This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite tournament plays for the upcoming NFL week. I’m going to be focusing on high upside plays and pairings that could really pay off big for you in tournaments.
Chicago lost the game last week, but Brian Hoyer was able to get the Bears passing game going in garbage time. This week Chicago takes on a Detroit defense who has given up multiple massive games already to opposing QBs. Chicago has struggled to the run the ball this year but they do have weapons at receiver, and I expect them take advantage of a weaker Detroit secondary. Alshon Jeffery may have lost targets to Kevin White last week, but the horrible conversion percentage of his teammate (six catches on 15 targets Week 3) makes me think Alshon should get lots of love Week 4. Don’t forget that in 2013 Jeffery made backup Josh McCown look like Brett Favre for a time. I’d also consider stacking those two — Hoyer and Alshon — with TE Zach Miller who is only $2,700. Miller is a terrific pass catching TE whose usage boomed last week with Hoyer, and Detroit has given up the most TDs (5) and fantasy points per game to the TE thus far in 2016.
Bonus: Phillip Rivers ($6,900) – Tyrell Williams ($4,400) – Hunter Henry ($2,700)
Dak Prescott ($5,700): Russell Wilson could have easily thrown for three TDs last week against the 49ers — and run for more if he was healthy — so this week I think targeting a healthy Dak Prescott against the 49ers makes sense. While Chip Kelly’s pace of play may have slowed a tad this year, his team’s defense is still very suspect. Over the past two weeks QBs have thrown for 6 TDs against the 49ers, and while Dak has yet to throw for multiple TDs in a game, his overall play has been underrated. The Cowboys are small favorites here with an implied team total of over 24 points, and with Dak’s ability to gain points with his arm and legs, I think there is the potential for a breakout game for Dak against a weak opponent.
Bonus: Tyrod Taylor ($5,400)
Carlos Hyde ($4,200): I’m not sure how you can’t love Hyde at his price this week. This is one of the few main carry RBs in the league who has now put up over 20 fantasy points twice this year on DraftKings and who is playing on well over 60% of the snaps through three weeks. Dallas’ defense showed some weakness against Jordan Howard last week and hasn’t truly faced as good a running back as Hyde yet. Even though the 49ers aren’t favored here, I think Hyde’s big workload, his goal line usage and the fact the 49ers will be at home make him a high upside target.
Dwayne Washington ($3,800): The difference between Washington and Theo Riddick running the ball last week was striking as Washington was clearly the more effective runner and out gained Riddick by nearly 30 yards on the same number of carries. While I expect Riddick to remain the passing down specialist, I also expect Washington to see far more work Week 4 against a Bears team who gave up 160 yards and two TDs to the Dallas RBs last weekend. This is a special looking runner with a good matchup whose only handicap is his uncertain workload. Still he should get goal line work, and in a great matchup, I love him as a tournament play this week.
Bonus: Spencer Ware ($5,700) (if Jamaal Charles is out)
Amari Cooper ($7,600): It’s frustrating when good young players don’t immediately take off fantasy wise to start a season, but giving up on them too early can be even more painful than a bad game or two. Cooper has just missed long TDs in each of his first three games (slight overthrows, toe out of bounds, etc.), and while the big plays haven’t connected yet, the usage is there as Cooper has averaged over 9.5 targets per game in 2016. I’m not convinced a still lackluster Baltimore secondary can stop Cooper from getting open at will this week as they’ve now allowed four TDs to WRs over the past two weeks. With Cooper’s price still relatively high, he’ll likely go over-looked, and I don’t think he will stay TD-less for much longer.
Jaron Brown ($3,300): Brown is the only other Cardinals wide receiver, outside of Larry Fitzgerald, who has shown any consistency this year (albeit on limited snaps). While often bypassed for the bigger Michael Floyd or the faster John Brown, Jaron is arguably more polished than either and may make a push soon to become a starter in a struggling offense. This week with Floyd in concussion protocol and the Cards at home facing a Rams secondary, who just gave up 400 yards to Jameis Winston, Brown (Jaron) could be in a spot for a breakout game. Watch the updates, but if Floyd misses this week Jaron will make for a great tournament consideration at only $3,300.
Bonus: Cole Beasley ($3,900)
Greg Olsen ($6,000): Greg Olsen is a great TE capable of big games, who plays with a great QB and he’ll be going up against an Atlanta team who has been incapable of stopping the TE under Dan Quinn. Since the start of 2015, Atlanta has now given up 13 TDs to the position and just finished making Coby Fleener look like Randy Moss last Monday Night. Olsen is averaging a very healthy nine targets per game in 2016 and with that volume could easily post a big game against a defense who does well at limiting WRs but is not so great at limiting athletic pass catching TEs. Olsen has six 100-yard receiving games since 2014, and I think this is a spot where he could potentially add to that total.
Bonus: Hunter Henry ($2,700)
San Diego Chargers ($2,300): Yes, the Saints offense is dangerous, but I am still considering the Chargers defense against them this week. Two weeks ago the Giants put up 14 fantasy points against New Orleans, and last week the Falcons put up 11. San Diego has a better secondary than either of these teams and already has 4 INTs on the year as well. With Drew Brees sporting a TD-INT ratio a near full point lower on the road (1.67) than at home (2.56) I don’t think using the Chargers, who are a huge bargain at only $2,300, is out of the question in tournaments. While I love Denver this week (targeting Jameis Winston against good defenses), I can’t ignore the price here for a Chargers team who is currently favored and will be playing at home.
Bonus: Denver Broncos ($3,700)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) 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.