NFL DFS Week 4: DraftKings Value Plays
Week 3 was filled with value plays as many running backs were ruled out after pricing was released. As a result, guys like Shane Vereen, Charles Sims, Christine Michael, and Jerrick McKinnon were cheap options projected for large workloads. Using these low-salary backs allowed you to pay up for studs in an effort to reach your cash game score goal.
If you’re playing cash games on DraftKings, your goal for each player on your roster should be to score three times his salary. For example, Jordan Howard is $3,700 on DraftKings this week. For Howard to score three times his salary, he would need to produce 11.1 points (3.700 x 3). Finding players who will score three times their salary can be difficult, but a stable set of projections should be your starting point.
Last year, Gridiron Experts’ projections were very efficient in finding these players — we’ll call them our Gridiron 3X.
Our projections are posted every Tuesday morning by Jody Smith — you can find them here.
In the table below, you’ll see how often the average player surpassed 3X his salary last season — only players who were projected for more than 5.0 points were included to remove injured players and those with minor roles). Next to it, you’ll see how often our Gridiron 3X guys surpassed 3X their salary. The difference between the two is in the final column:
So who fits the criteria in Week 4?
Philip Rivers, $6900, Projected 3.7x: Philip Rivers disappointed many who rostered him in Week 3 with a letdown performance against the Colts, but he has a great opportunity to bounce back on Sunday in a matchup with the Saints. Through three games this year, the Saints are allowing a 69.7 percent completion percentage and 309 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. It also helps that the Chargers are playing at home, which means the Saints will have to travel to the west coast. Rivers is one of the safer QB options this week.
Kirk Cousins, $6500, Projected 3.7x: Kirk Cousins is the next best QB option for cash games this week, facing a Cleveland Browns defense that has already allowed seven passing touchdowns this season. Cousins hasn’t performed up to expectations so far in 2016, but he is still averaging 330 passing yards per game and is a good bet to get the 300-yard bonus on DraftKings on Sunday. Sharp bettors are also on the Redskins — they’ve only received 22 percent of the spread bets so far this week at Sportsbook.ag but the line has jumped from -6.5 to -7.5 in the Redskins’ favor.
Brian Hoyer, $5000, Projected 3.6x: Brian Hoyer wasn’t great in his Bears’ debut, but when you look at the box score after the game, he still finished with 300-plus yards and two touchdowns. For minimum price, that was incredible value. He’s min-priced once again this week and should draw another start with Jay Cutler nursing a thumb injury. It’s hard to find a better matchup than the Lions this season, as their offense plays at a fast pace, which means their opponents will also run a bunch of plays. Hoyer will likely be trailing late again in this one, so he should easily get enough volume to reach value.
Other Gridiron 3X QBs: Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor, Trevor Siemian, Marcus Mariota, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Brock Osweiler, Jimmy Garoppolo, Dak Prescott, Blake Bortles, Matthew Stafford, Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, Andrew Luck
Jordan Howard, $3700, Projected 5.3x: Bears’ RB Jeremy Langford suffered an ankle sprain in Week 3 that is expected to sideline him for four to six weeks. As a result, rookie Jordan Howard will assume the starting role after totaling 90-plus yards in relief of Langford on Sunday night. This was one isn’t difficult — Howard is the chalk play as a $3700 RB projected for at least 15 touches.
Le’Veon Bell, $7500, Projected 3.5x: Finally, Le’Veon Bell is back! Mike Tomlin has already revealed that Bell will be featured and used heavily in his first game back from suspension, so there are no concerns about his usage in Week 4. No one in the league is used like Le’veon Bell – – he averaged four receptions per game last season — and has recorded 100-plus total yards in 16 games over the last two years.
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Carlos Hyde, $4200, Projected 4.4x: Carlos Hyde has one of the most curious salaries this week. A week after rushing for 100-plus yards and two touchdowns in Seattle, his salary actually dropped $200 in a matchup with Dallas. It’s tough to find a running back with Hyde’s talent and workload combination, especially in this salary range. Don’t overthink this one — play Hyde in all formats.
Other Gridiron 3X RBs: Duke Johnson, Matt Jones, Justin Forsett, Jeremy Hill, Devonta Freeman, Charles Sims, Jerrick McKinnon, Chris Ivory, Isaiah Crowell, Dwayne Washington, Mark Ingram, DeMarco Murray, Terrance West, Christine Michael, Frank Gore, Kenyan Drake
Terrelle Pryor, $4300, Projected 4.0x: Terrelle Pryor did it all in Week 3 and his 14 snaps at quarterback really boosted both his floor and ceiling. In the end, he reached 10X his salary on DraftKings and was a major component of most winning GPP lineups. He will continue to take a handful of reps at quarterback until Josh McCown returns, which means we can add some passing and rushing numbers to his weekly projections. He also has one more week of being the number one target in the passing game until Josh Gordon comes back from suspension in Week 5.
Jamison Crowder, $4200, Projected 3.9x: Would you be surprised to know that Jamison Crowder leads all Redskins receivers in red zone targets this season? Despite stud tight end Jordan Reed being on the field, Crowder has been QB Kirk Cousins’ first option near the goal line. Crowder has received at least seven total targets in each of the first three games and has already scored twice. He’s become a high volume slot option for Washington and is underpriced at just $4200.
Kevin White, $3400, Projected 3.9x: It’s actually second year pro Kevin White, not Alshon Jeffery, that leads the Bears’ receivers in targets this season. White saw a whopping 14 targets on Sunday night, but could only convert them into six receptions for 62 yards. Despite the inefficiency, that was more than enough for White to reach 3X value. Against the aforementioned Lions’ fast-paced offense, White is a perfect pairing with Brian Hoyer for a low-owned GPP stack.
Other Gridiron 3X WRs: Travis Benjamin, John Brown, Michael Thomas, Steve Smith, DeSean Jackson, Rishard Matthews, Tavon Austin, Antonio Brown, Torrey Smith, Doug Baldwin, Andrew Hawkins, Tyrell Williams, Pierre Garcon, Sterling Shepard, Sammie Coates, DeAndre Hopkins, Dontrelle Inman, Robert Woods, Alshon Jeffery, Vincent Jackson, A.J. Green, Mike Wallace, Mike Evans, Adam Humphries, DeVante Parker, Jeremy Maclin
Gary Barnidge, $3600, Projected 4.2x: After two down weeks to open the season, Gary Barnidge saw a bit of a resurgence in Week 3 with Cody Kessler under center. Barnidge hauled in five receptions for 66 yards, by far his best output in 2016. Bettors certainly have faith in the Browns to compete this week, as they’re receiving 78 percent of the spread bets at Sportsbook.ag as of Wednesday afternoon. If the Browns are going to put up points on offense, it’s going to go through Pryor and Barnidge.
Kyle Rudolph, $3400, Projected: 4.0x: It’s difficult to believe Kyle Rudolph’s output so far this season after years of constant underperforming, but he’s here to stay. He’s received eight-plus targets in every game this year and a 28 percent overall target share. With a touchdown in each of the last two games, he’s definitely bonded with new Vikings’ QB Sam Bradford. These kinds of target numbers aren’t found easily in that $3500 or below tier for tight ends.
Jack Doyle, $2500, Projected 3.8x: With Donte Moncrief out for four to six weeks, many expected Phillip Dorsett to play a much larger role. Instead, the Colts went with a predominantly two tight end offense against the Chargers. Jack Doyle, the number two tight end, played 70 percent of the snaps. At the absolute minimum price, Doyle needs just 7.5 DraftKings points to be used in cash games. He’s done that in every game this season, with two of those games resulting in more than 12.0 DraftKings points.
Other Gridiron 3X TEs: Zach Miller, Hunter Henry, Cameron Brate, Clive Walford, Jimmy Graham, Coby Fleener, Dennis Pitta, Travis Kelce, Jesse James[/wlm_ismember]
Thanks for Reading!
Brian has been playing fantasy football for 16 years and commissioned his first fantasy league at age 12. When he’s not writing about sports, you can find him playing every daily fantasy sport and participating in high stakes fantasy football contests. Brian won more than 1,000 NFL contests on FanDuel last season and has won multiple league championships in the Footballguys Player Championship contest. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Brian usually spends his winters agonizing over Terrapins basketball. When the weather is warmer, Brian is known for his receiving prowess in flag football leagues on the National Mall in Washington, DC.