Week 4 FanDuel Top Shelf & Bargain Plays: Everyone Needs Some Luck

Colts Andrew Luck

Week 3 was full of surprises and none more surprising than Devonta Freeman blowing up versus the Cowboys for three touchdowns. If you played Joseph Randle and Devonta Freeman in your FanDuel lineups you most certainly were rewarded and cashed out big in tournament and cash games. Tom Brady continued to wreck havoc on opposing NFL defenses as I predicted and was worthy of his poster boy status. With week 4 ahead of us we won’t be able to stack Brady-Gronk with the Patriots on bye. Have no fear all you hardcore DFS players, I’m bringing the heat again this week starting with a little Luck. We all need some luck on our side in DFS and in this case Andrew Luck is the preferred quarterback play of the week. We’ve all been waiting patiently for the real Andrew Luck to stand up and this week he’s ready to step up and handle the responsibilities that go with being the poster boy for my weekly FanDuel article. Strap in and enjoy the ride and with some Luck on your side you should feel very good about your Week 4 FanDuel lineups.

Top Shelf Picks


Andrew Luck- Indianapolis Colts $9100

vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Andrew Luck is primed for a big game this week versus the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium. It doesn’t get any easier for the Jags defense after getting torched by Tom Brady for 358 yards and two touchdowns. The Colts have been the NFL’s biggest disappointment and will look to make a bold statement in this division matchup. Pep Hamilton is going to be on the hot seat soon if he doesn’t right the ship so I expect him to lean heavily on his fearless leader Andrew Luck. Luck has a favorable history versus the Jags and in last year’s week 3 matchup he threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns. If I’m paying up at quarterback in week 4 it’s going to be for Andrew Luck because I think he’s more than capable of leading all quarterbacks in scoring like Aaron Rodgers did last week.

Carson Palmer- Arizona Cardinals $8200

vs St. Louis Rams

Larry Fitzgerald has Carson Palmer to thank for his resurgence this year and all signs point to their magical season continuing. There must be a fountain of youth somewhere in the Arizona desert but whatever it is, it’s working. Carson Palmer is currently tied for second with Tom Brady with nine touchdown passes and only Brady, Andy Dalton, and Aaron Rodgers have a better QB rating than his 117.8. In two home games versus the Saints and 49ers Palmer has thrown for 618 yards and five touchdowns. While most teams choose to attack the Rams on the ground I expect Bruce Arians to continue to keep his foot on the gas and dial-up plenty of passing plays. This game could get ugly and Arians proved last week that he has no mercy running up the score on the 49ers.

Bargain Bin Plays

Tyrod Taylor- Buffalo Bills $7600

vs New York Giants

I’m not sure what else Tyrod Taylor has to accomplish to prove to the masses that he’s the real deal. He’s a top five fantasy quarterback according to the numbers and has shown zero signs of slowing down. On tap this week Taylor has a juicy matchup with the Giants defense that’s allowed the most passing yards in the NFL (1,007) while giving up an NFL-worst 336 net passing yards a game to opposing quarterbacks. Not helping matters is that the Giants have only managed three sacks all season so Taylor should have plenty of time to stand upright in the pocket and make his progressions. I think this is the week Taylor silence’s his remaining critics and possibly the last week he can be owned at a reasonable price on FanDuel at $7600. I’ll take him all day over more expensive options like Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, and Russell Wilson. There I said it and yes he’s that good just in case you didn’t get the memo.

Andy Dalton- Cincinnati Bengals $7600

vs Kansas City Chiefs

The “Red Rifle” is smoking hot and locked in on his targets in the Queen City. Speaking of targets he has plenty to choose from with A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, and Giovani Bernard. Andy Dalton is riding high coming off a monster performance on the road versus the Baltimore Ravens. He proved the he was up for the task throwing for career-high 383 yards and three touchdowns. Dalton has the look of a top five fantasy quarterback in a high-powered passing offense. He’s been consistent firing multiple touchdown passes in every start this year and typically plays his best at home in the jungle. Kansas City is coming off a brutal loss to the Packers on Monday night and have a short week to prepare for the Bengals. The Chiefs secondary is also banged up and has some major holes that Aaron Rodgers exposed time and time again on MNF. I’ll be setting multiple lineups with Dalton-Green stacks and love this prime matchup.

Top Shelf Picks

Running Back

Arian Foster- Houston Texans $8000

vs Atlanta Falcons

This is a week I’d prefer to fade a lot of the top running backs due to difficult matchups, injuries, and the great big unknown. This pick is based on my strong belief that Arian Foster will play in week 4. He’s already made it publically known that he’s not coming back until he’s 100%. So if he’s active he’s ready to resume his role as the Texan’s workhorse three-down running back. What better team to make his triumphant return against than the Atlanta Falcons. They just made Joseph Randle look like Barry Sanders allowing him to break off some long runs. Need I remind you the Falcons can’t stop the run and have allowed an NFL worst six rushing touchdowns and an average of 95.7 rushing yards a game. If Foster is active he has to be at the top of the list of top tier running backs options for week 4.

Latavius Murray- Oakland Raiders $7500

at Chicago Bears

I was all over Latavius Murray last week in DFS and he didn’t disappoint me totaling 149 all-purpose yards and a rushing touchdown versus the Browns. Be sure to pay close attention because what we’re witnessing is a true breakout season from Latavius Murray. He’s preparing for an encore performance this Sunday against a leaky Bears defense.  Only the Browns, Dolphins, and Buccaneers have allowed more yards on the ground (135.7 YDS/G) than the Bears. I expect the Bears to struggle stopping the Raiders from moving the ball and putting up points. The game flow should dictate plenty of carries for Murray late in the game allowing them to milk the clock. I’ll continue to pick on the Bears until they prove they can play defense and that day is nowhere in sight.

Carlos Hyde- San Francisco 49ers $7400

vs Green Bay Packers

The Carlos Hyde hype train has slowed considerably since his week 1 explosion versus the Vikings. The 49ers have been running a dumbed down offense in an effort to keep it simple for Colin Kaepernick but it’s obviously not working. They need to get back to the basics and what they excel at and that’s running the football. I’m very high on Hyde this week and expect the 49ers to step up on both sides of the football.  They’re coming off a couple of disappointing performances on the road at Pittsburgh and in Arizona. The 49ers looked like a different team week 1 on Monday Night Football spanking the Vikings so hopefully that same team shows up again at home. While some may say Hyde’s a risky play considering the Packers could run away with this game, I see the 49ers attacking the Pack on the ground early and often. It would be to their advantage to grind it out on the ground with Hyde keeping Rodgers and company on the sideline as long as possible.

Bargain Bin Plays

Karlos Williams- Buffalo Bills $6300

vs New York Giants

Karlos Williams has been making some noise in Buffalo for a while and it finally looks like he’s going to have the backfield all to himself. The Bills appear to be leaning towards resting LeSean McCoy which quickly made Karlos the hottest running back pickup of the year in seasonal leagues. It’s no secret that Rex Ryan’s M.O. is running the football and wearing out opposing defenses in the trenches. It’s been obvious to everyone watching that Williams is a beast and has been the best running back on the Bills roster. He made Bryce Brown and Fred Jackson expendable and now has a potential starting gig and a plus matchup versus the Giants working in his favor. Did I mention that Williams is the only running back in the NFL that has scored a rushing touchdown every week? Go ahead and put it on the board because his streak will continue this week.

Ryan Mathews- Philadelphia Eagles $5900

at Washington Redskins

DeMarco Murray was a surprise inactive on Sunday morning bumping Ryan Mathews into the starting role. He responded in a big way totaling 128 all-purpose yards and a receiving touchdown versus a stout New York Jets defense. The Eagles have no reason to hurry Murray back if he’s not 100% with a more than capable backup waiting in the wings in Mathews. Maybe I shouldn’t say backup considering he jump-started the Eagles running game and arguably looked better than Murray. Obviously Mathews becomes a no-brainer in all DFS lineups if Murray is inactive but even if he isn’t Mathews has earned a bigger piece of the pie moving forward. Good luck finding a starting running back on FanDuel for the basement bargain bin price of $5900.

Play on the site that offers a larger PayoutZone, which means more chances for you to win.

Play on the site that offers a larger PayoutZone, which means more chances for you to win.

Top Shelf Plays

Wide Receiver

Julio Jones- Atlanta Falcons $9400

vs Houston Texans

The aftermath of the Big Ben injury leaves Julio Jones as the undisputed top dog at the wide receiver position. He’s been a target monster this season and at this pace is going to break a laundry list of records. He’s already tied T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s record with 46 targets over the first three weeks of the season. In addition Julio broke Wes Welker and Tim Brown’s record with 34 receptions over the first three weeks of the season. Go ahead a fire up Julio again this week in your FanDuel lineups against a Texans defense that has been giving up lots of yardage through the air. They gave up three touchdowns week 1 to the Chiefs and Alex Smith plus another three since.

A.J. Green- Cincinnati Bengals $8400

vs Kansas City Chiefs

It’s really shocking to me how criminally unowned A.J. Green is on a weekly basis. He just seems to never get any love so I’ll proudly promote him. If you were lucky enough to play him last week you most definitely cashed out. I wasn’t on him last week unfortunately but this week I’m onboard the Go Green bus and you should be too. The Chiefs are still recovering and licking their wounds from the amazing air show put on by Aaron Rodgers on Monday Night Football. They have a short week to prepare for a red-hot Bengals team in the jungle in Cincinnati. Only the Raiders, Bills, and Giants have given up more yards through the air than the Chiefs. Rodgers may have skewed their numbers a bit but the numbers don’t lie and they’ve given up an NFL-worst ten passing touchdowns. A.J. Green is going to have a field day with a banged up Chiefs secondary that will be without starting cornerback Phillip Gaines.

Randall Cobb- Green Bay Packers $8200

at San Francisco 49ers

I think it’s safe to say that Randall Cobb’s shoulder injury isn’t going to keep him from performing at an elite level. Proof of that would be Monday night’s performance versus the Kansas City Chiefs. Cobb balled out catching seven of twelve targets from Rodgers for 91 yards and three touchdowns. The Packers travel to San Francisco to take on a 49ers team that is struggling on both sides of the football. While I’m not expecting a repeat of Monday night I do believe Cobb will be heavily targeted once again and at is current salary of $8200, he’s a must play.

Bargain Bin Plays

Wide Receiver

Amari Cooper- Oakland Raiders $7200

at Chicago Bears

Amari Cooper is one of those rare players that comes into the league as a rookie and takes it by storm. After three weeks it’s obvious that Cooper is as advertised and the real deal.  He’s getting consistent targets from Derek Carr with 22 total in the past two weeks. I think Cooper is just scratching the surface and will get better every week. This week Cooper will have the luxury of facing one of the worst secondaries in the NFL when the Raiders travel to Soldier Field. The Bears have allowed eight passing touchdowns and only the Chiefs have allowed more. Cooper is one of the best bargains on FanDuel this week at his current salary of $7200 so take full advantage and get him in your lineups.

John Brown- Arizona Cardinals $5800

vs St. Louis Rams

John “Smokey” Brown has taken a back seat to a rejuvenated Larry Fitzgerald this year. Fitz leads all Cardinals with 28 targets but Brown isn’t far behind him with 17 targets. I’m expecting defenses to start paying a lot more attention to Fitz allowing Brown to take the top off the defense. He’s known for his big plays and this is the week Carson connects with him on a deep ball or two. I’m down with “Smokey” Brown in week 4 and recommend him as one of the better bargain bin plays of the week.

Top Shelf Play

Tight End

Martellus Bennett- Chicago Bears $5500

vs Oakland Raiders

Martellus Bennett is licking his chops for this tasty matchup versus the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have given up yards and touchdowns by the boatloads to opposing tight ends. Tyler Eifert broke out week 1 with nine receptions, 104 yards, and two touchdowns against the Raiders. This trend continued week 2 when Crockett Gillmore caught five passes for 88 yards, and two touchdowns. Last week was no different after Gary Barnidge, yes Gary Barnidge caught six passes for 105 yards, and a touchdown. Who would have guessed that? Well actually DraftKings expert and FakePigskin writer/analyst Kyle Robert did, check it out here. Back the the Bears the quarterback situation is a obviously a concern but even with Jimmy Clausen under center Bennett is safe bet to continue the trend of tight ends torching the Raiders. When the smoke clears Bennett could be the top scoring tight end and at his salary he’s a top shelf play at a bargain bin price.

Bargain Bin Play

Maxx Williams- Baltimore Ravens $4700

at Pittsburgh Steelers

I was ready to fully endorse Crockett Gillmore as my bargain bin play this week until he was officially ruled out. Starting in his place on Thursday Night Football is the rookie from Minnesota Maxx Williams. While I typically don’t recommend starting a rookie tight end since the learning curve is typically steep, Maxx Williams is the exception to the rule. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been one of the worst defenses against opposing tight ends. Gronk owned the Steelers week 1 catching five passes for 94 yards and three touchdowns. Vernon Davis had a productive game week 2 against the Steelers catching five passes for 62 yards. If you’re digging deep Maxx Williams is your guy this week and his salary is very affordable at $4700.

Defenses to Target

Arizona Cardinals $5000

vs St. Louis Rams

The Arizona Cardinals defense continues to make big plays week after week. In week 3 they scored their first two touchdowns on interceptions by Justin Bethel and Tyrann Mathieu. They will continue to be a premium defensive play until further notice. The matchup is a good against the St. Louis Rams at home in the desert. The Rams won’t be able to run the ball against a stout Cards front and Foles has yet to prove he can win a game with his arm. I’m all over Arizona for the second week in a row with the potential to be the top scoring defensive unit in fantasy.

Philadelphia Eagles $4500

at Washington Redskins

The Philadelphia Eagles were flying high last week in the Big Apple and came through for their fantasy owners. If you’re looking for a cheap defense with a good matchup the Eagles are your play. The loss of Kiko Alonso hurts but they passed the test last week on the road in New York. The Washington Redskins are turnover prone with Kirk Cousins under center and haven’t scored more than 24 points in any game this year. The Eagles special teams have the luxury of Darren Sproles returning kicks. He’s a threat to take it to the house whenever he touches the ball.

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