Week 4 Main Slate NFL DFS Plug

Week 4 Main Slate NFL DFS Plug



The following article appears on OccupyFantasy.com every Friday! Become a member for as little as $2/week with an annual subscription for NFL DFS analysis, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL and more.


This is the Sunday Main Slate NFL Daily Plug! Occupy Fantasy’s Chris Rooney has written up a guide to the slate using the Occupy Model, betting line movements, and news updates. Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes.

The NFL DFS Plug is posted for Main Slates, and is fully updated by 8:00pm on Fridays.

Follow Occupy Fantasy on Twitter for updates through lock.

Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes. For NFL Inactives, visit this link to the NFL.com page – updates roughly 90 minutes before kickoff for each game.

Consider the Plug an in-depth road map for the main slate. Let’s get to it!

Want analysis for every player on the slate? Check out the Occupy Model. Want help building lineups? Our Lineup Builder is available now for as little as $4 a week!

BETTING ODDS

Biggest Favorites:
Los Angeles Rams, -14
Baltimore Ravens, -13.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, -7
Dallas Cowboys, -5
Seattle Seahawks, -5


Highest Game Totals:
CLE@DAL, 56.5
SEA@MIA, 55
NO@DET, 54.5
MIN@HOU, 54
BUF@LV, 51.5

Highest Implied Team Totals:
Dallas Cowboys, 30.75
Los Angeles Rams, 30.75
Seattle Seahawks, 30
Baltimore Ravens, 29.75
New Orleans Saints, 29

Lowest Implied Team Totals:
Washington Football Team, 16.25
New York Giants, 16.75
Los Angeles Chargers, 18.25
Chicago Bears, 20.25
Indianapolis Colts, 23.5

GAMES TO STACK

Each week, we’ll point out three games to stack based on the Occupy Model, betting line information such as game totals, implied team totals, line movements, and more.

By now, everyone is catching on to the fact that the NFL has been calling less holding penalties on offenses. Our “new normal” in the NFL might just be higher average game totals – bookmakers have adjusted by giving us SEVERAL higher total games, with 7 games over 50 points on this slate. We won’t list them all – as always, these are the games we like the most for game stack environments.

NE@KC has been PPD due to coronavirus concerns. It has been wiped from this article entirely.

CLE@DAL

The over .500 Browns (savoring that for the next 48 hours it’s true) head to Jerry World for a date with the Cowboys.

With a slate-high 56.5 point total, the question of this game is, can Baker Mayfield keep pace with this high-powered Dallas offense? Cleveland’s pass blocking is basically average (17th according to Football Outsiders); Dallas’ pass defense, however, is in the bottom half of the league – and Baker’s top options in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry will each draw below average coverage. With David Njoku still on the shelf, Austin Hooper should be able to take advantage of Dallas’ 24th ranked TE defense – he’s high-risk only as he’s yet to draw more than 4 targets a game.

The Browns bring a dynamic duo at the RB position to Dallas – Nick Chubb is coming off back-to-back 100+ yard rushing performances, but his work comes largely on the ground – he has just 1 target in each of the first 3 games. If Cleveland is trailing (as the spread suggests), it could be a Kareem Hunt script – Hunt drew 6 targets in the Baltimore blowout in Week 1.

The Cowboys have one of the most predictable offenses in the league. Dak Prescott has attempted 39+ passes through each of the first three weeks – in trailing game scripts, so volume is worth watching if Dallas finally plays from ahead. Thanks to Cedrick Wilson’s involvement against Seattle, we can still tell you Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb remain scoreless in 2020 – something that should change sooner rather than later. Amari is Dak’s favorite target by far, with 35 targets through 3 games (Lamb 22, Zeke 22, Schultz 20, Gallup 19). 

Somewhat quietly, Ezekiel Elliott has maintained an elite, game script proof workload that we should be salivating over now that he’s playing as a home favorite once again. Elliott’s seen 25+ raw opportunities to touch the football every single week, and saw 11 targets in Dallas’ matchup with Seattle last week. His 36.0 weighted opportunities we project in the Occupy Model is the highest at the RB position on the slate this week.

ARI@CAR

Normally a game with a 50.5 point total would be among the leaders on the slate, not so in 2020 – which keeps playing the hits for sure.

The Panthers rush defense? Still terrible! It’s ranked 28th by DVOA through 3 weeks, while the pass defense is even worse – it’s 32nd, aka dead last. Kyler Murray and Kenyan Drake should be popular plays in all formats once again this week for this reason. DeAndre Hopkins’ volume is absurd, as he’s seen 9+ targets every single week. He’s getting harder to fit into lineups as his salary increases, but it’s tough to ignore the floor/ceiling combination Nuk provides. Behind him, we have a chance to roster an “underperforming WR” no matter how this game shakes out.

The field may love the pride of UMass – Andy Isabella; it’s Christian Kirk and KeeSean Johnson, however, that are underperforming their opportunity. Kirk is a strong tournament play if active, while Johnson is a great low priced punt who should play more if Kirk is out of the lineup entirely.

On the Carolina side, are we ready to accept that Mike Davis is a stud in fantasy football? We should be – Davis’ 17 targets in the last two weeks are tied with DJ Moore for the team lead, and he’s done so while playing a near full complement of snaps since CMC went down with an ankle injury. Moore himself is also underperforming his opportunity. Robby Anderson also draws a below average matchup alongside Moore – the Cardinals are ranked 30th and 27th respectively defending WR1s and WR2s by DVOA.

The sneakiest game stack of the week, though?

MIN@HOU

This game has been cleared for takeoff following the COVID-19 scare that cost us PIT-TEN this week, so all systems go for Deshaun Watson, who is finally playing as a home favorite after 3 atrocious matchups to start the year. The Vikings are just 23rd by DVOA defending the pass – while David Johnson has a chance to smash against a defense that has allowed 148 rushing yards per game to their opponents.

Will Fuller is questionable with a hamstring injury 365 days a year – if he’s active, he has a high ceiling, per usual. Minnesota’s ranked just 28th by DVOA defending WR1s, so keep an eye on Brandin Cooks, as his salary is simply too cheap on a slate for someone getting 20% of the targets in (what should be) a high octane offense when facing inferior opponents. Randall Cobb continues to live in the slot, where he will have an above average matchup against Minnesota this week.

The Vikings continue to be a low volume, high aDOT passing attack – their 13.1 yard aDOT (average depth of target) as a team is the highest in the NFL. When Kirk Cousins drops back to pass, he looks almost exclusively for big plays – His 10.6 average intended air yards is 3rd highest in the league through 3 weeks of play.

Dalvin Cook’s 5 targets in Week 3 were a positive sign (he only drew 2 each in the first two games), and he broke a long 39 yard run for a TD against the Titans – showing he’s still the same dynamic, explosive threat we’ve come to know in this backfield.

The players who benefit the most? Who else – Adam Thielen has an absurd 32% target share and 45.6% air yard share of Cousins’ attempts, good for a 0.81 WOPR through 3 games. 0.6 to 0.7 is the elite threshold, for context. He should torch Bradley Roby, who is slated to line up across from him this week.

Justin Jefferson established himself as the superior second option to Olabisi Johnson last week – and his 23% target share dwarfs that of the rest of the roster. Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith continue to run routes on about 60% of Cousins’ dropbacks – but neither receives enough volume to really warrant more attention from us than this one sentence.

BEST PLAYS BY POSITION

QB

Stud: Dak Prescott (vs. Cleveland)

The Browns present an interesting challenge for the Cowboys this week – at least as far as fantasy owners are concerned. It’s not likely that Dak will continue to throw for 450+ yards, as he has the last two weeks. In those games, he attempted 47 and 57 passes, respectively. Yet, Cleveland’s opponents have attempted 41.3 passes per game through 3 weeks (largely boosted by Joe Burrow’s crazy 61 attempt game).

Even at lower volume, Dak should threaten the 300+ yard bonus on DraftKings, and is still due for some positive passing TD variance, with just a 3.5% pass TD rate in 2020 compared to his 4.6% career average. Dallas has the 6th best pass blocking offensive line by DVOA, which will help Prescott against Cleveland’s 22nd ranked DVOA pass defense. We have Prescott at around 370 yards passing with 2.5 all purpose touchdowns this week.

Stud: Kyler Murray (@ Carolina)

Some growing pains for the 2nd year signal caller took place against the Lions, as the Cardinals lost a winnable game to a meh Lions team – largely due to Murray’s interceptions. This is a get right spot for Murray against the worst pass defense in the NFL – we project Murray to face the least amount of opposing pressure out of all QBs on the slate.

Murray projects for the 4th highest ownership at the QB position on DraftKings, and 6th on FanDuel this week – so the field loves the spot, as well. He’s a better value on DraftKings where he costs less than Prescott. 

RB

Stud: Ezekiel Elliott (vs. Cleveland)

We already told you about Elliott’s slate-high 36 weighted opportunity projection in our Model above. He also projects for the highest ownership on DraftKings, and 2nd highest on FanDuel. Cleveland’s been a fairly stout rush defense in 2020 so far, but we’re not worried about matchup with a true bellcow like Elliott, frankly. What we should focus on is the line play – which is ranked 9th in the NFL for run blocking thus far in 2020. At Elliott’s expected touch volume, he’s one of the best stud RB plays on the entire slate as a home favorite.

While not getting the full write up treatment, don’t ignore Alvin Kamara. Michael Thomas is questionable to play – if he is out, Kamara will continue to be the top option in both the running and passing game for Drew Brees. He’s $200 more than Zeke on DraftKings, $200 less on FanDuel. He’s a phenomenal play against a Lions defense that is just 23rd by DVOA defending RBs in the passing game. UPDATE: Michael Thomas is OUT. 

Value: David Johnson (vs. Minnesota)

Hi, remember me? That’s what DJ has said after looking like the walking dead with the Cardinals in the 2nd half of 2019. DJ’s had 24 of the 25 RB touches the last two weeks with Duke Johnson out of the lineup. With Duke trending towards playing in Week 4, it’s worth revisiting Week 1’s opening game – DJ played 81% of the snaps even in a trailing game script situation.

As a home favorite against a Vikings defense that has allowed 148 rushing yards per game to opponents in 2020, DJ is a great value no matter what Duke’s status is – Duke is a role player at best. We project 27 weighted opportunities for DJ to touch the football in the Occupy Model.

Value: Mike Davis (vs. Arizona)

Mike Davis projects for the third most weighted opportunities this week for us, behind only Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara.

Read that again.

Mike Davis projects for the third most weighted opportunities this week for us, behind only Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara.

What? It’s true – in Week 3, Davis had 13 carries and 9 targets in their victory over the Chargers. RB2 Reggie Bonnafon only played 4% of snaps and had two carries. With no other true RB on the roster, Davis is a lock for volume and opportunity at a low price – something we simply cannot argue with in NFL DFS no matter what.

Value: Darrell Henderson (vs. NY Giants)

The Rams are 13 point home favorites against a depleted Giants roster. Cam Akers is going to miss another game, which means it’s another Henderson-Brown game for these Rams. Sean McVay told us back in July that he wanted to mimic Kyle Shanahan’s RB by committee approach, which should give us at least some pause being firmly on Hendy over Brown.

Looking at usage over the last two weeks paints a different picture entirely. Henderson has 32 rush attempts and 6 targets in that span, compared to just 18 carries and no targets whatsoever for Brown. Both are still splitting snaps fairly evenly, but it’s Henderson who is more involved in the offense of late. We project 24.8 weighted-opportunities for the modestly priced home favorite.

WR

Stud: DeAndre Hopkins (@ Carolina)

Hopkins did not practice on Friday, and sounds like a game time decision. Be aware.

Hopkins’ projection of 9.4 targets is the 6th highest total on the slate in our Model. He has an absolutely absurd 38.5% target share, and 29.7% AirYard share of Kyler Murray’s attempts year to date. Best not to overthink this spot against the worst pass defense in the NFL.

Stud: Allen Robinson (vs. Indianapolis)

The best path to get exposure to Nick Foles under center? His only true stud WR, Allen Robinson is damn near close to underperforming, with only 1 TD on the year despite his 28.7% target and 32.4% AirYard shares in this Bears offense.

We project Robinson for 10.6 targets, the most on the slate.

Value: D.J. Moore (vs. Arizona)

Moore was tilting to roster in Week 3, as he drew just 4 targets in a really slow paced game against the Chargers. Now facing the up tempo Cardinals at home, in what may be a trailing game script? It’s time for that volume to normalize once more. We project 10.1 targets for Moore, who is facing a Cardinals defense that is just 30th defending WR1s by DVOA in 2020.

There’s not much resistance projected for either offense this week in the ARI@CAR matchup, which is what makes it one of the juiciest game stack environments on the entire slate.

Value: Justin Jefferson (@ Houston)

Have a day, Justin Jefferson! The story of Week 3 was rookie WR breakouts, and he led the way thanks to his 7-175-1 line on 9 total targets against the Titans.

Kirk Cousins and company are looking to find the win column, and are projected to have difficulty doing so as 4.5 point underdogs. That’s great news for the passing game in MIN – and the WR unit where Jefferson has clearly earned the #2 role behind Adam Thielen. We project 5.9 targets for Jefferson, which could easily morph back into that 7-9 range thanks to the high total for this game.

TE

Stud: Darren Waller (vs. Buffalo)

This is basically the Darren Waller section of the Plug weekly. The Bills are 23rd by DVOA defending TEs in 2020 so far. Waller’s the clear WR1 for the Raiders even when everyone is healthy – now with both Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards slated to miss Week 4’s action, he’s an even stronger play. We project 8.4 targets for Waller in the Occupy Model, trailing only Travis Kelce.

Value: Logan Thomas (vs. Baltimore)

Are we really doing this again? Yes – Thomas runs a route on over 90% of Haskins’ dropbacks, and has seen 7+ targets per game. Now with Terry McLaurin flashing on the injury report ahead of this tilt with Baltimore, this could finally be the week Logan pays off his bargain of a price tag on FanDuel and DraftKings. Baltimore ranks just 28th defending TEs in the passing game through 3 weeks.

DST

Defenses are not typically going to be written up in detail in our Daily Plug on main slates. One of the optimal ways to select defenses for low-risk contests? Focus on defenses facing opponents with low Vegas team totals. We also want to target turnover prone quarterbacks when it makes sense. You shouldn’t ever pass on a player at another spot just to jam in a defense. We’ll always provide a list of low and high risk defenses in the player pool below.

BANKROLL ALLOCATION

Use 4-5% of your bankroll.

There’s a juicy amount of GPP’s with big prizes for NFL compared to other sports. Depending on your bankroll tier, take advantage! Read Contest Recommendations below for suggested contests by tier.

If playing low-risk, focus on the same spots we normally recommend – H2Hs, single entry double ups (as always, multi-entry double ups are OK if you can max enter them).

Our studs and values by position above are intended to be a roadmap to help you win in low-risk contests. For high-risk, there are plenty of strong GPP plays in the “Best of the Rest” player pool.

LINEUP STRATEGY

Check out the player pool below. In low-risk contests, you should continue to try and play 3 running backs from the write-up and low-risk sections. Often, the highest projected owned RBs in the Occupy Model end up being the sharpest low-risk plays. Smart players have all week to figure out who to run, ownership projections reflect that.

This week, that’s 3 out of Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, David Johnson, Mike Davis and Darrell Henderson.

Building 5-10-20, even 150 lineups for large-field GPPs? Stick to a core of top plays (outlined below) that are projected to be highly owned, and build game stacks around that core. We strongly recommend stacking the highest total games on the slate above to accomplish this.

You can use our Lineup Builder to set your groupings using the Occupy Model rankings! Available for as low as $4 a week for Occupy members. You probably should – our member ‘SwaglordKen’ won the MNF Millionaire Maker on FanDuel in Week 3!

Best of the Rest

If building player pools for mass-multi entry is your thing, consider using these names in addition to top plays above. Please remember – the Occupy Model is designed for high-risk contest optimization. Lower-ranked plays may still be great low-risk plays for that reason.

QUARTERBACKS:

LOW-RISK: Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson

HIGH-RISK: Deshaun Watson, Teddy Bridgewater, Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins

RUNNING BACKS: 

LOW-RISK: Alvin Kamara, Joe Mixon (if active)

HIGH-RISK: Myles Gaskin, Austin Ekeler, Josh Jacobs, David Montgomery, Dalvin Cook, Jonathan Taylor, Ronald Jones II, James Robinson, Kareem Hunt, Kenyan Drake, Nick Chubb, Chase Edmonds, Travis Homer, Malcolm Brown, Giovani Bernard

WIDE RECEIVERS: 

LOW-RISK: Keenan Allen, Robert Woods, Darius Slayton, Cole Beasley

HIGH RISK: A.J. Green, Terry McLaurin, Amari Cooper, Stefon Diggs, Mike Evans, Tyler Boyd, Marquise Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Adam Thielen, CeeDee Lamb, Tyler Lockett, Cooper Kupp, DJ Chark, Robby Anderson, DK Metcalf, TY Hilton, Larry Fitzgerald, Curtis Samuel, Will Fuller, Michael Gallup, Jarvis Landry, Randall Cobb, Andy Isabella, Preston Williams, Chris Conley, Tee Higgins, Isaiah Ford, Brandin Cooks, Justin Watson, KeeSean Johnson

“UNDERPERFORMING WRs”: A.J. Green, Christian Kirk, D.J. Moore, KeeSean Johnson, Odell Beckham Jr., T.Y. Hilton, Marquise Brown (near miss)

Note: Christian Kirk’s absence in Week 3 opened playing time for KeeSean Johnson. If all ARI WRs are active Sunday, lean Kirk.


TIGHT ENDS:

LOW-RISK: Mark Andrews, Hunter Henry

HIGH RISK: T.J. Hockenson, Dalton Schultz, Austin Hooper, Adam Trautman, Jordan Akins, Greg Olsen, Mike Gesicki

DST:

LOW-RISK: Ravens, Rams, Colts, Buccaneers, Texans

HIGH-RISK: Seahawks, Jaguars, Bears, WAS Football Team

Plays are listed in order of preference (DK OF Index).

CONTEST RECOMMENDATIONS

Occupy Fantasy Member’s League

Play our free league contest on DraftKings! Winner take all, 1st place gets a $100 GPP ticket. Winner needs to DM the Occupy account on Twitter for more information. Enter the contest here. Good luck!

Smaller Bankrolls

Always, always always play freerolls. We have one on DraftKings this week – The Modelo Beat Bettis Challenge.

Look for no-badge users for low-risk H2Hs in the lobby. On DraftKings, post your own H2Hs and make sure you limit the opponents to 1 entry (per price point) against you (FanDuel doesn’t have this option). With the rest of your low-risk allocation, play single-entry double ups.

This is likely most people reading this – single-entry GPPs are the best high-risk tournaments to play. You want to give yourself the best shot to win; being on a level playing field with every other user by max-entering a contest is the way to go. Single entry contests are the easiest places to do this.

The first place you can do that are with “Contests” – these low priority, blandly named GPPs come with smaller field sizes and (usually) less experienced players. On DraftKings, the $0.25, $1, and $3 Contests are good places to start looking at playing. On FanDuel, the single entry 3-100 Player leagues meet this criteria. Everyone is drawn to the sexy, high-dollar top prize contests – you can lay low in here and (hopefully) grow your bankroll. You can 20-25x your entry fee by beating just 99 other people in these formats – it’s a great place to play.

On DraftKings, the $3 entry fee, NFL $100K Pylon or $12 entry fee, NFL $300K Fair Catch ( or the smaller field $100K Fair Catch option) are great places to spend your high-risk allocation. 

On FanDuel, there is also the $5 entry fee, $100K Sun NFL Spike, $2 entry fee $40K Sun NFL Safety, and $1 entry fee $30K Sun NFL Squib you should look at for single entry GPPs.

Want to practice your multi-entry skills? Max enter a three entry max contest like the $5 entry fee, $200K Nickel on DraftKings.

The $40K Quarter Jukebox is a 20 entry-max tournament that costs just $5 to play at $0.25 per entry. Practice your mass-multi entry skills with our optimizer with a shot to win $2,000!

Want an even bigger challenge? FanDuel has a 150-entry max contest at just $0.05 per entry, the $35K Sun NFL Pooch Punt. There’s also a $0.25 cent version, the $80K Sun NFL Hail Mary.

Satellites are the best way for us to accumulate entries to the big contests each week. On DraftKings, play for Millionaire Maker Satellites tickets you can use in later weeks. There are also satellites for the NFL Wildcat GPPs.

There are also generic “NFL $3 Ticket SuperSatellite” contests – these award 4 tickets and are $0.25 single entry GPPs. This would be a great way to accumulate Pylon or Play-Action tickets.

There’s also satellites for future Fantasy Golf Millionaire slates and the 10-20 MLB $20 Game 1 Fall Finale for the World Series.

On FanDuel, the WFFC Fan Championship on 12/20 is a great place to start – it’s a $250 entry fee online live final. Check out the PGA MEGA Eagle on 11/12 satellites if golf is your thing, as well.

Larger Bankrolls

100-player Leagues/Contests remain great places to play – on DraftKings look for Contests in the $5 to $50 entry fee range, these are the best places to build your allocation around.

We introduced 20 entry-max contests to the Smaller Bankroll contest players. At your level, you should consider max entering the $3 entry fee, $1.6M Play-Action on DraftKings. This contest comes with a shot of taking down $100K, so you should have exposure to that nice prize here.

You can also probably look at some of the higher dollar value single entry GPPs at your bankroll size – The $27 entry fee $125K Blind Side and $50 entry fee $300K Red Zone stand out. The $500K Spy is a $100 entry fee GPP that awards $100K to first (there’s a smaller version with 50K to 1st, too).

For FanDuel users, the best single entry GPPs in the next tier not mentioned above? The $25 entry fee, $100K Sun NFL Sweep, the $100 entry fee, $125K Sun NFL Cover 2, and the $50 entry fee, $100K Sun NFL Hot Route.

Largest Bankrolls

Have enough to (WITHIN our allocation guideline for your bankroll) max-enter a larger GPP? Congrats on being a big baller! Teach us your ways.

On DraftKings, the $150 entry fee, $555K Power Sweep is a three entry-max GPP with a $100K prize to 1st (there’s also a $250K Power Sweep with a smaller field). Consider this heavily every week it’s offered at your bankroll size.

The $4M Fantasy Football Millionaire is a $20 entry fee, 150-max contest with a $1,000,000 top prize. We like to say don’t play these contests with your own money without being able to max enter, so unless you’re a big baller, use your satellite tickets only for this.

The next best 150-max contest is the $9 entry fee, $500K Slant this week. It has one of the flattest payout structures on the slate, and a $50,000 top prize.

FanDuel users, you’ve got the $2.75M NFL Sunday Million which is a $4.44 entry fee, 150-max contest with a $1,000,000 top-prize.

The $500K Sun NFL Bomb is a $44 entry fee, 150-max GPP that offers $100,000 to 1st place that is also a decent GPP to consider for you.

Sports Betting disclaimers
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Situation statistics sourced from Stathead.com. DVOA data from FootballOutsiders.com. All salaries from contest providers. While we like the player pool selected above, we reserve the right to roster other players should news and trends closer to lock push us in that direction. Pay attention to our stream schedule for discussion of those thoughts!