As we head into the weekend, be sure to check out all the content rolling onto the Rotoworld Daily page. Here’s a list of articles looking at the NFL DFS Week 4 slate. I will be updating as new columns are added, so consider this section as the DFS Table of Contents.
NFL DFS Bargains by Renee Miller
DRAFT NFL Strategy by Spencer Limbach
DRAFT NFL Mock by Spencer Limbach
QB/RB Grind Down by Stephen Young
NFL DFS Starting Points by Renee Miller
NFL DFS Stacks by Spencer Limbach
DraftKings NFL 6-Pack by Chris Prince
WR/TE Grind Down by David Kaplen
NFL GPP Plays by Spencer Limbach
DraftKings Tiers by Hayden Winks
NFL DFS Fades by Renee Miller (coming soon)
Rotoworld Ranks vs DFS Pricing by Rich Hribar (coming soon)
Now onto the NFL DFS Must Plays for week four!
Just a reminder, this column includes only Sunday afternoon games, as that’s considered the main slate on DFS sites. Games on Monday and Sunday night do not factor into this analysis.
PLATINUM: Build your lineup around these guys
Drew Brees – QB – New Orleans (at NY Giants)
You have to love Drew Brees for fantasy purposes. His defense has been terrible, repeatedly feeding him situations where he has to put up massive numbers just to keep the Saints competitive. His high-usage running back (Kamara) is a glorified receiver who helps Brees’ fantasy value instead of impeding it. All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas is playing the best football of his career while displaying palpable rapport with his QB. On top of all that, there’s enough value on this slate to reach for Brees despite him holding one of the most expensive salaries at his position. We are expecting New Orleans to be in another high-scoring shootout against the Giants, who will yet again be without DB Eli Apple.
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Michael Thomas – WR – New Orleans (at NY Giants)
Are we worried about Michael Thomas running most of his routes against DB Janoris Jenkins? Well, “yes and no” is probably the best response. As mentioned in the previous write-up, Brees and Thomas are operating at a high level right now. I believe the latter can post a solid fantasy outing based on sheer volume in this one. Also, Jenkins is currently ranked outside the top 50 in player grades for defensive backs this season – according to Pro Football Focus. This is a winnable matchup for Thomas with a distinct size advantage and surgical QB throwing him the ball – therefore, I’m not afraid to utilize him through all formats. Hopefully we can catch him at a lower ownership rate with some people jumping ship due to the Jenkins’ shadow.
GOLD: Next wave to consider in terms of priority
Melvin Gordon III – RB – LA Chargers (vs San Francisco)
You could plausibly look towards Kamara, Gordon, or Elliott as a top tier cash game running back. My preference is with Gordon, who has so many things working in his favor this week. First off, game flow will be on his side as the Chargers check in as 10 point home favorites. Also, Gordon is one of the best running backs in the NFL at working through the air and ground. I’m expecting some combination of two touchdowns and 100+ (maybe 150+) yards. There’s a good chance Gordon and company will be working with short fields (and more scoring opportunities) against a Jimmy Garoppolo-less Niners’ offense that could have trouble moving the ball.
Giovani Bernard – RB – Cincinnati (at Carolina)
Bernard came through in a starting role last week, racking up 86 total yards, one touchdown, and 17.1 FanDuel points at Carolina. I’m expecting a similar result this time around against the Falcons. Keep in mind that Atlanta allowed Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara to shred them in the receiving game over the past few weeks. Gio fits the same role as those guys, and seeing 10+ targets out of the backfield isn’t out of the question. No matter how you slice it, Bernard is way too cheap on FanDuel ($6400) when considering his full-time role in a confident matchup.
SILVER: Good options that narrowly rank ahead of similar players
Sony Michel – RB – New England (vs Miami)
Rex Burkhead is out for the season, which could result in more carries (and scoring opportunities) for Sony Michel. Game flow could be on his side as well, given the Patriots check in as touchdown home favorites in a nice bounce-back spot. Miami has been very good against the run this season, but that’s more of a product of their competition than a sign of true talent. Keep in mind that Pro Football Focus ranked their rushing defense dead last entering the season. In other words, Michel should find success running the ball if he sees enough carries to inflict that damage. I’m thinking New England will jump out to a lead at home and hand things over to Michel to close the game. As a result, he makes for a strong flex play this weekend.
Sterling Shepard – WR – New York Giants (vs New Orleans)
Evan Engram will be out for several weeks, and Shepard picked up the slack with a nice 6-80-1 line last Sunday. There’s a good chance he’ll find more success against a generous New Orleans’ secondary in this potential shootout. Shepard is a solid pivot away from teammate Odell Beckham Jr if you don’t have enough cap space to roster the superstar receiver. I’m locking him in as a WR2/WR3 pick in my DFS lineups.
BRONZE: Not 100% necessities, but they mix well into a quality lineup
Eric Ebron – TE – Indianapolis (vs Houston)
Don’t look now, but Eric Ebron has become a target monster in Indianapolis. Jack Doyle is set to miss another game, meaning Ebron is set to see a high percentage of snaps, routes, targets, and subsequent fantasy points. Andrew Luck has been a check-down machine this season, which has led to 20 targets, 12 receptions, 110 yards, and two touchdowns for Ebron through three games this year. The Colts love looking his way in the red-zone, and the big tight end provides nice value at $5500 on FanDuel. There’s low opportunity cost at the tight end position this week, and Ebron provides a nice solution to that problem with that non-imposing salary.
Antonio Callaway – WR – Cleveland (at Oakland)
Callaway’s boom-or-bust nature makes him somewhat of a gamble for DFS purposes, but I’m willing to take a chance on him through all formats when considering the minimum ($4500) salary on FanDuel. Callaway could pay off this price point with just one long reception. There’s a chance he’ll find it as well, given that Baker Mayfield brings more big-play potential to this offense. Remember, Josh Gordon is out of town, and Callaway saw 11 targets in the first game without him last Thursday.
PARTICIPATION RIBBONS: Fell just short of a featured spot
Odell Beckham Jr. – WR – NY Giants (vs New Orleans)
Ezekiel Elliott – RB – Dallas (vs Detroit)
Deshaun Watson – QB – Houston (at Indianapolis)
Will Fuller V – WR – Houston (at Indianapolis)
Jarvis Landry – WR – Cleveland (at Oakland)
Trey Burton – TE – Chicago (vs Tampa Bay)
Jacksonville Jaguars – DEF (vs NY Jets)
Los Angeles Chargers – DEF (vs San Francisco)