DraftKings Week 4 USFL DFS Tournament Plays


We hope you enjoy this FREE article preview! In order to access our other articles and content, including livestreams, projections and rankings, stat analysis and more, be sure to sign up today. We are here to help you #ScoreMore Fantasy Points!

DraftKings Week 4 USFL DFS Tournament Plays

A lack of NFL football, or football in general, is a terrible thing. But football is still hanging around, thanks to the USFL! And since DraftKings is offering DFS fantasy tournaments, it’s time to discuss the top plays and contrarian options so we can bink some USFL tournaments.

I’ll be going position by position, highlighting my favorite plays for tournaments, with a TL;DR included for those who don’t want to read my reasoning and just want the top-value plays. I’ll also include teams’ implied totals directly below, to help readers get a sense of the offenses Vegas thinks will put the most points on the board.

Team Totals

Houston Gamblers (21.25) @ Philadelphia Stars (23.75)

Memphis Showboats (19.5) @ Michigan Panthers (25.5)

New Orleans Breakers (23.5) @ New Jersey Generals (21.0)

Birmingham Stallions (25.5) @ Pittsburgh Maulers (18.0)


In the TL;DR, I’ll list out the top plays in order of value (according to me). This isn’t super strict, it does not factor in ownership, and in some cases, it’s sort of arbitrary. It also doesn’t matter nearly as much as my readers think it does. What does matter is maximizing the correlations within your lineups, and making sure you include at least a few players on each tournament team who should be on the lower end of ownership (I highlight a few in my write-ups). Get creative!

Plays ranked in order, with tier 1 in bold, and assumes notable questionable players suit up…

QB: McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Alex McGough, De’Andre Johnson, Case Cookus, Troy Williams, Cole Kelley

RB: Wes Hills, Mark Thompson, Garrett Groshek, Kerrith Whyte, Darius Victor, CJ Marable, Reggie Corbin, Zaquandre White, Matt Colburn

WR/TE: Davion Davis, Chris Rowland, Diondre Overton, Sage Surratt, Jonathan Adams, Dee Anderson, J’Mon Moore, Justin Hall, Derrick Dillon, Isiah Hennie, Corey Coleman, Devin gray, Eli Stove, Joe Walker, Bailey Gaither, Lee Morris


Alex McGough ($11,400): McGough offers compelling safety as he’s averaged 25.7 DraftKings FPG in his two starts, thanks to efficient passing (10.0 YPA), and solid rushing (5.0 rushing FPG). His Week 3 matchup couldn’t be much better, facing a Pittsburgh Maulers defense that’s allowed the 3rd-most passing YPG (225.3), alongside the league’s 3rd-highest pass rate (63%). What’s not to love?

Well, I’d expect McGough to be the highest-owned QB of the slate (or, at worst top-2), and the Stallions are listed as 7.5-point favorites (the largest spread of the week) against a Pittsburgh offense that hasn’t shown it can push opponents. So, the risk is that McGough goes over-owned, and Birmingham jumps out a quick lead, killing their pass rate in the later part of the game. Still, jumping out to a quick lead would necessitate putting points on the board, and McGough has shown he can do just that. He’s not my favorite QB play of the week, but he’s a compelling option at the position, especially in smaller field tournaments.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson ($10,600): Bethel-Thompson heads the USFL’s top-scoring offense (35.0 PPG), and a particularly QB-friendly offense at that. New Orleans leads the USFL in plays per game (64.7), while ranking 2nd in pass plays per game (37.7), 1st in passing yards per game (279.0), and 4th in neutral-situation pass rate (61%). The only notable drawback to how New Orleans runs their offense is their 4th-lowest red zone pass rate (39%), which obviously hurts the TD equity of the passing offense.

But, Bethel-Thompson is still the league’s most valuable passer for fantasy purposes, and it isn’t particularly close. He’s averaging 19.2 passing FPG this season, which is nearly 27% better than the next-closest QB (Case Cookus). The matchup is slightly below-average, but that won’t stop me from rostering Bethel-Thompson, who is probably $1,500 too cheap if he continues to pass the ball like this.

De’Andre Johnson ($8,200): Johnson is the premier pay-down option at QB this week after he earned 100% of snaps in Week 2, scoring 30.0 DraftKings points. What exactly can Johnson do as a full-time starter? Last season, he scored 23.4 DraftKings points in his lone start, and averaged a league-leading 21.8 DraftKings points per 4 quarters. With just two full games under his belt, the 26.7 DraftKings FPG that Johnson has averaged would lead all QBs by 3.6 FPG.

If he’s locked into 100% of snaps moving forward, Johnson is easily the most valuable fantasy QB in the USFL, and I’m not sure it’s close. The matchup this week is largely a neutral one, but it does provide one of the best game environments of the slate (I love betting the over on the 44.5 total). So, I’m considering Johnson the ideal high-risk, high-reward play. He could get benched if New Jersey falls behind, or just rotate drives at QB. But if he plays every snap, he’s the top QB play on this slate by a country mile. He’s perfect for the main $12 GPP.


Weighted Opportunity through 3 weeks:

Darius Victor ($10,100): Victor isn’t anywhere close to being a value comparable to Wes Hills or Mark Thompson – but he offers great TD equity at minimal ownership.

Last season, Victor had 27 inside the 10 carries – 11 more than the next-closest RB. He has a near-monopoly over backfield goal line work, even with Trey Williams back in the lineup. And that’s a fairly notable point this week, given my assumption this will be the highest-scoring game of the slate.

Again, I don’t consider Victor a great play. But he’s going to log sub-10% ownership in tournaments. RB ownership will be massively concentrated this week (for good reason), but if you are looking to get different at the position, Victor is probably my favorite way of doing it.

Wes Hills ($9,500): I don’t think we’ve ever seen spring football usage quite like the New Orleans backfield. The 30.3 weighted opportunity points the backfield has collectively averaged this season is the most by any spring football backfield all-time – 25% better than the 2023 San Antonio Brahmas.

The usage is great on the team level, but what makes this the perfect setup for fantasy is the absurd individual usage Wes Hills has earned since usurping Anthony Jones in Week 2. The 28.4 and 25.4 weighted opportunity points Hills has earned over his last two games are the best and 3rd-best single-game marks by a spring football RB ever. And he’s been remarkably productive on that usage, averaging a truly insane 40.7 DraftKings FPG over the last two weeks.

If that wasn’t enough, Hills earned a 100% snap share last week, and he plays for the league’s best offense (New Orleans is averaging 35.0 PPG). He’s 2019 Christian McCaffrey… if 2019 McCaffrey played for the Chiefs.

For Week 4, New Jersey profiles as a largely neutral matchup, but there’s no reason to assume they can slow down the league’s best-scoring offense. Wes Hills might be the greatest spring football RB ever, and I’d expect incredibly high ownership as a result. Only the most extreme contrarians will play Hill on less than half of their teams.

Mark Thompson ($5,700): Mark Thompson is the clear pay-down option for those who don’t have the salary to get to Wes Hills. Weeks 1 and 2 saw TJ Pledger lead the backfield, and Pledger averaged 16.1 weighted opportunity points per game, 20.0 opportunities per game, and 19.6 DraftKings FPG – all top-3 marks among RBs.

But Thompson took over in Week 3 thanks to a Plegder injury, earning 23.5 weighted opportunity points, 26 opportunities, 7 red zone opportunities, and 26.3 DraftKings points on a 68% snap share. So, Thompson is a bell cow (or, at worst, a fringe bell cow) and one of the top-4 most valuable RBs in the USFL now that Pledger has been ruled out – yet he carries an RB13 price tag. It doesn’t take a genius IQ to figure out that he’s one of the best values on the slate.

The only real downside with Thompson is that he plays in a below-average offense, as Houston’s implied team total (21.25) clearly illustrates. That’s a notable concern, but I’m not sure it’s a huge factor this week, given the close spread (Houston is a 2.5-point underdog) and the plus matchup. The Philadelphia run defense has allowed 4.3 YPC (3rd-most) and 126.3 rushing YPG (3rd-most). Combine that with a price tag that’s $3,000 too low, and it’s safe to consider Thompson the 2nd-best RB play of the slate – but expect ownership to match.

Garrett Groshek ($3,300): I’m not particularly anxious to play Groshek given the other RBs on the board, but he’s objectively too cheap in Week 4. Groshek ranked 5th among RBs in Week 3 weighted opportunity (11.2), and earned a respectable 59% snap share and 48% route share on his way to 6.3 DraftKings points. Efficiency is a major concern (pathetic 2.5 YPC), but Groshek’s current usage necessitates a price tag above $5,000.

But maybe efficiency shouldn’t be a major concern this week, given the matchup, as Birmingham is allowing a league-high 153.7 rushing YPG and 5.0 YPC. If we could just project Groshek for a league-average YPC, we might be able to talk about him in the same breath as Mark Thompson. I’m not quite that bullish, but I think the argument for including Groshek in your player pool is fairly strong, if only for the salary savings.


Jonathan Adams ($9,000): Johnnie Dixon left early last week with an ankle injury, and has been ruled out. New Orleans will have 25% of their targets and 38% of their deep targets vacated for Week 4.

It would be reasonable to anticipate a much stronger role for Adams, who is a tremendous talent. Last season, Adams was heavily utilized in the downfield receiving game (12 deep targets, 11th) and in the red zone (7 red zone targets, 6th). Combine that with an elite college pedigree (Adams earned over 100 yards or multiple TDs in 55% of his college games in 2020) and youth (he’s only 24), and it’s clear Adams is a budding spring football star. But he hasn’t gotten the opportunity to show it yet, with Johnnie Dixon and Sage Surratt soaking up over half the team’s targets. That changes in Week 4, making Adams one of the more exciting options among the expensive pass catchers.

Sage Surratt ($8,000): Surratt leads New Orleans with a 26% target share, which goes pretty far for fantasy purposes as the Breakers are averaging a league-leading 279.0 passing YPG on top of 35.0 PPG (1st). It feels safe to declare New Orleans the league’s best passing attack after three weeks.

If we assume the Breakers’ passing prowess continues, then we will certainly want shares of Surratt, who leads the league in receiving yards (257), receptions (20), and red zone targets (4) while ranking 2nd in targets (26), and 12th in deep targets (3). He’s pretty easily the best value among expensive WRs this week relative to his WR9 price tag – especially if Johnnie Dixon is ruled out.

Isiah Hennie ($5,500): The Maulers' offense has been incompetent for as long as the team has existed, but that won’t stop me from rostering Isiah Hennie this week. The 100.7 passing YPG Pittsburgh is averaging is vomit-inducing, but I became much more optimistic about this offense after seeing QB Troy Williams’ Week 3 performance. I don’t think Williams solves the general incompetency, but he does give this offense more scoring potential than Vegas gives them credit for.

And a scoring boost is exactly what Pittsburgh needs, given they are 8.0-point underdogs – a spread that indicates the Maulers will be forced the air the ball out. Hennie leads the team with a 26% target share, so he’s the clear DFS target, given his price tag. I’m also moderately interested in teammate Bailey Gaither ($7,800) – but I don’t feel comfortable with heavy exposure on any Pittsburgh pass catcher.

Davion Davis ($4,600): Davis has proven to be the Stallions’ leading WR thus far, ranking 14th among all WRs in targets (14), 5th in receiving yards (197), 6th in deep targets (4), and 11th in red zone targets (2) – presenting strong value relative to his WR22 price tag.

The argument that Davis is a good value is easy. But if catches significant ownership (which appears more likely than not), the argument for Davis as a tournament play is a bit more dicey. Gamescript will be heavily in Birmingham’s favor as 8.0-point favorites, which suggests a more run-heavy approach. Davis hasn’t earned more than 5 targets in an individual game this season, so a further decline in passing volume could seriously hurt his overall usage.

I still really like Davis, but I speculate that he goes over-owned, given the lack of compelling options in his price range. I won’t be fading him, but I should be underweight relative to the field.

Derrick Dillon ($4,500): Dillon is the easy pivot for those worried about Davion Davis’ ownership, granted it’s a mostly speculative bet. Dillon’s counting stats aren’t impressive; he has just 10 targets this season and hasn’t eclipsed 6.4 DraftKings points in an individual game.

But, he’s pacing this offense in route share (81% last week), and team target leader Rashard Davis just tore his Achilles, leaving a WR1 role open for Dillon. And that role could be seriously valuable given the Showboats’ 68% pass rate (2nd-highest). Dillon is one of my favorite tournament plays of the week, granted that assumes he carries lower ownership than Davion Davis.

Diondre Overton ($3,600): Overton has averaged a solid 7.3 DraftKings FPG (including 13.7 DraftKings points last week), thanks to a consistent, full-time role. He’s not an exceptional talent, but earning an 86% route share last week in an offense that’s throwing at a league-high 73% rate is tremendously valuable – especially at a $3,600 price tag. This is arguably the best week yet to target Philadelphia WRs, as Houston is allowing up a league-leading 269.3 receiving YPG and 8.2 yards per pass attempt. This could be the blowup spot for the Stars’ offense. But even if the offense struggles, Overton is locked into excellent usage relative to his price tag. He’s one of my favorite ways to save salary in tournaments this week, granted teammate Chris Rowland ($3,800) isn’t too far behind.

Jake Tribbey is the 2022 FSWA Football Writer of the Year and the leading Spring Football expert in the fantasy industry. He is a lifelong football fan obsessed with extracting every edge possible from DFS, Best Ball, and player props/futures.