This article is part of our DraftKings USFL series.
Week 3 was another exciting ledger for the USFL, as there were three more one-possession games. Some of the same players that have been thriving since the start of the season continued to deliver strong results, but we also saw a couple more unexpected standouts step to the forefront. We'll look to utilize all that information in our Week 4 selections and shine the spotlight on multiple tight ends for the first time.
USFL DK contests will require players to roster one quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers or tight ends, two FLEX spots with either a running back, receiver or tight end and a team defense.
DraftKings USFL Plays- Week 4
Kyle Sloter, NO vs. HOU ($10,200): Sloter will require $700 less investment than the Bandits' Jordan Ta'Amu and arguably brings close to as much upside. The former NFL practice squad denizen has been playing through some hand and shoulder issues with success, having accrued a USFL-high 657 passing yards and a 4:2 TD:INT over his first three games while adding a rushing touchdown as well. Sloter is averaging a solid 17.5 DK points per game, and he's facing a Gamblers defense that given up 24.0 points per game and allowed 285 total yards to Ta'Amu in Week 3.
De'Andre Johnson, NJ at PIT ($8,800): Johnson has managed to offer plenty of fantasy utility despite serving in only a part-time role under center alongside Luis Perez. The extremely mobile signal-caller actually leads the USFL in yards per carry (6.4), and he's also averaging a league-high 10.8 yards per attempt. That's translated to DK-point tallies of 18 and 20 points over his first three games, and he's now inched his season completion percentage to a serviceable 63.6 percent after going 11-for-14 through the air the last two games. The Maulers have been putting plenty of pressure on their defense with a mostly inept offense, and Johnson could certainly be a beneficiary in Week 4.
Case Cookus, PHI at MICH ($6,500): Cookus turned in an admirable performance in spot duty in Week 3, going 13-for-20 for 146 yards with a touchdown, although he also committed a fumble. The former Norther Arizona product does boast some preseason NFL experience and certainly sports a salary that he could deliver a strong return on while serving as a full-time starter in place of Bryan Scott (lower leg). Stars head coach Bart Andrus certainly does seem to have a knack for maximizing a QB's abilities – Scott was thriving in his system despite having played Division III football prior to arriving in the USFL – so Cookus could be a rewarding value play despite facing a tough Panthers defense.
ALSO CONSIDER: J'Mar Smith BHAM vs. TB ($9,500)
Trey Williams, NJ at PIT ($7,400): Williams has double-digit DK-point tallies in each game thus far, topping out with 22 against the Stars in Week 3 on the strength of 154 total yards on 23 touches. The speedy back helmed the Generals backfield with 19 carries in Week 3, and even though Johnson is also being utilized on plenty of designed running plays out of the quarterback position, that actually helps open up running lanes for New Jersey's running backs. Williams could be a beneficiary of frequently getting a crack at the Maulers' frequently fatigued defense, which just surrendered a whopping 221 total rushing yards to Panthers running backs in Week 3.
Mark Thompson, HOU at NO ($6,200): Thompson has been quite the find for the 1-2 Gamblers, rushing for between 71 and 142 yards over his first three games. The latter total came in the wild Week 3 loss to the Bandits, a game in which Thompson averaged 6.1 yards per tote and even saw his first three targets of the season. The big-bodied Florida product is leading the USFL in rushing yards, and as per PFF, he's gained a league-high 253 yards after contact while also serving as the only player with double-digit forced missed tackles (16) and explosive runs (10). The Breakers defense boasts an aggressive, attacking front, and given Houston quarterback Clayton Thorson's propensity for turnovers, head coach Kevin Sumlin may well opt to feed Thompson plenty once again in an effort to keep that dangerous unit honest.
Reggie Corbin, MICH vs. PHI ($3,500): Corbin's salary is double-take-worthy, considering he's coming off a 133-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 3 against the Maulers that netted 22 DK points. The Illinois alum, who accumulated 1,760 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns over his last two college seasons, could well serve as the lead back again in coach Jeff Fisher's run-heavy attack in Week 4, leaving room for both he and Stevie Scott (listed below in the "Also Consider" section) to thrive. The Stars have been a highly vulnerable defense all season as well, garnering PFF's worst overall grade in that category through three weeks.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Victor Bolden, BHAM vs. TB ($9,800): Bolden has been a certifiable target monster through three games, drawing 33 looks from Stallions quarterbacks and parlaying them into an 18-153-1 line. Bolden is coming off his most productive game yardage-wise yet, as he posted a 6-69-1 line that netted 19 DK points in Week 3 against the tough Breakers defense, despite quarterback J'Mar Smith completing under 50.0 percent of his passes. There's no reason to think Bolden won't be heavily featured again in Week 4 against a Bandits team that funnels plenty of action toward the pass and that 240 passing yards, two touchdowns and 10.0 yards per attempt in Week 3 to the Gamblers.
Johnnie Dixon, NO vs. HOU ($7,300): Dixon is one of two Breakers pass catchers that I think are viable to pair with Sloter in the same lineup against the vulnerable Gamblers defense. The ex-Ohio State speedster has developed a quick rapport with Sloter, with whom he connected on seven of 10 targets for 86 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3. That performance netted 27 DK points, and it was preceded by a Week 2 game against the Bandits in which Dixon logged nine targets and turned in a 5-42-1 line that produced 15 DK points. Houston has allowed fruitful passing performances in each of the first three games, making them a great team to target with a player whose role seems as secure as Dixon's.
Sal Cannella, NO vs. HOU ($5,300): Cannella is the second member of the Breakers' air attack that I think can provide solid value on his salary in Week 4. The receiving tight end has been one of Sloter's favorite targets early on as well, drawing 20 looks in the passing game through three weeks and converting them into a 13-133 line. The Auburn product should be in position to reap the same benefits as Dixon going against the generous Gamblers pass defense after already posting a pair of 12 DK-point tallies in his first three games.
Bug Howard, PHI at MICH ($4,000): Howard is the second tight end I think could make an impact in Week 4, particularly at a salary that remains surprisingly low. The AAF, Spring League and NFL (preseason) alum has opened the season with an average of 12.2 DK points over his first three games, and he's turned in back-to-back four-catch efforts that have netted a combined 122 receiving yards in the last two games. With Cookus, with whom Howard began building rapport last week, replacing Scott under center, the tight end could frequently serve as a security blanket against a tough Panthers defense that could make perimeter passing a challenge.
New Orleans Breakers ($5,200) vs. Houston Gamblers: The Breakers defense underwhelmed last week with just six DK points against the Stallions in a 22-13 loss, but I'm right back on them despite them carrying the highest salary of any unit in Week 4. New Orleans still boasts PFF's highest overall grade for defense and have racked up four interceptions, 11 sacks, a safety and a defensive touchdown thus far. Thorson has also been a turnover machine dating back to his college days, and he's already thrown five interceptions through three games this season. Even though Thompson will get his fair share of yards on the ground, the Breakers should still be able to wreak enough havoc to take the ball from Houston on multiple occasions and generate a strong fantasy score in the process.
ALSO CONSIDER: Birmingham Stallions ($3,700) vs. Tampa Bay Bandits