Predicting Shootouts for Week 4

As it currently stands, there is only one game with a projected total of 50+ points, (New Orleans vs Miami). Pick a game that you think will go over the 50+ point mark, and explain which players benefit from a shootout. 

BJ VanderWoude: As it currently stands, there is only one game with a projected total of 50+ points, (New Orleans vs Miami). Pick a game that you think will go over the 50+ point mark, and explain which players benefit from a shootout.

James Brimacombe: I like the Buffalo vs Atlanta game to be the one that comes with a lot of scoring. The Bills are coming off a big win at home against the Broncos where they had to grind it out against a tough defense and this week they get to play in Atlanta where scoring always seems to be higher. The over/under is set at 48.5 right now with the Falcons favored by 8-points. I am looking for Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy to make plays for the Bills to keep this game competitive but it will be the Falcons offense that I want to own in this one. The Matt Ryan and Julio Jones stack is the one I want as Jones targets have increased each week with 5, 9, and 12. He has 16 catches for 265 yards but has failed to find the end zone yet this year. Last year Week 4 was Jones big coming out game against the Panthers where he hauled in 12-of-15 targets for 300 yards and a touchdown. The matchup is tough this week against the Bills but it is only a matter of time before he explodes for his first big game of the season and I want to make sure I don’t miss out on it.

Dan Hindery: The Carolina at New England game has a chance to turn into a shootout. In fact, each game that New England has been involved in this season has ended with over 60 points scored. Through three games, the Patriots have averaged 33 points per game. With Tom Brady performing at an incredible level and throwing to a deep and talented group of pass catchers, New England looks like they are going to be able to score on any team they play. The Carolina defense is talented. But so is the Houston Texans unit that Brady just shredded for 378 yards and 5 touchdowns. More surprising than the Patriots offensive success is that the New England defense has also allowed 31.7 points per game against so far this season. The Patriots have some talent in the secondary, but the front seven is one of the least talented in the NFL. We’ve already seen Alex Smith and Deshaun Watson go into Foxboro and put up 42 and 33 points, respectively. While Cam Newton has certainly been struggling as a passer, Deshaun Watson had also been poor (125 passing yards and 0 touchdowns in Week 2) before he faced the Patriots.

In terms of who could benefit if this game turns into a shootout, the list of candidates for the Patriots is long and deep. Tom Brady is obvious. The list of receivers, tight ends and running backs with real upside is much longer — Brandin Cooks, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, Mike Gillislee, and James White. While it can be frustrating to guess which Patriot will excel in any given week, it provides major opportunities in GPPs to grab high-upside pieces at relatively low ownership rates. On the other side of the ball, Christian McCaffrey is an obvious target. He is coming off of his first career 100-yard receiving game and facing a slow Patriots linebacker group that has already given up 50+ receiving yards to three different rookie running backs (Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara, and D'Onta Foreman).

Phil Alexander: Oakland at Denver is a game I'll be targeting for GPPs, particularly on Denver's side of the ball. The Broncos were in a horrible spot traveling to Buffalo last week, fresh off an exhilarating 42-17 spanking of the Cowboys in Denver. The crowd is likely to remember Trevor Siemian's awful decision making in the Bills game and forget he combined for 450 yards and 6 touchdowns in his previous two games (home wins against the Chargers and Cowboys). Priced as the QB29 on DraftKings, Siemian allows you to cut the chalk while also saving cap space for stud running backs and wide receivers.

Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas will be a challenge for Oakland's struggling secondary and the Broncos running game has thrived, with both C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles looking great in the early going. Charles, in particular, interests me for tournaments. He's only $4,200 and has received three carries when Denver gets inside their opponent's 10-yard line to Anderson's four this year. After flashing his Hall of Fame form last week on limited carries, (9-56-1), it wouldn't be shocking to see Charles get 12-14 touches (including red zone work) against a familiar opponent in Week 4.

John Mamula: I also think the New England-Carolina total is going to go over the 50 point threshold. The majority of the points will come from the New England offense who should once again go over the 30 point mark. Since the Patriots Week 1 loss to the Chiefs, Tom Brady has looked like a man on a mission. Over the past two games, Brady has eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. It reminds me of back in 2014 when Brady struggled against the Chiefs in Week 4 and the media was saying that he was washed up. He followed that up with multiple touchdowns every single week over the next ten weeks that season.

As far as players that benefit from a shootout, Brady tops the list and is a strong GPP play regardless of his salary. Pairing him with at least two receiving options makes sense if you expect him to pass for multiple touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, and Chris Hogan are all in play. I also don't mind pairing him with either James White or Mike Gillislee this week.

Prediction: Patriots 38-14 with Brady throwing four touchdown passes and Gillislee with one rushing touchdown.

Justin Bonnema: The easiest and most obvious choice is Chicago @ Green Bay but that’s the Thursday night game, unfortunately. Same is true for Washington @ Kansas City (Monday night game). It’s early, but I’m drawn to the Texans hosting the Titans as one that could potentially blow past its current over/under of 44 points. I don’t know if 50+ is in order, but neither defense, especially against the pass, is any good, and Deshaun Watson showed he can make that offense competitive. I’m going right back to that Watson/Hopkins stack even though it didn’t pan out last week. In fact, I like a lot of quarterback stacks in this game.

Another one that I think folks are going to overlook is the Cowboys hosting the Rams. Believe it or not, the Rams have scored more points than any other team, and the Cowboys are capable of lighting up the scoreboard when pushed. Neither defense scares me and both offensive lines should be able to keep their quarterbacks clean. I love Ezekiel Elliott in this game. The Rams have been blasted by running backs so far this season to the tune of 399 yards (second most) and five rushing touchdowns (first most).

Justin Howe: Despite the sorry shape of Cam Newton and the Panthers offense, I don’t foresee a Patriots blowout, but rather a hard-fought semi-shootout similar to last week’s Houston-New England battle. I know Newton failed miserably against the Saints’ atrocious defense in Week 3, but he’ll get a second chance this Sunday against a similarly leaky unit. The Patriots boast a strong cornerback tandem in name, though both Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler – as well as the team’s limited safeties – have been scorched deep in all three games thus far. In fact, opposing quarterbacks have completed a strong 11 of 25 deep-ball (15+ yards beyond the line of scrimmage) attempts, with 3 long touchdowns. Newton, ever the downfield gunslinger, should spend the day testing those deep matchups.

Of course, on the New England side, the usual suspects are squarely in play. Tom Brady and the passing game should predictably click, and while the Panthers boast a generally stout defense, it’s not a real concern against this group of weapons. (We should be even more confident when we recall what Drew Brees did to them in Charlotte.) Panthers cornerbacks James Bradberry and Daryl Worley have been beaten numerous times down the field thus far, making for a tantalizing matchup for deep threats Brandin Cooks and Chris Hogan. Carolina has also allowed 22 passes to opposing running backs – fourth-most in the league – so if this game stays relatively tight, James White should see one of his higher workloads.


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