The Fantasy Football Ghost has identified several excellent values for us in his FanDuel cash plays for Week 5!
I wish we could celebrate this week with how well we all did in Week 4, but not only was I surprised with how horribly most games turned out, but so, it seems, were large swathes of the football and fantasy world. Case Keenum got benched with only 0.48 points so no matter how well the rest of the players featured in last week’s column performed, we would be on the losing end of the stick.
The rest of the featured players were nearly as abysmal with only Wayne Gallman surpassing the 2.5-times value mark (4.28-times value). I don’t know about you, but I’m done with dwelling on Week Four and am more than ready to move on to Week 5.
To measure the success of the players I recommend to our RotoViz readers, I will review the players I recommended the prior week and report their value multipliers. I will then calculate the average multiplier across the recommended player pool to give me a barometer of success for that week. My stated goal is to produce an average greater than 2.5-times value. If I achieve that goal, we will consider the week a success.
Much of the data presented in this piece can be found in the RotoViz NFL Stat Explorer and Game Level Similarity Projections. I also want to encourage readers to check out the RotoViz NFL Lineup Optimizer so that everyone can squeeze the most value out of their lineups each week.
FanDuel NFL Cash Plays for Week 5
Quarterback: Tom Brady ($7,600)
Tom Brady is always an easy fallback when a slate isn’t particularly full of values. His opponent this week, Washington, is one of the friendlier matchups for quarterbacks through four weeks, as they allow 2.5 passing touchdowns per game, the second-most in the league.
Washington is also allowing the third-highest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks over the past five games, in addition to the highest completion rate over that same span. Finally, New England has the highest implied point total of all the teams on the slate this week, providing the best scoring opportunity of any quarterback available to us. It’s a safe play, but it also appears to be the best one available to us.
Running Back: Melvin Gordon ($6,800)
Considering his past performance, Melvin Gordon’s $6,800 price tag is a steal against any opponent. However, against the Broncos, that value is even more pronounced. Over the past five games Denver has allowed the second-most rushing attempts and rushing yards to opposing running backs. The Broncos have also allowed the fourth-most rushing touchdowns this season, making them a prime target for perhaps the freshest running back on the slate.
Denver allows the seventh-most PPR points to the position (25.8 points) and the ninth-most expected points (23.9 points). Opponents have found that success by hammering the Broncos’ defense relentlessly with the third-highest rushing percentage allowed in the league. Gordon will have ample opportunity to prove to the Chargers that he is worthy of a new contract.that he is worthy of a new contract.
Wide Receiver: Alshon Jeffery ($6,700)
Alshon Jeffery, fresh off a two-week absence due to a calf injury, has managed to secure a touchdown in each of the two games he has played. His opponent this week, the Jets, check nearly every box we want when searching for excellent matchups. New York has allowed the second-most targets and receptions to opposing wide receivers over the past five games while also allowing the league’s most yards after catch (YAC) to the position over that same span.
Furthermore, the Jets are allowing the third-most receiving yards, the seventh-most air yards, and the eighth-highest RACR in the league. Finally, the Game Level Similarity Projection (GLSP) tool projects that Jeffery has a 58% chance of scoring 15 or more points — roughly right at the 2.5-times-value threshold we are looking for. The value projected by the RotoViz suite of tools is one of the biggest we’ve seen this season. I’m all in on Jeffery across my NFL FanDuel cash lineups this week.
Tight End: Jared Cook ($5,300)
Jared Cook hasn’t fared quite as well as many had hoped he would by signing with the Saints in the offseason. Through four weeks he has averaged just 3.25 points per game, positioning him between Ben Braunecker and Lance Kendricks, which are far from names many casual fans would recognize. That said, we know Cook can play and his matchup this week against Tampa Bay will once again show that elite level of skill.
The Buccaneers have been exploited by opposing tight ends. TEs against Tampa Bay sport the second-highest target rate in the league, notching both the second-highest completion rate and second-highest receiving yardage total over the past five games. Tampa Bay has also allowed the second-most air yards and yards after the catch totals over that period. Cumulatively, this has resulted in the Buccaneers allowing the second-highest PPR point total and the second-highest expected points total to opposing TEs over the past five games.
Cook’s $5,300 price tag is a steal no matter which way you look at it given his immense upside.
Many of the players identified this week have low price tags but high ceilings. Yes, we are paying up a bit at WR, but our other cheap values provide ample flexibility for our lineups. As always, good luck to everyone, and feel free to both reach out to me and follow me on Twitter at @TheFFGhost. I’ll do my best to answer any and all questions you may have!