Week 5 is here! The Week 4 First Look was a success as key players were mentioned as players to consider on the slate including Odell Beckham, Joe Mixon, and CeeDee Lamb. Let's keep that rolling and profit again! In this piece, I will be highlighting players that stand to benefit from matchups and recent trends. Also a few players to consider fading.
This will be a source for you to get all the necessary information that you might not recognize quickly looking through the slate early in the week. The goal of this first look is to help leave no stone unturned before the week kicks off. Being able to project for different potential outcomes of players and games is a crucial trait to have as a DFS player. Here is my first look and deep dive on the Week 5 slate:
Game Script Targets
Chiefs -12.5 (vs. OAK)
TE Darren Waller
Edwards-Helaire is a player I want to be on before the inevitable smash game comes. Against the Raiders, it can easily be this week. He has the 4th most opportunities (carries+targets) and has run the 3rd most routes at RB. With the 5th most expected fantasy points, he is certainly underproducing based on his opportunity (RB16 FP/game). His upside will not go unnoticed this week, entrenched as the workhorse for the Chiefs, with the highest implied team total (34.5).
On the flip side of the game script, Darren Waller is the Raiders player you want exposure to. He owns the highest target share at TE (29.25%) and has a high likelihood of a positive game script (12.5-point underdogs). In 5 games as 7+ point underdogs (2019-20), Waller has averaged 15.3 fantasy points. The majority of TEs offer a very limited floor. Waller offers arguably the highest floor this week. If he can see positive regression on the TDs (2.8 expected TDs vs. 1 TD), he would significantly alter the slate.
Jaguars +6 (@ HOU)
WR D.J. Chark
Chark’s usage in his first two games was alarming, but this past week he showed what he can still do in a positive game script. He saw 9 targets and 124 air yards and scored the 3rd most fantasy points at WR (29.5). He gets a winnable matchup against the Texans who allowed over 100 yards to both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson last week. There is a good chance we see Chark at a lower ownership as well. James Robinson will pop as an attractive play due to the Texans’ struggles in run defense. Stacking Robinson and Chark is by no means an optimal build so Chark is a good leverage play against Robinson. A conceivable range of outcome is the Texans getting a 7-10+ point lead and Jaguars having to go more pass-heavy, aiding Chark.
Giants +10 (@ DAL)
WRs Darius Slayton and Golden Tate
TE Evan Engram
This really is one of the tougher decisions of the week. The Cowboys have been the optimal team and game to stack this year, but the Giants’ fantasy production has been the opposite of optimal. Daniel Jones has not been good, hurting anyone from being productive, but has not gotten a great schedule to start the season. They have faced the Steelers, 49ers, Rams and Bears who all offer a much more difficult test than the Cowboys do. The oddsmakers agree that the Giants should see an uptick in scoring with an implied 22 points (11.8 PPG in 2020).
As I have mentioned a lot this year, the Cowboys pace of play is not something to gloss over at 20 sec/snap (1st in NFL). In the past 3 seasons, no team has played faster than 24 sec/snap. This gives guys like Darius Slayton, Evan Engram, and Golden Tate more chances to hit value. The usage has been good enough for specifically Slayton and Engram despite them underperforming. Slayton has the 15th most air yards at WR (358 yards) and 4 20+ yard targets (most on Giants). Targeting Wide Receivers down the field has been a fruitful way to get production versus the Cowboys (ex. Odell, Metcalf, Lockett). Engram has run the 2nd most routes at TE (39.75 routes/game) so the opportunities will be there for him.
WR Will Fuller (HOU, vs. JAX)
For Will Fuller, the question has always been if he is healthy or not. With no injury news on him since this past week, he was able to survive Week 4 unscathed. That immediately makes him someone to consider and the matchup boosts him even more. In the three games he has been healthy, he is averaging 19.1 fantasy points. Against the Jaguars this week, he is seeing a defense that is Top five in Cover 3 Seam coverage usage. Against Cover 3 Seam schemes, “Fuller’s YPRR shoots up an amazing 47 percent, coinciding with a 21 percent increase in FPs/route” (Week 5 DFS WR/CB Matchups). His best game last year (14/217/3) came against a Cover 3 scheme in the Falcons. One last thing to note is his new weekly floor. He has been notoriously known as a boom or bust weekly candidate in the past alongside DeAndre Hopkins. This year he actually leads the team in shallow targets (0-10 yards downfield) with 13 giving him the more stable floor and higher probability of hitting his ceiling (Week 5 Stat-Pack).
WR Marquise Brown (BAL, vs. CIN)
Hollywood Brown is a buy-low candidate with his expected fantasy points outpacing his current fantasy points (46.7 vs. 40.2). Lamar Jackson has missed him on some throws that could have resulted in big play touchdowns and Hollywood was tackled at the 1-yard line this past game. His 27.25% target share is the 7th highest at WR and 462 air yards are 7th most at WR. The Bengals are surrendering the most FP/game to Wide-Right Receivers (11.3). Per PFF, 46.4% of Hollywood’s snaps have come as the Wide-Right Receiver. He has the potential to break the slate against a leaky secondary.
RB Mike Davis (CAR, @ATL)
Mike Davis is the new poster boy for the #RBsDontMatter movement. The Panthers are 2-0 with him leading the way and 0-2 with Christian McCaffrey just as we all expected. The biggest thing here is that the usage has been great. He has the 3rd most targets at RB the past two weeks, a 74% snap share, and 21 touches/game. As Aaron Rodgers put on display on Monday Night Football, the Falcons LBs can be exposed. Per PFF, Rodgers when targeting RBs & TEs vs. Atlanta: 20-20, 241 YDS, 4 TDs. On the season, they have allowed the second-most receptions (34) and third-most receiving yards to RBs (257).
WR Robert Woods (LAR, @WAS)
The negative game script on tap for Robert Woods makes him a fade for me this week. The Rams currently sit as 7.5-point favorites and are 64% run when leading 7+ (5th highest in NFL).
Cooper Kupp has the better matchup of the two against Jimmy Moreland who has been targeted the most among Washington CBs (25 targets). A game script that has not favored Woods this year puts him as a fade this week.
RB Joe Mixon (CIN, @BAL)
Joe Mixon was a player that I was on last week but does not have the same factors working in his favor this week that made me bullish on him. It is likely he will be facing a negative game script. They are 13.5-point underdogs and Mixon has been seeing more snaps and routes recently perhaps due to the games being close. In Week 2 notably, they were not in a neutral game script as frequently. They had 23 plays in a neutral game script and Mixon only had a 50% snap share. In full-on comeback mode, we are more likely to see Giovani Bernard. Mixon will likely struggle to get in space against the Ravens even to start the game. Running backs against the Ravens have been Bottom 5 in rushing success percentage and Bottom 10 in FP/carry (SIS).
RB Kenyan Drake (ARI, @NYJ)
The underlying trend of Kenyan Drake this season would have me nervous as a season-long owner and in DFS is a player to avoid. His snap count has gone down each of the past three weeks - 58>50>44>37. Chase Edmonds is showing to be a real threat to his snaps and receiving work. Somewhat due to Edmonds, Drake has been a ghost in the receiving game. Among RBs with over 70 routes run, he has seen the fewest targets (5). That lack of involvement completely neutralizes his upside. Realistically if that does not change, he is going to need to find the endzone each week to reach value. In the first four games he has seen two carries inside the 5-yard line, so is not getting a lot of high percentage chances to do that.
Pace of Play
Giants (@ DAL) - The Cowboys continue to play at an extremely fast pace aiding the Giants play upside this week. Cowboys rank 1st in overall pace of play and neutral game script specific pace.
Panthers (@ ATL) - The Falcons rank Top-5 in overall pace and neutral game script specific pace.
Steelers (vs. PHI) - Eagles are 6th in neutral game script pace of play. On the flip side, the Steelers are the 17th fastest neutral game script pace. The Steelers offense saw a boost in fantasy production against a faster-paced Giants team in Week 1.
Falcons (vs. CAR) - The Falcons fast-paced offense takes a hit this week in the projected game environment. The Panthers are bottom 10 in overall pace and neutral game script pace.
Bengals (@ BAL) - The Ravens run the slowest neutral game script pace and the second slowest overall pace.
Projected Fast Pace Game:
Jets vs Cardinals - Both teams are Top 10 in overall pace and neutral game script pace.
Cowboys vs Giants - Cowboys in any matchup = game environment gold.