Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don’t, and you’re painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here’s our view on six intriguing over/unders for Week 4.
Donning the DFS cap, what commodity is terribly UNDERVALUED in Week 4?
Liz – STEVE SMITH SR ($16). Leading the Ravens’ receiving corps in targets since Week 1, Smith put up fantasy WR2 numbers last Sunday, catching eight-of-11 balls for 87 yards. Against all odds, Smith has proven to be a dominant piece of this offense. He has another plus matchup in Week 4 vs. a Raiders squad that has allowed the most fantasy points to the position.
Scott – DWAYNE WASHINGTON ($10) managed a 10-38 line at Green Bay last week, which needs to be considered in the proper prism; the Packers parcel a mere 1.8 YPC on the year. The Bears have given up an ordinary 4.0 YPC and five rushing touchdowns; there’s an excellent chance Washington adds to those totals, and you’re getting in at the minimum price. Other potential booms: JORDAN HOWARD ($14), ZACH MILLER ($16), TYRELL WILLIAMS ($19).
Brad – KEVIN WHITE ($13). I’ve been rather critical of White’s rough edges over the past few weeks, but after logging 14 targets last week in Dallas and blessed with a generous matchup versus Detroit, his profit potential seems enormous. If he again entices 10-plus looks from Brian Hoyer, it’s conceivable White lands in the 10-15 fantasy point range, an appreciable payout.
Conversely, what DFS option is the most OVERVALUED in Week 4?
Scott – MATT FORTE’S overall fantasy season looks nice because of the three touchdowns he scored against Buffalo, but his YPC has dipped under 4.0 and he’s only caught nine passes in three games. Seattle is the tenth-hardest defense for running backs to produce against this year, and that rank would be higher if Carlos Hyde didn’t get some garbage-time love last week. Seasonal players will be forced to keep rolling with Forte, but I can’t justify a $31 tag in the DFS world. Bonus fades: LATAVIUS MURRAY ($24), JACOB TAMME ($20), BRANDON MARSHALL ($28).
Brad – DREW BREES ($40). The decorated passer is suffering from Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome. When home, he carves up the competition, but away, he transforms into a sheepish producer who leaves his investors in ruin. Over his past nine road games, Brees has finished under 20 fantasy points six times. Though the Chargers have surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to QBs, it’s extremely hard to justify Brees’ exorbitant price tag.
Andy – I’m as enthusiastic as anyone about MATT FORTE as a full-season fantasy asset, but I’m not interested in him at $31, facing the Seahawks. With three games in the books, Seattle ranks first in total defense, allowing just 250.3 yards per game. The team has held opposing rushers to just 3.5 yards per carry.
DUMPSTER DIVING. With shovel in hand, what player under 25-percent started should fantasy owners insert into their lineups?
Brad – DWAYNE WASHINGTON. Given the Bears’ injuries and general inefficiencies on defense, it appears Washington, under 10-percent started in Yahoo leagues, is destined to find the end zone. His 3.8 yards per carry achieved last week against Green Bay’s inflexible front should be applauded. Against the fantasy flavorful ‘Gummy’ Bears, he has sound odds of eclipsing 70 combined yards with 1-2 touchdowns. At $10 in Yahoo DFS, he’s a friggin’ steal.
Andy – Need a bye-week replacement for Aaron Rodgers? JOE FLACCO is your guy. He’s at home facing Oakland, a defense that’s allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing QBs and the most passing yards. While Flacco’s various veteran receivers are healthy (Smith, Wallace, Pitta, et al), he has enough high-qulaity weapons to exploit a friendly matchup.
Brandon – STEVE SMITH SR. Add Smith to the list of what might survive a nuclear war – just call him the human cockroach. If you watched him last weekend, you didn’t see a 37-year-old coming off a blown Achilles injury. You saw a spry beast pinballing his body all over the place against the Jacksonville secondary – he finished with a rock solid 8 catches for 87 yards. His numbers have improved every week, and I fully expect that trend to continue this week against an Oakland defense allowing the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers.
Le’Veon Bell makes his triumphant return to the lineup, clashing with Kansas City in prime time. Not expected to have any limitations (per Mike Tomlin), total fantasy points against the Chiefs 14.9.
Andy – Our long wait for Bell is OVER. O-VAH. I have little doubt that Le’Veon will see all the work he can handle in his season debut, and he keeps telling us that the knee is a non-issue. I’m expecting him to see 20-plus touches and find the end-zone at least once.
Brandon – OVER. With Tomlin fully exposing his intentions to lean heavily on Bell in his return, you have to feel good about his chances of pushing 100 yards from scrimmage and a TD, which is enough to get him over this number. Kansas City has allowed the sixth-most rushing yards and 4.3 YPC to running backs, so the matchup shouldn’t give anyone pause.
Dalton – OVER. I expect him to get a full workload immediately, and Bell is arguably the best running back in football when healthy. The Steelers are at home against a Chiefs defense that hasn’t been particularly tough on opposing rushers this season. I’m treating Bell as a top-three RB right away and fully expect him to clear 15 fantasy points with ease.
The last time Eric Decker failed to record a touchdown in consecutive weeks was December 2014. After his donut in the box score last week versus KC, touchdowns versus Seattle .5, assuming he’s active (shoulder).
Brandon – UNDER. I don’t think he’ll end up playing but, against a Seattle defense that has yet to allow a TD pass (only Philly has matched that), you’d have to feel iffy about a full-strength Decker finding the end zone this weekend. The fact that he’s not fully healthy and will likely be limited in a best-case scenario, I’m not betting on him splashing pay dirt.
Dalton – UNDER. Decker’s impressive streak of 18 straight games recording at least 80 receiving yards or a touchdown ended last week, and he has a tough matchup to start a new one Sunday. The Seahawks have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season, and they are the only team in football yet to allow a touchdown to one. Decker will get it going again soon enough, but odds are he’s held out of the end zone for the second straight game this week.
Liz – UNDER. Over the first three weeks of the season, Seattle has yet to allow a wideout into the end zone. If Decker even suits up, he’ll be playing with a pretty weighty shoulder injury. Banged up and facing a dominant secondary, I’ll be betting against a “sure thing” in Week 4.
Dak Prescott, similar to Carson Wentz, has played nearly flawless to begin his NFL career, not recording an INT in his first 99 pass attempts. Standard fantasy points for the QB this week in the Golden Gate City, with or without Dez Bryant (knee) 17.9.
Dalton – UNDER. Prescott has been a bit unlucky so far, with multiple passes ending with his receiver being tackled at the one-yard line this season. He’s clearly legit, but it’s likely he once again leads a conservative offensive attack in Week 4, as Dallas should be able to handle San Francisco with its defense and running game, even on the road. Prescott is a solid start this week, but his upside is limited given the probable game script.
Liz – UNDER. I understand that the match-up is enticing, and Dak’s wheels certainly enhance his appeal, but his lone passing TD came last Sunday… to Dez. In a match-up that figures to be run heavy, the rookie’s ceiling feels capped.
Scott – I’ll provide the optimistic, shiny-happy OVER call. The 49ers offense plays at a fast pace, which generally gives their opponent a shot at more snaps. Prescott’s legs also have to figure in the mix; he had 36 yards on the ground last week, and he’s spiked in two straight games. He’ll be power-faded now that Dez Bryant is in limbo, but Prescott wasn’t forcing the ball to No. 88 anyway. He can get to this number with a dash of Witten, a pinch of Beasley, and some well-timed scrambling.