4 Daily Fantasy Football Players to Avoid in Week 5
As you're filling out your DFS lineups, it's always tempting to simply target the biggest superstars. However, player salaries don't always align with their expected production in a given matchup.
In this preview, I'll highlight a few players who might ordinarily be on your radar but are probably best to avoid this week. These aren't going to be players you absolutely must avoid due to injuries or playing-time demotions but rather players who are in a bad spot due to a matchup or a salary that has risen too high to justify rostering.
Let's take a look at five players who may not live up to expectations in Week 5. All references to betting totals and spreads are from the FanDuel Sportsbook. All stats are from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise noted.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
FanDuel Salary: $7,200
DraftKings Salary: $5,600
You probably were already steering clear of Carson Wentz in your FanDuel lineups, but his discounted DraftKings cap hit could attract some people. After a brutal start to the season, Wentz has been running more (16 carries over the last two weeks), and it's helped him post consecutive fantasy scores over 20 points on both platforms.
Improved numbers on the ground may make Wentz a viable target in future weeks but stay away from him against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. According to Sports Info Solutions, Pittsburgh has generated pressure on 65.9 percent of opponents' dropbacks, easily the highest rate in the league. That's bad news for the Philadelphia Eagles, as Wentz is averaging a league-worst 2.4 yards per attempt versus pressure. He's also taken a sack on 25.9 percent of his dropbacks under pressure, the third-worst rate in the league.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
FanDuel Salary: $7,000
DraftKings Salary: $6,500
Nick Chubb is out for a few weeks with an MCL sprain, opening the door for Kareem Hunt to lead the way in the Cleveland Browns backfield. However, Hunt is dealing with an injury of his own and was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday's practice.
Hunt was dealing with the groin injury last week also and only participated in Friday's practice prior to suiting up against the Dallas Cowboys. Based on that trend set last week, it's probably reasonable to assume Hunt will play against the Indianapolis Colts. However, the Browns may still try to lighten his workload when possible. Third-string running back D'Ernest Johnson picked up 95 yards on the ground against Dallas and out-touched Hunt 13 to 11. That indicates Cleveland has some level of trust in Johnson and will work him into the game -- especially if the score turns lopsided
Based on ESPN's win-rate metrics, Cleveland boasts the second-best run blocking in the league. This is certainly a significant factor in Chubb, Hunt, and Johnson all performing at high levels this season. It also likely makes the Browns' coaching staff more comfortable subbing in the less-proven Johnson if Hunt is less than 100 percent. So even if Hunt is active, we probably can't confidently predict a Chubb-like workload.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals
FanDuel Salary: $6,900
DraftKings Salary: $6,300
Don't be fooled by Joe Mixon's 45.1 point outburst last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars -- he's still an extremely risky fantasy play on a weekly basis. When the Cincinnati Bengals are winning -- which they were for most of the second half last week -- Mixon has seen a 42 percent usage rate. When trailing, however, that number drops to 27 percent.
As a 12.5-point underdog against the Baltimore Ravens, it's hard to imagine Cincinnati holds a lead for much, if any, of this game. This probably means Mixon's usage rate will drop significantly, while Giovani Bernard should see increased action.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Raiders
FanDuel Salary: $5,100
DraftKings Salary: $4,900
Injuries to rookie receivers Bryan Edwards and Henry Ruggs have made Hunter Renfrow a popular selection in recent weeks. His draft percentage of 5.6 percent was among the highest for receivers in his salary range in Week 4. It's probably best to avoid him in Week 5, however, as the Kansas City Chiefs have excelled at defending slot receivers.
According to Sports Info Solutions, Kansas City is allowing just 10.9 fantasy points per game (FanDuel scoring) to players lined up in the slot, the lowest rate in the league. That's despite facing players such as Will Fuller, Keenan Allen, and Julian Edelman.
The Chiefs also shut down Renfrow last year, holding him to just 5.0 fantasy points, despite seeing eight targets. Renfrow should bounce back in future weeks, but this is likely to be a tough matchup for him.
Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. 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.