Every week, when setting a DFS lineup (in this case on DraftKings where the below costs are taken from), managers rely on their studs to reward them and set the foundation to win money that week. But DraftKings sets budgets to limit managers on how many stars they can have. In order to succeed, while playing into DraftKings’ budgets, a manager must discover multiple sleepers week in and week out, who have the potential to break out and be week-winning players. There are three main aspects that factor into choosing bargain plays for managers’ lineups. The first is that player’s opportunity; when a bargain play has an opportunity it’s predicated on a player above them on the depth chart getting hurt or being limited, or that player has shown something to their coach and has earned a bigger role. The second is talent; even if a player has a decent opportunity, as a manager, if you don’t believe in the talent then you can’t be confident in that player. The third is match-up; bargain plays are the most appealing if that player has a favorable opponent. If they are playing a tough defense then it makes it tougher for them to break out that week.
Here are the bargain plays for Week 4.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins, $5,400
Fitzmagic is listed as the cheapest QB with a starting job on DraftKings for Week 4, which must raise some eyebrows as to whether there are some whispers about Tua Tagavailoa overtaking the starting job. That would be a questionable move by head coach Brian Flores as the Dolphins are coming off of an impressive victory on the back of Fitzpatrick’s performance. Even with this odd price mark, I have all the confidence in the world to play the 38-year-old as the match-up with Seattle projects to be a shootout and that is the type of contest that Fitzpatrick thrives in. Additionally, Seahawks superstar SS Jamal Adams will likely miss the game making life even easier for Fitzpatrick and his weapons.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Brown, $5,800
There are seldom times where I suggest you start Baker Mayfield in your DFS lineups, but this has to be one of those times. The Dallas Cowboys secondary has been lit up through three weeks, Mayfield still has glaring holes in his game, but the Cowboys defense will make him look like a Pro Bowler in Week 4. I would not be surprised if he linked up with Odell Beckham Jr. for multiple deep touchdowns, making him a high-risk, high-reward start for managers this week.
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears, $5,500
Fantasy analysts preach the theme of desiring RBs with the volume on winning teams, but David Montgomery is neither of those things, right? Actually, wrong. The Bears are an unlikely 3-0 and with the receiving-specialist Tarik Cohen suffering a torn ACL, Montgomery looks primed for a huge workload. The match-up against a stout Indianapolis Colts defense is not what you wanted to see, but Montgomery’s low price of $5,500 and guaranteed volume of at least 20 touches makes him a desirable bargain play in Week 4. Many fans question the talent of Montgomery after a sub-par rookie year, but he showed that he is a skilled player after his output against the Atlanta Falcons. Expect Montgomery to make the best out of his heavy workload and therefore you can slot him into your lineups with confidence.
Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team, $4,500
Similar to Montgomery, this is strictly a volume play as Antonio Gibson is the clear starter in Washington. Peyton Barber was still somewhat involved in the running attack last week for reasons unbeknownst to all NFL fans, but Gibson is clearly the most talented back. J.D. McKissic will continue to have a role in the receiving game on third downs, but Washington will be playing from behind against Baltimore, which will force them to throw on first and second down. Expect heavy pressure to be put on Dwayne Haskins Jr. leading him to look for his check-down option in Gibson. While the match-up against a talented Ravens front seven seems daunting, Gibson should get 15-20 touches and his talent will provide managers with quality output.
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers, $5,400
When researching for this article, I was surprised to see Robby Anderson price-tagged this low, but I guess that DraftKings hasn’t bought into the number one receiver on the Carolina Panthers. QB Teddy Bridgewater and Anderson seem to have unbreakable chemistry and he has become the young gunslinger’s first read when throwing downfield. The targets will be there again this week for Anderson and many thought the Arizona Cardinals would be a stifling defense this year. That hasn’t been the case as they just conceded a huge day to a hobbled Kenny Golladay. Expect Anderson to take advantage of his impressive target share in an extremely favorable match-up.
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals, $4,500
It might be tough for some people to hear this, but A.J. Green has been reduced to the third option on this Bengals offense. We see this often with rookie QBs who come up the ranks with other rookies at the WR position, which is the case in Cincy with Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins. Higgins showed why the high draft capital was used on him as he hauled in two touchdowns in Week 1. Although I don’t expect another two-touchdown game, the volume will make up for it as Higgins had nine targets. That number will only increase from here as Burrow gains more and more trust and respect for his fellow rookie. I like Higgins as a high-upside play in Week 4 with a match-up against a weak Jacksonville secondary on the docket.
Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys, $4,300
If you are still unsure of who Dalton Schultz is, well, you probably don’t play fantasy football. But Schultz has made a name for himself after Cowboys starter Blake Jarwin tore his ACL in Week 1. Dak Prescott finds comfort in throwing to the TE position and Schultz just happens to play that position for the Cowboys. This bargain play is solely credited as a volume play, as Schultz is not as talented as the majority of the TEs in the NFL. In a match-up that surely will be high scoring, Schultz will be on the field every play whether its a run or pass, leading to a lot of potential with the volume.
Evan Engram, New York Giants, $4,400
Engram has been a shadow of himself through the first three weeks and it is tough to trust any Giants’ player right now after an abysmal performance against the San Francisco 49ers. However, its promising to see Engram on the field for every play, now its up to QB Daniel Jones to recognize that he is the most talented player on offense and throw him the ball. I expect this to be a breakout week for Engram as the Rams are talented on the outside, but lack skill at coverage linebacker leading to a good outlook for Engram. The Giants will likely be behind, so he will also benefit from a positive game script and some possible garbage time.
New York Jets, $2,400
This is the one and only time that I ever recommend that you play a Jets asset in your lineup. The Denver Broncos are starting Brett Rypien at QB. Sorry, who? Rypien is now the third QB to start a game for the Broncos and it’s Week 4. This should be a low-scoring affair, that will be won by the more imposing defense.