DraftKings NFL Week 4 Picks
As the NFL embarks on Week 4 of the season, it is now time for some bye weeks. This week, it is the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins whom will be taking the week off. So while some top daily fantasy targets like Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey are sitting at home, there are still plenty of solid options for you to build a successful DraftKings lineup. Several of those players are listed and I feel are worthwhile candidates to deliver a fantastic return on your investment.
Before anything, don’t forget to read how DraftKings does their scoring.
Too many amateur daily fantasy players see that they have $50,000 budget to fill a roster and like a puzzle, they try to spend as close to that number as possible. That, unfortunately, is not the best way to go about putting your lineup together. Selecting players is like making a big purchase in your personal life. It isn’t always about buying the most expensive item and it also isn’t about spending as little as humanly possible. When spending money it is really about getting the most out of your investment and seeing how far your dollar will take you. That is precisely how you should view your DraftKings lineup.
What is 3x?
Gridiron 3X is an NFL Daily Fantasy strategy where the goal is to build a lineup that scores 150 points or more. The reason why that number is so important is that 150 points is usually the required score to reach the winning side of a tournament. Once you can begin to see players in fantasy point production rather than DraftKings dollars, you can gain a better sense of the required fantasy output the player needs to archive in order for you to reach your 3X goal and win.
Using an example from last season, Alex Smith, the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs at the time, had a Drafts cost of $5,400. Using the Gridiron 3X method, Alex Smith needed to score 16.2 fantasy points (5.4 x 3=16.2) in order to reach his 3X goal. The best tip I can offer you when using this strategy is to see the dollar amount in decimals. If you remember, Alex Smith threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns against the New England Patriots. That hair-raising start would leave Smith with 34.02 points scored and therefore delivering you a fantastic return on your investment.
So now we have the DraftKings scoring, and we have the Gridiron 3X philosophy explained. With details now out of the way, here are some names that can deliver you a great return on your investment in week 4.
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Andy Dalton ($5,400)
I’m just going to put this out there now, I see dollar signs in this weekend’s Bengals and Falcons matchup. On the Bengals’ side of things, it is Andy Dalton who has scored more than 20 points in two of his three games this season. This will be a reoccurring statement in this article but the Falcons are dealing with several injuries on the defensive side of the ball and that makes some of the Bengals on Sunday well worth their price tags. In regards to the quarterback position, the Falcons have allowed 30 points or more to the position in each of the last two weeks. Granted those were against division foes who may have a better grasp of the Falcons defense, I still like Dalton and Bengals to take full advantage of the Falcons shortcomings. Until they find their way defensively, the Falcons should continue to be in high scoring affairs and with 33% of Dalton’s passing yards this season coming in the first quarter, don’t be surprised if Dalton forces the defense’s hand early. In week 4, I’m banking on it, literally.
Matt Ryan ($6,100)
After his week 1 performance, Falcons quarterback, Matt Ryan was heavily criticized. After the last two weeks though, week 1 seems like a distant memory as Ryan has been on a roll. In weeks 2 and 3, the former NFL MVP has thrown for 646 yards and seven touchdowns. Those performances have resulted in more than 30 points in consecutive weeks and have helped catapult Ryan to being a top 5 quarterback in DK this season. All of that sounds even more enticing when noticing that he’s the seventh most expensive quarterback and a solid week 4 matchup. After three weeks, the Bengals are allowing the sixth most points to the quarterback position. Between Ryan’s strong play and the likelihood that the Bengals will be able to put points on the board, Ryan will continue to be a tantalizing option in daily fantasy. If you can afford his price tag, I love the potential.
Giovani Bernard ($6,300)
As of Wednesday, Bengals running back Joe Mixon was still sidelined at practice. So while the second year back is close to returning, this selection is predicated on the likelihood that Mixon needs a little more time before returning. With Mixon’s absence last week, Giovani Bernard put together a solid outing through the air and on the ground as he finished the week as the eighth best back in DraftKings scoring. As previously mentioned, the Bengals will head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. This a Falcons defense has been dealing with several key injuries and their performances has reflected that. Currently, the Falcons are allowing the third most points to the running back position and will likely be playing on their heels in a matchup that Vegas has slated with an O/U of 51 points. Given Bernard’s style of play, another nice number to look at in regards to the Falcons is the league high 36 receptions that they are allowing to running backs. This is one of the matchups where it is more than reasonable to stack some players and I’m recommending you do that with some of these Bengals players.
Chris Carson ($4,600)
While it’s hard to envision another game with 32 carries, Seahawks running back, Chris Carson could be in line for another solid week. This week, the Seattle Seahawks will head to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. With rookie Josh Rosen getting his first NFL start with the Cardinals, the Seahawks could very well be in a position to dictate the clock and the flow of the game. If things pans out that way, it bodes well for Carson who logged just over 70% of his teams carries in week 3. That performance last week against the Dallas Cowboys would have Carson finishing as the sixth best at his position. In regards to the Cardinals defense, a lot of their numbers against the position are due to getting thrashed in week 2 by Todd Gurley. That being said, the Cardinals are tied for allowing the most touchdowns in the league to the position. On top of that, they have also allowed the second most rushing yards to oppose backs. Eventually, Rashaad Penny will eat a little more in Carson’s workload but for the time being, in this matchup, look for this Seahawks back to used heavily.
Sterling Shepard ($4,900)
In week 3 against the Texans, Sterling Shepard had his most productive game of this 2018 season. The second-year pass catcher came down with six of his seven targets for 80 yards and a touchdown. Shepard should be prepared another solid workload in week 4 as Giants tight end, Evan Engram is expected to miss a handful of weeks with an MCL sprain. The opportunity isn’t the only reason to buy into Shepard this week as the Giants are preparing to take on a Saints team that is tops in the league in points allowed to the wide receiver position. Vegas has optimism in this game being a high scoring affair as it is currently set with an O/U of 50 points and I’m buying in. You can expect the Giants pass catcher to be given seven to 10 targets on his way to an outing that will well exceed his $4,900 price tag. The Saints are on the threshold of allowing 10 touchdowns to the wide receiver position and I’m anticipating this matchup between the Saints and the Giants to be more like their 2015 encounter and less like their game in 2016.
Mike Williams ($4,500)
Following a rookie campaign that failed to meet draft day expectations, Mike Williams has delivered in the early part of 2018. With three touchdowns in the last two weeks, Williams and the Chargers will now turn their attention to a despondent 49ers team that is allowing the tenth most points to the position. To me though, this has just as much to do with how the 49ers have done against the tight end position. While Virgil Green and Antonio Gates have yet to score a touchdown, it’s Mike Williams who looks as if he’s taken the role of tight end and has absorbed some of Hunter Henry’s expected targets. If you agree with that take, it may be worth noting that the 49ers are allowing the sixth-most points to the tight end position. The 49ers secondary has had their fair share of issues and with Richard Sherman expected to miss this week, and Adrian Colbert dealing with a knee injury, Williams could be in line for a day well worth his $4,500 price tag.
Tyler Boyd ($4,600)
It may seem as if I’m beating a dead horse this week but I love some of these Bengals’ players in daily fantasy. The lovefest now bleeds into the wide receiver position as I’m calling for Tyler Boyd to have yet another solid outing. Not exactly a reach considering Boyd has led Bengals pass catchers in yards over the past two games. In week 3, Boyd would shine against the Carolina Panthers as he caught six of seven targets for 132 yards and a touchdown. It was a performance that would have Boyd finishing the week as fourth in scoring among wide receivers. With the Bengals pass catcher sitting just outside the top 20 in scoring at his position, this pick has me feeling like DraftKings hasn’t gotten wind of just how explosive Boyd has been. As I have continuously mentioned, the Bengals take on the Falcons who are allowing the twelfth most points to wide receivers. As far as A.J. Green, the Bengals are optimistic that he will be able to play despite a groin injury. That is all well and good but considering how he has played recently if Green is at all limited in this one, Boyd could deliver yet again.
Rob Gronkowski ($7,000)
For the first few weeks of this year, this column has been geared towards getting you a solid return without having to break the bank. At the tight end position this week though, I’m going for broke. The Patriots offense has had their struggles over the last few weeks and most notably in week 3 against the Detroit Lions as Tom Brady failed to throw for over 150 yards for the first time since 2016. The backfield is dealing with several injuries and the suspension of Julian Edelman has loomed larger than some may have anticipated. While newly acquired wide receiver, Josh Gordon has been limited in practice with a nagging hamstring, the need to get him on the field is growing. Earlier this week, Patriots offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels has given his vote of confidence to Gordon saying that he isn’t worried about the playmaker getting a firm grasp of the offense. Getting another weapon such as Gordon on the field could help Gronkowski immensely. In regards to the Dolphins defense, they have done well for themselves against the tight end as they have allowed just 15 receptions for 186 yards. To me though, this has more to do with the need for the Patriots to offensively get things going than the opponent themselves. As Brady looks to get in a groove, I expect him to look Gronkowski’s way.
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