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2023 Fantasy Football: NFL Week 4 Underdog Fantasy Battle Royale Picks

San Francisco 49ers Brock Purdy Christian McCaffrey
Jan 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) hands off to running back Christian McCaffrey (23) during the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

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Stack Targets

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have the highest projected total on the slate and should roll against the overachieving Cardinals in this game.

Christian McCaffrey is the 1.01 in ADP, and deservedly so. Sportsbooks give McCaffrey about a 70 percent chance to score one or more touchdowns, a ludicrous number. That is 15 percent more than any other player on the slate. When you are on the clock and this man is on the board, you simply draft him every time.

Deebo Samuel seems unlikely to play, though it is certainly important to monitor his status. This means it’s wheels up for Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle.

Kittle has destroyed Arizona historically, going 4-29-2, 4-84-2, 6-101-1 in his last three games against them. Without Deebo, Kittle has scored a touchdown in five straight games, with eight touchdowns in that stretch. This is my favorite tight end play on the slate.

Aiyuk’s ADP of WR20 is egregious; I rank him around WR10. Sportsbooks have him as 40 percent likely to score, good for WR9 on the slate. Last season, Aiyuk played four games without Samuel, including two of his top three fantasy scores of the year – 20.1 and 26.7 points.

Brock Purdy is rarely drafted but provides a very capable ceiling when stacked with a teammate. We saw a Purdy double stack be the optimal in Week 1, and the setup is even better this time.

I’m not excited about anyone on the Arizona Cardinals, given the 15-point implied total. Still, Marquise Brown has been getting the volume and is acceptable to mix in as a bring-back.

Favorite Plays: Purdy with McCaffrey, Deebo, Aiyuk; Brown for the game stack

Denver Broncos vs. Chicago Bears

This is my favorite sneaky shootout potential game. Both defenses have been awful in every way, and the offenses are in a bounce-back spot. The Denver Broncos’ team total is right up there in the second tier, but they are rarely being drafted.

Javonte Williams has not been great this year, but he has been out-touching Samaje Perine by more every week as he comes back from the knee injury. I believe it’s fair to ignore some of the Jaleel McLaughlin usage in the blowout last week. Sportsbooks have Williams at 49 percent likely to score, good for RB6 on the slate. This is a low-floor, high-ceiling play, with breakout opportunity against a porous defense.

Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton are both rarely drafted, and sportsbooks give them a better chance to score than many players drafted more often. Sutton has been more of a target hog (including red zone), but Jeudy’s talent profile and downfield role are better. The Chicago Bears likely are without their top safety and corner, Eddie Jackson and Jaylon Johnson. 

Justin Fields has been downright terrible this year, but I still believe in his massive rushing ceiling as long as he starts. Don’t go crazy here, but he is worth mixing in to bet on a breakout game like last year.

Favorite Plays: Williams or Sutton or Jeudy; Fields for the game stack

Uniqueness, ADP 35+


Anthony Richardson

As of Friday afternoon, Anthony Richardson has cleared concussion protocol and is starting Week 4. His upside is unknown and immense, something we need to lean into. He is in a tier with Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa but is going after guys like Kirk Cousins and Lamar Jackson.

Other Plays: Purdy, Deshaun Watson

Running Backs

Miles Sanders

Miles Sanders’ route participation and snap share have increased every week while being used as a receiver all over the field, though inefficiently. He’s had at least five targets every game, including nine last week. His usage is that of a top-10 running back, but the production has yet to match. Sanders is in a good spot here against a vulnerable Minnesota Vikings defense.

Joshua Kelley

It's unlikely Austin Ekeler will go this week, given the track record of players missing multiple weeks with high ankle sprains and the Los Angeles Chargers bye next week. Joshua Kelley has burned us two weeks in a row, but believe in the process; he will be on the field a lot, and the Chargers will score points. Sportsbooks agree, setting his implied touchdown odds at 53 percent.

Other Plays: Alexander Mattison, Dameon Pierce

Wide Receivers

George Pickens

Without Diontae Johnson, George Pickens is the guy in Pittsburgh. He saw ten targets in Week 2 and six targets last week, but Kenny Pickett only had 28 dropbacks in a game the Pittsburgh Steelers controlled throughout. Houston plays fast-paced and has a depleted secondary, a great situation for Pickens, who is very seldomly selected.

Other Plays: DeAndre Hopkins, Nico Collins

Tight Ends

If we don’t get one of the top two tight ends (T.J. Hockenson and Kittle), it's better to correlate lower-owned players for touchdown spikes. This is a brutal slate for tight ends, as a lot of the usable players are in primetime games.

According to sportsbooks, the following tight ends are more likely to score than their ADP indicates:

Pat Freiermuth – TE4 in touchdown likelihood vs. TE6 in ADP

Tyler Higbee – TE5 vs TE11 (monitor injury report)

Donald Parham – TE7 vs. TE9 (monitor Gerald Everett on the injury report)

With the same process, the following players are overvalued:

Dallas Goedert – TE6 vs TE4

Hunter Henry – TE9 vs TE5

Dalton Kincaid – TE10 vs TE8

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