We’ve hit Week 4 and the season’s already rolling along. Now that we have a few weeks’ worth of data at our fingertips, we’ll dive into a handful of the available research tools at RotoGrinders to uncover some of the top options for Sunday’s main slate.
A few of the tools I’ll dive into are for DFS premium members, so you’ll get a sneak preview of our top content. I’ll also take a look at some of my favorite free content that I use weekly while building my own lineups. Let’s get into it…
Targets & Touches
The Targets & Touches page is something I use every week during football season – it’s one of the best indicators of opportunity, which we like for fantasy purposes. You can find target data for RBs, WRs and TEs in addition to snap data and percentage of workload information. One of my favorite features is that you can view this information alongside salaries for each site, which makes it a little easier to spot value.
Editor's Note: If you love Fantasy Football you have to be playing on DRAFT. It's daily fantasy football snake drafts instead of salary caps. All the fun of season long drafts but with no management and they last for just one week. They take minutes to complete and there's even auction drafts! No more setting lineups or constantly worrying about pros, just draft and win! Right now DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers an exclusive FREE entry into a real money draft when you make your first deposit! Here's the link
Saquon Barkley ($8,000 on FanDuel, $8,100 on DraftKings) – The Saints aren’t a sieve on the ground, but the good news is they’ve shown some vulnerability to receiving backs and that’s an area Barkley is excelling in. He’s second among RBs in targets thus far and this game has shootout potential, good news for someone who has as much touchdown equity in this offense as Barkley. The back on the other side of this matchup leads RBs in targets by a wide margin (11) and somehow has racked up an absurd 12 red-zone targets – if you can find the value to do it, pairing these two together is a fine game stacking method. Barkley hasn’t had the easiest schedule for a RB out of the gate, so while his production has stayed healthy, expect a true breakout soon.
Allen Robinson ($6,500 on FanDuel, $5,900 on DraftKings) – I swear it’s a coincidence we lead off with two former Penn State products. Robinson’s price tag – particularly on FanDuel – looks a shade too low heading into Week 4 considering his target share in Chicago’s offense. Sure, it’d be nice if he had someone other than Mitchell Trubisky throwing him the ball, but that volatility’s factored into Robinson’s price tag. He’s eighth among WRs on the main slate in percentage of workload (targets) at 27.2% and is tied for seventh in red-zone targets (4), yet he’s failed to find the end-zone to this point. I’m not expecting Chicago’s passing game to be a successful unit to target for DFS purposes most weeks, but they face an injury-laden Tampa secondary that has already shown leaks early in the year. I’m not expecting this one to turn into a shootout, but Robinson’s price mixed with his projected opportunity in a plus spot puts him prominently on the radar in all formats.
Eric Ebron ($5,500 on FanDuel, $3,600 on DraftKings) – Ebron burned much of the DFS community in Week 3, but he’s in a much better spot in Week 4, especially if Jack Doyle’s forced to sit again. Doyle missed practice Thursday and as of this writing it’s looking unlikely that he suits up, setting up Ebron to lead the way at the position. He played 88% of the Colts offensive snaps in Week 3 and led the team in targets with 11 (T.Y. Hilton was right behind with 10), and I’d expect a similar level of usage with better efficiency this week. Ebron also was inches from a Week 3 score, which would have likely catapulted his Sunday ownership even further. Despite having to deal with Doyle’s presence for a few weeks, Ebron is still first among TEs on the main slate in red-zone targets (6) and checks in fourth in targets overall (20).
Wide Receiver/Cornerback Chart
We’ll pivot over to the Wide Receiver/Cornerback Chart, which helps to highlight some of the better matchups for receivers each week. It’s an extreme rarity that one corner follows a particular receiver for all of his snaps, so this chart shows which matchup each receiver is likely to be in for the largest number of his snaps. Snap data available on the chart gives you a better idea of how often each matchup is likely to occur.
Will Fuller ($7,600 on FanDuel, $6,800 on DraftKings) – DeAndre Hopkins is one of the league’s best receivers, but I’m not sure the gap between he and Fuller is as big as some people (and the DFS pricing systems) think. At least when Deshaun Watson is under center, Fuller produces at an elite level and that does not figure to change against a soft Colts secondary. Both Fuller and Hopkins are ranked inside the top six WRs in terms of matchup rating for Week 4, and with Fuller set to have a notable advantage over Nate Hairston (Colts LCB), he’s a fine target in all formats. Fuller is not just a deep threat.
Sterling Shepard ($6,200 on FanDuel, $4,900 on DraftKings) – Shepard will primarily draw coverage from Saints CB P.J. Williams, who’s graded out as the 3rd worst corner to date in the WR/CB chart. The Saints lost Patrick Robinson in Week 3 with a broken ankle and given that he was finally looking to provide some steadiness in the slot, it’s a huge loss and a golden opportunity for Shepard to take advantage of Odell Beckham’s heavy coverage. Beckham figures to draw plenty of Marshon Lattimore – which is not an unwinnable battle – but Shepard will have a far easier time finding room and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him end up with double-digit targets.
Larry Fitzgerald ($6,400 on FanDuel, $5,000 on DraftKings) – The price on Fitzgerald has plummeted thanks to dreadful QB play from Sam Bradford, leading to the Cardinals turning to Josh Rosen at an odd time in Week 3. He’ll get the start against Seattle, a defense that’s been feared for most of the past decade, but this unit isn’t nearly as strong as it was the last few seasons. They’ve held Mitchell Trubisky and Dak Prescott in check after being shredded by Case Keenum, but neither of the former two QBs are much to write home about. I admittedly don’t trust Rosen or the Cardinals offensive line one bit, but I fully expect Fitzgerald to be the most heavily targeted pass-catcher here even though he’s missed some practice time this week. The Cardinals generally go easy on Fitz during the week, but it’d be nice if he could get some extra reps with Rosen before Sunday. This is not a place to go in cash games, but there’s GPP appeal in a plus draw with Justin Coleman. Fitzgerald has the 9th best WR Matchup Rating of the week.
For those playing large-field GPPs, ownership is something you should be monitoring closely each week. It’s not an easy thing to forecast, but using a combination of different factors we’re able to get a good idea of who the most popular plays will be each week. We don’t need to be fading every popular play on the board, but for large tournaments it’s going to be tough to finish at the top without either employing strong stacking strategies or taking a slightly contrarian approach. Our Projected Ownership is part of our premium content package (as is the WR/CB chart), so it’s monitored vigorously throughout the week.
Tom Brady ($8,600 on FanDuel, $6,700 on DraftKings) – It’s pretty rare that we can get Brady at a relatively low ownership given how prominent his name is, but that may be the case this week. QB ownership tends to be fairly spread among the top options, but with Brady’s price still just $100 behind the leader at the position, it’s sensible to think the public will overlook him after a slow three-game start. He’s yet to throw for more than 280 yards in a game and his lack of weapons is starting to become more evident, but he’s still got Rob Gronkowski at his disposal and those two have been week winners multiple times over the past few seasons. Especially if Josh Gordon can help shed some attention, Gronk and Chris Hogan should have more room to operate and get this offense back on track. A home draw with the Dolphins is a spot Brady should absolutely take advantage of. I’d bet he knows about his statistical shortcomings to this point. If you want a more contrarian stacking partner than Gronk, Chris Hogan is projected for less than 5% ownership on both major sites, including 2.5% on FanDuel.
Chris Carson ($6,400 on FanDuel, $4,600 on DraftKings) – I got into the struggles of the Arizona offense earlier, and their struggles are a big part of the reason Carson is so appealing this week. No team has faced more rushing attempts so far this season, and with Josh Rosen set to take over under center, I’m not expecting things to take a big step forward too soon. Carson’s once again likely to see upwards of 20 carries with a couple targets to add to the stat sheet, and with Rashaad Penny falling further and further behind in this “competition” it only secures Carson’s workload with C.J. Prosise only eating into passing-down work. At this point, Carson’s projected for 10% ownership on both major sites – which could sway a little in either direction – so he’s not a diamond in the rough but he’s still getting overlooked to a degree.
Sony Michel ($5,900 on FanDuel, $4,500 on DraftKings) – Much like Carson, Michel’s still projected for middling ownership at 12.5%, but I don’t think it’s enough relative to his potential output. With Rex Burkhead now on the shelf, Michel figures to eat up the vast majority of the Patriots rushing work with James White his only real threat to snaps, and White generally plays more in passing situations. I thought we’d see a Michel breakout in Week 3, but he’s still far too cheap and while I’ll be aiming to feature him in non-Brady lineups, the two are playable together. I’m obviously expecting big things from New England’s offense and if they are able to build a lead at home against a shaky Miami offense, Michel could get a heavy workload in his first true test as a lead back.