NFL DFS Picks and Analysis - Week 4: The Grind Down - Saints vs. Vikings

Welcome to the RotoGrinders NFL Grind Down, a fantasy football advice article for DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo. This DFS breakdown is a FAST and EFFICIENT preview of the week ahead in the NFL from a daily fantasy sports perspective. We’ll provide all the projections, projected ownership, picks, targets, and analysis you need to set your lineups for this week’s contests.

Every game will be broken down with a DFS AND DFS Prop Site mentality. Betting lines are shown with projected team totals, spreads, and moneyline to give you an idea of the game environment. At the end of each section, we’ll deliver a DFS and Prop cheat sheet of props to bet, stacks to build, players to target, and low projected ownership plays that can make an impact on your weekly success.

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Expert Rankings: Consensus best plays.
Top Stacks: based on our simulations.

Sports Betting Lines and Overview

New Orleans Saints Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Jameis Winston NOS $9,400 $7,100 16.69 QB17 33.88 240.57
RB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Alvin Kamara NOS $9,200 $6,800 14.91 RB15 55.72% 11.78%
Mark Ingram NOS $5,200 $5,500 6.45 RB50 30.31% 3.70%
Adam Prentice NOS $200 $4,500 0.26 RB96 1.12% 0.38%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Chris Olave NOS $8,600 $6,400 14.28 WR23 23.77% 8.05
Michael Thomas NOS $7,800 $7,000 13.11 WR29 22.19% 7.52
Jarvis Landry NOS $5,600 $5,700 8.7 WR60 16.64% 5.64
Tre’Quan Smith NOS $4,600 $4,600 1.37 WR119 1.05% 0.36
Marquez Callaway NOS $2,000 $4,600 1 WR124 1.93% 0.65
Juwan Johnson NOS $3,000 $4,600 5.31 TE30 9.86% 3.34
Adam Trautman NOS $600 $4,200 2.21 TE50 4.21% 1.43

Minnesota Vikings Projections Breakdown

Team Projections

QB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjAtt ProjYds
Kirk Cousins MIN $9,600 $7,300 20.4 QB7 36.02 266.19
RB Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjRu% ProjTar%
Dalvin Cook MIN $10,800 $8,000 18.48 RB7 62% 13%
Alexander Mattison MIN $8,800 $8,000 6.67 RB49 28% 4%
C.J. Ham MIN $1,000 $4,500 0.63 RB88 1% 1%
WR/TE Team DKSal FDSal Proj Rank ProjTar% ProjTar
Justin Jefferson MIN $11,600 $8,700 21.91 WR2 29% 10.49
Adam Thielen MIN $7,400 $5,800 12.67 WR31 19% 6.81
K.J. Osborn MIN $6,200 $5,500 7.53 WR68 12% 4.37
Jalen Reagor MIN $1,200 $4,800 1.25 WR121 2% 0.85
Jalen Nailor MIN $200 $4,500 0.19 WR155 0% 0.10
Irv Smith MIN $5,000 $4,900 8.91 TE15 14% 4.89
Johnny Mundt MIN $1,400 $4,500 2.79 TE46 5% 1.76
NFL DFS and Prop Site Analysis

— This is the first NFL London game of the year. It is not included on the main slate, so the focus of this article will be for showdown purposes. If you are planning to sweat this game, make sure to wake up bright and early on Sunday morning. We have a lot of injuries to keep an eye on. Jameis Winston missed practice on Wednesday and we saw both Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill taking first-team reps. Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas also missed practice on Wednesday and are listed as questionable. For the Vikings, the big question mark is the availability of Dalvin Cook. He hurt his shoulder against the Lions and was unable to return to the game.

— Winston has been the king of air yards this season, but that hasn’t resulted in elite fantasy production. Through the first three games, he has averaged 17.3 DK / 16.3 FD points per contest. If active, he’s firmly in play given the nature of showdown slates. The Vikings have been mediocre against the pass and could be without their star safety, Harrison Smith. If Winston is out, Dalton would become a strong value and Hill would vault up my list of priorities. Chris Olave leads all NFL receivers in air yards per game (179) and it’s not even close. Granted, many of those air yards weren’t catchable, but it’s still an encouraging sign for the rookie. With Thomas and Landry both banged up, he’s the preferred wideout to target in this offense. We could see some serious value open up if Thomas and/or Landry end up being out. After a bagel in Week 3 at high ownership, few will be willing to go back to Juwan Johnson. His target share and routes run have been encouraging all season and the Vikings have struggled against the tight end position.

Alvin Kamara has been dealing with an injury to his ribs, but he was able to play through it in Week 3. The production wasn’t great, but the usage was encouraging. He played on 70% of the snaps and handled 22 opportunities (15 carries and seven targets). With Winston banged up, we could see a lot more dump-offs this week against the Vikings, who have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to running backs in the first three games of the season. Mark Ingram will mix in, but isn’t cheap enough to warrant serious consideration in showdown.

Kirk Cousins led the Vikings to a nice come-back win last week and has played well in the non-primetime games this season. He should be licking his chops for a game that starts at 9:30 AM ET. Kidding aside, it’s hard to match the floor/ceiling combination that you get from a quarterback. He’s viable in all formats. After having his worst game as a professional, this is clearly a grease the squeaky wheel situation for Justin Jefferson. He’ll likely draw coverage from Marshon Lattimore at times, but the Vikings do a good job of moving him all over the field. He has slate-breaking upside and is my favorite option at Captain and at MVP. Adam Thielen has been soaking up the targets the last two weeks, but I’ll continue to bet on youth with Jefferson and K.J. Osborn. We didn’t quite see the snap bump that we were hoping for Irv Smith in Week 3, but he continues to run a lot of routes while on the field. Stacking both tight ends in this game after they were the chalk that busted last week is a nice way to be contrarian.

— Based on early-week reports, the plan is for Cook to wear a brace on his shoulder and suit up this week. If he’s unable to suit up, Alexander Mattison would become a three-down running back in a very good offense. There’s very little different in talent between Cook and Mattison, but there is a big difference in price. If Cook is out, Mattison becomes a must start in showdown and in season-long leagues. If Cook is active, we’ll likely see a bigger split than usual between the two running backs.

— These London games tend to sloggish, whether that’s from the different fields that they play on or the jet lag of traveling across the pond. Due to this, both defenses and both kickers are viable in showdown.

Strong Projections: Jameis Winston (if active), Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave, Kirk Cousins, Alexander Mattison (if Cook is out), Justin Jefferson

Strong Stack Options: Jameis Winston + wideouts, Kirk Cousins + wideouts

Strong GPP Differentiators: Michael Thomas (if active), K.J. Osborn

Roster Construction Punts/Values: Juwan Johnson, Irv Smith, Kickers, Defenses

Favorite Prop Site Bet: Justin Jefferson Over 6 Receptions (Underdog)

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

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