FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Early-Slate Helper: Week 5
The Week 5 NFL DFS early slate on FanDuel has a whopping 10 matchups, all kicking off at 1 p.m. EST. This is the bulk of the slate, as there are only two games on the afternoon slate.
The numberFire NFL DFS Matchup Heat Map will be referenced for all implied totals and spreads throughout this article, so be sure to check it out.
Let’s look at the best plays at every price point on the slate.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints ($8,200)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers actually boast the top run defense through four weeks, allowing -0.23 Adjusted Defensive Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. Alvin Kamara has been inefficient on the ground so far, but his passing game chops continue to shine even with Teddy Bridgewater floating him the ball. Kamara ranks third among backs with at least 15 catches in Reception NEP per target.
Alvin Kamara dodges the entire Buccaneers defense and turns a checkdown into a 33 yard TD pic.twitter.com/eHEdOzv4fd
— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) August 7, 2019
The best reason to play Kamara is his history against his division rival. In four career games against the Bucs, he has 508 total yards and 6 scores while catching at least 5 balls in every contest. He may be stymied on the ground, but expect Sean Payton to funnel his offense through his superstar running back. Our models have Kamara with the second-highest projected point total.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings ($8,200)
Even a matchup with the Chicago Bears couldn't stop Dalvin Cook. His efficiency tanked on the ground with only 35 yards on 18 carries, but he found the end zone and was involved in the passing game with 6 receptions. Cook now ranks second among backs with at least 30 carries with a 0.24 Rushing NEP per carry.
The New York Giants have been solid on the ground, ranking 17th in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play, but expect Cook to continue rolling up the fantasy points in his bell-cow role.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans ($8,500)
Without their hard-hitting free safety, Keanu Neal, the Atlanta Falcons struggled to guard anyone last week. Both Corey Davis and A.J. Brown ran wild when Desmond Trufant attempted to cover them, as the corner was charged with over 100 yards and two scores, according to PlayerProfiler.
A.J. Brown has been in the NFL for all of 5 minutes and already looks like he has what I affectionately call “old man game”. His releases against press are outstanding already and he just uses the subtlest shove at the last moment to create late separation and finish the catch. pic.twitter.com/u8WZkVGyc4
— Mike Herndon (@MikeMiracles) September 30, 2019
DeAndre Hopkins should dominate Trufant's shadow coverage, as he is objectively better than both Davis and Brown. Hopkins hasn't been his usual elite self this season, ranking outside the top 25 receivers in Reception NEP per target -- but this matchup should be a boon to his efficiency. The Houston Texans also have the third-highest implied team total on the slate, so he has high touchdown equity this week.
Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($7,800)
Chris Godwin absolutely smashed Nickell Robey in the slot last week, racking up 172 yards and 2 scores on 12 catches. Now he has a matchup with P.J. Williams, the most exploitable piece of a Saints secondary that ranks 18th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. This game has the second-highest total on the slate, meaning there should be plenty of pass attempts. Our projections have Godwin pegged for the fifth-most fantasy points this week.
Mid-Priced Upside Plays
David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals ($6,800)
David Johnson continues to be one of the best values every week because he hasn't had his "blow up" game yet. It's coming this week.
"Thought we had a chance to score here, but you have to give their guys credit."
Coach Kingsbury breaks-down David Johnson's 31-yard screen pass at the end of the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/Jv9kVpZxky
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 2, 2019
Our projections have him as the best point per dollar value at any position on the slate. With Christian Kirk sidelined with an ankle injury, Johnson could even operate out of the slot more, as the Arizona Cardinals look for pass production elsewhere. The Cincinnati Bengals rank 31st in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play and 28th in total defense, so the matchup is more than ideal.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals ($6,700)
As one of the only healthy passing game options left, Tyler Boyd figures to see plenty of work against an Arizona secondary that ranks 28th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play. The Bengals also cannot run the ball, as their line is producing the second-fewest adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders. They'll likely be forced to move the ball with Andy Dalton's arm.
Bargain Bin Prospects
Jaylen Samuels, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers ($5,000)
With James Conner in jeopardy of missing the game, the Steelers could feature Jaylen Samuels again. He already received 18 touches last week, getting work on the ground, through the air, and even in the Wildcat formation. The Baltimore Ravens have been gashed in recent weeks and now rank dead-last in total defense per our metrics, so Samuels is a strong play at his price regardless of Conner's availability.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals ($5,800)
Larry Fitzgerald has seen his targets and fantasy points dip in every game this season, but that is bound to change in the absence of Christian Kirk. With Fitz as the only experienced slot option, Kyler Murray will likely feed him plenty of short looks. He's been hesitant to push the ball down the field with just 7.4 air yards per attempt -- which is 27th among quarterbacks (so much for the "Air Raid" offense) -- and that should continue without Kirk. Expect the future Hall-of-Famer to exploit this 31st-ranked Bengals pass defense.
Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans ($5,700)
Just like Hopkins, Will Fuller is in a bounce-back spot against a depleted Falcons defense. Deshaun Watson has been trying to connect with Fuller deep, as evidenced by his 12th-ranked intended air yards, but he ranks outside the top-50 in receiving yards. This is an indication that these two are due for a big week.
#Texans WR Will Fuller is Top 15 in the NFL in Air Yards but isn’t even Top 50 in receiving yards.
Deshaun Watson just missed him on a would-be 75-yard TD in Sunday’s loss to #Panthers.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 30, 2019
O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5,400)
Playing O.J. Howard is strictly based on ownership leverage, as you probably got a queasy feeling in your stomach just reading his name. But he is running a route on two-thirds of Jameis Winston's pass attempts, and he has played at least 75 percent of snaps in every game, per PlayerProfiler. Many DFS players will eat the chalk and play Tyler Eifert, who is arguably thinner than Howard based on his role. Don't trust him in cash lineups, but he has the athleticism to post monster games and is in a potential shootout with the second-highest game total on the slate.
Jonathan Taylor Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice Jonathan Taylor Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jtsmittyyy. 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.