FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 4 Monday Night (Rams at 49ers)
The Los Angeles Rams visit the San Francisco 49ers for Week 4's final matchup, with the hometown 49ers favored by just 1.5 points. The over/under is set at 42.5, so this is expected to be a fairly low-scoring contest.
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, and we have projections for the single-game slate if you select the game from the slate tab. It's worth checking out both of those things before you make your lineups.
The MVP conversation has to begin with Cooper Kupp ($17,500), who has opened the season with FanDuel scores of 25.3, 26.3, and 14.4 points. Entering Week 4, he leads all wideouts in target share (34.7%) and is third in air yards share (45.2%). He's already accounted for three receiving touchdowns and one rushing score.
Kupp's the top player in numberFire's projections, and the only downside is that he will surely be a popular MVP play.
Being attached to a stud wideout has its perks, as quarterback Matthew Stafford ($15,500) projects for the second-most points. It's been a rocky start for Stafford, though, tossing five interceptions to four touchdowns thus far. He's averaged just 0.04 Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back, which ranks 18th among starting quarterbacks.
Against a team that is second in adjusted pass defense, per numberFire's metrics, and has allowed the second-fewest FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks, Stafford will have his work cut out for him to emerge with a slate-high score. Quarterbacks tend to be chalky MVPs, too, so the Rams' signal-caller might be better served as a flex option in single-entry lineups.
On the 49ers' side, it's Deebo Samuel ($14,000), Jimmy Garoppolo ($15,000), and Jeff Wilson Jr. ($12,500) who round out the top five in numberFire's model, and then there's a sizable gap after that. Kupp, Stafford, Samuel, Garoppolo, and Wilson are the only players projected for double-digit points.
While Samuel has been more of a floor play to this point, scoring 11.6, 12.2, and 10.4 FanDuel points, he's arguably the most likely San Fran player to pop.
His usage has remained consistent regardless of who is under center, averaging 5.7 rushes per game while still showing an excellent 26.6% target share and 89.8% route rate. A 12.5% air yards share limits his upside as a receiver, but his workload as a whole gives him multiple avenues to points.
Playing on a team that ranks second-to-last in pass rate over expectation, Garoppolo is a fringe MVP option at best. However, he can theoretically get there if San Francisco is forced to pass more than planned. He cracked 20 FanDuel points three times last season.
Injuries have left Wilson as the clear leader of this 49ers backfield. He logged 18 adjusted opportunities (carries plus 2x targets) in Week 3 with a 73.1% snap rate, 54.5% route rate, and 10.3% target share.
The downside is a tough matchup against a team that's eighth in adjusted rush defense and has given up the fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs. Despite this, if San Francisco has a positive game script as home favorites, it's Wilson who will be the main beneficiary in a run-heavy attack.
Higbee ranks second on the team in target share (23.8%), and he's logging a robust 94.9% snap rate and 81.1% route rate. He's about as safe a flex play as you could hope for.
Robinson's 11.9% target share is disappointing, but a 93.1% snap rate and 94.6% route rate leave some room for optimism. At the very least, his modest salary gives him some value, and he's seen the same number of red zone targets as Kupp has.
Number-three wideout Skowronek doesn't have a high projection, but his usage actually aligns pretty closely with Robinson's. He comes in with a 12.9% target share, 86.3% snap rate, and 83.8% route rate, and his salary opens up a ton of room for the night's more prominent players.
L.A. running backs Cam Akers ($10,000) and Darrell Henderson ($11,000) have split the snaps pretty evenly over the last two weeks, but Akers has seen the brunt of looks, averaging 16.5 adjusted opportunities to Henderson's 8.0 during this stretch. This isn't a particularly easy matchup against a top-six adjusted rush defense that's ceded the fifth-fewest FanDuel points per game to opposing backfields.
It's tough to trust either back, but that could lead to lower roster rates tonight, which is something to consider in large-field tournaments.
Over the past two weeks, Aiyuk has enjoyed a 30.3% target share and 45.6% air yards share, and he'll be the clear winner if Garoppolo is forced to air it out. Given his role, he looks like an excellent value at this salary.
Kittle recorded a 92.3% snap rate and 81.8% route rate in his first game back, but it amounted to only a 17.2% target share, and there are concerns that he'll be used as a blocker more often with left tackle Trent Williams out. Still, we've witnessed his ceiling plenty of times before, and this could be an ideal spot to buy low.
Jennings hasn't shown a ton in the box score, but he's worth a look as a dart throw. He's logged a 13.9% target share, 51.3% snap rate, and 56.8% route rate this season.
Lastly, if you don't see a ton of points being scored, the defenses and kickers could become big factors tonight, and all four have salaries under $10,000.
The San Francisco D/ST ($9,500) leads the league in pressure rate, and we've seen Stafford throw multiple picks in two of three games thus far. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams D/ST ($9,500) could take advantage of Trent Williams' absence, particularly in a scenario where Garappolo and friends have to play from behind.