Week 4 was filled with some surprise names at the top of the leaderboard, but a majority of the chalk also held strong. We have another 12-game main slate in store for Week 5, so let’s get to some of the spots that standout at the start of the week. Keep in mind, more big names will be off this slate — Seahawks vs. Rams (TNF), Chiefs vs. Colts (SNF) and 49ers vs. Browns (MNF) will all be primetime games, with the Lions and Dolphins on bye.
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All lines and odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Lamar Jackson, BAL at PIT, ($7,100) — No Patrick Mahomes means Jackson will take over as the most expensive QB on the slate, and he deserves to be, averaging 5.3 DKFP more than any other player at his position. A divisional matchup can always slow production down because of familiarity, but Jackson is still a relatively new matchup for the Steelers.
What makes Jackson so attractive is the floor his rushing ability gives him. We were “worried” about how much the QB would run after he did so three times for just six yards in Week 1, but that was only because things were coming so easily through the air. In the last three weeks, Jackson’s rushed 33 times for 232 yards and a touchdown. He also hasn’t attempted fewer than 34 passes in any of those games. Pure volume makes him a safe call with a high ceiling on this slate.
Tom Brady, NE at WAS ($6,500) — Brady had by far his worst game of the season in Buffalo, completing just 46% of his passes for 150 yards, no touchdowns and his first turnover of the season. That has his salary down $100 ahead of a matchup against Washington, which feels like an overreaction to a bad game against a strong defense.
Washington has been shredded by opposing QBs this season, ranking 28th in DKFP allowed. Brady had been extremely consistent entering his matchup with the Bills, scoring at least 23 DKFP in each of the first three games. As 14.5-point favorites, watch out for New England to light up the scoreboard in this one, after being held to just 16 points in Buffalo, with a special teams touchdown making the difference in the game.
Andy Dalton, CIN vs. ARI ($5,700) — I write this article on overreaction Monday, but we haven’t even seen the Bengals face the Steelers on MNF, and Dalton is still my favorite QB play on the Week 5 slate. I’ll pay for Jackson if I can, but we get a lot of savings here for a QB who is averaging 22.2 DKFP through three games, and has a low of 18.1 in any game — and in a tough spot at Buffalo.
The Cardinals rank second-worst in the NFL in DKFP allowed to QB, and will be on the road in Cincy. While Dalton can be turnover prone, he’s been slinging it for yardage, and has two scores in each of his first three games. If he shows up on MNF, his salary would’ve been over $6,000 on this slate. It’s also a really ugly slate for QB value as the news currently stands.
Other value options: Gardner Minshew ($5,300), Teddy Bridgewater ($5,200), Chase Daniel ($4,800)
Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs. JAX ($8,700) — CMC proved that the Week 2 hiccup against the Bucs (who may have a legit defense), was just a small bump in the road of a dominant season. While there were at least some underpriced plays at RB that gave us a map to fade McCaffrey if we wanted to, he’s still been a cash-game staple.
Week 4 marked his third game with 30 or more DKFP, and the matchup hardly matters. Outside of the Tampa game, CMC’s averaging an insane 31 touches per game — he got 37 on Sunday in Houston, and it was also his second 10-catch game of the year. Jacksonville might not be the ideal matchup, but for under $9,000, how can we say no to 30-plus touches?
Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. GB ($8,300) — Elliott makes for an awesome tournament pivot off of CMC, or a great RB2 to pay up for if you can somehow find a way to roster them both. The Packers’ TNF loss to the Eagles was eyeopening, in the sense that this defense just couldn’t stop the run, even when it knew it was coming.
Jordan Howard ($5,100) went off for a 15-87-2 line on the ground, and was also poorly defended on passing plays, catching three balls out of the backfield for 28 yards and another score. Miles Sanders ($4,500) added 72 rushing yards on 11 carries for Philly. ‘Zeke will get all of the work for Dallas, and could put together a monster game on 25 touches in this spot. A poor game on SNF against the Saints has him about $1,000 underpriced in Week 5.
Jordan Howard, PHI vs. NYJ ($5,100) — I already mentioned Howard’s big week, and as this Eagles team starts to get life again, it could rely more on the veteran over the rookie. Howard out-touched Sanders 18-11 last week, and clearly got the meaningful ones, outscoring him by 25 DKFP.
Week 5 brings us a matchup against the Jets, with the Eagles 14-point home favorites. This sets up as a huge spot for the ground game, with Howard coming into the contest with the hot hand.
Other value options: Wayne Gallman ($5,400), James White ($5,000), Frank Gore ($4,700)
Julio Jones, ATL at HOU ($7,700) — Jones was slowed down by the Titans defense in Week 4, but gets a bounce-back matchup in Houston for Week 5. The Texans rank 26th in DKFP allowed to the WR position, and the Falcons will be looking to bounce back from a horrible performance at home. It helps that Julio will be playing indoors, despite being on the road, which has always been beneficial for this offense.
Keenan Allen ($7,300) is another bounce-back candidate, following up a season-low six targets against the Dolphins. While it was his worst game of the season, the game script just didn’t dictate anything being needed from Allen. That should change in Week 5, and we should see Allen’s targets on the rise.
Chris Godwin, TB at NO ($6,900) — Who averages the second-most DKFP on this slate at the WR position behind Allen? That’d be Godwin, who went off for a monster performance in an unlikely spot — 44.2 DKFP against the Rams in Los Angeles. Didn’t see that one coming, but Godwin’s 12-172-2 line on 14 targets legitimized that this is an every week consideration as a WR1 play.
There’s plenty of room for Mike Evans ($7,100) and Godwin to produce in this offense, and while the Saints looked good defensively against the Cowboys on Sunday night, the Bucs have really shown out offensively these last two weeks.
Marquez Valdez-Scantling/Geronimo Allison, GB at DAL ($5,600; $5,000) — Davante Adams ($7,600) left Thursday’s loss to the Eagles with a toe injury, and was unable to return. Adams didn’t practice on Monday, and could wind up missing some time. If that’s not the case, MVS and Geronimo probably aren’t targets we want to consider in Dallas, which is a tough matchup.
If Adams is out, then we have the 15 targets and 180 yards worth of offense he absorbed in Week 4 to be spread around to the rest of the offense. Jimmy Graham ($4,300) will steal some of that work, and is another viable target at TE, but these two plays should see a lot of targets at WR. MVS stands out the most, but again, if Adams plays, the rest of Green Bay’s pass-catchers are far too underpriced.
Other value options: Emmanuel Sanders ($5,100), D.J. Chark ($5,000), Phillip Dorsett ($4,900), Calvin Ridley ($4,900), Golden Tate ($4,600)
Zach Ertz, PHI vs. NYJ ($6,000) — Travis Kelce and George Kittle both play in primetime games this week, as does Will Dissly — who’s made for tremendous value three weeks in a row. That leaves thin options to pay up for on this slate, which by the looks of it, isn’t something I’ll want to do. It’s not just that I don’t like the spots for Ertz or Evan Engram ($5,800) that much, but that we should have to pay up some at RB and WR given the lack of value.
If I were to play one of them, I’d side with Ertz, simply based on consistency. The Giants face Minnesota, and we need to see how Tate’s debut relates to the target share Engram receives. A consistent option for double-digit DKFPs, Ertz is the most reliable option.
Austin Hooper, ATL at HOU ($4,500) — All of these values should be in play for this slate, but Hooper’s shown a ton of upside lately. He’s now essentially had consecutive weeks with 25 DKFP, and has scored 16-plus in three weeks, and seen at least six targets in every game.
Houston ranks highly against the TE position, but given Hooper’s floor, he should be a safe play in this one. As I mentioned, it’s a very weak slate for TE, so take what it gives us if the news opens up any chalky value.
Other value options: Mark Andrews ($4,800), Jimmy Graham ($4,300), Jared Cook ($3,400)
Patriots D/ST at WAS ($4,300) — The Dolphins don’t play on this slate, so we’ll have to look elsewhere for a D/ST to pay up for. Fortunately we have this fantastic Patriots D/ST playing a Washington offense that was incapable of moving the ball against a terrible Giants D/ST. The Pats allowed their first defensive touchdown of the season in Buffalo, but made up for it with four interceptions, five sacks and a touchdown. Averaging over 20 DKFP, this is another strong spot for the Patriots.
Buccaneers D/ST at NO ($2,200) — I wrote up the Bucs in this spot last week, and they came though big against the Rams — 15 DKFP. Tampa is actually a very good defensive unit, and has scored at least 8.0 DKFP in each game (11 DKFP per game). Remember, it’s facing a Bridgewater-led Saints team that didn’t even score a touchdown against the Cowboys.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.