JAX @ CAR
Over/Under 40 CAR – 3
This game has the second lowest point total on the board so I won’t be investing too much into either squad other than the favorite’s D and RB1. The CAR Defense would be my primary consideration with such a low point total with the #1 pass defense in the league playing against a rookie QB in charge of the #22 Pass Offense; 2800 is a bargain price with that kind of forced turnover potential.
The game script leans towards Fournette very much involved at first until the passing game never opens up consistently for his fellow WRs. CAR will likely disguise a lot of coverages that send more men forward at the snap reducing Leonard’s effectiveness and eventually leading towards JAX QB Minshew making quite a few ill-advised passes. I’d expect an interception or two and a respectable 3 to 5 sacks at minimum. On the CAR offensive side of the ball, everyone knows that Run CMC (Christian McCaffrey) is going to get his touches. Last week (and usually every week) McCaffrey was the only back in the league to see 100% of the team’s RB snaps. The workload is there especially if the CAR Defense does their part. 8700 is an awful lot to pay for anyone in such a low scoring affair but he’s about as cash-game viable as you can find. I don’t like wide receivers on either side of the ball or either QBs as a result.
ARI @ CIN
Over/Under 47.5 CIN – 3
David Johnson has to be more excited than a kid in a candy store heading into this game. Coming off a week 4 game where he had 139 yards of total offense, with the opportunity this week to run against the 27th best rushing defense in the league in yards per game, averaging 1.2 rushing TDs/Game; DJ is set up for success. This is also a narrative game, as long time ARI team owner passed away mid-week, not that an underachieving winless team needs any additional incentive. This game has the second highest projected point total on the board and you know how I feel about 2nd highest projected point total games: Get on Em! On the ARI side of the ball, leader in team targets Christian Kirk is out this week due to injury so Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson should be expected to pick up the slack. If you want to get cute by drafting Damiere Byrd who should get a target or two more in Kirk’s stead but there’s only one problem with that: he’s not very good and he’s questionable to play. I don’t trust anyone else on the ARI offense because they’ve done absolutely nothing. QB Kyler Murray could be a fit if you’re expecting him to do some dancing out of the pocket some this week, which is very much a real possibility. BUF Josh Allen rushed for 49 yards against CIN 2 weeks ago and Murray has definitively more rushing upside.
On the other side of the ball CIN has a mediocre passing offense but they get to play against a bottom third pass defense (and rush defense) this Sunday. WR1 Tyler Boyd Leads CIN in targets and is coming off of 2 bad games in a row. His current 6500 price reflects the expected regression to the mean in this game and unfortunately seems a tad steep coming off games of 6.3 and 12.8 fantasy points in the last 2. With WR2 John Ross out for this one Boyd is going to capitalize on that target share adjustment along with the popular cheap-priced pick of the week: Auden Tate. He’s averaged 8 targets over the past 2 weeks and at 3500 he doesn’t have to do much to return value. CIN RB1 Joe Mixon is in the type of position GPP hotshots gravitate towards. His numbers don’t look great so far this season but they’re certainly in their upswing, as he’s doubled his yardage output in the last 2 weeks when compared to his first two weeks of this season. He’s a true stud that is slowly finding his way back into form. His schedule for the foreseeable future this season is brutal, going up against some rather hard-nosed rushing defenses and this ARI squad is the best matchup he’ll get until week 11. If he’s going to go off some time in the first half of this season, it’s going to be this week, at home, against a winless ARI squad. Why the hell not throw Andy Dalton in the mix too while you’re at it. He’s priced up to 5700, his highest price of the season but he is going against the ARI defense and he’s also due for just as much regression as Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd. Last but not least TE Tyler Eiffert is the chalkiest TE we’ve seen in a long time, going up against an ARI squad that’s given up at least one TD to the TE position in each game of the season thus far…and at 3300, come on now.
ATL @ HOU
Over/Under 50 HOU – 4
We’ve finally found the highest projected point total of the week, with an Over/Under of 50. Matt Ryan has had 300+ passing yards in every game this season. He’s struggled with throwing the ball to the other team in every game but one, but he’s getting the yardage. Fortunately the Texans have mustered only 1 INT thus far this season. His number 1 WR Julio Jones scored 9.9 fpts last game and is certainly due for some positive regression. He’s in the perfect spot to do so against the Texans bottom 3rd pass D as he’s scored a TD in every week but week 4 so he’s in a prime spot to get back to the mean, a VERY high mean. TE Austin Hooper has been playing out of his mind and although he’s a solid TE, he’s not 18.4 FPPG good. He’s due for a down game. This may not be it, but it’s about that time to start looking to jump off that Hooper train if even briefly. Two weeks ago WR1, Keenan Allen, scored 46.60 fpts against this HOU pass defense, so that’s another reason why it should be Julio week this week. Ridley is the only other receiver with solid upside but I don’t like him much this week.
On the other side of the ball, ATL’s defense is mediocre. Houston’s pass offense is in the bottom third of the league and their rushing offense is slightly above average. The backfield isn’t consistent and don’t get enough touches to have much faith in. The passing game and Watson’s legs are the only 3 things reliable enough to keep HOU in this game. Deshaun Watson had a down game last week against a tough CAR defense and is in a great position to come back with a vengeance against this ATL Defense. WR1 Deandre Hopkins is in store for quite a few targets and is coming off of 3 terrible games. The HOU O line doesn’t give Watson enough time to get quality passes to Hopkins as often as the team would like. WR2 Will Fuller has underachieved so far this year but a very big day for him is coming. At 4500, Fuller is a great GPP play.
TB @ NO
Over/Under 45.5 NO – 3
This is one intriguing point total. TB and its 8th best pass offense go up against the 24th best pass defense — that means that Jameis Winston has his work cut out for him. If he can just keep his interceptions to a minimum and continue to build on his last 2 games in which he scored 7 total passing TDs, he can hit value again this week. WR2 and WR1, Chris Godwin and Mike Evans respectively, make up one of the most explosive WR tandems in the league. The team is stacked at TE also, but neither top TEs on the roster get enough snaps to make reasonable expectations for. A Winston/Evans or Winston/Godwin stack feels like chasing so I’ll probably stay away but I can see either of those pairings doing well.
NO goes against the #1 rush defense in the league in TB this week. Kamara is in a league of his own generally speaking but this certainly isn’t the best matchup for him. He should get less carries overall and more targets out of the backfield especially if TB builds up a lead first. TB has one of the worst passing defenses in the league so if Bridgewater can get the ball to Michael Thomas, the WR1 could have a field day. If NO had any consistent other WR2 or WR3 they have an opportunity to do well in this one too. Thomas should provide a safe floor, especially at bargain bin pricing of 6600 for a player of his calibur.
TB should stop Kamara from crushing and cover Thomas well enough without any other reasonable pass threats to deflect attention towards and I like TB to take this one. NO gets the -3 because they’re the home team, not because they’re more likely to win. Very sneaky play is the TB Defense. They had 40 points scored on them last week and still had 15.00 fpts, that’s pretty nuts. And they’re only 2200 this week…
MIN @ NYG
Over/Under 43.5 MIN – 5.5
I can tell you before I look at any numbers that Kirk Cousins is going to throw the heck out of the football this week. After all of the media chaos surrounding his poor passing performances so far this year, if he doesn’t want to lose all respect from his WR corps, he’s going to throw the ball a lot in this game, and especially to Thielen and Diggs. Dalvin Cook is a stud but this shouldn’t be his game this week. I like Cousins at 5300 to hit 20ish fpts this week and I like Adam Thielen helping him get there. I think Diggs will have a decent game but he played well last week and he’s consistently inconsistent. That ball is going to fly, I’m telling you, especially in the RZ.
The Giants should have the ball kicked to them quite a bit in this game. MIN is a tough defense though. The target volume should be there for guys like Engram and Sterling Shepard but I don’t expect the receptions to be as high as we need them to be. For future reference, keep an eye out for Golden Tate to start for the Giants this week in his first game of the season, coming off of suspension for fertility meds. He still has a little fire left in him against the right opponents later on this season.
The line has MIN by -5.5 and I definitely have the over on that.
CHI @ OAK
Over/Under 40.5 CHI – 5
This game is disgusting. Why is that? Low point total. 2 bad offenses. The cherry on top is that it’s playing in London and that generally results in an abnormally low game total regardless of who is playing. Obviously the CHI defense is always in play, against David ‘intercept-me’ Carr, the D should have a floor of 10 fpts. On the offensive side of the ball for the Bears, they’re running out their backup QB to uphold an offensive scheme with no ability to accentuate the strengths of its personnel.
The Raiders offense has a nice funnel to it and under normal circumstances Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller and a sprinkle of Tyrell Williams are good additions to your player pool, but not against the Dominant Bears D.
If any game this week ends with a score of 6 to 3, this is it. The CHI D is a low end cash play, but they’re too expensive at 3800 and it should just be a sluggish game without enough opportunities for interceptions and sacks. Jacobs will get bottled up and Carr will spend the afternoon throwing it away. If you could get points for punters, this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. I have no one in this game.
NYJ @ PHI
Over/Under 43.5 PHI -14
The NY Jets have scored 1 offensive TD in total in the first 4 weeks of the season and they’ve allowed their opponents to score points in the RZ in each of their last 51 straight trips to the area. PHI should win this game easily as the 14 point spread suggests and there’s not too much fantasy goodness to pull out of this matchup. Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard split the backfield and other than Howard’s solid week 4 performance, neither parts of the duo get enough volume to hit value. On a turbo slate i’d be willing to play Jordan Howard to stumble into the endzone for a score or two but there’s so much value elsewhere on the board at other positions. Howard certainly isn’t a terrible play though, just probably unnecessary with the value at other positions on the slate. Zach Ertz hasn’t scored a TD all year thus far and I’d be very surprised if he gets through this week’s game without ending that TD-less streak. He should score one and depending on how long the game stays close, he could score a couple of TDs. Major blowout risk for sure, but if you’re paying up for TE this week, Ertz is going to get you a TD from the position at the least. If he doesn’t score the first 2 TDs, I don’t think the team will ask him to do much once the Eagles gather themselves a lead.
On the Jets side of the ball: Crickets. The backup QB Falk just isn’t ready to manage an offense. The Philadelphia Eagles D is dead last in passing yards given up so far this season but they’ve also played Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford and Matt Ryan, all of whom are experienced starting QBs in generally passhappy offenses…throwing to Adams, Golladay and Julio will certainly amplify any passing yard numbers against a defense. A lot of the industry is talking up Robby Anderson, the NYJ WR1 at a favorable 4500 pricetag on DK. He just can’t throw the ball to himself. He’s a very VERY deep GPP play, but you gotta be playing a ton of rosters to even consider this dude in this situation.
Overall, this game isn’t necessarily a breeding ground for fantasy goodness. Maybe the Philly D is a consideration. However, if you’re trying to decide who to draft from this game, you should probably make better decisions.
BAL @ PIT
Over/Under 44 BAL -3.5
The BAL Ravens are in for a treat this weekend with an opportunity to play against the chameleon-like offense of the Steelers. The Ravens D has given up 73 points combined over their last 2 games and look to right the ship this week against a rookie backup QB. The Steelers offense pulled out the wildcat formation often last week to pull out a win and the Steelers coaching staff look to do the same again this week along with any other witchcraft they can devise to give themselves a chance against the high powered offense of the Ravens. BAL has the most yards per game in the league going against a poor PIT defense. It’s really hard to determine whether the PIT coaching staff is going to try to sell out to defend the run with their current sense of urgency knowing that its the BAL strength. That’s my guess. I think Lamar Jackson, WR1 Hollywood Brown and TE1 Mark Andrews are going to do a lot in this game while the Steelers put pressure at the line to slow down Mark Ingram, especially with the PIT pass defense near last in the league. Ingram will still get the goal line work, even though BAL LOVES to pass it to Mark Andrews in the RZ as often as possible. Andrews by the ways is averaging 8 Targets per game! And if BAL gets a decent lead, which is very possible, Ingram should get plenty of carries in the second half.
On the PIT side of the ball, we know Conner is hampered by an ankle injury but still getting targets. RB2 Jaylen Samuels took a lot of direct snaps last week in the PIT win and it would be very surprising if he didn’t get a similar workload this week. He had 10 rushing attempts and 8 Targets last week, which is pretty solid for a 4100 high usage back. QB Mason Rudolph only had 28 passing attempts last week and the depth of target was very close range so it looks like his training wheels are still on. With Samuels in the mix, I don’t like the QB or the WR/TE staff on the Steelers. We’ll need to see how the team gameplans over the next game or two to get an idea of how much change the Steelers are willing to make to their offensive attack. The only Steeler I like is 4100 Jaylen Samuels, and it’s hard to say if last week’s gameplan remains the same for him. His pricetag keeps him in the player pool.
BUF @ TEN
Over/Under 39.5 TEN – 3
This game might be lower scoring than my grandma in a bikini contest. The BUF defense is excellent! They were less than a TD away from beating the all mighty Patriots last week and kept that high-fired offense to 16 points. Mariota hasn’t gotten picked off yet, but that’s certainly going to happen sooner rather than later. He was sacked 17 times in the first 3 weeks and kept his jersey clean all last week, so either his offensive line just became twice as good or he’s about to get hit again. I wish BUF had a better pass rush. They have excellent pass coverage but they don’t get to the QB often enough. I kinda like the BUF D here since they do a great job of containing the run game and disguising pass coverage, forcing QBs into some poorly advised throws. Luckily for them, Mariota is very experienced with making poorly advised throws. I could see a couple sacks, a pick or two and maybe even fumble recovery, all while holding the Titans to under 2 TDs. I like the BUF D in this contest.
BUFs QB is still young and throws the ball to the other team a little more than he should. He’s got a bright future ahead of him but he needs the right situation to reach a ceiling game and it’s hard to expect that against a top half of the league in Rushing and Pass Defense. I’ve been playing a lot of Cole Beasley so far this season but his price is creeping up higher than I want for a guy who needs a lot of targets to hit value. His depth of target is poor, they don’t look to him in the RZ and his QB doesn’t have the accuracy yet. If I don’t like Beasley on the BUF side of the ball i’m not going to like much of anyone. The only player on this team I’m going to get in the player pool is TE Dawson Knox. His usage is slowly creeping up and at 3100 and a QB who could use more check downs in his life to keep from hitting the wrong jerseys, yeah, I like Knox at his price. He’ll be super low owned and if he gets another 3 catches like he has the last 2 weeks and a TD, he’ll be a valuable asset that allows you to get the expensive guy in the rest of your lineup slots. I’m not too sure this is his 20 fpts breakout week, but it’s coming and until further notice I’ll be waiting at the station for the Knox train to come in.
On the TEN side of the ball, they’re going to want to run, it’s not going to work and Mariota is going to throw the ball into the crowd and at times throw it to BUF. It’s such a low scoring game, I don’t expect much out of the TEN offense. Now the TEN defense on the other hand could easily get a pick or two and stay toe to toe with their opposing defense. One QB is young, one QB is bad, this is a game to mainly pick defenses. You just have to decide which QB is going to throw the most picks and who is most likely to forget to take care of the football.
NE @ WAS
Over/Under 42 NE – 15.5
One thing I appreciate about the NE offense is nothing. They are so unpredictable in literally every respect. That’s probably what makes them so good; you can never be sure how they’re going to try to score each week or who they’re even going to try to score with. With most other teams an offense has a preferred method and target that they want to score with. They’ll deviate depending on the defensive looks, but they always have a preference. Brady and co. have no preference, its like they draw target volume out of a hat each week and run with it. With RB1.5 Rex Burkhead out of the game today, Sony Michel and James White should get plenty of opportunities to exceed their value. Washington has the 4th worst rush defense in the league, giving up 147.5 yards per game. Michel has struggled mightily so far this season and it almost feels like scratching a chalkboard to click him into a lineup. He had 17 carries last week, for 63 yards against a very solid Bills D and 9 carries the week prior. With a few more carries pushed to him from Burkhead, this is the week he should break out. He should have 100+ yards rushing and 2 TDs in this game. Now, will NE give him that opportunity remains to be seen. If he gets that 17 to 20 carries that he should, then this is his week to shine. RB2 James White gets soo much work in the passing game that he easily could be the NE RB to score the points this week. Traditionally White gets used more often in higher scoring affairs and Michel controls the clock in lower scoring team performances but who knows. I like Michel, I really do, and I kinda like White where I don’t have Michel in lineups. The industry has been talking up Gordon and Dorsett but do they really need to do anything in this game? No. The Patriots should win this handedly on the back of Michel.
On the Washington side of the ball, they pick a QB yet or they still working on it? When asked about who he’s choosing to play at QB this week between Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins and Colt McCoy, coach Gruden said “In my mind I have a pretty good plan, contrary to belief.” Any of those 3 are not going to lend any confidence to the offense playing against the #1 defense in the league. The only player who might see a lot of usage throughout the game is RB2 Chris Thompson. He’s got a floor so far of 10 fpts this season and he’s fairly gamescript-independent. The gamescript is going to be losing so the Redskins should opt to keep AP healthy for next week and have Thompson on the field for quick outlet passes from whatever QB Washington decides upon, which right now is Colt McCoy. Patriots Defense and Sony Michel should be your only plays from this game. 4300 for a defense is so expensive, but NE is in at least a 4300 situation. *Sneaky play alert: WAS TE Jeremy Sprinkle, 2500. It doesn’t help that the QB situation is so unstable but Sprinkle is the only TE on the WAS side of the ball that has seen snaps this season while he moves from 3rd string to 1st string due to injuries ahead of him. He’s got great hands for a player his size and doesnt have the best acceleration but once he gets going he’s a force to get to the ground. Could he score a garbage time TD in the 4th against 4th string Pats defense? You better believe it. He should be a security blanket for the WAS QBs and as the only TE on the team right now who has seen the field, 4 to 6 catches should be the floor and if he scores the one TD for the Redskins which is possible too, he’s easily 5X- ing that bare min. pricetag.
DEN @ LAC
Over/Under 44.5 LAC -6
Oh boy, DEN is coming in winless so far this season. Their QB Flacco is not good and they have a tough test against an underperforming LAC Defense. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are primed to sack the heck out of Flacco in this one. The DEN ground game has a couple of decent backs in Lindsay and Freeman but they’re facing a good rush defense this week. Both the DEN and LAC pass defense are top 11 in the league so DEN doesn’t even have much room downfield to target. WR1 and WR2 Sanders and Sutton are cheap at about 5k but again they just don’t have a great matchup. DEN TE Noah Fant might be a nice low owned play from this game; at 2800 he’s getting about 4 targets a game and scored his first TD last week. He’d be a reach, but the TE position is tough this week, so I’m going to add him in the player pool for emergency situations.The hardest thing to project for this game is the RB share in the LAC backfield. Gordon was active last week and didn’t get on the field. The Chargers coach said that Gordon is certainly playing this week but is going to be very much limited. What does that mean for Ekeler? It’s very hard to say. They’re playing against the 3rd worst rush defense in the league and if Austin Ekeler sees 70 to 75% of the snaps, at 6700 he very well could exceed 3X of that pricetag nearing 100 yards and a pair of TDs. I don’t know how much of him I’m going to have, but he’s certainly a solid GPP consideration. He’s good. The plan for the LAC offense in this game should be to get the backfield organized and get Gordon back in the swing of things. We’ll find out in this one if the rift between him and management is actually subsiding. Keenan Allen is always a stud, but he’s playing against a top 5 pass defense this week and he doesn’t really need to do that much in this one. I like the LAC defense a lot, and a sprinkle of Austin Ekeler and Noah Fant is about all else I’ll grab from this game. This game will tell us a lot about the LAC squad moving forward.
GB @ DAL
Over/Under 47 DAL -3.5
I like the under in this game. The Packers are without their all world WR1 Davante Adams and will have to rely on Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison in the passing game. Neither of which inspire too much confidence in the Packers offense. Jimmy Graham finally had a great performance last week. We all knew it was coming but it’s hard to say whether its an anomaly or he’s actually broken out of his slump. This week he’s playing against a DAL team that ranks 4th worst against defending Tight Ends and with the Adams injury, Graham is my favorite play on the GB side, in fact he’s the only play. The rest of the DAL defense has been good this season overall. They’re not the best option probably, but they’re a player pool option with Adams out, for sure.
On the DAL Side of the ball, Zeke Elliott is in a great spot this week against a Packers D that gives up 142.2 yards rushing per game. He should see a ton of snaps and targets as usual. He’s got a great price at 8300 and he should be fire regardless of how well the Packers offense plays. Prescott has a tough matchup along with his WR teammates as GB has done an excellent job of solidifying their secondary. This should be a Zeke game and although I don’t think either team scores many points, he should fall into the endzone a couple of times before it’s over.
Good luck in week 5!