Week 4 NFL DFS Fantasy Value Analysis

By Gerry Love - SPM Fantasy Staff

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As I went to bed last night there was sinking feeling on social media that a third game – the Detroit Lions vs. the New Orleans Saints – might be lost this week because of a positive COVID test for a player who was on the Saints’ team flight. That would have been the third game scheduled for Week 4 of the 2020 National Football League season to be jeopardized by the virus.

So, I waited to post this article, and fortunately the test was negative, and we are moving with 14 games overlapping Sunday and Monday with the New England Patriots-Kansas City Chiefs contest still in limbo. The Tennessee-Pittsburgh game already has been rescheduled thanks to an outbreak among Titans players that at last count had impacted 16 players and staff.

As you look at the raw data at the end of this article, you’ll see that players from the rescheduled and postponed games are highlighted with red along with players who are on injured reserve, ruled out or very much questionable with injuries. We include data on the players who still may play so you can wait until game time to make your own decisions on them, but we do not rate their value since those are players who we generally stay away from in DFS. In a full-season format, however, if they were our best options, we would put them in our lineups if they were active.

Some other quick notes on how to decipher the date. Remember that we analyze a player’s value based on what percentage of the cap their salary takes up in both Draft Kings and FanDuel. We compare those two platforms to see if one platform’s algorithm has a player priced much higher than the others, which could be an indication of hidden value or a player being overvalued. So, for example, a player with a $5,000 salary in DK would have a cap hit of .100 (10.0 percent), while it would take a $6,000 salary to have a .100 hit on FD. This is because the cap is $50,000 in Draft Kings and $6,0000 in FanDuel in a classic format.

All of our percentages, numbers and targets are based on classic full-roster formats in GPP games. Any information we provide should be beneficial in double-up or similar cash games that have 50 more entries, as the numbers you need to cash out in those games should be lower than in GPP formats. And while our numbers are based on GPP multi-entry contests, and if you want to throw of few bucks down in hopes of winning a million we have no problem with that – it’s fun and we do it, too – in order to maximize your chances of winning we recommend entering multiple single-game contests.

Another reason that we use cap percentages as a reference is because even though the cap and number of players may change in a different type of game, it’s likely that the percentages will be very similar across games within the same platform. And as you can see from our data, as the season goes on more and more players are valued equally by DK and FD, which makes knowing who the outliers are that much more important and potentially beneficial.

On our chart, red players are either out or likely to be out. Players highlighted in yellow essentially are valued the same on both DK and FD. At the wide receiver and running back positions DK tends to price players a little higher on average, so players that are considered of equal value may actually appear to have a slightly higher or lower percentage on one platform as compared to the other as we look at the average differential at each position when making our comparisons.

Players highlighted in blue are good value plays only in FanDuel, while players in green are value plays only in Draft Kings. The ones highlighted in orange are considered good values on both platforms, and the grey players are on our Hazmat Do Not Touch List. You’ll notice that some of them, like Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. appear to be good values this week – and normally they are – we just find them to be too inconsistent to want to be tempted, and with the Browns’ outstanding duo of running backs there’s always a good chance the passing game will not be a top priority.

If you want to take a chance on these players, feel free. The data is there, and if you get them on the right week they certainly can go off. It’s our philosophy after several weeks of inconsistency and either over-valuing them or seeing then underperforming that we leave them alone until they string together several good weeks. Adam Thielen is another big name on our Hazmat list.

A few things worth noting about this week’s data:

· The value of players in terms of their salaries on DK and FD gets closer every week. For example, the first week as a whole, wide receivers and running backs were priced .009 higher on Draft Kings. Those numbers are closer to .005 now. That means when top-end players like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are priced .021 or .022 lower in FD that is a real eye-opener. Are they way overpriced in on format or way underpriced in the other? That’s when you look at their matchup and expert ranking among more than 100 fantasy-football experts. With a B+ Matchup and a top-six overall rating for both, clearly they are a great value on FD.

· Our target numbers are based on the average score of all winners in multi-entry GPP games. Hitting that number should ensure that you win more than the minimum on almost any platform in almost any type of format. Our target number is 218 points, but on average if you score in the 180s you should at least make your money back. Our goal is to provide you with a greater margin of error and help you pick the players more likely to help you ensure profitability.

· When looking at target numbers, at the tight-end position we shoot for 23 points, but the reality is that only one player equaled that total last week. Our target salary number when determining value is 10.4% of the cap or .104. This year it seems that there are more tight ends putting up solid numbers without hitting the target number than ever before. So, either we need to find the guys at the top end of that group or the really low-priced guys who get their fair share of targets and allow us to spend more on other positions. For example, if Logan Thomas is getting more targets than any other WFT player and he can get into the end zone along with the seven or eight points he figures to get on catches and yards, then he becomes a huge value at his price. Remember, if your tight end target is 23 and you miss that by six, but your WR 1,2 and 3 total target is 74 and you get 84 because you could spend more there, you’ve more than accomplished your mission. We will list our target numbers below.

· There aren’t as many great value plays this week as there have been. That happens as the average player values start to become closer across platforms. All that means is that we have to extend our value group at some positions and be willing to spend a little more than our target, which in turn means that we need to help you find the super-value plays at the tight end and flex spots. It also means that if a consistently high-scoring or highly rated WR1 or RB2 – someone you can count on to get close to our target number each week – is close to our target number, those are players you want pick to place around our value picks. We will provide a few of those names to consider

· A word about defenses. If you get lucky and pick the one defense each week that blows up –and you follow our other suggestions – you should have a nice pay day. Essentially, if you can find the lowest-priced defense most likely to not hurt you, and that D scores a few points, that should be a formula to help you be in the money. You just can’t pick a defense that hurts you. If your D can score five or more points you should be in good shape. Last week, we used the Giants D quite a bit against a depleted 49ers offense, and New York got us a nice -2, which kept us from having a huge week. It happens. Just be smart here. Don’t go bargain basement, but you can stay in the bottom half of the salary range and be in good shape while opening up cap room for other positions.

Week 4 Value Quarterbacks on Draft Kings

1. DeShaun Watson

2. Ryan Fitzpatrick

3. Joe Burrow

4. Matt Ryan

5. Matthew Stafford

6. Drew Brees

7. Tom Brady

8. Derek Carr

Week 4 Value Quarterbacks on FanDuel

1. DeShaun Watson

2. Aaron Rodgers

3. Ryan Fitzpatrick

4. Joe Burrow

5. Matthew Stafford

6. Matt Ryan

7. Jared Goff

8. Tom Brady

QB Target Score: 28.12

QB Target Cap Hit: 12.9%

Watson figures to rebound and put up the numbers we’ve come to expect as the Texans’ schedule gets much easier. He should be under-valued and under-owned this week because of his team’s performance to date. Fitzpatrick’s matchup screams that you he should be played in multiple contests along with DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki. People will stay away because they are the Dolphins, just like they will stay away from Burrow and his Bengals. Rodgers is a little above target value, but still is close enough to ride until his price goes way up or he has a bad week. Ryan always puts up solid numbers with the chance of going off if playing from behind. Brady we may stay away from this week given Tampa’s injury situation.

Week 4 Value RB1 on Draft Kings

1. Kenyan Drake

2. Jonathan Taylor

3. James Robinson

4. Josh Jacobs

5. Nick Chubb

Week 4 Value RB1 on FanDuel

1. Austin Ekeler

2. James Robinson

3. Kenyan Drake

4. Dalvin Cook

5. Josh Jacobs

6. Nick Chubb

7. Aaron Jones

Week 4 Value RB2/Flex on Draft Kings

1. David Johnson

2. Mike Davis

3. Devin Singletary

4. Darrell Henderson

5. Todd Gurely

6. Jerick McKinnon

Week 4 Value RB2/Flex on FanDuel

1. Kareem Hunt

2. Devin Singletary

3. Mike Davis

4. David Johnson

5. Darrell Henderson

6. Todd Gurley

7. Jerick McKinnon

Value RB Flex Picks DK & FD

1. Nyheim Hines

2. Brian Hill

3. Chase Edmonds

RB1 Target Score: 30.52

RB1 Target Cap Hit: 14.0%

RB2 Target Score: 25.51

RB2 Target Cap Hit: 11.7%

Flex Target Score: 22.09

Flex Target Cap Hit: 10.14%

When you see players who are going to get RB1 touches and could put up RB1 numbers valued around our RB2 target number, you jump on them. Every guy on our list fits that description this week thanks to the rash of injuries around the NFL. Looking at our RB1 value picks, guys like Dalvin Cook and Aaron Jones are a priced a little higher than our target but are dependable and have good matchups. They are worth the spend, especially if you can get other RB1-type players in your RB2 slot.

Week 4 Value WR1 on Draft Kings

1. Amari Cooper

2. DK Metcalf

3. Tyler Lockett

4. Robert Woods

5. Cooper Kupp

Week 4 Value WR1 on FanDuel

1. DK Metcalf,

2. Amari Cooper

3. Tyler Lockett

4. Robert Woods

5. Keenan Allen

6. DeAndre Hopkins

7. Mike Evans

8. Allen Robinson

9. Stefon Diggs

Week 4 Value WR2/WR3/Flex on Draft Kings

1. DJ Moore

2. Will Fuller

3. DeVante Parker

4. Terry McLaurin

5. Kenny Golladay

6. CeeDee Lamb

7. Robby Anderson

8. Jarvis Landry

Week 4 Value WR2/WR3/Flex on FanDuel

1. Tyler Boyd

2. Michael Gallup

3. DJ Moore

4. Will Fuller

5. DeVante Parker

6. Terry McLaurin

7. Kenny Golladay

8. CeeDee Lamb

9. Robby Anderson

10. Jarvis Landry

Value WR Flex Picks DK & FD

1. Marquez Valdes-Scantling

2. Preston Williams

3. Brandon Cooks

WR1 Target Score: 27.9

WR1 Target Cap Hit: 12.8%

WR2 Target Score: 23.98

WR2 Target Cap Hit: 11.0%

WR3 Target Score: 21.8%

WR3 Target Cap Hit: 10.0%

Flex Target Score: 22.09

Flex Target Cap Hit: 10.14%

Just like the RB2 category, there are a lot of WR1-type high-volume players near our WR2 & WR target salaries this week – names like Boyd, Moore, McLaurin, Golladay and Parker. And the WR1 list includes some guys who go over the WR1 threshold, but are close and appear to be set up for big weeks: Hopkins, Evans and Robinson fit that bill. Pay a little more there, get some WR1s in your WR2 slot and then go with under-priced players such as Robby Anderson, CeeDee Lamb, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Preston Williams and Brandin Cooks.

Week 4 Value TE on Draft Kings

1. TJ Hockenson

2. Darren Waller

3. Mike Gesicki

4. Dalton Schultz

5. Evan Engram

6. Austin Hooper

Week 4 Value TE on FanDuel

1. TJ Hockenson

2. Tyler Higbee

3. Mike Gesicki

4. Dalton Schultz

5. Evan Engram

6. Austin Hooper

Week 4 Value TEs Who Can Open Cap Space

1. Logan Thomas

2. Mo-Allie Cox

3. Robert Tonyan

TE Target Score: 22.67

TE Target Cap Hit: 14.8%

Try to stay below our target salary of .104 here. Any of these players will get you solid numbers, but the less you can pay to get those numbers the more you can spend on your RB1 and WR1 slots to anchor the players you place around your value picks. Logan Thomas has been getting plenty of targets in D.C. and figures to be an outlet for a young QB against a top defense today. Cox has stepped in and is a physical freak who is taking more more of Jack Doyle’s targets each week. He is a threat to score even if not getting many targets. Robert Tonyan seems to get more involved each week and is a bargain. Gesicki has a great matchup this week – as does Hooper – and Engram is a supreme talent who has been under-used and is priced very low. His upside makes him worth a shot in at least one lineup.

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