DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 4
Not only does numberFire offer multiple DFS articles (like this one) each and every week, we've also got the tools you need to build lineups and sort through projections that are specific to the scoring system used by DraftKings. And there is perhaps no better way to quickly see the big picture of how the slate is shaping up than by viewing the Matchup Heat Map. In addition to all the written content and awesome tools, numberFire also has podcasts that will preview all the upcoming action.
In Week 4, roster construction for cash games on DraftKings looks very straightforward: play two or three of the value wide receivers in order to pay up for Alvin Kamara, another high-end running back, and Drew Brees -- the top player on the entire main slate. Those looking to hit it big in tournaments will look to jam in studs by paying down for a rookie quarterback that's about to set the league on fire. But enough hype -- let's start the show.
Drew Brees ($6,600): Even though the popular move in cash games is to pay down at quarterback, this is a week to pay up for Drew Brrees. That's because the price tag on Brees should be well into the $7,000 range. Not only is Brees projected to be the highest-scoring player on the main slate, he's also easily the top value. Vintage Brees is in full effect now that the formidable Saints defense we saw just a year ago has completely eroded. In fact, New Orleans has allowed the most points in the league thus far and are dead last in pass defense, according to numberFire's schedule adjusted metrics. The opposing New York Giants sit middle-of-the-pack in pass defense, which is more than enough to be excited about playing Brees as a road favorite in a game with an under/under of 50.0 points, according to our handy Matchup Heat Map. In a week that's loaded with value at wide receiver, Brees can easily be paired with Alvin Kamara (or Michael Thomas) in all formats, providing both a high floor and nearly unlimited ceiling.
Andy Dalton ($5,400): If Brees was not such an incredible value, Andy Dalton would be an easy play in cash games. Based on our projections, Dalton is the fifth-best value on the main slate. Thankfully, it appears that A.J. Green is fine, after practicing in full on Thursday. Green missed the second half of last week's game with a pelvic injury that was first described as a groin issue. Not only is Green set to go, but Giovani Bernard, Tyler Boyd and Tyler Eifert are all playing well as they travel to face the Atlanta Falcons in the highest over/under on the main slate. Atlanta's injury-ravaged pass defense now ranks bottom 10 by our metrics after allowing six passing touchdowns over the last two games. Dalton slides perfectly into any tournament lineup as a solo budget quarterback or stacked with any of his pass catchers.
Baker Mayfield ($5,300): The other cheap quarterback to build around in GPPs is Baker Mayfield. Despite never seeing a first-team rep during the preseason or training camp, the number-one pick in the 2018 NFL Draft was fully prepared to guide Cleveland to their first victory in 635 days. Mayfield came off the bench for 201 passing yards on a crisp 17 of 23 with several big drops by his receivers along the way. Despite doubters in most scouting circles as well as sports talk radio, Mayfield was indeed a top-five pick as he promised all along. In the end, the league and the metrics agree: Mayfield is a generational quarterback prospect. So yeah, his first career start is kind of a big deal. Despite being a slight road underdog, there's very little to fear in the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing the second-most yards per pass completion in the league and can not rush the passer.
Saquon Barkley ($8,100): There's really no reason to spend time talking about Kamara, who you just can not get away from in cash games this week. However, a strong alternative in tournaments is Saquon Barkley, who has exceeded 22.5 DraftKings points in all three games. The Saints have been stingy against running backs thus far but saw 5 of 7 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown completed against them last week by the Falcons' backfield. As for Barkley, he only trails the aforementioned Kamara for the most targets among running backs. On the ground, New Orleans has limited the opposition to a league-best 3.0 yards per carry. However, in what looks to be a high-scoring affair, we want Barkley to remain extremely active in the passing game as the DraftKings scoring format really rewards pass-catching running backs.
Giovani Bernard ($6,300): A very slight price increase will not keep DFS players from locking Giovani Bernard in their cash game lineups. Joe Mixon looks extremely unlikely to play following arthroscopic knee surgery, which should cost him another game or two. That means Bernard is penciled in as the unquestioned feature back for a second straight week. And not only has Bernard seen 16 targets and 9 receptions over the last 2 weeks, but the Falcons -- as surely everyone knows by now -- play a style of defense that allows running backs to pile up receptions. They've led the league in running back targets for multiple years and have already seen 47 targets -- 12 more than second place -- in only 3 games. Even though the receptions are extremely enticing, Atlanta is allowing a whopping 5.2 yards per carry. Clearly, Bernard has multiple ways to be successful and will be extremely popular in all formats.
Carlos Hyde ($5,500): Lost in all the excitement for Mayfield's first career start is the incredible value that Carlos Hyde has in a road matchup against Oakland. If you believe that the Browns are being incorrectly marketed as a slight road underdogs, Hyde enters cash game consideration. Our metrics have the Raiders' defense as third-worst in rush defense and eighth-worst against the pass. On the other side, Cleveland ranks top-six in both departments. So why is Oakland being favored? Despite being in a 60/40 split with Duke Johnson in terms of snap percentage, Hyde's 61 carries are second-most in the league. On PlayerProfiler, Hyde is fourth in dominator rating, 8th in evaded tackles, 10th in weighted opportunities, and has a league-high 6 carries near the goal line.
Sterling Shepard ($4,900): The multi-week knee injury suffered by tight end Evan Engram is a short-term boon to Shepard's outlook over the next week weeks. Additionally, he's coming off his best game of the season: 7 targets, 6 receptions, 80 yards, and a touchdown on the road against the Houston Texans. Shepard heads home to face a Saints pass defense that had already been playing poorly prior to losing slot corner Patrick Robinson on IR with broken ankle. According to the game charting done by PlayerProfiler, Shepard has played nearly 61 percent of his snaps in the slot. Playing in what projects to be one of the highest-scoring affairs of the week, Shepard figures to be a DFS staple is all formats given his extremely affordable price tag.
Tyler Boyd ($4,600): Much like Shepard, Boyd is another sub-$5K play at wide receiver that is going to see a lot of ownership. Over the last two weeks, he's compiled 16 targets, 12 receptions, 223 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Even if A.J. Green (pelvis) is not limited by his injury, Boyd is still a strong play on the road against an Atlanta Falcons defense that has been overwhelmed by injury. After a relevantly quiet start to his career, the 2016 second-rounder is clearly finding his groove. While his workout metrics from the NFL Scouting Combine were not great, Boyd was a big time college producer at a very young age. While playing three years at Pittsburgh, Boyd registered a 92nd percentile breakout age and an 86th percentile dominator rating, according to PlayerProfiler. All that to say he has serious upside.
Quincy Enunwa ($4,300): Given the incredible value at wide receiver this week, it makes a lot of sense to pack in players from this $4K price range in order to play Brees, Kamara, and at least one more expensive running back to ensure our cash-game lineup has an extremely stable floor but also some upside. In addition to the players already mentioned, Calvin Ridley -- fresh off a hat trick -- will garner a lot of attention as well at only $4,900. However, he's still playing behind Mohamed Sanu in terms of snap percentage and could draw the coverage of an impressive young cornerback in William Jackson III. As for Enunwa, he'll face the formidable Jacksonville Jaguars but will save you several hundred dollars in salary. And since he plays mostly in the slot, Enunwa will avoid Jalen Ramsey. Our projections also really like the matchup-based discount on Enunwa and rate him as the second-best wide receiver value on the main slate.
Zach Ertz ($6,200): A great way to make a contrarian tournament lineup is to pay up at tight end. Rob Gronkowski makes a lot of sense with the New England Patriots strong history of crushing the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough. However, Zach Ertz will cost $800 less and will surely be very low-owned on the road against the Tennessee Titans, who are currently first in limiting points to opposing tight end. Yet it's important to note that the Titans -- who were middle of the pack against the position last year -- have yet to face a tight end of consequence having drawn the Dolphins, Texans and Jaguars to date. In his return following knee surgery, Carson Wentz not only supplied Ertz with double-digit targets for the third straight game, but he also connected with rookie backup tight end Dallas Goedert seven times. The return of slot receiver Jordan Matthews has resulted in Nelson Agholor playing more on the outside, where he's been far less effective over his career. The interior of the field could be dominated by the Philadelphia tight ends going forward, with Ertz leading the way.
David Njoku ($3,200): If you are looking for a value tight end that has plenty of upside, David Njoku is your man in cash games this week. Not only is Mayfield now playing quarterback, but the Raiders have been unable to put much pressure on the quarterback since coach Jon Gruden alienated star Khalil Mack to point in which he had to be traded. However, last year's Raiders had Mack but no answers for stopping tight ends while allowing a league-high 1,089 receiving yards to the position. Going back to college, Mayfield was Brees-esque spreading the ball to all his available targets, including fullbacks and tight ends. In fact, last year's number-two target and touchdown receptions leader at Oklahoma was tight end Mark Andrews, who is in the league but nowhere near as physically gifted as Njoku.
Chicago D/ST ($2,600): In addition to a league-high 14 sacks -- 3 more than the nearest team -- the Chicago Bears' defense has recorded 5 interceptions and is the only unit to have already scored twice. Their seven forced fumbles is also tops in the NFL. Tampa Bay has only allowed five sacks thus far, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is coming off a game in which he was intercepted three times and is on an extremely short leash now that Jameis Winston has served his three-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. Chicago's defense has yet to allow more than 17 points to be scored against them and is a great value in all formats if they continue to play at this same level.
Indianapolis D/ST ($2,200): At only $200 above the salary floor, the Indianapolis Colts are an excellent alternative if you can't find the $400 to play the Bears. Deshaun Watson has thrown one interception and has been sacked at least three times in each game thus far. In addition to the second-longest average time to throw, per NFL Next Gen Stats, Watson's porous offensive line has exposed him to 33 hits -- easily the most in the league. Not only is the rapidly improving Indy defense playing at home, but they are the best value on the main slate, by our projections.