5 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 5
In fantasy football, matchups are key to setting any lineup.
This series will take a look at a few matchups that can be exploited for success on the football field and for profit in DFS.
Giants Offense vs. Dallas Defense
Death, taxes and starting fantasy players against the Dallas Cowboys' defense.
The Cowboys amazingly rank in the bottom 13 in FanDuel points allowed to every skill position group, including in the bottom seven against opposing quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends. Dallas ranks 28th in numberFire’s schedule-adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, 30th in yards allowed and 32nd in points allowed this season. The Cowboys' porous defense paired with an offense that ranks third in points scored and first in neutral situation pace, per Football Outsiders, makes Dallas a team to pit fantasy players against each week, including this Sunday when Dallas squares off against the New York Giants.
Jason Garrett’s Giants have gotten off to a dreadful start through the first four weeks of the season, as New York ranks 31st in NEP per play and last in points scored and total yards. No Giants player ranks in the top 24 in FanDuel points at their respective position this season. But New York had a brutal stretch of games to begin its season, as it has faced the second-most difficult schedule of opposing defenses, per Sharp Football Stats.
With Dallas on the horizon, the time is now to buy in on Daniel Jones ($7,000 on FanDuel), Darius Slayton ($5,800) and Evan Engram ($5,500). Jones showed elite fantasy potential last season, as he was just one of three quarterbacks to score 30-plus FanDuel points in a single game at least three times. Slayton and Engram should be the main beneficiaries of Dallas’ weak defense, as each of them have more than 10 more targets than the next closest Giants pass-catcher.
Chiefs Offense vs. Raiders Defense
The Kansas City Chiefs' offense has seemingly underwhelmed to start the season, as it ranks “only” sixth in yards per play and ninth in points scored. Patrick Mahomes ($9,000), Tyreek Hill ($8,200), and Travis Kelce ($7,800) are all currently top-five fantasy players at their respective positions. They are worth playing every week -- especially this week against a Las Vegas Raiders defense that ranks in the bottom 10 in yards per play and points allowed this season.
Sammy Watkins ($5,600) and Mecole Hardman ($5,100) are both strong point-per-dollar plays if you're looking to get lower-salary exposure to Kansas City’s offense, considering Watkins has led the team in targets in back-to-back weeks and Hardman may finally be the team’s third receiver after out-snapping Demarcus Robinson ($4,700) in two of the past three weeks.
However, Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($7,900) is likely the best play among Chiefs players this week, as Las Vegas ranks dead last against running backs. Edwards-Helaire is set up perfectly against a Raiders defense that ranks in the bottom five in targets, receptions and receiving yards surrendered to running backs. CEH ranks sixth in touches and offensive snaps but 15th in FanDuel points among running backs. His fantasy production should eventually catch up to his usage, starting this week against Vegas.
Jaguars Offense vs. Texans Defense
A stack consisting of Deshaun Watson ($7,900) and Will Fuller ($6,600) is likely to be among the most popular of the week, considering that the Jacksonville Jaguars rank dead last in Defensive Passing NEP per play and have allowed 30-plus points in three straight games against the Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals.
However, Jacksonville’s own offense has sneaky-good potential. Gardner Minshew ($7,200) and James Robinson ($6,600) are both top-10 players at their respective positions in FanDuel points, and D.J. Chark ($7,000) just posted eight catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns in his return from injury a week ago.
The Jaguars have spent the most time trailing in 2020, which shouldn’t change much for the remainder of the season considering the state of the Jags' defense. Minshew and Chark will feast on that additional volume in negative game scripts, but Robinson should get his, too.
Jacksonville offensive coordinator Jay Gruden told media this week he’d like to get Robinson 20 to 25 carries, which should turn into nice production considering Houston ranks 21st in run D by our numbers and 28th in FanDuel points allowed to running backs this season. Even if Jacksonville quickly falls behind and is forced to air it out, Robinson should still benefit, as he is averaging just shy of five targets a game since Week 2, and Minshew has a habit for checking down.
Panthers Offense vs. Falcons Defense
The Joe Brady experience is going well for the Carolina Panthers, as the offense ranks 10th in NEP per play so far this season. Free agent pickup Robby Anderson ($6,200) has been the main beneficiary, as he sits in the top 12 in targets, catches, receiving yards and FanDuel points among all wide receivers this year.
Teddy Bridgewater ($7,100) ranks 18th and D.J. Moore ($6,600) 35th in FanDuel points at their respective positions, but each should see a jump in production this week against an Atlanta Falcons defense that is allowing the most FanDuel points to opposing quarterbacks and the 10th-most points to wide receivers. Moore seems due for a big game considering he ranks 11th in air yards, and Atlanta has one of the most injured secondaries in the league.
Mike Davis ($6,800) took the Christian McCaffrey role and ran with it following McCaffrey’s injury. In the past two weeks as Carolina’s starter, Davis has posted back-to-back games of 19-plus FanDuel points with the help of 15 combined targets (third-most among running backs).
Davis’ salary is too low, considering he’s fantasy’s RB5 in the past two weeks and could see even more opportunity with backup running back Reggie Bonnafon being placed on injured reserve this week after suffering an ankle sprain. Atlanta is ceding the 11th-most FanDuel points to opposing running backs this season and ranks in the bottom five in targets, catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns to the position.
Vikings Offense vs. Seahawks Defense
The Sunday Night game between the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks has the highest projected total of the week (56.5, per FanDuel Sportsbook). That number makes sense, considering both teams rank in the top 12 in points scored and bottom 13 in points allowed.
Dalvin Cook ($15,000), Russell Wilson ($16,500), D.K. Metcalf ($11,000) and Tyler Lockett ($12,000) will all be popular plays in the primetime slate given their fantasy production thus far and their team philosophies thus far. Seattle ranks first in neutral-situation pass rate, and Minnesota ranks last, per RBSDM.com.
Those fantasy studs are all likely to meet or surpass expectations in what should be a high-scoring affair, but a contrarian play to keep in mind is pivoting toward Minnesota’s passing offense. Kirk Cousins ($14,500) ranks 22nd in FanDuel points this season in large part because he ranks 28th in pass attempts, but he could be forced to air it out against a Seahawks defense that ranks 32nd in pass attempts and 31st in FanDuel points allowed to quarterbacks.
Despite Minnesota’s low-volume passing offense, Adam Thielen ($12,500) sits 14th in targets and 6th in FanDuel points among wide receivers this season. Justin Jefferson ($10,000) averaged 33 offensive snaps in the first two games but has averaged 51 in the last two, which has resulted in him scoring the fourth-most FanDuel points among wideouts over the past two weeks after back-to-back 100-yard games. Thielen and Jefferson should feast against a Seattle secondary that easily ranks dead last in targets, catches, receiving yards and FanDuel points allowed to wide receivers this season.
Gus Logue is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice Gus Logue also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username GUSL. 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.