4 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Target in Week 5
When playing daily fantasy football, we should be matchup sensitive when rostering players. One star player can go from a great play to a horrible one based on his opponents and the specific individual matchup might play a huge role in that. Since we can play any player we want on a given slate, it makes sense to pick players in the best matchups. This will raise both their floor and their ceiling, and should lead to us having some winning lineups.
We should have more data on the best matchups through four weeks to know which ones we want to attack. So let's take a look at four that we can exploit this week.
Eagles' Passing Game vs. the Cardinals' Pass Defense
Last year, a good matchup through the air did not mean much for Jalen Hurts ($8,600). We wouldn't have even wanted to roster him because the Philadelphia Eagles were such a run-heavy offense. Now, with an improved passing game, the Eagles are looking like a passing attack to target every week.
According to numberFire's metrics, the Eagles have the seventh-best passing offense this season, compared to 14th last season. Hurts has two 300-yard games already in four games this year, equaling his total from 2021. The weapons around him give him options to use in a stack.
The big offseason move for the Eagles was bringing in A.J. Brown ($8,000) to give them a true alpha wide receiver. Adding him to a second-year breakout receiver in DeVonta Smith ($6,600) and a reliable pass-catching tight end in Dallas Goedert ($6,100), and this passing game is truly dangerous. You can use two of these three players to stack with Hurts in tournament lineups this week.
Philly is on the road to face the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona ranks 31st in schedule-adjusted pass defense and 30th in adjusted fantasy points allowed per drop back. They are also dead last in success rate allowed per drop back.
The Eagles have the third-highest implied team total on this slate, so we should expect plenty of points from these stacks. If the Cardinals can reasonably push Philly into needing to pass deep into the second half, they have the upside to be slate-winners this week.
Buccaneers' Passing Game vs. the Falcons' Pass Defense
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had not been the same offense that we saw last season until last week. They got healthy in the receiver corps and went extremely pass-heavy. They didn't win the game, but they had their best fantasy game of the season. We can expect that to continue in Week 5.
The Bucs' were the number one team in passing efficiency last season by our numbers. Despite their struggles in some games so far, they do still rank fifth in the same category. They loved to pass last season, finishing the regular season with a 1.96 pass-to-run ratio. That number this season is up to 1.95 after running the ball just six times last week.
If Tampa decides to play similarly to their last game, many players in their passing game should be good in fantasy.
Tom Brady ($7,800) had by far his best fantasy game, throwing for 385 yards and t3 touchdowns. Mike Evans ($7,500) returned from suspension and also had his best game, catching 8 passes for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Chris Godwin ($7,000) saw 10 targets in his first game back from injury, and he's undervalued given what we know a healthy Godwin can do.
There are others to consider in this Tampa passing game, too. Russell Gage ($6,200) and Julio Jones ($5,700) are both currently listed as questionable. If one was ruled out, the other should see a boost in routes run, especially with Cole Beasley now out of the picture. Tight end Cameron Brate has been ruled out, so if you are desperate for a tight end on a good offense, Kyle Rudolph ($4,500) isn't the worst play in the world.
Tampa will play their first division game this season against the Atlanta Falcons. A lot of the concern for Brady this season has been the Bucs' downgrade in offensive line play, but that shouldn't be a problem this week. The Falcons have a pressure rate of just 14.3%, the third-lowest mark in the league. They are also 30th in success rate allowed against the pass and 23rd in adjusted fantasy points per drop back.
The Bucs likely won't have to pass as much as they did last week, but they have a chance to be more efficient. The wide receivers and Brady are also at relatively affordable salaries.
Patriots' Running Game vs. the Lions' Run Defense
The New England Patriots were not expecting to be in this position, starting the season 1-3. They were hoping to take the next step forward with their young quarterback, but unfortunately, that has been derailed. They likely wanted to be a team with a good running attack anyway, and they will need to rely on it this week.
It looks like Bailey Zappe will make his first start this week. In his relief appearance in Week 4, he threw 15 passes and the team called 25 passing plays in total. In turn, they gave the running backs 32 combined carries. That was a much higher rate than their season pass/run ratio of 1.11.
The Patriots have two backs that are definitely viable this week. Damien Harris ($7,200) is usually the goal line back and has rushing touchdowns in three straight games. Rhamondre Stevenson ($6,000) could be a better play with salary considered, as he has out-snapped Harris in the last three games and also has caught four balls in the last two games. A case can certainly be made for either back.
New England is at home against perhaps the most fun team to attack in fantasy so far this season, the Detroit Lions. Detroit is at the bottom of the league in both rushing efficiency against and adjusted fantasy points per carry. We saw Rashaad Penny have a huge game against them last week, and it's reasonable to think that one of these two backs could do the same on Sunday.
New England's implied point total is at 24.50. It's hard to think that most of those points are coming through the air with Zappe at quarterback, so if we want any exposure to this offense, Harris or Stevenson make a lot of sense.
49ers' Defense vs. the Panthers' Offense
Most of the stories for the San Francisco 49ers have been on the offensive side of the ball, the main one obviously being at quarterback, with Jimmy Garoppolo taking his job back after the Trey Lance injury. Their defense has been excellent, though, and gives them a chance to win if the offense does the bare minimum required.
San Francisco is outperforming last season's defense that led the team to the NFC Championship game. That team was only ranked 12th in our numbers but ranks 4th so far this season. They've forced six turnovers already in four games. They've also been getting pressure at a 34.2% clip, which is the best mark in the league, and it has resulted in 15 sacks. Both of these things are huge problems for opposing quarterbacks.
The Carolina Panthers' offense has been painful to watch to this point in the season. Baker Mayfield has not made the improvement to the offense that they had hoped, as they are the 31st-ranked offense by our numbers. They've allowed an adjusted sack rate of 9.3%, which is 28th in the league. Rookie left tackle Ikem Ekwonu has struggled to start his career, and the matchup against Nick Bosa is one of the league's toughest.
San Francisco sets up perfectly for a defense that we want, playing at home and favored against an offense that will turn the ball over. Carolina also has the lowest implied team total on the main slate. The San Francisco D/ST ($4,300) is a high floor play with the upside required to be the defense needed to win a tournament.
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.