Three weeks have come and gone, and we’re officially into the grind of the NFL season. As usual, DraftKings is opening contests and releasing salaries for the week ahead on Sunday evening. In the fast-changing landscape of the NFL, that leaves plenty of time for obvious value to appear.
Let’s take a look at a few players who stand out for Week 4, using the early projections in our NFL Player Models. Of course, these models update frequently. Things will likely change between now and Sunday, but it’s still good to have a plan of attack.
If there’s news between now and lock — and there will be — the models will update to reflect that.
As always, they’re powered by Sean Koerner — the most accurate fantasy ranker in the industry from 2019-2021.
For full access to our models, you’ll need to sign up for a FantasyLabs subscription:
NFL DFS Quarterback Values
Marcus Mariota ($5,600) Atlanta Falcons (+1.5) vs. Cleveland Browns (50 total)
Mariota has led the Falcons to a surprisingly effective offensive start, scoring 80 points through three games. That’s despite a run-heavy approach that has seen Mariota attempt just over 26 passes per start.
Even though they’re 1-2, Atlanta ranks 22nd in the NFL in time spent trailing so far, which is part of the reason for the lack of passing volume. The other is Mariota’s ability to take off with the ball. He has 25 rushing attempts so far on the season, fifth-most among quarterbacks.
That gives him a very strong floor relative to his near-minimum price tag. The Vegas data for this game points to a path towards a ceiling as well. According to our Trends tool narrow (0-3 points) underdog QBs in games with a 50 total average a bit over 21 DraftKings points.
Mariota is the best Pts/Sal value in our models as of Tuesday, despite his projection coming in a bit below the average based on that trend. He has a rock solid floor and sneaky upside for Week 4.
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Values
Richie James ($4,000) New York Giants (-3.5) vs. Chicago Bears (39 Total)
James has at least five targets in every game this season and is still checking in at an extremely affordable $4,000 for Week 4. He has an 18% target share, but that number is likely to go up moving forward. His teammate — and Giants top receiver — Sterling Shepard is done for the season with a torn ACL.
That injury came on Monday night, well after DraftKings released Week 4 salaries. That makes James the perfect example of a player who would likely be priced considerably higher were salaries to release after the conclusion of Week 3.
While it’s not an ideal game script or matchup for James, he could easily see double-digit targets most weeks moving forward.
He leads the Pts/Sal projections and Projected Plus/Minus in our models and is a fairly obvious top value this week.
NFL DFS Running Back Values
Khalil Herbert ($5,700) Chicago Bears (+3.5) at New York Giants (39 total)
Herbert is another player whose workload could massively exceed his salary in Week 4. Bears starting running back David Montgomery exited early in Week 3, leading to 20 carries and two targets for the rookie Herbert.
Unlike with James, this injury was a known situation when salaries came out, making Herbert less of an obvious value. Also unlike James, it’s unclear whether Montgomery will in fact be out in Week 4, making this a situation worth monitoring.
As it stands now, Herbert’s projections are based on Montgomery being in. However, if we gave him even half of Montgomery’s current projection (a very conservative estimate), Herbert would easily lead the position in Pts/Sal projection.
If Montgomery plays, Jamaal Williams ($6,100) of the Lions could end up being the best value. He’s also likely to be the starter, with D’Andre Swift banged up heading into Week 4.
He’s not quite as cheap as Herbert but would have an excellent role for the run-heavy Lions if he ends up the starter.
NFL DFS Tight End Values
Evan Engram $3,400 Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5) at Philadelphia Eagles (48.5 total)
Nobody is going to be excited to click Engram’s name. He is a top 15 tight end in PPR scoring through three weeks though and priced at just $3,400. He’s seen a very strong 15 targets through the Jaguars’ first three games.
That’s despite the Jaguars running away with the past two games, causing them to play slower and run the ball more frequently. As roughly touchdown underdogs to the explosive Eagles, don’t count on that happening again. An increased pass rate would benefit Engram, who has a respectable 13% target share on the season.
Philadelphia is also fairly generous to tight ends, with a top-five Opponent Plus/Minus allowed to the position.
Engram leads the position in Pts/Sal Projection and is top three in Projected Plus/Minus as of Tuesday afternoon.