Heading into Week 5, DFS lineups are a little more difficult to set this week. Although there are not a lot of top-notch DFS assets in the game (especially with Calvin Ridley missing the game for personal reasons), the Jets and Falcons kick off the first of two London games Sunday morning. The Dolphins and Jaguars will play next week. Neither of these games will be part of their respective Sunday’s “main slate”
In addition to a fourth game not being part of the main slate, the “prime time” games include many traditional mainstays in our lineups. According to FantasyPros.Com’s weekly rankings, five of the top 11 quarterbacks, five of the top 11 tight ends, and five of the top 13 wide receivers are not included in the main slate. Players that will not be available for the main slate include: 1) Josh Allen; 2) Patrick Mahomes; 3) Lamar Jackson; 4) Matthew Stafford; 5) Tyreke Hill; 6) Stefon Diggs; 7) Cooper Kupp; 8) D.K. Metcalf; and 9) Travis Kelce. I will attach the Fantasy Pros weekly rankings below.
Review of Last Week’s Results:
Although my overall selections last week were far from perfect, I was able to give some very good bargain plays and a good stack. My best suggestions included: 1) Taylor Heinicke (23 of 33 for 290 yards and three touchdowns); 2) Clyde Edwards-Helaire (114 total yards and a touchdown-19.4 PPR fantasy points); 3) Dalton Schultz (6 catches for 58 yards and a touchdown-17.8 fantasy points); and 4) D. J. Moore (8 catches for 113 yards and two TD’s-31.3 fantasy points).
In terms of the stack, Russell Wilson completed 16-of-23 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns, while D.K. Metcalf had 4 catches for 65 yards and a touchdown (16.5 fantasy points). My biggest letdown was Kirk Cousins and the rest of the Vikings’ offense. Cousins was 20-of-38 for 203 yards and one touchdown. Despite Cousins’ lackluster performance, Justin Jefferson still had six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown (20.4 fantasy points).
Fire Them Up!,
Dak Prescott, Cowboys-$6900-vs Giants: Over the last three weeks, Prescott has been exceedingly efficient on a limited number of pass attempts. He has completed 58-of-75 pass attempts (77.3 percent) for 663 yards and seven touchdowns. DFS players have to hope that this is the week that the Cowboys lean on Dak a little more.
With an implied total of 30, the Cowboys should generate points. The Giants’ defense allows the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, so Dak has a good matchup as well. In a divisional game, look for the Giants to keep it close and force Prescott to attempt thirty-plus passes. With the added volume, Dak will be a Top-8 quarterback in Week 5.
James Robinson, Jaguars-$6k-vs Titans: Over the last two games (at Bengals and vs Cardinals), Robinson has seen the volume that most running backs need to be successful. Robinson has amassed 33 carries for 166 yards (5 yards per carry) and three touchdowns while adding seven catches for 44 yards. These stats have allowed him to average 23 PPR fantasy points over that two-game stretch.
With an implied total of only 22, the circumstances aren’t perfect for Robinson. That being said, the four-point spread indicates that the Jags should be competitive enough for Robinson to get his touches. With WR D.J. Chark (broken ankle) out for the season, more touches out of the backfield should be available as well. DFS players should expect a top ten RB performance from Robinson this week.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers-$6500-vs Broncos: After sitting out week three with a knee injury, Diontae caught nine passes (on 13 targets) for 92 yards and a touchdown in week four. In the three games that Johnson has played, he has received double-digit targets in each. For the season, he now has 23 catches (on 35 targets) for 233 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite facing a Broncos’ defense that gives up only the 18th-most fantasy points to wide receivers, Johnson will remain viable due to sheer volume. Although Ben Roethlisberger has struggled mightily this year, he has still been able to keep Johnson heavily involved. Look for Johnson to finish as a top ten receiver this week.
Mike Gesicki, Dolphins-$4200-@ Bucs: Over the last two games, Gesicki has recorded 15 catches (on 18 targets) for 143 yards and one touchdown. Facing a Bucs’ defense that allows the third-most fantasy points to TEs, look for Gesicki to finish top five at his position in week five.
Colder than Ice:
Trey Lance, 49ers-$5700-@ Cardinals: This “colder than ice” declaration is a tough one for me. Although Lance has been my top choice of the rookie quarterbacks for months, his first career start could have come under easier circumstances. In Week 4, Lance completed 9-of-18 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Lance had to replace starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo midway through the game due to injury and found a wide-open Deebo Samuel for a 76-yard touchdown.
In Week 5, Lance faces a Cardinals’ defense that allows the ninth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. The Cardinals have amassed the tenth most team sacks, and have had a full week to prepare for Lance. Although Lance’s $5700 salary is enticing, I would rather pay $6100 for Joe Burrow for example.
Antonio Gibson, Washington-$6400-vs Saints: Although Gibson is expected to start Sunday, he has been playing through a “stress fracture” in his shin. Other than a 73-yard touchdown reception in week three, Gibson has been held in check over the last two games. He has totaled 26 carries for 94 yards and one touchdown and added just two more catches for twelve yards.
To make matters worse, he faces a Saints defense that gives up the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing RBs. With an implied total of only 21, look for Gibson to fall outside of the top 18 running backs this week.
Brandin Cooks, Texans-$6100-vs Patriots: Despite having to overcome arguably the worst quarterback play in the league this season, Cooks has continued to post good fantasy stats. For the year, Cooks has 28 catches (on 39 targets) for 369 yards and one touchdown.
Week 5 will provide an even tougher test, as he faces a Patriots’ defense that allows the fourth-fewest fantasy points to WRs. With an implied total of only 15, Cooks will have to change his name to Houdini if he escapes with more than 17 PPR fantasy points this week.
Robert Tonyan, Packers-$4300 @ Bengals: On the season, Tonyan now has eight catches (on 15 targets) for 74 yards and a touchdown. Although stats such as this typically indicate an automatic “cold as ice” designation, DraftKings has set his week five price at $4300. In addition to poor on-field performance, Tonyan now faces a Bengals’ defense that gives up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to TEs. Tonyan should be viewed as a low-end streamer this week.
Bargain Bin-Deep Tourney Plays
Joe Burrow, Bengals-$6100-vs Packers: In Week 4, Burrow completed 25-of-32 for 348 yards and two touchdowns. The 32 pass attempts were a season-high. Much like Prescott, Burrow has been extremely efficient on limited pass attempts. For the season, Burrow has now completed 78 out of 107 pass attempts (73 percent) for 988 yards and nine touchdowns.
With Joe Mixon potentially sitting out Week 5 with an ankle injury, look for Burrow to take on more of the offensive responsibility. The Bengals face a Packers’ defense that allows the 15th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. With an implied total of 24, DFS players should view Burrow as a top ten option this week.
Leonard Fournette, Bucs-$5200-vs Dolphins: In Week four’s win over the Patriots, Fournette had 23 touches (20 carries) for 139 yards. Although it is always difficult to gauge the touches split between Fournette and Ronald Jones, this price tag is too enticing to pass up. With a matchup against a Dolphins’ defense that allows the third-most fantasy points to RBs, Fournette should finish amongst the top 15 RBs this week.
Darnell Mooney, Bears-$4700-@ Raiders: In Week 4, Mooney had complete chemistry with newly named starting quarterback Justin Fields. Mooney had five catches (on seven targets) for 125 yards while adding a rush for 10 yards. Mooney now has 17 catches(on a team-high 26 targets) for 226 yards and zero touchdowns. Despite facing a Raiders’ defense that allows the tenth fewest fantasy points, look for Mooney to be a top 30 wide receiver in Week 5.
Tyler Conklin, Vikings-$3500-vs Lions: For the season, Conklin has 17 catches (on 22 targets) for 144 yards and one touchdown. With an implied total of 27, DFS players should not expect a repeat performance of last week’s 14-7 loss to the Browns. Facing a Lions’ defense that gives up the 18th-most fantasy points to TEs, Conklin should finish as a low-end TE1 this week.
Stack of the Week:
In full disclosure, selecting a favorite stack this week is not an easy task. As discussed earlier, many of our elite quarterbacks and wide receivers are not part of this slate. For those that are, the matchups for either the quarterback or wide receiver are somewhat difficult. I am going to go with a stack that has been on an absolute roll the last few weeks, despite a tough matchup.
Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler ($14400) have put up elite numbers for each of the last two weeks. Herbert has completed 51-of-76 pass attempts for 503 yards and seven touchdowns, while Ekeler has had 35 touches (including nine catches) for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Despite facing a Browns’ defense that shut down a potent Vikings’ offense last week, I’ll take the chance on the Chargers’ duo at home.