IN this article we’ll give you some information about picks that we have our eyes on which should hopefully help you formulate your NFL DFS lines for each NFL week.
We’ll look at the main slate (3am Monday morning start AEST) on Draftstars with the GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) in mind. This article is typically written on a Saturday so not all injury/transaction information will be to hand at the time so keep an eye on the players mentioned for any changes. There is so much information out there for NFL DFS and a lot of it can be confusing with endless data. I want to keep this as simple as possible so anyone can pick it up and have a go. If you haven’t had a chance to read my ‘Beginners Guide to NFL DFS’ article then check it out to gain some basic insight and understanding on how to construct lineups.
Week 4 had a mixed bag of results. We had 4 of our 10 teams finish in the top 55, the highest finishing 23rd. We were middle of the road on QB picks, Mayfield in particular unlucky with a costly fumble and a near 50+ yard TD that could have seen him hit some major value. Barkley was average with Eli being awful however James White was straight up a major hit. Both WR’s flaked but we did hit our TE play in Cook who was far and away the best TE on the slate. Jags D/ST didn’t really hit the numbers we were hoping for, slightly disappointed in that one. The value is getting much harder to find with Draftstars changing salaries in line with Vegas odds so without further delay let’s jump right in.
Cam Newton @ $18,360 (CAR)
There is at least a dozen QB’s you could run out this week that could secure you a fairly decent score. The obvious ones in big Ben, Ryan and Rivers all come to mind but I think Cam goes a little under the radar here which could be a good thing if you go this route. The QB salaries are fairly condensed now so if you’re willing to pay up for Ben, you should be able to go the extra $300 for Cam. He has all the things we’re looking for in a quality QB scoring opportunity. He’s playing at home as a touchdown favourite, has an implied total of over 25 and gets a Giants team that ranks 22nd against the pass. The bonus here is the Giants also rank 29th against the run, something that Cam can take full advantage of. He is a genuine double threat when it comes to the QB position, he can throw as well as pull the ball down and take off with it. The Giants D struggles on both of these so Cam could have a field day with the Giants on the backfoot all day wondering whether Cam is throwing or running.
Carson Wentz @ $15,560 (PHI)
I know what you’re thinking, $15k isn’t value and I would agree with you on this but looking down the list of QB’s this is probably as low as you want to land. Sure, you can pick an Allen or a Beathard or even a Darnold just to round out a roster but all of those I just named scare the heck out of me. You could wind up with anything from them. If I had to take one below Wentz it would be Rosen, but good luck. Now back to Wentz. I firmly believe this game has a sneaky shootout potential with both defences struggling lately. Wentz has his full arsenal of weapons back across the field and I can see Cousins hitting Thielen/Diggs all afternoon to keep the scoreboard ticking so you bet Wentz will need to throw. He appears to have shaken the rust and looking good in his movement again. The spots that really get my interest here are the Vikings are 25th against the pass, 26th to the WR2 and 28th to the TE position. This gives you a nice little stacking opportunity to partner Wentz with Agholor and Ertz. I wouldn’t be shocked if this game goes over 50.
Other options – Matt Stafford, Kirk Cousins
Melvin Gordon @ $16,790 (LAC)
I am locking Gordon in to all my lineups this week as first cab off the rank. You can definitely pay up for McCaffrey and Gurley, I don’t hate that idea, but bang for buck I think Gordon is the play this week with the most trust. This game has a huge 53.5 point total and the Chargers have a team total of over 29 points. They check in as 5.0 point home favourites (not really a travel game for Oakland though) and we should see Gordon in plenty of the action. Oakland are 28th against the run and 22nd against pass catching RB’s; something Gordon is very good at. Even if this game gets a bit out of hand, I can see the Chargers running the ball a lot with Gordon and I have zero concerns of Ekeler stealing any of his work. Gruden is still playing defence like it’s the first decade of the 2000’s and the Chargers are well too equipped to be slowed in this one. He’s gone over 30 points in 2 of his 4 games and I can’t believe he isn’t closer to $20k this week. Lock, him, in.
Dion Lewis @ $6,890 (TEN)
We’re really digging in to the back of the pantry to come up with this one but I am confident Lewis can return the value we’re after here. First of all, the Titans are playing the Bills. The Bills are hands down the worst football team in 2018, in fact they’re so awful they have players retire at half time. Yes they beat the Vikes but we saw them travel to GB last week and get flattened. The Titans do have an RBBC (Running Back By Committee) approach however a closer look at the numbers reveals Lewis is getting more of the snaps at a rate of 61.69% compared to Henry at 40.23%. Henry is more of the heavy lifter and Lewis is out pass catching back and this is where you want your RB’s doing their scoring. Remember this is a Points Per Reception scoring setup and you want those extra points from RB’s. When you look at the runs, Henry is only 11 more carries ahead of Lewis but Lewis is 17 targets ahead of Henry in the catch department. In fact, Lewis is 2nd for targets on the team with 21 overall. Remember, Lewis doesn’t have to gone nuts to reach his value, if he can just get double digits that should be good enough of a return on your sub $7k investment
Other options – James Conner, Christian McCaffrey
JuJu Smith-Schuster @ $13,180 (PIT)
If you follow my twitter you’ll know I am a huge fan of JuJu. He is my favourite guy outside of the 49ers and he is one hell of a talent, which you will see on full display in this game. The total is a ridiculous 58 while the Steelers carry a 30+ team total – yikes! Atlanta are just simply awful in the passing game at the moment, 27th against the pass and 27th to the spot JuJu will be lining up at. JuJu comes in $5k less than Brown for almost the same amount of upside. Through 4 games, JuJu is only 4 targets behind Brown but has 8 more RedZone targets and 144 more yards than Brown. Why are we paying up? Sure you can play both in a Pittsburgh stack if you want to but I don’t see the must for Brown to be in a lineup. Another upside for JuJu is the Falcons are playing a soft coverage and allowing as much underneath action as possible, something he will feast on all day. If you are stacking this game or Pittsburgh, might be worth looking at Washington or Switzer at basement pricing.
Nelson Agholor @ $8,350 (PHI)
As I touched on in the Wentz write up, I believe this game has shootout potential and we’ll see it shake 50 game points. Agholor is in a pretty decent spot here for just over $8k. He gets a Vikings defence that is struggling and is ranked 26th to the WR2 position where Agholor should be lining up all game. Cousins is likely to keep the scoreboard ticking so Wentz will be throwing and if we look at the target breakdown for the Eagles, Agholor ranks 2nd behind Ertz. We saw Matthews and Jeffery return the Eagles recently but Agholor still out targeted them last week on his way to double figure targets. He even eclipsed Jeffery in snap count last week. He’s seen 5 RedZone targets, again only 2nd to Ertz and if the Eagles are any chance of keeping up with the Vikings Agholor will need to play a big role. These value guys don’t need to hit 20+ scores to get you a win. If they can just hit double figures and hopefully land a TD then you can be happy about that. There is very few guys down this far with opportunity, Agholor is definitely my pick.
Other options – Stefon Diggs, Marvin Jones Jr
Vance McDonald @ $7,630
Again we’re picking on the Pittsburgh and Atlanta game for good reason. You want to get exposure to that 58 point game total and if you’re not willing to pay up for Brown then this could be a nice change of pace to get some of the action next to JuJu and/or Conner. Vance has shown in recent weeks he’s a real get out of jail card for Ben when times are tough. Vance has seen more targets than the other TE James, despite playing 1 less week and has consistently been at 5 targets weeks 2 – 4. That’s not to say I’m not concerned that James could have an impact here but all signs at the minute are pointing to McDonald being the favoured TE in Pittsburgh. Snap % after last week is definitely leaning this way. If you don’t have enough faith in McDonald then there is a few guys around him that are also in nice spots but I’ll be throwing McDonald in to most lineups while hoping for him to jag a TD or two. If you don’t want to pay up and want cheap as chips, I like Ellison to snag a few against a Carolina D that doesn’t handle TE’s well.
Other options – Jimmy Graham, Jared Cook
Baltimore Ravens @ $6,820
There is definitely an argument to be made for paying up this week at defence with limited options around the league this week but I am landing on the 5th most expensive D in the Baltimore Ravens. They travel to Cleveland to take on a Mayfield led offence after just travelling to Heinz field and shutting down big Ben and the Steelers. We saw last week that Mayfield can have a turnover or two and that was against an Oakland D who we’ve covered off on in this article, they’re yuck. So just imagine what a healthy Baltimore D can do to the kid. The Ravens also get Jimmy Smith back this week after his 4 game suspension and he’ll slot straight in to cover Landry which will help. I know the Browns are everyone’s feel good story and admittedly Mayfield does look good, I just can’t see how they bother this Ravens D.
Other options – Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns
Mojo’s Money Man
Atlanta/Pittsburgh game stack
OK so the suggestion doesn’t quite fit the headline, but hear me out. If you want to find cash somewhere in GPP land this week I firmly believe this is where it will be. You can cover all angles of game script with some well thought out combinations from both sides. It could almost be worth stacking an entire lineup just from this game. Play around with the lines and think about how this one plays out, it should be fast and high scoring any way you look at it.
Agree or disagree with my picks? Whether you’re new to DFS or an old hand I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a tweet (@ausmojo), always open to answer any questions or chat DFS on Twitter.