Who are the best plays for the Week 4 DFS primetime slate on DraftKings and FanDuel? Tyler Loechner runs through notes on the primetime short slate featuring SNF/MNF games.1
DSF Week 4 Primetime Slate
|Home||Away||Spread||Favorite Implied||Underdog Implied||Vegas Total|
|New Orleans Saints||Dallas Cowboys||DAL -2.5||24.75||22.25||47|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||PIT -3.5||24.25||20.75||45|
DFS Week 4 Primetime Slate theory thoughts:
- Even though the implied totals aren’t that high on this slate, there are a ton of huge fantasy names to choose from at every position other than tight end. Choosing the three to four studs you want on your roster isn’t as obvious on this slate as it usually is on two-game short slates.
- If Vance McDonald misses Monday night’s game, the TE position is completely barren on this slate. Do you “pay up” for Jason Witten, or punt the position entirely?
- Some super stud WRs — namely JuJu Smith-Schuster and Michael Thomas — are seriously discounted because of injuries to their QBs. Do you buy the talent, or fade the situation?
Chalk: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
DK – QB1; FD – QB1
Easily the best QB on the slate, Prescott enters Week 4 with the fourth-most fantasy points and second-most fantasy points over expectation (FPOE) in the NFL. And this week, he squares off against the Saints, who have allowed the most fantasy points to QBs so far this season. This is a slam-dunk spot for Prescott.
Contrarian: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
DK – QB3; FD – QB2
Dalton faces a Steelers defense that ranks bottom 10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs. The Bengals have the lowest implied total on the slate, so I’m not sure Dalton will be as owned as he should — even though he’s played relatively well this season. Dalton is a better value on DK, where he’s only $5,300 despite averaging 22.2 PPG (4.2x value). According to our DFS Lineup Optimizer, Dalton is neck-and-neck with Prescott as the top QB value on the slate.2
Chalk: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
DK – RB2; FD – RB2
Kamara was just fine without Drew Brees under center, as the do-it-all RB tallied 25 touches for 161 total yards and two scores in Week 3. It’s a close call between Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott for the top RB play of the slate, but I’m leaning Kamara given his elite usage in the passing game.3 According to our Game Level Similarity Projections (GLSP), Kamara has the highest 75th-percentile projected PPR score (30.2) and half-PPR score (27.55) for all of Week 4 — not just on this slate.
Contrarian: Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
DK – RB4; FD – RB4
Mixon has underwhelmed to start the season, but the Steelers have been trounced by RBs through three weeks, ranking in the bottom five in rush attempts against every week, bottom six in rush yards against twice, and bottom five in receptions and receiving yards against twice. Opposing RBs are averaging over 128 yards per game against Pittsburgh through three weeks.
|Week||Opp.||Rushes||RuAtt Rk||RuYd||RuYd Rk||Rec||Rec Rk||RecYd||RecYd Rk|
Chalk: Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
DK – WR2; FD – WR3
I get that he doesn’t have Brees throwing him the ball for the foreseeable future, but I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Thomas is not the highest-priced WR on a two-game slate. With Teddy Bridgewater at the helm, Thomas saw only half the targets (seven last week vs. 13 in both Weeks 1 and 2), but he did register his first touchdown of the season. Additionally, despite not ceding many actual fantasy points to enemy WRs, the Cowboys have ranked bottom 10 in expected points (EP) given up to wideouts each of the past two weeks.
Contrarian: Devin Smith, Dallas Cowboys
DK – WR11; FD – WR15
Smith is super cheap and a bit of a post-hype sleeper after being popular last week and disappointing with a 2-39-0 line. Using our Weekly Stats tool, we see that Smith captured a 17% team target market share last week, second-highest in Dallas behind Amari Cooper. He also played 92% of the snaps — most on the team. And this week he draws the Saints defense, which has ranked bottom 12 in fantasy points allowed to WRs every game this season.
|Player||Team||Pos||GMs||Snaps||Snap%||Tgt||Tgt Shr||Att||% Tm Att||Opps||% Tm Opps|
Contrarian: John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals
DK – WR7; FD – WR6
Ross was flying high in Weeks 1 and 2, dropping lies of 7-158-2 and 4-112-1, before returning to earth in Week 3 with a 2-22-0 line. However, he still led Cincy WRs in snaps (100%) and owns a strong 21% target market share through three weeks. The Steelers have also ranked bottom six in fantasy points ceded to enemy WRs in two of three games this year.
Chalk: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
DK – TE1; FD – TE2
Did I actually just say that Witten is the chalk? On this slate, he actually is, but it’s mostly by default. It’s a weak TE slate expounded by injuries.4 Witten has a 13% team target market share, and the Saints have ranked bottom eight in EP given up to TEs each of the past two weeks.
Contrarian: Nick Vannett, Pittsburgh Steelers
DK – TE7; FD – TE4
The Steelers dealt a fifth-round pick to the Seahawks in exchange for Vannett earlier this week, which indicates they don’t feel great about McDonald’s health leading into Monday night.5 Vannett is cheap — especially on DraftKings — and if McDonald misses the game, Vannett could play a role. McDonald had an 8% target share on just 15 snaps last week, and he caught two TDs from Mason Rudolph in Week 2. I’m not saying Vannett will exactly replicate McDonald less than one week after joining the team, but the data does show that Rudolph likes targeting TEs.
Image Credit: Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Alvin Kamara.
- An important note: I’m writing this column with tournaments and GPPs top of mind. Cash game plays on short slates are usually easier to figure out because the options are so thin; tournaments require quite a bit of game theory, which can be half the fun. (back)
- Prescott’s projected value is 3.07, while Dalton’s is 3.06. (back)
- Elliott has jut five receptions so far this year, compared to 17 for Kamara. (back)
- Namely Vance McDonald. (back)
- Through Friday, McDonald hadn’t practiced all week. (back)