Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity — that’s what fantasy football is all about. Each week I aggregate projections from around the internet and find the best DFS values from a dollar-per-opportunity perspective.
Week 4 was a great example of what happens when all the chalk hits and hits in a big way. The cash line in double-ups was over 200 points, which is unheard of. That being said, my picks hit in a big way last week with a 7-2 record (23-16 overall). The cover boy (Ezekiel Elliott) didn’t disappoint with 4.8x value and the only two misses were Jarvis Landry (1.8x with the Browns putting up 40+ points) and Allen Robinson (1.7x with Mitchell Trubisky throwing six TDs). Go figure — that’s football for you.
Let’s get to the Week 5 plays!
Matthew Stafford | 37.2 Opp Score | $5,700 DK
You won’t find a much higher-ceiling play than Matthew Stafford as he faces a Packers defense coming off a brilliant performance against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.1 Stafford is easily mispriced on DraftKings — he’s priced as the QB12 and has the second-ranked opportunity score — and there’s no reason to get cute in cash games. Just plug him in and enjoy the value because you’ll need it to in skill-position players this week. Check out his GLSP projection via Dave Caban’s Weekly Research Tool:
Blake Bortles | 37.1 Opp Score | $5,500 DK
By now you’ve seen the Blake Bortles splits and if you haven’t you can check out Mark Wemken’s Jaguars blurb in this week’s Ultimate Zero RB Watchlist. Bortles – Leonard Fournette = good. What’s also good is that Bortles has a plus matchup against a Chiefs defense that has been prone to giving up huge games to opposing quarterbacks. He’s the second-best value on the board coming in with the third-highest opportunity score and priced as the QB14. I’d fire him up in cash, but him playing on the road in Arrowhead gives me just enough reason to spend the extra $200 for Stafford, but he’s a full go in GPP lineups.
Joe Mixon | 21.4 Opp Score | $6,900 DK
Sometimes you have crowded backfields where you have no idea who’s getting the work on a weekly basis2 and sometimes you have a backfield like in Cincinnati where the two-headed monster trades off “DNP weeks” and you don’t have to guess who’s the workhorse. Joe Mixon is in line for a huge workload with Giovani Bernard trending as an inactive this week. Mixon will be a staple in my cash lineups and could also make for a great GPP play if his ownership remains low due to knee injury concerns. Let’s not forget the workload Mixon was seeing prior to missing the last two weeks:
David Johnson | 32.2 Opp Score | $6,300 DK
Admittedly, you have to place some faith in Mike McCoy with this play, but the value is too good to ignore. David Johnson has the fifth-ranked opportunity score and is priced as the RB10 making him the top dollar-per-opp value on the board. His usage is also trending up as he saw a season-high 26 opportunities last week (22 carries + 4 targets) and he theoretically should see an uptick in targets this week — the 49ers have allowed seven and nine targets to Melvin Gordon and Theo Riddick, respectively. Again, it’s a risky proposition when you’re putting faith into McCoy’s play calling, but Johnson could be a GPP-winner this week as his ownership should be low.
Ty Montgomery | 15.1 Opp Score | $3,800 DK
Is Ty Montgomery a running back or a wide receiver? This week it won’t matter because the Packers are limping into Week 5. Find me a Packers’ wide receiver and I’ll show you an injury. Randall Cobb has already been ruled out. Davante Adams should be active, but is battling a calf injury. Geronimo Allison is still in concussion protocol, but the Packers are “hopeful” he can suit up. Allison will be the big news to drop because if he’s out then Montgomery could realistically fall into eight or more targets in which case he’ll approach value on receptions alone. Given all the expensive plays in good spots his RB56 pricing is very appealing.
Adam Thielen | 26.9 Opp Score | $7,700 DK
Adam Thielen ranks first in the league in targets (56), second in receptions (40) and yards (473), and he ranks first in overall expected receiving points (87.2). So, he’s pretty damn good and he’s only the fifth-most expensive option at wide receiver. The Eagles have been torched by Ryan Fitzpatrick and Marcus Mariota so it’s not a daunting matchup and Thielen is clearly the top dog in the Vikings passing game.
JuJu Smith-Schuster | 22.8 Opp Score | $7,500 DK
It may be a shock to some, but JuJu Smith-Schuster has been Antonio Brown‘s equal in regards to usage in the Steelers offense.
Where Smith-Schuster especially shines is in the red zone — he’s been targeted 13 times in the red zone vs. five targets for Brown. In fact, the entire Steelers team outside of Smith-Schuster has 11 red zone targets. We know the Falcons can be attacked in the middle of the field so this matchup sets up perfectly for a DFS smash spot.
Golden Tate | 24.6 Opp Score | $6,700 DK
While Golden Tate may not be the flashy new toy in Detroit, he’s still showing that he’s the guy to target in the Lions’ passing game, especially as a GPP leverage play off the inevitably chalky Marvin Jones. Using the Weekly Explorer, here’s how the Lions wide receiver trio has performed:
While Tate lacks in red zone usage and air yards he more than makes up for it with overall target share — and he’s efficient too, scoring 15.9 receiving points over expected (ranks 17th). It should be no surprise that Tate comes in as the fourth-best WR value from a dollar per opportunity perspective and the fourth-ranked opportunity score.
Taywan Taylor | 12.9 Opp Score | $4,000 DK
Everyone will be talking about Corey Davis, but Taywan Taylor has been quietly solidifying his role as the WR2 on the Titans offense. He’s maintained a target share over 20 percent for consecutive weeks and WOPR has increased each of the four weeks. Don’t be surprised to see Taylor have a coming out party in what should be a great matchup vs. the Bills and at his price point he provides little risk with major upside.
Vance McDonald | 11.3 Opp Score | $3,700 DK
There’s no Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, or Eric Ebron on the slate, which means if you can’t get up to Travis Kelce ($6,000) and Zach Ertz ($6,500) you’re better off going for the value plays. My favorite this week is Vance McDonald as he seems to have taken over the primary tight end duties in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have an implied team total of 30 points, which is tied for highest of the slate, and sometimes DFS is just as easy as playing a cheap tight end on an offense that’s scoring a lot of points.