Week 4 Flex Plays
Well, it’s safe to say week 3 was full of head-scratchers. Would love to hear from someone who not only picked the Bills to win but had the courage to start any of their players. For that matter, anyone who started Calvin Ridley, please screenshot and send me your wins, because seeing that point differential across all fantasy formats in my leagues has been mind-blowing.
I’ve had a lot of time to think on my flex picks for this week, as I’ve been bedridden with a cold since Friday. I blame all the kids going back to school, and bring their germs back with them. I have no kids but I’m still managing to catch it from my coworkers. If you’re coughing, sneezing and sucking back loogies, go home! You’re doing no one any favors! Rant over, back to football.
Welcome week 4 and lovely bye weeks. Thankfully it’s the calm before the storm as we only lose out on Carolina and Washington, leaving plenty of flex appeal to spare.
Backs To Flex On
Kenyan Drake (Standard & PPR)
Kenyan Drake is shaping out his role well this season, despite sharing carries with veteran Frank Gore. Gore really deserves a knighthood for his veteran/unbreakable reliability, Sir Frank Gore rolls off the tongue nicely. Back to Drake, he’s averaged 10 carries and seen 12 targets so far in the receiving game.
Though the Patriots will be looking for a redemption game, they have allowed an average of 25 fantasy points a game to backs. Last week against the Lions, the Patriots allowed 33 rushing attempts with an average of 4.8 yards per carry, for a total of 159 rushing yards allowed. They also allowed 414 receiving yards in that game, so unless they tighten things up, Miami receivers including Drake will have the potential for fantasy value.
Phillip Lindsay (Standard & PPR in deeper leagues) & Royce Freeman (Standard)
Disappointing when you see a player ejected for that sort of conduct. Understandably, these players are passionate and at the moment, however, at the professional level, they should never be throwing punches. Let’s hope a strict talking to have settled him down for this matchup with the Chiefs. Kansas City has allowed the third most yards to tailbacks thus far. The home field advantage should also play into the game script.
With that, you can’t go off of Phillip Lindsay’s numbers week 3. Drawing on the small sample size, he saw 42% of the 38 snaps he played in week 2. Over the first 2 weeks, he averaged 14.5 carries a game and an average of 89 yards. Week 1 he also had a receiving touchdown. So with a friendly matchup, that’s been generous to the position, Lindsay is a fair flex play in standard, and even worth a shot in deep PPR formats.
Now, while Lindsay and Booker are leading in receptions, Royce Freeman is dominating in rushing attempts. Freeman is leading the backfield with 36 total attempts, averaging 12 carries per game, and has 2 touchdowns so far. Kansas City has allowed an average of about 111 rushing yards per game so far. If one back is to capitalize on those yards, it’ll be Freeman.
Latavius Murray (Standard)
Latavius Murray will be my dart throw for the week on backs. Dart throw in that his workload is dependent on whether or not Dalvin Cook starts against the Rams Thursday night. Cook is dealing with a hamstring injury, a temperamental soft tissue injury is always a wait and see. Against a tough Rams defense, if Cook does start, he could see limited touches. Murray will have the opportunity. Despite the brutal loss to the Bills, Murray did see 58% of snaps he played. He also had 5 receptions last week, so if he does see the opportunity he could be used in some dink and dunk routes.
Receivers To Flex On
Cooper Kupp (PPR)
One of many questions regarding the Rams offense was would there be enough targets to spread amongst the talented receivers, to warrant fantasy relevance. Going into week 4, it’s looking good across the board. With a total of 56 receptions between Cooks, Woods & Kupp, and a total of 744 yards. That’s only over 3 weeks. At this rate, these three could combine for 3,968 total receiving yards this season. I’ll pump the brakes on my excitement right there and get back to the pick and the matchup.
The Bills did the unthinkable and brought the Vikings defense back down to Earth. I’ve heard many say that the Vikings had the Rams in their scope this Sunday and forgot to prepare for the Bills. I don’t like that excuse, but I think the loss has rattled them and that shake up bodes well for the Rams. A multitude of offensive weapons will spread them out and that will work to Cooper Kupp’s favor. Kupp has seen consistency in receptions over 3 weeks with an average of 5 catches for 62 yards a game. Last week he was on 75 snaps and saw 97% of those snaps played.
Antonio Callaway (PPR)
Amongst headlines from this weekend was the start of Baker Mayfield’s reign. Tyrod Taylor was out of the game with a concussion, and Mayfield led the Browns to their first win, breaking their 19 game losing streak. Mayfield brought life back into the offense and with that spread the ball around. He had 201 yards on the day. Looking towards this matchup, I think we’re all looking forward to see how Mayfield will capitalize on this burst of momentum.
My PPR flex pick on this side of the ball is Antonio Callaway. Callaway has made a strong start for himself. He’s averaging 17.9 yards in the air per attempt. He had a touchdown week 2 against the weak Saints secondary. Of course, that’s all based on his time with Tyrod at the helm. Antonio has had connections with Mayfield though. Sunday he saw 5 targets with Mayfield, and in the preseason he connected with Baker on a touchdown reception. As the Raiders make for a good matchup for receivers, as they have allowed the second most yards per reception to the position.
Calvin Ridley PPR
Calvin Ridley slayed this weekend and made the Saints secondary look absolutely pitiful. He had 3 receiving touchdowns, a total of 146 yards and all on 7 catches. He’s also now tied with Sanu on targets at 16. Now, of course, these numbers are not sustainable and reality brings Ridley back to flex status in week 4.
However, the continued spread of targets amongst Jones, Sanu, and Ridley will continue at home against the Bengals this week. Though Cincinnati has a stronger secondary than New Orleans, the Bengals have allowed an average of 270 yards to receivers per game. Matt Ryan is also averaging 299 yards a game, so hopefully, that bodes well for Ridley.
Kenny Golladay (PPR)
Dallas is an interesting matchup for Detroit this week. The combo of receivers on the Lions of Tate, Jones & Golladay is arguably the strongest core Dallas has faced. Dallas has allowed an average of 162.6 yards to receivers.
Holding strong in his PPR flex value is Kenny Golladay. He’s had a touchdown in each of his last two games. He’s averaging 6.3 receptions a game and averaging 85.3 yards a game as well. Golladay has also beaten out Marvin Jones Jr on targets so far this season. Golladay with 28 while Jones has 23. Still plenty of time for that to balance out, however, Golladay seems to have the dynamic athleticism that’s been missing from this core.