After a hugely successful Week 4, The Fantasy Football Ghost leads us bravely into Week 5 with our weekly DraftKings NFL cash plays for Week 5!
Week 4 treated you pretty well if you decided to heed my advice. Last week’s featured player picks yielded an average return of 3.35 times value! In fact, two of the four featured players went over four times value, making it very difficult for an opponent to beat you in most cash games.
Additionally, for those who dug a bit deeper and plugged Mitchell Trubisky into their lineups, one of the two quarterbacks I mentioned in the “Other Quarterbacks” section, were treated with a value just a hair shy of nine times value! The “Other Running Backs” I mentioned, Alvin Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott ranked as the No. 1 and No. 2 running backs on the slate, respectively, producing values of 4.6 and 4.8 times value, again respectively. Like I said, it was a really good week to give a listen to what Ol’ Ghosty is throwing your way!
Now that I have a little bit of a reputation to uphold, let’s see if I can actually live up to it as we head into Week 5.
As a reminder, I will put forth a few players each week that I think you should work into your cash line ups. Some weeks I might only have a single player at a position, the next week I may have three, it is all going to depend on the strength of the slate, the values present on a given week and the match ups. The following week I will recap how my picks fared. A successful week will be determined by the players I suggest averaging 2.5 times their value, while an unsuccessful week will be an average under 2.5 times value.
DraftKings NFL Cash Plays for Week 5
Ben Roethlisberger – $6,900
It has been quite some time since Ben Roethlisberger has claimed the spot as the top-priced quarterback on a main slate game, yet here he is holding the top spot this week. Roethlisberger draw an Atlanta defense that is allowing the slate’s second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. With the help of Dave Caban’s Weekly Stat Explorer we are able to see that the Falcons have allowed three straight performances of 300+ yards and three passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks.
Big Ben meanwhile is averaging 354 passing yards per game, which leads the league through four games.
The Steelers have also done an amazing job of converting red zone visits into touchdowns, converting more than three out of every four visits into touchdowns, ranking them as the fourth-most effective team in the league in this metric. Atlanta though, not so much, as they are allowing a touchdown on more than 80% of opponents red zone visits, making the squad the fifth-worst defense in this regard. Finally, don’t forget, this game is projected to be the highest scoring match up on this slate with a line of 57 points. No matter which team comes out as the winner, look for Big Ben to have a big day.
Matt Ryan vs. Pittsburgh – Nearly everything I mentioned for Roethlisberger applies to Matt Ryan as well. Aside from the massive line on this game, Pittsburgh is giving up the most points to opposing quarterbacks on this slate and is tied for allowing the most passing touchdowns per game thus far in the season. There really isn’t a wrong play between these two!
Blake Bortles vs. Kansas City – Teams really like passing against the Chiefs, as they have allowed an average of 430 passing yards and 2.7 passing touchdowns per game! I’ll give you three guesses who they face this week, and the first two guesses don’t count.
Melvin Gordon – $8,600
Melvin Gordon won’t come cheap this week, sporting the second-highest price of all running backs at $8,600, but his opponent, the Raiders, have contributed to that price as much as Gordon himself has. Oakland has allowed the fourth-most rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs and the third-most rushing yards. This has culminated in making them the tenth-most scored upon defense in the league, in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs.
The Chargers are the third-best offensive line in terms of springing their running backs for yardage in the open field, averaging roughly a yard and a half per rush, while the Raiders’ defensive line is the league’s third-worst in the same regard, allowing an average of 1.86 yards per rush in the open field, making Gordon likely to break at least a couple nice runs for big yardage. With a team as susceptible to the rush as the Raiders are, it is always reassuring to see the opposing running back ranked as one of the top players in nearly every statistic tracked in the Weekly Stat Explorer.
Oakland isn’t just exploitable by opposing running backs on the ground, they have the sixth-worst defensive DVOA through the air to the position as well. Gordon, meanwhile, accounts for 23% of the Chargers’ passing targets proving the damage he is likely to do against Oakland can come from more than one facet of his game.
Other Running Backs:
Christian McCaffrey vs. New York (Giants) – New York is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and seventh-most rushing yards. McCaffrey also has the fourth-highest expected points among all running backs, he’s a great play.
Joe Mixon vs. Miami – The Dolphins are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs while Mixon has the sixth-highest expected points among all the running backs in the league. This should be a great match up for Mixon’s return to the starting lineup.
Adam Thielen – $7,700
Wide receiver prices dropped since last week and one of the best values on the slate is Adam Thielen as he faces off against Philadelphia. The Eagles have allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers on this slate. Philadelphia is highlighted by the Weekly Stat Explorer due to the defense allowing an average of 25.2 points through four games to WR1s. Their defense is also allowing the sixth-most yard yards in the NFL while, Thielen has gained the sixth-most air yards through the first quarter of this season.
Thielen is also gaining plenty of yards after the catch as well, coming into the game ranked as the eighth-highest gainer thus far. Opponents are also quite fond of targeting their wide receivers during match ups against the Eagles with 65% of all passes headed to the position, the fifth-highest percentage in the NFL. Thielen, meanwhile, is the most-targeted wide receiver in the league, amassing 56 targets through four games, and the ranked second in the league for receptions with 40.
Other Wide Receivers:
Amari Cooper vs. Los Angeles (Chargers) – The Chargers are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and the second-most yards per pass attempt to the position. Cooper is fresh off a nearly 30-point performance last week and is a great value play.
JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Atlanta – Smith-Schuster looks to be a major factor in this potential shootout. The Falcons are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receiver of all the teams on this slate. Atlanta is also allowing the fifth-most yards after the catch and fifth-highest catch percentage. Smith-Schuster has been overshadowing Antonio Brown thus far in the season and he comes $1,600 dollars cheaper too.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – $2,900
The tight end position has been hit heavily by the injury bug this year. Injuries have occurred to tight ends in Seattle, Cincinnati, Carolina and Tennessee. As such, the position has increasingly become all about finding value wherever you can. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is about as difficult to project as any player in the league so heed this recommendation with caution.
That said, his match up against Kansas City might be the best he sees all season. The Chiefs are allowing the third-most fantasy points to tight ends of all the teams on this week’s slate. Their defense is also allowing the second-most yards per pass attempt to tight ends, with 11.6 yards allowed per target. The position has also been targeted at least five times in each of Kansas City’s last three games. Slide Seferian-Jenkins into your line up if you’re looking for upside while freeing up some cash to spend elsewhere.
Other Tight Ends:
Jordan Leggett vs. Denver – This is what we’ve come to in terms of tight end plays, Jordan Leggett. A player who has three receptions for 13 yards and a touchdown thus far in the season. All I can do is sigh. Leggett will be an under the radar play against a Denver team that is allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends of the defenses on the slate. The Broncos are also allowing the most yards per target to the position of all defenses in the league. Proceed with caution, this is purely a speculative play, albeit one with intriguing upside!
Zach Ertz vs. Minnesota – While not a particularly great match up before Zach Ertz with the Vikings, points at the position may be hard to come by this week so it might make sense to pay up for what you can get. Ertz has been targeted with double digit targets in each of his first four games, leading all tight ends with 47 targets on the year. Ertz is also the positional leader in receptions, second in receiving yards and air yards, and third in fantasy points.
Week 4 was a whole lot of fun and I’d like to see that fun continue into Week 5. While I’m a bit worried about the tight end position, there is so much value to be had elsewhere that it might even out. That said, I think many winners this week are going to be crowned by the chances they take at tight end.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for Week 5. If you get a chance, follow me on Twitter at @TheFFGhost. Be careful and best of luck to everyone!