DraftKings NFL: Week 4 Breakdown

DraftKings NFL: Week 4 Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.

Sunday's slate features 12 games, and really only one is appealing on the surface. Bills-Ravens is clearly the marquee matchup and it's the only one with a total higher than 50. Only two others have totals higher than 46. Browns-Falcons and Seahawks-Lions wouldn't normally seem like desirable spots to target, but that's exactly what they are based on the context of this slate. Both matchups feature bad defenses and affordable options that project well at just about every position. Besides those, the red-hot Jalen Hurts and the Eagles will garner some attention but that's pretty much it. If you choose to focus on the Bills-Ravens matchup, make sure those lineups have some type of leverage as that's going to be the most popular game stack. Leverage could mean a more unconventional stack or it could mean rostering a few players who won't be popular. I'll continue to emphasize these points all season because they're most important and difficult for many to learn. Fading chalk and constructing lineups with correlation and leverage gives you the best chance to win a tournament. 

Note: All prices listed come from DraftKings, but most of the logic can be applied to other sites across the DFS industry. Discussion is limited to players from the "main slate" of games kicking off at 1 p.m., 4:05 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. EDT on Sunday. The strategy below is meant for large-field tournaments, where payouts typically are limited to ~20 percent of lineups, with the majority concentrated at the very top.

The Games

Over/UnderRoad TeamRoad 
Implied Total
Home TeamHome 
Implied Total
45Los Angeles Chargers25Houston Texans20
39.5Chicago Bears18.25New York Giants21.25
48Seattle Seahawks22Detroit Lions26
45.5Jacksonville Jaguars19.5Philadelphia Eagles26
41.5New York Jets 19Pittsburgh Steelers22.5
47.5Cleveland Browns24.5Atlanta Falcons23
43Tennessee Titans19.75Indianapolis Colts23.25
41.5Washington Commanders19Dallas Cowboys22.5
51Buffalo Bills27Baltimore Ravens24
43.5Arizona Cardinals21Carolina Panthers22.5
45.5Denver Broncos21.5Las Vegas Raiders24
40New England Patriots15.25Green Bay Packers24.75

Point-Per Dollar Value

These are the players with the best projections relative to their salaries — good plays both for cash games and large-field tournaments. While we don't want our GPP lineups to look like cash-game lineups top to bottom, there's nothing wrong with using a few chalky plays. These players, combined with passing-game stacks, tend to form the core that remains fairly consistent throughout my lineups.

The Giants are extremely thin at WR. Sterling Shepard is out while Kadarius Toney and Wan'Dale Robinson have yet to practice and are listed as questionable. Kenny Golladay has been ineffective and relegated to a reserve role the last two weeks. That leaves James as essentially the No. 1 target for Daniel Jones and he's been decent thus far, catching 14 of his 17 targets. The $4,000 salary is too cheap for that role and he'll be popular in cash games as a result. 

With D'Andre Swift expected out, Williams will be the lead back for the Lions in a great matchup against the Seahawks. There is big mismatch in the trenches as Detroit's third-ranked offensive line faces off against Seattle's bottom-ranked defensive line. Williams should get 20-plus touches in this spot, with targets in the passing game and opportunities in the red zone. He seems like a no-brainer for cash games. 

Other Cash-Game Options

QB Josh Allen at BAL ($8,400)

QB Jalen Hurts vs. JAX ($8,200)

QB Marcus Mariota vs. CLE ($5,600)

QB Daniel Jones vs. CHI ($5,400)

RB Saquon Barkley vs. CHI ($8,000)

RB Najee Harris vs. NYJ ($6,700)

RB Jamaal Williams vs. SEA ($6,100)

RB Khalil Herbert at NYG ($5,700)

RB Josh Jacobs vs. DEN ($5,500)

WR Stefon Diggs at BAL ($8,400)

WR CeeDee Lamb vs. WAS ($6,700)

WR Diontae Johnson vs. NYJ ($6,000)

WR Tyler Lockett at DET ($5,900)

WR Brandin Cooks vs. LAC ($5,800)

WR Curtis Samuel at DAL ($5,700)

WR DJ Chark vs. SEA ($5,000)

WR Josh Reynolds vs. SEA ($4,600)

WR Richie James vs. CHI ($4,000)

TE Mark Andrews vs. BUF ($7,100)

TE Kyle Pitts vs. CLE ($5,000)

TE T.J. Hockenson vs. SEA ($4,100)

TE David Njoku at ATL ($3,700)

D/ST New York Giants vs. CHI ($3,100)

D/ST Chicago Bears at NYG ($2,700)

D/ST Tennessee Titans at IND ($2,500)

Passing-Game Stacks

Stacks are the centerpiece of most tournament lineups, seeking to take advantage of positive correlations between players. It rarely makes sense to use a quarterback without one or two of his pass catchers, even if the player in question scores a decent portion of his fantasy points with his legs. Ideally, a stack also includes a pass catcher from the other side of the game, hoping to take advantage of a back-and-forth shootout. (Implied team totals are listed in parentheses.)

Buffalo Bills (27) at Baltimore Ravens (24)

BILLS

This is clearly the marquee matchup on the slate as it features the highest total and the top projected players at QB, WR and TE. Josh Allen ($8,400) had a bit of down game last week but he still finished with 30-plus fantasy points for the third consecutive week after throwing for 400 yards and rushing for 47. The Bills have the highest situation-neutral pass rate in the league and the like to play fast. That combined with Allen's rushing upside will make him the top QB on just about every slate this season. Stefon Diggs ($8,400) disappointed last week but still finished with seven catches on 11 targets. His salary increased by $700, but he still projects among the top WRs from a point per dollar standpoint and he has the highest ceiling at the position. Gabe Davis ($6,600) continues to nurse an ankle injury but looked healthy enough last week as he led the WRs in snaps. We know Davis has multiple-TD upside in any matchup and he won't be nearly as popular as Diggs, which makes him a good option in tournaments. Dawson Knox ($4,100) has similar upside as one of few TEs capable of scoring twice. I'll probably avoid Isaiah McKenzie ($5,100) and Jamison Crowder ($4,100) sharing time in the slot. McKenzie had a nice game last week, but it was the first time he saw more than three targets and his salary keeps rising. I won't avoid Devin Singletary ($5,900) after he ran 45 routes last week and caught nine of 11 targets. He's cheap and you can roster him in any type of stack. 

RAVENS

Lamar Jackson ($8,300) has been even better than Allen and Hurts. People called him fat after Week 1 and then he went out and rushed for 100-plus and TD in back-to-back games. He's put up massive scores of 43 and 48 in last two weeks and now gets a matchup against Buffalo, which is decimated in the secondary. Another reason to like him this week is that he'll be less popular than Allen and Hurts. It's easy enough to just pair him with Mark Andrews ($7,100) and move on. Andrews stands alone at TE this week. He's coming off another huge game, catching eight of 13 targets and two TDs. He's clearly Lamar's favorite option and should draw 10-plus targets again on Sunday. Rashod Bateman ($5,600) might seem a bit expensive after seeing just 16 targets through weeks despite the Ravens airing it out but he still has upside for 100-plus yards and a TD. Devin Duvernay ($4,100) has caught all eight of his targets and three have gone for TDs. I'll be avoiding the committee of RBs as none of them have much upside when splitting time.

  • Favorite Stack: QB Allen + RB Singletary + WR Diggs or WR Davis + TE Andrews

Seattle Seahawks (22) at Detroit Lions (26)

SEAHAWKS

It feels a bit odd to be highlighting a matchup between Seattle and Detroit as one of the better game stacks, but here we are. There just aren't many games to like on this slate and the 48-point total is actually second-highest. Geno Smith ($5,400) has looked surprisingly serviceable so far. Don't rule out the possibility that he's better than Russell Wilson for the Seahawks from a DFS standpoint. Weeks 1 and 2 were tough matchups, but he just threw for 325 yards against the Falcons and now faces a Lions defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to QBs. DK Metcalf ($6,800) drew 12 targets and caught a TD last week. He'd provide leverage in tournaments as he won't be overly popular based on the inflated salary. Tyler Lockett ($5,900) projects as one of the best point-per-dollar WRs on the slate. He's caught nine passes in consecutive games and has a chance to smash his price tag if he gets in the end zone. Will Dissly ($3,200) has caught all eight of his targets, including two TDs. He's been sharing snaps with Noah Fant ($3,100), who's caught nine of 10 targets. The timeshare likely will have me avoiding both. Rashaad Penny ($4,900) looks like one of the better cheap RB options after 15 touches last week and a matchup against the porous Lions defense. He'd make sense in GPPs paired with a Detroit pass-catcher or two. 

LIONS

Star WR Amon-Ra St. Brown ($7,700) has already been ruled out while D'Andre Swift ($7,100) is listed as doubtful. You'd expect the absence of Swift to put the onus on Jared Goff ($5,900) and it's a nice matchup as the Seahawks rank last in yards per pass attempt. The absence of St. Brown means there will be at least 10 extra targets to go around. DJ Chark ($5,000), Josh Reynolds ($4,600) and T.J. Hockenson ($4,100) stand to benefit. Chark is the main deep threat. Reynolds drew 10 targets as he spelled St. Brown last week. Hockenson should see some of the short yardage looks that normally go to Brown. All are good options based on the cheap salaries. Assuming Swift is out, Jamaal Williams ($6,100) would see the bulk of the work at RB. He'd be a popular option in all formats and rightfully so. It's a plus matchup, he's relatively cheap and should get 20-plus touches, including opportunities in the passing game. 

  • Favorite Stack: QB Smith + RB Williams + WR Lockett +/- WR Metcalf or WR St. Brown 

Other Stacks to Consider

QB Lamar Jackson + RB Devin Singletary or WR Stefon Diggs + TE Mark Andrews

QB Jalen Hurts + WR Zay Jones + WR DeVonta Smith/ WR A.J. Brown + TE Dallas Goedert

QB Justin Herbert + WR Mike Williams + WR Brandin Cooks + TE Gerald Everett 

QB Jared Goff + WR Amon-Ra St. Brown + WR Tyler Lockett + TE T.J. Hockenson

QB Marcus Mariota + RB Nick Chubb + WR Drake London + TE Kyle Pitts

QB Marcus Mariota + RB Cordarrelle Patterson + WR Drake London + TE David Njoku

QB Daniel Jones + RB Saquon Barkley + WR Richie James 

High-Priced Heroes

First, it's important to mention that Barkley has passed the eye test this season in that he looks explosive again and back to 100 percent health. Second, the Giants are decimated at the skill positions, meaning that Barkley could get even more work than usual, especially in the passing game. Third, the Giants are 3-point favorites and that won't be the case often this season. The hope is that they can get a lead and then ride Barkley in the second half to close it out. He has upside for 100-plus scrimmage yards and two TDs in this spot. 

Normally, Diggs has to compete with the likes of Kupp, Jefferson, Chase, Hill, etc., to be the top scoring WR. On this slate, it's only him and Davante Adams ($8,300) priced higher than $8K. The Bills matchup against the Ravens has the highest total and real shootout potential as both teams have weak secondaries. Diggs let a lot of people down last week but still caught seven balls on 11 targets. Hopefully enough people are wary of going back to him on Sunday because it's a great spot for another big game.  

Honorable Mentions: TE Mark Andrews ($7,100); RB Jonathan Taylor ($8,800)

Fading the Field

Every week we see at least one or two players who are popular without the backing of a top point-per-dollar projection. In some cases it even makes sense to fade a player with a strong projection, particularly when there are good alternatives at the same position and price range

It seems like Adams' Week 1 explosion may have been an exception as he's caught just seven passes for 48 yards over the past two weeks. Clearly Derek Carr is not Aaron Rodgers and that's going to negatively impact Adams in terms of consistency throughout the season. The Raiders have been playing rather slow and this is tough matchup against the Broncos. I'd rather spend the salary on the likes of Allen, Lamar, Diggs, Taylor, Barkley, Andrews, etc.

The Smash Spot

(Players in favorable spots to significantly outperform their salary.)

Last week, I highlighted David Montgomery in this spot and he got injured. The week before, I highlighted Jerry Jeudy and he got injured. Let's hope the same thing doesn't happen to Lockett. He's caught nine passes in consecutive games and the matchup against Detroit provides a good opportunity for his first TD of the season. Geno Smith has been decent and the Lions remain a great spot to target. Lockett's salary has yet to rise like that of teammate DK Metcalf ($6,800) and there is no reason the gap should be that wide. 

Honorable Mentions: RB Rashaad Penny ($4,900); TE David Njoku ($3,700); WR DJ Chark ($5,000)

The Bargain Bin

QB Jared Goff vs. SEA ($5,900)

QB Derek Carr vs. DEN ($5,800)

QB Marcus Mariota vs. CLE ($5,600)

QB Daniel Jones vs. CHI ($5,400)

QB Geno Smith at DET ($5,400)

RB Khalil Herbert at NYG ($5,700), if David Montgomery is out

RB Dameon Pierce vs. LAC ($5,600)

RB Josh Jacobs vs. DEN ($5,500)

RB Rashaad Penny at DET ($4,900)

WR DJ Chark vs. SEA ($5,000)

WR Elijah Moore at PIT ($4,800)

WR Josh Reynolds vs. SEA ($4,600)

WR Romeo Doubs vs. NE ($4,500)

WR Zay Jones at PHI ($4,200)

WR Richie James vs. CHI ($4,000)

WR George Pickens vs. NYJ ($3,800)

WR David Sills vs. CHI ($3,000)

TE David Njoku at ATL ($3,700)

TE Robert Tonyan vs. NE ($3,500)

Injuries to Monitor

I've already mentioned a few times that Swift is considered doubtful and Jamaal Williams ($6,100) is in line for an increased role. He'll be popular in cash games and tournaments as a result. 

Montgomery injured his ankle last week and hasn't practiced this week. Khalil Herbert ($5,700) rushed for 157 yards and two TDs in his absence and would be in line for another big workload should Montgomery miss. The Bears have a decent matchup against the Giants and Herbert won't be as popular as some of the other RBs in that range, making him a good option for GPPs.

Weather

Two games are worth keeping an eye on and they happen to include the top two projected QBs. The forecasts in Baltimore and Philadelphia are about the same: 15-20mph wind with rain expected. That's nothing crazy but there's at least a chance that the passing-games are affected. The total in Baltimore opened at 54.5 and now sits at 51. The total in Philly dropped from 48 to 45.5. I usually wait to see pictures and video prior to kickoff before making a final decision but as of now, I don't plan on changing anything. I have a small QB pool this week and it includes both Allen and Hurts.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Belongia
Ryan is the top-ranked DFS soccer player on RG, reigning King of the Pitch Champion at DraftKings and 2021 finalist for FSWA's Soccer Writer of the Year.
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