NFL – The Nutz – Week 4

These are the pure best plays on DraftKings, even the chalk, with some pivots at every position. I am not going to waste time deeply explaining plays you already know so the chalk will have a note or two. Each player will have a label for some overarching indication of the format(s) that suit them best.


Phillip Rivers – SD vs PHI – $6,300 (GPP)

One thing you have to always love about Philip Rivers is he is a chucker. San Diego is seemingly always behind and as a result Rivers is averaging 37.3 pass attempts per game through three weeks and we find him in another shootout. Both of his talented top passing options have quality match ups which should help him succeed. Melvin Gordon may be less than 100% healthy which would just mean more passing volume for Rivers.

Carson Palmer – ARZ vs SF – $6,100 (Cash/GPP)

Palmer’s top WR option Larry Fitzgerald phenomenal match up against a subpar San Francisco secondary.  Additionally, he should also get John Brown (quad) back this week, and J.J. Nelson (hamstring) will be healthier than last game. Without David Johnson, everything is riding on Palmer’s arm with him passing for over 300 yards in both games this year. The 49ers have the 30th ranked pass defense DVOA. With all the aforesaid factors and a really nice team total of 25.75, if we expect it to happen through the air for AZ, that suggests 300 yards and three touchdowns en route to a huge fantasy day for Carson Palmer.


Running Back

Le’Veon Bell – PIT at BAL – $8,700 (GPP)

While the DFS populace is flocking to LeSean McCoy, who is shaping up as the chalk running back, he is a mere $300 less than Bell. While the matchup is better for Shady, Bell’s match up isn’t terrible as BAL has allowed a 4.3 YPC rate this year so far, eleventh worst in the league, and they also are the 12th best rushing DVOA defense. With the talent Bell has and his usage in the passing game I am far less worried about the Baltimore front, especially with their best run stopper DT Brandon Williams out this week. When you can take a better running back at a similar price, at far less ownership, with just as much, if not more upside, it’s a very strong move.

Dalvin Cook – MIN vs DET – $6,500 (GPP)

Cook is playing the majority of the snaps at RB and is averaging 20.3 touches per game with five, three, and five targets through three weeks. In GPPs we need to target mid-level match ups sometimes where a talented player like Dalvin Cook averaging 4.7 YPC can succeed at home vs Detroit’s 16th best rushing DVOA defense allowing a 4 YPC clip. I think the game will be close enough for Cook to reach his touch ceiling which is supported by the close two point spread, but I am not too worried about a negative game script with his passing game involvement.

C.J. Anderson – DEN vs OAK – $5,600 (Cash/GPP)

Many people seem to want to attack this game through the air with WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, but I am not positive Oakland puts any points on the board in the first half. This game plays out to me as a ball control type of game where CJA gets 25 touches and his typical three targets and salts the game away with a lead in the second half.

Denver should have success with that vs this Raider defense allowing a 4.2 yard per carry rate thus far, and that’s having only faced one team, TEN, with an actual running game. Anderson already has 11 red zone rushing attempts and four red zone targets in three weeks so the usage is there. At just $5,600 he is a steal and supreme value.

Andre Ellington – ARZ vs SF – $3,800 (GPP)

Ellington is starting to get some usage as he saw eight targets and five attempts last game. Having no success running it with Chris Johnson, and with Kerwynn Williams being weeded out, Ellington out snapped Chris Johnson 60%-38% in Week 3. Head Coach Bruce Arians knows he can’t hammer Ellington relentlessly between the tackles like David Johnson, but he can use him in the receiving back role where Ellington can thrive. At his price, he can legitimately 10x if things go right.


Wide Receiver

AJ Green – CIN vs CLE – $8,600 (Cash/GPP)

Both corners the star Bengal wideout will face, Jason McCourty and Jamar Taylor, were bottom 20 corners in 2016 and both are maintaining a similar level of play this year. Once again, TE Tyler Eifert is expected to miss this game, so we can feel comfortable about Green getting 10+ targets.

Keenan Allen vs PHI – $7,200 (GPP)

Even if Allen had a bad match up I would still consider him at this price. He is locked into 10+ targets and is a route running maven with good hands. He should have at least an $8,000 salary. The game total is a nice 48 with a close spread of 1.5 favoring the Chargers. This contest should shootout and Allen has good corner match ups as well. I expect him to be low owned having yet destroyed a slate this year.

Deandre Hopkins – HOU vs TEN – $6,400 (Cash/GPP)

Hopkins has a beatable match up vs Brice McCain who gives up 4 inches and 20 pounds to Hopkins and TEN is the 24th ranked passing defense DVOA. This is easily the best spot Hopkins has been in all year and we should hopefully see more efficiency this week in this spot because we know he will see over 10 targets. The price is far too cheap and in cash games he is easy to plug in, but he also has GPP upside.

Larry Fitzgerald – ARZ vs SF – $6,100 (Cash/GPP)

Fitz will run routes predominantly against K’waun Williams who is nothing to be scared of, with PFF rating the match up with the second biggest WR-CB advantage of the week. The price makes no sense for the volume of targets sans David Johnson and how quality the matchup is. Expect Larry to capitalize on 8-15 targets and make a high floor play with some upside. Cash Lock.

Rishard Matthews – TEN at HOU – $5,900 (Cash/GPP)

With Corey Davis expected to miss this week we can feel comfortable Rishard Matthews will see 7-11 targets in a decent spot against Jonathan Joseph.

Marqise Lee – JAX at NYJ – $4,500 (GPP)

He is cheap and we can expect 6-10 targets in a good matchup vs the Jets.

Tyrell Williams – SD vs PHI – $4,400 (GPP)

Williams should at least continue seeing his seven targets per game, and likely more, due to his main opponent Jalen Mills, the second worst CB in yards per cover snap last year at 2.08. Rasual Douglas is no standout either, the other corner he will be torching.


Tight End

Rob Gronkowski – NE vs CAR – $6,600 (Cash/GPP)

Carolina is susceptible to the TE due to their secondary’s tendency to funnel targets towards the middle of the field. If you are going to pay up go for Mr. Nice. Gronk has three Gronk spike upside this week, as evidenced by his 9th most red zone targets among all pass catchers this year.

Evan Engram – NYG at TB – $3,000 (Cash/GPP)

The Giants drafted this guy to catch passes and have made sure to get him involved, giving him five, seven, and seven targets this year. Injuries to Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander in the LB core leaving them on the sidelines this week will soften up the match up in this already funnel pass spot. He is a good leverage play off of chalk Odell Beckham Jr as well.

Austin Sefarian-Jenkins – NYJ vs JAC – $3,000 (Cash/GPP)

Jacksonville is allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to the position this year and targets are forced there due to their outside CBs being elite. We saw ASJ get six targets in his return last week and we should expect him to get even more work this week. We can also feel confident with Josh McCown throwing the ball to Sefarian-Jenkins because saw the MONSTER fantasy numbers TE Gary Barnidge put up with McCown at the helm for Cleveland.



Arizona vs SF – $3,200 (Cash/GPP)

A stout home defense facing QB Brian Hoyer who has a 2-4 TD – turnover ratio this year alone and a turnover ridden past as well is a recipe for success. The price is reasonable and there is clear upside in this spot.

Dallas vs LAR – $2,500 (GPP)

I am not sold on QB Jared Goff who had a 5-9 TD to turnover ratio in 8 games last year which provides upside for this defense. Dallas can hide their weak defense at times by controlling the clock and winning the time of possession game. This is not a safe defense, but it is so cheap and the upside is there and being at home helps a lot.