Fantasy football week 5 is in the books. There were some big surprises, too. Todd Gurley and Jordy Nelson did not live up to their expectations in week 5, but Melvin Gordon and Andre Ellington made up for the lack of points if you played both of them, at least enough to win you some cash games. If you listened to the podcast and took my advice on the lock of the week, Brian Hoyer, you had plenty of cap room left for other top-notch players if you took the hit to your cap with Gurley.
Kirk Cousins $6800 DK/$7800 FD
Cousins certainly seems to have gotten his act together over the last couple of games. His fantasy football production was modest against the Chiefs, but if Josh Doctson secured the touchdown he should have caught at the end of the game, his game would look significantly better. My point is that the production was better than it looks. The Niners have mostly struggled to stop opposing offenses, and I think the Navorro Bowman move probably makes them worse. Whether he was on the field for every snap or not, it’s hard to lose the knowledge that a player of his caliber carries. San Fran’s situation is all sorts of weird, and that’s going to make it hard for them to play well at any point in the season, so I highly doubt they’ll get good against the Redskins.
What’s not to love about his performance lately? He’s scored 25, 34, and 35 points respectively over the last three weeks, and he’s playing one of the league’s worst teams this week. This should be another great week, right? Of course, except that this game has all the markings of a trap. Watson seems to be a level-headed guy, as his consistency throughout his college career demonstrates, so I’m willing to roll the dice on him again.
Jameis Winston $6200 DK/$7800 FD
Sometimes, Jameis Winston looks like he’s going to be a pillar in the NFL for years to come, and other times he looks like he should be backing up a QB who can throw the ball accurately. Last week he was erratic again, missing several wide-open receivers, which forced the team to kick FGs instead of scoring touchdowns. In spite of all of that, Winston scored 21.46 fantasy football points. He’s thrown for 300 yards in three of four games, and probably would have against Chicago if the Bears had been able to put any pressure on the Bucs to continue scoring. The Cardinals are an awfully talented defense, but their offensive woes continue to put them in bad situations and keep them on the field for entirely too long, which has led to a lot of scoring against them. I expect the trends to continue this week.
Kareem Hunt $8200 DK/$9300 FD
The last couple of games brought Hunt’s stats a lot closer to earth, but this week against the Steelers, he might bounce back into the stratosphere. Even when the only offensive threat is the opposing halfback, the Steelers have been gashed (see: Bears, Ravens). Hunt should be good for about 20 fantasy football points this week.
Leonard Fournette $8000 DK/$8600 FD
The Rams haven’t stopped any team’s ground game this season, and I’m betting things won’t change this week. I could go on and on about Fournette’s abilities and how well he’s performed this season, but I’m pretty sure everyone knows the deal with this guy, so I’ll just leave it at this: he’s a good halfback playing a terrible rushing defense.
Gordon is coming off his best game of the season, which produced an astonishing 37.3 fantasy football points at DraftKings and led to the team’s first win. If that doesn’t translate to high utilization for the second consecutive week, then someone needs to fire that coaching staff. With Oakland allowing almost 125 yards per game, and 4.1 yards per carry, Gordon is a smart play.
Jerick McKinnon $4100 DK/$5600 FD
McKinnon stole the show last Monday night, rushing 16 times for 95 yards (an average 5.9 yards per carry), and he had six catches on six targets. You should never put too much stock in one week of football, but that sort of performance against a good defense is certainly worth a low-cost play. Still, it’s almost assured that he’ll see most of the offensive snaps since Latavius Murray was awful. He averaged a woeful 2.6 ypc, and was, more or less, demoted in the middle of the game. High snap percentages lead to a high volume of touches, and a high volume of touches is probably the best indicator for fantasy football potential.
DeAndre Hopkins $8100 DK/$8000 FD
Hopkins’s matchup this week is not as favorable as one might think, and he certainly did not play well last week (despite his point total). That causes some concern in picking him this week, but there’s not a receiver in the league that will match his opportunities. DeShaun Watson has thrown 122 passes this season, 45 of which have gone to Hopkins. There’s no reason to think that they’ll slow down,
Chris Hogan $7000 DK/$7500 FD
Hogan would have made my list last week had he not played Thursday night. He’s averaging 20 points per game since week 2 (he didn’t see much action in week 1). The Jets have performed reasonably well against the pass, allowing only 212 yards per game, but Hogan’s a PPR monster. He’s pulled in eight catches last week, 2.5 greater than his average 5.5. He has six TDs to boot, making him a good play in all formats.
DeSean Jackson $5800 DK/$6400 FD
Winston’s comfort and timing with DJax seems to be improving, if last Thursday’s 5 reception, 106-yard performance is indicative of things to come. Add to it that the target not facing Peterson has performed quite well against Arizona almost every week. Here’s a summary:
- Peterson shadowed Marvin Jones, allowing Golden Tate to put up huge numbers (10 rec/107 yards)
- Brice Butler caught 2 passes for 90 yards and a score while Peterson shut down Dez
- Peterson surrendered 1 catch for 16 yards to Garcon (he totaled 4 rec/46 yards), but Aldrick Robinson (3 rec/52 yards) and Trent Taylor (5 rec/47 yards) had good outings for 49ers receivers
- Peterson kept Jeffrey quiet all day, but Nelson Agholor (4 rec/93 yards/TD), Torrey Smith (3 rec/70 yards/TD), and Zach Ertz (6 rec/61 yards/TD) crushed that game
Pryor hasn’t been too effective this season, but he’s on the field a lot. That means there should be opportunities for him to score you some sweet, sweet fantasy football points. That wouldn’t mean much if he had a tough game ahead of him, but the 49ers offer one of the more favorable matchups for opposing WRs.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins $4300 DK/$5600 FD
Jenkins has had three solid outings in a row, and he should have another one this weekend against the Patriots. He’s not gaining a ton of yards, but he’s led the team in targets in two of the three games in which he’s played this season. Again, targets are one of the best indicators for consistency. His lack of yardage makes him less valuable at FanDuel than DraftKings, considering the difference in points per reception.
Kyle Rudolph $3800 DK/$5300 FD
Statistically, the Packers have performed well against tight ends this year, except against Witten, the only good tight end that they’ve faced this season (I’m discounting week 1 since Seattle was so dysfunctional the first few weeks). Witten’s performance probably corrected the Packer’s performance curve. Diggs is out this week, which may mean that the Packers can focus more on Rudolph than other teams have been able to this season. But it doesn’t seem to matter where their defense places its focus because they get wrecked every week.
Zach Miller $2900 DK/$5000 FD
It’s hard to play Miller on any week because the Bears offense is so pitiful. The Bears had a hard time moving the ball last Monday after the first drive. Baltimore won’t be any easier, making it even more difficult to like Miller. However, Miller was clearly Trubisky’s favorite option last week, and he’s been a good red zone threat in the past. and Trubisky doesn’t have any other reliable targets, which makes Miller a good value proposition.
I don’t understand the 49ers at all… they should have won at least once this season. For Shannahan’s sake, I hope they get one soon, but I don’t think it’s coming this week. The Redskins have done a nice job at attacking opposing QBs, and at taking the ball away. Even with Norman out, the Redskins are a pretty good play in a week lacking strong alternatives.
I’m not incredibly confident in KC this week only because I think the Steelers might have a good week. The Steelers have weekly fluctuated between good and bad, and this week puts them on a good week. I like this play partly because of Ben’s obvious lack of confidence. He recanted his statement about not being good anymore to save face: that kind of self-doubt doesn’t leave a person overnight. That said, I think this is a medium risk play. All it takes is a drive or two to erase whatever is going on in his mind.
This one is actually my favorite pick of the week, I’ll probably play them several times. Tampa’s defensive quality is certainly questionable, but they have a cupcake matchup this week against the Cardinals. Arizona’s has serious pass protection issues. On average, the offensive line allows about four sacks, and Palmer is good for at least one INT every week. On top of all of that, the Cardinals haven’t put up 20 points since week 1. You’re almost guaranteed a six-point fantasy football performance.
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