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The Slant and Go with Chris Spags: Daniel Jones’ Next Step And Week 4 NFL DFS Picks (FREE)

Chris Spags

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The New York Giants are reportedly zeroing in on Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to become their next head coach this offseason

Week 3 in the NFL was all about change with a litany of new QBs taking the helm of their franchises and, surprisingly, a lot of them made for quality NFL DFS picks. Daniel Jones thrived in his debut after being mocked during this year’s NFL Draft. Kyle Allen proved his limited sample size success in Week 17 of last year may make him a viable fill-in for (and possibly an improvement on) Cam Newton. And of course, the legend himself, Gardner Minshew, made the Jaguars look good after their early season loss of Nick Foles. All of these guys, and more, will be players to discuss on Week 4’s slate. I’ll walk you through everything I see from the data, game watching and the news swirling around as we head into Week 4 to get you ready to set those daily fantasy lineups.

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Don’t forget to check out the Strategy Show today with Sal Vetri and Dave Loughran as they take an early look at the Week 4 slate.


But first, our weekly accountability check here in the Slant and Go with my Week 3 Victory Laps and Walks of Shame.

Table of Contents

Week 3 Victory Laps

  • I felt a bit foolish for believing in Kyle Allen, but I was somewhat relieved to see more people finding value in him as the week went on. The pace and matchup with ARizona–as well as my fellow beloved chalk play Christian McCaffrey–made for a really nice spot for an obscenely cheap player.
  • I hypothesized that we could see more opportunity for Mark Ingram in a spot where Baltimore desperately needed to limit the Chiefs’ time of possession, and that held true. Kansas City’s poor rush defense and Ingram’s locked in opportunity made for an elite tournament play and a pivot from chalky Chris Carson.
  • There was a lot of hate thrown Nelson Agholor‘s way, particularly as the week went on, and Philadelphia’s receiver injuries cemented him as chalk. But with his targets and routes run, I thought he would have a decent floor and upside. He still thrived despite some drops and fumbles that cost the team in real life.

Week 3 Walks of Shame

  • This isn’t so much shame, given his high ownership, but I personally had too much Ezekiel Elliott. He somehow wasn’t quite worth the steep price despite over 120 yards rushing. It seems crazy that he didn’t punch in at least one versus Miami, but that’s life in DFS, and a bummer since there was enough value to make lineups work with him and McCaffrey.
  • Zach Ertz was also one of my favorite chalk plays of the week. And unlike his teammate Nelson Agholor, he bombed despite a ton of opportunity as he caught just four of seven targets. Ertz historically thrived with no Alshon Jeffery out there, so it cost me much more than the field ownership to see him do very little out there.
  • I did not think Daniel Jones would find that much success in his first start, particularly against an improved Tampa defense. Not every week will be as magical as his debut, but Jones certainly has potential from both real life and fantasy perspectives.

Now that we did the ever important self-loathing and pats on the back, let’s get to it with the Slant and Go and my Week 4 NFL DFS picks!

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Kansas City Chiefs (29.8 implied points) at Detroit Lions (23.8 implied points)

Top KC NFL DFS picks

  • Patrick Mahomes continues to be about as safe a play as you can find in NFL DFS. There’s no reason to question it against a Detroit defense that gave up solid production to a depleted Eagles receiving corps in Week 3. Mahomes has yet to throw a pick in 2019 with passer ratings of 147.9 on deep throws, 127.3 when pressured and 137 in a clean pocket. This is not the matchup to jump off board.
  • LeSean McCoy looked good in Week 3 despite his injuries with a solid day on only eight touches. Damien Williams’ status will be key to watch as McCoy could be useful if he were to miss, even with Darrel Williams muddying things up with his 14 touches and incorrectly rumored starter status.
  • Sammy Watkins receded into the background for the last two weeks, but he leads the team with 38 routes per game as well as two targets of 20-plus yards and 10.7 targets overall. Mecole Hardman and DeMarcus Robinson remain viable for tournaments, but it feels like Watkins is due for a focal point day.
  • Travis Kelce could also be due for some positive touchdown regression, as he has just a 4% touchdown rate compared to 25% for Robinson, 17% for Hardman and 9.4% for Watkins. Detroit is an average team defending tight ends according to DVOA and Kelce’s 22% target share remains solid.

Top DET NFL DFS picks

  • Matthew Stafford could be sneaky at a reasonable price point as he has a low 2.7% sack rate in 2019 as well as 7.3 targets of 20-plus yards per game. Despite concerns about a conservative approach under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Stafford has aired it out even when achieving middling results and may need to even more against the high-octane offense of Mahomes and company.
  • Kerryon Johnson’s volume is on the rise, up to 18 touches per game despite a mediocre 2.6 yards per attempt thus far. Much like Mark Ingram in Week 3, Johnson could be leaned on versus a weak Chiefs run defense who allows 6.2 yards per carry this year.
  • Kenny Golladay crashed back down to Earth despite eight targets against Philadelphia. He could be a crucial play with his price down, though he currently runs the same number of routes as Marvin Jones.
  • Danny Amendola runs only 24.7 routes per game, slightly fewer than TJ Hockenson’s 25.7. Both are viable, particularly with Stafford stacks, given the decent chance of additional scoring in this one.

Oakland Raiders (19 implied points) at Indianapolis Colts (25.5 implied points)

Top OAK NFL DFS picks

  • Josh Jacobs seems vaguely appealing with a respectable 15 touches per game and a matchup against Indianapolis’ rush defense who allows 5.3 yards per carry. The game may be a bit of a slog with two lower-paced squads and that could play into Jacobs’ favor.
  • Tyrell Williams remains the most appealing receiver option for Oakland with a decent price, but he only sees 5.7 targets per game and a 17% target share. He runs the most routes on the team but Darren Waller’s 30% target share may be more dependable on a week-to-week basis with massive upside as we saw in Week 3.

Top IND NFL DFS picks

  • Jacoby Brissett has been decent in recent weeks, albeit not with enough of a ceiling to be viable in tournaments. T.Y. Hilton’s status could be key after he was injured in Week 3, But the duo will be up against an Oakland defense who allows 8.9 YPP this year with no interceptions.
  • If Hilton were to miss, one would think Parris Campbell could see more opportunity as the closest comparison to what Hilton can bring. But it’s also possible more frequent route runners like Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle, and recently high overrated Deon Cain will finally get a crack at the spotlight.
  • An approach focused around Marlon Mack could also be in order whether Hilton is in or not, even though Oakland’s run defense has been passable as they allow 4.1 yards per rush. Mack retains over 20 rushes per game and that could yield big results in this matchup.

Tennessee Titans (21 implied points) at Atlanta Falcons (25 implied points)

Top TEN NFL DFS picks

  • If ever anyone were due for a bounce-back spot it’s Marcus Mariota. Going against Atlanta’s mediocre and penalty-happy secondary (allowing a league worst 7.1% 1st downs via penalty), maybe he gets something going with a top target like Corey Davis after a rough start for the Tennessee pass attack.
  • Derrick Henry seems like the safer bet with solid volume at 17 rush attempts per game. Atlanta has limited opponents to 3.6 yards per carry, but if the game is competitive, Henry can break through with volume and his battering ram approach.
  • Delanie Walker’s price is up but his seven targets a game are noteworthy despite just 26 routes run per game. His 23% target share leads the team.

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Top ATL NFL DFS picks

  • Matt Ryan could find a tough day versus a Tennessee secondary who’s likely better than they showed against Jacksonville in Week 3. Ryan has just a 52.7 QB rating under pressure this year and that could be a problem against the Titans’ 13% sack rate.
  • Even if Ryan struggles, Julio Jones can get there with his 10 targets per game. His success is far more sustainable than Calvin Ridley’s, a player with fewer routes run than Mohamed Sanu and fewer targets per game, as well.
  • Austin Hooper, meanwhile, could continue to be solid with his 7.3 targets per game and 34 routes run. With Ryan’s struggles under pressure, Hooper may be a popular safety blanket against Tennessee, who is allowing a 28% DVOA boost to tight ends, according to Football Outsiders.

LA Chargers (30.5 implied points) at Miami Dolphins (14 implied points)

Top LAC NFL DFS picks

  • Austin Ekeler’s price is up for this high level spot but his results and snaps were down a bit with Justin Jackson seizing more of a share. Ekeler will still get the first crack versus Miami and if he retains his season average of 19 touches per game, he could return to his previous high-level production.
  • Keenan Allen has seen elite volume in 2019 with 14 targets, 41.3 routes, and 2.7 deep targets per game as well as a 36% target share. His price isn’t up enough given his monster game in Week 3, and he should be popular with huge upside and some risk that he doesn’t see his full ceiling in a game that could be a blowout.
  • Mike Williams lurks as a pivot to Allen with a mediocre five targets per game but 17.4 air yards per target. Williams sees 1.7 targets of 20-plus yards per game and could be a solid value with upside in a game where the Chargers could bum rush them

Top MIA NFL DFS picks

  • DeVante Parker continues to jump out with 6.7 targets per game at 21.6 air yards per attempt but a dreadful 30% catch rate. He and Preston Williams are the faintest bit interesting with the latter putting up a decent day before Josh Rosen was temporarily knocked out of the game at Dallas.

Cleveland Browns (19.5 implied points) at Baltimore Ravens (26.5 implied points)

Top CLE NFL DFS picks

  • It’d be a contrarian move to go to Baker Mayfield after another poor effort that has him down to a 57% completion rate with a high 4.6% interception rate on the year. Mayfield closed out his 2018 strong with a 376 yard game with three touchdowns against BAL in Week 17 of last year, but obviously there’s some risk with his price still high and given how poor Baker has looked with no changes coming to the play-calling.
  • Nick Chubb has seen solid volume with 23 touches per game, but Baltimore’s 3.7 yards per carry allowed is a bit daunting. Chubb seems worth some exposure in the hopes of seeing a run-heavy vintage AFC North game.
  • Odell Beckham remains solidly targeted with 10 targets per game and a 28% target share on 39 routes per game. With Baltimore’s secondary still banged up, Beckham could be sneaky with the Ravens allowing 8 yards per attempt this year.
  • Jarvis Landry also remains fairly well targeted despite far worse results. Landry sees 7.7 targets per game and more routes than Odell with 39.7 per game as well as two targets of 20-plus yards per game. He could be a contrarian play at a falling price.

Top BAL NFL DFS picks

  • Lamar Jackson continues to find some success even on really poor passing days like his 22-for-43 passing day at Kansas City. Jackson could get back on track here against their 59-graded pass coverage by PFF, but Cleveland has pressured quarterbacks well with a 17% sack rate.
  • I suggested Mark Ingram could have value last week and he came through big time with 100 yards, three touchdowns and four catches. Ingram could see another heavy rushing load in a key divisional game.
  • Marquise Brown had a down day with just two catches on nine targets while Mark Andrews was clearly impeded by a foot injury. Brown may be the safer target of the two given Andrews’ injury and timeshare with Hayden Hurst and Nick Boyle.
  • The Baltimore defense is an interesting play based upon what we’ve seen from Mayfield this year. Again, it’s possible he turns it around given the Ravens’ own issues, but they can rush the passer and cause some headaches and possible turnovers.

Carolina Panthers (20.5 implied points) at Houston Texans (25.5 implied points)

Top CAR NFL DFS picks

  • Christian McCaffrey continues to be in a class mostly of his own, particularly with Saquon Barkley out. McCaffrey is up to 24.7 touches per game while Houston’s run defense allows 5.4 yards per carry with a poor 53 grade from PFF, so this looks like another much deserved high-owned spot for him.
  • The pace-up battle in Arizona ended up a great spot for Kyle Allen, who threw four touchdowns as a solid, low-owned quarterback play. He’s unlikely to throw that many scores on just 26 pass attempts again, but he could continue to see success versus a Houston team that allows a 70.5% completion rate.
  • DJ Moore and Greg Olsen both looked like viable targets to pair with Allen given how frequently he looked their way. Both are at appealing prices and if the game somehow shoots out, they both appear to be viable stack additions to Allen.
  • Curtis Samuel hasn’t seen huge results yet but he leads the team in routes per game with 40.3 and his 2.3 targets of 20-plus yards per game should pay off sooner or later. This could be the week if Houston’s solid pass rush doesn’t get to Allen who allowed a high 7% sack rate against Arizona.

Top HOU NFL DFS plays

  • Deshaun Watson may have a tournament winning week one of these days with his mix of deep throws and rushing upside, but a Carolina defense who sacks quarterbacks a league-high 19% of the time may not be the spot. Watson should have a fine day, but given his penchant for taking sacks, his ceiling is a bit inhibited.
  • DeAndre Hopkins is unlikely to be affected with his 30% target share. Will Fuller seems to compete more with Kenny Stills for targets than he does Hopkins this year, but Fuller is running slightly more routes per game than Hopkins with 37 to Hopkins’ 36.7.

Washington Redskins (21.8 implied points) at NY Giants (24.8 implied points)

Top WAS NFL DFS picks

  • Case Keenum may be playable, given his heavy pass volume even in adverse conditions like the whooping he took from Chicago. He and Terry McLaurin could make beautiful music given the eight targets per game McLaurin has seen and a matchup versus an awful Giants pass defense that allows 10.1 yards per attempt.
  • Paul Richardson also had a shockingly good day versus Chicago and both guys could be in line for big opportunity if this game ends up more of a barn-burner with two offenses who can sling it.
  • Adrian Peterson also isn’t out of play with this game unlikely to be completely out of hand. Peterson’s continued involvement could also put a dent in Chris Thompson’s usual eight targets per game if Washington avoids falling too far behind.
  • Vernon Davis is cheap and very capable of breaking one against the poor Giants coverage. I’d rather take a shot on McLaurin, but Davis is just as viable of a second target in a Keenum stack as Richardson may look after a big Week 3.

Top NYG NFL DFS picks

  • Daniel Jones was the big story of Week 3 with a top fantasy performance as he put up 336 passing yards with two touchdowns along with two rushing touchdowns. He didn’t have the best pocket feel and took some tough sacks to give him an 11.1% sack rate, but his ability to deliver the ball is enough for another possible big spot against a Washington defense who just allowed Mitch Trubisky to find himself.
  • Sterling Shepard has run 46.5 routes per game and has also generated one of the top separation numbers among receivers, according to NextGenStats, something that bodes well for him in a Daniel Jones world. Shepard is appealing at a reasonable price in this spot.
  • Evan Engram also could really benefit from the move to Jones as well as the absence of Saquon Barkley with possibly even more targets than his current 10 per game. Engram runs 38.3 routes per game, a good amount of opportunity for a tight end.
  • Wayne Gallman seems too expensive even with the 16 touches Barkley’s absence leaves behind. Gallman has been decent in a very limited sample size and could also benefit from a Washington defense who’s allowed 5.3 yards per carry.

New England Patriots (24.8 implied points) at Buffalo Bills (17.8 implied points)

Top NE NFL DFS picks

  • The low Vegas total and two solid defenses makes this a tough spot, especially pending the status of Julian Edelman. This seems like a game where Tom Brady and company will let the run game and the defense do the heavy lifting.
  • Josh Gordon isn’t out of play with him seeming due for some positive regression, given his team high 34.7 routes per game and 1.3 targets of 20-plus yards per game. But Gordon will likely see Tre’Davious White on the outside and that could be a bad time, especially if Edelman is out.
  • This feels like a Sony Michel spot, even though Buffalo’s run defense is likely better than the 4.4 yards per rush they allow with a serviceable 66 grade from PFF. Michel or James White could be the beneficiaries of a lower-paced attack than we’ve seen in recent weeks.

Top BUF NFL DFS picks

  • Josh Allen will have his hands full versus a Patriots defense who allows just 199 yards per game and 4.5 yards per pass in 2019. He intrigues me as a contrarian home pick, but it’s hard to think New England can’t make life hard on him with the Patriots creating pressure and interceptions at a high rate thus far.
  • John Brown and Cole Beasley have not paid dividends in an Allen stack and the low team total doesn’t offer much hope here. But if Buffalo falls behind, any Allen magic likely includes them or the intriguing Dawson Knox, who has 23 routes per game.

Seattle Seahawks (26 implied points) at Arizona Cardinals (21 implied points)

Top SEA NFL DFS picks

  • My contrarian quarterback pick on On the Contrary, Russell Wilson, went wild in Week 3 with 50 pass attempts for 406 yards with two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. And now he’s in a pace-up matchup where Kyle Allen just looked like a reasonable approximation of Tom Brady. With Arizona’s fast pace, Wilson is a high upside consideration.
  • However, it may be a better GPP play to go to Chris Carson in a must-have bounce-back spot after he fumbled once again in Week 3 and saw just 13 snaps afterwards, outsnapped by CJ Prosise. Carson can easily lose his role to Prosise or Rashaad Penny if he’s healthy and back in the lineup, but Carson is in a solid spot versus Arizona’s run defense that allows 4.9 yards per rush.
  • Tyler Lockett is up to 9.3 targets per game on a solid 39 routes per and that looks good versus this weak Cardinals secondary. That said, DK Metcalf has seen just a few fewer routes at 36.3 per game and 2.7 20-plus yard targets, more than Lockett’s 2.3 per game.
  • Will Dissly looks to be a tight end value play, but he runs only 18 routes per game and, while a solid player, is due for negative touchdown regression on his 21.4% TD rate at just 4.7 targets per game.

Top ARI NFL DFS picks

  • Kyler Murray continues to sling it around with 45.7 pass attempts per game. While he finally showed his rushing upside with eight attempts for 69 yards, he also took a season-high eight sacks and threw two interceptions. Seattle hasn’t generated a ton of pressure with a 65 graded pass rush from PFF and even worse grades in coverage, so it’s possible he puts it all together here.
  • David Johnson has only seen 16.3 touches per game despite running 32.3 routes per game, high for a back. This may not be an ideal get-well spot with Seattle allowing just 3.8 yards per rush, but at some point, his snaps have to pay off.
  • Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk both remain highly targeted with 10.3 and 10.7 targets respectively with both guys also over 48.3 routes per game. Seattle’s secondary does not grade out well according to PFF and could give these guys big upside if the defenses both continue their mediocre play at high pace.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20.8 implied points) at Los Angeles Rams (29.8 implied points)

Top TB NFL DFS picks

  • James Winston was able to have a solid day versus the hideous Giants secondary in Week 3, but this matchup at the Rams is a much tougher one. Los Angeles allows just a 58% completion rate with a 79 coverage grade from PFF.
  • This could be a bounce-back spot for Chris Godwin as a short range target with Mike Evans not as likely to have a cake day downfield as he did last time out. Godwin is the intermediate target and runs more routes at 36.3 per game, so that could pay off with the price pendulum now favoring him.
  • Call me a skeptic, but I’m not buying in on O.J. Howard with him still at three targets per game. He saw more opportunity versus New York, but this is a worse matchup that’s been tough on tight ends according to DVOA.

Top LAR NFL DFS plays

  • Jared Goff is back in play since he’s at home, a place he simply tends to play better. Slate-breaker Cooper Kupp with his 10.3 targets per game should be appealing versus a Tampa pass defense who’s much worse than the run defense that allows 3.0 yards per rush.
  • Brandin Cooks could be a logical pivot to Kupp’s rising ownership after a monster Week 3, given that Cooks can blow the top off of this Buccaneer defense that allows 9.5 air yards per attempt. I’d favor him over Robert Woods, even though Woods is running barely more routes per game with 35 to Kupp and Cooks’ 34.7.
  • Given his decreased volume and an oppressive Tampa run defense, Todd Gurley is not on my list. He will likely be contrarian with those recent results, but the Tampa run defense does look improved and has an 82 grade from PFF.
  • Given Jameis Winston’s penchant to Jameis it up, the Rams Defense isn’t an impossible consideration. The price isn’t great, but Winston may throw it up even more after his big success last week and that could mean big opportunity for them to create turnovers.

Minnesota Vikings (17.5 implied points) at Chicago Bears (20.5 implied points)

Top MIN NFL DFS picks

  • Even though Adam Thielen had decent results in Week 3, this is still Dalvin Cook-or-bust territory for me. Cook has 22 touches per game while generating 4.1 yards after contact while Thielen runs 23 routes per game, Stefon Diggs runs 20, and neither sees more than 5.5 targets per game. It’ll be tough sledding even for Cook given Chicago’s 3.0 yards per rush allowed.

Top CHI NFL DFS picks

  • It’s a dangerous spot to expect too much from Chicago, even after their big performance against a bad Washington defense. Minnesota generates a top-of-the-league 19% sack rate, while Mitch Trubisky’s passer rating has dropped to 22.9 when pressured.
  • Allen Robinson still could find production given his status as Trubisky’s favorite target. His price is appealing enough to justify the exposure, particularly if Taylor Gabriel were to miss after entering the concussion protocol yesterday.

Jacksonville Jaguars (17.8 implied points) at Denver Broncos (20.8 implied points)

Top JAX NFL DFS plays

  • Minshew-mania has swept the nation, but this looks like a low upside spot given the team total and what appears to be a low-pace spot on paper. It’s possible to me that Minshew plays a good real life game, especially given the iffy pressure Denver has generated so far, but I’m not as confident in the fantasy upside.
  • That said, you could talk me into a reasonably-priced D.J. Chark given what he’s shown. He gets six targets per game, including two of 20-plus yards. So even though he’s due for some negative touchdown regression, he just looks like a high-level guy who could rise with Minshew’s tide.
  • Dede Westbrook has been a less explosive target with 4.7 air yards per target compared to Chark’s 14.2, but he sees more volume at 6.7 targets per game. Westbrook could see an increase in volume depending upon Chris Conley’s status.
  • Leonard Fournette hasn’t had much success with his effort against Tennessee typifying his year. He had passable results due largely to volume and a few solid plays balancing out a day of low success runs. Fournette’s 19 touches per game can always pay off, but Denver’s 75-graded run defense does not seem like a stellar spot.

Top DEN NFL DFS picks

  • It’s hard to say anyone looks that appealing here, even though Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders can always get something going if Joe Flacco is less terrible than he’s been thus far. Flacco only has 5.7 intended air yards per attempt to buoy him to a 69.1% completion rate. It’s hard to see much upside coming from his hand in terms of a stack, even though this guys can be fine as one-offs.
  • Phillip Lindsay is up to 19 touches per game after a 26-touch game against Green Bay where Royce Freeman was hurt for a bit. Lindsay’s 81 rushing yards on 21 rushes won’t win him much more of Freeman’s role, but Lindsay has some upside at his price given his pass game involvement.

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisSpags to see all the rest of the NFL content I’ll have with new shows and videos every day all week long!

Chris Spags is the senior director of editorial strategy at Awesemo.com and contributes to the site's NBA, NFL, and MLB coverage as a writer and host of video content. Chris's content background from sites like Guyism, Uproxx, and Barstool Sports allows him to bring a unique spin to the world of daily fantasy sports analysis. Chris writes regular columns with NBA and NFL analysis as well as his inimitable style and his 'Four Corners' videos for basketball, baseball, and football DFS are the primary short form content offering on Awesemo's YouTube channel. You can find him on almost any given night providing analysis right up to slate lock on Awesemo's flagship Live Before Lock livestreams or on Twitter @ChrisSpags. You can contact Chris by emailing [email protected].

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