Last week started off as a very productive week for this Daily Fantasy column. Todd Gurley and Carlos Hyde would have great games and finish in the top 6 among their position. Other picks like Devante Parker and Ben Watson would salvage their Sundays with some garbage time touchdowns. Unfortunately, not all of the week 3 selections turned out as well. The quarterbacks were the worst of it and most notably was Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. The Saints have always been a matchup dream for opposing quarterbacks but Newton proved to be the exception to the rule. Until he gives you a reason, I can no longer recommend that you waste your cash on Cam Newton. As always, the beauty of daily fantasy is that you don’t have to continuously deal with a slumping player. With that being said, here are some great plays and bargains that could have you winning some serious cash in week 4.
Jared Goff ($5,600) Lock of the week: For whatever reason, DraftKings isn’t ahead of the curve on Jared Goff. That isn’t your problem though and if you’re looking for a bargain in week 4, Goff is it. Following a Thursday night barnburner, the Rams will head to Dallas to take on a Cowboys defense that appears to be in over their head. Over the last two weeks, the Cowboys were torched for 4 touchdowns by Trevor Siemian and this past Monday surrendered 300 yards to the aging Carson Palmer. Those performances now have the Cowboys allowing the 10th most points to the position in DK formats. As previously mentioned, Goff is coming off a wild game against the 49ers where he wound up with 292 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. Production like that has Jared Goff listed 12th in scoring among his position. Expect the Rams to come out swinging here as they look to put the rest of the NFL on notice. Goff won’t be a bargain if he maintains this play so get him while you can!
Trevor Siemian ($5,200): Despite his lackluster outing, I’m sticking my neck out there again for Siemian. This week, Siemian will welcome in a Raiders team that was just upended by the Redskins on Sunday night. A heavy travel schedule to a high altitude raucous environment in Denver may be just what Siemian needs to get back on track. The Raiders are just one of six teams that have yet to intercept a quarterback and are currently allowing the 4th most points to the position. While the sample size is small, in just two meetings against the Raiders, Siemian has thrown for 489 yards. The crowd will be electric as always in this divisional matchup and I like Siemian and the offense to feed off of that. This is a gut feeling but I also think Siemian is able to add a rushing score in this one.
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Christian McCaffrey ($6,800): In the midst of Cam Newton’s abysmal performance, McCaffrey was able to put together his best performance in his early career. His 9 receptions for 101 yards was what his supporters had in mind all along as he would finish week 3 as the 10th best back in DK formats. His critics would point to his matchup as a reason for his performance and week 4 presents an equally enticing matchup. The Panthers will head to New England to take on a Patriots team that is allowing the 2nd most points to the position. So far in 2017, the Patriots have had trouble slowing down pass-catching running backs. Last years Super Bowl champions have allowed 253 yards on 17 receptions and two touchdowns to the position. Those numbers should have daily fantasy players interested in McCaffrey who is the second most targeted running back in football. It’s unclear when Cam Newton would get his act together but for now, with Olsen out, McCaffrey could deliver on preseason promises of being the most attractive fantasy option in Carolina.
Jordan Howard ($5,800): After the first two weeks of the season, the sophomore from Chicago had his fantasy owners in a bit of a panic. After managing a measly 59 rushing yards in the first two weeks, Howard would more than double that mark in week 3 as he would wind up with 138 yards rushing. On top of his rushing yards and two touchdowns, one of the most encouraging signs was that he was the most targeted Bears pass catcher. His strong performance against the Steelers would have him finishing week 3 as the 2nd highest scoring running back in DK formats. While Tarik Cohen won’t fade into the night, Howard’s week 3 performance was reassurance that whispers of a sophomore slump may be an overreaction. While the Packers rush defense is no pushover, rookie Joe Mixon was able to manage 101 yards of total offense during their week 3 overtime battle. Before Tarik Cohen burst onto the scene, the prevailing thought was that this offense would run through Howard. Week 3 may have been the best indicator that Howard still has the keys to the car. Look for him to be leaned on in this divisional matchup.
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Willie Snead ($5,000): While their seasonal ranks are skewed as a result of only 2 games played, one of the biggest concerns for the Dolphins is their secondary. That secondary won’t get much relief this week as they head to London to take on Drew Brees and the Saints. For Brees, this game signifies the return to one of his favorite targets in 2016, Willie Snead. The recently suspended pass catcher had 10 games of 7 or more targets last year. Prior to his suspension, a large group of fantasy owners would spend the summer months gushing over Snead’s potential numbers. This is an easier pick for you now than it was during your drafts as he sits with a nice $5,000 price tag. Look for a fresh Snead to hit the ground running in week 4. While some may point to his inability to score a touchdown in the last 7 games of 2016, I like Snead to score in this one as Brees will be happy to have him back.
Jordy Nelson ($7,700): Recommending that you start Jordy Nelson isn’t exactly a hard sales pitch. This week, he and the rest of the Packers will welcome in the Chicago Bears. It is a welcomed opponent for Nelson as he has more receiving yards against the Bears than any other team he’s played. His quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, has thrown for 300 yards in each of his first 3 games. That is something in which Rodgers has never done in his illustrious career. So on top of his quarterback playing great, Nelson continues to be a red zone favorite. Both of his touchdowns in week 3 came from inside the twenty. So far in this early season, Nelson has caught 13 of his 17 targets for 131 yards and 3 touchdowns. It is worth noting that those stats came over the course of two games as week 2 would see him sidelined early with a quad injury. With all appearing to be well with Nelson’s quad, he is a great option to start on Thursday night. On top of Nelson, he would be a great high-priced stack with Aaron Rodgers.
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Cameron Brate ($3,800): After the massacre in Minnesota, the Buccaneers will look to regroup in front of their home crowd as they play the winless Giants. This is a good opponent for Cameron Brate as the Giants are currently allowing the most points to the tight end position. While that previously mentioned loss against the Vikings was ugly, Brate was able to score 13.3 points as he caught all 4 of his targets and scored a touchdown. The Giants are allowing an average of 17.5 points per game to the position and Tampa will take advantage of that. If you’re looking to just cut to the chase at the tight end position, I would recommend going with Zach Ertz who has been killing it this season.
Bengals ($3,500): The 2017 season is not going quite how the Bengals planned. This week though is as good a chance as any for them to get their first win. Week 4 will see the Bengals visit the Browns in Cleveland. Despite having a good week 3, DeShone Kizer has already thrown 7 interceptions this season. That should be a welcoming stat for a Bengals defense that didn’t just have Rodgers on the run last week, they were able to pick him off and return it for a score. Try not to overthink defenses this week. The best bets are the Bengals or for the Seahawks to return to form.
Mike is a hardcore fantasy football fan. He has been doing serious writing for a couple of years now and loves finding the next big sleeper that no one is talking about. He also isn’t afraid to go against the grain and predict the next big bust. The fantasy community is as strong as ever and Mike is ready to help you win a title!