sitting Manning now that we know Victor Cruz had a medical setback and is out indefinitely. Sure, the team hasn’t had Cruz on the field for quite some time, but when you look at their offensive schemes it is clear that they believed he would eventually join the team and make everyone better. Odell Beckham Jr. will still get his catches, so I do not think all is lost, but going to Buffalo is rough even when your team is firing on all cylinders. There are too many steals at quarterback this week to make this risky contrarian pick.
Mike Evans versus Carolina - $7,500
I have two words for your: Josh Norman. Right after I recorded my videos for Rotoworld/NBC Sports cornerback Josh Norman won the NFC Defensive Player of the Month Award and I couldn’t agree more. He’s incredibly talented and will work to shut down Evans and embarrass rookie quarterback Winston all day. Like many fantasy players, I was delighted to see Evans bounce back last week with seven catches for 101 yards. Better days are ahead, but I’m getting to the point where I don’t start receivers against Norman. Every week.
Colin Kaepernick versus Green Bay - $7,500
There seems to be a popular narrative running around the fantasy community that Kaepernick plays well against the Packers and this should be a big bounce back game for him. Maybe, but in my opinion, the evidence doesn’t take into account how poorly this offense has played this year. Last week Kaepernick threw four interceptions. Green Bay has tallied an interception in every game so far this season. I look for that streak to continue as the 49ers offense simply has not come together. Also, you can get Tyrod Taylor for only $100 more. And then there are cheaper options with higher FanDuel points per game like Derek Carr, Blake Bortles even Philip Rivers or Matthew Stafford. I simply do not see a need to go with Kaepernick.
Zach Ertz at Washington - $5,200
Last week we saw some life emerge from the Philadelphia Eagles offense, therefore many believe this is the time that Zach Ertz will finally shine. It’s hard to get behind that when last week he was only targeted twice. He caught both of those targets for 30 yards, but four points isn’t the sort of FanDuel performance that will get you anywhere. He’s not a sure thing, so far he has a low ceiling and Ertz is not cheap enough to be considered a deal. Washington is middle of the pack when it comes to defending tight ends, but until I see him in the end zone or he’s under $5,000, he’s not on my roster.
Jeremy Hill versus Kansas City - $6,700
To say that Jeremy Hill is a disappointment would be a gross understatement. His ball security issues got him benched and then reminded his coaching staff that Giovani Bernard is a pretty good athlete. I do believe that Hill will bounce back because the talent is too good to ignore for the entire season, but at this point, I need to see it first. His price has decreased, but he’s still priced as a top-20 back when only averaging 7.0 FanDuel points per game. In fact, last week he carried the ball 12 times for only 21 yards. Even when he gets the work it’s not doing fantasy owners any favors. I’m taking the wait-and-see approach with Hill based on his price and his lack of production. Sometimes, it’s as easy as that.
Best of luck in Week 4 and we’ll see you next week.