With Week 3 of the 2016 NFL season now nothing more than a fading memory, it’s time to look ahead to what’s in store for Week 4 fantasy football on FanDuel.
We are now almost a quarter of the way through the new campaign, which means each team’s offensive trends are beginning to set in, and we shouldn’t see an incredible amount of surprises going forward.
This makes it much easier to make decisions in fantasy football, as projections can be made based on new data instead of information from last season.
Based on matchups, league injuries and prices, here’s what I’ve identified as a safe FanDuel fantasy football lineup for Week 4 of the 2016 NFL season.
QB – Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – $8,500
Philip Rivers has been in a tough spot this season, as the San Diego Chargers have lost both Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead for the entire campaign. While he’s certainly not the plug-and-play fantasy football option he’s been in recent years now that he has fewer overwhelmingly dynamic weapons to utilize, Rivers still carries immense upside in certain matchups.
The Chargers host the New Orleans Saints in Week 4, which means Rivers will be facing the NFL’s most abysmal defense in a must-win game. Philip is a tad expensive for my taste, but can’t be ignored in what should be a high-scoring affair.
RB – Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears – $5,600
According to Chris Wesseling of NFL, Chicago Bears running back Jeremy Langford will miss the next 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury he sustained in Week 3 against Dallas.
Upon learning the extent of Langford’s unfortunate injury the Bears signed veteran running back Joique Bell, but we all know Jordan Howard will be Chicago’s bell cow back in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions.
Howard, a rookie out of Indiana, was already beginning to cut into Langford’s carries prior to the injury and will have a chance to cement the starting role in Chicago’s offense if he electrifies over the next month and a half.
Detroit’s run defense is ranked 21st in yards allowed according to ESPN, so I’m expecting Jordan to come through for Chicago (see what I did there) and provide tremendous value for his near minimum price on FanDuel.
RB – Melvin Gordon – San Diego Chargers – $7,600
With Danny Woodhead out for the season, NFL sophomore Melvin Gordon is San Diego’s clear-cut feature back in 2016. In Week 3, Gordon was the only Chargers running back to be given a carry, and he was also targeted seven times in the pass attack by Philip Rivers.
After failing to reach paydirt of a single occasion during his 2015 rookie campaign, Gordon has four TDs this season and has become the focal point of San Diego’s offense.
Against arguably the worst defense in the NFL showcased by the New Orleans Saints, which just gave up three rushing touchdowns to Atlanta Falcons RB Tevin Coleman in front of a nation on Monday Night Football, Gordon projects to deliver with a phenomenal fantasy football performance, and is worth his price on FanDuel.
WR – Marvin Jones – Detroit Lions – $7,600 or Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders – $7,600
Marvin Jones has only played three games for the Detroit Lions, but has already become Matthew Stafford’s favorite wide receiver. Jones has been targeted 29 times already in 2016, including eight in Week 3 from which he tallied six receptions for an unfathomable 205 yards and two TDs against the Green Bay Packers.
As mentioned, the Lions will take on the Bears in Chicago this weekend. The Bears have put forth an embarrassing effort on defense this season, and the trend projects to continue. While I highly doubt Jones will accumulate over 200 receiving yards in this one, he should finish with over 100 yards and one TD, which would be fine for his price.
Jones has reportedly been limited in practice this week with a hamstring injury. If the injury concerns you, Amari Cooper is the top replacement.
WR – Terrelle Pryor – Cleveland Browns – $7,000
When Terrelle Pryor announced he would be converting to the wide receiver position for the Cleveland Browns in 2015, most NFL experts took the news with a grain of salt and didn’t expect Pryor to be successful.
However, Terrelle is coming off a career game in Week 3 in which he tallied eight receptions for 144 receiving yards, 21 rushing yards and one rushing TD, and even 35 passing yards against Miami.
With Corey Coleman injured and Josh Gordon out indefinitely due to a rehab stint, Pryor projects to be heavily targeted as a receiver in Week 4 against Washington.
And he will most likely be used as a rusher and quarterback on occasion for the second straight week in order to take pressure off rookie QB Cody Kessler, who was thrust into action after Robert Griffin III and backup Josh McCown were hurt in Week 1 and Week 2 respectively.
For his price on FanDuel, Terrelle’s upside is impossible for fantasy football aficionados to ignore this week. Don’t miss out.
WR -Tyrell Williams – San Diego Chargers – $6,400
With Philip Rivers as this lineup’s quarterback, working one of his wide receivers into the mix was paramount considering San Diego’s favorable matchup against New Orleans is conducive to fantasy gold.
Williams has stepped up in Keenan Allen’s absence, tallying a solid 11 receptions for 201 yards and one TD thus far. Rivers has been targeting Tyrell just under seven times per game and should put him in a number of scoring opportunities this weekend.
For his price, Williams will have to pull a vanishing act in order to disappoint.
TE – Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins – $7,500
Jordan Reed hasn’t exactly been lighting NFL gridirons of fire in 2016, but you can expect that to change this weekend as the Washington Redskins host the lowly Cleveland Browns.
Expect Reed to finish with seven receptions for over 75 yards, and finally hit paydirt for the first time this season against Cleveland’s woefully inadequate defense.
K – Nick Novak – Houston Texans – $4,500
Nick Novak will be kicking in perfect conditions inside NRG Stadium in Houston this weekend. For a aminimum price, Novak carries plenty of upside against the Tennessee Titans, who don’t often showcase an impregnable defense.
D – Arizona Cardinals – $5,300
I don’t normally pay top dollar for defense on FanDuel, but the Arizona Cardinals appear to be primed to explode on Sunday. The Cardinals will host the Los Angeles Rams, who employ a mistake-prone quarterback in Case Keenum this season.
Los Angeles’ offense has improved since being shutout by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, but I think it will take a step back in Week 4 against an Arizona team that needs a win in the worst way after starting 1-2. Expect to get your money’s worth out of Bruce Arians’ bunch in this one.
[Featured Image by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]