NFL

FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 4 Sunday Night (Buccaneers at Patriots)

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the New England Patriots are 7.0-point road favorites in a game with a 49.5-point total. That makes the implied score 28.25-21.25 in favor of the Pats.

For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests, and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy. It's worth checking out before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

Tom Brady, Bucs ($16,000)

Tom Brady is the obvious MVP play, and I'm sure he'll be extremely chalky.

Playing for the most pass-heavy offense (75.4% pass rate) in the league, Brady has attempted 50, 36 and 55 passes through three games. The 36-attempt game was versus the Atlanta Falcons. That was the only contest this year in which the Bucs jumped out to a sizable lead, and a similar game script could play out Sunday with Tampa a touchdown favorite.

In that Atlanta game, Brady still posted 29.64 FanDuel points via 5 tuds. He's scored between 28.68 and 29.64 FanDuel points in all three games.

The Pats are the sixth-best pass defense, per our metrics, and that's the lone negative with Brady's outlook. That's not going to scare away many people, though, and it shouldn't.

The Bucs are implied for 28.25 points, and Brady should have a big game. Our model projects him for 20.9 FanDuel points, 3.8 more than anyone else.

Mac Jones, Patriots ($14,500)

Mac Jones has some stark win/loss splits through three weeks.

He threw 22 passes in New England's lone win and 29 and 30 in their two losses. He had 14.60 and 15.24 FanDuel points in the losses and 7.40 points in the win.

We're dealing with small sample sizes, but the Pats are operating like a team that wants to win by leaning on defense and the running game. They probably won't be able to do that in this one, which should give the rookie passer solid volume.

The Bucs' D has been beatable through the air this year and is surrendering the third-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks (25.7). You can make a decent case for Jones, and whenever a quarterback isn't going to be popular at MVP, it's not a bad idea to take a shot on him in the multiplier slot.

We have Jones projected for 17.1 FanDuel points, the second-most on the slate.

Chris Godwin ($14,000) and Mike Evans ($14,000), Bucs

If you don't use Jones in your lineups, you'll have a lot of freedom salary-wise and can easily pair Brady with one or two of his pass-catchers. Using one or both of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans makes a lot of sense.

Godwin paces the team in target share (19%) and has a 17% air yards share. He's scored at least 14.2 FanDuel points each week and has led the Bucs' wideouts in snaps in all three games. He's a rock-solid play who we project for 13.9 FanDuel points, the most among non-quarterbacks.

Evans is more volatile. His 17% target share is a tick below Godwin's, but Evans' 29% air yards share gives him a better ceiling. Since a 3.9-point dud in Week 1, Evans has rebounded with 22.0 and 14.6 FanDuel points in his past two games.

We project Evans for 12.5 points and rank him and Godwin as nearly equal point-per-dollar options. I lean Evans due to the big-play upside.

Flex Priorities

Jakobi Meyers, Patriots ($11,500)

Jakobi Meyers is much more appealing in matchups like this one, where the Patriots are expected to see a negative game script.

He garnered 14 and 9 targets in the Pats' two losses, compared to just 6 in their win. His fantasy totals are capped by the lack of a touchdown, but the usage within the offense is pretty legit.

Meyers has played 99%, 90% and 96% of the snaps through three games. He's racked up a 29% air yards share and 23% target share -- both of which lead the team. And now the Pats will be without James White, who had a 12% target share.

Our algorithm has Meyers producing 11.4 FanDuel points, and he's a good bring-back piece if you're building for a Bucs win.

Antonio Brown, Bucs ($10,000)

Antonio Brown is expected to return this week.

He exploded for 21.2 FanDuel points on opening night but followed it up with a dud (2.2 points) in Week 2. He's kinda perfect for single-game slates. While his 11% target share -- counting only the two games he played -- is a blah number, his 26% air yards share gives him enticing upside.

At a modest salary, Brown is easy to like, and we project him for 10.9 FanDuel points, rating him as a slightly better point-per-dollar pick than Godwin and Evans.

Using AB alongside Brady and one of Evans/Godwin might wind up being the best lineup construction as it leaves you $20,000 for your other two spots.

Leonard Fournette, Bucs ($9,000)

Our projections are into Leonard Fournette, forecasting him for 11.8 FanDuel points and ranking him as the co-top point-per-dollar play on the slate (tied with Brady). With how pass-heavy the Bucs have been in 2021, Fournette might fly under the radar a bit, too.

Fournette has out-snapped Ronald Jones ($8,500) in every game, and while Giovani Bernard (45%) led the backfield in snap rate in a negative game script last week, Bernard is out for this one. Plus, Tampa Bay is unlikely to have to completely abandon the run against the Pats.

Lenny has accounted for two of the Bucs' three running-back carries from inside the 10 while neither he nor Jones has registered a carry inside the five (Godwin and Brady have one apiece). Fournette is bound to stumble into a few goal-line carries eventually, and his 10% target share is a serviceable number.

Value/Differentiators

Nelson Agholor, Patriots ($10,000)

Nelson Agholor has consistently run as the Pats' number-two wideout, logging a snap rate of at least 81% in every game. He's got a 16% target share and 27% air yards share, so he's far from a total shot in the dark. His two red-zone targets are tied for the team lead. We have him scoring 8.3 FanDuel points.

Jonnu Smith ($7,500) and Hunter Henry ($8,000), Patriots

These two are decent dart throws in an otherwise bleak value range, and both could be in store for respectable volume if the Pats are in catch-up mode.

Jonnu Smith's 13% target share bests Hunter Henry's 10% clip, while Henry's 10% air yards share edges Smith's 7% mark. Henry has bested Smith in snaps in every game, but our model gives Smith the better projection -- 7.2 to 6.5.