If DraftKings players could select Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley for their lineup, it would be a fruitful selection. Haley can’t accumulate any stats, but his ability to create a sound offensive game plan will produce the highest-value player in this week’s NFL contest.
That’s right, you guessed it. I’m endorsing Michael Vick ($5,000) as the go-to guy at quarterback this week in DK contests. His salary is very affordable, and Vick not only has the weapons around him to shine, but he also has a man in Haley in charge who can create a scheme that allows the veteran to be productive.
Per ESPN.com, Haley came away impressed with Vick’s work ethic and knowledge of the playbook in a cram session to prepare for Thursday night’s game. Haley said this on Tuesday:
“He only got the initial game plan last night, and you could tell he had put a lot of time into memorizing the calls on the sheet. I gave him a play, he spits it out quickly.”
With Antonio Brown ($9,200), the game’s best route-runner, the speedy Darrius Heyward-Bey and all-purpose running back Le’Veon Bell at his side, Vick will have a plethora of options. We may not realize it, but the Steelers’ current lineup is arguably the most complete set of weapons he’s ever had around him.
We also must consider Thursday night’s opposition as well. The Baltimore Ravens are 29th in passing yards allowed this season. Vick will have every opportunity to shine in a QB-friendly system. Here’s the rest of my suggested lineup for Week 4:
Keenan Allen ($7,000)
The San Diego Chargers’ Philip Rivers may actually have a better game statistically than Vick, but his salary is just $2,000 higher, which means you wouldn’t have room to draft guys such as Brown or Rivers’ top target, Keenan Allen.
The 23-year-old receiver has been up and down this season, but in Week 3, he was definitely flying high. He was targeted 18 times and made 12 receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers play a Cleveland Browns defense that has been decent against the pass this season (14th in the NFL), but they’re not impervious to the Rivers-Allen duo when they are clicking.
Expect Rivers to look Allen’s way often as he attempts to keep him on track and away from the area of ineffectiveness he drifted into during Week 2 when he had just two receptions.
Lance Dunbar ($3,600)
The Dallas Cowboys will look to make life as simple as possible for backup QB Brandon Weeden. In the Week 3 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, Weeden found Lance Dunbar 10 times out of the backfield. Dunbar’s 100 receiving yards were a mild surprise and probably won’t be duplicated.
That said, you can bet he will continue to be used as a weapon in the passing game. He’s already caught 21 passes this year and is on pace to have 100 receptions and 1,000 yards receiving.
With the Cowboys headed into a battle with the New Orleans Saints, Dunbar is a smart play. The Saints defense is ranked 29th overall in the league through three weeks. There’s no reason to believe they’ll stiffen up against the Cowboys—or that Weeden will stop throwing the dink-and-dunk passes that have led to his 84.6 percent completion rate.
Dunbar will continue to be a beneficiary of the Dallas’ conservative game plan.
Denver Defense ($3,300)
The Denver Broncos will make Teddy Bridgewater beat them. The second-year QB will try, but he’ll turn the ball over multiple times in the process. After all, the team has the second most takeaways in the NFL this season with 10.
Adrian Peterson represents the best running back the Broncos will have faced this season, but the Orange Crush defense has been deft against the run. They’ve allowed just 248 rushing yards through three games and a total of 777 overall.
It takes a mature and savvy quarterback to handle a veteran and aggressive defense like Denver’s, and Bridgewater just isn’t that guy yet. Denver’s defense will score big for DK players with sacks, interceptions and perhaps a score.
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