Fantasy Football Week 4: DFS starts, fades and undervalued options

Joshua Palmer joins Keenan Allen as an intriguing daily fantasy option in a Week 4 matchup against the Raiders. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Whether you've played Daily Fantasy on Yahoo before or are giving it a try for the first time, this weekly column will take a look at the DFS landscape, revealing whom I like building lineups around, stars to fade, undervalued plays and bargain-bin options to help you construct a better team.

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Lineup building blocks

Christian McCaffrey ($40) vs. Arizona Cardinals

McCaffrey finally ceded some work to Elijah Mitchell last week but still finished with 23 touches. He now gets 10 days off and might see added work Sunday, with Deebo Samuel (ribs, knee), Brandon Aiyuk (shoulder) and Jauan Jennings (shin) all dealing with injuries. CMC has been a beast while averaging 141 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the first three games of the season. The Cardinals have played far better than expected but have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs. The 49ers are 14-point home favorites and have the highest team point total of the week.

Keenan Allen ($30) vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Allen’s fantasy outlook continues to rise. The Chargers have been No. 1 in neutral pass rate since Austin Ekeler went down, and now Mike Williams is on IR. Allen saw a whopping 20 targets last week and gets a matchup indoors Sunday against a Raiders defense with the third-lowest pressure rate. It’s difficult to fade Allen in DFS, given his perfect situation, and the Chargers have the third-highest team point total this week.

Ja’Marr Chase ($32) @ Tennessee Titans

Forced to play almost exclusively out of shotgun thanks to Joe Burrow’s calf injury, Cincinnati’s offense hasn’t looked right this season. But it did come to life in the second half of Monday's game, in which Chase finished with 15 targets. He’s among the league leaders in targets, yet he hasn’t scored in 2023 after racking up 22 touchdowns in his first 29 games in the NFL. The Bengals get a pass-funnel Titans defense allowing a league-low 2.6 YPC but 7.7 YPA. Tennessee has ceded the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers this season.

Star to fade

Mark Andrews ($20) @ Cleveland Browns

Andrews has seen his first-read target% drop significantly outside of Greg Roman’s system and with the addition of Zay Flowers. The tight end could see an uptick in looks with Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman nursing injuries, but Baltimore travels to face a red-hot Cleveland defense this week. The Browns lead the league in pressure rate while allowing the fewest yards per play. They’ve held tight ends to the fewest fantasy points and allowed the lowest success rate over the first three games since 1999. Opposing offenses have run just nine plays inside the red zone and have totaled one touchdown in 2023.

Undervalued options

Stefon Diggs ($25) vs. Miami Dolphins

Diggs hasn’t erupted during his past shadow matchups with Xavien Howard, but he should be busy in what looks like this week’s DFS matchup to target. The game has a big over/under (53.5 points), and the Bills have the second-highest team total of the week. Gabe Davis has earned just 15 targets this season, as Diggs remains Buffalo’s clear alpha. Yet his DFS salary isn’t a top-10 WR this week in what should be a shootout.

Jaylen Waddle ($19) @ Buffalo Bills

Waddle reportedly cleared concussion protocol Thursday and is expected to return Sunday. He put up monster numbers (3.14 YPRR!) when Tua Tagovailoa was healthy last season and rejoins a Miami offense lapping the league in EPA/play. He also gets a prime matchup that has Week 4’s highest total. Waddle’s salary is more than 20% less than it was in Week 1, so he’s undervalued.

Zack Moss ($18) vs. Los Angeles Rams

Moss is absolutely dominating the Colts’ backfield, leading the NFL in opportunities per game (27.5). And it’s not just volume, as he has looked good and ranks top-five in avoided tackles, despite not playing in Week 1. Anthony Richardson could steal some goal-line work if he returns, but he gets a home matchup versus a Rams run defense that ranks 29th in DVOA. Moss is undervalued, with a salary outside the top-15 running backs this week.

Bargain bin

Joshua Palmer ($15) vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Palmer had a nice game after Mike Williams left due to a season-ending knee injury last week. He should have a much easier time replacing Williams’ role than he did Keenan Allen’s last season. Palmer has produced far better stats with Williams off the field throughout his career, and he should be extra busy Sunday with Austin Ekeler still nursing an ankle injury. Los Angeles has been the most pass-heavy team in football with Ekeler out, and Palmer gets a home matchup against a Vegas defense that’s bottom-five in EPA/pass.