After a monstrous performance during Week 3, Collin Hulbert returns with his expert analysis and picks as you set your Week 4 lineups.
Week 3 was our biggest score for the season. Since we switched to DraftKings as our primary site for tracking our scores, we entered two DraftKings lineups this week and just one FanDuel lineup. Our DraftKings lineups scored 185 (rounded down) and 158 (rounded up), while the FanDuel lineup scored 164. It was a huge week overall. I even forgot to swap out Jordan Wilkins when the news was announced that Marlon Mack was going to play, so Wilkins actually lost us points on a DK lineup (the 158 point lineup).
If some of you aren’t following me on twitter, be sure to look me up @collinhulbert for pre-game updates for roster changes and messages like the ones I sent out Sunday about how we have been absolutely killing it for two seasons now and my following is a fraction of the size of most fake Russian bot accounts. With that being said, here’s a breakdown of the DraftKings scores thus far in 2019.
DraftKings Lineup Scores for our 2019 season:
- Week 1: 168
- Week 2: 146
- Week 3: 185 & 158
Week 4 preview
Week 4 might just be the best week of matchups all season. I’m not really saying that based on anything in particular. I’m just being optimistic because that we should have a pretty close slate of games, the Packers and Eagles will be playing on Thursday, and the Cowboys will travel to New Orleans for a nice Sunday night matchup.
This slate of recommendations isn’t sexy, at all. It’s not meant to be. I’m not some frontrunner who is going to make the safe play each week and recommend the high dollar players. I base my picks off a variety of player projections from numerous sources, studying wide receiver versus cornerback matchups, and going through game script scenarios and making calls based on all that.
I’ve got two solid lineups this week. One will be referred to as “A” and the other is…wait for it…”B”. It’s pretty simple. I’m referencing the two because there are some player stack opportunities you can capitalize on by combining certain players this week. I’ve also provided three options as Flex options this week so you can swap out a player here or there if you feel better about one guy versus another.
As it is set every week, the prices on DraftKings are listed next to every player in parentheses.
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Pat Mahomes (DK-$7,500)
It’s nice I don’t have to spend the five seconds each week deleting my top quarterback recommendation with Mahomes, because he’s just so money and we all know it. This week, the oddsmakers have him throwing around 340 yards and 3.5 touchdowns, which I’m pretty sure was the same exact line a week ago. The line for total points right now is 54. This should be a good ole’ fashioned shootout as the Lions have the weapons on offense to be able to keep pace in this one. It’s enough to lead you to believe Mahomes won’t be stepping off the gas much in this one. I’m going with Mahomes in my lineup A.
Russell Wilson (DK-$6,100)
I think last week was an epiphany for the Seahawks’ coaching staff. For a team who has committed so hard to the run the past few seasons, they’re done very little on the ground during 2019 and have found themselves turning to Russell Wilson to save them in every game. Last week, it was too little, too late. Alas, Russell Wilson may be the answer moving forward for the Seahawks, since it’s clear defenses can’t stop him, even when they know the Seahawks are in a negative game script. When he spreads out the defense, you can’t really blitz him, because he’ll take off and make a play on the ground. The oddsmakers have Wilson at a safe 2.5 touchdown line and he’s got a high passing floor as well at 270 yards.
I was extremely tempted to go with Lamar Jackson, who is around 260 yards, 60 yards rushing, and 2.5 passing touchdowns. Alas, Jackson is the more conservative option this week since his rushing is more consistent, but I don’t have enough faith in the Browns defense to stop the run or score on offense and keep Jackson throwing the entire time. Russell has the higher ceiling here in my opinion. Jackson is also $6,900 on DaftKings, so if you can afford him and want to hedge a lineup, go for it.
Daniel Jones (DK-$5,300)
Daniel Jones now has as many 35 point fantasy games as Eli Manning does for his entire career. That’s fascinating for numerous reasons but more impressive than anything, given Jones has only started one game. Oddsmakers have Jones around 265 yards and 2.25 touchdowns. I think he will exceed both. He’s really cheap on DraftKings and it should be worth noting the Redskins are awful on defense. They gave up three passing touchdowns to Mitch Trubisky in the first half last week, in case you didn’t know. For game script purposes, I am fairly confident this game is going to be a shootout. The total points line here is around 50, so you can expect Jones will be throwing throughout the contest. All aboard the Daniel Jones train.
David Johnson (DK-$6,800)
David Johnson has a bad offensive line and he hasn’t broken 85 yards rushing in any game this year. The game he got close was partially due to it going into overtime (Lions). With all this being said, Johnson remains a safety net in the passing game and a versatile running back overall. He should amass plenty of touches and I expect this game to be a relatively high-scoring one. Johnson’s line is around 100 total yards and going by the numbers, he’s got around a 66% chance to find the end zone.
Josh Jacobs (DK-$5,100)
The Colts have not been good against the run this season. They were the first team this season to allow the Falcons to actually produce on the ground, but for Josh Jacobs’ sake, it’s looking good this week. Just this week, John Gruden says he wants to get Jacobs involved in the passing game a lot more, so maybe we can expect some receptions this week to go with a healthy dose of touches Oddsmakers have Jacobs around 84 yards on the ground this week, so it’s a very appealing play this week, especially considering the low DraftKings price of just $5,100.
James White (DK-$4,900)
James White missed last week to attend the birth of his child. For many, they didn’t get the alert on time and it cost them. Throughout the game, we saw how the Patriots weren’t as dynamic without their trusty pass-catching back. “Weren’t as dynamic” isn’t that terrifying if you’re a Patriots fan, since they were playing the Jets and didn’t exactly have to dig deep in the playbook to find success. This week, the Patriots will be going up against one of the NFL’s toughest defenses, the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills have been amazing this season, granted they haven’t had a very difficult schedule. It’s still going to be the biggest test of the season for the Patriots. I expect the Patriots will try to establish the run, since Buffalo’s weakness is stopping the run. I like White here for his pass-catching chops. He made a living last season on getting near double-digit receptions in games and in the DraftKings full PPR format, he should have a very high floor this week. His versatility will be on full display in a tough road matchup.
Tyler Lockett (DK-$6,300)
I made DK Metcalf a pick last week with the thought that the Saints would focus more on Tyler Lockett and with that, I was way off, but I was correct in assuming the Saints would get shredded through the air. I won’t make the same mistake this week. Lockett’s line this week is around 92 yards, which means his DraftKings price is a serious value. I’m starting Lockett in both my lineups this week as I anticipate Russell Wilson will be taking to the air a lot earlier than in weeks past, given his success this season in clear passing situations. Lockett should have another field day against the Cardinals and their sub-par terrible defense.
Sterling Shephard (DK-$5,800)
Shephard’s line this week is 70 yards. It’s not overwhelming but it is a pretty high line for a $5,800 tag on DraftKings. As I mentioned earlier, I expect the Giants and Redskins game to be a shootout. Daniel Jones shredded the Bucs last week, who hasn’t been horrible against opposing arms this season. This week, he gets the horrid Redskins passing defense. Jones is projected around 265 yards in the air. We know Evan Engram is going to get his healthy share. Where else is he going to throw? Shephard should feast in this one. Start Shephard with confidence this week.
Terry McLaurin (DK-$4,500)
McLaurin has been on my radar since his big Week 1 performance against the Eagles. It’s taken a few weeks of consistent production for me to feel comfortable trusting him, but after last week’s stout performance against a solid Bears secondary, I’m all in on McLaurin. One thing to monitor with McLaurin this week is his health. In Thursday’s practice, he aggravated his hamstring and there’s not a lot of information coming in from the Redskins coaching staff. Monitor his status ahead of Sunday. His line is 70 yards for the game and he’s the only player with such a line anywhere near this price range.
Evan Engram (DK-$5,700)
Evan Engram gained even more value this past week as Daniel Jones was able to sync up with him for six receptions and 113 yards. I expect their connection to grow even stronger this week. I have Engram in both lineups this week and believe he is one of the few locks in the league this week. His current line is 80 yards, which gives his price this week solid value.
Darren Waller (DK-$5,200)
Darren Waller has had a phenomenal start to the season for the Raiders. He’s not only emerged as the Raiders top target, he’s making a case to be this season’s George Kittle, a High target share/High yardage/Non-Red Zone player. Through three weeks, Waller is the #5 tight end in half-point Fantasy Football rankings, which is incredible when you consider he’s yet to have a receiving touchdown.
He’s averaging over 8 receptions and 85 yards per game in an offense void of a lot of talent. It’s very similar to the 49ers and George Kittle from a season ago and I think he may end up being the second most consistent tight end this year, behind Travis Kelce. This week, he should get another heavy dose of targets as the Colts struggle against the run. Teams who struggle against the run can be exploited at the tight end position because of favorable coverage matchups on those tight ends, combined with the increased play-action rates.
Will Dissly (DK-$3,600)
Will Dissly had perhaps the most garbage time score of any player in the history of fantasy. On an untimed down with zero seconds left on the clock, Dissly caught a futile score to add to his fantasy points total. That’s not relevant aside from the fact it just served to pad his stats. What is relevant is the Cardinals have surrendered the most points to tight ends on the season. Even though Dissly doesn’t occupy a large target share, he has such a favorable matchup this week at such a low cost, it’s hard to argue against starting him. I’m rolling with him on lineup B to stack him with Russell Wilson.
Chargers D (DK-$3,800)
Guess what? We’re starting another defense facing Miami. It’s just so obvious and clear. If you decide against the Chargers and they rout the Dolphins, will you be able to forgive yourself? Sure, the odds of the Chargers finishing the week as the #1 defense are slim, but they have a ferocious pass rush, a solid secondary, and a horrible opponent. It has all the ingredients for a solid output.
Colts D (DK-$3,100)
This is a little more of a sneaky play. If the Colts can get pressure on Carr, there’s bound to be some turnovers. It’s also a home game for the Colts. I anticipate the Colts being in a positive game script, so Carr will eventually have a lot of pressure to throw the ball in this one. I think the Colts can generate a strong pass rush and should be able to force Carr into a few mistakes. I’m starting the Chargers in both contests, so this is really for those of you who would rather roll the dice on defense and go with a higher upside play elsewhere.
Kenny Golladay (DK-$5,900)
Kenny Golladay is oddly priced this week. I get Kenny is coming off a bad performance, but he’s been pretty solid for the year. He’s found the end zone twice thus far and appears to have secured the role as the go-to receiver in Detroit. His line is 80 yards this week in what should be a very aggressive game plan against the Chiefs. I expect the Lions to be attacking the Chiefs secondary over and over again. Golladay should be a high floor option this week. Work him in your flex if you prefer him over Evan Engram or the other flex options.
Chris Thompson (DK-$4,600)
Thompson’s line has been set around 55 total yards, which isn’t a ton, but play this one out in your head for a minute. The Giants are going to be able to throw the ball all over the Redskins and their awful defense. That’s going to result in a lot of usage from Chris Thompson when the Redskins are trying to play catch up.
Wayne Gallman (DK-$4,600)
Gallman has a similar line to Thompson this week, but it’s tough to tell how exactly he will be utilized in this game. Even if the Giants get ahead, I think Gallman’s usage isn’t going to be particularly advantageous, because I don’t think he’s that great of a player. I’m not using Gallman in lineups this week unless there’s an injury late in the week because I have no idea what to expect from Gallman, but the oddsmakers are telling me his line is around 60 yards and I couldn’t neglect to mention it when his DraftKings price is only $4,600.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who got a little too into Football analysis. Since leaving the Army, he’s practically the Jack Ryan of football analysts. But he spends most of his days with his wife and two daughters, so he is clearly a better father than Jack Ryan.
Follow Collin on Twitter @CollinHulbert