FanDuel Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 5
Welcome to our weekly FanDuel NFL primer, where we give you an overview of the Sunday main slate to help you get started on your research.
As always, we recommend checking out all of numberFire's daily fantasy tools at your disposal. In particular, our weekly projections can help you nail down who might be the slate's top scorers and best values, while the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied totals and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's run through some of this week's top plays of the slate.
Due in part to unfavorable weather conditions, Allen didn't have a productive passing game in Week 4, yet he still reached 24.52 FanDuel points by rushing 11 times for 70 yards and a score. Of course, the dual-threat has otherwise been excellent through the air this season, averaging the third-most Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back and ranking fifth in Passing Success Rate.
Overall, only Jackson has averaged more FanDuel points per game through four weeks.
Perhaps the only thing that might hinder Allen's path toward a tournament-winning score is if this game against the Steelers gets out of hand too quickly.
While the Bills have a slate-high 30.25 implied total, they're also favored at home by a whopping 14.0 points. The good news is that rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett is now leading Pittsburgh's offense, and he should be an upgrade over former starter Mitchell Trubisky by default.
Additionally, Allen scored 29-plus FanDuel points in back-to-back blowouts to open the year, so he could still get there in a lopsided contest.
Jalen Hurts ($8,600): Hurts is the other elite signal-caller I alluded to. Weather also affected his performance last week, as he only attempted 25 passes and failed to crack 20 FanDuel points for the first time this season. That figures to be an unusual occurrence in 2022.
In terms of Passing NEP per drop back, Hurts is right behind Allen with a top-five mark, and while he's only thrown four touchdowns to this point, plenty more should be on the way.
The dual-threat also leads the position in rushing attempts, averaging 13.3 per game. He ranks first among quarterbacks in rushing scores (four), and only the aforementioned Jackson has more rushing yardage.
Hurts and the Eagles could have a field day against the Cardinals, a team that ranks 31st in adjusted pass defense, per numberFire's metrics, and this matchup is also has a slate-best 48.5 over/under. Although Arizona's offense hasn't inspired a ton of confidence this season, Philadelphia is just a 5.5-point road favorite, suggesting that this could be a back-and-forth affair.
Justin Herbert ($8,200): Despite playing through a rib injury and missing Keenan Allen for most of the season, Herbert leads the league in passing yards and has exceeded 20 FanDuel points in three of his four games. He's tied for sixth in Passing NEP per drop back alongside Jackson and Jared Goff.
However, what's held Herbert back from a true spike week has been a lack of any rushing upside, with just four yards on the ground so far. He'll never be compared to the elite runners at the position, but he's typically chipped in here and there and was top-10 in rushing yards among quarterbacks last season.
Unfortunately, given his ongoing rib issue, the lack of running is unlikely to change, which means that in order to flirt with 30-plus FanDuel points, he realistically needs to throw three or four touchdowns with a boatload of passing yardage.
That's a tall order, but Herbert already has a pair of three-touchdown games this year, and that league-high passing yardage has split out to 279, 334, 297, and 340 yards over the first four weeks.
The Chargers' offense is fourth in pace and third in pass rate over expectation, per our Brandon Gdula, and that's led to Herbert being one of just five quarterbacks to average over 40 pass attempts per game this season.
This Chargers-Browns matchup has some scoring potential, too, as L.A. is just a 2.5-point road favorite, and the total is at an appealing 47.5. While the Browns' run-heavy ways aren't what we're looking for in a shootout, the Chargers' high tempo helps this game rate as the third-best in terms of pace.
Herbert has an easier path to a big game against Cleveland's 27th-ranked adjusted pass defense, as well.
Derrick Henry ($8,900): Henry tops our running back projections, and his recent passing-game usage is very encouraging. He's now logged 6 and 5 targets over the last two weeks for a 23.4% target share, and that's helped him tally a hefty 32 adjusted opportunities (carries plus 2x targets) in both games. For context, only Joe Mixon is averaging over 30 adjusted opportunities per game this season.
The Commanders rank second in adjusted rush defense, so this may not be the easiest spot for Henry this week. But volume shouldn't be an issue, as the Titans are committed to the run, ranking 25th in pass rate over expectation, and they're also 2.5-point road favorites.
The cherry on top for Henry is his dominant red zone role, soaking up 77.8% of the team's rushes inside the 20.
Leonard Fournette ($7,800): Fournette saw dips in snap rate (59.3%) and adjusted opportunities (17) in Week 4, but that was more likely due to the Buccaneers being forced into catch-up mode for pretty much the entirety of their loss to the Chiefs. Fellow back Rachaad White saw a season-high 39.0% snap rate, though, so there's at least the possibility that Fournette loses some work moving forward.
However, if Fournette's role returns to what we saw in Weeks 1-3, he should be able to take advantage of a much friendlier matchup this weekend. Over the first three games, Fournette averaged 27.0 adjusted opportunities with an 84.4% snap rate and 83.3% red zone rush share. Tampa Bay is a 10.0-point home favorite over Atlanta, and the Falcons rank just 27th in adjusted rush defense.
Dalvin Cook ($7,300): Cook has the third-highest median projection at running back, making him a top-notch value at his mid-range salary. Coming off a Week 3 shoulder injury, Cook still carried the load last week with an encouraging 24 adjusted opportunities and a 68.2% snap rate.
Now off the injury report, we should expect more of the same and then some against the Bears. The Vikings are 7.5-point home favorites, and Chicago's defense has ceded the ninth-most FanDuel points to opposing backfields.
Breece Hall ($6,600): It looks like Hall has officially taken the lead in this Jets backfield after posting a season-high 67.2% snap rate in Week 4. He's now tallied 30 and 29 adjusted opportunities over the last two games, and he recorded a promising 17.6% target share in his first game with Zach Wilson under center.
Getting this kind of volume from a running back at this salary doesn't happen very often, and if he keeps it up, he'll be rising up the salary ranks quickly.
New York is only a 3.0-point home 'dog to the Dolphins, so the game script should be favorable for Hall, too.
Among wideouts, Brown ranks fourth in target share (32.5%) and first in air yards share (46.1%). Despite playing in an offense that often likes to run the ball, he enters Week 5 ranked third overall in receiving yards.
As noted earlier, the Cardinals have one of the league's worst pass defenses in the league, and Brown should be one of the biggest beneficiaries.
Deebo Samuel ($7,300): Due to Samuel playing on Monday, his 20.7-point FanDuel performance isn't being factored into his salary, leaving him as the top value at wideout.
Over the last three weeks, we've now seen Samuel earn a 26.9% target share while averaging 3.7 rushes per game. His hybrid role has allowed him to average 97.7 yards from scrimmage over this span.
After being an afterthought in the opening week, Olave has since garnered a 30.8% target share and 49.0% air yards share over the last three games. He's averaging 7.3 downfield targets (10-plus air yards) over this span, which is easily the league's highest clip.
There could be some sneaky fantasy potential in this spot against the Seahawks, too. This matchup has a respectable 46.5 total in a dome, and Seattle has the fun combination of being the 3rd-best adjusted total offense while also ranking 32nd in adjusted total defense.
New Orleans' defense could prove to be a challenge for Geno Smith and friends, but if Smith can maintain his hot play, it could lead to a higher-scoring contest that benefits the fantasy prospects of both sides.
Drake London ($6,200): Playing in a low-volume passing offense has limited London's upside in most weeks, but he continues to see excellent weekly usage, and the Falcons will likely have to air it out more if they fall behind the Bucs. London actually ranks second behind only Kupp in target share (34.0%) while also maintaining a solid air yards share (33.0%).
David Njoku ($5,700): Outside of the few elites at the position, we need touchdowns to get a spike week from our tight end, and Njoku should have a reasonable chance of getting there in the Browns' high-total game against the Chargers.
He rarely leaves the field (90.4% snap rate), and following a quiet Week 1, he's now garnered a healthy 23.7% target share over the last three weeks. Njoku leads the team in red zone targets (31.6% share), further enhancing his appeal.
Tyler Higbee ($5,500): Higbee is seeing incredible usage in the Rams' offense, and he ought to be the chalk tight end option. At the position, he ranks second in target share (25.5%), first in snap rate (94.4%), and fifth in route rate (81.3%).
A lack of touchdowns is the only thing that's held him back in fantasy, but he's third on the team in red zone targets (25.0% share), so it's only a matter of time before he cashes in.
San Francisco D/ST ($4,400): San Francisco scored a whopping 21 FanDuel points in Week 4, but they aren't seeing a salary bump due to that game being played on Monday. That makes them one of the better point-per-dollar values against a woeful Panthers team that ranks 31st in adjusted total offense.
Baker Mayfield has been one of the league's worst quarterbacks in 2022, averaging the third-lowest Passing NEP per drop back and second-lowest Passing Success Rate. He's exceeded 200 passing yards just once in four games and is being sacked at the eighth-highest rate.
It's extremely difficult to envision Mayfield turning things around against a defense that's tied for the NFL's second-most sacks (15) and has one of the highest pressure rates. The 49ers are favored by nearly a touchdown, so the game script should also favor their defense.
Washington D/ST ($3,200): Washington rates as one of the best budget options, earning a solid projection despite having the third-lowest salary among defenses.
While this game against Tennessee figures to be played at a sluggish pace, potentially limiting the Commanders' opportunities to rack up sacks and turnovers, they should be able to generate consistent pressure against an offensive line that grades as the fourth-worst in pass blocking, per PFF. Washington has performed well against the run so far, too, which could also force the Titans to pass more often.
Washington is a slight underdog, but playing at home should also give their defense a boost.