FantasyFeud Week 4 Values & Top Plays
Welcome to Week 4. We’ve officially started bye weeks, and while we’re only missing two teams this week, we’ll have to do without the Patriots offense and fast-starting rookie Marcus Mariota. But with 30 other teams to choose from, we’ve got plenty of options. I’ve just finished fine-tooth combing the FantasyFeud price lists and I think I’ve found a few glitches in the matrix. There’s probably going to be a bit more of a chalk-factor this week, but I still think there are a few ways we can differentiate ourselves.
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Step 1: Ryan Mallett ($103,500) @ ATL
Before you skewer me for recommending this stiff, just remember we’re going for a bit of a YOLO play at about as low of a salary as you can pay for a starting quarterback. Mallett hasn’t exactly done a whole lot to justify Texans head coach Bill O’Brien’s knee-jerk decision to switch quarterbacks three quarters into the season, but we do have volume working in our favor as the Texans have thrown more than any other team in the league, and may have to continue as they face the red-hot Julio Jones and the rest of the Falcons' offense. Mallett is the best option of a bad bunch towards the lower echelon of quarterbacks and makes for a solid tourney play if you stack him with DeAndre Hopkins and Cecil Shorts (who has strangely seen more red zone targets than players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Allen Robinson).
Step 2: Derek Carr ($127,600) @ CHI
Excuse me while I wash the taste of chalk out of my mouth, but Carr presents the best dollar value on FantasyFeud this weekend (on paper, at least). Coming off a strong performance against the Browns, Carr gets to face a Bears team who has allowed the second-most passing touchdowns (eight) in the NFL. The second-year player is clicking on all cylinders with new targets Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, having topped 300 yards in each of his last two starts. Carr is currently the eighth-highest scoring QB on FantasyFeud in terms of points per game and you can have him for the 12th-highest salary. Not a bad deal, huh? (If you’re averse to playing Raiders in cash games, you can always step up a few thousand dollars and roster Andy Dalton or Tyrod Taylor).
Step 3: Matt Ryan ($139,200) vs. HOU
While J.J. Watt is fantastic, the rest of Houston’s defense is not. They’re currently allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed two or more passing touchdowns to the two non-rookie QBs they’ve faced this season. Ryan can be a little Jekyll-and-Hyde (and he’s typically fared better at home, which is where he’ll be this week), but he’s playing solid football right now and has the added benefit of throwing to the otherworldly Julio Jones. While I like Carson Palmer and Cam Newton this week, you can get Ryan for a few thousand dollars less and think he’s a great quarterback to build around if you decide to pay up.
Step 1: C.J. Spiller ($48,900) @ DAL
The expression “going to the well” usually means you found something in the well the first time, but I’m going to go to the well again with Spiller after coming up dry last week. There’s really no one else under $50,000 worth looking at, and Saints head coach Sean Payton has come out and said he wants to get Spiller the ball more. Spiller saw his snap count rise to 22 percent last week and gets to face a Cowboys defense that gave up three touchdowns to Devonta Freeman last week. I’m not saying Spiller will equal Freeman’s touchdown total against the Cowboys in Week 4, but I’ll settle for one at this price.
Step 2: Karlos Williams ($86,100) vs. NYG
Pass the milk -- my mouth tastes like chalk again. With LeSean McCoy looking doubtful to play, the only running back in the NFL to have a touchdown in all three games is going to be a popular DFS play this week. While the Giants haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher, they have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to opposed running backs. Williams should benefit from seeing the majority of the load in the Bills “ground and pound” attack and while he is unlikely to keep up his absurd 7.8 yards per carry average, he’s about as solid of a play as they come this week.
Step 3: Matt Forte ($125,200) vs. OAK
I also like Latavius Murray for $900 cheaper, but it’s hard to pass up a talent like Forte at this price point. In a week where most of the top running backs have tough matchups, Forte faces a Raiders defense that allowed 100-plus yards on the ground in both Week 1 and Week 2. I worry about game flow getting away from the Bears, but at the same time, I’m not sure the Raiders have it in them to come into Solider Field and completely blow out Chicago. Forte is all but guaranteed to see 20-plus touches and makes for a solid play at more than $15,000 less than Adrian Peterson and $20,000 less than Jamaal Charles.
Step 1: Andre Johnson ($48,700) vs. JAC
Yes, Andre Johnson looks like he aged 15 years over the offseason. Yes, he only saw one target last week. And yes, he didn’t practice on Wednesday. But we’re talking bargain-basement prices here for a proven receiver who has still been on the field for 73 percent of the Colts offensive snaps this season. I’m not touching him with a 10-foot pole in cash games, but there really aren’t any good options in this price range this week, which makes Johnson worth a flier in tourneys.
Step 2: Marvin Jones ($74,600) vs. KC
Remember two years ago when Marvin Jones had 10 touchdown receptions? You may have forgotten about that since he only caught nine balls in 2014 due to injury, but the touchdown-maker is back with two scores in three games so far this year. With Andy Dalton looking sharp, Jones is a tantalizing mid-range play against a Chiefs defense that is currently allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. While I would probably spend $6,000 more for Alshon Jeffery if he suits up this week, I’ll be giving Jones a long look if Jeffery sits again.
Step 3: Randall Cobb ($129,800) @ SF
I think it’s safe to say Cobb is over the ankle injury he suffered during the preseason. Fresh off his three-touchdown performance against the Chiefs, Cobb gets to face a 49ers defense that is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers. Cobb has seen 31.5 percent of the Packers targets (seventh-highest in the league) and has seen over a third of Aaron Rodgers’ red zone passes. With Davante Adams likely out this week, those numbers are likely only going to go higher. You can roster Cobb as just the sixth-most expensive wide receiver – more than $16,000 less than Odell Beckham Jr.
Step 1: Richard Rodgers ($51,600) @ SF
While Rodgers doesn’t fall in the top-10 range just yet, one measly touchdown would put him among the 10 best tight ends so far. With Davante Adams likely to miss some time, Aaron Rodgers (no relation) may rely on his tight end a bit more (Richard is already seeing 12.4 percent of the Packers targets), and you can certainly do worse than starting a player who will be catching passes from the NFL’s current touchdown leader.
Step 2: Charles Clay ($86,500) vs. NYG
With Sammy Watkins looking like he may miss at least a week, Clay is poised to get some more love in the Bills offense (which is great because he’s already in the top-12 in targets among tight ends). The Giants defense has allowed the second-most receptions and third-most yards to tight ends. Clay has scored a touchdown in two straight games and if you’re looking to save a few bucks at tight end this week, Clay should be your top target.
Step 3: Greg Olsen ($115,600) @ TB
Olsen is coming off a huge Week 3 performance and there’s really nothing stopping him from putting up the best non-Gronkowski numbers at the tight end position going forward. He comes at a cheaper price than Travis Kelce this week, and is seeing 28.3 percent of Cam Newton’s passes (that’s the highest percentage of any tight end in the league, including Gronk). Olsen has also seen seven red zone targets already (tied for most among tight ends) and is an easy target if you’re looking to spend at the tight end position this week.
Step 1: San Diego Chargers ($43,000) vs. CLE
I can’t say I absolutely love the Chargers as a play this week, but they’re extremely cheap and that fits the criteria I’m looking for here. They’re also at home and are facing a Browns squad with the fourth-most giveaways in the league. With a low projected point total (18.75) for the Browns, I’m willing to take a chance on the Chargers this week.
Step 2: Cincinnati Bengals ($52,100) vs. KC
The Bengals haven’t been fantastic in terms of FantasyFeud points, but I also think they’re not producing to their talent. With a home game this week, the Bengals are worth a look at a modest price as the Chiefs are tied for fifth in the NFL in the giveaway department. If you’re not looking to pay up for one of the elite defenses this week, there isn’t a better option than Cincinnati.
Step 3: Arizona Cardinals ($66,400) vs. STL
The Cardinals have started the season on fire and their defense is no exception. Fresh off a monster fantasy performance against the 49ers, the Cardinals are now the second-highest scoring defense on FantasyFeud and get another home game against the Rams this week. They’re currently leading the NFL in interceptions and will be my favorite target on defense this week as they come at a significant discount from the Seahawks and Broncos.
That’s it for me this week, folks. Good luck out there!