DFS: Fanduel Week 4, Attack Saints Secondary

Last week was very good with our stack of Falcons QB Matt Ryan and WR Calvin Ridley against the Saints. The DFS lineup featured in this column scored 171.46 points. We will again attack the Saints secondary with Giants QB Eli Manning and WR Sterling Shepard.

QB Eli Manning (NY, $7,100 on FanDuel, 4.3% projected ownership on FantasyPros) may not have produced big fantasy numbers regularly for a while, but he had a solid performance last week and is in a fabulous matchup on Sunday. Manning completed 25 of 29 passes for 297 yards and two TDs and no INTs last week against the Texans for a FanDuel score of 19.8 points. The Saints defense has allowed a third-worst average of 336.7 passing yards per game and a league-worst ten passing TDs.

Alternative QBs

QB Philip Rivers (LAC, $7,800, 7.4%) 23.2 FanDuel points per game average is fourth best among all QBs on the Main Slate. Rivers has eight TDs (3rd) and 906 passing yards (8th). The 49ers have allowed a sixth-worst average of 286.7 passing yards per game and third worst eight passing TDs.

QB Baker Mayfield (CLE, $6,900, 10.7%) may be worth a shot at his low price. In just over two quarters he threw for 201 yards in the Browns memorable comeback win over the Jets. Now he makes his first start against the Raiders. The matchup isn’t great. Oakland has allowed an average 268 passing yards per game and six passing TDs.


RB Alvin Kamara (NO, $9,100, 30.1%) will remain a mainstay in our lineups until proven otherwise. Kamara’s 26.7 FanDuel average is highest among all players who are not QBs. As an RB he has averaged 96.3 yards per game, 10th best among all players. Kamara had also averaged 47 yards per game in rushing and he has three TDs (one receiving, two rushing). The Giants are middle of the road against the run having allowed an average of 111.3 rushing yards per game and only one rushing TD.

RB Ezekiel Elliott (DAL, $8,200, 40.5%) racked up 127 yards on just 16 carries and caught three of eight targets for 11 yards against Seattle last week. The performance was good for 13.3 FanDuel points, which was his smallest of the season (15.5 average). The lack of a TD kept him from a huge game. A 31-yard TD reception was called back for stepping out of bounds before making the catch. Elliott is in positioned this week to have his best game of the season, so far.


“The Lions may have slowed the Patriots run-game last week, but that offensive line pales in comparison to Dallas’ front-five,” wrote Mike Tagliere for his for FantasyPros in week 4 column: The Primer. “Before slowing the Patriots, they allowed 363 rushing yards and three touchdowns to the Jets and 49ers backfields.”

RB James White (NE, $6,100, 3.8%) is a value play to afford WR Michael Thomas. White has continuously performed around value in the first three games of the season. (13.6, 11.9 and 12.6 Fanduel points). White has been most effective scoring fantasy points as a receiver. White has had 14 receptions for 125 yards and two TDs. He may get more opportunities this week with teammate RB Rex Burkhead being placed on IR. The Miami Dolphins have the 7th best rushing defense of 89 yards per game average allowed, but have allowed RBs to catch passes at a high rate.

“White caught a touchdown in his previous game against the Dolphins last year, Jamey Eisner wrote for CBSsports in his weekly breakdown of sleepers. “Miami is among the league leaders in receptions allowed to running backs with 22.”

Alternative RBs

RB Saquon Barkley (NYG, $8,000, 18.2%) has performed well in any condition and has consistent fantasy production to show for it (19.8, 17.8, 20.2 FanDuel points). The Saints, however, have the sixth best rushing defense of 84.3 yards per game average allowed with two TDs. We believe Kamara and Elliott are in a better position at the high-end level, but we will turn to Barkley if needed.

RB Giovani Bernard (CIN, $6,400, 37.5%) made the best of his increased role last week with 12 rushes for 61 yards and a TD, and he caught five on nine targets for 25 yards for 17.1 FanDuel points. He faces the Falcons who have given the fifth most 125.7 rushing yards per game and for total TDs allowed. Bernard (thigh) has been limited in practice as of Thursday which has made us pivot to White.


WR Michael Thomas (NO, $9,000, 21.8%) leads all WRs with receiving yards (398) receptions (38) and FanDuel points scored per game (24.3). His worst fantasy performance came last week when caught all 10 of his targets for 129 yards (17.9).

Thomas will likely continue to roll this week.

“The Giants have used Janoris Jenkins in a shadow cornerback role this year, though he hasn’t been quite the same since his ankle surgery last year,” according to Tagliere. “He’s now allowed 14 catches for 215 yards and a touchdown on 20 targets in coverage, which is good for a 101.0 QB Rating. Even better for Thomas, though, is that he doesn’t travel into the slot, which is where Thomas has run over 30 percent of his routes. The Giants typically have B.W. Webb there, but with Eli Apple out last week, they were forced to use Donte Deayon, who proceeded to allow three catches for 50 yards on just four targets in coverage.”


WR Sterling Shepard (NY $7,100, 7.7%) caught six of seven targets for 80 yards and a TD against the Texans. Shepard faces the same Saints secondary that allowed Falcons WR Calvin Ridley to haul in seven of eight targets for 146 yards and three TDs.

“I love Shepard’s matchup, wrote Mike Woellert for 4 for four is in his weekly WR vs. CB Matchup Analysis. “PJ Williams should draw Shepard for most of the day, as I do think Marshon Lattimore will shadow Odell Beckham. With no Evan Engram, there will be more targets to go around, and I think the Giants will exploit the favorable matchup. Williams has been the opposing quarterback’s target on 33 percent of their throws, and he’s already been responsible for three touchdowns, resulting in him yielding 4.2 fantasy points per target.”

WR Kenny Golladay (DET, $5,800, 43.6%) has 19 receptions for 256 yards and two TDs. His 15.7 FanDuel score average is eighth of all WRs on the Main Slate, 35 WRs are more expensive than him. The Cowboys defense is fourth best against WRs with 182.7 per game average allowed. Golladay remains an excellent value for the role he has played in the Cowboys’ offense in the first three weeks, and it appears he has a favorable CB matchup.

“I like the Detroit side of this game, especially Golladay’s matchup with Awuzie,” wrote Woellert. “Golladay has seen seven or more targets in all three games this season and has an average depth of target (aDOT) of 12.7. Awuzie’s going to have trouble with Golladay, as he’s giving up 10.3 yards per target. He’s also allowed 14-of-19 targets to be caught, allowing nearly 200 receiving yards and 2.1 fantasy points per target.”

Alternative WRs

WR Ryan Grant (IND, $5,100, 0.3%) has a favorable matchup against Texans CB Shareece Wright. WR Mike Williams (LAC, $6,300, 5.2%) has three TDs in two games and faces the 49ers who have given up a fifth worth 301.7 yards a game to WRs. WR A.J. Green (CIN, $8,500, 6.1%) should have a big game against the Falcons in a game that has the highest projected over/under of 53.5 points.


TE Tyler Eifert (CIN, $4,600), 9.6% is coming off an eight target game where he hauled in six catches for 74 yards against the Panthers. Eifert faces banged up Falcons defense this week.

“The Falcons secondary is a mess with Keanu Neal (ACL) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) missing in the secondary, as well as linebacker Deion Jones (foot) out,” wrote Eisenberg. “Eifert is worth using as a low-end starting option this week.”

Alternative TE

Trey Burton ($5,600, CHI, 5.9%) is in a great matchup against the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay has 25 receptions for 329 yards to TEs, both a league-high, according to Pro Football Reference. The Buccaneers have also allowed one TD to TEs. Burton is a great option, but despite his relatively low price does not fit into our lineup.


The Cleveland Browns Defense ($3,500, 10.2%) has scored a fourth-best average on the main slate of 10.7 fantasy points per game. The Browns have a league-high six fumble recoveries. They also ranked 3rd with five interceptions and ranked 7th with nine sacks.

“Like it or not, the Cleveland Browns have a tremendous defense this year, holding opponents to 14 points fewer per game than they average versus other teams,” wrote Bobby Sylvester for Fantasy Pros. “They might eat Derek Carr‘s Raider alive Sunday and are a quality fantasy start once again.”
Money left on the table: Leaving a few hundred on the table has an advantage that it increases the likelihood of having a unique lineup. This week we are leaving $400 which is a bit high. However, we are comfortable we have chosen and for this lineup do not see a benefit of spending any portion of that $400 to change players at any position.

Dan McLellan’s Best Lineup: Feel free to use many of the same players, but please apply your own research, logic, and strategy and alter this in some way.

Listen In: Every Sunday at 12:30 eastern, I join an experienced group of NFL DFS players at wblzmedia.com. Together we build our own Sunday Million lineup. It’s a great example of hearing how the thought process that went into this article plays out in real-time.

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