The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 4 WEEKEND UPDATE October 1, 2016  |  Doug Shain

The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Hail Mary WEEKEND UPDATE where I look at our GPP plays for NFL Week 4. You can check out my First Look article to see what I was thinking on Tuesday night, but this is my most up to date thoughts on the weekend slate. I’ll be using ownership data from the Fantasy Aces Thursday slate to help me determine public and HuLo plays. Public plays will be the players who were 10% owned or more on those slates unless otherwise noted. These have been pretty accurate over the last few weeks and have gone a long way in helping to find value we might not have realized existed.

***Analysis of the London game between the Colts and Jaguars and the Monday night game between the Giants and Vikings will not be included since they are not on any of the main DFS slates.***

If you want to know more about my article and what it’s all about, please click here.



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


– I can’t believe I forgot Joe Flacco in Tuesday’s article. What’s more, I can’t believe nobody pointed it out. We’re slipping, fam, we’re slipping. Clearly Flacco has a great matchup this week and should produce, but I’m going to lay off him because of his high ownership. I’ll also be avoiding Cousins, Prescott, and Hoyer due to the same reason. I just don’t feel comfortable using a player that I don’t entirely trust if he’s not a low-owned guy. I’m still very much in favor of using Rivers, Stafford, and Newton (the three most widely owned QB’s on the Thursday slate) because their matchups are excellent, and I trust myself to find GPP value elsewhere. I’d rank them Cam, Stafford, Rivers.

– I’ve heard some chatter about the players on the Expert list, but I’m not really interested in any of them outside of Palmer. I think he’s in line for a big bounce back game against the Rams this weekend. Winston just lit them up and ARI has much better weapons to play with. I know Palmer has looked terrible, but it’s only 3 weeks and I’m willing to give him a little more time to figure it out. I won’t touch Brees outdoors, like ever. I know we’ve got the Brees back to SD narrative that some people will try to play up, but it’s been over 10 years and I’m not buying it.

– I don’t get the hate for Derek Carr. His volume has been fine, and the only thing keeping him from QB1 numbers is a lack of TDs. The Raiders have rushed for 5 TD this year and that’s super fluky. Carr is going to get his and it could happen this week against a Ravens team that’s been burned by QB/WR1 combos the last two weeks. My favorite play of the week, by far, is Ben Roethlisberger. I have to stop myself for putting him into every lineup I make. Let’s get this out of the way; yes, he’s a very risky play this week, but that’s why I love him so much. He was so low-owned on Thursday’s slate that I actually love him more now than I did on Tuesday…and I loved him a lot then. PIT just played a terrible game. KC just played the best defensive game they’re going to play all year. There couldn’t be a bigger disparity between perception and upside for the Steelers. Add in the fact that Lev Bell is coming back and you’ve got the makings for a shocking monster out of Ben/AB. If it pans out, this is the kind of move that can win you a GPP.

My guys: Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Derek Carr



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



– There is never a time not to play David Johnson, so I don’t care how highly owned he is, I’m using him. Melvin Gordon was the most widely owned RB on the Thursday slate, and that has actually pulled me off of him a bit. There are cheaper guys that I can plug in for a much lower ownership (even if they are still widely owned relative to their peers; guys like Hyde, Howard, and Dwayne Washington). I think Gordon is going to have a good game, but there’s enough worry about McCluster taking away some touches that I’m willing to move off him. One of my favorite RB combos this week is Elliott/Blount. Both should get a huge workload and volume usually turns into points. Neither is so expensive that I’m going to sweat their ownership.

– I’m not sure I want to touch any of the expert plays. I hate the matchup for Murray this weekend against Houston. I think that defense brings it hard even without J.J. Watt (more on that below). I like Riddick in full PPR format, but it sure feels like this backfield is headed over towards Dwayne Washington. I’m not interested at all in the KC backfield now that Jamaal Charles is back. Mark Ingram is interesting because I can see Brees struggling, and this team having to resort to the running game. I was encouraged by Ingram’s TD catch last week.

– If Todd Gurley can go into TB (a very good run defense) and get you 80+ yards and 2 TD, there’s no reason to think he can’t have similar success (at least with the yards and opportunities at the goal line) in Arizona. I’m not going all in or anything, but much like last week, if he has a good game you’re going to be the only one who has him. I like Matt Jones insomuch as he’s an RB playing CLE, and that puts anyone into play. I’m not running out to get him, but if he fits the salary I need for my RB2 I won’t shy away from him.  If Gurley could hurt TB, so too could C.J. Anderson.

My guys: David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, Carlos Hyde, Dwayne Washington, Jordan Howard, LeGarrette Blount, Lamar Miller, Matt Jones



Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Tyrell Williams (SD) vs NO Golden Tate (DET) @ CHI DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) vs TEN
Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) @ ATL Amari Cooper (OAK) @ BAL Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) vs LA
Marvin Jones (DET) @ CHI Steve Smith Sr (BAL) vs OAK Kevin White (CHI) vs DET
Cole Beasley (DAL) @ SF Julian Edelman (NE) vs BUF Brice Butler (DAL) @ SF
Jamison Crowder (WSH) vs CLE Doug Baldwin (SEA) @ NYJ DeSean Jackson (WSH) vs CLE
Terrelle Pryor (CLE) @ WSH Jeremy Maclin (KC) @ PIT
Travis Benjamin (SD) vs NO Julio Jones (ATL) vs CAR
Antonio Brown (PIT) vs KC
Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) @ TB



– 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. I’m a little saddened that the world is savvy to my boy Jamison Crowder but he’s so cheap that I’m still going to use him a lot. He’ll be in sort of a rotation of cheap WR for me along with Pryor and Steve Smith. Travis Benjamin has kind of come out nowhere for me to be one of my favorite plays this weekend. There’s a ton of love for Tyrell Williams but I’m much more of a Benjamin guy; considerably more consistent week to week. I’m only using KB in a stack with Cam.

– Steve Smith is near the top of my WR ranks this weekend. He’s got the trust of Joe Flacco and they are facing the worst pass D in the league. Wallace may have all the TD so far this year but he dropped an easy one last weekend and, like magic, Steve Smith started to emerge after that. He’s so cheap that he’s definitely worth a long look. I also am coming around on Amari Cooper this weekend. He’s too good to not be putting up bigger numbers. As soon as the fluky RB scores stop, you’ll see Cooper break out.

– There are a lot of big names on the HuLo list this weekend. I’m probably going to pass on using big names like Julio and Hopkins and instead move down a little for a guy like Fitzgerald. I like the odds of an under the radar big game from ARI. Two names that I’ve been seeing more and more of since the Tuesday article are Kevin White and Brice Butler. White is the safer name of the two with a huge target share for the Bears. They’ve got a great matchup this weekend and I expect White to improve on his 50% catch rate. With the SF defense keying in on Beasley, Williams, and Witten with Dez out it could be high time for Brice Bulter to have himself a game. I’m not getting nuts here but a solid 4-50-1 would be huge considering his price/ownership.

My guys: Antonio Brown, Marvin Jones, Jamison Crowder, Terrelle Pryor, Travis Benjamin, Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Kevin White



Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Greg Olsen (CAR) @ ATL Dennis Pitta (BAL) vs OAK Cameron Brate (TB) vs DEN
Hunter Henry (SD) vs NO Jason Witten (DAL) @ SF Travis Kelce (KC) @ PIT
Coby Fleener (NO) @ SD Jimmy Graham (SEA) @ NYJ
Zach Miller (CHI) vs DET Rob Gronkowski (NE) vs BUF
Jordan Reed (WSH) vs CLE



– The public is getting very smart. Look at Zach Miller and Hunter Henry sitting near the top of ownership lists. I love both of those guys this weekend but I’ll probably move off of Henry with his high ownership and uncertain potential. Miller, on the other hand, is my guy and I’m all in. His price is just too good to pass up on. He’s getting a ton of targets and has a great matchup. He could be one of the best value plays of the entire slate. Greg Olsen is due and he’d make an interesting stack with Cam Newton.  I still don’t trust Fleener.

– Every expert I listen to is hot for Pitta. The public isn’t there yet so know that if you’re going to use him you’re competing with the big boys for ownership. I love him but I’m more inclined to use Pitta on a site like Fantasy Draft where most of the pros don’t play rather than on FD or DK where he’ll be much more highly owned.

– Look at those big names on the HuLo list. What to do with Rob Gronkowski? I’m sitting him for now but, wow, if he goes off and you can get him at 5% owned or less….that’s tough to pass up. Jimmy Graham had a monster week last week but I don’t love the matchup this weekend. His price is still reasonable enough that you can take a shot on him without killing your cap.  Of all the big names on this list I’m most interested in Travis Kelce. He looked great last weekend and I’m hoping this is a sign of things to come for him. He’s much cheaper than Gronk and could put up better numbers.

My guys: Zach Miller, Dennis Pitta, Travis Kelce


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Washington Redskins vs CLE New England Patriots vs BUF Dallas Cowboys @ SF
Denver Broncos @ TB Carolina Panthers @ ATL Houston Texans vs TEN
Arizona Cardinals vs LA Kansas City Chiefs @ PIT San Diego Chargers vs NO
New York Jets vs SEA


– What a shock, the team facing the Browns is highly owned. How’d that work out for you Dolphins owners last weekend? A bad defense is a bad defense even against a bad offense. I’m passing on the Redskins. Denver and ARI are both in play against anyone so I’m surely going to look their way against bottom half of the league offenses.

– 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 love the Houston Texans defense this weekend. Everyone is going to be off them with the news about JJ Watt. I know he’s great but this is a very strong defense even without him. The world is going to get introduced to Clowney and Mercilus this weekend. Mariota is still making a lot of mistakes for the Titans and the Texans are a pissed off defense. They are going to put up a big number.

– I 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 the Jets. I’m also willing to take a look at just about any team that’s facing Drew Brees outdoors. Then again, using SD may break my “bad defenses are still bad defenses” rule.

My guys: Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, New York Jets

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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