The NFL has another full week of fantasy football action lined up for Sunday, providing another massive 13-game slate for the DraftKings featured contest. There are some question marks around a few contests due to COVID-19 concerns, but even if those games are postponed, there will be plenty of action on what should be another very fun Sunday afternoon. Some of the best matchups include the Bears and new starting QB Nick Foles ($5,700) trying to stay undefeated as they host the Colts, the Patriots trying to knock off the Chiefs in Kansas City, and the Vikings and Texans meeting in a matchup of 0-3 teams who each really can’t afford to fall to 0-4.
As you get your DraftKings team together for Week 4, make sure to take a look at these affordable plays that come loaded with upside. Each week, I dive into the bargain bin and give you my favorite cheap plays based on recent form, matchup and expected opportunity. Here are the plays I like the most this Sunday.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Sunday’s Patriots-Chiefs game has been postponed, with the game scheduled to be played Monday night at 7:05 p.m. ET.
October 3, 2020
($6,000 and under)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints, $5,900 – Stafford and the Lions got their first win of the season in Week 3 when they rolled into Arizona and knocked off the up-start Cardinals. Stafford welcomed Kenny Golladay ($6,000), whose season debut gave Detroit’s offense its full complement of pass-catchers for the first time this season. Stafford ended up throwing for 270 yards and a pair of touchdowns on his way to 18.5 DKFP. He was especially on-point in the clutch, going 4-for-4 for 71 yards on the game-winning drive. He has posted between 17 and 19 DKFP in each of his three games this season and thrown for 240-to-300 yards in each contest. Getting his No. 1 WR back should provide a nice boost to his solid consistency, and he now has a full week of practice with Golladay healthy headed into Week 4. He also seemed to be establishing a strong connection with TE T.J. Hockenson ($4,800), who tied with Golladay for the team lead with seven targets.
The Lions will host the Saints in Week 4, who have been shredded through the air the past two weeks by the Raiders and the Packers and have given up eight passing touchdowns on the season, which is only better than the Cowboys and Falcons, who have allowed nine. As a result, New Orleans is allowing the fifth-most DKFP to opposing QBs, and Stafford should be able to find space to attack in what could be a relatively high-scoring game indoors at Ford Field.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins vs. Seattle Seahawks, $5,400 – While he’s likely just keeping the seat warm for Tua Tagovailoa ($5,400) in the big picture, Fitzpatrick has been a solid fantasy option each of the past two weeks after a rough start to the season in New England. Fitzpatrick led his Dolphins to a win back on Thursday Night Football, completing a very efficient 18-of-20 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns while running for a third score on his way to 25.2 DKFP. Fitz has over 25 DKFP in each of his past two games, producing multiple touchdowns. He had to throw 47 times in Week 2 and finished with 328 yards, showing that he can succeed either with volume or with efficiency depending on game script. Fitzpatrick has been playing well for Miami, who will host the Seahawks this week as Seattle comes East for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.
While the Seahawks have started 3-0, their defense has allowed more yards than any other team in the NFL, and they have been particularly generous to opposing QBs, allowing more DKFP to QBs than any other team in the NFL. Fitzpatrick has a track record of putting together big games in the right matchup, and this looks like it’ll be a great spot for the veteran QB to put up a good number at an extremely affordable salary. He is actually a relatively safe play in this matchup and comes with top-five upside if he comes close to what other QBs have done against Seattle.
Other Options: Nick Foles ($5,700), Derek Carr ($5,300)
($5,000 and under)
J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens at Washington Football Team, $4,800 – The Ravens’ Monday Night Football game against the Chiefs went nothing like the team was hoping for, as they fell behind early and had to rely heavily on the passing game while abandoning the run, which is usually such an effective part of their offense. Dobbins and the rest of Baltimore’s RBs had a down game as a result, but the rookie continued to chip in some production, hauling in all four of his targets for 38 yards, which actually led the team. He only had one carry for six yards, but his continued involvement is a good sign moving forward. Dobbins and the Ravens will try to bounce back against Washington, and they should be able to play from ahead in this matchup, creating more rushing opportunities. By playing 24-of-56 snaps in the backfield, Dobbins led the way in the timeshare for the second time in three weeks. He obviously can be used as a receiver out of the backfield as well and has put up over 7.0 DKFP in each of his three games. He has touchdown-dependent upside, but the size of his workload is also reason for optimism that the rookie can step up again this week for Baltimore.
Travis Homer, Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins, $4,000 – The Seahawks, their fans and especially Chris Carson’s ($6,300) fantasy owners were glad to hear the starting RB had avoided a long-term injury after leaving last week’s game with a knee injury. The knee sprain he did sustain, though, is considered a 1-to-2 week injury and will likely keep him out this week against the Dolphins. If Carson is out, it would be a good chance for Homer to step up in addition to Carlos Hyde ($5,300), who is priced up for his expected larger role. Last season, Homer stepped in after multiple injuries in the Seattle backfield and caught 14 passes for 88 yards over four games, including the postseason. He worked in tandem with Marshawn Lynch during parts of that run and could step in as the receiving back again in this matchup with Hyde getting the early-down work.
This season, Homer has only been given eight carries but has been able to produce 39 yards for a nice 4.9 YPC average. He had the exact same number of snaps as Hyde in Week 3 against the Cowboys, so it could be a much more even timeshare than many people expect. While the situation isn’t the exact same, Homer feels like he could be this week’s version of Jeff Wilson Jr. and actually out-produce his more expensive teammate. I think Homer is definitely worth a look if Carson is out or even limited with his knee sprain.
Other Options: Myles Gaskin ($5,000), Devonta Freeman ($4,800)
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($5,000 and under)
Randall Cobb, Houston Texans vs. Minnesota Vikings, $4,800 – Cobb continues to develop a strong connection with Deshaun Watson ($6,600), and he had his first touchdown of the season as part of a nice Week 3 performance that resulted in 95 yards and 19.5 DKFP. Watson distributed the ball pretty evenly among his top pass-catchers but Cobb did the most with his opportunities, leading the team in receiving yards.
This week, the Texans are expected to host the Vikings, barring any COVID-19 complications, and if they do, Cobb will get a great matchup against Minnesota’s secondary. The Vikings have allowed the third-most DKFP to opposing WRs so far this season.
Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders vs. Buffalo Bills, $4,600 – The Raiders’ WR corps has been dramatically impacted by injuries already this season with Tyrell Williams (shoulder) out for the season and now rookies Bryan Edwards (ankle) and Henry Ruggs ($4,800; hamstring) battling injuries as well. Renfrow is one of the steady options that Derek Carr ($5,300) can rely on and had a big week last week against New England. Renfrow was targeted nine games and hauled in six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown on his way to 20.4 DKFP. He almost had a second TD but was ruled down at the one-yard line.
With so few healthy options, Renfrew should continue to get plenty of targets from Carr when the Raiders host the Bills. Buffalo has an elite cover CB in Tre’Davious White, but he usually stays on the outside while Renfrow does most of his work out of the slot. The Bills have allowed four WR touchdowns through the first three weeks including three from in the red zone, where Renfrow has proven he can be a nice target.
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, $4,500 – The Bengals took Higgins with the first pick of the second round in last year’s draft, so you know they are hoping for big things from the former Clemson Tiger. He seems poised to grow right along with QB Joe Burrow ($6,300), which will likely result in some inconsistency early on but also gives him tons of potential since the team invested so much draft capital in the connection. After getting no targets in very limited work in Week 1, Higgins has quickly climbed the depth chart, and the Bengals were confident enough in him in his first NFL start to make John Ross III a healthy scratch last week.
In Week 3 against the Eagles, Higgins showed his upside, catching 5-of-9 targets for 40 yards and a pair of touchdowns on his way to 21.0 DKFP. He could have been even better but wasn’t able to hang on to a deep shot in overtime and also had a costly penalty for stepping out of bounds that wiped out another catch. He’ll look to clean up those issues and continue his rise to prominence in the Bengals’ passing game in what should be a great matchup against the Jaguars, who gave up Fitzpatrick’s uber-efficient outing in Week 3 after surrendering big games to the Titans and Colts to start the year. While there may still be some growing pains, I’m ready to buy into this rookie’s breakout.
Damiere Byrd, New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs, $3,000 – If you’re looking for a punt play to round out your roster, Byrd is an option that’s available at the minimum but could have upside, especially if the Patriots have to air the ball out more to keep up with the Chiefs. Kansas City forced even the run-heavy Ravens to throw the ball a lot on Monday night, and they’ll hope to force the Patriots to do the same thing.
Byrd actually played more snaps in Week 3 than any other New England WR, including Julian Edelman ($5,700). He played 66-of-69 possible offensive snaps and caught all three passes thrown his way for an unexciting 27 yards. He has just six catches for 99 yards over his first three games in New England but his role has the potential to grow since he has earned so much playing time.
Other Options: Preston Williams ($4,500), Mecole Hardman ($4,300)
($4,000 and under)
Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears, $3,900 – Even with Jack Doyle ($3,500) active and on the field, Alie-Cox was the more involved TE for the Colts in their comfortable win over the Jets in Week 3. Alie-Cox broke through while Doyle was sidelined in Week 2 with five catches for 111 yards and 19.1 DKFP, and he was able to carry that success into Week 3 catching 3-of-3 targets for 50 yards, a touchdown and 14.0 DKFP.
Alie-Cox may lose some snaps to Doyle moving forward, but it’s clear that he has a very good connection with Philip Rivers ($5,500), who seems to always make his TE relevant for fantasy. This week against the Bears, the athletic third-year TE from Virginia Commonwealth should continue to emerge as a regular option as a value TE.
Jordan Akins, Houston Texans vs. Minnesota Vikings, $3,300 – Another AFC South player who seems to have moved into his team’s top TE spot is Akins, who has been getting more regular looks than presumed starter Darren Fells ($3,200) through three games for the Texans. In Week 3, Akins played 78.2% of offensive snaps compared to just 44.2% for Fells.
Akins has been targeted 12 times in three games and has 11 catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. He had that score in Week 1 against the Chiefs and followed that up with seven catches in Week 2. He was mostly quiet in Week 3, as he helped block the Steelers’ pass rush. He has good upside against the Vikings, though, who have struggled defensively to stop anyone through the air, surrendering the third-most passing yards in the NFL through three weeks with 877 passing yards allowed.
Other Options: Jimmy Graham ($3,800), Drew Sample ($3,500)
($2,800 and under)
Texans DST, Houston Texans vs. Minnesota Vikings, $2,500 – The Texans haven’t forced a turnover yet, but they have seven sacks through their first three games and get a pretty good matchup against the Vikings. Minnesota has turned the ball over seven times in their first three games and has allowed seven sacks. While the Vikings may have an uneven week of practice due to COVD-19 concerns, the Texans should be able to focus on avoiding an 0-4 start that would be disastrous for the team moving forward.
Browns DST, Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys, $2,300 – The Browns have been a pretty solid fantasy defense through the first three games of the season despite giving up plenty of points. The reason they still work for fantasy purposes is that they force turnovers and get sacks. In their three games, the have seven takeaways and have eight sacks, helping them average 6.0 DKFP per contest. They had a great game in Week 3, forcing five turnovers and finishing with 14 DKFP against Washington.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.