What a week! As we prep for Week 4, we must reflect on Week 3. When teams are putting up 70 points like it’s Homecoming on Friday Night Football, you know something is in the water. What happens in the NFL impacts the nature of our DFS lineups. So you may be coming off a week where you put up 160 points on DraftKings and didn’t Cash and wondering what you did wrong.
Nothing. You did nothing wrong.
Let’s first make sure we’re all on the same page and remind folks that this article is targeted toward Cash game players, which includes 50/50 contests, double-ups, and head-to-heads. On a typical week, 130 to 140 DraftKings points will be good enough to make money in these contests.
But this wasn’t a typical week. So your process could have been perfect, and it’s just the nature of football that things go sideways once in a while.
Because of that, we are not going to panic. We are not going to change our strategy. Remember, playing DFS Cash is more about long-term winnings than single-week performances. Our goal is to make money across the course of the season, so if you hit the Cash line 10 out of 18 weeks, that’s a successful season.
If you’ve missed the Cash line every week this season, then now may be a time to reassess your process. But don’t panic because you lost while putting up 160 points. That’s a good week.
The only thing to maybe reassess is the number of head-to-head lineups you’re playing, as it is likely you would win some head-to-heads with lineups that lost in 50/50 contests. But don’t change your roster-building process yet. Trust the process.
What were your best lineups of Week 3? Let us know @ClubFantasyFFL or in the comment section of the DFS Academy YouTube stream.
But for now, Cash is in session.
NFL DFS Week 4
Joe Burrow (DraftKings: $6,500 / FanDuel: $7,200)
One of my DFS principles is to keep attacking bad defenses until they prove me wrong. The Tennessee Titans have yet to do so, giving up an average of 300 yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. Joe Burrow has struggled out of the gate, but this is the perfect opportunity for him to have a bounceback game. His price makes it so that a 300-yard, two-touchdown game provides all you need for him to pay off at value. I will bet on Burrow to accomplish that eight days a week.
Ja’Marr Chase (DraftKings: $7,800 / FanDuel: $8,200)
If I love Joe Burrow, you better believe I love Ja’Marr Chase. The Bengals got creative with their usage of Chase in their Week 3 matchup, moving him all across the field, getting him involved in unique ways, and forcing defenses to keep track of him. I expect them to continue doing so moving forward, which will provide Chase plenty of opportunities to make big plays and help you Cash.
Alexander Mattison (DraftKings: $5,800 / FanDuel: $7,200)
Look, I get it. You drafted Alexander Mattison to be your RB1, and it hasn’t panned out so far. But this week might be his best opportunity. And you may think that if it didn’t happen against the Chargers, then it’s never going to happen. But surprisingly, the Chargers are better against running backs from a fantasy perspective, averaging just over 21 points per game to the position. The Carolina Panthers have allowed nearly 36 points per game to running backs, which is the third most of any team. It’s now or never for Mattison, who I particularly like on FanDuel, where we are chasing touchdowns.
Davante Adams (DraftKings: $8,000 / FanDuel: $8,100)
How can you not play the receiver that just got targeted 20 times in a single game? And yes, this also applies to Keenan Allen. But for Davante Adams, he now gets the best matchup for receivers in a game where the Raiders will likely be playing from behind. That said, if Jimmy Garoppolo does not play, then I will likely pivot away from Adams, particularly on FanDuel, as his odds of scoring a touchdown decrease.
Puka Nacua (DraftKings: $6,700 / FanDuel: $7,500)
It’s hard to argue with the numbers put up by Puka Nacua through three weeks. While he had a down Week 3, he went five for 72, which is an absurd amount of yards per catch for a player who has been targeted 42 times in three games. Further, that floor is enough that it won’t sink your lineup. This is the last week before we expect Cooper Kupp to return, but until Kupp is active, Nacua is always a consideration for our Cash lineups.
Check the Chalkboard
Christian McCaffrey (DraftKings: $9,200 / FanDuel: $9,700)
Christian McCaffrey has been arguably the only sure thing in football this year. Every week, it seems inevitable that he is going to run all over defenses and fall in the endzone. This week, he matches up against the Arizona Cardinals, where the 49rs are two-touchdown favorites. Ya, you read that right. Further, the 49ers have an implied team total of 29 points. Would it really shock you if McCaffrey accounted for 12 of those? With the touchdown upside, I’m especially interested in McCaffery on FanDuel, where his salary won’t break the bank as much as it will on DraftKings.
Adam Thielen (DraftKings: $4,500 / FanDuel: $6,800)
We’re going volume hunting this week, and look no further than the man who has averaged 11.5 targets in his past two starts. Wait, you’re telling me that man is Adam Theilen? Why yes, our former WR50 by ADP is now hanging out in the Top Ten, in part because of the massive volume he is bringing in for Carolina. And the sites, particularly DraftKings, are still doubting him. If Theilen caught nine catches for zero yards, he would double his DraftKings salary alone! We have to save money somewhere this week, and Theilen provides the target value to warrant the salary savings.
Back of the Classroom Studs
Justin Herbert (DraftKings: $7,800 / FanDuel: $8,600)
The only reason I will likely not play Justin Herbert in my Cash lineups this week is because of his salary. But I’d be silly to think he fails to hit 20 points this week. Herbert has been playing at an MVP level and has been averaging 40 pass attempts per game. What more could you ask for? He’s scored at least 20 points every week and is poised to do the same against a Raiders defense that is averaging 20 points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. If you feel good about the value you can find elsewhere, lock in Herbert in your Cash lineups.
D’Andre Swift (DraftKings: $5,700 / FanDuel: $7,800)
Once again, I am shocked. D’Andre Swift looks like a completely different player since joining the Philadelphia Eagles. My biggest problem with him used to be that he spent too much time dancing around and not getting upfield. That could be further from the truth now. Swift seems to have a renewed confidence to trust that the gaps are going to be there and that he can pick the right gaps to follow. He has shown incredible burst and feels like he is about to break out for a touchdown every time he carries the ball. And he is getting plenty of opportunities to run behind the best offensive line of the year. Particularly on DraftKings, he is a must-have for the salary savings.
Najee Harris (DraftKings: $5,500 / FanDuel: $6,300)
I know, I know. It’s been really gross to start the year. But if there is ever a week where Najee Harris can meet the expectations set after his rookie season, this is it. The Houston Texans are giving up the sixth most points to opposing running backs while being one of the stingiest pass defenses in the league. Honestly, there’s a scenario where Harris and Jaylen Warren both meet their salary. But, despite many people’s wishes, Harris is still leading the backfield in touches. The combination of the salary savings and touchdown upside is too compelling to avoid. Please, Najee Harris, don’t fail me now.
Pat Freiermuth (DraftKings: $3,400 / FanDuel: $5,500)
Again, I know it’s been tough so far, but we need to save money somewhere, and the matchup is solid. While the Texans have been stingy against receivers, they are giving up the tenth most points to the tight end position. Further, Freiermuth has still been a prominent part of the Steelers’ offense despite not getting into the endzone yet this season. But even if he brings in just three catches for 30 yards, I will feel decent about his Week 4 performance.
Dawson Knox (DraftKings: $3,100 / FanDuel: $5,200)
Yes, I have someone gone nearly this entire article without talking about the game that has the highest total. The Buffalo Bills play the Miami Dolphins this week in what could amount to the first contest for the AFC East. The over/under is currently set at a whopping 54 points, so I could easily make an argument to build Cash lineups with Josh Allen, Tyreek Hill, and Stefon Diggs. But if you’re looking for exposure to this game and need to save salary space, set your eyes towards Dawson Knox, who has scored in two of his last three starts against Miami. Knox is always a threat to fall into the endzone and will help you pay up for the likes of Christian McCaffrey this week.
Baltimore Ravens (DraftKings: $3,200 / FanDuel: $4,100)
The Baltimore versus Cleveland game has one of the lowest over/under lines on the slate, and honestly, it wouldn’t shock me if this game hit the under. I am maintaining my priors for at least another week and believe the Cleveland offense is lackluster and only got rolling against a Tennessee defense that cannot defend the pass. I expect this to be a low-scoring divisional battle where both teams have something to prove. Baltimore should have plenty of sack opportunities and chances for turnovers against a Cleveland offense that has been loose with the ball.
Houston Texans (DraftKings: $2,900 / FanDuel: $3,700)
I don’t love to pick defenses that play against other players I talk about in the article, but the Houston Texans provide an interesting exception this week. Let’s first be clear that I will not play them in the same lineup as any Pittsburgh Steelers offensive players, as that will hamper my upside. But the Steelers’ offensive line is still struggling, and the Texans are a frisky defense. If you told me they ended with three sacks and an interception, I would not be shocked. And that is honestly all we need to feel good about the salary savings they provide this week.
- A: Scored over three times their price
- B: Scored over two times their price
- C: Matched their price
- F: Scored lower than their price
- A: Scored over two times their price
- B: Scored over one and a half times their price
- C: Matched their price
- F: Scored lower than their price