Well, we got a couple of things right and a few things wrong last week. What really hurt was that the “chalk” went off. Everyone had the same mentality to pay down at wide receiver, which led to a lot of salaries left over for Alvin Kamara and Ezekiel Elliot. Who also went off. This made the cash line extremely high.
This week, DraftKings adjusted their soft pricing on players like Tyler Boyd and Calvin Ridley which makes them a little easier to fade. The “punt plays” are not as obvious, which should make lineups naturally different. Let’s take a deeper dive into the NFL week 5 slate for GPP lineup advice.
Jared Goff (LAR) @ SEA $8,000
Like the Kansas City Chiefs offense, the Rams have plenty of weapons and continue to put up absurd numbers to start the 2018 NFL season. In addition, Sean McVay’s scheming allows for plenty of fantasy production, which filters through Goff. Although the Rams are on the road, they will take on a dismantled Seahawks defense. We all witnessed the departure of Earl Thomas, which should lead to plenty of open receivers downfield. The Rams should win this game, handily, which is my only concern. This could be a “Gurley game” in the second half because I truly believe the Rams will blowout the Seahawks. If this does happen though, Goff and company will still need to put up numbers in the first half, so he should be fine.
Patrick Mahomes (KC) vs. JAX $6,200
The wonderboy will have his toughest test yet in his young career against the stout Jacksonville defense. Two things. First, this game will be played in Kansas City, which is one of the loudest, most favorable home stadiums to play in. Second, the Jaguars might be a little overrated on defense. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good. But take a look at who they’ve played so far this season. A terrible Eli Manning with an atrocious o-line, the Patriots (pre-Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, and Sonny Michel), the Titans who featured Blaine Gabbert and Marcus Marriota (who couldn’t feel his hand), and the Jets. Not only will this Chiefs team be the most dynamic offense they’ve faced this year, but last year as well. And they have to travel to Arrowhead. AJ Bouye and Jalen Ramsey are of course elite defenders. But the Chiefs have five, pass-catching options who can take it to the house on any given play. The Jags will be outmatched, in my opinion.
DraftKings reduced his price due to the seemingly tough matchup as this will be the cheapest we see him all season. His ownership will be sub 10% for the same reason. If you are someone who believes in this kids skill set, do not be afraid to attack this defense with Mahomes in GPP’s.
Others to consider: Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers
Saquon Barkley (NYG) @ CAR $7,700
So this is week 5 and I have written Barkley up three times now. One week he played in a prime-time game as well. Can you tell I love this kid? Here’s the thing, Barkley has failed to score less than 17 points on FanDuel and will easily be the lowest owned running back in the top-tier, again. With other great plays at running back like Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon, and James Conner, Barkley will once again go overlooked. Although his pass-catching ability makes him a better play on DraftKings, he offers plenty of upside on FanDuel as well. He is averaging 113 all-purpose yards per game and has scored a touchdown in three of the first four weeks. The offensive line for the Giants is so bad that Eli just does not have time to wait for plays to develop downfield. His only option is to run the ball, dump it off, or throw play action or a quick slant. New York clearly wants to utilize Barkley in as many offensive plays as possible and it has paid off greatly for the rookie. I will be locking him in for the fourth straight week as he has an extremely high floor and ceiling every week.
Corey Grant (JAX) @ KC $3,700
He is gaining steam as we approach Sunday, but Corey Grant is a fantastic GPP option at near minimum price. The third-string running back will see a lot more action with Leonard Fournette ruled out. TJ Yeldon will see the first and second down work but could come in as the highest owned back this week. Grant is the better receiving option and should see around 40% of the snaps, all on third down. If you’re like me and believe the Chiefs will play with the lead all game, then Grant will earn more opportunities as the Jags will need to throw. The Chiefs defense has been exposed this year and an athletic back like Grant should be able to make a lot of guys miss in open field as he will be the beneficiary of short dump offs from Bortles.
Others to consider: Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, David Johnson, James Conner, Devonta Freeman
JuJu Smith-Schuster (PIT) vs. ATL $8,000
With a game total set at 58, getting exposure will be key. Most will gravitate to Antonio Brown, but Juju has been a very impactful receiver in the Steelers air attack. He has 49 targets this season, compared to Brown’s 53, and has been heavily involved in the red zone. Although he is Ben’s second option, the separation between the two has not been all that much. The Falcons have been bleeding offensive production against all season long and this matchup won’t be any different. Smith-Schuster has elite speed and a skill set which is a nightmare for defenders. Tomlin clearly loves this kid and wants to involve him as much as possible. The game script in this one should lend to plenty of big plays all afternoon and at lower salary and ownership than Antonio Brown, JuJu needs to be considered in all formats.
Brandin Cooks (LAR) @ SEA $7,400
A great option to pair with Jared Goff this week is Brandin Cooks. Although Cooper Kupp went off last week and Woods in Week 3, Cooks has caught at least seven balls in each of his last three games. So, this could be a “Cooks week” in a game with a very favorable matchup. Cooks will likely see coverage from rookie corner Tre Flowers, who ranks 109th among CB’s in coverage per PFF. As mentioned above, no team has had an answer for Sean McVay’s offense yet. Seattle is not going to be the first team to change this trend and I lean with the receiver who has the best matchup.
Others to consider: Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Keelan Cole, Mohammed Sanu
Zach Ertz (PHI) vs. PHI $7,500
It is easy to recommend the top tight end on the board, but his ownership won’t reflect how great of a player he is this week. To start, I was wrong last week about Dallas Goedert. Alshon Jeffrey coming back hurt Goedert’s value and thus, he saw just two targets. However, Ertz is still the guy for Carson Wentz. He has seen 47 targets through the first four weeks, hauling in 31 receptions for 327 yards. He is the number one option for Wentz and nothing should change for this week. Minnesota has shown that their defense is simply not as good as a season ago. Although the last two weeks they did not allow much production to tight ends, they faced the Rams and Bills, who don’t utilize the position in their offensive schemes. In week one, George Kittle caught 5 of 9 targets for 90 yards and in week two, Jimmy Graham caught 6 of 8 targets for 95 yards. Ertz is used more than either tight end and should see at least another double-digit target share with more production. This game has sneaky shoot-out potential and one that I will target heavily in GPP’s.
David Njoku (CLE) vs. BAL $3,400
We are still all waiting for “Njoku break-out” week. I think it happens against the Ravens in Week 5. His price remains low, making him an easy option, in all formats, to smash value. He has seen seven targets in three of the first four weeks this year and has seen an increase in yardage every game. What is most noticeable for a break-out game are the injuries to the Browns receivers. Antonio Callaway will likely sit this one out and Jarvis Landry is banged up. Njoku should see plenty of looks and yards in this one, but really only needs one touchdown to hit value. At just $3,400, Njoku is an easy option at tight end if you are looking to pay down.
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