3 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 comes with the territory of doing a piece like this one -- unless I'm going to tell you to avoid playing dudes who aren't on anyone's radar. I'm not going to do that. I want this piece to be useful.
Here are some players I'm avoiding this week.
Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
FanDuel Salary: $9,200
Last week, I mentioned that I had a streak going of two guys in this piece doing very little (yay) while one dude goes berserk (boo). And then I wrote up Lamar Jackson as a fade and kept that pattern going as he nuked the Week 3 main slate. Let's get that first three-for-three week here in Week 4.
Admittedly, this is the one I'm most worried could blow up in my face. Nick Chubb has multi-touchdown upside in a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, a game that has a 47.5-point total and 1.5-point spread, giving it shootout potential.
But Chubb is a running back who doesn't do much in the passing game, totaling only four grabs through three weeks. That always makes me hesitant to use him in DFS as it dings his upside, and while this probably won't happen this week, if the Cleveland Browns get into a big hole, Chubb will likely spend a lot of time on the sideline watching Kareem Hunt hog passing snaps.
On top of that, Atlanta's rushing D has been good so far, limiting running backs to the sixth-fewest FanDuel points per game (14.2).
The rushing volume should be there for Chubb. He has 17, 22 and 23 carries so far in three games. As I said, he's fully capable of getting multiple tuddies. But without passing volume, he likely needs at least one score to have a good day and maybe two to really go off.
In his previous five games in which he didn't score a touchdown, Chubb has scored more than 8.0 FanDuel points only once (14.8 in Week 1 this year), and unless his rushing yardage total pushes toward 150-plus, he'll likely need two touchdowns to break 20 FanDuel points.
Plus, Chubb is the highest-salaried back on the slate, and right below him are Christian McCaffrey ($8,800) and Jonathan Taylor ($8,700), two backs who have more paths to a slate-breaking game thanks to their usage as receivers, though CMC seems legitimately iffy as of Friday morning.
We project Chubb for 15.8 FanDuel points. That's the fifth-most at the position, but among the six highest-salaried backs, Chubb rates out as the worst point-per-dollar play.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers
FanDuel Salary: $8,400
I am squeamish about rostering Austin Ekeler despite a cozy-looking matchup.
The positives with Ekeler this week are obvious. He's playing the Houston Texans in a game in which the Los Angeles Chargers are 5.5-point favorites. It should lead to good rushing volume for the Bolts, and Houston has allowed the second-most FanDuel points per game to running backs (27.3), getting smashed by Khalil Herbert a week ago.
I'm just not sure how much of that rushing volume Ekeler will see. His snap rate has been just meh in 2022 as he's played between 50% and 64% of the snaps each week. He's also logged just 32 total carries this campaign. Sony Michel and Joshua Kelley have teamed up for a combined 25 carries.
Ekeler makes his hay in the passing game, as you know, and if the Chargers are out front, the passing volume might not be that robust. In LA's one win this season, he got just four targets. He saw 8 and 10 looks in their two losses.
In addition to all of that, I have some hesitancy with the Chargers' offense altogether at the moment. In Week 3, Justin Herbert appeared to be hampered by his rib injury, and their offense was hot trash in what seemed like a soft matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Maybe another week will help Herbert heal, and the possible return of Keenan Allen could be the spark this offense needs. Heck, I suppose you could make a case for right now being the best time to buy into the Chargers' offense as the masses will likely want to see it first before stacking the Chargers.
We have Ekeler scoring 14.9 FanDuel points and rank him as the RB9. Among our top 17 running backs on the slate, Ekeler is the second-worst point-per-dollar play.
Christian Kirk, WR, Jaguars
FanDuel Salary: $7,600
Christian Kirk has been really good this year for the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that is one of the NFL's early-season surprises. Week 4 looks like a tough spot, though -- for both Kirk and the Jags.
Jacksonville is on the road at the Philadelphia Eagles, another team off to a hot start. We've seen the Eagles' defense wreak havoc this season. They wrecked Carson Wentz and company a week ago, and they dominated the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2, with the Philly secondary holding Justin Jefferson to six catches for 48 yards.
Kirk's usage isn't that great. He paces Jacksonville with a 23% target share, but Marvin Jones (17% share) and Zay Jones (20%) are seeing steady volume, too -- although Zay is an injury question mark this week.
Kirk has made exactly six catches in each game, and while he's gone for at least 70 yards in all three outings, his fantasy production has been boosted by touchdowns. He's got three tuds so far. Considering he's never had more than six in a season, Kirk isn't likely to keep scoring at this pace.
His touchdowns might come to a halt this week as the Jags have been handed a meager 19.5-point implied total.
We project Kirk for 10.8 FanDuel points. He's the sixth-highest salaried wideout on the slate, but our model ranks him as the WR15.