The NFL closes out September tomorrow night, with the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the AFC-leading Miami Dolphins. Already three weeks into the new NFL season, Week 4 is an opportunity to capitalize on observations from these opening games. Combine Stokastic’s NFL DFS projections to analyze which plays are best point-per-dollar while utilizing NFL DFS ownership projections to understand the leverage of these plays.
Week 4 NFL DFS Picks & Value Plays
QB Geno Smith – $5,400 DraftKings, $6,600 FanDuel
Geno Smith returns this week with another favorable salary in an even more enticing matchup. Last week, he recorded season highs in pass attempts (44), completions (32) and yards (325) against the Falcons, who rank 23rd in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. This week, he’ll travel to Detroit, which has allowed the third-most fantasy points to the position and is always a team to target in fantasy.
Stokastic’s NFL DFS projections make Smith a solid point-per-dollar play by himself, but the real value comes when stacking him with another Seahawk, as Seattle is the seventh-best stack but is seeing minuscule ownership. While there might be better cash options at quarterback, there doesn’t appear to be a better GPP play given his leverage and opportunity to produce in one of the best matchups on the slate.
RB Jamaal Williams – $6,100 DraftKings/$7,400 FanDuel
When one says target the Lions, that goes for both sides of the ball. Currently third in total yards offense per game (419.7) and second in points per game (31.7), Detroit is a fantasy owner’s dream. Jamaal Williams has vultured his way into RB7 this year, with running mate D’Andre Swift edging him out just slightly for RB6.
This week, there is a legitimate concern that Swift will miss be forced to sit and potentially could last multiple weeks. That opens an immense workload for Williams, with Craig Reynolds ($4,700/$5,100) also in line for additional complementary work. The matchup is also fantastic, with Seattle allowing opposing running backs to rush for 131.3 yards per game on 5.1 yards per carry. Williams is not only the top value play at his position, but he is this week’s best leverage play by a long shot.
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WR Diontae Johnson – $6,000 DraftKings
Despite the Pittsburgh Steelers’ early-season struggles, one thing has remained true about this offense: Diontae Johnson is a vacuum for targets (33). He currently ranks seventh in that department, leading to the sixth-most receptions (21) and the fifth-highest target share (32.4%) in the NFL. Not only is he seeing looks underneath as a checkdown option, but his six deep targets also rank third in the league, resulting in the third-most air yards (363).
Now facing the New York Jets, who have run the second most plays in the league this season, expect increased opportunity for a team that typically plays at a grueling pace. Even with his early-season workload and appealing matchup, Johnson’s salary comes in at WR18 on the slate. While this combination is drawing ownership, he still carries tremendous leverage, as he’s found in the optimal lineup 20.7% of the time. With the Jets allowing 7.5 yards per pass attempt this season, this is not a value play to miss.
WR Richie James – $5,500 FanDuel
Richie James is popping in NFL DFS projections due to injuries in the New York Giants receiving corps and his early-season volume. With Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson currently questionable for Sunday’s matchup with Chicago and Sterling Shepard experiencing another season-ending injury last week, James has surprisingly led the Giants in receptions (14) while averaging 10.4 yards per reception.
The matchup isn’t the most appealing, as the Bears have stifled pass production while getting ravaged on the ground, but the sheer volume makes the Giants’ leading receiver a valuable option. New York’s injury report is certainly something to pay attention to ahead of lock, as volume will be available in this one.
TE Robert Tonyan – $3,500 DraftKings
With Romeo Doubs breaking out last week against Tampa Bay, expect a lot of attention to go his way on this slate, and rightfully so. He comes into this matchup as a great value play given his middling salary. However, there’s a vulnerability in this New England Patriots defense that is foreign to a Bill Belichick-led team. Through three weeks, this unit has been decimated by tight ends, allowing 17 receptions and four touchdowns. Their struggles have come particularly in the red zone, where they’ve allowed 35.5 fantasy points to the position to start the season.
Robert Tonyan will operate as the Packers TE1 when fully healthy, and it appears he’s on his way back to that after playing a season-high in snaps last week. He’s seen the third-highest target rate (28.6%) at the position and has two red zone targets on 14 total targets to open this new year. Just two years removed from turning 11 red zone targets into 11 touchdowns in 2020, this is an attachment to Aaron Rodgers that is due for a breakout, similar to Doubs last week.
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