Game-winning field goals by the Ravens and Raiders saved 14% of survivor entries last week and the top eight picks all won, so it's unlikely that much changed in your pool. Week 4 is extremely top-heavy, with the three most popular picks accounting for more than 85% of entries. Is this the week we see some major carnage?
Before we go over our picks, let's take a look at how we did last week:
Week 3 picks
Best Bets: 2-0 (YTD: 6-1)
Leans: 1-0 (YTD: 3-1)
Traps to avoid: 0 eliminations avoided (YTD: 4)
On to the Week 4 picks!
New Orleans Saints (-7.5) vs. New York Giants
The Giants are down two starting offensive lineman and possibly two starting receivers. Not ideal when you're facing a defense giving up the second-fewest yards per carry, the fifth-fewest yards per passing attempt, and just 14 points per game, playing at home in front of fans for the first time in two years.
The Patriots had a tough time stopping New Orleans in Week 3 when Sean Payton threw human Swiss army knife Taysom Hill into the mix, and I have a feeling we'll see a healthy dose of Hill against a New York defense that just lost linebacker Blake Martinez for the season.
Just under 8% of entries are on the Saints this week. Most of their future value lies in a Week 9 home contest vs. Atlanta and a Week 14 game at the Jets.
Kansas City Chiefs (-7) at Philadelphia Eagles
Most years, you would want to save the Chiefs until later in the season, but they have a rough schedule and their defense is so bad that it's best to use them against a team that's hurting on offense. The Eagles could be without three starting offensive lineman on Sunday, and they weren't exactly lighting the league on fire before the injuries started mounting up, so this is our spot. If Kansas City defensive lineman Frank Clark returns this week, even better. And in the case that this game does turn into a shootout, we have the best quarterback, tight end, and wide receiver in the NFL on our side.
The Chiefs' future value rests in a Week 8 home game against the Giants. Barely 2% of survivor players have taken Kansas City this week, making them a great pick.
Buffalo Bills (-17) vs. Houston Texans
Has there ever been a talent disparity between two opposing teams that's as large as this one? I've been trying to think of all the different scenarios in which the Bills lose this week and all of them involve asteroids. Barring some sort of celestial intervention, Buffalo is going to steamroll rookie quarterback Davis Mills and the Texans.
The Bills are this week's most popular play, with nearly 32% of entries locking them in. They have massive future value with games against the Jags, Falcons, and Jets (twice).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5) at New England Patriots
The Bucs match up perfectly against a Patriots team whose identity revolves around grinding out games. Tampa's front seven has been a wall, giving up only 3.1 yards per carry. When Pats rookie quarterback Mac Jones tried to open things up last week against the Saints, he threw three interceptions and was one for 11 on passes of 20-plus yards. In order for New England to win, Jones will have to be better than Tom Brady, and I don't see that happening.
Like Buffalo, Tampa has a lot of future value, with a home game next week vs. the Dolphins and later battles against the Giants, Falcons, and Jets. The current amount of entries on the Bucs sits at 1.6%.
TRAPS TO AVOID
Tennessee Titans (-7) at New York Jets
Everyone is bumhunting the Jets, but it could backfire this week. The Titans may be without star wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, leaving them with a corps of Chester Rogers, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Josh Reynolds.
More importantly, head coach Mike Vrabel has a history of losing "easy" road games. Last year, his 5-1 Titans lost 31-20 in Cincinnati. Two seasons ago, he lost 20-7 in Jacksonville to a Jaguars team that finished 6-10, and was blanked 16-0 by a 1-4 Broncos squad.
Tennessee is the second-most popular pick this week (31.5%), right behind the Bills. They play the Texans at home in Week 11.
Stats provided by PFF, Pro Football Reference, and nfl.com.