The Ambush – NFL Week 4 DFS plays from Steve Renner

The AMBUSH previews the NFL DFS slate for Week 3
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UPDATE....

Someone who was on the fringe for me all week was Carson Wentz and I am really loving the Wentz-Agholor combination. There's so much heavy chalk this week that is on the CIN-ATL and NO-NYG games and I think both underwhelm. Keep in mind teams coming off overtime games have then had blah games the following weeks.

The Titans and Eagles both will have ZERO luck running the ball. This helps game flow with the clock moving slowly and also I think we see them target each other through the air. This game was one that originally I had zero desire for but the Eagles passing game is really moving up to the top of my list the more I look at things. It's get off the chalk week for me and so that along with my Ambush plays is where I am leaning the most.

Welcome to Week 4 of the NFL DFS Ambush, where I will dive into the Main Slate NFL DFS plays that I am looking at using the most this week.

Each week I go back and re-read my article to evaluate a couple of things. Number one, how were the overall plays (but I generally already knew that because I played who I wrote) and number two, was the article constructed in a manner that made sense and explained what I was going to provide to you and then did so without confusing the piss out of someone simply trying to seek DFS advice. If you read an article with 20 players per position for football then you're essentially reading a positional breakdown and not recommended plays. This article is intended to narrow it down and give you my recommended plays for that week that I am willing to play. If you want my rant on CASH vs GPP plays and how it's really a horrible narrative thrown around this industry then go read my prior articles...

WHAT ARE THE AMBUSH PLAYS? These are my favorite stand out plays of the week and the players that I am the highest on to pair with the MAIN plays. In some cases, they're locks in cash, in some cases they're locks in my high dollar tournament plays of the week and in other cases they might be a stack play that is going in one of my top 3 lineups.

THE AMBUSH PLAYS

TOM BRADY (DK: $6700, FD: $8600)

Quarterback this week feels like a giant trap game to me. There's a few value guys that are gonna pop their way onto lineups like Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Baker Mayfield and for some ungodley reason even CJ Beathard. But up top it's clear, everyone is gonna drive over to Deshaun Watson against the Colts for $6300 or Drew Brees against the Giants for $6600. Nobody is going to touch Brady and the Patriots this week who are coming off back to back losses and facing an undefeated Dolphins team on their home turf. That alone is NOT the reason why I am high on Brady this week and it should never be a reason to pay for a Quarterback.

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Do I think the Patriots are a lock to win? Not necessarily as the Dolphins WILL move the ball here, but in a game I feel is gonna be high scoring I want the QB who has no issues throwing it 50 times compared to the pretty boy Tannehill who barely throws over 25 times. This is a peak #AngryTom spot which we all were a week early on last week after they had come off the loss to the Jaguars. I see a huge week for Brady going no huddle and forcing the Dolphins to keep up with them through the air. The conditions in New England are fantastic this week

Where I am using him: 3 entry max.

Why he isn't my MAIN lineup QB: I am not playing Brady for a "floor" game where he has 270 and 2 TD. I am playing Brady for 350-400 yards and 4 TD this week. If that happens then it means he's connecting with Gronk and given Gronk's price that isn't the play for me on my main lineup this week, but ownership on both is going to be low, so it's the type of play that makes more sense in a 3 entry or MME.

Lineup Correlation: Brady + Hogan + Gronk with Drake or Stills as the "Run Back" plays on the other side.

Milli-Maker Stack: Brady + White + Hogan

SAQUON BARKLEY (DK: $8100, FD: $8000)

Something hit me on late Friday night as I was finalizing my CFB DFS lineups (which, why the hell aren't you reading the articles and playing CFB DFS?). Ohio State vs Penn State on Saturday -- game of the week. Thomas vs Barkley on Sunday -- game of the week. Barkley and Michael Thomas are definitely my favorite 'high priced studs' in this game and I officially convinced myself after midnight on Friday that they're gonna show off against each other on Sunday. That said, it's time for the Giants to fully unleash the Saquon fury this week against my Saints who come in ranked #1 defensively against the rush. Here's who they have seen on the ground through three weeks. The ghosts of Cadillac Williams, The Browns horrific backfield situation (outside of Hyde on TNF) and Tevin Coleman behind an offensive line that cannot run block anymore due to injuries. The Saints are good against the run, but they're not supposed to be a dominant run stopping front and I think with the Patrick Robinson injury we see them play a little more zone this week which translates over to the running game and short passing game for the Giants. Barkley is a weapon in the passing game. I love Barkley more than Beckham and Shepard who I will outline in the full breakdown below. I think Barkley is the top RB on the slate. Yes, ahead of Kamara.

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Where I am using him: He will be on my main lineup and most of my tournament lineups.

Why him over Kamara: The Saints are going to miss Mark Ingram in this game. They need to control the game on the ground to do a few things. First, to control time of possession which was a huge reason for their success last year. Second, as much as the narrative that they should baby Kamara is wrong, the fact is that they do NOT want him to rush the ball a ton. They need his presence in the passing game and to create matchup problems elsewhere on the field and I think with them having Ingram coming back this is a week to run Mike Gillislee into the ground to control the clock and use the short passing game with the Tight Ends and Michael Thomas this week, so Kamara will be fine but I think Barkley has the huge game.

Lineup Correlation: This game is an obvious game stack spot given the projected total here and the matchups, so feel free to play Barkley with other Giants and Saints but don't overlook going him with Eli as I think Barkley gets a receiving touchdown this week.

Milli-Maker Stack: N/A, this is a main lineup play this week.

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DAVID JOHNSON (DK: $6600, FD: $7600)

Bruce Arians (former Cardinals HC) did an interview this week where he referenced how the Cardinals are not using David Johnson properly and I think there's enough noise there and enough common sense that will come into play for the usage on a discounted Johnson to go up this week. Buy low. Buy low now!

This is the Scout play of the week between me and Chris Rose. We both love a bounce back spot here for David Johnson with the perception that he has a tough matchup against the Seahawks, I personally think this is a DJ big bounce back into the elite tier game and at his price on BOTH sites we're not exactly asking for a Kamara type game here. But we may get it. With Doug Baldwin likely playing for Seattle this game should JUMP on the over/under scale as neither defense is what they used to be and Seattle will give up plenty of yards in this spot and DJ should get more involved and is going overlooked despite his price decrease this week.

Where I am using him: Everywhere on DK with Barkley. He is a much better PT/$ play there especially if they are smart and use him more in the passing game.

Lineup Correlation: None, play him naked unless you want to run Russell Wilson on the other side.

ANTONIO CALLAWAY (DK: $4300, FD: $4500)

I need to do a better job of including the value pivots each week in the AMBUSH plays and the more and more I looked at things the more I felt it was best to identify the correct value Wide Receiver on this slate. Let's first evaluate a few of the chalk value WR spots this week (using DK Pricing)

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  • Sterling Shepard - Giants: He is in a great spot, I'll break him down more, but I am fine with him.
  • Mike Williams - Chargers: Lots of reasons he could go south here, he is very boom or bust.
  • Tyler Boyd - Bengals: Last weeks darling but I am not high on the Bengals back to back games on the road against Atlanta who will correct as much as they can despit the injuries.
  • Taylor Gabriel - Bears: He scares me, but Callaway is the same guy IMO.

So those are the 4 guys in the same price range that are going to draw ownership this week. Yet with Callaway we have a guy who's Quarterback will be popular for good reason and the WR1, Jarvis Landry, will draw a ton of targets and is certainly in a good spot. But with Callaway we are talking about a speed demon who draws my favorite team to target with speedy WR in the Raiders. Brandin Cooks was chalk week one against the Raiders for good reason on the MNF slate and this is a spot where the Browns finally with a Quarterback who can air it out should be able to kill the Raiders through the air. At his price and compared to 3 of the 4 guys I mentioned above, I'll take my chances with Callaway this week.

Where I am using him: More heavy on DK where I can pair him with Shep who is $4900 and we can get two solid value WR's to allow to spend up at RB this week.

Lineup Correlation: Dont play Baker Mayfield without him.

GAMES THAT DO VERY LITTLE FOR ME

Bills at Packers ... Green Bay should win this game. I'm not letting last weeks Bills upset of the Vikings confuse things here. The Vikings (like Green Bay) were coming off a tie and had a clear look ahead to their big Thursday night game against the Rams which was a short week for them. Rodgers still appears not right but he is just lurking there in DFS land as a super star that nobody is talking about who one week is going to come out with 3-4 TD in the first half. This isn't that week. It's a clear ground game for the Packers and they have an even 3 headed monster which is not fun to touch when considering the optimal plays. The only thing in this game to really consider is the Packers Defense (which isn't that good) in a nice matchup against Buffalo on their second straight road game, or consider a dart with one of the Packers Running Backs but you are literally rolling the dice on them.

Eagles at Titans ... Neither team has a potent enough passing game to do enough damage through the air despite that being the other teams weakness defensively. Add in that neither team will give up a ton of yards on the ground and this is just a game that shouldn't draw that much attention this week. I do have a single milli-maker lineup with Wentz-Agholor-Ertz stack and Corey Davis on the other side because the Eagles have struggled with #1 WR in the past but this game is nowhere near my main lineup and it's really just a throw in extra lineup to help fill up the contests on the sites.....

See Update above... Im bumping Wentz and the Eagles passing game.

Jets at Jaguars ... Horrible DFS game. Austin Seferian-Jenkins has a revenge narrative against a defense that historically is soft vs TE, but he's very TD reliant.

MY POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN

QUARTERBACKS

There is some clear value here this week that on DraftKings will allow you to get very creative this week. We're entering the mode of everyone paying down for Quarterback in the matchups against the bad defenses and that's always a good play for sure on your main lineups...

  1. Carson Wentz
  2. BAKER MAYFIELD -- I really do believe in Baker Mayfield. So much so that I drafted him in a couple leagues anticipating he would start and once he did he wouldn't look back. The kid gets it, he is electric and he will move the ball down the field for the Browns. I would prefer Manning at this price range if you put a gun to my head, but will definitely have a Mayfield-Landry-NJoku lineup this week.
  3. DESHAUN WATSON -- The other QB I would consider this week is Watson given how much he is opening up with Fuller healthy and his ability to always score on the ground.
  4. ELI MANNING -- I had Eli ranked high last week and he did well despite not getting over 30 attempts and we'll take the really good performance that he had. This week he remains too cheap and there's too many potential ways this game could lead to him putting the ball in the air 35+ times with success again this week to completely fade him. Trust me, I like the Giants ground game here but I actually think SaQuon Barkley is going to be used in the passing game quite a bit this week and that's where you can get different with an Eli/Giants stack this week. The Saints struggle with crossing routes and that will mean both OBJ and Shepard get open enough this week for Eli to easily meet his floor at $5600.

RUNNING BACKS

One of Barkley and D.Johnson will be on the majority of my lineups this week as they're two of my favorite AMBUSH plays.

  1. SAQUON BARKLEY
  2. ALVIN KAMARA -- Duh, but make note. This is the week his touches drop a little bit. The Saints will miss Mark Ingram here in this game and we're gonna see Mike Gillislee be relied upon for hard yards and he's not the worst punt play at 3k this week as I think he gets 10+ carries otherwise the Saints get run out of the building here. Kamara though will still get his, and for a contrarian play this week use him with the Saints defense as I think his only touchdown comes on a punt return.
  3. GIOVANI BERNARD -- With Mixon still out and AJ Green hobbled a little bit it opens up another week of Giovani Bernard getting a ton of touches. We've seen how Atlanta is letting RB's get as many easy catches as they want and those are free points on the full PPR sites. Lock in Bernard and move on.
  4. EZEKIEL ELLIOTT -- The Lions through only three games have gotten gashed on the ground -- so much so that they're actually dead last through a small sample size of 3 games on the ground. Zeke hasn't been getting the ball enough but at home as a favorite I gotta lock in Zeke in this spot if you want someone who gets you a nice base floor score this week. Expect him to top 100 yards and get in the box this week but given the pace of the game he won't blow up and get you 30 points.
  5. MELVIN GORDON -- Gordon has the benefit of a better offense around him than Zeke but seems to be less interesting to some this week. He scores a ton at home and should be the guy to put away a bad 49ers team.
  6. TEVIN COLEMAN -- Third straight home game for Atlanta this week and Coleman is the main RB again this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS

There's some logical reasoning to pay down at RB this week and pay up at WR. When we have the value of a RB being the "only guy in town" it means folks can pay up for the premium WR1's and I don't disagree with that entirely this week but I have a guy who is in the AMBUSH section who I really like so check that out for a nice pivot.

  1. MICHAEL THOMAS -- Change his name to Odell Beckham Jr or Antonio Brown and he suddenly is a lock play no matter what his price is. But at $9100 folks will not play him because he has "too high" of a price tag. Guess what, the guy is unreal right now and this isn't based on him having good match-ups specifically, he just cannot be guarded and with the Saints going on the road we're gonna see them have to rely on him more in the passing game. This is a 10+ catch 120+ yard and multiple score type upside game for Thomas this week as they're gonna have to rely on the passing game to score this week. You gotta use him with value RB's but they're out there....
  2. ALLEN ROBINSON -- Robinson is in line for a big game and of all the Bears passing targets here against the Bucs secondary he's the one I trust the most.
  3. JARVIS LANDRY -- High PPR machine in this match-up as Baker will definitely target him. But I have a HUGE pivot in this game below in the Ambush section that you should consider on lineups where you need salary relief at WR spot
  4. T.Y. Hilton -- This is a good spot for TY, the Texans have nobody that can run with him so the goal for the Colts should be to unleash Luck who I think is going to start airing the ball out soon and if you jump on that before everyone else you could be in for a huge pay day. Hilton's speed is no match for Houston on the home turf.
  5. STERLING SHEPARD -- You won't go wrong playing Shep or OBJ, but I think you'll be angry when Shep gets 5 for 75 at his insanely low DraftKings price this week and you don't have him for his free square

Fill-In's: OBJ, Hopkins/Will Fuller, Chris Hogan, Kenny Stills, Golden Tate

TIGHT ENDS

My favorite play is Rob Gronkowski who is mentioned in the AMBUSH section below, but you aren't putting him on a balanced lineup at his price tag and his injury history. This is a clear spend down position with lots of cheap guys who are longshot dart plays this week. There's no Kelce, no Reed, Engram is hurt and I don't wanna pay up for Ertz, which is why Gronk is in play, but only in a gamestack IMO. Outside of that, here are the guys to consider.

  1. ERIC EBRON -- Last week I rightfully faded Ebron and his 40%+ ownership. This week I am locking him in on my main lineup. Tight Ends are very consistent against Houston and Andrew Luck isn't airing it out deep. If you want exposure in this game, I think you gotta be smart and take Ebron in the short passing game.
  2. TREY BURTON -- Chris Rose loves him this week and I love the Bears in general. But there's a ton of mouths to feed in this balanced offense if you ask me and for that reason I prefer Ebron. But I'll have some Burton and will even go the 2 TE route as well to pay up at WR.
  3. BEN WATSON
  4. AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS -- Revenge narrative at best.

DEFENSES

The Bears are going to kill the Bucs this week.

  1. BEARS -- Even with a few key guys in the secondary out they're still gonna shit all over this Bucs offense this week. Welcome to reality Fitzpatrick. I am going to be under-exposed to the Bears offense and part of that reason is the hope that the defense runs one back and keeps the Bucs offense on the field a little more by themselves getting it into the end zone.
  2. EAGLES --They're being overlooked and I have them neck and neck with the Bears this week.
  3. SAINTS -- Special teams scores a TD.

FADES

QB: Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan

RB: Kerryon Johnson

WR: Odell Beckham JR (Thomas outscores him)

TE: Austin Hooper