Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 4

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Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 4

Coming off a solid Week 3, I’m back for more in Week 3. I’m not feeling a ton of great WR plays this week, but I do have a few cheapies I’m into. I might add a player or two over the weekend, so feel free to check back.

QUARTERBACKS

Ryan Fitzpatrick (Mia, vs Sea - $5400 on DK) - I really don’t want to worry about how chalky he is or will be in Week 4; he’s the best value on the board this week based on his projected points and salary, and I’m afraid of putting in a cash lineup without him. Given how hot the Seahawk passing game is along with the weakness of the Dolphin secondary (star corner Byron Jones is doubtful), and how poorly Seattle’s secondary is playing, I’d be stunned if Fitzpatrick didn’t deliver 3X return on DK - and 4-5X is definitely in play. Our Greg Cosell is pretty taken back by how bad the Seahawk secondary has been with guys out of position often. And S Jamaal Adams is out, so Fitz is looking even better, since Adams can be a disruptive blitzer. The numbers Seattle is giving (with Adams playing) up are staggering, including an 8.5 YPA on a whopping 52 pass attempts per game, which is insane and equals 440 passing yards a game.

Matthew Stafford (Det, vs NO - $5900 on DK and $8600 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on FanDuel, as you can see in our DFS Projections. Stafford was here last week and he left me wanting more, but he threw it only 32 times, and he had a 50-yard TD taken off the board, or else he would have posted 320+ yards and 3 TDs. They went conservative on the road last week and handed the ball off to Adrian Peterson with success, so it worked. but I don’t think that will happen against the tough Saint run defense, which is giving up only 3.5 YPC so far. I’m seeing 35+ attempts for Stafford, and New Orleans is giving up a healthy 269/2.7 passing per game to QBs so far, and they have some key injuries this week, including top CB Marshawn Lattimore (OUT), #2 CB Janoris Jenkins (OUT) and DE Marcus Davenport. With Kenny Golladay coming out of last week’s game in good shape and with a promising expected total of 54, Stafford should have no problem delivering 3X value on his price, and if things go well 4X is very attainable.

Baker Mayfield (Cle, at Dal - $5800 on DK and $7000 on FanDuel) - He’s about the same value on both sites, but he’s not dirt cheap. He’s priced a little higher than I would think but that’s probably based on the matchup - and the matchup is outstanding. The Cowboys are really struggling in the secondary with two top corners out, and they’re giving up a promising 288/3 on 36 attempts per game to QBs. I think it’s clear we’re going to see 35+ attempts from Baker, so unless Odell Beckham is out, limited, or has a meltdown, the final numbers should be there for Baker, and a blowup game is certainly possible.

Note: Drew Brees removed 10/3

MNF Pick:

Matt Ryan (Atl, at GB - $6000 on DK) - Calvin Ridley returned to practice on Friday, so he should be fine, and Julio Jones should be as well, so Ryan stands out more than usual with his salary down a little this week. He’s only the 13th highest-priced QB for the week. I have made some great calls on Julio in the past when he’s up against a heavy zone coverage team, and the Packers have played almost all zone thus far. They are also giving up the highest yards-per-target to TEs this year, so Hayden Hurst may actually do something. We do have the highest expected total on the board in his game with the Packers, who won’t have Allen Lazard, which stinks, but will have DeVante Adams, who will eat heartily against this poor pass defense. So we’re likely looking at a high-scoring affair and Ryan easily delivering 3X on his price with upside from there.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Dak Prescott (Dal, vs Cle - $7200 on DK and $8200 on FanDuel) - Dak seems to live in this column, and why wouldn’t he? His defense has been shredded, and he’s throwing it almost 50 times a game with almost 5 rushes per game - and they’re loaded at receiver. The Browns have several key injuries on defense as well, including CB Greedy Williams and, most importantly, top corner Denzel Ward, who was limited Friday (groin). Dak has the 2nd-best completion percentage (59.3%), second-best YPA (13.3), and sixth-best QB rating (121.4) on throws of 10 or more air yards this year, and the Browns defense has allowed 7 TD on such throws, tied for the most in the NFL. I like the Browns to put up a fight, so Dak is likely looking at another big game against a Browns defense that is giving up just under 3 TD passes per game so far. His situation at LT and the presence of Myles Garrett is a concern, but it might be offset by Dak taking off and running more.

Josh Allen (Buf, at LV - $7300 on DK and $8200 on FanDuel) - His price is up a little, but he’s been in this article the last two weeks with fantastic results, so I’m not shying away until he proves me wrong for continuing to list him. I do respect the Raiders’ defense, but this is hardly a shutdown unit.

RUNNING BACKS

Jonathan Taylor (Ind, at Chi - $6600 on DK and $7500 on FanDuel) - I know I list him every week and his results, while good, haven’t been out of this world. But this week, we have his projected ownership down to 6%, so he might actually be sneaky. What’s sneaky about him is I don’t think people realize how weak the Bears run defense has been, as they really miss DT Eddie Goldman. They are giving up the fifth-most fantasy points per carry, and 4.9 YPC to RBs along with 4 rushing TDs already surrendered. The Bears are still quite stingy against the pass, though, so I can see the Colts seriously committing to Taylor with 20+ carries and well over 20 opportunities. I can see a blowup game here with 100+ rushing yards and 2 TDs.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC, vs. NE - $6400 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - CEH is a big name, but I think he’s a little sneaky this week. As Greg Cosell pointed out in our Matchup Livestream, the Patriots may opt to “allow” CEH to make some hay while focusing on doubling stars Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, which as Greg pointed out, can actually be done. They are allowing 4.5 YPC to RBs and 6/40 in the passing game, plus the eighth-worst success rate against RBs, so it’s not a scary matchup right now for CEH. The Patriots have had some success against Patrick Mahomes (51.6% completion rate in the playoffs last year, for example), KC may make this a CEH game.

Dalvin Cook (MIn, at Hou - $6400 on DK and $8700 on FanDuel) - He’s a slightly better value on DK, but regardless; I’m sniffing another big game. The Texan run D was awful last week against the Steelers, and they’re giving up a league-worst 188 rushing yards per game. The Vikings have to feed Cook the ball, and they want to. He also looked fantastic last week. If they fall behind, Cook should be able to pick up some slack in the passing game, an element they need to improve upon with Cook this year.

David Johnson (Hou, vs. Min - $5600 on DK and $6700 on FanDuel) - He’s very close to the same value on DK and Fanduel, but I’m a little disappointed that people seem to be on to him this week (I’m probably not helping, talking him up this week). We’re projecting up to a 16% ownership percentage, which is not good, but since I’m Johnny Cash Game, I focus on making good recommendations here, and I do believe Johnson is a good one this week. I was impressed with Johnson last week against a great defense (Pittsburgh), which is something the boxscore analysts too lazy to watch the games might be surprised by. Our Greg Cosell was also impressed and thought Johnson was moving well. I’m feeling a high-impact outing from Johnson against a Vikings defense that is giving up a whopping 31/136/1.3 rushing per game to RBs, and they are also giving up 5 catches a game for 29 FPG in PPR. I know Duke Johnson will be back and he might cap David’s upside, but I’m seeing 100+ total yards and a TD from Dave this week.

Kenyan Drake (Ari, at Car - $6000 on DK and $7000 on FanDuel) - He’s slightly better value on DK. The Drake has been a real pain in the buttocks, but it’s not due to his rushing opportunities. He’s 5th in the NFL with 54 carries, and is one of just five RBs with 15 or more carries in every game. The Panther run defense was horrible last year, and with #1 pick Derrick Brown still learning the ropes, they’re getting crushed again by opposing RBs, giving up an RB1 overall performance to Josh Jacobs and a pair of RB3 overall performances to Austin Ekeler and Leonard Fournette. They’re giving up 5.0 YPC, 2.3 rushing TDs per game, and 11 RB receptions per game, so Drake may even haul in 2-3 balls. It’ll likely come down to whether or not he can score, but a 150+ rushing yard day for the Drake is in play.

David Montgomery (Chi, vs. Ind - $5500 on DK) - He’s a guy who has let me down in DFS in the past, but I’d only used him a couple of times, actually, and Tarik Cohen was still in play when I did. That’s obviously not the case now, so you have to like Mongomery’s chances of returning a nice ROI this week. They haven’t been getting crushed on the ground by any stretch, but over their last three games lead RBs have been okay: James Robinson (16/62), Dalvin Cook (14/63/1), and even Frank Gore operating in a brutal offense last week (15/57), and I think Montgomery can do a little better with a little more volume, which I think he’ll get against a stingy Colt defense. He’ll probably have to score to come through, but no Cohen means 3-4 grabs should be easily attainable, so I have him projected to get 21 touches.

Ronald Jones (TB, vs. LAC - $4700 on DK and $5600 on FanDuel) - He’s a better bargain on DK. But here we go again with this guy, who I listed in Week 2 because his matchup and situation looked great. He scored, but then was involved in a fumble on an exchange and then Leonard Fournette went for 100+ rushing with 2 TDs. But as you can see, if I list him, the Buc running game is looking good, and this week it’s looking good because Fournette is out. If Ke'Shawn Vaughn has a coming out party my head will explode, but for now, we're really only worried about LeSean McCoy, who looks toast and has 1 carry for -5 yards. If Jones loses out to a buried rookie or a guy averaging fewer yards per carry than I am, then I will never back Jones again as long as I live. The Chargers will probably come up small offensively traveling across the country to face a nasty defense, so Jones should get volume here, and he’s still involved in the passing game (3 targets and 2 catches per game), and the Chargers are giving up almost 7 grabs a game to RBs.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Josh Jacobs (LV, vs. Buf - $6800 on DK and $8000 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on Fanduel for sure, and not a great value on DK, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a good play. Given they are facing a potent offense and a defense that can be run on, I’m expecting a major, major commitment to Jacobs with 25+ touches, so I’ll roll with the volume if it makes sense for a DFS team.

WIDE RECEIVERS

DeVante Parker (Mia, vs. Sea - $5700 on DK and $6500 on FanDuel) - He’s about the same value-wise on the two sites, but does look a little more popular on DK, per our projected ownership. I always worry about Parker letting me down, which is why I rarely back him, but getting behind him this week must be done (unless you want to avoid his chalk, which I’d actually be fine with because he is, you know, DeVante Parker. But he did look healthy and fresh last week, and he’s had 10 days to rest up after Week 3. And his matchup literally couldn’t be better, as Seattle gives up the most points to outside WRs right now and they’re giving up a completely insane 25 catches per game to WRs for an abominable 378 receiving yards per

Will Fuller (Hou, vs. Min - $5900 on DK and $6100 on FanDuel) - He’s a much better value on FanDuel, but I have to go here. It looks like his hamstring isn’t a big concern and they were just being cautious by limiting him Thursday. The Vikings still won’t have Mike Hughes, and they’re a mess defensively, giving up the second-most fantasy points in the slot and the 11th-most to outside WRs. I can’t rule out a blowup game here, at home, with the Texans desperate at 0-3.

Jarvis Landry (Cle, at Dal - $5700 on DK) - He’s a PPR guy only on DK, but I’m feeling a big catch game for Landry. I know he’s not 100% still, but he doesn’t look bad at all to me. His problem has been a lack of targets, but I don’t think it will be an issue this week. I can’t wait to see how these Browns react if they have to get in a shootout with the Cowboys, and I’m expecting to see it given the sorry state of the Cowboys defense, still down two corners. Dallas is giving up the sixth-most fantasy points per game to slot receivers, and with 10+ targets likely coming, I think we’re looking at 7 or more grabs for Landry, and if he scores he’s a home run.

Emmanuel Sanders (NO, at Det - $4800 on DK and $5800 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on DK. With Michael Thomas and Jared Cook out, the onus will be on Tre’Quan Smith and Sanders, and I’m opting for Sanders as the play after he led all Saints receivers not named “Alvin” last week with 5 targets and 4/56/1. I think we’ll see top corner Jeff Okudah on Smith more than Sanders, (both play in the slot), so I’m thinking Sanders is the play and slot corner Darryl Roberts is banged up, as is Desmond Trufant. Added: 10/3

Greg Ward (Phi, at SF - $4800 on DK and $5000 on FanDuel) - The Eagles are decimated at WR, but the 49ers are at CB, so Ward has a chance to surprise with 6-7 catches. He can play outside and will likely have to, and the 49ers are down their top-3 corners (although they do have scrappy vet Jason Verrett). Slot corner K'Waun Williams is also banged up, which could help. I have Ward as the best WR value this week on DK and the fourth-best on FanDuel. Added: 10/3

Hunter Renfroe (LV, vs. Buf - $4600 on DK and $5300 on FanDuel) - He’s a PPR guy only on DK, but he’s a great option if you’re looking to cheap out for your WR3 or flex. I’ve made a living recommending slot receivers against the Bills this year, and Renfroe did ball out last week. The Bills are giving up the fifth-most yards per target out of the slot, and given the potency of the Bills offense, I can see 7+ targets for Renroe.

Preston Williams (Mia, vs. Sea - $4500 on DK) - He’s a DK only play, but if you’re looking to be different than the Parker lovers this week, I’m sensing a bustout game for Williams, and I did predict a TD for him last week on the radio. There’s no better matchup right now if for a WR with Seattle giving up the most fantasy points to both slot and outside receivers. With added volume and red zone visits, Williams could easily come through.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

DK Metcalf (Sea, at Mia - $6800 on DK and $6900 on FanDuel) - He’s a way better value on FanDuel, using our projections, but while he’s pricey, sometimes you get what you paid for. No Byron Jones helps, and Miami really struggled to slow down Josh Allen and the Bills in Week 2.

Mike Evans (TB, vs LAC - $6400 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - He’s not cheap, but I like the matchup and situation with Chris Godwin out. He won’t likely see a lot of Casey Hayward and the Chargers are down Chris Harris and are giving up the seventh-most points to outside WRs.

Amari Cooper (Dal, vs Cle - $6700 on DK and $7100 on FanDuel) - He’s a much better value on FanDuel. I always like Cooper a lot more against zone, and the Browns play a ton of it, plus they are banged up on the back end with Denzel Ward, I suppose, likely to play, but at less than full strength. They’re also giving up the 9th-most fantasy points to WRs in the slot.

Julio Jones (Atl, at GB - $7100 on DK and $7900 on FanDuel) - He’s a much better value on DK, which is full point PPR. But I’ve recommended majorly against zone-based defenses in the past with great results, usually thanks to a lot of in-breaking routes, and the Packers play the second-most zone so far, per SIS. I also think he’s sneaky coming off his missed game in Week 3.

TIGHT ENDS

Darren Waller (Buf, at LV - $5200 on DK and $6700 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on DK. A player’s outlook can shift dramatically when he’s the key offensive cog, especially when the Patriots are involved. It was clear the Pats were doing to erase Waller last week, and that’s what they did. It’s also clear the Bills don’t play that way and have been giving to TEs and inside receivers, which is why I loved Mike Gesicki here two weeks ago, and he went off. The Bills are giving up the fifth-most yards per target to TEs so far, and that includes playing the Jets, whose TE put up only 37 yards on 7 targets. They’re giving up a healthy 6/82 to TEs per game but have also been slain by opposing slot receivers (Jamison Crowder Week 1, Cooper Kupp Week 3), and Waller is running about 10 routes per game from the slot.

TJ Hockenson (Det, vs. Det - $4800 on DK and $5400 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on FanDuel, but a great pick for either site. As noted in Joe Dolan’s Vantage Points column, the Saints have given up 21 completions to TEs from the traditional attached TE alignment, which is 9 more than any team in the NFL so far. In fact, it’s the most any team has allowed through Week 3 since 2015. Hockenson has 9/108/1 receiving on 10 targets when lined up as a traditional TE (he’s seen 10 of his 16 targets from the traditional alignment).

Mike Gesicki (Mia, vs. Sea - $5100 on DK and $5700 on FanDuel) - He’s an equal value on both sites. Seahawk S Jamaal Adams isn’t usually the TE matchup, but he does do it, so him being out is good news for Miami and Gesicki. Seattle hasn’t given up much to the TE, but they are giving up the most fantasy points to receivers out of the slot, and Gesicki lines up there a ton. Most of all, I’m drooling at the prospect of Ryan Fitzpatrick slinging it 45+ times in a shootout with Gesicki balling out with 10+ targets. It could happen.

Robert Tonyan (GB, vs. Atl - $3400 on DK and $5100 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on DK for sure. I have jokingly called him “Bobby Tonyan” for a while, and you know who else calls him that? Aaron Rodgers. And I think he does because he likes him. He clearly trusts him, and doesn't yet trust Jace Sternberger (who, admittedly, is my guy). The Falcons have now given up massive production to TEs the last two weeks, but not to the bigger names at the position (Jimmy Graham and Dalton Schultz). The Falcons are now giving up the fourth-most fantasy point per target to TEs. With Allen Lazard out, Rodgers will need someone else to step up, and Tonyan is probably the best option. He’s definitely going over 10 PPR points this week, and if he scores as he has in his last two games, he’s a homerun reach play.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

George Kittle (SF, vs. Phi - $6300 on DK and $7500 on FanDuel) - He’s hardly a bargain on either site, but it sure feels like an unleashing is forthcoming this week, and the Eagles are giving up the most fantasy points per target so far this year. Their low-end LBs in theory will have major, major problems with Kittle, so a huge game could be in the cards.

Lineups:

Team 1Team 2Team 3Team 4Team 5
Ryan FitzpatrickRyan FitzpatrickMatthew StaffordDak PrescottJosh Allen
Dalvin CookDalvin CookJonathan TaylorAlvin KamaraAlvin Kamara
Alvin KamaraJonathan TaylorDavid JohnsonDavid JohnsonJonathan Taylor
DeVante ParkerDeVante ParkerDK MetcalfDeVante ParkerJarvis Landry
Jarvis LandryWill FullerDeVante ParkerKenny GolladayDJ Moore
Randall CobbHunter RenfrowWill FullerJarvis LandryPreston Williams
Darren WallerDarren WallerDarren WallerDarren WallerAustin Hooper
Ronald JonesDavid JohnsonTJ HockensenRonald JonesDavid Montgomery
BuccaneersBuccaneersBuccaneersTexansBuccaneers

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on ESPN.com, NFL.com, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded FantasyPoints.com.

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