Week 5 DFS Breakdown
By: Nick Zylak
Jaylen Samuels ($4,100) vs Baltimore
It should probably go without saying, but if Conner misses, then Samuels is the top play on the slate. He would be an absolute necessity in cash games and small field GPP’s. For large field GPP’s, I’d need to see his expected ownership before making a lock or fade decision. I’d guess he’d come in around 40%-50%…in which case I’d lean lock over fade. But all of that is going to depend on how long it takes for the Steelers to make a ruling on Conner. Conner hasn’t practiced yet this week, although he has one more chance to at least get some work in on Friday. If Conner plays, then I’ll likely just fade this entire backfield. The Ravens are a tough matchup, and the Steelers are unlikely to implement the same game plan as they did on Monday night. If Conner is out, the Samuels will be a near every down player, will have a high reception floor and ceiling, and would be a virtual lock to hit value. We’re just going to have to wait and see if Conner is good to go.
Update: Conner looks like he’s playing. I really don’t think they’ll impliment the same game plan this week, and if they do, I doubt they’re successful. If Conner is a full go, and Samuels is at all popular, then we can fade him.
David Johnson ($7,500) @ Cincinnati
This is a beautiful spot for DJ.
1) The Bengals are 0-4…so this is a game that the Cardinals could actually win
2) The Bengals have allowed the 2nd most receptions and most receiving yards to RB’s
3) The Bengals rank 1st in situation neutral pass rate (The Cardinals rank second…leading to a ton of plays in this game)
4) The Cardinals will be without Kirk and Byrd
I can’t think of a single path to DJ failing…outside of injury. This is the top game to stack on the week, and DJ is one of the top overall plays on the slate.
Auden Tate ($3,500) vs Cardinals
You’re going to hear a lot about this game, so get used to it. Tate has 16 targets and 142 air yards over the last two weeks. That means has has just one less target, and 3 fewer air yards than Boyd over that stretch. So we have a near min priced WR, playing virtually every snap (88%/91%), getting as much volume as any other receiver on his team, playing one of the worst defenses in the league, in potentially the fastest paced game of the week. Tate is a cash game lock, and if people put too much stock into what they saw on Monday night, then also a player to go well over the field in GPP’s.
Julio Jones ($7,700) @ Houston
When Julio makes the buy low model…you take notice. My model has him as one of the top under performers last week, and there’s every reason to expect him to bounce back in week 5. The last 4 times Julio was held under 60 receiving yards…his next week stat lines were as follows:
Through 4 weeks Julio ranks 6th in air yards, 8th in targets, and first in TD’s. He’s being used as much as any WR…which is bad news for a Texans defense that has been ripped apart be the position (3rd most receptions allowed). The Texans are great at stopping TE’s and the Falcons have shown no ability (or willingness) to run the football. This sets up like a week where Matt Ryan to Julio (and maybe Ridley) wins someone the million.
Chris Godwin ($6,900) @ New Orleans
Godwin is going to be popular after his explosion last week…but for good reason. This is an offense with massive upside, and Godwin has the talent to break the slate in any matchup. This week, the Bucs travel to New Orleans to take on a Saints defense that ranks 26th in pass defense DVOA, and 26th in yards per attempt allowed. Mike Evans should get shadow treatment from Marshon Lattimore, leaving Godwin as the preferred option on the week. Evans has had success against Lattimore in the past…and he could absolutely hit on a deep TD…but the more likely scenario is that Evans posts an average stat line. As per Sports Info Solutions, the Saints have allowed the second most PPR points this year to slot WR’s this season…where Godwin has played over 50% of his snaps. I don’t love this game as a full stack. The Bucs are 3 point road favorites, and the total has been bet down a few points since it opened. Godwin can easily be played in his own…just know that he’s always a better play in GPP’s than in cash games.
Top Game Stacks
Cardinals @ Bengals
No game is ever guaranteed to shoot out. There are a ton of scenarios where this turns into a low scoring affair…especially with a 47.5 point total, and with both teams have struggled on offense at point this season. With that being said…this is my favorite game to stack on the week…and there are a ton of different ways you can stack it up. That last point is the most important. Certain teams have obvious plays, meaning everyone is going to run the same stack, and you have to differentiate elsewhere. With this game, there are so many different way you can go. Both QB’s are squarely in play. Andy Dalton ($5,700) had averaged 326 passing yards per game before last week…and now he takes on a defense that ranks 28th in yards per attempt allowed, with QB’s averaging 290 passing yards, 2.5 TD’s and zero interceptions. They haven’t been able to stop anyone…and they’re 0-4…so outside of Stafford (385/3), none of their opposing QB’s have needed to play catch up. If this Cardinals offense were to ever get out to a quick lead…then that game is going to break the slate.
So can the Cardinals get out to a quick lead? Yes…but it’s not a sure thing. I’d feel much better if they didn’t have injuries to two of their starting WR’s…but they can still produce without them. Larry Fitzgerald ($6,000) is very likely going to be the focus of the Bengals defense. If they can take him away, then they don’t have a whole lot to throw to. My question is…can they. They’ve been able to stop Lockett/Kittle/John Brown/Juju this season. Holding them to 2/3/5/4 targets respectively. The thing is, none of those teams run 4 wide sets. So I really just don’t know if the Bengals will be able to implement the same strategy this week. If you’re concerned that they will, then David Johnson ($7,500) should be in your lineup. No one ever wants to play him, so his ownership shouldn’t be too high…and this is a dream mactchup. As I stated above, the Bengals have allowed the second most receptions and the most receiving yards to RB’s. With the injuries to their WR core, it wouldn’t be shocking to see DJ line up in the slot at times this week either. He has legitimate 10/100 upside in the receiving game…to go along with being a top option when they get close. To that note, if you’re trying to get all the TD’s on Arizona, here are the Cardinals green zone touches this season. You basically only need Murray/Fitz/DJ and you should get all the TD’s:
Arizona Green Zone Touches:
Larry Fitzgerald – 5
David Johnson – 4
Kyler Murray – 2
Chase Edmonds – 1
Christian Kirk – 1
KeeSean Johnson – 1
Damiere Byrd – 1
My favorite plays for each team are listed below. Again, you can stack this game up so many ways, that it should be a core game for you to build around. Try stacking Dalton with a few of his pass catchers, and running it back with a Cardinal or two…then try Dalton with a different combo…then do the same with Murray. One combo is bound to hit, and with the prices being so cheap, it doesn’t limit the rest of your roster either!
David Johnson ($7,500)
Larry Fitzgerald ($6,000)
Kyler Murray ($6,300)
Keesean Johnson ($3,500)
Andy Isabella ($3,200)
Auden Tate ($3,500)
Tyler Boyd ($6,500)
Andy Dalton ($5,700)
Tyler Eifert ($3,300)
Joe Mixon ($6,100)
Falcons @ Texans
Matt Ryan ($5,900) has thrown for over 300 yards in all 4 games…while throwing for 330+ and multiple scores in 3/4. Yet he’s $5,900 this week against the Texans pass funnel defense. Ryan can easily be stacked with Julio ($7,700)/Ridley ($4,900) or both this week, with plenty of money to do whatever you want with the rest of your roster. Will Fuller ($4,500) ranks 4th in unrealized air yards so far this season, and is going to explode any week now. This matchup doesn’t set up that great for him (the Falcons like to limit deep balls), but he has the skill set to post 5/150/2 in any matchup. I like the idea of running a Ryan stack back with Hopkins ($7,800). He’s been under 13 fantasy point in 3 consecutive weeks now. His targets are down…but it’s Hopkins. A sneaky play is Keke Coutee ($3,400). I don’t think he’ll be overly popular, but with Stills likely out, he should be their full time slot receiver. He showed that he has a massive ceiling last season, and he should be fully healthy now. At near min price, he doesn’t need to do a whole lot to pay off. Austin Hooper ($4,500) has been going off recently…but this isn’t a great matchup for him, and he’s priced up now.
Broncos @ Chargers
This is a fringe game to stack, but no one is going to be on it, so it won’t be tough to go overweight. Courtland Sutton ($4,900) finally found the end zone last week, but he’s still too cheap for his role. He’s getting consistent looks down field and in the red zone…and with Hayward matched up with Sanders, Flacco should be looking Sutton’s way a lot. Neither of the RB’s on Denver are under priced, but neither are over priced either. The Chargers are an average run defense, and both of these guys are getting enough involvement to post a decent line if they score. Lindsay ($4,900) is slightly more likely than Freeman ($4,600) to posted a spiked week, given his larger red zone role, so he’s the one I prefer. Also, even though Sanders ($5,100) has a tough matchup, he’s been over 18 fantasy points in 3/4 weeks, and that includes matchups with the Bears, Packers and Jaguars. He’s under priced.
On the Chargers side, the backfield is a bit over priced this week. Neither Ekeler ($6,700) or Gordon ($7,000) is expected to dominate the touches. If I had to pick one, then it would be Ekeler…but I want to see what beat reporters are saying before I put either in my lineups. Keenan Allen ($7,300) has been a stud so far this season. He’s getting fed targets in close games, and this one projects to be close throughout. Look for him to do good, even in a difficult matchup. Geremy Davis ($3,200) is worth a dart throw in large field GPP’s if we get word that he’s starting. The Chargers have suffered so many injuries that he could actually be their #2 this week.
Top Low Owned Plays
Percentage indicates projected ownership
Joe Flacco ($4,700) @ Chargers: 3%
Ben Watson ($3,700) @ Washington: 2%
Dawson Knox ($3,100) @ Tennessee: 2%
Keke Coutee ($3,400) vs Atlanta: 2%
Phillip Dorsett ($4,900) @ Washington: 2%
Josh Gordon ($6,100) @ Washington: 2%
Michael Gallup ($5,000) vs Packers: 1% (If he plays)
Ronald Jones ($4,600) @ New Orleans: 1%