The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 4 FIRST LOOK September 26, 2016  |  Doug Shain

The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the FIRST LOOK at the GPP plays for NFL Week 4. If you want to know more about my article and what it’s all about, please click here.

You’re going to find that I will usually have a lot of players listed in my FIRST LOOK article but that will get scaled down for the WEEKEND UPDATE. It’s really hard to know who the public is going to flock to, who the experts are going to tout, and who will be a value this early in the week. Once I get a better read on things I’m able to tighten things up and get a better idea of who belongs in what category for the weekend.

Because of the large number of players on these lists, please understand when I don’t write a blurb about each and every one of them. If you want to know more about a player that I glossed over, or why they are placed into the list I have them in, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@bankster17). I respond to everyone who writes to me so you can feel confident that your question will get answered. Enjoy the read for now and make sure to come back this weekend to see who we should be locking into our GPP lineups.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Andrew Luck (IND) @ JAX Derek Carr (OAK) @ BAL Blake Bortles (JAX) vs IND
Matthew Stafford (DET) @ CHI Kirk Cousins (WSH) vs CLE Brian Hoyer (CHI) vs DET
Cam Newton (CAR) @ ATL Carson Palmer (ARI) vs LA Ryan Fitzpatrick (NYJ) vs SEA
Drew Brees (NO) @ SD Philip Rivers (SD) vs NO Trevor Siemian (DEN) @ TB
Dak Prescott (DAL) @ SF Alex Smith (KC) @ PIT Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) vs KC
Sam Bradford (MIN) vs NYG


– Cam Newton is an awesome GPP play. His price is so high that he’s rarely one of the most owned players at the QB position, but his upside is tremendous. I would use him against any team if I trusted my ability to find value at other positions (I do). Andrew Luck may be a turnover machine, but he’s going to get his stats against the Jaguars. I don’t trust Drew Brees on a short week, on the road, outside of a dome. Matthew Stafford is in play regardless of matchup until further notice.

– It looks like the hate on Kirk Cousins may have been a little premature. He’s got a great matchup this weekend and should be one of the top plays on the slate. It wouldn’t shock me to see him moved over to the Public Plays list by the time the Weekend Update rolls around. I think Carson Palmer bounces back in a big way at home; just look at the numbers Winston put up against this Rams defense. Philip Rivers should be able to have a very nice game against the worst secondary in football.

– Bortles always gets his numbers. It would appear that the changing of the guard in the AFC South isn’t happening this year, and JAX should be trailing a lot once again. Bortles does his best work in garbage time, and he should see plenty of that against the Colts this weekend. I think that, much like Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ben Roethlisberger are going to bounce back this weekend. Neither matchup looks good on paper, but both QB’s are at home, and that’s been a winning recipe this year in the NFL. The ownership is going to be very low on both guys. Brian Hoyer? I mean, why not, right? DET gives up a ton of passing yards.



Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Theo Riddick (DET) @ CHI Lamar Miller (HOU) vs TEN Dwayne Washington (DET) @ CHI
LeSean McCoy (BUF) @ NE Christine Michael (SEA) @ NYJ DeMarco Murray (TEN) @ HOU
LeGarrette Blount (NE) vs BUF Todd Gurley (LA) @ ARI Matt Forte (NYJ) vs SEA
David Johnson (ARI) vs LA Melvin Gordon (SD) vs NO Matt Jones (WSH) vs CLE
Carlos Hyde (SF) vs DAL Mark Ingram (NO) @ SD
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) @ SF Spencer Ware (KC) @ PIT
Le’Veon Bell (PIT) vs KC
Charles Sims (TB) vs DEN


– Theo Riddick and Charles Sims are do it all type of players, and they both get stats via the run and the passing game. At their relatively low prices, this is going to make each of them popular plays this weekend. If I’m choosing between the two it’s going to be Riddick on my squad in a much easier matchup. Everyone is going to roster Blount, but I can’t blame them. He looks phenomenal. David Johnson is always in play for me, and Big Zeke should be able to rumble on that SF defense that got lit up the last few weeks. I’m going to take a wait and see approach on Le’Veon Bell in a tough matchup.

– New Orleans continues to give up a massive amount of rushing TD’s. Melvin Gordon has 4 rushing TD’s this season. He’s going to get his shots in this game, and it wouldn’t shock me to see his TD streak extended to four games. He’s going to be one of my top RB plays in Week 4. On the other side of the ball in that game I love Mark Ingram since SD isn’t very good against the run either. Frank Gore and Spencer Ware had great games against them, and Ingram is much better than either of those guys. Christine Michael could move to the Public Plays list, but I’m still not sure people trust him. He was only 4% owned in one league I was in this past week, and that was a late slate only game. How is that even possible? A matchup against the Jets isn’t great, but if you can get him under 10% owned he might be worth a look as a cheap flex play.

– Houston has a great defense at home, but DeMarco Murray can beat you in so many ways that it’s going to be tough to keep him out of my lineups. I’ll keep using him until a team stops him from getting 100 total yards and/or a TD. He’s like the Eric Decker of RB this year. Matt Jones is getting all the carries that matter for WSH and now that Cousins is passing well he shouldn’t get the box stacked. I’d use just about anyone against CLE right now, anyway.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Allen Robinson (JAX) vs IND Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) @ ATL Philip Dorsett (IND) @ JAX
T.Y. Hilton (IND) @ JAX Amari Cooper (OAK) @ BAL Alshon Jeffery (CHI) vs DET
Marvin Jones (DET) @ CHI Steve Smith Sr (BAL) vs OAK Michael Crabtree (OAK) @ BAL
Julio Jones (ATL) vs CAR Julian Edelman (NE) vs BUF Will Fuller (HOU) vs TEN
DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) vs TEN Doug Baldwin (SEA) @ NYJ Eric Decker (NYJ) vs SEA
Terrelle Pryor (CLE) @ WSH Jamison Crowder (WSH) vs CLE Mike Evans (TB) vs DEN
DeSean Jackson (WSH) vs CLE Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) @ TB Dez Bryant (DAL) @ SF
Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) vs LA Jeremy Maclin (KC) @ PIT Odell Beckham Jr (NYG) @ MIN
Stefon Diggs (MIN) vs NYG Sterling Shepard (NYG) @ MIN
Travis Benjamin (SD) vs NO
Antonio Brown (PIT) vs KC


– There is always so much to like at the WR position. Marvin Jones is going to be one of the most widely owned WR this weekend, but that’s not going to stop me from using him. He looks great in the DET offense, and he and Stafford have a great connection. He should have a very solid day against a Bears team that can’t stop anyone. Terrelle Pryor should also be highly owned, but he’s a stud who can do it all. He’s a modern day version of Kordell Stewart, but probably more talented. CLE is not going to stop using him as a “do everything” player, and I’m going to be all over him this weekend. I also think that a Ben/Antonio stack is going to be overlooked this weekend so that makes them a pretty decent HuLo play. Travis Benjamin is going to tear up the weak NO secondary.

– Will Bill Belichick really use Edelman at QB? If he does, then he’s got upside similar to Terrelle Pryor. I’m not sure I’m going to take that chance, but I know there’s already a buzz about him on Twitter. I’ll monitor that all week. Did you know that Jamison Crowder leads the NFL in red zone targets? That’s one of those stats that I love to see and I’m going to be on him hard this weekend. I don’t think the general public is going to be using him (they’ll stick to the upside of DJax), but you know that the DFS pros will have a lot of Crowder. I think he’s going to be a lot like Christine Michael last week where you’ll see a higher ownership on the sites where the pros play and a really low ownership on the smaller sites like Fantasy Draft. Use him there for a big advantage. That BAL pass D has gotten hit hard by WR1 the last couple of weeks. Amari Cooper is right on that border of a monster game. It happens this weekend.

– I honestly believe that we are going to see a lot more people on Sterling Shepard than Odell Beckham this weekend. MIN has a tough defense, but if you can get OBJ at 5% or less ownership, it’s worth taking a shot with one of your lineups. The Dez injury could keep people off of him, but SF can’t stop WR1 and if Dez is playing then I’m going to be using him. Look at what Jordy Nelson did to DET in Week 3. Take 60% of that and you’ve got a nice idea of a stat line for Alshon Jeffery (you have to figure Hoyer can’t do what Rodgers does). I know I just touted Amari Cooper, but let’s not forget that Michael Crabtree has been highly productive this season. I like him a whole lot. Raiders stack, perhaps?


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Greg Olsen (CAR) @ ATL Jack Doyle (IND) @ JAX Dwayne Allen (IND) @ JAX
Rob Gronkowski (NE) vs BUF Zach Miller (CHI) vs DET Coby Fleener (NO) @ SD
Jimmy Graham (SEA) @ NYJ Dennis Pitta (BAL) vs OAK Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs NYG
Travis Kelce (KC) @ PIT Cameron Brate (TB) vs DEN Hunter Henry (SD) vs NO
Jordan Reed (WSH) vs CLE


– Gronk should play this week, but I think we are one week away from seeing him go full Gronk. I’m much more interested in using Kelce or Olsen. I like what I saw out of a healthy Jimmy Graham in Week 3, but I’m not touching any Seahawks this weekend. Gimpy Russell Wilson (or Treyvone Boykin) just don’t get the creative juices flowing. I’ll wait on him for Week 5.

– The Lions continue to give up TD to the Tight End position. Zach Miller is now the #2 guy in the Chicago passing game. I think he gets in the end zone again this weekend. Jack Doyle was on the field for 70% of the offensive snaps for Indy. Rob Chudzinski loves using his TE. He’s a legit sleeper type of play, but know that all the DFS pros know this and he’ll potentially be well represented in the big boys’ lineups.

– Kyle Rudolph once again got a large share of targets for MIN, and he paid off as one of the top TE plays in Week 3. He’s a cash game lock for me, but he is still good to go in GPP’s with an expected low ownership. He was in the 1% ownership range last weekend, and I don’t see that increasing too much with all the big name TE in play for Week 4. Hunter Henry was on the field for all the Chargers’ offensive snaps this weekend. Antonio Gates won’t play in Week 4. SD/NO is going to be a shootout. We had a Coby Fleener sighting on Monday night. This is not a drill. Coby Fleener does exist (as long as Willie Snead is out).


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Carolina Panthers @ ATL Dallas Cowboys @ SF San Francisco 49ers vs DAL
Denver Broncos @ TB New York Jets vs SEA Jacksonville Jaguars vs IND
Arizona Cardinals vs LA New England Patriots vs BUF San Diego Chargers vs NO
Kansas City Chiefs @ PIT
Minnesota Vikings vs NYG
Houston Texans vs TEN


– The cream has risen to the top at defense. The 6 teams listed as Public Plays were pretty much the top 6 defenses drafted in fantasy this year. For the most part, all of them are playing well. I don’t know if I can ever say to not start Denver regardless of price, matchup, or ownership. They are just that good. I am starting to feel that same way about the Vikings. They’ve shut every one down so far this year, and I’m pretty sure they’ll do the same to the Giants on Monday night. I also like Houston this weekend against the Titans. That’s an improved offense, but Mariota is still turnover prone, and he’ll be facing an angry JJ Watt on the road. That’s not good for Tennessee.

– Should we ever doubt Belichick again? What he’s doing with the Patriots this year is incredible. They just shut down a pretty decent Houston offense, and they should be able to do the same to the Bills. I know that Buffalo exploded all over ARI in Week 3, but this game is in Foxboro and the Bills are about to come crashing back down to Earth. I also like the idea of using the Jets against a Seahawks team that will either be without Russell Wilson or will have a very limited Russell Wilson. I expect a huge bounce back game from NYJ.

– Andrew Luck is very turnover prone. Indy may score 40 on the Jags, but they could do so with 3 turnovers and a couple of sacks. Using the Jags is really sneaky, but it could pay off big as a super duper HuLo play. San Diego is in a similar position with New Orleans having to play outside. Brees is a very different QB in open air and he could have a rough game coming on a short week and flying across the country.

Best of luck this week! I hope you all kick some butt and make a ton of money. Make sure to check out all the great content at The Fake Football including the Cheat Sheets (of which I have a part in writing). You’ll find a ton of analysis, data, and sample lineups. It’s well worth the cost of subscription.

Your feedback is always welcome.  You can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments.  I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.

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