FanDuel NFL Cash Game Lineup Advice: Week 4 (2020)
We’re almost a quarter of the way through the season, folks. While injuries have ravaged teams for the first three weeks, the NFL world was fortunate enough to avoid the big “C” word. That was until this week. The Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers game has officially been postponed due to COVID-19. While it certainly removes some notable players from the fantasy pool, the chief concern obviously is the well-being of all players and personnel on the Titans.
Of course, the COVID-19 news predominantly affects season-long leagues more than DFS. Having said that, it’s important to note each and every week: Pay attention to the injury reports and the inactive lists. Take full advantage of late-swap when setting your lineups. The last thing you want is to be boxed when trying to adjust your lineup due to an unforeseen inactive player or changing situation.
There are still plenty of viable cash game options this week, but as you might have noticed, pricing is beginning to tighten up a bit. Fortunately, we have three weeks’ worth of data, and trends are certainly beginning to emerge. So let’s get to it, shall we?
The players below are ones I’m looking at for cash game considerations in Week 4 of the 2020 season:
Patrick Mahomes (KC): $8,700 vs. New England Patriots
Did y’all see what Mahomes and company did against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night? This isn’t last year’s Patriots defense, either. Opponents are completing 72.2% of their passes against them so far, and they’re averaging 8.2 yards per attempt. The Patriots have just five sacks on the season as well. They rank 21st in pass defense DVOA.
The fact that Mahomes is priced as the QB3 this week is the icing on the cake. Expect him to continue to defy expectations and perform admirably for your cash lineups (even though this is just the second time he’s been on the main slate). Of course, there’s some history against the Patriots that hasn’t been kind (small sample size)…
Patrick Mahomes career PFF grades:
vs. Patriots: 63.8 (3 games)
vs. rest of the NFL: 95.0 (36 games) pic.twitter.com/VpQLBs03Bf
— PFF (@PFF) October 1, 2020
While it seems safe to say that Mahomes still has some margin for error, he’s playing at an incredible level early this season. A lot can be attributed to great coaching and play-design. Both Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy’s play-calling has been superb. We can expect Mahomes and company to roll out some new plays that the Patriots defense likely hasn’t seen before either.
Andy Reid is great at designing plays that show the defense a concept that they are comfortable defending but then breaking it off into something completely. Having Patrick Mahomes has helped Reid completely free himself from conventional play design constraints: pic.twitter.com/ytTlVksjf1
— seth galina (@pff_seth) September 30, 2020
Dak Prescott (DAL): $8,200 vs. Cleveland Browns
Despite taking the loss last week, Prescott and the Cowboys hung in there against the Seattle Seahawks. This week, they’ll have an easier time, as they face the Browns. In what’s shaping up to be a high-paced game (both teams rank in the top-10 in situation-neutral pace according to Football Outsiders), expect the Cowboys to get plenty of opportunities to put points on the board against a defense that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to average 274.7 passing yards and 2.7 touchdowns per game thus far. The Browns’ pass defense is ranked 30th in pass DVOA but fourth in rush DVOA, creating a potential pass-funnel that should benefit Prescott and the Cowboys passing game.
Highest rate of accurate passes thrown 10+ yards downfield:
1. Russell Wilson – 75%
2. Jared Goff – 62.5%
3. Philip Rivers – 60.6%
4. Dak Prescott – 60% pic.twitter.com/cHH36imvMP
— PFF (@PFF) October 1, 2020
Alvin Kamara (NO): $8,800 at Detroit Lions
Each week I do these write-ups, I try to emphasize in not-so-subtle terms a player or players to just put in your lineup. Kamara is that player this week. Find a way to get him in the lineup.
Detroit’s defense has been abysmal thus far. Football Outsiders ranks the Lions defense 30th in adjusted line yards, 32nd at the second level, and 28th in the open field. The Lions have allowed 5.7 yards per carry and 517 total rushing yards.
Currently, Kamara is on pace to catch 144 passes. The NFL record in a season for a running back is 116, set by Christian McCaffrey last season. Kamara has 280 yards after the catch this season, which is 101 yards more than second place. He is currently top-five in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.
Alvin Kamara has 284 yards after the catch this season.
There are only four running backs with more rushing yards than Kamara has YAC:
Derrick Henry 319
Aaron Jones 303
Dalvin Cook 294
Nick Chubb 292
— Bruce Matson (@MetricScout) October 1, 2020
Dalvin Cook (MIN): $8,700 at Houston Texans
There’s legitimate concern about how the Vikings are going to come out this weekend, given the lack of practice. If one thing is for certain, however, it’s that they can heavily lean on Cook in the running game. Cook is PFF’s third-highest graded rusher this season.
The Texans are ranked 28th in adjusted line yards and at the second level, according to Football Outsiders. They’ve given up the most rushing yards in the NFL. The Texans rank 24th in rush defense DVOA. In what is sure to be an odd game due to the lack of preparation for the Vikings, expect a heavy dose of Cook early and often.
Keenan Allen (LAC): $6,900 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After Week 1, it was fair to wonder how effective Allen would be, given the change at quarterback in 2020. With rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, Allen has once again become the focal point of the Chargers’ passing attack. Over the last two games, he has seen 29 targets for a healthy 35% target share.
We also get a “narrative game” in which Allen gets to directly square off against Mike Evans on the other side of the field. While Evans might claim to have forgotten about their Twitter feud, do we really believe that’s the case? Especially for Allen?
Be careful what you wish for, Bucs…
I asked #bucs CB Carlton Davis about the targets Keenan Allen is getting with Herbert (14.5 average over the two games).
“I love the action. I love the smoke.” He can’t wait until Sunday.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) September 30, 2020
D.K. Metcalf (SEA): $6,900 at Miami Dolphins
Metcalf saw an increase in price, yet he still comes in under $7,000, and he’s priced as the WR15 in Week 4. The Seahawks are facing the Dolphins. Huh?
Tyler Lockett Week 1-3:
(30% target share)
(22% target share)
Dolphins and Vikings next up 🚀
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) September 28, 2020
Early in the season, the Dolphins defense has been heavily predicated on man coverage. That might be a really bad idea against Metcalf and the Seahawks.
Most Yards vs Single Coverage:
1. D.K. Metcalf – 280
2. Calvin Ridley – 249
3. Michael Gallup – 210 pic.twitter.com/O2mGxSoERO
— PFF (@PFF) October 1, 2020
T.J. Hockenson (DET): $5,400 vs. New Orleans Saints
The Saints have been bleeding fantasy points to the tight end position thus far this season. O.J. Howard, Darren Waller, and Robert Tonyan all have caught touchdowns against the Saints.
Saints defense vs. tight ends
Week 1: 6 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD
Week 2: 13 catches, 136 yards, 1 TD
Week 3: 9 catches, 104 yards, 2 TDs
— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) September 30, 2020
Meanwhile, Hockenson has surpassed 50-plus receiving yards in each of the first three games this season. That’s encouraging, particularly since the Lions got Golladay back last week. In fact, Hockenson’s involvement in the passing game didn’t miss a beat last week.
Week 3 leaders in Routes run per Drop Back at Tight End:
Logan Thomas – 90.2% (7 tgt)
TJ Hockenson – 88.6% (7 tgt)
Darren Waller – 86.1% (4 tgt)
Evan Engram – 85.7% (5 tgt)
Zach Ertz – 85.5% (10 tgt)
Noah Fant & Jimmy Graham both had 10 tgt and ran 76.6% & 75.9% respectively.
— Al Smizzle (@AlZeidenfeld) September 28, 2020
Dalton Schultz (DAL): $4,900 vs. Cleveland Browns
If someone were to tell you that Schultz has more targets and receptions than Michael Gallup, would you believe them? Schultz also leads the Cowboys in red-zone targets and receptions.
Who ranks 3rd among all TEs in expected fantasy points over the past two weeks?
Dalton Schultz — that’s who. pic.twitter.com/4wdpB30JC6
— Curtis Patrick (@CPatrickNFL) September 30, 2020
The Browns have allowed a 25.83% opposing target share to tight ends. At his price point with the expected game flow here, Schultz presents a perfect opportunity for cap flexibility elsewhere.
— C.D. Carter (@CDCarter13) September 30, 2020
Los Angeles Rams D/ST: $4,800 vs. New York Giants
The Giants were barely able to compete against a depleted San Francisco 49ers defense without several starters. What are they going to do traveling across the country against a Rams defense that likely feels slighted for how last week’s game ended? Yikes.
The Giants have allowed nine sacks, and their running game is averaging a robust 1.8 yards per carry. Considering that the run game has been the one area of weakness for the Rams defense, this doesn’t bode well for the Giants to be able to take advantage of the situation. Then there’s the play of “franchise quarterback” Daniel Jones. He’s been a turnover machine since entering the pros. The supporting cast isn’t helping much either. The Giants (along with most of the NFC East) is a mess right now.
The Giants, who have used their top pick four straight years on offensive players — with three of the four being top 6 — are averaging 12.7 points per game. This doesn't reflect well on GM Dave Gettleman, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett or QB Daniel Jones.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) September 27, 2020
Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST: $4,700 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
A rookie quarterback on the road traveling across the country for a 1:00pm EST kick-off. Seven point road dogs. The Buccaneers currently rank sixth in pass defense DVOA and seventh in rush defense DVOA. The Bucs are blitzing at the third-highest rate early on this season (43.8%), a continuation of their high rate from last season (43%). On the season, Herbert is being pressured a lot. The Chargers’ offensive line has also been hit with the injury bug as well.
QBs with the largest ranking differences in pressured drop back rate and time to throw; they're getting rid of the ball quickly but still being pressured a lot (PFF)
1. Dwayne Haskins
2. Joe Burrow
3. Teddy Bridgewater
T4. Gardner Minshew
T4. Justin Herbert
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) September 28, 2020
Other notables: Kansas City Chiefs D/ST: $3,800 vs. NE
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