Welcome in to a new year of Ben’s NFL DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings and FanDuel! In this article, I will highlight my favorite NFL DFS plays at each position for small-field tournament formats. If you’re interested in signing up for premium access, which grants you Core Plays for every slate, projections, Final Thoughts player pool + expert picks and our premium Discord click HERE. You can also sign up for our plethora of AI-driven sports betting tools and access to my weekly betting card by clicking HERE. Let’s get into the plays…
It was an amazing start to the NFL season with my premium Core Plays taking down tournaments on the first slate of the season!
I fell just short of a massive week in Week 3, with my Lamar and Dolphins stacks scoring very highly on DK, but falling just outside any top-20’s in my GPPs. Overall, it was a week to build off, and I’m excited for Week 4! Upon my first look I thought most users would be looking at Josh Allen this week — but it actually appears that spending down at QB will be the popular build allowing you to jam in some high-priced receivers. Both Russ Wilson and Jimmy Garoppolo are catching high ownership projections, while Anthony Richardson looks popular as well at $6,700. I will consider both Russ and Richardson in cash games and three-max — with Richardson being my preferred option. I’m very bullish on the Rams/Colts game this week, checking in with a 46 O/U. Indy has played at one of the fastest neutral paces in football with Richardson at the helm this season, and there are clear stacking option on the Rams side of the ball. I definitely think this game can shootout with how leaky the Colts secondary has been, and attacking the passing games will provide some leverage on Zack Moss / Kyren Williams who will be popular RB options.
Outside of that game, I will be looking at Brock Purdy as a pivot off the similarly priced chalk options. Purdy has been extremely efficient as a starter, and has multiple TD passes in eight of his last nine regular season games. SF has some injury situations to monitor heading into the weekend, but it’s always very clear who to stack with him. I also don’t think you need a run-back on the opposite side.
If spending up, Justin Herbert checks in as my top option in a potential high scoring game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Los Angeles has skewed way pass-heavy with Austin Ekeler out, with Herbert getting deeper looks down the field in favor of dump-offs to the running back.
For other expensive options, I like both Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. As of now I’m planning Richardson, Purdy and maybe two other teams but I will explore my options over the weekend.
It appears we will have more of the same this week at the RB, with the mid-tier options dominating the projected ownership. All of Kyren Williams, Miles Sanders and Zack Moss are catching high ownership tags with Tony Pollard and Josh Jacobs looking like the focuses on the upper-tier. I will also note that Eli Mitchell is highly Q for the 49ers, and if he ends up getting ruled out that would push more ownership onto Christian McCaffrey. Williams and Moss will be cash considerations for me, but I’m completely fine being underweight on Miles Sanders if he ends up as popular as currently projected. McCaffrey I will definitely be interested in, and he can be used in a Purdy stack or as a one-off.
The options I’m most interested in for my lineups this week are D’Andre Swift, Jerome Ford, Rachaad White, Josh Kelley and De’Von Achane in addition to CMC.
Swift looks like what we saw early in his Detroit career this season, and is running behind the best offensive line in football. I do believe the report that they will ride the hot hand in games, but with the lanes he has been running through it’s hard to imagine him not having success. Philly is installed as massive home favorites over Washington, and it should be good game-script for Swift who is affordable priced.
Jerome Ford is coming off a two-TD game, and with Deshaun Watson dinged up the Browns could look to lean on the run game a bit more this week in a tough divisional game against the Ravens. Browns D/ST looks like a strong play this week, so getting in Ford to correlate makes sense on both sites.
White has one of the strongest roles in football, and has been a bit unlucky when it comes to touchdowns in my opinion. He’s getting all the high-value looks, and I love him as a correlation play with Chris Olave on Sunday.
As for Josh Kelley, everyone in the world has been burned by him the last two weeks and this will likely be the week people jump off the train. With Herbert/Raiders passing stacks expected to be high-owned – pivoting to Kelley makes too much sense in tournaments.
Finally, Achane might be my favorite play of the weekend. I was extremely high on Achane coming out of school and he couldn’t have landed in a better spot than with Mike McDaniel and this Dolphins offense. They might have the four fastest players in the NFL at their disposal, and after last week it looks like they are ready to unleash Achane. Raheem Mostert will still be heavily involved, but they were scripting Achane high-value looks early in last weeks game and they are going to need him against Buffalo. Buffalo has been vulnerable to explosive plays on the ground this season — see Breece Hall in Week 1 — and I think McDaniel could scheme for that on Sunday. Correlating Achane with a Bills pass catcher will be a staple for me in my Week 4 builds.
We have a mix of chalky high-priced and low-priced WR’s this week — Keenan Allen, Davante Adams, Adam Thielen, Tank Dell, Josh Palmer and Puka Nacua round out the highest projected owned options as of Friday night. That would essentially be my cash game pool at the position, with my tourney interest coming down to whoever I was stacking in my builds.
If I’m building a Richardson stack this week, I think you can pair him with either of Michael Pittman or Kylen Granson. You also can run him naked, with a Rams WR on the other side. I love both Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell this week. I also like them even more if Tyler Higbee gets ruled out. The more I research, the more I’m interested in doubling Matt Stafford this week so I’m going to add that into my player pool. Both Nacua and Atwell have shown big play ability and the ability to win over the middle of the field. I love how they match up with the Colts secondary and they’re two of my favorite options this weekend.
Another player I want to take a stand on in Week 4 is Chris Olave. Olave looks primed for a breakout campaign through three weeks, and he somehow hasn’t found the end-zone yet. He’s had a TD called back, and the big game is coming. Tampa Bay has been banged up in the secondary this season, and rank bottom-six in most categories against WR’s. I don’t think going from Carr to Winston hurts Olave either — with Olave posting 13 targets per game over his last two contests with Jameis Winston at QB. One of those being a 147 yard performance. I’ll go out of my way to force him in this week even as a one-off – and he’s my TD call for Week 4.
I prefer Jerry Jeudy over Courtland Sutton in my Russ builds – and you can double him up with Marvin Mims in small field contests.
You can certainly double Justin Herbert as well, and I’d be looking at a chalky Allen/Palmer pairing or one of them along with Donald Parham at TE.
I will be pairing George Kittle with Brock Purdy – and will decide on CMC/Aiyuk along with him this weekend when we get more clarity on the Deebo Samuel injury situation.
Both Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins can be used as one-offs or in Burrow stacks. Both should shred this leaky Tennessee secondary, but I prefer to buy low on Higgins especially at low ownership. He’s been extremely unlucky in two of his three games this season, and we know he has eruption potential.
Stefon Diggs is my stacking partner with Achane in GPPs, and I think we could see a 10+ catch game out of him against this Miami team.
I also want to note that AJ Brown has been extremely unlucky when it comes to touchdowns, and I would expect him to get in the box soon. Nobody will be playing him this Sunday, so that’s someone you can throw in a chalkier build to get a bit different and elevate you up the standings if he goes for 100-2.
Early ownership projections are fairly concentrated on a few of the cheaper options — with Pat Freiermuth and Zach Ertz leading the way while George Kittle isn’t far behind. Of those three, I would be most interested in George Kittle especially given how much I like the SF offense this week. Arizona has always struggled against TE’s, and I think the 49ers should be pushing for 30+ points here at home.
Per usual, I’ll mainly be looking to use TE in my stacks / mini correlations. Dalton Kincaid will attract some ownership, but I think both he and Dawson Knox are viable in a Bills stack or on the opposite side of one or more Dolphins players. Gerald Everett and Donald Parham are both intriguing in a Justin Herbert stack, and could also be mini’d with Davante Adams in a non game-stack. Tanner Hudson has a strong match-up against the Tennessee Titans, and could be my top value option if Irv Smith is confirmed out for Cincinnati this weekend.
I also want to note that Tyler Higbee has missed practice this week — if he were to be ruled out I would be interested in Brycen Hopkins given my love for the Rams/Colts game.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)