Identifying my Week 5 NFL DFS picks was easier than it’s ever been thanks to the continued work of our apps development team. The NFL Stat Explorer, the DFS Lineup Optimizer, and our world-famous Game Splits App are three windows I never close on my screen. Let’s build a plan of attack for Yahoo! DFS using my favorite research tools.
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Ok, I know this is super gross — but I kind of like Joe Flacco ($22, QB25) this week. The Chargers are allowing two passing touchdowns per game and surrendering an impressive 71% completion rate. The Elite One has scored at least 17.5 fantasy points in the three of four contests, including a 25 point outburst in Week 4. The Chargers haven’t allowed more than 80 yards rushing since Week 1. I’ll be using some Flacco to gain access to some high-priced GPP plays at other positions, and he’s definitely in play in cash games this week too.
If you weren’t disgusted enough by my first pick, try this one on for size: Kirk Cousins ($27). It’s harder to stomach this play on Yahoo! versus other sites, as the price-setters here weighted the matchup against the Giants as attractive enough to ignore Cousins’ horrific fantasy start to 2019. However, I think that could also lead to him being under-utilized, which is good for us. The Giants have allowed 380 or more passing yards twice (chokes on bourbon) this season.
Kyler Murray ($27) faces an exploitable Bengals defense on the road in what could be a track meet (O/U 47.5).
Surprisingly, we really have not seen an explosion from Murray yet as he has just one QB1 week so far (Week 1). His floor has been rock solid though, as he’s posted at least 18 fantasy points every week.
Deshaun Watson ($35) and Matt Ryan ($35) face off in a dome and are both on my list in a game I’ll be targeting for stacks. Atlanta is surrendering over 23 fantasy points per game to quarterback since Week 2, and this game has the highest total of the week. The Texans were carved up by the veteran quarterbacks they faced (Drew Brees and Philip Rivers) to the tune of 688 passing yards and four touchdowns in two games.
Christian McCaffrey ($38) is the second-most expensive RB on Yahoo! this week, and for good reason. Thanks to an otherworldly touch floor, Run CMC has to be part of your build if you’re playing volume. He ranks first in expected fantasy points (EP) in 2019 and he’s averaging 32 looks over the past two weeks. Ownership could be lower than expected as Jacksonville’s defense is still a name brand amongst the fantasy community.
Ezekiel Elliott ($36) should be priced at RB1, so keep in mind that this is a discount. His matchup with Green Bay is indeed a very green one.
Elliott has been a solid producer, but we haven’t seen the boom game yet — it’s coming this week.
David Johnson ($30) is near lock-button attractive on the road against the Bengals. They’ve allowed a rushing touchdown in every game this year and five or more receptions to the running back position in three of four games.
Leonard Fournette ($23) has famously not scored a touchdown yet this season and we know that won’t last forever. Carolina has allowed four touchdowns to the position this year. Fournette is the focus of the offense and he’s been a better fantasy play on the road over the course of his career, averaging almost 3.5 PPR more away from Jacksonville. The trend has continued in 2019, as he’s averaging 5.3 more PPR on the road. I like Fournette for 25 touches and a touchdown this week, which makes his $23 salary perhaps the biggest steal of the week.
Joe Mixon ($18) is in the best possible breakout spot in Week 5 as the Bengals have been decimated by injury in their receiving corps. The team is desperately seeking its first win, and they are home favorites by less than a touchdown. Arizona has allowed four receptions to backs in three out of four games this season and has given up over 100 yards on the ground in consecutive contests as well.
Wayne Gallman ($13) is priced low enough that he’s in play despite a tough matchup with Minnesota.
Let’s attack the stacks first.
Courtland Sutton ($16) is so cheap my hand got tired scrolling down the list to find him. It might surprise you to learn he’s 24th among wide receivers in EP per game this season. Emmanuel Sanders ($18) has three games with 15 or more PPR and ranks 10th among wide receivers in EP points per game. Both are in play for a stack that will cost you less than $60.
Adam Thielen ($28) and Stefon Diggs ($20) are both usable, but Diggs obviously represents the value between the two. I think the latter is the better GPP play, but it’s possible he either goes off for 25-plus PPR points or gets completely ghosted by an angry Mike Zimmer. A triple stack is definitely in play here too and would cost only $75. The Giants have allowed over 50 PPR to opposing wide receiver groups twice this season, thanks in part to five touchdowns allowed in those matchups with Dallas and Tampa Bay.
King Larry Fitzgerald ($24) is sooooo mispriced this week. The Cardinals actually called me up to see if I would be willing to run a few crossing routes this week. I wasn’t available because I had to write this article, so they signed Pharoh Cooper instead. Fitzgerald is a cash lock as it would be the surprise of the week if he doesn’t see at least eight targets. You can also stack honorary wide receiver David Johnson (six or more receptions in three of four games) here as well.
Texans and Falcons Stacks
This game is a little trickier since you’ll probably want a pass-catcher on each side of the contest. Julio Jones ($39) and DeAndre Hopkins ($33) will be tough to cram in together unless you opt for my cheapest running backs recommendations and punt team defense. I like Hopkins better at his price, and the Falcons have allowed five touchdowns to wide receivers over the past two weeks. You can run it back against Hopkins with weekly boom-bust play Calvin Ridley ($23) or the deeply discounted Mohamed Sanu ($15), who has six targets in every game this season and is due for a touchdown (zero on the year despite 24 receptions). There’s also a tight end to consider in this game depending on your tolerance for risk.
The Saints-Buccaneers game also has to be considered. Michael Thomas ($29) has a very safe floor against one of the most friendly secondaries in the league. The only question is whether Teddy Bridgewater can unlock a true ceiling. Mike Evans ($30) went 7/112/1 in the Superdome last season. Chris Godwin ($24) is the cheaper play, though.
JuJu Smith-Schuster ($28) faces a Ravens defense that just got roasted by Jarvis Landry and getting destroyed by slot receivers is nothing new for the Ravens, either. And nobody wants to play him right now.
Austin Hooper ($19) is priced at TE7 and represents a contrarian play against a Texans defense that’s been an impenetrable fortress against tight ends. I would only play him as part of a game stack attack; he’s not a naked play and is not in consideration for cash this week.
Since we’ve got so many discount options on the board at other positions, I’ll be paying up for targets from Travis Kelce ($32) or Evan Engram ($24) in many lineups. Jimmy Graham ($13) is the discount play at TE this week — Dallas has given up four receptions to tight ends in every game, and the Packers could be without Davante Adams.
The Patriots defense is $22, but they could still be a value at this price, having returned 25 fantasy points or more when priced above $20 both times this season.
The Vikings ($17) could have plenty of turnover creation opportunities against rookie Daniel Jones if they sprint out to an early lead.
The Raiders ($10) are my punt play at defense this week as they will host Chase Daniel in the Black Hole (London-style).
GPP Game Selection Notes
Here are my favorite games in the Yahoo! NFL DFS Lobby this week:
The NFL $350K Dollar Baller is an absolute must on Yahoo! this week. $35K top prize. $10 to enter. 150 lineup cap per contestant.
The NFL Yahoo Cup is a free, GPP style league that runs all year. Yahoo is offering a $1M prize to anyone who posts a perfect lineup, and there are weekly and yearly prizes. Definitely play this every week. Again, it’s free.