What’s up everyone and welcome to Ben’s Building Blocks! If you’ve never read my content before, welcome. To those that have, welcome back. I truly appreciate everyone that reads and supports during NFL season. This article is designed for me to highlight the top plays of the week, and my overall player pool for the main slate. Obviously, things can change rapidly in the NFL with injury news on the weekends, so I would be sure to subscribe to our premium package for access to my Final Thoughts cheat sheet, our premium discord channel and my core plays. Our Core Plays product gives you the ability to tail all of our analysts in your contests each week. We do the work for you, and you simply plug and play with our premium Core Plays. With that being said, let’s hop into the Week 4 slate…
Off and running with a 3-0 start on main slates this season. If you haven’t yet signed up, I’d highly recommend checking out one of our NFL DFS subscriptions for access to my (on other analysts) Core Plays for this weekend. Week 4 profiles a lot like Week 3. Some pretty good value has opened up on Friday, but overall I expect it to be a pretty chalk slate for cash games. This means, there are things we can look to take advantage of in tournaments, specifically in smaller-field contests. I think the path at QB is pretty straightforward once again this week. There are the high-dollar options — Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson. Allen and Jackson are squaring off in the highest O/U on the slate, while the Eagles are at home with a very solid 26 point team total. Much like Week 3, it’s really tough dropping off this tier especially in cash games. There are weeks where spending down can be a strong move, but potentially missing out on these 30+ point games from any of the big-three is a tough sell. Marcus Mariota is the top cheap play, and the projections reflect that. He’s at home against a banged up Cleveland defense that will likely be without three starters on the defensive line. Cleveland drops from a top-three in pressure rate with Myles Garret/Jadeveon Clowney active to bottom-five without them. Shockingly, Cleveland/Atlanta has one of the higher O/U’s on the board this week and I think Mariota is viable in all formats. For my cash games/main team this week I’ll likely be getting up to Josh Allen, but I won’t rule out the possibility of Mariota until I start building teams. Be sure to check my Final Thoughts cheat sheet for my updated thoughts.
For tournaments, I keep coming back to Jalen Hurts once again. Obviously, he will be owned, but it’s likely I’m overweight on him again in Week 4. It was nice to see him post a solid game last week without using his legs a ton. I prefer him to Allen/Jackson for GPPs, but it does appear Jackson will be the lowest-owned of the trio. We also need to consider Justin Herbert in a bounce-back against the Texans. Last week, Herbert wasn’t even able to throw the ball on Friday and somehow suited up. This week he was practicing in full multiple days so I don’t have any real concerns about his health. If this game was being played three weeks ago he would be talked about as a top option on the slate and that’s the kind of things we can use to our advantage.
Core: Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Marcus Mariota
Pivots: Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert
There’s a very clear cash game pool at running back this week, and that’s Barkley, Jamaal Williams and Khalil Herbert. Williams and Herbert in particular will be massively owned with D’Andre Swift and David Montgomery ruled out. I don’t see any reasons to avoid them in cash game builds, but given how RB has played out this season I’ll be going underweight in tournament builds.
In GPP’s, the guys that really stick out are Jonathan Taylor and Nick Chubb. JT is in a classic JT-type spot. He’s a huge home favorite — matched up against a bad run-defense. People seem to be out on Taylor after a few bad weeks, but there is no real reason for concern. He’s first on the slate in weighted opportunity, and just needs to find the end-zone for a big game to happen. It seems like Indy knows they need to get him going this weekend, especially with Matt Ryan looking washed. I think Taylor will get fed early against the Titans and we currently have him projected for only 7% ownership.
Chubb is playing on the most run-heavy team in football, and logging 20+ touches every game for the first time in his career. Atlanta is dead-last in rushing efficiency allowed, and this game has one of the highest O/U’s on the slate. With how banged up the Browns defense is, a shootout is certainly in the fold and I think Chubb will likely be sub-10% owned as well.
My favorite mid-tier pivot off the Wiliams/Herbert-type guys is AJ Dillon. Like Indy, Green Bay are huge home favorites and it’s tough to expect much from a Brian Hoyer-led offense. Dillon continues to match Jones in touches and if they Pack are winning it could be a big spot for Dillon in the second-half of the game.
Core: Saquon Barkley, Jamaal Williams, Khalil Herbert
Pivots: Jonathan Taylor, Nick Chubb, AJ Dillon, Dameon Pierce, Rhamondre Stevenson, Rashaad Penny, Josh Jacobs
WR is stacked once again in Week 4, but not in the same way as Week 3. Last week, there were several high-dollar options we wanted to stuff into our lineups but this week, it’s the mid-tier that’s loaded. All of Stefon Diggs, Drake London and Tyler Lockett are trending towards chalk-level ownership. Diggs makes sense as the spend-up everyone feels best about, especially in a game with a 51 O/U. Both Lockett and London project well and I like their individual match-ups. I was all over Lockett last week and he should avoid Jeff Okudah coverage on Sunday. London has five inches on Denzel Ward, and is top-ten in both target share and yards per route run. Those guys will fill out my cash game pool, along with the Detroit WR’s and Rich James Jr. Obviously both Chark and Reynolds get a huge boost with Amon-Ra St. Brown and his 30% target share off the field. Both are listed as Q for this weekend, so monitor that news up until lock. I prefer Reynolds for a bit cheaper if both are active. James is a cash-only play for me in a slow, gross game. He is the full-time slot receiver for Daniel Jones now and both WanDale Robinson and Kadarius Toney were confirmed out.
I love all these guys in my tourney pool this week and that’s partly why it’s a great GPP slate. Courtland Sutton continues to dominate targets from Russell Wilson and the Las Vegas Raiders don’t have anyone that can match up with him. He’s one of my favorite plays on the slate, along with the Eagles receivers and Christian Kirk. Kirk in particular has a great match-up against a team we like to target the middle of the field against. He will avoid Darius Slay coverage in the slot, and is clearly the number one in this offense. They’re forcing the ball his way, and he actually ranks third in the NFL in targets inside of the 10 yard-line as well. This kind of a red-zone role coupled with a 27% target share is exactly what I want in tournaments — it’s a bonus that I want the Eagles guys on the other side as well. Hurts and company have been putting up massive games in blowouts — imagine if the Jaguars stay in the game and we get a shootout? That might be my favorite overall game in Week 4.
Aside from that game I love Josh Palmer again with Keenan Allen out. He has historically smashed with one of Allen or Williams out and he is coming off a game where he led the Chargers in targets. At only $5,000 — he is one of my top-overall plays in Week 4.
Note: I didn’t originally mention him but I’m adding in Treylon Burks especially as a mini-correlation with JT.
Core: Stefon Diggs, Courtland Sutton, Drake London, Tyler Lockett, DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds, Richie James
Pivots: AJ Brown, Christian Kirk, Amari Cooper, Mike Williams, Devonta Smith, Romeo Doubs, Josh Palmer, Treylon Burks
Tight end got a major shake-up on Friday afternoon with Amon-Ra St. Brown getting ruled out. This is going to push a ton of ownership onto TJ Hockenson, who is the likely choice for your cash game contests. This should loosen the ownership on David Njoku who is nearing conviction play status for me this week. I was very high on Njoku coming into the season, and he showed what he’s capable of in this offense last Thursday night. Brissett historically targets tight ends at one of the highest rates in the NFL. Given that Cleveland made him one of the highest paid at his position in the sport, it’s clear that he will be a focal point of the offense. Atlanta ranks bottom-three in fantasy points allowed to TE’s through three games.
Both Mark Andrews and Kyle Pitts are fantastic plays this week. They will be owned, but fit better in my tourney builds as correlation pieces with other players in their games.
Core: TJ Hockenson, David Njoku
Pivot: Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts, Evan Engram
Bold Call of the Week
Justin Herbert silences the critics with a 300+ yard and 4 TD game!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)