Week 4 Punt Plays: Good Carr-ma

I made my FantasyDraft debut last week, and boy was it a good one. Some of the players I featured, like Lance Dunbar and Ryan Fitzpatrick, performed very well, and this week I’m looking to do the same.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, “punting” is when you roster a player with a lower salary, allowing you to spend more in other places.

Here are Week 4’s punt plays…


Derek Carr, Raiders ($10,700)

This seems like a no-brainer. Carr and the Raiders are coming off two excellent offensive showings — a 37-33 win over the Ravens and a 27-20 victory over the Browns — and will look to exploit a bad Bears defense this Sunday.

The Bears look like a team that has already given up. Two of their best players (Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery) have missed the majority of the season and they’ve traded away Jared Allen and 2013 second-round pick Jon Bostic to the Panthers and Patriots, respectively.

Though there’s slightly less appeal while playing on the road, Carr has been fantastic the past two weeks, throwing for 665 yards and five TDs combined.

Running Back

Theo Riddick, Lions ($6,000)

The Lions’ passing-down back has quietly emerged as a fantasy weapon over the past three weeks. Riddick’s 18 targets ties him for fourth among all running backs (RB) and he should continue to see touches when the Lions travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks for Monday Night Football.

To say the 0-3 Lions have been struggling would be an understatement. They rank 23rd in scoring, are dead last in rushing yards and Matthew Stafford‘s QBR of 45.0 ranks him 25th out of 33 qualifying players.

Riddick has actually put together a nice season, as is often the case with pass-catching backs on teams that find themselves trailing in games. Through three games, the former Notre Dame star has 15 catches form 144 yards, which includes a garbage-time TD in Week 1. But, hey, as daily fantasy players, we WANT to find players who can succeed in garbage time.

The Seahawks are favored by 10 points — and rightfully so — which means we should expect the Lions to be playing from behind.

Thomas Rawls, Seahawks ($6,900)

This play is more dependent on whether or not Marshawn Lynch suits up. If there’s no definitive news by Sunday morning, you’d be taking a big risk here, as the Seahawks don’t play till Monday night. But on the flip side, the same rule applies here as it did with Theo Riddick. Even if Lynch does play, the game could be over before halftime, and at that point, Pete Carroll would probably give Lynch some extra rest. If that scenario plays out, we could see Rawls play an entire second half of clock-killing football. Ex-cell-ent.

Shane Vereen, Giants ($8,000)

I never really liked Shane Vereen as a fantasy asset while he was in New England, but now that he’s on the Giants — and free from Bill Belichick’s House of Running Back Horrors — his weekly value increases. Maybe it’s because I’m a Giants fan, but I like Vereen in this offense. Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams are very one-dimensional players and Vereen brings the quickness and big-play ability the Giants sorely need in their passing game.

The Giants travel to Buffalo to take on the upstart Bills in a 1 pm game this Sunday. The over/under of 46 is the fourth-highest of any game on this week’s schedule and I expect it to be a back-and-forth affair, which bodes well for Vereen.

The Bills run defense is stout, but they’ve allowed RBs to amass 152 yards through the air, the eighth-most in football.

Wide Receiver

Marvin Jones, Bengals ($7,400)

Jones missed all of last season with complications stemming from foot surgery, but has come on strong in 2015.

After struggling in Week 1, the fourth-year pro has seven catches for 142 yards and two TDs in his past two contests. The targets (15 overall) aren’t particularly juicy, but Jones is more of a big-play threat than a possession guy anyway, having averaged nearly 18 yards per catch this season.

The Bengals’ opponent this week, the Chiefs, have been absolutely shredded in the pass game, allowing the most receptions, most touchdowns and second-most yards to opposing wide receivers (WR). The Chiefs secondary just got torched by Aaron Rodgers and Co. and also lost slot corner Phillip Gaines for the season. Take advantage of this and get Marvin Jones in your lineup.

Jermaine Kearse, Seahawks ($6,900)

If you get points from Jermaine Kearse, they will probably have to come by the end of the third quarter, but the Seahawks wideout has a legitimate shot at catching at least one big touchdown pass.

We’ve been targeting guys from the Seahawks/Lions Monday Night affair, and Kearse is another player to add to that list. The Lions have allowed the sixth-most yards to opposing WRs and are giving up 8.7 yards per catch, good (or bad?) for 30th in football. Kearse was 30th in the NFL last season with an average of 14.1 yards per catch. You do the math.

Tedd Ginn Jr., Panthers ($7,100)

The Panthers have zero offensive weapons to speak of after Cam Newton and Greg Olsen. (I’m looking at Jonathan Stewart with a disappointing glare.) With the loss of Kelvin Benjamin to an ACL tear, plus an injury to Jerricho Cotchery and the disappearance of Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn Jr. has become *gasp* the focal point of the Panthers’ passing game.

Ginn Jr. has made the best of his opportunity as the new “WR1” in Charlotte, catching 10 balls for 188 yards and a score, which includes a 93-yard performance versus the Saints last week.

The Panthers play the Bucs on Sunday, a team that’s permitted the 10th-most yards and 12th-most receptions to opposing WRs. Ginn also returns punts for the Panthers, so there’s a possible bonus there is he breaks a big one.

Tight End

Charles Clay, Bills ($7,700)

The Bills passing game has yielded better results than initially expected. QB Tyrod Taylor ranks fourth in the NFL in completion percentage (74.4%) and eighth in total QBR (74.7), surprising many who doubted his abilities.

Clay became the highest-paid tight end (TE) in the league when he inked a five-year, $38 million deal with the Bills this past off-season. While he’ll probably never live up to his contract, he’s done a fine job so far for daily fantasy owners, putting up 19.2 and 10.9 points over the last two weeks, respectively.

The Bills face the Giants this week, a team that been gashed by TEs. The G-Men have allowed the second-most catches (20) and third-most yards (241) to the position, highlighted by 60 yards and two TDs (including the game-winner) to Jason Witten and 96 yards to Jordan Reed. They even let Jacob Tamme pile up 77 yards in Week 2!

Clay isn’t a true punt play, but there are seven other TEs priced higher, which puts him in a somewhat of a salary-saving tier this week.


Philadelphia Eagles ($5,600)

I don’t love targeting defenses on the road, but an Eagles team that will be matched up against “Turnover” Kirk Cousins and the rest of the hapless Redskins is too good to pass up.

Cousins already has four picks and fumble in the early going, and the Redskins rely almost entirely on their run game, which is sure to keep the score down.

After a poor start, the Eagles defense buckled down last week, creating four turnovers and holding the Jets to 17 points. Philly was a top 10 fantasy defense last year, and they’ll look to keep building on last week’s rebirth.

Green Bay Packers ($5,300)

The 49ers are the new Jaguars — you want to target against them every week.

Colin Kaepernick threw two pick-sixes as part of his four total turnovers and the Niners as a whole looked like one of the worst teams in football in their Week 3 dismantling at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals.

On the reverse side of the spectrum, the Packers sacked Alex Smith seven times on Monday and it actually could’ve been a lot worse given that they were missing their top safety in Morgan Burnett.

Even though I have the Packers listed as a punt play, I prefer them outright over the Texans ($5,700), Chargers ($5,600), Chiefs ($5,500) and Browns ($5,500).

Seth Klein

Seth is a DFS writer at FantasyDraft, as well as a writer for TheFantasyFix and Razzball. You can find his player rankings at FantasyPros. Though he was born and raised in Los Angeles, Seth is a lifelong New York sports fan. Seth has no more access to the site than the typical user. Follow him on Twitter at @SethDaSportsMan.

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