DRAFT Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 4
Just because the NFL season is underway doesn't mean you can't enjoy fantasy football drafts.
Over at DRAFT.com, you can get the experience of a fantasy draft while building your daily fantasy rosters, and the format is quite simple.
You roster one quarterback, two running backs, and two wide receiver/tight ends while drafting against opponents in real-time. That means the typical "value" aspect of daily fantasy is different, as you're not worrying about salary cap and instead just playing your opponents for your preferred picks of the week.
What stands out for Week 4's main slate?
When considering running backs in the DRAFT format, you are required to draft two, but the difference between the top options and the next grouping can be a big drop-off.
Our projections have only two running backs projected for 19.7 points or more, while the third running back is projected for 17.1 fantasy points. A nearly two-point difference might not seem massive, but in fantasy football or DFS, every point matters. In your head-to-head matches, you will 100% be grabbing at least one of these running backs, but as you move on to 4-Person, 6-Person, and 10-person DRAFTS, things can change dramatically.
Let's take a look at a few players by tiers, so you can get a clear picture of where you should be targeting each player.
1. Christian McCaffrey (RB1) - McCaffrey is coming off another strong fantasy game, where he ended with 26.3 FanDuel points from 153 rushing yards and one touchdown. That level of production is in the cards again this week, as he is facing off against the Houston Texans, who are allowing 19.8 FanDuel points per game to running backs. This game has a solid over/under at 46 points, so both sides are in for some scoring.
2. Austin Ekeler (RB2) - Ekeler has been a fantasy beast in the first two weeks of the season, but with Melvin Gordon on his way back, we want to squeeze the last bit of fantasy value from Ekeler. The Los Angeles Chargers are up against the lowly Miami Dolphins this week, with LA coming in with an implied team total of 29.25. Ekeler is our second-highest projected running back this week -- just draft him wherever you can.
3. David Johnson (RB3) - Despite the Arizona Cardinals being a bad real-life football team, they are playing at the fastest pace in the league, according to FootballOutsiders, which creates more chances for fantasy points. With an over/under sitting at 48 -- the fourth-highest on the slate -- we are in for another high-scoring game and nearly 20 projected touches for DJ.
4. Leonard Fournette (RB6) - Fournette is up against the Denver Broncos, who have allowed the seventh-most FanDuel points per game to running backs this season. He has 17 total touches or more in three straight games, which should continue given the matchup. Fournette is projected for 16.0 FanDuel points this week and is clearly a step behind the top options.
5. Todd Gurley (RB5) - Gurley isn't the same running back he was last season but has a positive game script this week to get back on track. The Los Angeles Rams are nine-point home favorites against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and while Tampa is solid against the run, the game script should favor touches for Gurley.
6. Marlon Mack (RB8) - Mack might be the best option in the second-tier despite our projections giving him 15.5 points. He is at home, a favorite, and against the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing 21.2 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season. He checks all the boxes -- this is an easy one.
7. Chris Carson (RB10) - Carson could be seeing the majority of the backfield work with Rashaad Penny dealing with a hamstring issue. He has 15 carries in each of his first three games, which should be on the table this week against the Arizona Cardinals. As of now, 76% of the bets are on the Seahawks, which is a good indication they will be in control of this game, meaning extra carries for Carson.
8. Kerryon Johnson (RB9) - For as much offense as the Kansas City Chiefs bring, they have no defense. Johnson should be able to have his first big game of the season since Kansas City is allowing 22.5 FanDuel points per game to running backs. The highest over/under on the slate means plenty of scoring on both sides.
9. Derrick Henry (RB12) - Rostering running backs against the Atlanta Falcons is nothing new, but Henry doesn't have a large role in the passing game, which is where we normally attack them. A consistent role in the offense is good for Henry, but he's a lower-tier option for larger DRAFTS only.
1. Keenan Allen (WR1) - Allen is averaging 14 targets per game this season and is coming off a near career game last week, and his strong start won't be stopping against the Miami Dolphins. He is our number one projected receiver by nearly 1.5 points, and you should be grabbing him in every spot possible this week.
2. DeAndre Hopkins (WR2) - The Carolina Panthers are allowing 28.5 FanDuel points per game to receivers this season, and with an implied team total of 25.75, the Houston Texans are primed for some scoring. If possible, stack Hopkins with Deshaun Watson, putting you in a great spot for double-dipping on fantasy points.
3A/B. Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins (TE1 and WR 3) - Kelce and Watkins are separated by just 0.1 points this season in our projections, making this a coin-flip. The Kansas City Chiefs have the highest implied team total -- 30.50 points -- facing a weak Detroit Lions secondary. Another easy play this week, as Chiefs players are most of the time.
4. Julio Jones (WR5) - All Julio Jones does is score touchdowns...this season. He has four to start the year, back-to-back 100-yard games, and is now facing the Tennessee Titans, who are allowing 26.5 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers. Always play Julio at home.
5. Odell Beckham (WR4) - The Baltimore Ravens could be without their top two cornerbacks this week, putting Beckham in an amazing spot. The Cleveland Browns are 6.5-point road underdogs, which means they will likely need to pass the ball in order to catch up. He is averaging 10 targets a game this season and primed for a big performance.
6. Mike Evans (WR6) - Reports state that Chris Godwin is going to be a game-day decision, as he is dealing with a hip injury. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are already nine-point road underdogs, and if Godwin is out, Evans will see elevated volume out of necessity.
7. Christian Kirk (WR8) - Kirk has the second-most air yards and the second-most market share of air yards on the Arizona Cardinals, according to AirYards.com. Up against the Seattle Seahawks, who got torched in Week 1 by John Ross and Tyler Boyd, Kirk should be able to get downfield for some big plays.
8. Brandin Cooks (WR9) - Cooks has yet to have a truly massive game, but with his skill set, that is always waiting in the wings. The Los Angeles Rams have the fourth-highest implied team total this week at 29.25 and will be putting up plenty of points against the Buccaneers' secondary.
9. Kenny Golladay (WR13) - The Detroit Lions are at home but are six-point 'dogs to the Kansas City Chiefs in the game with the highest over/under. The Chiefs are allowing 27.3 FanDuel points per game to receivers this year, and if the Lions are going to be trailing and playing up in pace, it just means more opportunities for Golladay.
We all know you should be prioritizing elite running backs and receivers over taking a quarterback in season-long fantasy, and that should be the same here. This week, there are five quarterbacks who we have projected to score from 23.9 to 20.0 FanDuel points, and another three projected at 19.2 to 19.7. At a certain point, it can be splitting hairs and essentially comes down to personal preference, but know that you will be in a good spot at quarterback this week.
1. Patrick Mahomes (QB1) - Another week, another time where Mahomes is projected to be the highest-scoring quarterback up at 23.9 FanDuel points. Highest over/under on the slate? Check. Highest implied team total? Check. Always draft Mahomes when you can -- 300 yards and 3 touchdowns are in his future this week, as always.
2. Deshaun Watson (QB2) - Watson comes in with a 21.3-point projection this week, just a bit behind Mahomes but in an equally good spot. He has six passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns through three games, now finding himself as a four-point home favorite with an implied team total of 25.75.
3. Lamar Jackson (QB3) - Jackson had a tough game last week but was able to salvage it with a rushing touchdown. Things are looking much better for him this week against the Cleveland Browns, who have allowed five passing touchdowns in their two losses this season.
4. Russell Wilson (QB4) - Wilson threw the ball 50 times last week, which was a career high, and now faces the super soft secondary of the Cardinals, who are allowing the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. This is going to be a high-paced game with plenty of opportunities for passing from Wilson.
5. Jared Goff (QB5) - Goff makes a great option if you can pair him with Cooks, who is mentioned above. Stacking can be overlooked in the DRAFT format, and when the Rams hold a 29.25 implied team total, they are primed for plenty of offense against the Buccaneers' secondary.
6. Philip Rivers (QB6) - The Los Angeles Chargers are massive 15-point road favorites against the Miami Dolphins. There isn't much to say here -- I spoke about Ekeler and Allen, so Rivers is right up there with them as fantastic options this week.
7. Daniel Jones (QB8) - We all saw what Danny Dimes did last week with two rushing and two passing touchdowns. Our projections have him at 19.2 FanDuel points this week, and another multi-touchdown game is likely against the Washington Redskins, who just allowed Mitchell Trubisky to throw for three touchdowns.
8. Matt Ryan (QB7) - Ryan has quietly been very consistent to start the season with over 300 yards in each game and 8 passing touchdowns. Right now, 96% of the moneyline bets are on the Atlanta Falcons, which is a good indication that they are in a spot to win the game comfortably. Ryan will continue his success to start the year against the Tennessee Titans, who have allowed six passing touchdowns through three games.
9. Jacoby Brissett (QB10) - Brissett is projected for 17.8 FanDuel points and as a home favorite, that is fully in the cards. Up against a bad Oakland Raiders defense, he shouldn't have an issue moving the ball. He's a step behind other options since the Raiders might not keep the game close, thus limiting the need for Brissett to throw the ball.