4 FanDuel NFL Studs to Target in Week 5
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high-salaried players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
We’ve seen each team play four games now, so let’s see which star players make the most sense this week given what we know.
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
Projected Points: 24.0
Not many people would have had the Arizona Cardinals as the last remaining undefeated team in the league. If anyone did, though, they would have expected it to be on the back of brilliance from Kyler Murray.
That’s pretty much been the story for the Cardinals to start the season. Among quarterbacks that have started every game, Murray ranks third in Passing Net Expected Points per drop back. We know that the passing is only half the story with Kyler, as he is one of the best dual-threat QBs in the league, too.
Murray is tied for fifth in passing touchdowns with nine and is second among quarterbacks in rushing touchdowns with three, behind only the surprising Sam Darnold. This puts him as the QB2 so far, and it's easy to see him finishing close to that by the season's end.
He'll face a familiar divisional opponent in Week 5, where he could have a lot of success.
The Cardinals are at home against the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners have a reputation for having a good defense, and while that's mostly been the case, that doesn't mean they aren't beatable.
They've allowed the fifth-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season. Specifically for Murray's skill set, San Francisco has allowed the fifth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks and also two touchdowns on the ground. Murray has run for at least 67 yards in his last three games against the 49ers, so he shouldn't have a problem moving the ball with his legs.
Arizona is a 5.5-point favorite and has an implied team total of 28 points, so the bookmakers are not expecting them to slow down much in this game. Murray is also numberFire's highest projected player at any position, making him viable in all formats this week.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
FanDuel Salary: $10,400
Projected Points: 20.7
We liked Derrick Henry last week, and the big dog did his thing.
He carried the ball a whopping 33 times and went for 157 yards and a score. He also kept up his involvement in the passing game, as he now has multiple catches in every game this season. He should get fed again this week and be his dominant self once again.
Henry is currently lapping the field in many categories this season. He leads all non-quarterbacks in half-PPR points per game with 24.1, ahead of second-ranked Cooper Kupp by over two points. Henry also has 30 more carries than any other running back in the league, receiving a crazy amount of volume for today's NFL. It's clear that the game plan is to get Henry the ball a ton, and that likely will remain the case moving forward.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this week in a game that sets up well for them. The Jaguars seem to be a mess with everything going on with Urban Meyer off the field, and they aren't much better on it. They are 26th in schedule-adjusted rush defense, according to numberFire's metrics.
If A.J. Brown and Julio Jones miss this game again for the Titans, look for Henry to be involved early and often again. The Titans have an implied team total of 26.25, and Henry would be most of their offense if the two star receivers can't go.
The salary for Henry is a lot, but there are some other values at the position that make it possible to fit him into certain lineup builds.
Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
Projected Points: 14.9
During season-long fantasy football draft season, a popular topic was wide receivers breaking out in their second season in the league.
Not many wide receivers have a first-year breakout like Justin Jefferson did in 2020. He set the record for most yards by a rookie receiver with 1,400. He's shown no signs of a sophomore slump or regression so far this season.
The underlying usage for Jefferson continues to be strong. He's seen a 24% target share and has also seen 40% of the air yards for his team. We may think that percentage of targets in a run-heavy offense isn't that valuable, but the Minnesota Vikings have been playing differently this season. They rank seventh in our pass rate metrics so far to the surprise of many people who have watched them over the past few seasons.
The Vikings host the Detroit Lions in an NFC North battle. The Lions are a team that we'll likely attack through the passing game all season, so with one of the league's best young receivers, it's no different here. Detroit ranks dead last in schedule-adjusted pass defense, per numberFire's metrics. If Minnesota keeps up their high passing rate in this matchup, Jefferson could feast.
Minnesota's implied team total is 28.5, the third-highest on the slate. Jefferson comes second in our wide receiver projections on this slate, but given his profile and the matchup, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him finish as the top scorer at the position.
Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
FanDuel Salary: $7,400
Projected Points: 13.4
The fantasy wasteland that is tight end has continued into this season.
With Travis Kelce off the main slate, Rob Gronkowski and Logan Thomas hurt, and George Kittle not living up to expectations so far, the man we have to turn to is Darren Waller. The good news is that Waller is one of the more reliable options at a position that is severely lacking in those.
Waller came out with a stunning 19 targets in the season opener. He hasn't quite had the same volume in the next three games, but seven targets per game at tight end is nothing to take for granted. His 40 total targets are by far the most at the position, leading Kelce by eight.
The Las Vegas Raiders are playing the Chicago Bears at home this week and are favored by 5.5 points. Like the Vikings, the Raiders have surprised with how often they have been passing, as they have the fourth-highest adjusted pass rate in the NFL. With 26.4% of those targets going to Waller, it bodes well for his projected volume in any game.
Waller is not only the highest-projected tight end on this slate, but he's also the best in the value column despite having the highest salary at the position. Tight end often comes down to playing a stud with a high salary or finding someone viable for a low salary, with little value in-between. If you are looking to do a version of that strategy this week, Waller is the best bet at the top.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.