After a wacky Week 4, fantasy football is back with another loaded slate for Week 5, highlighted by a 12-game main slate on Sunday afternoon. The Dolphins aren’t around to stack against this week, and they join the Lions as the two teams with byes. There are some important and interesting matchups, including the Ravens visiting the Steelers, the Saints hosting the Bucs and the Packers visiting the Cowboys in the marquee late afternoon game.
With four weeks of data, we’re starting to get an idea of who will be involved and which matchups are favorable to attack. As you look through the 24 teams’ worth of options and load up your roster, take a look at these affordable plays, who come with bargain salaries but big upside.
QUARTERBACK($6,000 and under)
Andy Dalton, CIN vs. ARI, $5,700 – Even on a short week, Dalton is in a good enough matchup to consider him as he and the Bengals host the struggling Cardinals. Arizona’s pass defense has allowed the second-most DKFP to opposing QBs this season. On Monday, Dalton looked awful against the Steelers and only managed 5.64 DKFP. However, he had multiple touchdowns in each of his first three games of the season, five passing and one rushing, which helped him to at least 18 DKFP in each of those three contests. He always struggles against the Steelers, but should find a good bounce back effort at home against Arizona.
Chase Daniel, CHI at OAK, $4,800 – The Bears are hopeful that QB Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder) isn’t out for too long, but he is expected miss this week’s game in London as the Bears take on the Raiders. In relief of Trubisky, Daniel completed a solid 22-of-30 passes for 195 yards, a touchdown and 12.2 DKFP. The Vikings’ defense is solid and the Bears were playing from ahead, so Daniel should be able to find more space to operate and be called on to do a little more in this matchup against the Raiders. Daniel is a solid game manager and should be able to produce solid production at this bargain rate in a good matchup. Going with Daniel should let you pay up in other spots.
RUNNING BACK($5,000 and under)
Miles Sanders, PHI vs. NYJ, $4,500 – Even though it was teammate Jordan Howard ($5,100) that stole the headlines last Thursday with three touchdowns, Sanders continues to see a large share of the work in the Eagles’ backfield. The rookie totaled a career-high 72 yards on 11 carries against Green Bay and has had double-digit carries in each of his four contests so far. Sanders wasn’t targeted Thursday, but had 10 targets in the first three games, showing he just ended up on the short end of Howard’s hot hand. Against the banged-up Jets’ defense, Sanders should continue to get plenty of work. Howard’s presence does make him a bit boom-or-bust, but the second-round rookie from Penn State is the better long-term option for Philadelphia.
Carlos Hyde, HOU vs. ATL, $4,300 – Hyde had his best total of the season in Week 4 despite finishing without a touchdown in the Texans’ 16-10 loss. The main difference was that he hauled in four passes after entering the week with just one catch. Hyde has at least 9.0 DKFP in three of his first four games with Houston and has dominated the backfield with Duke Johnson Jr. ($4,200) serving only as a change-of-pace factor. Hyde has double-digit carries in each game and should get enough volume to shine again this week as the Texans host the Falcons, who gave have given up 74-plus rushing yards to the opposing RB1 in three of their four games this season.
WIDE RECEIVER($5,000 and under)
Phillip Dorsett II, NE at WAS, $4,900 – Dorsett has been very involved in the Patriots’ offense through the first four weeks of the season and should remain in three-WR sets with Julian Edelman ($6,300) and Josh Gordon ($6,100). Dorsett was targeted more than any other WR with nine targets against the Bills, but only managed two catches for a disappointing 3.9 DKFP. Buffalo’s defense was outstanding and held Tom Brady ($6,500) in check. Brady and Dorsett should both be set up to bounce back with a great matchup against the Redskins in Week 5. Dorsett had posted over 18 DKFP in two of his first three games and has a high ceiling as a boom-or-bust play this week.
Curtis Samuel, CAR vs. JAX, $4,500 – In each of his two games with Kyle Allen ($5,100) as starting QB, Samuel has been targeted seven times. He had five catches for 53 yards and 16.3 DKFP in Week 3, but only three catches for 32 yards and 6.3 DKFP against the Texans last week. He has gotten plenty of volume and brings explosive playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. With Jalen Ramsey’s situation still muddying the Jaguars’ secondary situation, Samuel is actually in a pretty good spot if he keeps getting so many chances in Week 5.
Diontae Johnson WR , PIT vs. BAL, $4,400 – Johnson gets the benefit of having his breakout game come on Monday Night Football after the salaries for Week 5 were already set. He caught all six of his targets for 77 yards and a touchdown on his way to 18.7 DKFP. Johnson is a deep threat and has established himself as the second WR option for the Steelers after the team has quickly soured on Donte Moncrief ($3,700), who they signed this offseason. Johnson has been targeted six times in each of his past two games and the rookie third-round pick has established a very solid rapport with Mason Rudolph ($5,100). Steelers-Ravens games aren’t usually packed with fantasy goodness, but the Ravens’ secondary has looked very beatable the past two weeks.
Mohamed Sanu, ATL at HOU, $4,200 – While the Falcons have struggled out of the gate, Sanu has been very involved in the offense even though Julio Jones ($7,700) and Calvin Ridley ($4,900) are more dynamic options at WR. Sanu had a season-high 18.1 DKFP in Atlanta’s 24-10 loss to the Titans and isn’t touchdown-dependent since he has double-digit DKFP in three of four games even though he hasn’t gotten into the end zone yet. The Texans’ secondary hasn’t been good and Sanu has at least six targets in each contest making him a low-risk, high-floor play especially since the Falcons have had to throw the ball so much this season.
TIGHT END($4,000 and under)
Tyler Eifert, CIN vs. ARI, $3,300 – The Cardinals have been a great matchup for opposing TEs all season and have allowed six TE touchdowns in just four weeks along with an average of 94 yards per week. Eifert hasn’t had a great start to the season, but has drawn at least five targets in each game except Week 3 and drew two looks in the end zone against the Steelers on Monday Night Football. He should be set up for a breakthrough against Arizona.
Dawson Knox, BUF at TEN, $3,100 – With Tyler Kroft (ankle) sidelined to start the season, Knox has been more involved in the Bills’ offense early in the season than originally planned. However, the third-round draft pick has proven up to the challenge with 67 yards, a touchdown and 16.6 DKFP in Week 3 followed by 58 yards and 8.8 DKFP in Week 4. He has the ability to stretch the field and pick up nice yards after the catch, so expect the Bills to keep him involved as they take on the Titans, who have up at least 9.0 DKFP to opposing TE every week this season.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS($2,800 and under)
GB at DAL, $2,400 – The Packers’ defense had at least 12 DKFP in each of their first three games before coming up empty with -1.0 DKFP against the Eagles on Thursday Night. With extra time to prepare, they should be able to limit the Cowboys’ offense, which looked containable against the Saints on Sunday Night Football. Dallas feasted on soft opponents early, but this game could be low-scoring much like Sunday’s loss to the Saints. The Packers’ young defense should learn from the loss and come back with a good showing.
TB at NO, $2,200 – The Bucs’ defense would never make this list if Drew Brees (thumb) was playing against them this week, but Teddy Bridgewater ($5,200) makes this a much more favorable matchup. Tampa forced four turnovers by the Rams in their road win and scored a late touchdown to total 15 DKFP. They have at least 8.0 DKFP in all four of their games this season and have been making splash plays, which the scoring system rewards.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.