DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 5
The daily fantasy football games offered on FanDuel and DraftKings have many similarities, but one distinct difference is that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. Much like you would in season-long leagues, that means we must evaluate players slightly differently on each site. In this space, we'll help you on the DraftKings side of the equation.
Be sure to pay attention to inactives prior to Sunday's games. Similar to late scratches in the NBA, injuries can have a huge impact on playing time, and great values can open up for you at the last minute. At a position like running back, a low-priced backup can suddenly find his way into 15-20 carries in a feature role and crush his value.
Also, be sure to use numberFire's premium tools at your disposal! In particular, the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied team totals, and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's check out the top plays on this week's DraftKings main slate.
Aaron Rodgers ($8,100): With Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, and Drew Brees all off the main slate this week, Aaron Rodgers stands alone at the top $1,000 more than the next-highest quarterback. Sadly, that probably relegates him to tournaments only, but he's in a game with by far the highest over/under on the board (52.0) that has shootout written all over it. With Ty Montgomery dealing with broken ribs in an uncertain Green Bay Packers running back situation, we could find Rodgers slinging it more than usual -- and they were already third in passing play percentage to begin with. The Dallas Cowboys have allowed at least 18 DraftKings points to Jared Goff, Carson Palmer, and Trevor Siemian over the past three weeks. Jordy Nelson ($8,100) is just as pricey as Rodgers, but is the ideal stack partner, with 19 touchdowns over his last 20 regular season games. And if you can't quite afford Rodgers, you can always pivot to the other sideline with Dak Prescott ($6,800).
Carson Palmer ($5,900): Speaking of high passing volume, Carson Palmer has had plenty of that this season himself. With the Arizona Cardinals showing little semblance of a running game without David Johnson, Palmer is attempting the most passes in the league and has surpassed 300 passing yards in three straight. The touchdowns haven't quite been there, but it hasn't been from a lack of trying, as Palmer leads the NFL in red zone passing attempts -- the scores will come. He gets a good matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles, who have allowed over 20 DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks. There's a lot to like here, but the only caveat is the Cardinals must travel across the country for a 1pm game, which historically has resulted in some letdown performances, and could explain a rather low implied team total (19.25).
Brian Hoyer ($4,700) and Josh McCown ($4,500): Yeah, not exactly names either San Francisco 49ers or New York Jets fans are lining up to buy jerseys for, but neither one has to do much to hit value in some of the best matchups fantasy football has to offer. Hoyer hits the road against the Indianapolis Colts, who rank 27th in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play and have allowed the fourth-most DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks. Meanwhile, McCown gets the Cleveland Browns on the road, who rank dead last against the pass by the same metric while allowing the fifth-most points per game. Hoyer has struggled this season, but can still hang his hat on a 30.18-point performance against the Los Angeles Rams, and McCown has managed double-digit points in three of four games. You might feel queasy going here come Sunday, but the savings will go a long way towards opening the door for some of the names that follow.
Le'Veon Bell ($9,500): When you hear the term "funnel defense," it typically refers to defenses that are stout against the run but weak against the pass, leading to more passing volume for opposing offenses. Well, we have the reverse here with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have allowed the fewest passing yards per game (147.0), but have allowed the most rushing yards per game (165.5). Le'Veon Bell is finally coming off that big game we were waiting for, and everything lines up for an encore in Week 5. The price tag is high, but Bell is second in the league among running backs in both touches and market share -- guaranteed volume doesn't get much better than this. If you can't fit in the salary, Ezekiel Elliott ($8,800) makes for an excellent alternative as a home favorite against the Packers.
Todd Gurley ($8,000): The only running back ahead of Bell in touches and market share is Todd Gurley, and he's $1,500 cheaper. Gurley is essentially the new David Johnson -- the usage is that high. There's no reason to fear using him against the Seattle Seahawks, who, like the Jaguars, are strong against the pass and weak against the run. Seattle ranks 24th against the run by our metrics, and are allowing the 6th-most rushing yards per game. Keep using Gurley before his price rises to match his volume.
Andre Ellington ($4,600): Andre Ellington has seen his role increase over the past two weeks, receiving target totals of 14 and 8 as the Cardinals continue to abandon the run with Chris Johnson looking toast. Although Ellington's price has jumped since last week, he's still at a comfortable salary that can easily hit value with that goldmine of targets. Despite having a reduced role in Week 1 when David Johnson was still healthy, Ellington is now second on the team in targets (30), behind only Larry Fitzgerald, and he's been on the field for 57% of the snaps the last two games. Carson Palmer has made at least 48 pass attempts three times this season and there's no reason to expect otherwise this week. Expect another healthy helping of catches for Ellington.
Dez Bryant ($6,500): Dez Bryant has gone through a murderers' row of tough matchups, having to deal with the likes of Janoris Jenkins, Aqib Talib, Patrick Peterson and Trumaine Johnson. And yet, he's still come out of it seeing 10 targets a game, tied for sixth-highest in the league with Keenan Allen. The volume is there, and now he gets by far his best matchup of the season against a susceptible Green Bay secondary. And as if you needed any more convincing, the Cowboys are at home with the slate's highest implied team total (27.00) in what could be a shootout against Aaron Rodgers. In the same price range, also consider DeVante Parker ($6,600), who gets a great matchup against a leaky Tennessee Titans defense that just got lit up by the Houston Texans for 57 points.
Jaron Brown ($4,500): Jaron Brown has averaged 9.7 targets over the last three weeks, and his snap count is up to 95% over the last two. John Brown could begin to eat into Jaron's workload as he gets healthier, but at this price, Jaron should see more than enough volume to hit value. As mentioned previously, there will be plenty of targets to go around from Palmer, and both Browns will have the luxury of going up against Jalen Mills, who's been getting carved up by wideouts all season.
Aldrick Robinson ($3,100): If Marquise Goodwin remains out with a concussion, then that puts Aldrick Robinson on the radar. Robinson saw 12 targets when Goodwin was forced out of the game last week. A double-digit target ceiling against the Colts at close to $3,000? Yes, please.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($3,500): The Browns have allowed 20.1 DraftKings points per game to tight ends this season, the second-most in the NFL, and targeting tight ends against them continues to be a lucrative practice. The Browns have made the likes of Jesse James, Ben Watson, and Tyler Kroft look like superstars. In the two games ASJ has played, he's averaged 5 targets while seeing 77% of the snaps. Expect those targets to rise in the plum matchup, and ASJ makes for a good pairing with Josh McCown.
Antonio Gates ($3,300): One of the other premier spots to target tight ends against is the New York Giants, who are the not-so-proud owners of a league-worst 22.2 DraftKings points allowed per game. Choosing between Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry makes this a little more complicated, but the edge goes to Gates, who is cheaper and has out-targeted Henry 17-10.
New York Jets D/ST ($3,000): The Jets aren't a defense we typically think to use, particularly on the road, but they're low-priced and up against DeShone Kizer, who leads the league in interceptions (8) and only threw for 118 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4. With a wide receiving corp led by an injured and disinterested Kenny Britt and little behind him, there isn't much to fear in this offense. The only concern is if the Browns can get Isaiah Crowell going against the Jets' weak run defense, but if the Jets can get grab the lead they'll force the Browns to air it out -- not an entirely unlikely scenario.
Baltimore D/ST ($2,900): While the Pittsburgh D/ST ($3,900) is in a good spot at home against Blake Bortles, they'll be difficult to fit in at their price. Instead, you can drop down to the Baltimore Ravens, who are priced as though they're up against Derek Carr, but instead get a more palatable opponent in E.J. Manuel. The Ravens haven't done much lately, but they still rank 12th by numberFire's metrics and showed plenty of upside the first two weeks with DraftKings scores of 25.0 and 17.0 points.