FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Early-Slate Helper: Week 4
The Week 4 NFL DFS early slate on FanDuel has eight matchups, all kicking off at 1 p.m. EST. We have one matchup with massive shootout potential in the Kansas City Chiefs at the Detroit Lions. While that total is at a whopping 54.5, per FanDuel Sportsbook, no other game tops 50 on the slate.
The numberFire NFL DFS Matchup Heat Map will be referenced for all implied totals and spreads throughout this article, so be sure to check it out.
Let’s look at the best plays at every price point on the slate.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers ($9,000)
With Saquon Barkley rocking the fantasy landscape with a high ankle sprain, Christian McCaffrey is now the safest back from a complete workload perspective. The Houston Texans did contain Austin Ekeler in Week 3, but they still ceded seven receptions to the running back. Without Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers leaned heavily on McCaffrey, giving him 27 touches against the Arizona Cardinals.
Christian McCaffrey is the only non-quarterback to play 100% of his team’s snaps this season. pic.twitter.com/a9H0KtGsHx
— 360°FantasyFootball (@360FFB) September 16, 2019
In addition to Barkley, Alvin Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott are both playing Sunday night, making them unavailable for the early or afternoon slates. Our models project that CMC will see the most touches this week at 25.76.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers ($8,100)
With Melvin Gordon reporting to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday, this may be the last time we see Ekeler in a full-time role. The matchup could not be better, as he gets to take on the Miami Dolphins, who are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing backs. The Chargers are also 15-point favorites and have the second-highest implied total on the slate. Our projections also have Ekeler as the best value per dollar.
Melvin Gordon’s holdout lasted 64 days. He officially is back at work.https://t.co/5PrjFVkJNk
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 26, 2019
Ekeler could cede clock-killing duties in the second half to Justin Jackson, but that would imply that the Chargers put up enough points to let their starters ride the pine. If that were the case, it would be safe to assume Ekeler was a part of the scoring. Fire him up in what might be his last week as a starter.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers ($8,100)
Keenan Allen leads the NFL in targets, receptions, yards, and air yards through Week 3. He also has a cupcake matchup with Xavien Howard, who is tanking his play together with his team. Allen carries similar risk as his running back teammate, as the Chargers could simply not throw the ball in the second half. Fantasy gamers should still bank on him inflating his stats against the worst team in the NFL.
Mid-Priced Upside Plays
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions ($6,900)
Despite the highest game total on the slate, Matthew Stafford's price is the fourth-cheapest among the 16 starting quarterbacks in this slate. This pricing means that a Lions stack will be incredibly valuable. You can jam in Stafford and two of his passing game weapons while bringing it back with the high-priced Chiefs assets.
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions ($6,500)
After the Lions released C.J. Anderson, Kerryon Johnson took nearly all the ground work in Week 3. He turned his 20 carries into just 36 yards and a score, but that was against a tough Philadelphia Eagles defense. Things get much easier in Week 4, as he takes on a Chiefs defense that ranks last in Adjusted Defensive Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play.
He is still not getting too much work in the passing game with just five catches through three weeks, but his deflated price still makes him one of the best values on the slate in this game environment.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,900)
While Sammy Watkins hasn't exactly dudded the last two weeks, he certainly hasn't reached the ceiling he flashed in week 1. He'll also have his hands full with Darius Slay this week, who routinely shadows the best receiver. Watkins has played over 50 percent of snaps out of the slot in the stead of Tyreek Hill, but Slay has also shadowed to the slot on 13 percent of his snaps, per PlayerProfiler.
The best reason to play Watkins in DFS is that nobody else will. Just like in Week 1, the average gamer will be avoiding tough shadow matchups, especially with the recent disappointing outings. Watkins' price has dropped under $7,000. Watkins is third in the NFL with 32 targets, and he has seen 7 targets of 20-plus air yards. He also has the cheat code, Patrick Mahomes, as his quarterback.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Redskins ($6,300)
Terry McLaurin has the best matchup this week, as the New York Giants have given up the most yards to opposing receivers thus far. They have also given up the most yards per reception, meaning they are beaten deep often. McLaurin is dominating Washington's deep opportunities, as evidenced by his 46 percent of the team's air yards, per airyards.com.
.@Redskins WR Terry McLaurin is the second player since the 1970 merger with at least 60 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown in each of his first three career games (Louis Lipps, 1984). pic.twitter.com/8rVmtYbRG7
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 24, 2019
According to oddsFire, 97 percent of the money is on the over in this game, meaning we have shootout potential with two horrendous defenses. McLaurin has a high floor and a high ceiling at a low price in this matchup.
Bargain Bin Prospects
Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants ($5,800)
Wayne Gallman is not Saquon Barkley, but he will be benefiting from the same offensive line that ranks eighth in adjusted line yards on Football Outsiders. While he doesn't have the explosiveness to rip off massive gains, a competent line does more for a running back than a good 40-yard dash.
The Washington Redskins also rank 26th in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play through three weeks, so Gallman is set up nicely. Our projections have him slated for 14 touches in this matchup, and if Daniel Jones continues his success, he could have solid touchdown equity as well.
Albert Wilson, WR, Miami Dolphins ($4,600)
It is still Albert Wilson SZN. The Miami Dolphins receiver saw four targets on six snaps in Week 1 before leaving early with a calf injury. He now expects to play fully this Sunday, meaning if we extrapolate his targets per snap, he should see roughly 40 targets in Week 4.
Our projections are slightly less bullish, pegging him for five targets against the Chargers. The Dolphins have gotten next to nothing out of their receivers this season, so Josh Rosen could easily lock onto Wilson while playing from behind. Consider him a low-owned tournament flier.
Jonathan Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice Jonathan Taylor Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jtsmittyyy. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.