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FanDuel NFL Week 4 Picks, Sleepers and Strategies

Welcome back to Fanduel Picks Week 4, your one-stop-shop for the best FanDuel player picks. Week 3 provided a mixed bag of results, and the Raiders-Redskins picks perfectly depict that volatility. Redskin sleeper picks Chris Thompson (4.1% owned, 27.8 FanDuel points) and Kirk Cousins (10.7% owned, 26.8 FanDuel points) provided strong outputs given their low ownership and high scoring totals. Unfortunately Raider “locks” Michael Crabtree and Derek Carr fell flat on their faces, proving that this Oakland team may not be quite as ready for primetime as we thought. Zach Ertz continued dominating and Le’Veon Bell finally flashed his old form.  However, everyone and their mother’s Week 3 sleeper, Kelvin Benjamin , showed everyone a lesson in the art of DFS fading as an injury forced him to leave the game early, providing just 1.8 FanDuel points for his 18.4% of owners. So let’s get to the Week 4 picks and nail those high-priced moneymakers, and fill in the rest with some underpriced sleepers. As a note, these picks are based on Sunday only leagues, so players on Thursday and Monday night will be ignored, as well as London games.

Quarterbacks

The Locks

  • Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks ($7,900) – Let’s do something a little different this week. Normally, I’d mention two high profile quarterbacks and one cheap option with upside. This week we flip the script. Why? I believe there are a good handful of cheap options that can put up QB1 type FanDuel points. So I recommend saving money at this position and spending it elsewhere to maximize our output. That being said, Russell Wilson finds himself in a great position Week 4. Coming off his best game of the season (373 yards and 4 touchdown passes) Wilson faces off against the second worst defense in terms of points allowed (30 per game). Also, he still has a great pair of legs, something that will only add to his value and fantasy output. With a myriad of receiving weapons at his back and a lack of a true lead back, look for Wilson to build off his Week 3 success against an extremely poor and undermanned Colts defense.

Sleeper

  • Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills ($7,100) – Low price option number one brings us to Atlanta where Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills face a Falcons squad ranked in the bottom half of the league in passing yards and points allowed per game. Like Wilson, Taylor can neutralizes fast defenses (like the Falcons) with his speed, which can help to open up passing lanes for his receivers as defenders stay at home. And while this pick is somewhat of a gamble (the Bills are 7.5 point underdogs with a team total of only 20.5), you can really reap the benefits with a potential breakout game. Having to throw all game, look for Tyrod to use his speed and newfound arm (99.2 QB rating in 2017) to rack up potential QB1 FanDuel points at a bargain price.
  • Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals ($7,400) – Last week Jared Goff went for 23.58 FanDuel points against the 49ers horrendous defense. Now the 49ers travel to Arizona to face Carson Palmer fresh off back-to-back 300+ yards performances, the last being of the 2 TD, 0 interception, 21.7 FanDuel point variety. Last week against the Cowboys the Arizona running game continued dos struggle (23 carries for 49 yards) but Carson looked like vintage Palmer completing his first 11 passes and throwing the ball 48 times. With Larry Fitzgerald looking as young as ever, the Cardinals receiving corps should feast all day on a struggling secondary.

 

Running Backs

The Locks

  • Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys ($8,500) – The Los Angeles Rams rank dead last in rushing touchdowns allowed (6) and 29th in yards allowed per game (139). And that was against backfields manned by the ageless wonder Frank Gore, the rag-tag Redskins bunch lead by recently injured Robert Kelley and 2016’s favorite fantasy bust Todd Gurley. How do you think the 2016 rushing leader will fare against such a stellar defensive squad? Ezekiel Elliott will run rampant Week 4, coming off his most productive game of the year in which he scored his first touchdown. Slow starts usually signify great things to come, so look for Week 4 to be the first of the many 2016 Zeke performances. Given the current spread (Dallas -7.5) Elliott should be involved and the focus of the Dallas offense all game.
  • Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars ($7,700) – When I pay up for running backs I looked for two things: matchup and consistency. And we nailed both here. Rookie sensation Leonard Fournette has scored one touchdown in each of his first three games this season, racking up at least 2 catches and 20 yards in each performance as well. Averaging just over 16 fantasy points per game, you can count on Fournette as a safe floor play. Couple that with a game against a Jets team destined for a letdown after a Week 3 victory against the Dolphins, and I’d look for the Jaguars to play ball control in a tight, low scoring game (Jaguars -3.5, 39.5 total) where possession and the running game should dictate game flow.

Sleeper

  • Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals ($5,600) – While there are so many mouths to feed in the Cincinnati backfield, Joe Mixon separated himself from the group somewhat last week, touching the ball 21 times for 102 total yards. As a versatile, three-down back, Mixon has the talent and playmaking ability to lead the Benagls backfield for years to come, and that hopeful began last week and will continue this week in a game against a Browns team that allowed 3 rushing touchdowns to the Indianapolis Colts. Sure, this pick is far from a guarantee. But at $5,600 Mixon could be in line for another high-volume, 20+ touch day. And if he happens to score a touchdown he will be more than worth the price of admission.
  • Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles ($5,600) – I already highlighted Wendell Smallwood as my pickup of the week in my weekly Stream Team article. Sure, the backfield may appear crowded on its face, both neither back poses quite the dual threat that Smallwood does. His usage and production last week indicate that of a starting running back, and at only $5,600 against a run defense that ranks second to lsat in rushing yards allowed per game Smallwood could generate some of the best bang for you buck this Week 4.

Wide Receivers

The Locks

  • Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers ($9,200) – I could recommend the best receiver in the world every week and I do not think anyone would blame me. But seeing as Antonio Brown has come out of the gates as hot as ever (26 catches for 354 yards), I might as well get on the bandwagon early. Sure, the Baltimore Ravens are a familiar foe for Brown, but that did not stop him last year from seeing 11 targets in both contests, seeing Brown top 86 yards in each game and scoring a touchdown in each. The safest high floor, high ceiling guaranteed volume play in the game (Ben Roethlisberger target Brown 11, 11 and 14 times this year), look for the Steelers to throw often against a middle-of-the-road pass defense.
  • A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals ($8,000) – Welcome to 2017 A.J. Green! After notching just 5 receptions in each of his first two games and failing to record at least 75 yards, Green made up for lost time with a 10/111/1 touchdown slash line. With no real cornerback to matchup up with Green’s size and speed, look for the Bengals to throw often in search for their first win, with Green being the real moneymaker in this matchup.
  • Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants ($9,100) – Going chalk on the recommendations here is not something I am proud of, and not something I ever do. But after watching Odell Beckham Jr.‘s performance last week, how can you not jump in on the fun. Ranking in the bottom of the league in passing yards allowed, opponent’s QB rating and passing yards per attempt, the Buccaneers will present no problems for Beckham’s size and speed Week 4. He and Eli Manning seemed back on the same page Week 3 as Eli target Beckham a whopping 13 times, connecting on two scores. Sure, Sterling Shepard is the flavor of the week for wide receiver pickups, but do not be fooled. Beckham runs the asylum in New York and should see his normal, inordinate amount of targets, any one of which could be an 80 yard touchdown.

Sleeper

  • Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers ($5,400) – This is a pure volume play and nothing more. With Greg Olsen already placed on IR and Kelvin Benjamin looking doubtful with a knee injury, Cam Newton and the Panthers will travel to Foxboro very undermanned and very overwhelmed. There is some light, however, as the Patriots rank bottom two in passing yards allowed per game and QB rating. That, however, did not help the Panthers last week against a futile Saints defense as Newton threw for a mere 167 yards and 3 interceptions. With the Patriots opening at 8 point favorite, the Panthers will likely throw often against a struggling New England secondary, so next-man-up Devin Funchess should see increased volume, much like last week’s 10 target day. With only versatile running back Christian McCaffrey to compete for targets, look for Funchess to help Newton stabilize an offense sinking faster than the Titanic.
  • Travis Benjamin, WR, Los Angeles Chargers ($5,000) – The New York Giants and a struggling Manning just torched the Eagles secondary to the tune of 366 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. So imagine what a fully stocked Philip Rivers can do to the Eagles. The Los Angeles Chargers play host Sunday to Philadelphia in a game that profiles as a throw first, run later, type game. And with that in mind, look for the Eagles to focus on Keenan Allen to the benefit of what appears to be new WR2 Travis Benjamin. Benjamin has topped 100 yards or scored a touchdown in 2 of his three games this year, proving that he can be a consistent, reliable source of productivity for a bargain price. In what should be a tightly contested matchup (the line is currently a pickem) look for these teams to throw haymakers early and often, increasing Benjamin’s potential for a solid performance.

Tight End

The Locks

  • Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks ($6,200) – With a banged up Doug Baldwin Wilson will hone in on his second best receiving option Jimmy Graham and exploit a poor Colts secondary. In Week 3, Graham ranked second behind Baldwin in targets (11), receptions (7) and yards (72), each of which posted new season high’s for Graham. With Graham looking like he may become more of a focal point for the Seahawks offense (I mean, he should as Wilson just had his best game by involving Graham more), he should be a consistent contributor and large benefactor in this week’s blowout of the Colts. Look for Graham to vulture some look for the hobbled Baldwin, leading to a potential big day for this former fantasy ace.

Sleeper

  • Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5,300) – Another Stream Team member, Cameron Brate has not only acted as Jameis Winston‘s security and touchdown blanket over the past year plus (9 touchdowns in 17 games with Jameis) but also the New York Giants are almost incapable of stopping tight ends (3 touchdowns in 3 games). With the Giants almost assuredly focusing on stopping Mike Evans, Brate should roam free against against a poor linebacker coverage group.

Kicker

The Locks

  • Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys ($4,900) – Brian Hoyer put up 39 points last week against the Lose Angeles Rams, with Robbie Gould putting up a solid 10. This week, the Rams face off against the Cowboys in Jerry World where Dan Bailey just does not miss (career 96/104 at home, for 92.3%). Look for the Cowboys to move the ball even more effortlessly than the 49ers did, leading to multiple red zone opportunities and plenty of scoring chances for this ace kicker.

Sleeper

  • Ryan Succop, K, Tennessee Titans ($4,600) – With the most field goals made (10) and attempted (11) in the league this year, look for Ryan Succop to enjoy a solid day against a good Houston Texans defense, capable of holding teams out of the end zone. The Titans offense, led by Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray, put up 33 last week against Seattle, so they proved they can score against elite caliber defense. Vegas projects the Titans to score 23 points in a close, 2 point spread game, so Succop’s leg could be the difference in the game and in your DFS week. Fire him up, and hope for red zone stops.

Defense

The Locks

  • Seattle Seahawks DST ($5,400) – The Indianapolis Colts appear to have lucked in in trading for a quarterback that can actually make competent decisions and play through the air and with his feet. But while Jacoby Brissett shined last week against the Cleveland Browns at home, he will face a littttttttle bit stiffer test this week in Seattle. While yet to show their utter dominance, the Seattle Seahawks DST is primed Week 4 to have a massive day facing off against a second year QB and a team with very few playmakers. With the lowest projected team total of the week (14 points) look for Seattle to stomp on Indy early and feast late with multiple turnovers, and a defensive touchdown (or two) potentially in play.

Sleeper

  • Cincinnati Bengals DST ($4,600) – FanDuel might want to rethink the Cincinnati Bengals DST pricing this week. At only $4,600 against the Cleveland Browns (projected team total of 18.5), the Bengals look to be a fantastic play this upcoming Sunday. Just last week, the Bengals defense recorded 14 points in Green Bay, recording 6 sacks and scoring a defensive touchdown. Generating 13.67 FanDuel points per week, it is safe to say streaming defense against the Browns this year has proven to be quite profitable. Look for the sacks to pile up again this week for the Bengals against rookie DeShone Kizer as he continues to learn the ropes of the NFL.

 

And that’s a wrap for Fanduel Week 4 analysis. Remember to always look at the matchups and Vegas totals, which are always telling, and do not be afraid to admit they know more than you, because they usually do. Until next time, good luck and don’t forget to tip me 10% of your earnings. Thanks in advance.

To contact me with any questions or general fantasy football discussion, please email me at redsocker45@gmail.com or tweet me @AJGamballer.

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