DFS Fantasy Football Sunday Slate
Welcome to Week 5 of the NFL season! It's time for our DFS Week 5 Starts and Sits. We have an interesting Sunday Slate of 10 early games and just two late games, so we will try and dissect the best matchups to get you cashed out before Sunday Night Football even begins.
I use the DraftKings salary cap as my basis for picks, which operates on a 50k salary but I know we have many FanDuel players as well. For reference, Fanduel operates on a 60k salary, so prices will appear higher on that platform.
QB: Jameis Winston vs. NO ($6,200)
While Jameis started the season looking lost, he has found his stride in Bruce Arians' offense over the past two games, even against a good Rams defense this past weekend. He has tossed seven touchdowns and just two interceptions over the last two contests. He faces a Saints team that ranks 24th in passing yards allowed per game, and 26th in total yards allowed per game.
Now I understand if you're hesitant. I'm not without some concern. Gunslinger Jameis can quickly turn into ridiculously bad interception Jameis really quick. We have all gone into a week expecting big things only to see disastrous results.
But if we look at the slate, some of the more consistent QBs are either priced very high or have tough matchups. For me, I'm hoping Good Jameis sticks around for one more week at least and am rolling the dice on him at a decent price with a high upside.
RB: Jaylen Samuels vs. BAL ($4,100)
After being seldom used in the Steeler offense through the first three weeks of the season, Jaylen Samuels had quite the evening in a Monday Night Football rivalry game against the Bengals. The backup running back/tight end/wildcat QB amassed 23.5 fantasy points, rushing for 26 yards and a touchdown and catching eight passes for 57 yards. Oh yeah, and he had 3 pass completions.
Samuels, according to ESPN Stats & Info, became only the second player since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger with three pass completions, three rushes and three receptions in a game. He was a trendy late-round flier in season-long as the Steelers hoped to use him like a baseball team uses a utility infielder: plug him in wherever he can help. It finally came to fruition; even if he doesn't put on an encore performance of Monday night, his price tag and usage going forward makes him a nice bargain at running back this week.
WR: Auden Tate vs. ARI ($3,500)
Some may read this and say: "Who is Auden Tate?" Which is fair. He began the season as a DNP the first game and had one catch in Week 2. But then in Week 3, he had six catches for 88 yards and 13.8 fantasy points. Ok, maybe that was a fluke. But then on Monday Night Football, he had four catches for 50 yards and 9.0 fantasy points. Not overly sexy, but he was a fixture on 3-WR sets.
But when news broke earlier this week that John Ross would miss some time, Tate's stock is now rising to a level of an intriguing DFS play. I'm not rushing to spend my FAAB on him in season-long fantasy or anything, but he's an interesting DFS dumpster dive, as I like to say. His price is so low, that even if he busts and has just a few catches it isn't backbreaking to your lineup. On the flip side, we preach how volume and targets are kings in fantasy football and he will have plenty of chances to be a great ROI.
QB: Kyler Murray @ CIN ($6,300)
Kyler Murray is an electric player in an up-tempo offense going against an awful pass defense in the Bengals. It seems like a slam dunk. While he may have a solid game, I think Murray is overpriced this week.
Only once all season, has he eclipsed 20 fantasy points. And even then, it took him overtime to accomplish it. His rushing has begun to emerge, but his true massive upside will not be realized until he uses his legs. He's priced only a couple of hundred bucks less than Tom Brady, and the next four quarterbacks beneath him on the slate are Jameis Winston, Carson Wentz, Aaron Rodgers, and Dak Prescott. While there are some matchup considerations to apply to these price tags, it just seems like one of these more established, consistent QBs may be a better choice.
Melvin Gordon vs. DEN ($7,000)
Yup, the holdout is over. Every Austin Ekeler season-long is drowning in a pool of their own tears, as their late-round pick who has been an RB1 is relegated to a backup role once again. But let's also not just discount Ekeler as a total loss and just hand 25 touches to Melvin Gordon right away. Head Coach Anthony Lynn said just as much in a recent report by the LA Times.
While Denver struggles against the run, it seems more likely that there will be a 60-40 or possibly an even split of touches between the two running backs as Gordon rounds into game shape and re-acclimates to a full workload. at $7,000, I think the price tag is just too steep. I need to see him knock off the rust before I jump back in on Gordon.
JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. BAL ($6,400)
JuJu has been consistently good, not great this season. Some of that should be attributed to the quarterback play, as Mason Rudolph is obviously a huge downgrade from Big Ben. But in the Monday Night Football game against the Bengals, he had his lowest output of the season: three catches for 15 yards and 4.5 fantasy points. Yikes. Not what you are expecting from a WR1.
Now the Ravens are 30th in the league in passing yards allowed per game, so there's a chance JuJu gets it going. But the problem is Jaylen Samuels is looking like a weapon, and Diontae Johnson seems like he has a connection with Rudolph.
When you look around at other WR you can get in this price range, you see Larry Fitzgerald ($6,000) who may be without running mate Christian Kirk this weekend and Alshon Jeffrey ($5,900) versus the Jets. Both of those seem like safer options and will save you some coin.
Those are your DFS Week 5 Starts and Sits. Good luck! Here's to hoping your fantasy football players ball out and you cash out.