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Bryce McVay

Daily Fantasy Football Picks for Week 4 - DraftKings Edition

DFSR is excited to bring you our newest contributor Bryce McVay. Dude knows his stuff and he'll be bringing you picks specifically for DraftKings with an emphasis on that site's scoring system and value. We are pumped to have a great new voice in the DFS landscape.

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Hit it Bryce

Is it really week four of the 2014 NFL season already??? Let us all take a second to smile and realize how awesome it is to be an American and have the privilege to watch this 21st century version of Gladiator every week from September to January. The pain these guys endure and the risk they take the moment they step on the field is truly under appreciated. See Lawrence Timmons’ hit on his own teammate, Ike Taylor. Let us also recognize that the large majority of NFL players and management are NOT Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Roger Goodell, etc. Even with the negative publicity the fact remains that this game is the most entertaining sport in the world. My British girlfriend will roll her eyes once she reads this as she would still rather watch a 1-0 Everton vs. Manchester City game, but I digress.

I plan on providing two articles a week for the remainder of the NFL season, a Wednesday edition that will feature my early week plays based upon match ups and price. I will also post a Saturday edition that will cover my cheaper, value picks which always come to fruition later in the week. Let us quickly touch on last week picks.


Week 3 Recap

At the QB position, I, and the rest of the world, told you to start Drew Brees and he burned us all...sorta. He threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, good for 2.19 value in DraftKings terms (Reminder: “value” is a metric discussed last week where, specifically for DraftKings, we shoot for 3.0 value, or in other terms 3 points per $1,000 spent). If Brees could have thrown for another 7 yards he would have obtained the 3 point bonus which I all but guaranteed in last week's post. Nevertheless, I still won every double league with Brees in the lineup, so I hope you were able to recover as well. I also hope you read past the first paragraph last week and decided to take the value QB recommendation, Austin Davis. He scored 25.98 points against the inept Dallas defense which equates to an astonishing value of 4.81 (the best of all QB's in week 3).

For running backs, I ranked Demarco Murray as my number 1 overall (3.17 value), but I preferred to save cap space with this position by investing in the likes of Khiry Robinson (1.77, got the carries but Pierre got the lone goal-line score), Donald Brown (3.97), Rashad Jennings (5.11), Chris Ivory (2.72), and Lamar Miller (4.04). Jennings was the lead rusher of the week and he wasn't played much by the general population.  The cheap RB plays this week really did pay dividends and made up for the lost value of Brees.

As for wide receivers, we many were somewhat burned by the underwhelming stat line of Calvin Johnson (the basking shark of the NFL, I love that analogy). He only had 6 for 82, good for a value of 1.59...it hurts to even type that out. The game was an offensive struggle and Detroit’s defense is actually playing very well this year even with their young secondary. This is great for team wins, but terrible for pass-happy shootouts. Beware in the future, the Lions may rely on the rush and their defense more so this year than in the past....and they may win their division. Don’t get too excited (e.g. Stephen Tulloch, Detroit’s best LB who tore his ACL celebrating a sack of Aaron Rodgers), I still expect big games from Staffmaster, Basking Shark, and Golden Tate.

I liked both of the Smith WR’s for the Ravens this past week. I was leaning towards Torrey yet Steve SR. was again the one with the bigger game. Torrey had a putrid 1.0 value while SS achieved 4.02 value. I will have more extensive discussions about "stacking" in the future, but as a quick example, stacking these two under-priced teammates at a combined $9,000 would have logged an overall value of 2.51. Nothing out of this world, I know; but neither scored a touchdown and Torrey only caught 2 of his 8 targets. This type of game was the absolute floor for this pair and yet still got over the 2.5 value.

At the TE position I recommended Travis Kelce (3.40 value) and Larry Donnell (2.38). Good, not great, but these cheap TE's definitely didn't kill you and hopefully gave you the cap space to fit in the top-tier studs like the aforementioned Demarco.

For the defensive spot, I gave you a selection of Patriots (1.71 value), Panthers (0.0), Colts (5.48), and Jets (2.4). The Colts scored the most of all Sunday league defenses. If you rolled a four-sided die, then you had a 25% chance of having the best defense of the week.

Going forward, I will not provide such an extensive recap of the previous weeks’ picks. But I did this week in order to segue into my tip of the week: track your progress! See what you are getting right and, more importantly, getting wrong. Keep track of your stacking strategies, are they working? I suggest utilizing Microsoft Excel. DraftKings allows you to export their salaries straight to a CSV file. Hell, maybe you can start your very own model and then you won’t have to rely on my ramblings!

I plan on making picks for DFSR for the remainder of the season where I will provide both a Wednesday and updated Saturday edition. So please continue to read and follow me on twitter @brycemcvay for daily updates.


Week 4 Picks

On to week 4! It's the first week of byes limiting the number of overall choices at each position. In a yearly league, we all now become our very own fantasy GM, scouring the waiver wire for some low-ceiling bottom feeders to fill in for our regular starters. ***Queue DraftKings commercial emphasizing the greatness of daily fantasy leagues over yearly fantasy leagues*** The teams on bye are Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis, and Seattle.



Matthew Stafford - DK 8000
Stafford’s stat line was downright awful in week 3 but the Lions still got a 12 point victory over their divisional foe, the Green Bay Packers. They won the game with a strong defense and a successful run game. Now they face the New York Jets who have possibly the best run defense in the NFL, but a very beatable secondary. The Jets have allowed 2 or more passing scores in every game this year including getting torched by Aaron Rodgers in week 2 (346 yards and 3 TD’s). The best part of Stafford this week is his price tag, it’s the cheapest he’s been all year.

Philip Rivers - DK 7700
First, the con, his current price is the highest it’s been all season and playing him goes against my buy low, sell high mentality. Clearly, DraftKings has inflated his price because of the plus match up at home against Jacksonville. Andrew Luck made the Jags look like a veal cutlet last week and they have been getting tenderized all year. On the other hand, Rivers has been living clean and eating right in the first three weeks of the season throwing for 778 yards and 6 touchdowns. Philip and the Chargers love to throw in goal-line situations and their only legitimate, healthy running back is Donald Brown so I can’t see him vulture-ing more than one score. I do however see the Chargers scoring a minimum of four touchdowns. You just hope two of them aren't defensive in what should be a lop-sided game.


Running Backs

Eddy Lacy - DK 5600
I must admit, I have been patiently waiting all season to put this guy in my lineup and was extremely pleased to see his week 4 price tag. Eddie Lacy has battled @Seattle (12 car, 34 yards), NYJ (13 car, 43 yards), and @Detroit (11 car, 36 yards). There’s no question those are awful numbers; but if you watched these three games you’ll know how hard Lacy has been running and how little running room he has seen. Additionally, the Packers have been playing from behind (*giggling at innuendo*) in all three games and Lacy’s carries per game reveals the correlation.  The Bears defense gave up 114 rushing yards and 316 passing yards to the Jets on MNF. Do we think the Packers offense will do worse? I sure don’t. I see Lacy having a minimum of 120 total yards with a strong chance of reaching the 100+ rush yard bonus.

Matt Forte - DK 7800
He has struggled the past two weeks in tough match ups @San Fran and @New York but this bell cow has clearer pastures ahead. He takes on the struggling defense of Green Bay. Based on the law of large numbers (and yes in the football world, four games is a large sample size), I can only assume Forte scores a touchdown this week, he hasn't done this all year. He will continue to get usage in the passing game which is always clutch in a PPR setting.  This Pillsbury is worth the dough, boy. So fork up the cash and laugh yourself to the bank-ery.

Wide Receivers

Antonio Brown - DK 7800
It’s strange how I didn't know Antonio Brown had 10 straight games of 5+ receptions and 50+ yards (10+ points in DK) because he did this 8 NFL games ago! After torching a tough Carolina defense, he now has 18 straight games with those same numbers and he is getting rewarded with a home match up against…BAUM! BAUM! BAUM!...The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With the Thursday night game now being played on both CBS and the NFL Network, the whole nation saw just how depraved the secondary of the Bucs really are. In 2014, Brown is now without question a top five talent at the WR position.

Markus Wheaton - DK 4200
I’ll be short with this one...He is playing at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stacking him and Brown in a double up line up is a shrewd move. At a combined price of $12,000 you are getting essentially all of the wide receiving yards and touchdowns. 36 points would get us value, how about 12 catches, 180 yards and 1 touchdown. This is a very conservative, and likely, floor yet still gets us to value.

Tight Ends

I believe the tight end position is completely under-priced across the board and have no qualms with using a TE in my flex position.

Jimmy Graham - DK 7500
4-44-2, 10-142-1, 7-75-0…These aren't winning lotto numbers; these are the three stat lines for the starting TE’s against the Dallas Cowboys. Last week the 7-75 was Jared Cook and he dropped a completely wide open game winning touchdown; while Lance Kendricks (Rams TE2) went for 6-29-1 in the same game. Catch my drift? This is a dream match up for possibly the best fantasy tight end ever. He is of course the most expensive TE this week but $7,500 is actually very reasonable. The only negative for him is that he may be in the 40-50% played range in all formats, but his advantage at the TE position is just too big to miss out on.

Delanie Walker - DK 4900
The Titans top receiving option has a plus match up in week 4 on the road against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts gave up 3 scores to Julius Thomas week one and 4 catches for 86 yards to Zach Ertz in week 2. They played the Jags week 3 who were without their top tight end in Marcedes Lewis. After Delanie Walker’s ridiculous week 2, he was ridiculously overpriced in week 3 at $5,700. In week 4 he is back at a reasonable price and has a plus match up.  I see the Colts being ahead for the majority of this game forcing Tennessee to throw the ball.

Antonio Gates - DK 4400
Gates has almost the exact story as Delanie. He had a huge week 2 game and was then way overpriced ($6,100) in week 3. He was a huge disappointment as he was targeted only once in the Chargers win over the Bills. Interestingly, Ladarius Green saw six targets. Now, Gates is back to the cheap price of 4.4K and has a great match up at home against the porous Jacksonville Jaguars.


Chargers - DK 3100
Yet again, I am picking the San Diego defense for the match up. The Jaguars offensive line have given up the most sacks by far this year and will surely be underdogs all year (good luck when you have to use them in your survivor pools). They are finally switching to their rookie QB Blake Bortles who went to THE U….niverstiy of Central Florida. UCF is my alma mater, so you know I’m making this pick with my brain, not my heart. He has to be better than Henne, but is still a rookie making his first professional start with absolutely no running game, a young receiving corps, and the aforementioned worst o-line in the NFL.

Hey readers! Check back on Saturday for additional week 4 picks. It always takes a few days for the injury reports to really shape who will be getting the touches and thus revealing the most enticing value plays. I may throw in a few more studs as well just 'cuz I love making you people cash money!

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