Week 4 Yahoo DFS Lineup: Hitting the first bye week of the season, exposure to players will be at an all time high. With fewer game stacks to choose from, it’s very likely that competitors will be heavy weight on a few particular slates. This is a week where you need to make some tough calls and really hone in on who you want to roster. With only a few games sticking out in particular, finding the necessary combinations in each slate will be easier to do than formerly so. After three weeks of play, clear trends have started to emerge. If you notice any trend in particular, play to that trend, as some people might not have realized it yet. This is a week where doing your homework can really pay off.
QB – Drew Brees (NO) at NYG – ($36)
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the mentality I have playing the Saints this week. There have been no signs of regression. No key injuries to offensive teammates. No off the field drama. No negative coaching staff comments. Our fantasy paradise remains intact. Drew Brees projects to see about 10% ownership this week. That number should be a lot higher. While I understand the idea of playing the Bengals-Falcons game and there’s some potential for an angry Brady to get back on track at home against the Dolphins, there just aren’t many scenarios where I don’t want to roster a QB from this game. Until the Saints defense truly regroups, they are going to let up a lot of points and be in very high scoring contests. This week stands to be more of the same.
RB – Ezekiel Elliott (SEA) vs. DET – ($34)
This is the first week most people will be on Ezekiel Elliott. He gets an overall great matchup against Detroit’s 27th ranked run defense. At home, in a somewhat low scoring game (44 Points), the Cowboys should finally have the opportunity to lean on Zeke and give him 20+ touches. I like his upside in this game. Zeke found the end zone on a 32 yard pass last week. The play was called back because Zeke accidentally stepped out before catching the ball, but nonetheless, Zeke saw 8 targets in that game. With the Cowboys fully utilizing him in the passing game, Zeke’s floor is very safe. He finally offers a nice ceiling given his matchup in a home environment.
RB – Giovani Bernard (CIN) at ATL – ($20)
Check out my FanDuel Lineup for more info on Giovani Bernard. He’s a very chalky play this week. After Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara combined for 29 catches in back to back weeks, no one’s going to argue against playing a running back facing the Falcons. In the highest projected total of Sunday (53.5 Points), Bernard boasts a very nice floor with his dual usage and the high scoring potential of this game. Sometimes the chalky plays are good to pivot from, however, given the history of this matchup, it’s nearly impossible to fade Bernard with his implied upside.
WR – Michael Thomas (NO) at NYG – ($36)
Thomas will face Janoris Jenkins on the outside. Jenkins did a fairly good job covering DeAndre Hopkins last week (Hopkins – 6/86/0). However, Hopkins did have a TD catch called back because of a penalty. Overall, Michael Thomas should continue his historic production. In a great game environment with a guaranteed 10-15 targets, the only concern with Thomas is if you can afford to roster him. I wouldn’t consider fading him simply because he’s now the price of a high end running back. No other elite WR has the floor/ceiling combo that Thomas yields.
WR – Sterling Shepard (NYG) vs. NO – ($19)
Every week, there’s one or two players that get a huge boost in production because of key injuries and matchups. This week, Sterling Shepard is the prime beneficiary of both. TE, Evan Engram is out for the next 2-4 weeks with an MCL sprain. Shepard gets to face an amazing matchup in the slot as Saints CB Patrick Robinson broke his ankle and is headed to IR. He will now face up against P.J. Williams, who is very beatable. This is truly a great spot for Shepard. Very rarely do you get to the opportunity to play a value pick that’s expected to be in a shootout game with a high consolidation of production coming his way. Shepard is my favorite play this week.
WR – Calvin Ridley (ATL) vs. CIN – ($17)
This definitely feels like we’re chasing points, so let’s dig a little further into this play. The Bengals-Falcons game projects to be the highest scoring affair on Sunday at 53.5 points. The Falcons are expected to score 28.5 points. They are at home in their dome. Calvin Ridley has now seen 5 and 8 targets in each of his last two games and has found the end zone in both. He’s become the Falcons solidified WR-2. While we can’t expect 3 TD’s and 150 yards from him again, Ridley still expects to see 6-8 targets in a great game environment and will continue to be utilized in the red zone. For a $17 price, that’s great value. As long as we continue to target high upside players in high scoring games, we will see great long term results.
TE – Rhett Ellison (NYG) vs. NO – ($10)
The TE position is absolutely brutal this week. Unless you really want to chase points with Gronkowski and Ertz, you’re left shooting a dart with a TD dependent guy. While there are definitely better options out there (Rhett Ellison might only see 2-3 targets), I don’t want to pay the price for any of those TE’s. I’d rather completely punt the position and save around $5-$7 to pay up for a better RB or WR. It does help that Ellison has been said to receive a majority of Engram’s work with him now out. He caught a 3/39/1 stat line once Engram got injured last week, which is encouraging considering his potential in an amazing game environment.
FLEX – Austin Ekeler (LAC) vs. SF – ($15)
In GPP’s, there’s always one or two turns you have to make that no one else does. This week, it seems like a great time to pivot off Gordon and roster Austin Ekeler. Given the blowout potential in this game, Ekeler could see increased time with a lesser need for the Chargers starting roster. Given that Gordon has been slightly banged up the past week, and historically always has been at some point in the season, it could be the case that Ekeler receives more work. Ekeler has run far more efficiently than Gordon so far, which bodes well for his case. I’ll take a shot on him this week, as a contrarian in my lineup.
DEF – Chargers (LAC) vs. SF – ($13)
A great value given the 49ers recent injury to Jimmy Garoppolo, I expect the Chargers to be highly owned on Yahoo this week. Most other sites have highly adjusted their price given Garoppolo’s injury, so it’s really nice to save money on DEF without sacrificing any value. The Chargers should get up very early in this contest and really control the pace of this game. The Chargers secondary has been under fire recently with the Chiefs and Rams shredding them in past weeks, but I actually believe this Chargers secondary is a lot better than they’ve played. Having seen arguably the two best teams in the league, the secondary should rebound nicely in a home game against a poor QB.