Sneaky plays for Week Four
Eli Manning’s 2018 season may not be off to the best start, but that could be in for a change in Week Four. In a home matchup against the Saints, Manning will be looking to take advantage of the league’s worst defense in points allowed to opposing quarterbacks (32.29 PPG). One way you can expect for this to happen is for Eli to change his 7.0-yard average depth target rate, which puts him in the bottom tier of the league. This offense performs best when taking shots downfield to Odell Beckham. With this game expected to be a high-scoring affair, Manning must put himself in a position to match points with Drew Brees and the Saints potent attack. I can see him doing so to the tune of 325 yards and three touchdowns in this one. He’s worthy of the spot start if you have Cam Newton on bye. In DFS, Manning could be a middle tier quarterback in percentage owned, but stacked with Beckham, he could pay off big.
The hype surrounding Freeman has quickly faded as the 2018 season has progressed. Sharing snaps with unheralded rookie Phillip Lindsay, Freeman finds himself as the early down back with limited upside in PPR formats. However, he has a favorable matchup this week as the Broncos host the red-hot Chiefs offense. I expect to see the Broncos try and maintain clock control in this game to keep Patrick Mahomes off the field. That means increased opportunities for Freeman against a Chiefs defense currently 31st in points allowed to opposing running backs (29.80 PPG). If Freeman can get around 20 touches in this game, crossing the 100-yard rushing mark should be easy. A touchdown for Freeman could be in the cards this week as well. Freeman has low-end RB2/Flex potential in Week Four, so get him into your lineups. This will be the week you’ve been waiting for since the draft.
Callaway’s stat line for the season is just seven catches for 101 yards and a score, so he’s not exactly a guy that you’re looking to plug into your lineup on a weekly basis. But with Baker Mayfield now the quarterback and a very nice matchup in Week Four, this could be the week to take a shot. The Raiders are currently 30th in Fantasy in points allowed to the position (33.36 PPG) and have routinely given up big plays in the passing game. I expect for that trend to continue here, as Mayfield and the Browns will not be afraid to take a deep shot or two to Callaway. Callaway’s snap count continues to rise each week, while his targets finally spiked with 10 in Week Three. If he sees 10 targets in this game, five catches for 105 yards and a score seems about right. Put him in play as a WR3/Flex for Week Four. In DFS, he could be a very low-owned cheap play you can use to build your roster elsewhere.
Austin Hooper hasn’t been a big portion of the Falcons passing attack so far in 2018, but his 13-target, 11-catch stat line shows him to be a player that is sure-handed and can be relied upon when the ball comes his way. That should be the case in this matchup, as the Bengals are one of the league’s worst in allowing points to the position (10.83 PPG). I can see Hooper giving you a solid performance to the tune of five catches for 55 yards and a score. With Jordan Reed on bye and Evan Engram potentially out, you may need to grab a player off the waiver wire. Snag Hooper and play him in this matchup as a streaming option. He will be virtually un-owned in DFS as well, making him a potential lottery ticket.
Call this a gut play here, but yes, I am suggesting playing a defense against the Patriots. Something just doesn’t seem right with Brady and the passing attack, primarily due to the lack of true weapons. But on the flip side, the Dolphins have not been playing awful to start the year. They aren’t getting to the quarterback much (six sacks), but that could change in this matchup against the immobile Tom Brady. If they can disrupt Brady and contain Gronkowski, then this could be another surprisingly solid week for Miami. The Dolphins are a very sneaky play as a streaming option as well as in DFS.