While most daily fantasy players are more familiar with the usual salary-cap structure, DraftKings also has tournaments in a pick ’em style: There are no player salaries, and you simply select one player across the eight tiers.
Here’s a breakdown of the pick ’em slate for Week 4 of the NFL season.
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Tier 1: Elite Passers
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees is rebounding from a lackluster 2017 with multiple touchdowns in every game plus increased volume thus far: He’s averaging 43 attempts per game and completing a blistering 80.6% of them.
The Saints are road favorites this week against the Giants in a game with an over/under of 50 thanks to the Saints giving up a league-worst 34.3 points per game. As long as the New Orleans defense keeps bleeding points, Brees will have to throw. And when that man throws, he’s been a cash-game god (per the Trends Tool).
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
After a cold start in Week 1, the Falcons offense has gotten hot, fueled by Ryan’s nine total touchdowns. Each of Atlanta’s past two games has gone over the total. The over/under on for this week’s matchup with the Bengals has already risen from 48 to 53.5 points as of writing (see live odds here), and the Falcons are 3.5-point favorites.
Against a Cincinnati defense that has allowed the 10th-most points to opposing passers, Ryan should have no problem continuing his string of quality fantasy performances.
Tier 2: Quarterback Stacks
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben will face the Ravens at home, where he’s been a significantly better fantasy option:
- Roethlisberger at home: 26.7 fantasy points per game, 72.4% consistency rating (how often a player meets or exceeds expectations)
- Away: 16.4 fantasy points per game, 34% consistency rating
The Steelers’ implied score sits at 27.25 as of Tuesday, making the Pittsburgh offense an obvious fantasy target. However, with that comes popularity. Roethlisberger could lead Tier 2 in ownership, making him better suited as the cash play.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Rostering Ryan — who is coming off a 40-point fantasy performance — will be chalky. Stacking him with Dalton is a way to differentiate lineups and take advantage of the .46 Correlation opposing quarterbacks have. Dalton also gets a Falcons defense ravaged by injuries to starters including Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, Ricardo Allen and Takkarist McKinley.
Stacking Dalton with Ryan in a matchup against a Falcons defense that’s in shambles is a solid tournament play.
Tier 3: Elite Flex Plays
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
Kamara is on pace to break the single-season receptions record for
running backs wide receivers. He’s essentially playing two positions, seeing 12.3 carries and 12.7 targets per game. Our Models have him as the highest median projection of the week. In cash games, he’s a must-play.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
AB has yet to top 100 yards in a game this season, and his 19 points per game is tied for the lowest of Tier 3. But he returns home this week, where Roethlisberger’s road splits won’t affect the wide receiver.
Brown’s 42 targets and 437 Air Yards rank second and fourth in the league, respectively. Take Brown at reduced ownership while it lasts.
Tier 4: Chasing Volume
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
Barkley has recorded at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first three games as an NFL back and owns the third-highest floor projection. His 21 receptions are second-most on the Giants, who will now be without tight end Evan Engram.
Barkley’s pass-catching floor just got even higher as Eli Manning’s check-down. The rookie is an ideal cash play.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Jones has yet to score this season, but he does lead all receivers in Air Yards through three weeks. In tournaments, continuing to stack this game with Jones is a smart play. It also takes advantage of the Falcons’ 28-point implied total and the .29 correlation Jones has with Ryan.
Tier 5: Bell cow Backs
Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
With Joe Mixon inactive in Week 3, Gio carried the ball 12 times and — most importantly — was targeted nine times. Now he gets a Falcons defense that has allowed 36 receptions to running backs so far — the most in the league. Dalton’s pass-catching back has a dream matchup this week.
Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
Howard has been used as a workhorse back through three weeks with averages of 17.3 carries, 3.3 receptions and 2.7 red-zone touches per game.
The Bears are 3-point favorites at home against the Buccaneers. If Chicago gets out in front, Howard will get the chance to run out a lead late into the game, making him the cash play in Tier 5.
Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
The Lions now have three viable receivers in Tate, Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. Tate leads the trio with 12.3 targets per game. The Lions also lead the league in pass attempts and will face a Cowboys defense that’s without linebacker Sean Lee. Dallas has allowed 5.6 more points per game when Lee is inactive. Tate is a safe bet to return value this week.
Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz returned to the field last week and turned to his trusted tight end, targeting Ertz 10 times. If Alshon Jeffery doesn’t suit up again (check our News Feed to stay up to date on his status), Ertz will maintain his role as the Eagles lead receiver and make a nice pivot off the more popular players in this tier.
Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
Robinson was paid like an elite wide receiver this summer and has been used as such so far:
True No. 1 WRs (30%+ target share) after 2 weeks pic.twitter.com/SpMbEcLjKN
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) September 23, 2018
It just hasn’t shown up in his fantasy production (12.1 points). That could turn around this week against a Buccaneers defense that is giving up the third-most points to opposing receivers. No Tampa Bay cornerback has a Pro Football Focus ranking inside the top 60 at the position.
If Robinson is going to start putting up fantasy points, it will happen against the Bucs.
John Brown, WR Baltimore Ravens
Deandre Hopkins, Julio Jones and Brown: That’s the list of players who have hit 450 Air Yards this season.
Teams have attempted the highest depth of targets when facing the Steelers, which bodes well for Brown, who has a 19.9 aDOT through three weeks. Should Brown bring down a bomb this week, he’ll be the key to tournament success.
Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
The Texans offense hasn’t been the high-powered show it was in 2017, which has kept Miller from scoring more than once. But he’s still the league’s unappreciated workhorse with 16 touches in every game and three red-zone touches per game.
He has a top-10 floor projection and is reliable cash play.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants
Despite being underdogs, the Giants still have a favorable 23.25 implied point total, and the Saints have given the most points to opposing receivers this season. If you’re inclined to play the chalky Saints, stacking them with an opposing receiver like Shepard is a smart lineup differentiator.
Pictured above: Saquon Barkley
Photo credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports