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NFL DFS Lineup Sleepers for DraftKings, FanDuel - Week 4 Value Picks Include Marcus Mariota, Ezekiel Elliott, Craig Reynolds

ezekiel elliott fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

Week 4 of the NFL season is upon us! Hopefully, you are off to a good start in DFS. This season has been the year of the wide receiver with Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb, and D'Andre Swift (outside of injury) as the only early drafted running backs who have their fantasy managers thrilled right now. Meanwhile, Cooper Kupp has continued the torrid pace he left off in 2021 and has many wondering if they should have taken him with the 1.01 or 1.02 instead of a running back. His fantasy floor in DFS for cash games is far too good to pass up right now. Last week, DeVonta Smith was one of my strong recommendations as he had a monster week going off with eight receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown.

However, I must first apologize to you all for recommending Justin Fields in two of the last three weeks in DFS and will take my L in stride on that one. While Fields is a talented QB prospect with plenty of athleticism, Matt Eberflus, Luke Getsy, and the Chicago Bears have basically subjected him to running Barry Switzer's Oklahoma Wishbone. Through three weeks of the regular season, Fields has just 22 completions. While we can give the Bears credit for trying to win by grinding out weaker opponents, they shouldn't be surprised when their QB prospect doesn't develop at the NFL level because they tried to play the same style of football that George Halas used to run. All Bears players except for Khalil Herbert should be benched in all DFS formats until further notice. A moment of silence for Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet.

This article will run every week throughout the regular season. It won't include the clear and obvious choices but instead undervalued players. If you didn't catch my Week 1 article with DFS tips and tricks, it can be found here. As the values currently sit, players will fall into the value bucket if they are a quarterback in the 5k range, running backs who are 6k or less, wide receivers at 5.5k and under, and 4k or less for tight ends based on DraftKings salaries. When it comes to tournaments, stacking our quarterback with one of their pass catchers is an obvious play, and we should be looking for players with higher guaranteed floors to get us over the 50/50 hump in cash games. No matter which one you decide to play this week, here are some bargain players with potential in Week 4. Let's get to them picks!

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Quarterback NFL DFS Value Plays - Week 4

Marcus Mariota, ATL at CLE | DK: $5,600, FD: $7,300

So far the QB13 on the season, Mariota hasn't been great but he's been good enough to get the job done as the Falcons' offense has put up 26+ points in three straight weeks and is looking like a solid unit for fantasy. Mariota is also a threat to make plays with his legs, rushing for 76 yards in Week 1 and already having two rushing TDs on the season.

So far, the Browns have allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, but it looks even better when you realize they have only played the likes of Baker Mayfield, Joe Flacco, and Mitch Trubisky. Star defensive end Myles Garrett was in a car accident this week. Thankfully he is okay, but his status for Sunday's game is still in doubt. Outside of Garrett, the Browns' defense hasn't shown much so far this season and Mariota could be in for a big game.

The Browns chewing clock with the two-headed backfield monsters in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt is a concern, but it shouldn't psyche us out of picking Mariota in DFS this week. He is a very affordable QB with a solid rushing floor and solid ceiling with the likes of Cordarrelle Patterson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts around him. If you want to save your funds to load up elsewhere, Mariota is a great bargain this week.

Jared Goff, DET vs SEA | DK: $5,900, FD: $7,600

A bargain pick last week as well, Goff makes it back onto this list after his salary only rose by $100. While some of Goff's upside does hinge on the uber-talented Sun God himself: Amon-Ra St. Brown sitting or playing this week, he likely gets a boom from D'Andre Swift being out on Sunday. So far, the Seattle defense hasn't been very good and the Lions should bounce back at home.

Right now, the Lions are second in the NFL in points per game at 31.7 and are third in total yards per game with 409. They feature one of the best offensive lines in the league and have another favorable matchup this week. While Jamaal Williams and Craig Reynolds are a downgrade from Swift, they are both adequate enough to get the job done. This Lions offense is quickly becoming exciting to watch on Sundays and has all the young cornerstones in place to be good for years to come.

So far this season, Goff is the QB11 and has looked good since injuries caused him to miss some time at the end of 2021. While the Lions are likely still deciding who the quarterback of the future is being that they have two first-round picks in the 2023 Draft, as far as this season is concerned for the Lions' signal-caller, it is wheels up.

 

Running Back NFL DFS Value Plays - Week 4

Khalil Herbert, CHI vs NYG | DK: $5,700, FD: $7,200

This one absolutely gutted me last week. I was correct in my assessment that the Bears would absolutely gash the Texans on the ground, but you were given the wrong running back. David Montgomery went down in the first quarter of the contest with a foot and ankle injury and never returned, thus opening the door for Herbert, who sliced and diced his way through the Houston defense for 157 yards and two TDs on just 20 carries.

While there is no reason to feel bullish on anyone else on the Bears right now, Herbert is a player worth starting if Monty is out for this week as the Bears face another winnable opponent in the New York Giants. What's hard to believe is that one of these teams is likely going to be 3-1 to start the season. The Bears are the lowest in the league in just about every passing category and appear to be playing the brand of offense you'd expect to see from NFL Films.

What makes Herbert such a great start this week is we can likely expect just about all of the backfield work to be his if Monty is sidelined. While he is technically still the backup running back, his fantasy value goes up substantially for this week being that he will likely play 75 to 80 percent of the game compared to the first two weeks of the season when he was having to share with Monty. Herbert is a very talented running back and could be in for another big Sunday!

Disclaimer: if both Bears running backs are playing this week, this really is a nightmare scenario and likely you should swap him out of your lineup for someone else.

Craig Reynolds, DET vs SEA | DK: $4,700, FD: $5,100

A player who many spent big on the waiver wire this week in redraft leagues, Craig Reynolds is looking to make a splash for the Lions in what looks to be another favorable matchup for their offense. The journeyman running back was undrafted in 2019 and bounced around with several other teams before landing in Detroit in 2021. He played sparingly last season rushing 55 times for 230 yards (4.2 avg) for one TD while catching seven passes for 52 yards.

We shouldn't expect a Swift-like performance from the Detroit backfield this week, but the matchup is favorable and Reynolds is significantly cheaper than Jamaal Williams. We still don't know yet how the backfield splits are going to shake out and like the Cleveland offensive line, most running backs in the league are going to see holes running behind this solid Lions' unit up front.

While this isn't an overly attractive option at RB this week, from a pure value perspective, it can pay off as the Lions should get into the endzone several times and they are favored by four. The total Over/Under for the game also stands at 48 points. Being that some outdoor games could be affected by the weather of Hurricane Ian, the Lions - Seahawks game will be played indoors where the weather is not a concern.

Ezekiel Elliott, DAL at WAS | DK: $6,100 FD: $6,400

A player who has concerned some in the fantasy community through the first three weeks of the season, Elliott is rushing for 4.5 yards per carry and looked spry in the Cowboys' victory over the Giants on Monday Night Football. So far this season, Zeke has seen 58, 67, and 64 percent of the offensive snaps and has out-touched Tony Pollard.

As Cooper Rush is set to make another start at quarterback for the Cowboys this weekend, he has appeared more than capable in his 2+ starts so far. Wide receiver Michael Gallup is trending to make his return and the Cowboys offense is starting to get some of its weapons back. The lack of receiving work for Elliott through the first three weeks is a cause for concern but he is being paid heavily by the Cowboys to be their starting running back and Jerry Jones has made it very clear that they are going to keep using him.

Zeke is largely touchdown-dependent to have a great game for fantasy purposes right now, but his prize is also much more affordable than it has been in years past in DFS. Due to the reality that he is still playing much more than Pollard and has a favorable matchup this week, we should feel more comfortable starting Zeke. He isn't the same dominant force that he was just several years ago, but he is still a talented player who will be able to still show flashes in smaller doses.

Wide Receiver NFL DFS Value Plays - Week 4

DJ Moore, CAR at ARI | DK: $5,300, FD: $6,100

One of the more talented pass catchers in the NFL, Moore has been disappointing for fantasy purposes through the first three weeks of the season. Moore has just seven receptions for 88 yards and one TD on the season! While it is undoubtedly frustrating, it is not likely due to Moore being a bad player and is far from the contrary.

The Panthers made a trade with the Browns this offseason for Baker Mayfield, but the deal should have been made the deal months earlier. Baker wasn't able to attend many of the mini camps and spring practices to get acclimated to the new offense in Carolina since he was still a member of the Browns. At 1-2, Panthers coach Matt Rhule is on the hot seat and needs to get some positive momentum going. Since Baker is still getting accustomed to the Panthers' offense, it is possible that things could improve in the next few weeks, which is only good for DJ Moore.

Running back Christian McCaffrey was added to the injury report today and there are some reports that he is in danger of missing Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, who are not a good defense. With CMC potentially sidelined Carolina could be forced to go to the air, which opens up things for Moore. While the quarterback situation in Carolina is still scary right now for Moore's fantasy value this season, his price has dropped drastically this week. As frustrations continue to boil up in Carolina, they may be forced to keep feeding him the ball this Sunday.

Treylon Burks, TEN at IND | DK: $4,700, FD: $5,700

While it may appear from the outside that Burks is lagging behind some of his other peers in the 2022 rookie wide receiver class such as Drake London, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Romeo Doubs, Burks has been getting along just fine in Tennessee as the team has slowly begun making him a part of the offense each week. In Week 1, Burks only played 37 percent of the offensive snaps, but that number has risen to 45 and 69 percent in the last two weeks.

The Titans haven't been airing it out a lot this season, but it's clear that after trading A.J. Brown for the rights to draft Burks that they want to make him a bigger part of the offensive gameplan. Tennessee faces a Colts team this week that is allowing the third-most fantasy points to WRs so far this season and just 19th to running backs. If Derrick Henry is unable to get going, they may be forced to throw it more. Right now, quarterback Ryan Tannehill is throwing just 26 times per game. For Burks to be better for fantasy each week, we need that number to increase.

Burks is set to get stronger as the season goes along, but is he poised for a breakout this week? As mentioned earlier, some games around the country could be negatively affected weatherwise by Hurricane Ian, and being that the Colts play indoors, we can check the weather off of our list of possible variables. Treylon is going to go off at some point this season, it's only a matter of time.

Richie James, NYG vs CHI | DK: $4,000, FD: $5,500

It was devastating seeing the well-respected and talented Sterling Shepard grab his knee in agony after getting caught on the turf at Met Life Stadium on MNF against the Cowboys. The injury unfortunately will end his 2022 season. With Kenny Golladay in head coach Brian Daboll's doghouse and Kadarius Toney and Wan'Dale Robinson both sidelined with injuries, the number one pass catcher this Sunday for the Giants could end up being James.

A seventh-round pick of the 49ers in 2018, James was signed as a free agent by the Giants. So far this season he has seen six, six, and five targets per game where he has caught 14 of them for 146 yards. The Giants have a very favorable matchup against the Chicago Bears this Sunday and James could end up being the top target on the team solely by default.

It doesn't seem likely that James will hold the WR1 spot on the Giants all season long while the other players on the roster return from injury, but for this week, he could very well be the bargain player who helps win us our week. At a price of just $4k and $5.5k on DraftKings and FanDuel, James feels like a bargain with upside.

Honorable Mention: (updated 9/30/2022)
Josh Reynolds, DET vs SEA | DK: $4,600, FD: $5,900

Star wide receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown has been ruled out for Sunday's contest, and running back D'Andre Swift is also trending that way. Nonetheless, the Lions offense still has a very favorable matchup this week at home versus Seattle and we should still want to get in on the action given the discount we are getting it at.

Last Sunday against Minnesota, Reynolds saw 10 targets and hauled in six of them for 96 yards. So far this season, he has played 77 percent of the Lions' offensive snaps and should see an even bigger role on Sunday with the Sun God sidelined. DJ Chark is an interesting option this week as well, but he has also popped up on the team injury reports, and being the cheaper of the two options, we are going with Reynolds.

Reynolds was a bad fit on the Titans last year after being stuck in an offense that didn't throw the ball much and limited his opportunities. While he isn't a must-start player every week for fantasy, he showed enough flashes during his four years on the Los Angeles Rams that we know he can play. Reynolds feels like a smash value this week for DFS lineups.

 

Tight End NFL DFS Value Plays - Week 4

Gerald Everett, LAC at HOU | DK: $4,000, FD: $5,500

The Los Angeles Chargers' promising 2022 season is quickly unraveling after the team has suffered a rash of injuries, including to star quarterback Justin Herbert. However, they have a very juicy matchup this week against a struggling Texans team and it feels like the kind of game to help them get back on track after getting blown out at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday. While wide receiver Keenan Allen is expected to make his return after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, we don't yet know his official status.

So far this season, Everett has seen a total of 20 targets and has posted 11 receptions for 150 yards and one TD. He is a fast and athletic tight end with the ability to make big plays down the field and in space, something we should usually be looking for from our tight ends in DFS. Everett was limited last season in Seattle where he only had 48 receptions for 478 yards and four TDs. It doesn't look impressive, but when you realize that the Seahawks were 32nd in plays run per game in 2021, it is easy to see how he could be a much better player when given the opportunity.

This week's matchup is good and the Chargers offense should mostly be able to do what it wants on Sunday. Everett feels like a solid play as a value in what should be a rout.

David Njoku, CLE at ATL | DK: $3,700, FD: $5,700

Njoku had a monster game on TNF last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers where he posted nine receptions for 89 yards and a TD after not doing much in the first two games of the season. With Jacoby Brissett at the helm, the Browns will rely more on Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt until quarterback Deshaun Watson is back from suspension. However, looking at the rest of the Browns roster, he is the clear number two target on the team behind only Amari Cooper.

The Chief as he is called by many, Njoku has had plenty of ups and downs so far in his NFL career. With former tight end Austin Hooper now out of the way in Cleveland, the hope is that Njoku can take a massive leap this season after the Browns signed him to a four-year, $56.75 million contract extension this offseason. A first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the talent has always been there for Njoku, now he just needs to put it all together.

The Atlanta Falcons are currently giving up the 2nd-most points to tight ends so far this season at 17.2 per game. The Falcons' offense has also looked good and this could be a higher-scoring contest. Njoku is a very athletic tight end who can stretch the field and make plays in space. Due to his likely volume and big-play ability, he feels like a bargain on DK at just $3700.

Thank you for reading my article. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions or follow me on Twitter if you enjoyed this piece. Best of luck this week!



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