We already have three weeks under our belts. Well, not us, but you know what I mean. That sample is more than enough to start watching trends, truths, and lies. Some big names are under-perfoming but for some reason keep being sold at massive DFS salaries on DraftKings. Other less-known players (some you never even expected to see throw a pass!) come as massive bargains at this point and they’re the best bets for the time being until their salaries skyrocket.
A highly-priced stud will (most probably) give you production. A low-key cheap newcomer might pose a little bit more of a risk but ultimately over-perform the bigger names. It’s all about picking the best values available and fading the worst around the place, and Week 4 makes for a great point in which you should apply the best possible strategy. Let’s take a look at three guys to buy and three guys to avoid at their current price on DraftKings.
Week 4 - DFS Best Values
Kyle Allen, CAR (at HOU) — $5,200
Unless you want to go overly cheap at the position, you won’t find a better value than what Kyle Allen has to offer. He’s the eighth-cheapest starter, and those below his salary look horrid to me to put in any lineup. Cam Newton has been ruled out of next Sunday’s game against Houston and the matchup shouldn’t be that hard for Allen to thrive again in what would be his third start for the Panthers (he started in Week 17 last season, finishing with a 16/27/228 line and two touchdowns for 27.3 DKFP points).
In his first game this season backing up Newton, Allen showed everything and then some. His 28.95 DKFP made him the QB6 of the weekend. He was able to complete 19 out of 26 pass attempts, racked up 261 yards and threw four touchdowns without a single pick. Carolina’s crop of receivers has more than average quality to it, Greg Olsen looks rejuvenated and one of Allen’s go-to options with big upside, and Christian McCaffrey’s presence in the backfield will help keep Houston’s defense honest and prevent it from focusing too much on the young QB. Expect another great week from Allen.
Jacoby Brissett, IND (vs. OAK) — $5,400
To say Brissett is flying under the radar would be falling way short from the reality of his situation. Andrew Luck’s retirement was huge, yes, but that doesn’t mean Brissett has not been able to carry the Colts. So far in three games his 62.1 DKFP rank 14th among starters. Every one of his performances has made the top 24 in DKFP. He currently has the sixth-highest completion percentage and also ranks seventh in QBR.
Brissett has been marvelous to start the year and he’s working without a truly great group of offensive players around. If T.Y. Hilton was to miss any time with a quad injury suffered in Week 3, I’d bet on Brissett still making the most out of the rest of the receivers. The Raiders don’t pose the best matchup, but they have allowed 885 passing yards and six touchdowns without interceptions already and will be missing safety Johnathan Abram (IR).
Russell Wilson, SEA (at ARI) — $6,100
I know this might not be seen as a value pick by some folks but bear with me on this one. Let’s just review what Wilson’s first three weeks have amounted to: 75-of-105 passing, 901 yards, seven touchdowns (plus 81 more yards on 17 carries for two extra scores). Quick fantasy summary: 93.2 DKFP, or 31.1 DKFP/game, good for third-best among all quarterbacks only trailing Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. Just for context, Mahomes comes at $7,500 this week and Jackson at $6,900. Wilson comes from a 400-plus yard passing weekend. Do you still think Wilson is not a value for Week 4?
Well, that could always be the case. But if it is, let me tell you that this week Seattle goes to play Arizona, which happens to have one of the worst defenses in 2019. The Cardinals have allowed 32.0 DKFP/G to quarterbacks, 918 passing yards and nine touchdowns in three games. On top of that, a rushing-QB like Wilson could have a career-game as Arizona has allowed 141 yards on the ground to quarterbacks already (52 more than the second-worst Saints!). As long as Wilson is Wilson, and Tyler Lockett keeps his targets up, this will be a walk in the park. Add a sprinkle of DK Metcalf and Will Dissly and there is no chance Wilson doesn’t come out as a weekend-winner.
Week 4 - DFS Worst Values
Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. CAR) — $6,400
I’m not going to put Watson on the peak-and-valley-outcomes tier of quarterbacks yet, but it is starting to look like he belongs there. Watson is entering that territory where we could end the day with 15 DKFP or with 35. So far this season he has logged 33, 14 and 31 fantasy points. Everybody was high on Houston when they went to beat the Browns in Week 1, but things haven’t looked that good since. Although his last outing against the Chargers was much better for Watson than the other two games (he completed 25 of 34 passes for three touchdowns and even ran for 18 yards on 7 attempts), Los Angeles’ defense wasn’t an otherworldly unit.
Entering Week 4, Watson has already been sacked 12 times and is on pace to surpass his career-highest mark of 62 last year. Carolina comes next. And Carolina has put quite a defense on the field through Week 3. The Panthers are sixth-best at preventing quarterbacks for getting fantasy points, are the only team other than the Patriots with less than 600 passing yards against, and have intercepted three passes. Had I to predict his next game’s outcome, I’d say Watson will confirm the peak-and-valley theory and put on a dud come Sunday.
Baker Mayfield, CLE (at BAL) — $5,800
I don’t think there has been a more overhyped team this decade than the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles, but this Browns iteration must come close to it. Did Mayfield show some good stuff last year? Sure. Was that the start of the end of Cleveland’s suffering? Maybe. Have we seen Cleveland fail on and on forever and ever? You bet! Look, I never trusted Mayfield, I don’t think all of the expectations will be fulfilled for quite some time, if ever. Mayfield’s 2019 season through three games puts him out of the QB2 tier in fantasy terms. Cleveland has dropped two games (that one against Tennessee was ugly), and Mayfield doesn’t look comfortable at all, having thrown three touchdowns to five interceptions.
The Ravens will be in for the kill in Week 4. They come for a losing effort against the Chiefs and will be looking to rebound. Will Cleveland trust Mayfield for this one against such a solid defense? They have no other chance. But Mayfield’s 56.7 completion rate is plain bad, and he still has to end a game without being picked. Even though the game script could benefit him in awarding more chances to throw passes, the risk of launching (and missing) all-or-nothing bombs is inherent to it. Don’t expect much from the Browns this weekend.
Jameis Winston, TB (at LAR) — $5,700
This whole column is starting to feel like a rundown of every true boom-or-bust guy around the nation. And Winston surely is the poster boy of the movement. Last season, after getting the starting gig from Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 4, Winston laid an 8.5 DKFP egg. Then all of a sudden, 35.7 DKFP one week later. And from that point to the end of the season, wildly varying outcomes filled his stat sheet. It has not been any different this year. San Francisco limited him to 194 yards and picked him three times; against Tampa he had the averagest-of-average performances; finally in Week 3 he finished with a booming 380 yards for three touchdowns and just one interception. I don’t even know what can happen next.
But I do know it probably won’t be good. Tampa Bay visits Los Angeles to face the Rams. The only thing that could save Winston’s day is the potential of a shootout (50.5 O/U), and the fact that he might be forced to throw the hell out of the ball to get somewhere. Mike Evans went back to his elite ways in Week 3, and even O.J. Howard caught three passes for 66 yards! I’d bet on a little bit of regression from the former and another horrid day for the latter, which won’t help Winston’s final numbers. The Rams have also been weak at stopping running backs, and the Bucs have a good committee in Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber that they could turn to and exploit against Los Angeles. Volatile player + below-average matchup = guaranteed fade.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is chapulana) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.