NFL

4 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 4

As you're filling out your DFS lineups, it's always tempting to simply target the biggest superstars. However, player salaries don't always align with their expected production in a given matchup.

In this preview, I'll highlight a few players who might ordinarily be on your radar but are probably best to avoid this week. These aren't going to be players you absolutely must avoid due to injuries or playing-time demotions but rather players who are in a bad spot due to a matchup or a salary that has risen too high to justify rostering.

Let's take a look at five players who may not live up to expectations in Week 4. All references to betting totals and spreads are from the FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats are from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.

Update: The Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots game has been postponed and is expected to be played on Monday or Tuesday. Cam Newton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play this week.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans

DraftKings Salary: $6,600

FanDuel Salary: $7,800

The Minnesota Vikings have allowed at least 28 points each week this season, so there's a chance drafting Deshaun Watson will pay off. However, Bill O'Brien loves to run the ball when his team holds a lead, so this is probably a good opportunity to roster David Johnson and avoid Watson. Since the start of 2019, Houston runs the ball while holding a second-half lead 55 percent of the time.

Watson's salary is the eighth highest among quarterbacks on both platforms, so if you're inclined to spend up on the quarterback position, it makes more sense to target players likely to find themselves in a more favorable game script such as Cam Newton going up against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens

DraftKings Salary: $6,300

FanDuel Salary: $6,300

Against a shaky Washington Football Team defense, it might be tempting to put together a Baltimore Ravens stack including Marquise Brown, but this game might not be competitive enough for that strategy to pay off. Even if you do throw together a Ravens stack, Brown is probably a player to avoid based on his usage this season.

Brown has seen exactly six targets in each game this year -- even last week, when the Ravens were playing from behind against the Chiefs. So it doesn't appear as though the Ravens view him as a player they need to force the ball to, regardless of the situation. So given the high probability Baltimore spends the second half running out the clock, it's probably safest to avoid Brown and his fairly expensive salary.

Andy Isabella, WR, Cardinals

DraftKings Salary: $4,500

FanDuel Salary: $5,000

Andy Isabella was a popular sleeper pick last week due to the absence of Christian Kirk, and he cashed in with two touchdowns. His usage rate, however, wasn't great -- Isabella saw just four targets and was on the field for 40 percent of the Arizona Cardinals offensive snaps.

Kirk will potentially return this week, but if he suffers a setback, Isabella will likely attract attention from fantasy players. However, his cap hit jumped significantly after last week's production, so he doesn't hold the same value. Given the disappointing usage rate and the increased salary, Isabella is unlikely to meet elevated expectations against the Carolina Panthers.

Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams

DraftKings Salary: $5,700

FanDuel Salary: $6,000

There was lots of Tyler Higbee hype entering the season as the Los Angeles Rams were expected to use more 12 personnel (two tight ends). Unfortunately, Jared Goff has only dropped back to pass 16 times with two tight ends on the field, according to Sports Info Solutions. The lack of 12-personnel formations has probably contributed to Higbee seeing a lower snap count each week -- he was on the field for just 70 percent of the Rams offensive snaps in Week 3.

Higbee's three-touchdown explosion in Week 2 also contributed to misleading fantasy players about his value. He's only seen 11 targets on the year, so the usage doesn't match up with the ceiling he showed in that particular game. As the tight end with the third-highest cap hit on DraftKings and fifth-highest on FanDuel, he just isn't seeing enough action to justify inserting him into a lineup right now.


Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. 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.