4 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 4
We have a lot of pieces on numberFire geared toward helping you figure out which players you should roster in your DFS contests on FanDuel, but an important aspect of the DFS process is figuring out who you shouldn't play.
Narrowing down your list of potential plays by avoiding those who are destined to underwhelm can go a long way toward helping you create winning lineups.
Zigging when the masses zag is part of giving yourself an edge in DFS, so you'll sometimes be able to make a case for using a player in this piece in an effort to be contrarian -- especially if said player is really good. Inevitably, some of the players I feature in this article will blow up and pop for a big game, but that just comes with the territory of doing a piece like this one -- unless I'm just going to tell you to avoid playing dudes like Jared Goff. I'm not going to do that. I want this piece to be useful.
Here are four players I'm avoiding this week.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
There are a few top-shelf quarterbacks in tough matchups, including Lamar Jackson ($8,000) at the Denver Broncos, Kyler Murray ($8,200) at the Los Angeles Rams, and Dak Prescott ($7,700) against the Carolina Panthers.
Of that bunch, Jackson is the one I have the toughest time getting jazzed up for. Jackson is 100% capable of making me look very stupid -- he can rip off a long scoring run against anyone -- but this matchup at Denver doesn't lend itself to fantasy goodness.
Denver is giving up just 11.6 FanDuel points per game to signal-callers, the fewest in the league, and while they've faced an easy schedule of Daniel Jones, Trevor Lawrence, and Zach Wilson -- OK, an incredibly easy schedule -- there's no denying how dominant this defense has looked. This D ranks third overall and first against the pass, per our schedule-adjusted metrics.
There's no one like Lamar, but Denver has faced three fairly mobile quarterbacks and kept them to a combined 50 rushing yards, including holding Jones to a season-low 27 rushing yards.
Jackson's running ability gives him slate-breaking upside every time out, so you can always make a case for using him in GPPs when he won't be popular. But with guys like Josh Allen ($8,500), Patrick Mahomes ($8,700), and Jalen Hurts ($7,900) in much friendlier spots, I won't have much Jackson.
We project Lamar for 21.2 FanDuel points and rate him as the co-worst point-per-dollar play among the seven highest-salaried quarterbacks.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys
FanDuel Salary: $7,000
Ezekiel Elliott is coming off a two-touchdown, 23.1-point outburst in an island game, which could drive up his popularity this week. However, his matchup is a rough one.
The Panthers have surrendered a hard-to-believe 6.2 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season, and while you can quibble a bit with their schedule, they did lock up Alvin Kamara in Week 2. And they're playing at the sixth-slowest pace. When you couple that with the Dallas Cowboys' middling 14th-ranked pace, it's not the ideal combination.
Plus, Zeke is still losing a decent amount of snaps to Tony Pollard, with Pollard logging a higher snap rate in each successive game, peaking at 38% in Week 3 -- although the lopsided score against the Philadelphia Eagles was likely a factor in it being so high.
With this Panthers-Cowboys game featuring a 50.5-point total and a fairly close 4.5-point spread, it should draw a good amount of attention. But I prefer to get my exposure to it through the passing games or value back Chuba Hubbard ($6,300).
Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
FanDuel Salary: $6,700
The Saints are allowing only 12.9 FanDuel points per game to running backs, the sixth-fewest, and two of their three games have come against Aaron Jones and Christian McCaffrey. Our numbers rank New Orleans eighth-best against the run.
In addition to the matchup, Barkley still isn't having success on the ground, gaining a putrid 3.4 yards per attempt.
His passing-game work and snaps are on the rise, including seven targets in Week 3 along with an 86% snap share -- both of which were season-best clips -- so Barkley is capable of voluming his way to a fine enough output. And we know he can rip off a huge gain on any touch. But without a long score, it's hard to see him having a truly big day
The New York Giants hold an ugly 17.25-point implied total, the second-lowest, and with other enticing options in his salary range -- like Hubbard, Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,700) and Jonathan Taylor ($6,600) -- Barkley is an easy fade for me.
Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
Thielen, however, is being propped up by touchdowns. He's got 4 touchdowns on 21 grabs, which is papering over some cracks.
He's produced just 60.1 yards per game and is seeing 22.6% of the targets -- just the 30th-best target share among wideouts. His current role limits his air yards, too, with his air yards share of 24.4% checking in 52nd at the position.
He'll have a tough one-on-one battle this week with Cleveland Browns corner Greedy Williams. Williams is expected to start for the first time this year due to Greg Newsome II being out and has rated out really well in his limited snaps so far, per PlayerProfiler. The Browns' D as a whole has held receivers to the sixth-fewest FanDuel points per game (23.3).
Our projections have Thielen as the worst point-per-dollar play among the 18 highest-salaried (and healthy) wideouts, forecasting him for 12.3 FanDuel points.