FanDuel Four: Week Four



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Welcome to the second installment of DLF’s FanDuel Four, a column where our readers will get not just one or two opinions on several key daily players, they’ll get four separate thoughts from Chris Heil, Nick Whalen, TheFFGhost and George Kritikos, all debating the merits of each play. Each week our four experts debate 12 or more players based on who will score the most points, which players are the best values and which players our readers would be best served by avoiding. This week we have a full plate, so here we go:


Ghost: “Welcome everyone to our second week running this feature. We had a great debate last week and we all turned out to be right more often than we were wrong, which is a huge plus. This week, Chris kicks us off with his choice for the top scoring quarterback, Cam Newton. George, is this the right play for this week?”

George: “This will be an interesting week as there are several similarly priced quarterbacks capable of the top week. Cam gets to pick on a bad Tampa Bay defense, but Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan also face favorable matchups. I’m likely picking one of those ahead of Cam, who has not seen his team surpass 30 points this season.”

Ghost: “I’m going to agree with George here. Will Newton score his points? Sure, but ultimately I think Ryan may deliver the best performance of the week. That being said, Tampa Bay’s defense just seems so awful that it’s really tough to discount Newton completely.”

Nick: “Agreed, Cam’s picked up his play in recent weeks with rushing touchdowns to boot. However, I’m not sure he’s going to be the highest scorer. I would probably roll with a cheaper option who could provide a similar stats.”

Ghost: “So it looks like Chris may be out on an island a bit with the Cam pick. Chris, want to see if you can have Nick join you on that island? His play of the week at running back is Arian Foster. How do you feel about that?”

Chris: “I like the play. The question is if he is on a snap count or not. I think he is well worth the gamble”

Ghost: “Absolutely, the snap count is going to be key here. If Houston lets him be himself, he should have a great game. However, franchises will rarely hit the gas with a player back for their first game. I’m going to be looking elsewhere for my top running back.”

George: “His recovery and uncertain snap count has me shying away from Foster. A dark horse to lead the position in scoring is Mark Ingram. He has 16 catches in the first three games with two touchdowns and now has the opportunity to face a Dallas team reeling after Devonta Freeman torched them. While the Cowboys seem like a good run defense, they have given up more rushing yards each week of the season.”

Ghost; “So my turn, Julio Jones. Need I say more? The man has been on fire as of late and I just don’t see him slowing down with little in the way of a supporting cast. How about you Nick?”

Nick: “Julio has been a stud this year by putting up historic numbers. The question isn’t can someone stop Julio, but why isn’t he already in your lineup?”

George: “Julio is becoming the Gronk of wide receivers, with matchups meaning little. The only player I’d consider past Julio in a daily league is OBJ. Beckham gets a Buffalo defense in the bottom three for attempts, yards and touchdowns allowed via the pass with at least two pass touchdowns in each game so far.”

Chris: “Yeah George, the matchup is not ideal for Jones. We all know the match up doesn’t matter, though. He will continue to produce at a high level. You will have no worries putting Julio in any line ups.”

Ghost: “OK, so with Gronk out, George has decided to go with Travis Kelce. Let’s come back to Chris, how do you feel about Kelce this week?”

Chris: “I miss Gronk!”

Ghost: “Don’t we all?!”

Chris: “I guess this gives someone else a chance to be the number one tight end. Kelce and Greg Olsen are the safest picks with the highest ceiling. The price is right on par.”

Ghost: “Tough to argue with that. Kelce is the only other tight end so far this season to consistently post startable numbers week in and week out. That being said, I think Chris is right in mentioning Olsen, I think he’ll ever so slightly edge Kelce out for the top spot this week.”

Nick: “With Gronk on a bye week, Baby Gronk (Kelce) is the clear #2 tight end and top prospect to be the tight end high scorer of the week.”


Ghost: “OK, the easy part is out of the way. I think it’s always a nice way to warm up a bit for the tougher calls. Chris is going with Derek Carr as his daily value play for the week. George, your thoughts?

George: “I’m on board with Carr this week. Everyone knows about how bad the Chicago defense is and Amari Cooper could put up some vintage Alabama numbers against this secondary. Carr is top ten in nearly every passing category.”

Ghost: “I also easily have Carr as my top value as well. I actually think he posts a top five day for his position as well. It’s tough not to like his matchup and he’s really been showing something thus far this season. It’s a great choice on Chris’ part and I’m totally behind him on it. How about you, Nick?”


Nick: “I also agree with this pick as Chicago’s pass defense is horrendous. They generated more pressure last week, but it’s still minimal. Carr has performed well this year and now has two quality targets that will torch the Bears secondary.”

Ghost: “Well, Chris went from being on an island to being the life of the part in the span of one pick. So Nick, I get the sense this one was easy for you as you took the darling of the week, Karlos Williams. Chris, do you like this pick?”

Chris: “This matchup is so juicy. He has been impressive and has three touchdowns this year. The salary is perfect for you to grab him and pay up for a wide receiver.”

Ghost: “I can see the appeal here for you guys, but I’m going to be one of his few detractors here. I think so many people will be on that bandwagon that it does two things. First, it prevents any lineup with him in it from pulling away from the pack. Second, usually when the public all goes one way in fantasy, the conventional wisdom tends to fail. Remember Carlos Hyde during Week Two? Everyone was buying him and things just didn’t work out. I’m going to be zigging while others zag here.”

George: “With LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins out, the team is low on difference makers. Williams should get volume but the Giants run defense is stronger than most give credit for. No primary ball carrier has averaged over four yards per carry against them this year. The price is nice but he will need touchdowns to reach the expectations owners have.”

Ghost: “OK, so I’m fully expecting a backlash with my value pick of Nate Washington. How out of my mind am I, Nick?”

Nick: “I would only use Washington if you really need to save some money. With DeAndre Hopkins and Cecil Shorts generating targets, as well as Arian Foster coming back, I wouldn’t count on a huge day from Washington.”

George: “I see where Nick is coming from, but Washington is one of 16 pass catchers who has 8+ targets in every game this year and the team leads the NFL in pass attempts. This is a case of volume over efficiency and against the Falcons, so there is no reason to believe the team opts against passing the ball.”

Chris: “You know, it’s weird to see Houston passing as much as they have. Part of that is due to no running game. If Arian Foster plays this weekend, I would not feel comfortable plugging in Washington.”

Ghost: “So Chris, you’re not the biggest fan of my Washington pick this week, how about George’s value pick of Kyle Rudolph?”

Chris: “The price is on point. Everything points up For Rudolph with play calling/coaching/ players. Rudolph and Bridgewater haven’t really won anyone over yet. I’m a little more hesitant than most. However, I see the appeal.”

Ghost: “Rudolph has burned me before and I think this week he’s probably just a middle of the road player in regards to production and value. For a value play at tight end this week, I’m hanging my hat on Richard Rodgers. I would have gone with Vernon Davis but the latest news indicates he isn’t going to be able to play this week.”

Nick: “Sorry, but I just can’t pick Rudolph. He’s not a good athlete and has been a continual disappointment. I’d much rather roll with Jordan Reed. He actually produces at a high rate and has over proven it whenever he’s healthy.”


Ghost: “Now comes the fun part, basically the sinful dessert at the end of a great meal. The part where we indulge in our inner trash-talker. Chris kicks us off with Teddy Bridgewater. What do you think guys? Is Teddy a player we should all be keeping out of our lineups this week?”

Nick: “Until the Vikings figure out their offense, I’m avoiding all of them except Adrian Peterson. Shotgun, under center, which wide receiver is the favorite? Nobody knows. Teddy is a better NFL quarterback than fantasy football quarterback, wait on him for a bit until this gets sorted out.”

George: “Injuries in the receiving corps along with a schizophrenic Bridgewater has me avoiding the Vikings until further notice. He has led a team to last in pass attempts, yards and pass touchdowns. The fact they are 2-1 makes me worry they continue this game plan. Oh, he’s playing Denver too, who is allowing the fewest pass yards and pass touchdowns.”

Ghost: “Bridgewater is near the bottom of my list in terms of both production and value at quarterback this week. I just don’t foresee a whole heck of a lot from him this week. Is it totally his fault? No, his receiving corps has been dreadful but we don’t credit fantasy points to players on bad teams, you’ve got to find a way to earn them. So, George, how about Nick’s player to avoid this week, Devonta Freeman?”

George: “Before last week, Freeman had a sub 2.0 yards per carry. The best a running back has fared against Houston is 62 yards, so this is not a great opportunity for Freeman. At this price range, I would rather aim for Frank Gore or Joseph Randle.”

Ghost: “I’m going to disagree here. I think with Freeman as the bell cow back in Atlanta until Coleman fully heals, he’s going to make the most of the opportunity. I actually think he could surprise a lot of people this week to be honest.”

Chris: “Same here, I think Freeman can be very serviceable this week. He should easily have 20 touches. He has had more touches inside the 10 yard line than anyone else.”

Ghost: “Alright guys, here’s an interesting one. I’m suggesting our readers avoid Donte Moncrief. With Andrew Luck possibly sitting the game out or playing with an injured shoulder at best, I just don’t see any upside here. How about you, Nick?”

Nick: “I’d tend to agree, the entire situation in Indianapolis this week is concerning and could spell trouble for their offense. Since Moncrief really relies on the Colts offense firing on all cylinders to be effective, I’d avoid him as well.”

Chris: “Well, he was a lock at the begging of the week to be in lineups. His price is very intriguing and the only concern I have is Andrew Luck. If he plays the question remains how much does he throw? I think he is a great player for GPP’s but I wouldn’t take the gamble in cash games.”

Chris: “Honestly, even if Andrew Luck plays, I am shying away from Moncrief as well. His targets have trended down and touchdowns have saved his two sub 50-yard receiving efforts. At this price, I prefer Percy Harvin as an upside play with a better chance at consistent targets.”

Ghost: “Yeah, honestly it’s just a mess which I have no desire to be in the middle of this week. Speaking of messes, is Ladarius Green really the mess George is making him out to be, Chris?”

Chris: “Sadly, yes. Antonio Gates will get his job back when he is back from suspension, despite the fact Green has been given numerous opportunities to take over the position. With that being said, I would just wash my hands of him and not try to gamble with his inconsistency.”

Nick: “I agree with this call. Wait until he’s fully healthy before putting him back into the lineup.”

Ghost: “I also agree, Green is coming back from two consecutive concussions so the Chargers just aren’t going to risk a third which could remove him from the NFL. Green has a whole lot of skill but something just isn’t working out for him in San Diego. With Gates due to return as well, there just isn’t any reason for the Chargers to involve him all that much this week.”

Well, there we go! Another week down and another excellent discussion in the books. Good luck to all of our readers and please remember to face off against all of us in the FanDuel sponsored DLF Football Championship. Get your entries in by clicking here.