DFS Ice and Fire: Week 5 picks

October 10, 2020

It was quite the hit or miss week from me last week. I certainly hope you listened to my Tom Brady and Scotty Miller stack while ignoring my fade of Joe Mixon. But why waste time? It’s all about ice and fire!

All values are subject to DraftKings’ prices and scoring format. All ownership data is courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator.

Fire em’ up!

Matt Ryan vs. CAR ($6,100)

Carolina is rolling offensively and the 25th ranked Falcons defense (per Football Outsiders) will do little to stop Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers. The Falcons blow up against the Panthers every year and 2020 will be no different. With the Falcons at home and incredibly desperate to get a win against a divisional rival, Ryan will blow up for one of his biggest games of the season.

Antonio Gibson vs. LAR ($5,000)

No player has fluctuated all around this list like Gibson. But sue me; he’s going to be a great option. The Rams will put up plenty of points, leading to plenty of receptions for the talented pass-catching back. Kyle Allen, the new starting quarterback in Washington, loves to check down to the running back, with Christian McCaffrey’s 2019 performance a clear indicator (116 receptions, 1,005 receiving yards). By no means is Gibson on the same tier of McCaffrey, but the fit remains. Gibson showed his playmaking ability, and this will be the week he turns it on permanently.

Robby Anderson @ ATL ($5,900)

As mentioned above Atlanta’s defense is pitiful, and against the wide receiver the issue is even more glaring. The Falcons are 25th against the wide receiver, a great spot for the new No. 1 weapon in the Panthers offense. He’s an absolute steal at $5,900 but it’s important to note he should be owned in a lot of formats. He sits here with a projected ownership of 13.7%, a bit high but with the upside it’s worth the price.

Evan Engram @ DAL ($4,600)

Man, it has to happen at some point, right? The Dallas defense has yet to stop a team from scoring at least 30 points in three straight weeks, and while the Giants may buck that trend, they still will put up plenty of points. The Cowboys have allowed the seventh-most points to the tight end and Engram has led the Giants in targets (30) despite a severe lack of efficiency (17 receptions for 131 yards). It can come together in a shootout game against Dallas.

Los Angeles Rams @ WAS ($4,000)

The good day that Gibson will have doesn’t overshadow the amount of turnovers Washington will have. Allen fumbled 13 times and threw 16 interceptions in just 13 games last season. Suffice it to say Aaron Donald and the Rams won’t make it easy for the former Panther. It may be a pricey play for a DST, but it’s worth paying up for.

Colder than ice

Kyler Murray @ NYJ ($7,200)

Somehow the Jets rank first against quarterbacks in fantasy. Who would’ve thought?

That can likely be attested to the blowout losses the Jets feature in that leave fantasy points on the board for opposing offenses. The Cardinals’ fantasy options will have to do their damage early on, and that’s always asking a lot when you cut the game in half. Murray’s floor has been remarkably high through the first quarter of the season, finishing as a QB1 in each game this season. He could slip out of that for the first time this season in a tougher matchup. With an incredibly expensive price tag, there are plenty of cheaper options to take in order to spend the money elsewhere.

The Steelers allow just an average of just 54 rushing yards per game, a league best.

Miles Sanders @ PIT ($6,500)

For the life of me I cannot understand why Sanders is projected to be owned in 22.1 percent of DraftKings lineups. He’s not cheap (RB6 if you count McCaffrey and Derrick Henry as options) and the matchup isn’t even good. Pittsburgh is quite literally the hardest matchup for fantasy running backs and this Steelers defense will make life miserable for all Eagles. There is no reason to use Sanders in your lineups this week.

Damiere Byrd vs. DEN ($3,000)

Far be it from me to fade a $3,000 receiver, but the ownership projections are madness. Byrd is projected to be the second-most owned wide receiver in DraftKings this week, with a whopping 44.7 percent ownership percentage. Suffice it to say, you are not clever for playing Byrd this week. Denver is definitely an appealing matchup but between the huge question mark under center and the lack of top-tier upside as a result, why pay the ownership price that comes with Byrd? Take a deep shot elsewhere.

Tyler Eifert @ HOU ($3,400)

Eifert is the cheap tight end the DFS community seems to be all about this week. I’m not really too sure why — the Texans are 17th against the tight end — and he has not been the red zone machine he used to be. Eifert has only seen five red zone targets through four weeks, which is tied for 24th in the league. There isn’t much touchdown upside and the matchup isn’t a glaring must-play. On top of all of that, Eifert has a projected ownership of 9.5%, high enough to avoid given the lack of upside. Spend your budget elsewhere.

Dallas Cowboys vs. NYG ($3,100)

I choose to believe that the Giants do well because Dallas is not a good enough unit. The Giants may (likely will) turn the ball over at least once but the team will score enough to make the Cowboys an option to avoid. On top of being simply untalented, the Cowboys are still expected to be used in almost 6% of leagues. I love playing the matchup with DSTs, but I’ll avoid Dallas this week as New York looks to rebound from their 0-4 start.

Bargain bin/Tournament plays

Daniel Jones @ DAL ($5,400)

Long story short, I expect the over to hit on the 54.5.

Jones faces a perfect matchup here akin to his big breakout game in his rookie debut last season against Tampa Bay. We have seen that Jones has that ceiling and we know that Dallas will put up a big offensive day. Jones, on the other side of that, will have every opportunity to play from behind and be a fantasy darling akin to Ryan Fitzpatrick in recent weeks. For a cheap price with a low projected ownership, he’s certainly worth a look against the 28th-ranked defense against quarterbacks.

Chase Edmonds @ NYJ ($4,700)

Like my fade with Murray, I firmly expect this game to be in the Cardinals hands. It might hurt his receiving totals which has aided Edmonds this season, but the game script could allow for some extra rushing volume. Edmonds has been the far more dynamic back in comparison to Kenyan Drake, who has been incredibly disappointing this season. Meanwhile Edmonds has been solid and saw his season-high in snaps last week. This could become more of a timeshare and the matchup is great, with the Jets ranking 26th against running backs. Expect a high-scoring affair that Edmonds could be a big part of.

Zach Pascal @ CLE ($4,600)

The target leader from Week 5 heads into a lovely tilt against Cleveland, who allows the second-most points to the wide receiver in 2020. The Browns could make this quite the competitive game after dropping 49 points against Dallas in Week 4, leading to a game script that benefits Pascal. Presumed No. 1 target T.Y. Hilton has simply lost too much of his previous ability and has been falling behind in recent weeks, with Michael Pittman and Parris Campbell out snapping the veteran wide receiver prior to their injuries. Pascal can take advantage of a Browns team that has allowed a lot of big performances to fantasy wide receivers — CeeDee Lamb, Dontrelle Inman, Tyler Boyd and Marquise Brown all finished as a WR2 or better against Cleveland this season.

Eric Ebron vs. PHI ($4,000)

There are few position groups playing as poorly as the Eagles linebacking corps and things don’t get easier with the Steelers hosting the Eagles on Sunday. The Eagles can be beat all over the field, but the Steelers have had two weeks to game plan for this game. Ebron should be a focal point of this offense as he’s grown into the system throughout the season. His snaps have jumped to around 75 percent after being less involved in Week 1, leaving plenty of opportunity to be had. Ebron is a cheap and low-owned option that has multi-touchdown upside — he’s done it so many times before.

Cleveland Browns vs. IND ($2,700)

Pascal is a nice dart throw for DFS purposes, but all things considered, the Colts could be a sneaky offense to play against. Philip Rivers has thrown three interceptions through four games, not a startling number but it’s a good starting point. The Browns have dealt with some injuries this season but with star cornerback Denzel Ward healthy and defensive end Myles Garrett playing like an All-Pro, there are enough playmakers to force mistakes. The issue with playing a DST against the Colts is that they don’t allow sacks (three on the season). However, left tackle Anthony Castonzo (rib) will miss the game, opening a hole on a sterling offensive line. A couple of sacks and a turnover or two could make this a smash play at a cheap price.

Stack of the week

Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley @ CAR

Everyone remembers how Julio Jones treats the Panthers each year (all-time leader in receiving yards against the Panthers), and Ridley will take up that mantle this year. He’s already begun to fill Jones’ massive shoes with an incredibly impressive start to the season, piling up 349 yards on just 16 receptions through four games. He did that in spite of a goose egg in Week 4 which has led to a low projected ownership (6.3 percent) for the third-year receiver. Forgive and forget — this will be a massive week for both Ryan and Ridley as Jones appears set to miss the game after failing to practice this week. Even if Jones is active Ridley has been plenty productive — stack it up!