Daily Fantasy Football Quarterback Primer: Week 5
Welcome to another edition of my weekly NFL DFS quarterback primer article. Each week I will be looking to find an edge at the quarterback position for daily fantasy football contests.
In this weekly column, you will find the best value quarterbacks for tournaments and head-to-head cash games. Additionally, I will highlight one or two quarterbacks to avoid in the upcoming week.
Last week was an up-and-down week for this column. Matthew Stafford was the top tournament play of the week, and he came through finishing as a top-five quarterback on the main slate. We also wisely avoided Josh Allen against a top-ranked New England Patriots defense. However, for the second straight week, we put too much trust in Kyler Murray in both cash and tournaments. Murray finished outside the top 15 in air yards thrown and completed only one deep ball attempt. He was a bad play in cash last week.
Without further ado, let's dig in for Week 5.
Best Overall Play of the Week
Deshaun Watson ($8,000) -- Watson is going up against an Atlanta Falcons team that just allowed Marcus Mariota to have his best passing game of the season. The Texans have the highest implied total of the week, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, which gives Watson a great ceiling in this game. In both games the Texans have scored more than 20 points this season, Watson has finished a top-seven quarterback. Watson's rushing ability is a big reason for his safe weekly floor. He is tied for the third most rushing attempts (18) and most rushing touchdowns (3) so far this season. Our power rankings here at numberFire, which adjust for strength of opponent, have the Falcons with the eighth worst passing defense in the league. Stacking Watson with DeAndre Hopkins and/or Will Fuller this week is a great option in tournaments. Watson is the top point-per-dollar value play of the week, according to our projections.
Matt Ryan ($7,700) -- Ryan draws a matchup against the Texans in Week 5. Our power rankings have Houston as a top-10 pass defense so far this season, so Ryan certainly comes with some risk. In a game with the highest over/under, Ryan also comes with an extremely high ceiling. Ryan failed to score a touchdown last week against the Tennessee Titans but threw for nearly 400 yards and tied Patrick Mahomes for the most deep ball attempts (12) in Week 4. It is only a matter of time until one of those deep balls connects for a long touchdown. In what is projected to be a shootout, our algorithms are predicting Ryan to throw and complete the most passes in Week 5. Ryan is the fourth best value play of the week, per our projections.
Kyler Murray ($7,400) -- I know, I just wrote about how I have missed on Kyler Murray for two weeks in a row. I just can't help myself in this matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, a defense that just allowed 229 yards and two touchdowns from Mason Rudolph. This game has the second highest over/under on the main slate, so we can expect to see a lot of touchdowns in this game. As mentioned in the intro, Murray will need to push the ball down the field more in this game to be worth playing in DFS. We have seen his floor, finishing with fewer than 20 points the last two weeks. However, I think we have yet to see his ceiling on the fastest-paced offense in the league. The Bengals have let up at least two passing touchdowns in three out of their first four games. Our models have Murray as the fifth best value play of the week.
Lamar Jackson ($8,300) -- You know the deal at this point. The Baltimore Ravens got dominate by the Cleveland Browns in Week 4, but Jackson still managed to throw for three touchdowns and rush for 66 yards. His rushing floor and ceiling continue to make him a must-start player in cash games. Jackson has now finished as a top-three scorer at the quarterback position in three out of the first three weeks and has surpassed 20 FanDuel points every week. The high-floor, high-ceiling QB is playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a middle-of-the-pack passing defense, according to our numbers. Through the first four weeks of the season, Jackson leads the league in rushing attempts (36) and rushing yards (238). Josh Allen, who is second in the league in rushing yards, is still more than 100 yards behind Jackson. Jackson's rushing floor and ceiling cannot be understated. Our models have the second-year quarterback as the second best value play of the week. He needs to be in your cash lineups and could be a tournament consideration, too.
Quarterback to Avoid
Aaron Rodgers ($7,800) -- At the time this was written, it is still unclear if Davante Adams will suit up this week against the Dallas Cowboys after suffering a toe injury on Thursday night last week. Anytime you fade one of the best quarterbacks in history, you are taking a risk. However, Rodgers has had a much lower ceiling than many realize so far this season. He has failed to complete more than three deep ball passes in a game, a feat that his been hit 35 times so far this season by other throwers. Combine this with the potential loss of his top receiver and injuries on the offensive line, and we have a quarterback we should be avoiding for the near future in both cash and tournaments. Our models still expect Rodgers to be the seventh best value play of the week, but his floor makes him hard to trust this week on the road.
Samuel Factor is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Samuel Factor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Samfact2. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.