We are just one more sleep away from the best day of the week and another chance to increase our bankrolls. What better way to start the week than making money on a Sunday just watching football? I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are so lucky to live this life watching the greatest game on turf. Sunday is my day to enjoy the sounds of Chris Hanson on NFL Red Zone while fully tilting about all my lineups.
Then on Monday, I’ll wake myself up bright and early to hop on a podcast going over the Sunday games recapping all of the madness that ensued before spending the rest of my day grinding out games like the Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants.
But enough of my process, who cares? We’re here to talk football, and here in Week 4, we have some underwhelming matchups, so we have to get strategic here on this slate. We also find ourselves running into some severe weather for the first time this season. Unfortunately, and prayers to all of our Florida friends, with the recent hurricane that touched down on the East Coast, we are dealing with some residual effects.
Most of the East Coast games will likely be affected. Bills/Ravens, Eagles/Jaguars, Giants/Bears, and Steelers/Jets will all most likely get some rain. This is something we want to monitor to make sure it won’t affect those games too badly. Some of my favorite cash game players are involved in those games this week. Be prepared to pivot in the passing attack if anything gets heavy as far as rain and wind are concerned. If you read my Cash Games DFS 101 – The 33rd Team articles then you will remember how much weather can affect fantasy performances. Stay on your toes everybody because Week 4 is going to be a wild ride and only the strong survive. Let’s get after it!
Josh Allen – (DraftKings: $8,400 / FanDuel: $8,900)
Every week you can basically expect to see Josh Allen atop the cash game quarterbacks. If we’re being honest, right now, there should hardly ever be anyone outside of Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Jalen Hurts in your cash game lineups. All three have separated themselves from the pack with consistent production at the position. They are the shining star examples of safe floors with high ceilings. But this week, I’m all in on Josh Allen in cash. He’s worth paying up the extra couple of bucks because this Ravens secondary is just way too good of a matchup to exploit.
This porous Ravens secondary is already so much fun to pick on in DFS on any given Sunday. This Ravens defense is giving up the most total yards, ninth-most points, third-most passing touchdowns, seventh-most rushing touchdowns, and third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. They also give up the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. So stacking with teammate Stefon Diggs feels like a must for this weekend.
The game has the highest over/under on the slate set at 53 ½, and it’s got the same vibe as the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills style shootout with Lamar playing at his MVP-caliber level. But in terms of why I want Josh Allen in my cash game lineup over Lamar Jackson this week, you can check out this little thread by the 33rd team’s own head of DFS, Jordan Vanek!
Lamar Jackson has scored over 40 DK points in back-to-back weeks.
Overall he has seen the most man coverage in the NFL at a 50% rate.
Averages: 8.4 YPA, 9.84 AirY/Att, and a 14% TD rate.
This week that changes.
— Jordan Vanek (@JordanVanekDFS) September 27, 2022
Jalen Hurts – (DraftKings: $8,200 / FanDuel: $8,600)
As an Eagles fan, it brings me much joy to always write about Jalen Hurts in my weekly article. The man is straight balling right now. Jalen Hurts provides us with one of the safest fantasy floors in football, and his ceiling is up there with the best of them.
The Jacksonville Jaguars deserve some credit here for what Doug Pederson has done to turn around their awful 2021 season to start this year. The defense has been looking really good. They’re ranked first in creating turnovers and fifth in points against. But let’s just pump the brakes here before I make this matchup sound awful for Philadelphia.
The Jaguars have faced the Washington Commanders, Indianapolis Colts, and a beat-up Los Angeles Chargers team. They haven’t faced an offense rolling like the Philadelphia Eagles. Nor have they faced a mobile quarterback with the skillset of Jalen Hurts. This Eagles offense just has too much going on right now for opposing defenses to worry about.
Do you double AJ Brown and leave Devonta Smith wide open to roam free? Seems like a bad idea after these last 2 games. Do you focus so heavily on the receivers and force them to run more? Have you seen Jalen Hurts use his legs? Bad idea. The weaponry is going to expose defenses for what they really are. Are they really good or were the matchups easy? I guess the same can be said for both sides. Maybe I just wanted a moment to gloat about my team.
But facts are facts, and the Eagles are averaging the fifth-most points per game this season. If the Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence are for real and they make this a game, then all the better for Hurts here in Week 4. The game is set to have the third-highest over/under on a slate, and the Eagles are heavy favorites in this one. Hopefully, he makes Doug Pederson’s reunion and recent successes short-lived. He’s safe any given Sunday so fire him up a 4th time without thinking much else about it.
Honorable Mention: Marcus Mariota – (DraftKings: $5,600 / FanDuel: $7,300)
Deep Sleeper: Geno Smith – (DraftKings: $5,400 / FanDuel: $6,600)
Saquon Barkley – (DraftKings: $8,000 / FanDuel: $8,100)
If not Saquan Barkley for the Giants then who? The Giants are running out of playmakers on offense and as much as people love Richie James this week. I only want one piece on this offense and that’s Barkley. Doesn’t get much safer than Saquan with his usage and bell-cow role. Especially when going up against a Chicago Bears defense that’s giving up the third-most rushing yards this season and seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
The game isn’t enticing, the over/under is super low, and not a lot of points are expected to be scored. But the Giants are a home favorite, and we like home favorite running backs here in cash games. We know Barkley is one of the most talented backs in the league and he can easily take control of the whole Giants offense in this game and run amok on the Bears. I like him a lot this week for the guaranteed points.
Najee Harris – (DraftKings: $6,700 / FanDuel: $7,000)
I haven’t been the biggest Najee stan this season, but he’s just way too cheap of a value for the volume he gets in this offense. We like to look at a couple of key factors in selecting our cash game running backs, and Najee usually checks all of those boxes. He’s a bell cow back that sees a ton of volume, a home favorite, and a seemingly good game script. Although I wish his involvement in the passing game was better, I guess you can’t have everything for a $ 6,700-priced player. This matchup for the Steelers is as good as one gets for Najee. The New York Jets rank 13th in fantasy points against opposing running backs. If the Steelers want to walk away with this one risk-free, they should just ground and pound their way to victory with Harris this week.
The Steelers offense can be frustrating to watch because they have great skill players across the board. But the things that make them run smoothly are what’s holding them back. Mitchell Trubisky and the damn offensive line. I can’t stress enough how important a team’s offensive line is to success for their skill players. It’s no mystery the Steelers’ offensive line hasn’t played well this season and Harris, for as much as he touches the ball, hasn’t had his breakout game yet.
I think that could come to fruition here in Week 4 going up against a soft New York defensive line. The matchup is perfect for them because, for once this season, they won’t have to face so much pressure to be great. Hopefully, Harris can find more holes in his 15+ attempts and have more success moving the ball. They’ve also been playing from behind or stayed in the game just enough to remain a little more pass-heavy, essentially game scripting Najee out most weeks.
That can change here because they face Zach Wilson in his first action of the season. Wilson is going to get his first live reps against a fairly decent Steelers defense with a couple of new skill players that he needs to get adjusted to. Hopefully, he’s worked on a more wide receiver-friendly ball but who’s to say? I like the odds of the Steelers being able to lead more which means more Harris. If you’re not willing to pay top dollar for a JT, Barkley, or CMC and want to move down a tier, I think Najee is a fine play to anchor off of with another cheap option like the players I have listed below.
Honorable Mention: Jamaal Williams – (DraftKings: $6,100 / FanDuel: $7,400)
Deep Sleeper: Khalil Herbert – (DraftKings: $5,700 / FanDuel: $7,200)
Stefon Diggs – (DraftKings: $8,400 / FanDuel: $8,700)
I hope you found a way to save some money on this slate because fitting in Stefon Diggs almost feels like an absolute must this week. This matchup should have you licking your chops. I know I discussed some things when talking about his quarterback earlier but just to reiterate the matchup for Diggs is the game of the day. How it’s not in prime time is beyond me. It’s a shame, honestly. But we don’t make the schedule we just make money so on to the more important things to discuss for Stefon Diggs.
The Bills are coming off of an emotional loss against the Miami Dolphins where they fought the good fight and lost many men in battle. I’d imagine they want something to beat up on to show they’re the top dog again. The Raven’s secondary is easily going to give them a chance to be able to do so. They are giving up the most fantasy points to the wide receiver position and although Gabe Davis is said to be healthy enough to come back into the lineup for this one. It’s still Stefon Diggs who’s the apple of Josh Allen’s eye.
I’m not fully convinced that Gabriel Davis is 100% just watching some of the clips out of practice where you see him gingerly jogging on that ankle. I’m curious to see him actually stay in for the full game or maybe even be limited in snaps. But nonetheless, this Ravens team has a potent offensive attack and nothing on defense to help stop the bleeding. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs should have their way with them this Sunday. You’re going to want exposure one way or another to the Bills, and Diggs feels extremely safe here.
Amari Cooper – (DraftKings: $6,300 / FanDuel: $7,500)
COOP! Wow, what a surprise so far through these first three weeks that it’s Amari Cooper WR1 szn. I’m here for it though because he’s probably going to remain a cheap value week in and week out. He gets a ton of volume, and nobody is going to want to trust Jacoby Brissett on a weekly basis. But hey, the man is getting it done for Cooper over the last two weeks. He is a screaming value at his price tag here in Week 4.
The slate kind of stinks as far as high over/unders. There’s not much for us to be ranting and raving about. However, Browns vs. Falcons could be one of the top five matchups of the week. Although it feels gross, I don’t hate targeting pieces in this matchup.
Amari Cooper has seen over 10 targets over the last 2 weeks and finished with 26+ fantasy points in each contest. He’s the focal point of the offense outside of Nick Chubb and for as good as he’s been running. The Atlanta Falcons present a tough matchup for opposing running backs. The Atlanta secondary is the area to attack considering they have given up the seventh-most points scored against them this season and the fifth-most passing touchdowns. Amari feels like easy money knowing how bad the Falcons have been against opposing wide receivers.
I also love Drake London being back because the Browns secondary has also been giving up a chunk of fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. He offers a cheap stack with Marcus Mariota leading the charge to fit in some more heavy-hitting pieces in other areas.
Honorable Mention: Diontae Johnson – (DraftKings: $6,000 / FanDuel: $7,000)
Deep Sleeper: Brandin Cooks – (DraftKings: $5,800 / FanDuel: $6,400)
Mark Andrews – (DraftKings: $7,100 / FanDuel: $ 8,400)
I know what you’re thinking when I suggest a tight end that costs $7,100. SKIP! Yeah right. Not doing it! Screw that. Is that really a smart decision to make in cash when your alternate tight end option winds up doing hardly anything. and then the money you saved that allowed you to spend up at running back fails you yet another week? Mark Andrews just went back-to-back weeks putting up 28+ DK points. This man isn’t playing in the realm of fantasy tight ends anymore; he’s the Ravens’ number 1 receiver. He’s seen 11+ targets in back-to-back weeks, and this isn’t going to slow down any time soon. Especially not this week going up against the Buffalo Bills.
There’s plenty of reason to want exposure to this game. First, let’s just start off with this matchup bolstering the highest over/under on the slate at 53 ½. Expected points galore, people! Then let’s look at what is actually happening here. We have 2 of the top 3 highest scoring offenses facing each other with decimated secondaries. Is there a better recipe for fantasy success than this? I mean, get real. The Ravens are going to need to put up points on the Buffalo Bills given how bad their defense has been giving away points.
If you think those points aren’t going to come through Mark Andrews. Then I don’t know what you’ve been watching every Sunday. The Bills secondary has taken quite a hit this past week. The Bills defense on paper has been top-notch this season. But after last week’s injury blowout, things might take a little turn. Some key players went down, and now we have some holes in key areas. The Bills will be without safety Micah Hyde, and while Jordan Poyer was able to log some limited practices, he’s still not 100%. But it honestly wouldn’t have mattered if the Bills defense faced no injuries because the Ravens are always going to heavily rely on Andrews.
Zach Ertz – (DraftKings: $4,700 / FanDuel: $5,500)
Tight ends can be so uneventful to write about. Outside of Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews, it can be difficult to get yourself hyped up about someone. I’m not going to lie here and act all jazzed about Zach Ertz against the Carolina Panthers. However, I will tell you that Zach Ertz has week in and week out quietly put together a decent enough stat line that you should feel confident he won’t ever hit you with a total dud performance.
Ever since he joined the Arizona Cardinals last season, it seems as though Kyler Murray really trusts him as a reliable target. He’s had 21 targets over the last two weeks and has put up double-digit fantasy points every game this season. The matchup isn’t as mouthwatering if you look at the Panthers defense vs. opposing tight ends. That little red number may pull people’s attention elsewhere. But those other three matchups weren’t against tight ends of Ertz’s caliber. We’re talking games against David Njoku before he decided to show up last week, rookie Daniel Bellinger of the New York Giants, and Juwan Johnson of the New Orleans Saints. Yeah, no worries here. I’m happy to put Ertz in my cash game lineups this week having a safe floor and seeing heavy volume.
Honorable Mention: TJ Hockensen – (DraftKings: $4,100 / FanDuel: $5,400)
Deep Sleeper: David Njoku – (DraftKings: $3,700 / FanDuel: $5,700)
Philadelphia Eagles vs Jacksonville Jaguars (DraftKings: $3,800 / FanDuel: $4,600)
I promise I won’t gloat this time, but facts are facts when discussing the Eagles. This defense has been absolutely rolling since Week 2. I’m encouraged by this Jaguars team and love what they’re doing right now. But I am still on the side who believes they’ve been overachieving a bit the last couple of weeks. They are facing a real defense here in the Philadelphia Eagles who create a ton of pressure on the quarterback and don’t make it any easier on you in the secondary with two star corners in Darius Slay and James Bradberry.
The area to attack Philadelphia if any would be to run the ball. But when you’re a 6.5-point road underdog that’s probably not the best option for you to take. So while I like James Robinson and everything he’s been doing, this game is going to need to go through Lawrence. The Eagles matchup doesn’t present to be an easy one for him. The Eagles rank seventh in points, ninth in turnovers, and second in sacks. This game is going to be won or lost in the trenches. For as quickly as Lawrence has been getting the ball out, this defense isn’t the Commanders, Colts or Chargers. They are the fourth-best DST through four weeks of football and looks like the momentum is only picking up more steam.
Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Commanders (DraftKings: $3,500 / FanDuel: $4,700)
The Cowboys defense has continuously kept them in games through the absence of star quarterback Dak Prescott. Last year this defense was the absolute best for fantasy football, and this year they look to continue that success. This week Dallas gets to play at home against Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders. If there’s one thing about Carson Wentz, it’s his love of holding on to the ball for way too long. But he isn’t going to be able to do that against a Dallas defense who just last week was able to generate 35 pressures against Daniel Jones. Carson Wentz is in for a really bad day if he’s under that kind of duress here in Week 4.
If there’s one thing I know in my Eagles fandom, it’s how Carson Wentz answers to pressure. He crumbles. He couldn’t handle the pressure of Nick Foles winning a Super Bowl, or Jalen Hurts being drafted in the 2nd round. Wentz still can’t handle pressure from a defense clobbering him all game. When Wentz starts to fail or feel everything crashing around him, he tries to make up for his flaws in playing this hero ball style of football. He winds up making several mistakes and forcing the ball in places where he shouldn’t. So I love the Cowboys DST this week, fire it up!