Week 5 Sunday Morning Update


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Week 5 Sunday Morning Update

Hello and welcome to the Week 5 Sunday Morning Update. What is this article? Mostly it’s a follow-up to yesterday’s big DFS piece – Scott Barrett’s Week 5 DFS Breakdown. But this article should also offer some utility of its own for redraft and dynasty players.

Each week Graham Barfield and I will be breaking down the key injuries, news, and notes from Saturday / Sunday and will be updating this article up until kickoff (1PM EST). And we’ll also be providing a sort of TL;DR to yesterday’s big DFS article. Who are my core cash game plays? Who are Graham’s preferred low-owned plays for tournaments? You can find that at the end of this article.

Key News, Injury Updates, & Notes

Sunday Morning Update

(11:30am ET)

Dalvin Cook is OUT. Mattison has made three starts in his career and he is averaging 18.9 fantasy points and 115.3 scrimmage yards per game in those games. He’s now a top-3 play at RB and a cash game lock.

Joe Mixon is ACTIVE. Bengals beat Geoff Hobson believes that Mixon will get close to his normal usage today. I don’t think he’s in play, though. There are to many good RBs on this slate.

Antonio Gibson and Curtis Samuel are ACTIVE.

DeVante Parker is OUT. I already loved Mike Gesicki this week and this just locks it in.

Teddy Bridgewater and Courtland Sutton are ACTIVE.

(9:30am ET)

Joe Mixon is EXPECTED TO PLAY. His ankle injury won’t hold him out, but he’s going to be less than 100%.

Dalvin Cook is a GAME TIME DECISION. If he’s out, Alexander Mattison instantly becomes a must-play. You know what to do.

Chase Edmonds is EXPECTED TO PLAY.

Antonio Gibson is EXPECTED TO PLAY. Curtis Samuel is QUESTIONABLE.

DeVante Parker is a gametime decision.

Tee Higgins was taken off of the injury report.

Melvin Gordon is EXPECTED TO PLAY.

Eli Mitchell WILL PLAY.

Aaron Jones was taken off of the injury report.

Gio Bernard seems likely to play.

Saturday Update

Per Adam Schefter

- Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater will start, but WR Courtland Sutton remains a gametime decision.

- Lions TE T.J. Hockenson and RB Jamaal Williams are expected to play. So, I suppose his status was more largely in question than D’Andre Swift’s (also questionable with the same groin injury that’s kept him on the injury report since Week 1). I was already very bullish on Swift, and like him even more now.

- Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is expected to play. I suppose this means the injury was a little more serious than I had anticipated. I’m bumping him down a tad, though it’s still a great matchup.

- Titans WR A.J. Brown is expected to play.

- Steelers WR Chase Claypool is expected to play.

- Titans WR Julio Jones is out.

- Giants WRs Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton are out.

- Washington TE Logan Thomas and WR Dyami Brown are out.

- 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE George Kittle are out.

- Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski is out.

- Broncos TE Albert Okwuegbunam is out.

- Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey is doubtful.

Things I Think

I think this is a fun slate. Without many of our favorite / most-potent offenses to target, it feels like there’s more of an edge this week.

Last week it felt like the slate came down to one question: “Did you have Tyreek Hill?” If yes, you won a lot of money. If no, you probably didn’t. There are far fewer of those potential slate-busters available (slate-eligible) this week, and so, I think the top value plays can get you quite a bit farther this week.

But it also feels like GPP wins are going to come down to whoever guesses right on the correct game to stack. [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] (in order) are the betting favorites. And MIN, DAL, TB, and ARI (in order) rank highest by implied point total. Good luck with that!

Some of my favorite low-owned (<5%) plays this week are:

- Diontae Johnson at 5%? Hell yeah.

- I significantly prefer Kadarius Toney to Curtis Samuel on DraftKings, though Samuel projects to be significantly less highly owned (4% vs. 10%).

- Darnell Mooney was a core play for us, but he’s projected at just 3% ownership.

- Kareem Hunt at just 2% ownership is extremely interesting. I spent some time on him in yesterday’s article.

Our projections update until lock so make sure you double-check them here.

Graham Barfield’s Contrarian Angles

Overlooked Stacks / Games

Tom Brady + Two Bucs WRs + Gesicki – provides excellent leverage off what will be a very popular Leonard Fournette. Brady is expensive, too, and will keep his ownership lower. Brady stacks are my favorite on this slate.

Browns-Chargers – If this game stays as tight as the spread suggests, the Browns are going to come out and run the hell out of the ball against this Chargers defense. L.A. sits back in a lot of zone, two-deep safety looks and dare their opponents to run on them against light boxes. As a result, the Chargers are giving up 5.14 YPC (second-most) and 122 YPG (fifth-most) to opposing RBs. Through the opening month, the Browns are running the ball 6.5% above expectation in neutral situations (game within a score in 1st-3rd quarter) – that is the fifth-highest rate in the league – so this matchup plays right into their strengths. This is a monster ceiling spot for Nick Chubb.

Meanwhile, the Chargers are passing the ball 7.3% above expectation (fourth-highest) as Justin Herbert continues to play like a future MVP. With the Browns advantage on the ground and the Chargers offense running white-hot and throwing a ton, there is a ton of scoring upside here. This is the No. 1 game in my pace/play model for the week, just edging out Chiefs-Bills.

Herbert + Allen + Chubb or Hunt is the play in that game.

Contrarian Plays With Slate-Breaking Upside

(Projected ownership in parenthesis).


Nick Chubb (6% DK | 2% FD) – see above.

Chubba Hubbard (6% DK | 6% FD) – I don’t know if Hubbard has true slate-breaking upside, but I do know he’s a home-favorite back that is going to go under-owned after flopping as chalk last week.


Terry McLaurin (5% DK | 5% FD) – Logan Thomas is out. Dyami Brown is out. Cam Sims is out. Both Curtis Samuel and Antonio Gibson are banged up. McLaurin is going to be very busy against the Saints, yet no one wants to play him? This is where WR/CB matchup analysis goes too far and overly influences the public’s decisions because Marshon Lattimore hasn’t been playing up to his usual standards according to Wes Huber. McLaurin is my favorite individual play on the slate.


Tyler Conklin (3% DK | 3% FD) – Lions are allowing a league-high 2.37 fantasy points per target. This is a slate to punt at tight end and Conklin is flying under the radar. Coming off a season-high 85% of the snaps in Week 4.

Chalk Plays (Ownership Projections)


1. Derrick Henry, RB (24.3%)

2. Davante Adams, WR (20.0%)

3. D.J. Moore, WR (17.5%)

4. Leonard Fournette, RB (16.7%)

5. Dalvin Cook, RB (15.9%)

6. Najee Harris, RB (15.7%)

7. Amari Cooper, WR (15.2%)

8. James Robinson, RB (15.1%)

9. CeeDee Lamb, WR (15.0%)

10. Alvin Kamara, RB (14.4%)

11. Saquon Barkley, RB (14.3%)

12. Chris Godwin, WR (13.5%)


1. Derrick Henry, RB (27.3%)

2. Davante Adams, WR (20.0%)

3. D.J. Moore, WR (18.5%)

4. Alvin Kamara, RB (18.4%)

5. CeeDee Lamb, WR (18.0%)

6. Najee Harris, RB (17.7%)

7. Leonard Fournette, RB (17.2%)

8. Austin Ekeler, RB (16.4%)

9. Darren Waller, TE (16.3%)

10. Damien Williams, RB (15.6%)

11. Saquon Barkley, RB (15.3%)

12. Amari Cooper, WR (15.2%)

Cash Core (DK/FD)

QB: Trey Lance

RB: Derrick Henry, Alex Mattison, Damien Williams, D’Andre Swift (DK), Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott (FD), Saquon Barkley (FD)

WR: Davante Adams, Kadarius Toney (DK), Tee Higgins (DK), Keenan Allen, CeeDee Lamb, Curtis Samuel (DK), Darnell Mooney, Justin Jefferson (FD)

TE: Ricky Seals-Jones (DK), Darren Waller (FD), Mike Gesicki