Welcome Playmakers, to the week 4 edition of Primetime Picks featuring a couple of exciting games this week. We start this short slate off with a divisional matchup between rival teams: The Baltimore Ravens at The Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off an impressive road win vs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but will be facing a strong Ravens Pass Defense this week at home at Heinz Field on Sunday Night Football. Secondly, Monday Night Football features Patrick Mahomes and the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs who travel to the mile high city to take on The Denver Broncos. I will, as always, be going position by position and giving you a few of my favorite picks from this week 4 Primetime slate.
Patrick Mahomes | TB | $7,000 DraftKings | $9,200 FanDuel
Patrick Mahomes is all the talk in NFL this season, and for good reason. Mahomes is setting records and leading his team to a 3-0 start this season while also becoming a DFS favorite averaging 32.8 DK, and 30.81 FD points over his first 3 games this year. This week the chiefs travel to Denver and face the Broncos who are ranked 19th in pass DVOA and 26th in yards per pass allowed. Mahomes will look to his plethora of weapons under the bright lights of Monday Night Football while trying to exploit the Denver Defense who have been prone to giving up big pass plays in this early season. Mahomes has an unprecedented 13:0 TD:INT ratio so far this season, and has thrown for the most TDs in a 3 game span to start the season- more than any QB in the history of the NFL. The Chiefs come into Denver as nearly 4 point road favorites with an implied total just under 30 points.
Ben Roethlisberger | PGH | $6,100 DraftKings | $8,500 FanDuel
Last week I featured Big Ben on the road going against the grain considering his away road splits, and this week I am again big on Ben. Ben Roethlisberger and his young star WR JuJu- Smith Schuster are developing a great connection on the grid iron, and Antonio Brown is sure to breakout soon enough. Even without arguably the best RB in the game (LeVeon Bell), the Steelers have offensive weapons to put up big numbers on the scoreboard and in DFS on any given week. Ben is averaging 29 DK and 25.33 FD points so far over a 3 week span, which more than pays off value on either site but especially on DK. Big Ben ranks as 4th on the passing leaders list so far this season with 1,140 yards and a 66.2% completion percentage. After 3 weeks of play The Steelers seem content with running the ball very little. The Steelers are 5th in the league in pass attempts with a 67.74% pass rate. A few weeks ago I saw Andy Dalton light this Baltimore Defense up in primetime and I feel Big Ben (throwing as much as he has been) can also do the same.
JuJu Smith-Schuster | PGH | $7,400 DraftKings | $8,000 FanDuel
Just like Big Ben was mentioned above last week, JuJu has to be in the conversation again this week. While Antonio Brown and JuJu are being used very similarly in this high octane pass attack, Juju is cheaper and has produced more so far this season. I wouldn’t fault you at all if running PGH stacks with Ben and both WR; something I did myself last week. JuJu ranks 4th in the league in targets with 12.7 while AB ranks 2nd with 14 looks per game. Red Zone targets favor JuJu at this point of the season with 10 to AB’s 4. JuJu looks to be the better play on DK where he is averaging 25.9 FPPG to the 18.37 on FD.
Tyreek Hill | KC | $8,200 DraftKings | $8,100 FanDuel
Tyreek Hill has a very high price tag but this comes with GPP takedown quality rewards. In week 1 Ty-Freak posted a slate breaking 45.3 DK and 38.8 FD points, and is a candidate to do this on and given week. Considering his salary and underwhelming performance last week I could see the majority of the field being off him this week on the road in Denver. Hill has seen at least 5 targets in the first week of the season with this last game being his lowest total at 5. This week I expect Hill and The Cheifs to exploit the worst team in the league at defending deep balls over the middle (per Football Outsiders Metrics’) and Tyreek to regain Ty-Freak status.
Emmanuel Sanders | DET | $7,200 DraftKings | $7,000 FanDuel
The Chiefs pass defense ranks 30th DVOA and 25th in yards allowed per pass which lines up nicely for Sanders. If the Broncos want to keep pace with the high scoring chiefs offense they are going to need to get their best weapon involved early and often as they did in week 1 where Sanders had 10 receptions on 11 targets for 135 yards and a TD. Double digit targets seem likely to happen again this week as The Broncos will likely being playing from behind and trying to keep up with the Chiefs who put up a lot of points most weeks dating back to last season.
Players to consider: Antonio Brown | PGH | $8,800 DraftKings | $9,000 FanDuel, Demaryius Thomas | DEN | $5,400 DraftKings | $6,800 FanDuel, Sammy Watkins | KC | $5,300 DraftKings | $6,400 FanDuel, John Brown | $5,900 DraftKings | $6,200 FanDuel.
Javorius Allen | PGH | $4,700 DraftKings | $5,800 FanDuel
With such high priced weapons in the passing game we are going to look to save some money in the run game. Javorius “Buck” Allen is one of my favorite RB plays coming into this slate. He is priced down and the primary pass catching back for The Ravens. Allen has posted at least 14 DK and 11.7 FD points per game so far this year primarily due to his pass catching abilities. If you look back to week 14 last year Allen posted 2 TDs in his last game vs. Pittsburgh. Allen is a good cheap option for this slate especially on DraftKings.
Kareem Hunt | NE | $6,500 DraftKings | $8,200 FanDuel
This play is primarily for DraftKings as FanDuel has Kareem Hunt priced at an elite back which he showed flashes of being last season. This year Kareem Hunt has at least 16 attempts per game and found the end zone twice last week. If The Chiefs jump out to an early lead, Hunt may see an increased in his workload which on DK especially could earn him value. His pass catching abilities are far above average although KC has not unleashed him in the passing game so far this season. Denver ranks 5th vs. the run in DVOA and 2nd in yards allowed per carry which also gives Hunt a better outlook heading into this slate.
Travis Kelce | KC | $6,900 DraftKings | $7,700 FanDuel
Kelce is hands down the best TE option on this slate and you will have to pay a pretty penny to roster him. Kelce has developed a good rapport with young QB Patrick Mahomes and they will look to keep this rolling heading into week 4. Kelce is averaging 19 DK and 14.3 FD FPPG this season after starting out to an abysmal week 1 outing where he had just 1 catch. Since then Kelce has seen 10 targets in each of the last 2 games on his way to 2 100+ receiving days and 2 TDs over that span. If you can afford it fire up Kelce, who has the highest floor/ceiling combo this week vs. Broncos.
Vance McDonald | PGH | $3,700 DraftKings | $5,500 FanDuel
Vance McDonald is a good way to save some salary on this slate at the TE position. Last week McDonald broke out after missing the first game of the season and being eased back into week 2. In Primetime last Monday night vs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vance posted a 4-112-1 line where he embarrassed the defender with a vicious stiff arm and ran over him for 75 yards and the score. I admittedly was on Jesse James last week coming into this slate and then eventually warmed up to Vance and ended up playing him in my showdown slates which was fairly profitable. Jesse James only saw 1 look last week and appears to be taking the back seat to McDonald now that he is back healthy and on the field.
The Pittsburgh Steelers | $2,400 DraftKings | $4,600 FanDuel
While the Steelers are priced last on DK they are priced the highest on FD making them my preferred option on DK. Last week The Steelers took the magic out of Fitz-Magic as they recorded 3 sacks, 3 INT, a forced fumble, and a defensive TD. Look for The Steelers to shake up old Joe Flacco Sunday Night under the lights and show the world why its time to see some Lamar Miller.
Joey Zanette writes for Daily Play Action, and shares his player projections for DraftKings. Joey plays DraftKings himself as these are his own views. He also reserves the right to deviate from these plays and strategies without notice.