Fantasy football season is in full swing as we head into a wild Week 4 with a dozen games lined up to be on the main slate. Week 4 is the first week with teams on a bye, as the 0-3 Jets and 3-0 49ers both get the week off after starts on opposite ends of the spectrum. Whether you’ve started your fantasy football season rolling like San Francisco or piling up Ls like the Jets, this week is jam-packed with options to consider as you build your roster.
If you need to save some salary, there are some nice value options who are looking to build on strong starts and in good spots to keep rolling. Let’s take a look at my favorite bargain options at each lineup slot.
QUARTERBACK($6,000 and under)
Daniel Jones, NYG vs. WAS, $5,300 – There were multiple QBs making their first start of the season in Week 3, but Jones impressed the most with one of the most memorable debuts. Not only did he pile up stats with 39.2 DKFP on two rushing touchdowns, two passing touchdowns and 336 yards, but he also led his team to an impressive comeback win (with the help of the Bucs’ struggling kicker). Jones should continue to make plays on the ground, especially with Saquon Barkley (ankle) not an option, and will be asked to carry the offense while Barkley is out. The Giants’ defense has been a mess, so he probably will have to put up big points to win in high-scoring contests. This week, he gets a great matchup against the Redskins, who are on a short week and even made Mitchell Trubisky ($5,000) look good last week. Danny Dimes won’t always be as money as he was in his first start, but I’m all in on him in this matchup at such an affordable salary.
Kyle Allen, CAR at HOU, $5,200 – If you’re not ready to jump on the Jones hype train just yet, Allen is a solid alternative as he makes his second straight start for the Panthers with Cam Newton (foot) out again. Allen threw four touchdowns and had 25.3 DKFP on the road in Arizona last week, completing 19-of-26 passes for 261 yards and 25.3 DKFP. The Texans’ secondary has allowed an average of more than 300 yards per game in the first three weeks, and Allen has a better collection of options around him than Jones does with Christian McCaffrey ($8,800), D.J. Moore ($5,600), Greg Olson ($4,200) and Curtis Samuel ($4,600). All those players stepped up and looked good in Allen’s first start, and he’ll look to keep things rolling and continue creating a potential quarterback controversy in Carolina with another big game.
RUNNING BACK($5,000 and under)
Rex Burkhead, NE at BUF, $4,400 – Burkhead was very involved in Week 3 for New England with James White ($4,900) away from the team for the birth of his child. He ended up playing 74% of the team’s snaps with Brandon Bolden ($3,000) playing 29% and Sony Michel ($5,500) playing just 22%. Trying to figure out exactly what the Patriots will do in the backfield is tricky, but Burkhead almost always has been involved when healthy and offers more versatility than Michel, who focuses almost exclusively on rushing, and White, who is best primarily used as a receiver. Burkhead had six catches for 22 yards and 47 more yards on 11 carries along with a touchdown for a total of 18.9 DKFP. Last season, he had 11 carries and four catches in Buffalo and had a two-touchdown game in 2017 in Buffalo. While White’s return likely will drain some of his targets, he should be involved enough to be a nice value play and is a trusted option in New England’s offense.
Rashaad Penny, SEA at ARI, $4,200 – Last week, Penny tweaked a hamstring in the final 20 minutes of Friday’s walkthrough and was surprisingly unavailable. Penny’s injury isn’t considered serious, and he is expected to return to practice early this week. In Penny’s absence, Chris Carson ($5,700) struggled on the wet field, slipping multiple times and continuing to have trouble holding onto the football. After Carson’s fourth fumble in three games, C.J. Prosise ($4,000) received all the RB touches in the fourth quarter but failed to get much going. Penny is a threat to Carson’s job if he is able to return. In Week 2, he ran for 62 yards on 10 carries, highlighted by an impressive 37-yard touchdown run. He has an extremely high ceiling since the Seahawks want to be a run-first offense and the Cardinals’ defense just was carved up by Christian McCaffrey ($8,800) last week. The Seahawks drafted Penny in the first round before last season, and he could move to the top of their depth chart in a hurry if Carson continues to struggle with ball security.
WIDE RECEIVER($5,000 and under)
Curtis Samuel, CAR at HOU, $4,600 – Samuel showed off a good connection with Kyle Allen and hauled in five catches for the second straight week in Carolina’s 38-20 win in Arizona. He had 53 yards and a touchdown and has been targeted 20 times over the past two contests. He was quiet in the opener but has posted 14.3 and 16.3 DKFP in those two games. He was targeted more often than D.J. Moore ($5,600) and could be set up for a big game against the Texans, who have allowed the fourth-most DKFP to WR this season.
Terry McLaurin, WAS at NYG, $4,500 – McLaurin has been one of the few bright spots in the Redskins’ brutal start to the season. The rookie from Ohio State has found the end zone in every game this year and has at least five catches and 60 yards in each contest. He had 19.0 DKFP against the tough Bears defense on Monday Night Football and has averaged more than 20 DKFP per game. The Giants’ secondary has allowed the third-most DKFP to WR this season, so McLaurin should be able to keep piling up production.
J.J. Nelson, OAK at IND, $3,600 – Nelson only played six snaps in Week 1 and missed Week 2 with an ankle injury, but he emerged as a big part of Oakland’s offense in Week 3, catching four passes for 36 yards, a touchdown and 13.6 DKFP. Nelson was targeted five times, which was more than any other receiver and trailed only TE Darren Waller ($5,200) for the team lead. Nelson has shown he can be a legitimate deep threat in his career and should continue to grow into a bigger role as Derek Carr ($5,300) continues to try and find his rhythm. The Colts’ secondary was shaky against Matt Ryan ($5,900) in the second half last week, and the Raiders could be forced to throw a lot again this week if they fall behind like they have in their past two games.
Darius Slayton, NYG vs. WAS, $3,200 – Danny Dimes wasn’t the only Giants rookie to debut in Week 3. Slayton was sidelined by a hamstring issue until Week 3, when he hauled in 3-of-5 targets for a solid 82 yards and 11.2 DKFP. Slayton was a fifth-round pick out of Auburn and offers field-stretching speed especially with Jones at QB and the deep pass back as an option for the Giants. Slayton should keep getting playing time while Golden Tate (suspension) is sidelined but could lose some of his target share when Tate returns in Week 5. He’s an extremely cheap play with a high ceiling against the struggling Washington secondary.
TIGHT END($4,000 and under)
Will Dissly, SEA at ARI, $3,600 – Who dis? Just a TE with more than 18 DKFP in each of his past two games with three total touchdowns with at least five catches and 50 yards in each of those two contests. Dissly also has a great matchup against the Cardinals, who have struggled to stop opposing TEs for the past few seasons and have given up more DKFP to TEs this season than any other team in the NFL. Dissly has caught 11-of-12 targets in those two games and should continue to get plenty of attention from Russell Wilson ($6,100) continues to adjust to not having go-to WR Doug Baldwin, who retired this offseason.
T.J. Hockenson, DET vs. KC, $3,300 – Remember when Hockeson exploded for 131 yards and 28.1 DKFP in his NFL debut? The Lions apparently have forgotten since he has managed only one catch in each of his two games since and only had 1.1 DKFP in Week 3. Hopefully, they go back to him this week as they try to keep up with the high-flying Chiefs. Hockenson is a boom-or-bust option, to be sure, but does offer definite upside as Detroit’s top TE in a favorable matchup.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS($2,800 and under)
TEN at ATL, $2,600 – The Titans’ defense had two good games before laying a total dud on Thursday Night Football against Gardner Minshew ($5,200). They finished that game with just 1.0 DKFP after putting up 23.0 DKFP and 8.0 DKFP in their first two games. The Falcons’ offense has been inconsistent and comes in a little banged up while the Titans have had 10 days to recover and prepare for their trip to Atlanta.
ARI vs. SEA, $2,400 – The bargain defenses are all extremely risky this week, but the Cardinals have some solid upside since the Seahawks have also been inconsistent and a bit turnover prone (We’re looking at you, Chris Carson). Arizona has multiple sacks in every game this season and has forced three fumbles. It got lit up by the Panthers but will look to bounce back in this divisional matchup.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.