Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 4


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Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 4

Week 3 ended up being a solid week for this article, which was a little surprising considering how difficult the NFL has been to handicap early this season.

It was a good week for the high-end QB recommendations, with Matthew Stafford,

Tom Brady, Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert in the article, but a bad week for the low-end guys with Daniel Jones, Jared Goff, and Justin Fields. That last one was particularly brutal and the first time in my recollection that a high-pedigree running QB failed for fantasy in his first start.

The RBs listed did well, like Derrick Henry, Chris Carson, Austin Ekeler, Nick Chubb, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Javonte Williams, D’Andre Swift, Aaron Jones, and Trey Sermon. Nothing amazing, but all solid producers, so I’ll take it.

The WRs weren’t as consistent, but some solid calls like Davante Adams, Cooper Kupp, Chase Claypool, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, but Marquise Brown robbed me and you of good times last week and Robert Woods and Amari Cooper didn’t pop, nor did low-end tries like Darnell Mooney, Laviska Shenault, Quintez Cephus. Bryan Edwards was okay.

TE was okay, with big misses on TJ Hockenson and Kyle Pitts, but decent hits with Tyler Higbee and Mark Andrews. I picked a Cowboy TE to make an impact, only I didn’t pick the TE1 for the week in Dalton Schultz, I went Blake Jarwin, which sucked.

I’m studying all the matchups and everything all week, and I do the projections on the site, so it’s really easy for me to simply head to our DFS projections and sort by Point Per Dollar Value to start my search for the best ROI based on salary and our projections. I scan those for each position and the final step is adding my gut feeling on the player’s matchup, upside, etc.

With three weeks in, I’m continuing to get a feel for the league and its fantasy assets. That means I’m supposed to get better, not worse.


Note: I’m ranking them in order of my favorite plays, mainly for cash games.

Patrick Mahomes (KC, at Phi — $8100 DK, $8700 FD) — I think Mahomes and the Chiefs will torch the Eagles, who don’t have a pass rush and who play the highest percentage of zone in the league. That means KC will know exactly what to expect, and they will show out for their HC, who returns to Philly to play his old team. Philly is giving up the eight-highest completion percentage in the league and probably won’t have an answer for Travis Kelce.

Matthew Stafford (LAR, at Ari — $7000 DK, $7800 FD) — He’s a top-3 value on both sites, and #1 on DK. The Cards are vulnerable inside, giving up the seventh-most FP out of the slot, and the Rams are great inside with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. We have a high expected total of 54, and while Arizona has been solid against the pass, Kirk Cousins got these guys for 244/3 passing on 32 attempts (7.7 YPA) in Week 2.

Tom Brady (TB, at NE — $7200 DK, $8100 FD) — He’s a top-3 value on DK, and top-7 on FD. Tha Pats are near the top in terms of most defensive stats against the pass, but they’ve also faced Tua Tagovailoa, Zach Wilson, and Jameis Winston. If they can, Brady and the Bucs should keep their foot on the gas even if they’re winning big to give that Belichick guy a taste of his own heartless medicine.

Derek Carr (LV, at LAC — $5900 DK, $7400 FD) — He’s a better value on DK, for sure. Carr has 380+ yards with 2 TDs in every game this season and 315+ yards and 2+ TDs in his last seven full games. The Charges have been good against the pass overall, but Patrick Mahomes got them for 260/3 passing last week, and they give up a 69.57% completion rate, the 13th highest in the league. Las Vegas is also first in plays per game with 78.3 and he’s putting the ball up 43+ times a game already this year.

Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, vs. Sea — $5600 DK, $7000 FD) - He’s a top-10 value on both sites, and top-6 on DK. There’s risk with Trey Lance a threat to vulture a TD, but Seattle’s defense is pretty bad right now. There have been huge voids in their zone coverage, and HC Kyle Shanahan specializes in finding holes in the defense and getting his receivers wide open. George Kittle is iffy, so you can use his status as a guide and tie-breaker for Jimmy and someone comparable, but I do love WRs Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk to do major damage.

Mac Jones (NE, vs. TB — $5000 DK, $8100 FD) — He’s only the 18th best value on FD, so I’d go DK only with this one. I think the Pats have to come out throwing and stay with the pass the whole day, since their running game can’t be counted on against this run D. Tampa is giving up the most passing yards per game so far, and the fourth-highest completion rate at 72.22%. Due to volume alone, Jones should easily get 15+ FP, delivering 3X return on DK.

Not the best values, but I do like them this week:

Josh Allen (Buf, vs. Hou — $8000 DK, $8500 FD) — He’s actually a top-3 value on FD, but only the 17th best value on DK. Obviously, the Bills will be crushing the Texans, so he may not have to do as much. But 24 points is incredibly doable still, and we all like Stefon Diggs to eat this week. I also love what I’m seeing from TE Dawson Knox, and it’s a great matchup for him.

Jalen Hurts (Phi, vs. KC — $6900 DK, $7900 FD) — He is Mr. Disconnect between fantasy and reality, since he’s been good for fantasy and not good in reality. But the goodness should continue this week, since the Chiefs, dealing with multiple injuries in the secondary, are giving up the second-most overall FPG to QBs (25.3), the most pure rushing FPG (8.33), likely due to their seventh-highest percentage of man-to-man in the league. The Eagles should get crushed, and KC should at least bend a lot and give up production in garbage time. Also, DE Frank Clark and starting CB Charvarius Ward have already been ruled out, which is nice for Hurts.

Taylor Heinicke (WFT, at Atl— $5000 DK, $8100 FD) — He’s not a great value per se on either site, but he’s posted 21+ FP in each of his first two starts. The Falcons play a lot of cover-2, coverage Heinicke has his second-highest TD rate against, so it could be another Logan Thomas TD coming, and we all like Terry McLaurin to smash.

Running Backs

Derrick Henry (Ten, at NYJ — $8800 DK, $10,200 FD) — Despite the high salaries, he’s top-2 value on both sites because he should literally be their offense in Week 4 against a bad Jets team. Just do it.

David Montgomery (Chi, vs. Det — $7500 DK, $5800 FD) — He’s not very sexy at this point, but he could be this week with volume, since this game projects to be a close one with the Bears favored, so Montgomery should have 18+ opportunities. His snap share has grown every week (59%>80%>82%), and he put up 21/111/2 as a bell-cow back in this matchup in Week 13 last season.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC, at Phi — $5400 DK) — Our Greg Cosell noted in his film study this week that the KC line was great blocking up the run last week, CEH was pretty damn good himself. His lack of targets continues to be a problem, but I think KC will hold a nice lead here the whole game, and the Eagles defense invites opponents to run the ball, as we saw last week with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combined for 28/155/2 rushing and 4/26 receiving against the Eagles last week. Another 100+ yards and a TD should be in order.

Leonard Fournette (TB, at NE — $5000 DK, $5900 FD) — I almost always regret giving Lenny DFS love, excluding the postseason, of course. But Gio Bernard isn’t going to play, and Ron Jones has hands of stone, so in full PPR (DK), Fournette is a top-10 value. Rob Gronkowski is also out, which helps. Fournette should be in good shape regardless of the game script, but I do expect them to have a lead most of the game, and Lenny averaged 14.5 touches and 67.5 scrimmage yards in wins in Weeks 1-2.

Cordarrelle Patterson (Atl, vs. WFT, — $4900 DK) — DK only, since he’s dirt cheap and a good bet to deliver 2.5-3X value. Patterson leads all RBs with 1.36 FPs/touch and 3.92 yard per route run, and we could see another big day in the passing game, since it’s a tough matchup on the ground but a good one through the air. The Football Team giving up the second-most FPG to opposing WR units and the fourth-most to outside WRs, were CP lines up 80% of the time.

Zack Moss (Buf, vs. Hou — $5300 DK, $6000 FD) — I’m bracing for Devin Singletary to steal the apparent production that Moss is going to enjoy in this lopsided game, but Moss is still trending in a good direction. The Bills are favored by a whooping 17 points, and their smothering defense should shut the Texans offense down. Moss has outsnapped Singletary 6 to 4 inside the opponents’ 10-yard line, and the Texans have the second-highest EPA per attempt against RBs in the league.

Not the best values, but I do like them this week:

Sony Michel (LAR, vs. Ari — $5200 DK, $5800 FD) — It’s fine if you bail on him if Darrell Henderson is active, and he is expected to be. But Henderson may still be out or limited, so Michel is intriguing for the upside. Despite a poor YPC average so far, Michel has looked very good, and the Cards are the fifth-best matchup right now for RBs in terms of EPA per attempt (giving up 5.0 YPC and 5 catches per game to RBs, as well)

Wide Receivers

Jakobi Meyers (NE, vs. TB — $5200 DK, $5700 FD) — A top-6 value on both sites, Meyers is looking at 8-10 targets in this one, and it could easily be 12+ as they come out throwing and stay throwing the whole game. Meyers last week, with James White knocked out in the second quarter, led the Patriots with 9/94 receiving on 14 targets, and he’s seen at least a 20% target share or better every week. Teams are picking on slot CB Ross Cockrell, who has given up a healthy 1.46 yards per slot coverage snap as Sean Murphy-Bunting’s replacement. I’d be shocked if Meyers didn’t get at least 10-12 looks.

Corey Davis (NYJ — $5000 DK, $5700 FD) — Davis usually comes up small when you’re expecting success, and his QB is not playing well, but he’s still the 7th-best value on both sites. Yes, it’s a “revenge game” but more importantly, it’s a good spot for the Jets to actually have success passing it. Davis saw 10 targets (30% share) last week, and Elijah Moore is out. QB Zach Wilson has been under pressure on 46.7% of his dropbacks (2nd-most), but the Titans rank 6th-worst in PFF pass rush grade, and EDGE Bud Dupree (knee) is out this week. Tennessee has surrendered the 3rd-most FPG to opposing WRs (50.1), including four performances of 21.0 fantasy points or more.

Terrace Marshall (Car, at Dal — $4000 DK, $5000 FD) — He’s the top value on DK, and top-9 on both sites. We all expect Trevon Diggs, already looking like a top shutdown corner, to travel with DJ Mooore, so it’s either Marshall or Robby Anderson this week - or both. Given Marshall has actually been more impressive the last two weeks, I’m going with the dirt cheap option. He has only 10/91 receiving on 14 targets (14% share) through three weeks, but he saw a season-best 62% snap share last week, and his role could increase with TE Dan Arnold gone.

Jaylen Waddle (Mia, vs. Ind — $4900 DK, $5400 FD) — Waddle had an aDOT of just 2.8 yards last week, but he did have 13 targets and he’s seen his targets grow each week (5<8<13). He’s posted 9.8 FP in each of his first three games and the Colts are giving up the 13th-most FPG to slot receivers, and he’s lining up inside on over 80% of his snaps.

Zach Pascal (Ind, — $4900 DK, $5400 FD) — He’s reliable as hell, and since he’s running 86.2% of his routes out of the slot, that’s another reason Carson Wentz has been looking for him a lot. He had just 2/31 receiving against the Titans last week, but of course he almost scored and he saw seven targets (19% share), including four different targets inside the 10-yard line. The Dolphins are giving up the fourth-most FPG to slot receivers.

Not the best values, but I do like them this week:

Deebo Samuel (SF, vs. Sea — $7000 DK, $7200 FD) and Brandon Aiyuk (SF, vs. Sea — $7000 DK, $7200 FD) — Neither are particularly great values, but with George Kittle iffy and the Seahawks secondary offering up huge voids in their zone coverage, these guys could eat big time, especially if Kittle is out or limited.

Calvin Ridley (Atl, vs. WFT — $7000 DK, $7200 FD) — Only the 25th-best value on DK, but he is top-5 on FD. He’s due (#analysis). We need more downfield action for Ridley, but he’s averaging 9.7 targets per game for a 25% share, and the FT’s defense is giving up the second-most FPG (53.5) to WRs so far and the fifth-most FPG to outside WRs.

DK Metcalf (Sea, vs. SF — $7200 DK, $7700 FD) — Only the 20th-best value on DK, but he is top-6 on FD. He’s got a foot issue, but he’s probably in better shape health-wise than Tyler Lockett, plus TE Gerald Everett is out. Metcalf posted 12/161/2 receiving in this matchup back in Week 8 last season, and he could crush against a group of lesser corners (and that’s being kind, calling them “lesser” corners).

Stefon Diggs (Buf, vs. Hou — $7600 DK, $8000 FD) — He is a top-10 value on FD, but he’s buried down the value list on DK. That’s mainly due to concerns about volume, but this smells like a go-off spot for Diggs, at least the first 2-3 quarters of the game. Diggs, who’s underwhelmed but has seen the third-most air yards (409) in the league, should rip this secondary like DJ Moore ripped them for 8/126 receiving last week. Moore was constantly wide open.

Terry McLaurin (WFT, at Atl — $6900 DK, $7100 FD) — He’s a much better value on FD, but the matchup is what’s important here. The Falcons, per Wes Huber, have some similarities to the Giants in terms of their coverage schemes, which McLaurin ripped for 11/107/1 in Week 2. Atlanta is actually decent inside, so this looks like a TMC game, even with Curtis Samuel back.

Odell Beckham (Cle, at Min — $5800 DK, $6600 FD) — Not an amazing value, and he’s still not easy to trust, but the matchup is too good. I can’t believe I’m listing him, but OBJ looked good last week, with a nice 29% target share. The Vikings are giving up 15.0 YPR to WRs, the fourth-most FPG (47.2) to the position so far, and the MOST fantasy points per game to outside WRs. He will see a lot of CB Bashaud Breeland, who may be the worst corner in the league so far.

Tight Ends

Travis Kelce (KC, at Phi — $8100 DK, $8200 FD) — The Eagles are good right now at preventing big plays down the field, which should play into Kelce’s hands, as he tries to impress his older brother on the other sideline. He has 6+ catches and 75+ yards in each of his first three games this season, and the Eagles just got torched by Dalton Schultz (6/80/2 receiving) last week. There are serious voids in Philly’s secondary, especially right down the seam.

Dawson Knox (Buf, vs. Hou — $3600 DK, $5600 FD) — A much better value on DK, he’s still a top-12 option on both sites. The Bills love this guy, and I’m thinking we may be on the verge of a breakout this year, as Knox has 8+ FP in each of his first three games, and his route run percentage climbing every week (45%<77%<80%). The matchup could not be better, as there are major voids in the Texans’ defense right down the middle. The Texans are giving up the fifth-most FPG (18.9) to TEs this season, despite the Panthers not taking much advantage of the matchup. He’s not easy to trust, but there’s major upside given his matchup, increased role, and his very low price.

Logan Thomas (WFT, at Atl — $4900 DK, $5800 FD) — He may be less popular with Curtis Samuel back, for one. Thomas is the only TE, WR, or RB who has played every offensive snap for his team, and only four TEs have run more routes. He has been TD-dependent, but the Falcons have given up 16.5 FPG to TEs through three weeks and they’ve given up three TDs to the position.

Tommy Tremble (Car, at Dal — $2500 DK) — DK, since he’s insanely cheap, likely priced before they traded Dan Arnold early this week. Arnold was playing 39% of the snaps, most of which will shift over to Tremble with Ian Thomas sticking as a blocker. He’s a good bet to get 1-2 carries, and the Cowboys have given up the second-most FPG (20.5) to TEs so far. He may need a big play or a TD to hit 3X value, but it’s extremely doable as they throw it 35-40 times.

Not the best values, but I do like them this week:

Darren Waller (LV, vs. Hou — $3600 DK, $5600 FD) — A much better value on FD, he’s still top-8 value on both sites. The Raiders have a tougher matchup for their outside WRs, as Tyreek Hill learned last week, and despite others emerging at WR, he’s still consistent with 5+ catches and 50+ yards in every game. Travis Kelce posted 7/104 receiving in this matchup last week.

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,, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded