WPI’s Daily Fantasy Football Strategy & Picks – Week 4

Week 4 Running Back Rankings

Week 4 QB Rankings

The complete schedule of games are below.

THURSDAY Game

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams
Vegas O/U = 42
Line = SF -3

QB – Colin Kaepernick
Hasn’t played well the last 2 weeks and is a mid-priced option this week. Romo had a good week against the Rams defense last week, but the 49ers lack of weapons at WR is hurting Kaepernick’s numbers. I may have him in one lineup this week in 2 QB leagues, but if you only can pick 1 QB, you should look elsewhere this week.
QB – Sam Bradford
Got burned last week when I had him in against the Cowboys … he actually threw 40+ passes …. so the opportunities were there, but he only threw 1 TD. The 49ers will be without leading pass-rusher Aldon Smith, and the status of MLB Patrick Willis is one you’ll want to check on. I don’t plan on having Bradford in any of my lineups, but the 49ers D is looking less scary this week.
RB – Frank Gore
Has only one TD on the season and only 3 catches. Only put Frank in your lineup if he’s one of the cheapest options … and your only other option is a guy that will split carries. DeMarco Murray had a great week against the St. Louis D.
WR – Anquan Boldin
Has trouble getting open since week one – probably because no one else on the 49ers can really get open. He’s probably better when the 49ers have Vernon Davis healthy, because at least the D has another capable guy to guard. I’d stay clear of Boldin again this week until the 49ers prove they are a top flight offense.
WR – Tavon Austin
If you need a cheap option at WR, Austin hasn’t been the worst play … has 6 catches in every game this year. Against this defense though, I think you’ll have better options at WR this week.

 

Sunday MORNING Games

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Vegas O/U = 47.5
Line = Detroit -3

QB – Matthew Stafford
If Stafford is a mid-priced option in your league … he’s solid and always seems to get a TD or two each week. The Bears have a pretty solid defense, but teams have moved the ball on them at times, especially through the air. With Reggie Bush and Joique Bell both providing a good dump-off options, Stafford should be pretty solid this week at home. The Bears have given up the 8th most yards to QB’s this season, but have 5 INT’s.
QB – Jay Cutler
He’s a free agent at the end of the year … I fully expect Cutler to be on his best behavior this year, and he will be doing everything he can to make his numbers look good + have the Bears win. Will probably be a mid-priced option in most leagues and is not a bad play if you don’t want to go with a top-tier QB. The Lions have only given up 2 TD’s this season to QB’s.
RB – Matt Forte
Has been solid just about every week. Had him in my lineups last week because he was a mid-priced option against a weak Steelers defense. The Lions are giving up an average of 4.5 yards per carry through 3 games, so if Forte is a mid-priced option, I like him again this week.
RB – Joique Bell
If he wasn’t in your lineup last week with Bush out … you were crazy. This week, I expect Bush to be back so unless Bell is really cheap, he doesn’t provide the upside he did last week. Keep an eye on him, Bush will get hurt again.
RB – Reggie Bush
The emergence of Bell might limit Bush this week. Plus the Lions want to keep him healthy. Bush will probably be a mid-to-lower tier priced back, and I think that’s too much because he’ll be splitting touches with Bell all year long now.
WR – Calvin Johnson
If you want to spend big $$ on WR, this should be a great matchup for Johnson, as #1 WR’s have had good games against the Bears D.
WR – Nate BurlesonGOT IN A CAR ACCIDENT AND IS GONE (Broken Arm)
Someone has to be open since defenses double team Johnson. Nate has been the guy. He’s a solid cheap flex in prior weeks, but his stock may be rising on some daily sites. If you can get him near the bottom of the WR pool, you’re getting good value.
WR – Ryan Broyles
A super cheap option that will certainly get much more playing time this week with Burleson (who was starting ahead of him) going down in a car accident. Broyles is coming back from his own injury, and played for the first time last week. IF you have a strong team, and need to have a really cheap player … this is one risk that might pay off considering the Bears aren’t the best at controling recievers (See A.J. Green and Anotio Brown).
WR – Brandon Marshall
His price may come down after a sub-par performance … if you can get Marshall at a value price, he’s worth it against a Lions D that is still building.
TE – Martellus Bennett
Only 2 catches last week after a few nice games to start the season. If you want a cheap TE .. there are probably better options in PPR leagues, but Bennett is one of Cutler’s main targets in the red zone.

 

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills
Vegas O/U = 44
Line = Baltimore -3.5

RB – C.J. Spiller
Got injured last week, shouldn’t cause him to miss games, but the Ravens defense has been good since being lit up by the Broncos in week. I wouldn’t risk having Spiller in more than a few lineups this week – he’s a risky play.
RB – Bernard Pierce
Leads the Ravens in rushing, but if Ray Rice comes back this week, I’d keep him out of all lineups. If Ray Rice is hurt – I’d have Pierce in again this week as a value play. Looks like Rice is playing and I think they both will get carries in this game. I would keep an eye on Pierce, but wait for a better opportunity to play him.
RB – Ray Rice – Says He’s Playing
Injured last week, and the team will likely split carries/time with Pierce for the time being. I wouldn’t have Rice in unless he was cheap. I would wait to play Rice until you see how healthy he is this week and if he’s going to be taken out more because Pierce is a very solid backup.
WR – Torrey Smith
Was a ‘sleeper’ last week because the Texans always give up big numbers to WR’s. I don’t like him as much this week, but if he’s cheap – you could do worse.
WR – Stevie Johnson
If E.J. Manuel was even close to being an accurate QB, Johnson would have better numbers. I don’t trust E.J. so unless Stevie is really cheap in your league, I would avoid him even though they are at home.

 

Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vegas O/U = 40.5
Line = Tampa -3

RB – Doug Martin
Arizona is actually one of the better run defenses (maybe because everyone is busy throwing on them) … they give up 3.2 per carry and through 3 games teams only have 220 yards against them. Martin is usually one of the most expensive backs, and for that price I’d avoid him this week.
RB – Jason Snelling
Decent last minuet add if you need to save money at this position with Steven Jackson out. Not the best matchup though. Splits carries.
RB – Jaquizz Rodgers
See Jason Snelling
WR – Vincent Jackson
With rumors of QB Josh Freeman loosing his starting job, he might try to step it up this week. The Cardinals have given up the 6th most passing yards to teams, but Vegas only has each team scoring 2 or 3 times, so you better hope Jackson gets one.
WR – Mike Williams
See Vincent Jackson.
WR – Larry Fitzgerald
Tampa is a middle-of-the-pack type defense against the pass. This one on the road, and Fitzgerald being gimpy, I’d avoid him again this week.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings – ALERT – GAME IS IN LONDON
Vegas O/U = 42.5
Line = Even

RB – Adrian Peterson GREEN LIGHT
Pittsburgh has given up the 10th most yardage in the NFL to running backs, and Forte looked great against them last week. I expect a heavy dose of Peterson this week in London. If you can save money on other positions with ‘sleepers’ have Peterson in your lineup this week.
RB – Le’Veon Bell
The Steelers are reportedly starting this 2nd round pick at running back this week. He’s being touted as a ‘sleeper’ this week, and that may be against a fairly weak team. Personally I’d like to see him prove his value before I slip Bell into a lineup – but if you have 1 or 2 lineups where you need a super cheap back, Bell might be your best option this week.
WR – Antonio Brown
Minnesota has given up the 4th most passing yards in the NFL through 3 weeks (and a 3rd stringer looked like Joe Montana last week) … Brown won’t be cheap after his Monday Night Football game, but he’s a good option this week.
WR – Emmanuel Sanders
Teams should be keying in on Antonio Brown, and the Vikings are one of the worst passing defense teams in the league. Sanders is a last-resort low-price option if you need one … but don’t expect too much.

 

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
Vegas O/U = 42.5
Line = Colts -9.5

QB – Andrew Luck
The Jaguars have only give up about 200 passing yards per game, but they have yielded 7 touchdowns. You’re hope is Luck throws TD’s instead of handing it off much like last week. I think the Colts will run the ball a lot this week, limiting Luck’s value.
RB – Trent Richardson – UPGRADE = MUST START
The Jaguars have given up the most yards to RB’s. Problem is Richardson is still new to the Colts offense, and his presence has seem to invigorate ‘backup’ Ahmad Bradshaw. If you get inside knowledge (check Colts coaching staff quotes) that Richardson will get the bulk of the carries this week, he’s a huge play … otherwise expect a 50/50 split with Bradshaw that will limit his opportunities. Looks like Bradshaw did not practice this week and Richardson might see an increased work load.
RB – Ahmad Bradshaw DID NOT PRACTICE – OUT
Might be cheap this week. Should get as many carries as Richardson, and looks like he might still get goal line carries too. Very risky play, but could be a sleeper if this game gets out of hand and the Colts don’t want to put Richardson at risk in the 4th quarter. Did not practice fully this week and I don’t like him because of that.
RB – Maurice Jones-Drew
If medically all is good for Drew and he’s in the mid-tier in terms of pricing … I like his matchup this week. The Colts have given up the 7 most yards to running backs through 3 weeks. Problem is, Jacksonville will fall behind in this game, limiting his carries … but possibly increasing his catches.
WR – Cecil Shorts
Jacksonville should be in throwing mode from the 3rd quarter on against a tough Colts team. I don’t love his matchup, but if Shorts is cheap, he should get plenty of targets this week.

 

New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs
Vegas O/U = 44.5
Line = Chiefs -4

RB – Jamaal Charles GREEN LIGHT
The Giants have given up the 6th most rushing yards to backs during the first 3 weeks of the NFL season, and I like Charles to have a solid game against a team that is clearly in trouble.

 

Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans
Vegas O/U = 43
Line = Seattle -3

RB – Marshawn Lynch
The Houston Texans have only given up 3.3 yards per carry and 1 TD through 3 weeks, I don’t like Lynch’s matchup this week but he still will be productive.
RB – Arian Foster
Horrible matchup vrs Seattle, haven’t had him in my lineups all year and won’t have him in this week.
WR – Andre Johnson
Bad matchup vrs Seattle … I wouldn’t play him.

 

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Vegas O/U = 41.5 – ALERT … THIS IS LOWER THAN MOST FANS MIGHT THINK
Line = Bengals -5

QB – Andy Dalton
Had an OK week (2 TDs but 2 turnovers) last week in a wild game against the Packers. Cleveland’s only allowed 2 passing TD’s all year.
QB – Brian Hoyer
Guys got lucky last week who had him in … starting third string QB’s rarely works out in the NFL and is a sure way to deplete your bankroll if you do it every week. I think you’re stupid if you have him in this week but we’ll see.
RB – BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Do NOT start BJGE. His role looks to be diminishing in Bengaldom. His fumble last week, and the continued strong play of Bernard will lead to even less opportunities for him.
RB – Giovani Bernard
Won’t be cheap this week, but should actually play a bigger role in the offense than even the last few weeks. The Bengals coaches won’t name him the starter of veteran BJGE, but if Bernard protects the ball, he’ll play more & more each week.
WR – Josh Gordon MAJOR GREEN LIGHT
Pretty much the main target in Cleveland. Should get plenty of looks in this game. If sites still have him cheap (because he was suspended) he’s a must buy. The Bengals might be without their top 2 DB’s in this game – and will be starting guys at that spot that aren’t very good players (Taylor Mays). Gordon should get a few catches, even if I was throwing him the  ball.
WR – A.J. Green
Got a TD last week, but not much else. The Bengals will spread the ball around instead of jamming it into A.J. if the coaches have their way.

 

Sunday LATE Games

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans
Vegas O/U = 38.5
Line = Titans -4.5

WR – Nate Robinson
Had a career high in receiving yards last week, I doubt he will do it again and will probably be ‘overpriced’ this week anyway.
WR – Kendall Wright
Hasn’t been horrible the last 2 weeks, but his matchup isn’t that great this week and Vegas has this one being low scoring. But keep an eye on Wright when he has a better matchup.
WR – Stephen Hill
His receptions have gone down each week, but yardage has been up. It’s a risky play this week but another guy to keep an eye on.
RB – Bilal Powell
Broke out for a big week last week, so probably won’t be a value pick this week. The Titans have given up a rather hefty 4.4 yards per carry so if Bilal is cheap, he’s not a horrible option … just don’t expect any TD’s. Fellow running-mate Chris Ivory has a hamstring injury and was reportedly only riding a bike in practice this week.
RB – Chris Johnson
Continues to produce at a mid-tier price level. The Jets are pretty solid against the run giving up only 3.2 yards per carry and 1 TD on the season. I’d look at other mid-tier options over CJ2K this week.

 

Washington Redskins at Oakland Raiders
Vegas O/U =
Line = Washington -3

QB – Robert Griffin III
Before MNF against the all-mighty Broncos, the Raiders were #1 in the league in least amount of passing yards per game. It wasn’t like teams were running all over them either – they are stingy on that end too.
QB – Terrelle Pryor
The Redskins are one of the NFL’s worst passing defense teams. Problem is there run D is pretty bad too which might mean Pryor doesn’t have to throw too much in this game. He’s usually very cheap option at QB … and if you feel like having Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson in your lineup … going with Pryor this weak on the cheap isn’t the worst option.
WR – Pierre Garcon
Is a beast in PPR leagues this year, but this week is a difficult matchup for him cross-country on the road. He should get catches but you’re probably better off going with a different option given his price.
RB – Alfred Morris
I’ve like Alfred in earlier weeks because he was cheaper than most backs and his matchup wasn’t bad. This week I don’t like his matchup but he still will get plenty of touches.
RB – Darren McFadden
Underrated player. Going against a very poor defense that has given up 4.8 yards per carry and 465 total rushing yards through 3 weeks. If he is a mid-priced option on your daily fantasy site, I’d have McFadden in at least one lineup this week.

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos RED HOT MATCHUP
Vegas O/U
Line = Broncos -10

This is like Cal vrs Oregon … this has the potential to be a 60+ point game with HUGE stats.

QB – Peyton Manning – GREEN LIGHT
The Eagles have given up the 3rd most yards to QB’s this year. They try to run a million plays meaning the other team gets more chances too. I expect MANY grinders to have Peyton in their lineups this week, so the edge of playing him will be small. If you don’t have him in the game, you should probably try and hedge by playing either Michael Vick or one of Manning’s WR’s who should benefit in this matchup.
QB – Michael Vick
The Bronco’s are one of the worst passing defense teams in the league. Those games come without their best DB, who didn’t play Monday night against the Raiders. If Champ doesn’t play again, Vick should be a quality option if you don’t go with Peyton Manning. Hold your breath though … Vick will get hurt soon.
RB – LeSean McCoy
Has been a stud, and has a stud price-tag. The Broncos defensive stats look good against RB’s mainly because teams are in pass-mode against them. McCoy gets plenty of catches which makes him a solid play even against a ‘tough’ run D.
WR – Demaryius Thomas
Leads the league in team in yardage and has 2 TD’s on the year. The Bronco’s spread it around so it’s tough to pick the guy that will go off, but he’s a good option this week against a weak defense.
WR – Eric Decker
See Demaryius Thomas on how it’s difficult to pick which Bronco’s receiver will be the one to go off. But got looks last week.
WR – Wes Welker
See Demaryius Thomas on how it’s difficult to pick which Bronco’s receiver will be the one to go off.
WR – DeSean Jackson
Is no longer a mid-priced must-play. Should have a good day if Champ Bailey doesn’t play.
WR – Jason Avant
If you think this game is going to be ultra high scoring and don’t want a ‘sleeper’ Jason Avant is basically the #2 in command in Philly, so he should get catches this week.
TE – Julius Thomas
Was cheap on some sites in week 3 and was a must play. So far is a TD machine.

 

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers RED HOT MATCHUP
Vegas O/U = 45
Line = Cowboys -1

QB – Tony Romo GREEN LIGHT
The Chargers have given up the MOST yards to QB’s this season through 3 weeks. That includes 6 TD’s with only 1 INT. If you don’t want to have Peyton Manning in your lineup this week … Tony Romo might be your 2nd best option, probably at a discounted price tag. Just expect other grinders to assume the same thing, so you won’t be the only one with Romo in your lineup.
QB – Philip Rivers
The Cowboys have given up the 10th most yards to QB’s including 7 TD’s this season. They did hold Sam Bradford in check (he did throw over 40 times). I expect this game to be a shootout of sorts which will benefit Rivers. The Cowboys have training camp in Southern California, so there will be tons of Cowboys fans at this game but I don’t expect that to have a huge impact on the game.
WR – Dez Bryant
Pretty monster matchup this week for Dez. He has ‘iron fists’ but can catch enough balls to make him an elite play this week against a horrible secondary.
WR – Miles Austin Is HURT Don’t Play Him
Got hurt last week. While he might get healthy and have a good day, it the same injury that has kept him out in years prior. He looks washed up, I wouldn’t play him.
RB – Demarco Murray
It would be scarry to see how underrated Murray would be if he didn’t play for the leagues most popular team. He’s similar to Darren McFadden … no backup splitting carries, catches balls and does his thing each week. Had a big week and a great matchup this week so we’ll see if he’s affordable.
TE – Jason Witten
Solid week after week. Great matchup, if he’s cheap … I’ll have him in somewhere.

 

Sunday NIGHT Matchup

New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons RED HOT MATCHUP
Vegas O/U = 49.5
Line = Falcons -2

QB – Tom Brady
Found a guy that could catch the ball last week and plays the Falcons who have given up the 7th most yards to QB and 7 total TD’s through 3 weeks of play. Tom Tom GPS is a decent play every week and this matchup might keep him throwing all day long.
QB – Matt Ryan
The Patriots have only allowed 2 TD’s with 4 INT’s through the first 3 weeks, but they haven’t played an elite QB like Matt Ryan. I like several other QB’s over Matt Ryan this week, but he will probably won’t be started in that many leagues. He’s worth the risk if you think it will be a shootout at home.
WR – Julian Edelman
Gets enough catches every game where if he’s a cheap option he should be in your lineup if you need a consistent option.
WR – Kenbrell Thompkins
Got off last week and should draw the attention of the Falcons a bit this week, but if TOM TOM GPS decides to get him the ball I expect him to get plenty of targets again this week.
WR – Julio Jones
Has been a beast this year. Atlanta should be in throw-mode so you have to like Jones again this week even though he will be expensive.

 

Monday NIGHT Matchup

Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints

QB – Drew Brees
The Dolphins have given up the 12th most yards to QB’s but only 4 TD’s with 5 INT’s. At home and on Monday Night, I expect Brees to have a solid game but there are other options you can go with this week at a better price.
QB – Ryan Tannehill
The Saints have a solid pass defense, one of the best in the league through 3 weeks. I wouldn’t have Ryan in my lineup this week.
WR – Brian Harline
Is a decent option in a cheap PPR but it’s a tough defense so his opportunities might be limited.
TE – Jimmy Graham
Is a BEAST. Worth the price if you can find cheaper options you like.

 

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About WPI – AKA “WhitePhilIvey” is an avid fantasy basketball, football and baseball junkie. Each week, he will provide insight to help you make picks, usually based on the Las Vegas betting lines that he stands in all too often.

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