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Four-Down Duel: Scouring the Desert

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

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Heres a look at some recommended plays on FanDuel for Week 4:


Aaron Rodgers, QB, $9400 Its not very often I highlight high-priced players unless I think they have the opportunity to put up off-the-chart numbers. Rodgers is in a great position to do just that this week at home against the Saints. The matchup is perfect -- the Saints have given up the most yards in the league through three games (1,432) and have given up the second most point per game (34.0). Rodgers has one of his better weapons back in Greg Jennings, who should be healthier this week. Jordy Nelson is still a solid deep threat and Randall Cobb looks like a playmaker when he gets the ball. While he comes as the third-most expensive price among quarterbacks, Rodgers should return more than his value this week.

Josh Freeman, TB, $6700 Speaking of bad defenses, the Buccaneers will welcome the Washington Redskins into town after sputtering on the offensive side of the ball last Sunday against Dallas. Freeman now has a legit No.1 wide receiver in Vincent Jackson and third-year pro Mike Williams looks more like he did his rookie season than last year. The Redskins have allowed 337.3 yards per game through the air and will be without the injured Brian Orapko and Adam Carriker. Freeman is also a mobile quarterback who has rushed for over 600 yards and four touchdowns over the last two seasons. Look for Freeman to capitalize on his matchup and be a solid play, especially in the FanDuel beginner leagues, which use a lower salary cap.

Running Back

Ryan Williams, ARI, $5400 With the news Wednesday that Beanie Wells was placed on injured reserve, Williams has little competition for playing time in the Arizona backfield. He did little the first two weeks and was in line to be the goat after almost fumbling the game away in New England, but Williams bounced back nicely with 13 carries for 83 yards last Sunday. Right now hes the top guy in the desert, and while his offensive line is questionable, hes an interesting back considering his price.

Willis McGahee, DEN, $5400 While he sustained a rib injury Week 3, McGahee has shown hes like a fine bottle of wine that seems to have grown to be better with age. He practiced Wednesday and should be set to go against the Raiders deplorable defensive front. Peyton Manning has never been shy about using his running back during his offensive drives and that should benefit McGahee. Hes got a nice matchup and it seems like the rib injury was overblown.

Wide Receiver

Denarius Moore, OAK, $5600 With Darrius Heyward-Bey on the shelf, it would appear that Moore is the clear-cut top receiving option for the Raiders. Hes not headed into a great matchup, especially given the high altitude in Denver, but Moore has had 18 targets even with DHB in the lineup the last two weeks. Moore turned one of those targets into a touchdown last week while getting a total of three red zone targets. The defense for Oakland has given up 29.3 points per game. As a result Oakland should be playing from behind a lot, meaning Carson Palmer should be throwing plenty. Moore has speed to burn, and with Heyward-Bey out, the second-year wideout should see double-digit targets this week.

Jerome Simpson, MIN - $4500 This is completely a tournament option since you need a low-cost, pot-odds play when going up against the likes of Calvin Johnson or A.J. Green. Simpson should be viewed as Torrey Smith-lite -- he has the ability to put up the big game on any given week, but hes not strong enough to consistently be an every-week play. Christian Ponder has proven already hes ahead of the curve as far as second-year quarterbacks go so expect him to try going deep to Simpson a few times this weekend.

Tight End

Antonio Gates, SD, $6100 I dont think well be talking optimistically about Gates next season as much as we were before this year. Gates has once again proven hes an injury risk after being ruled out very late in Week 2, while his return in Week 3 was pretty insignificant (three catches, 22 yards). That being said, he has an ideal matchup against Kansas City and a good chance to out-produce some of the upper-tier tight ends this week.


Sebastian Janikowski, OAK, $5200 While I think theres much ado about nothing when it comes to kickers due to their week-to-week randomness, its hard to deny what Seabass has done week in and week out. He was 7-for-10 last season in 50+ yard kicks and hes almost a sure-fire from 40 and in. So spend the extra $200, especially since hes in the thin air of Colorado.


Arizona D, $5200 To be recommending the Arizona defense is completely shocking to me, as I thought this would be one of the worst teams in the league. However, its the defense that has been carrying the team, shutting down the Seahawks, Patriots and Philadelphia. They lead the league in sacks with 12 and have forced four fumbles so far, one of which has been returned for a touchdown. If you rolled with them last week against the Eagles, you likely won your matchup after they tallied 24 points under the FanDuel scoring system. The Cards have a solid pass rush with Calais Campbell, Daryl Washington, Paris Lenon and Darnell Dockett, while Patrick Peterson and Adrian Wilson solidify the secondary. Peterson is also an excellent punt returner, too. And a nice matchup this week at home against the Ryan Tannehill-led Dolphins does makes Arizona one of the better defensive plays. $500 Freeroll on

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