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Doug Norrie

Daily Fantasy Football Cash Game Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings Week 5 - 10/6/19

For most teams, the season is already 25% over. It's crazy how time seems to fly through the NFL season even with basically a week in between games. But with time comes some clarity around teams and what we can expect from both offenses and defenses. Let's take a look at some cash game plays for Week 5 on FanDuel and DraftKings.

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There’s something of a logjam at quarterback on the main slate this week with a number of guys under center waltzing into advantageous matchups. And it doesn’t help that most of them are all within the same price range. I do think we see QB ownership spread around for Week 5.

Lamar JacksonLamar Jackson FD 8300 DK 7100
Opponent PIT
Proj Points FD - 22.93 DK - 23.8

Through the first four weeks, Lamar Jackson leads all quarterbacks in fantasy scoring thanks in some part to the Lions keeping Patrick Mahomes in check in Week 4. Jackson didn’t need to do much on the ground in Week 1 against the Dolphins, but in the next three games has run for 232 yards and touchdown. He has 107 more yards on the ground than the next closest quarterback. The passing has been hit or miss, though he’s thrown for more than 240 yards in each of the first four games and is completing passes at a 65% clip with a 10/2 TD/INT rate. This week he’ll take on a Steelers’ defense that’s been up and down in their own right. They held the Bengals in check on Monday, but the Patriots, Seahawks and 49ers had no issues moving the ball in previous weeks. Jackson’s floor is as high as you can get at the position considering the rushing yards and he makes for an easy pay-up at the position.

Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson FD 8000 DK 6700
Opponent ATL
Proj Points FD - 21.55 DK - 21.98

Watson draws a solid matchup this week against the Falcons who rank 21st in DVOA against the pass and are below average in yards per pass attempt. Houston enters with the third-highest team total on the main slate (27), behind only New England and Philly, so expect some points from this offense. Watson has been doing an “every other game” kind of thing with solid showings against New Orleans and LA in Weeks 1 and 3, but stinkers in the other two. This one sets up as a bounce-back opportunity. He should be able to feed DeAndre Hopkins against a weaker Atlanta secondary that’s given up big games to opposing WR1s this season. This is a great spot to stack both guys in cash this week (we'll get to Nuk in a second) and I do think we are still on the low end of Watson's rushing yards.

Andy DaltonAndy Dalton FD 7500 DK 5700
Opponent ARI
Proj Points FD - 20.23 DK - 21.05

Russell Wilson was a chalk play against the Cardinals in Week 4 and for good reason. They are allowing the 5th-most opponent possessions per game this season and have let up the second-most total yards. And the 115 opponent points are the fourth-most in the league. Dalton is coming on the cheaper side, especially on DraftKings where he’s the 11th-most expensive quarterback. The to-date stats are a bit brutal, but he’s also run up against the 49ers (2nd in DVOA), Bills (6th and just shut down the Pats) and an above-average Seahawks’ D. They got steamrolled by the Steelers, but I’m looking for a buy-low opportunity on Dalton here. He's more of a DraftKings play at that sub-$6K price tag and allows for a bit more flexibility at that other skill positions.


Running Backs

Christian McCaffreyChristian McCaffrey FD 9100 DK 8700
Opponent JAX
Proj Points FD - 26.38 DK - 29.16

I was shocked to see that McCaffrey wasn't overwhelming chalk last week, particularly how many reasonable/cheap options availed themselves as the week went along. We talked about this at length on our Week 4 recap DFS podcast, but there is relative points-per-dollar safety across multiple price tiers at every position this season - except for running back. Ball carriers have been as inconsistent as I can ever remember, and McCaffrey has really been in a tier of his own. He leads the league in carries, rushing yards, and passing targets, though Ekeler has edged him out in receiving yards. Given that Ekeler will likely be at least splitting touches with Melvin Gordon going forward, I think it's safe to call McCaffrey the top option at the position in every respect. With Barkley down, he's also one of the few running backs whose value should be game-script independent, with the Kyle Allen-led offense totally dependent on his receiving abilities when they fall behind.

A long write-up for a fairly straightforward play? Possibly. But at a tough position, McCaffrey essentially stands alone here.

Leonard FournetteLeonard Fournette FD 6900 DK 6400
Opponent CAR
Proj Points FD - 18.74 DK - 20.61

Two running backs from the same game? I can't say it's a play we usually make, but we might be getting Fournette in his last week in the $6,000s. Yes, this looks like we're doing the old "just play the guy who was just good last week!" thing, but to our credit, we actually did have Fournette in cash games last week. The case for playing him was budding: he had 20 plays drawn up for him per game in week 1 and 2 losses, before having his number called 23 times in the win against the Titans. He hadn't been especially productive on those touches, but he looked for all the world like a 20 touch a game guy no matter how things were shaking out. We finally saw things break his way in week four, as he popped off for 245 yards on 31 touches. That shouldn't be a typical result for Fournette, but with Minshew still learning the ropes he certainly looks like plan A in reasonably close games. Drawing a tough Panthers defense isn't all that welcome, but Vegas has this as a 3.5 point game thanks to both teams missing their starting QBs. Look for Fournette to be a highly owned running back once again.

Dalvin CookDalvin Cook FD 8200 DK 8400
Opponent NYG
Proj Points FD - 20.32 DK - 22.65

Just to prove we don't just try to play every guy coming off a good week, I'll throw Dalvin Cook out there for you. Cook submarined his excellent yards per carry rates from weeks 1-3 with a putrid 35 yards on 14 carries against the Bears, which was sort of depressing. But Cook is just a reminder that opportunity ultimately wins the day - he'd go on to put together 16 fantasy points thanks to a rushing touchdown and 6 catches for 35 yards in the passing game. Vegas has this as a 4.5 point game, but color me dubious that Danny Dimes and Wayne Gallman are up to the task here. I think Cook gets established early against this still-lousy Giants offense, and rolls to 20+ fantasy points on mid-20s touches.

There's an interesting discussion about where to go from here. Surely many will look at Nick Chubb as under-priced after he exploded for a week-high 37.8 FanDuel points against the Ravens, and I can't say I blame them. The Browns are underdogs to San Francisco, but Chubb could show up in a big way.

You've also got Alvin Kamara, who is neck and neck with Cook projection-wise in a very similar price tier this week. If you look at Kamara's weeks 1 and 3 he looks like Christian McCaffrey for 10% less. If you look at his weeks 2 and 4 he looks totally average, and capable of disappearing. Still, that discount is very tempting, and we just saw Tampa play in an absolute shootout with the Rams. I wouldn't be shocked if he sneaks into our FanDuel lineups.

Lastly, there are still some cheap options like Wayne Gallman and David Montgomery lurking around. Gallman got the vote of confidence from the man he's subbing in for, and was a part of big tournament winning lineups after putting up 24.8 FanDuel points against the Redskins. He shouldn't have as easy a time of it against Minnesota, but he's still playable.

Wide Receivers

Keenan AllenKeenan Allen FD 7500 DK 7300
Opponent DEN
Proj Points FD - 20.43 DK - 24.61

Even after a Week 4 stinker against the Dolphins, it’s tough to argue against Allen as a consistent cash game play at wide receiver. Even with *down* week of 6 targets (5/48), Allen is still the league-leader in the category with 48. He’ll likely draw shadow coverage from Chris Harris in the slot, which is somewhat troubling, but the case for Allen comes down almost strictly to volume. No other WR in his tier sees the number of targets, and though guys like Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins might be more “electric”, Allen has remained a consistent focal point in the passing offense. I’ll take the risk on the tough matchup considering he’s the highest-scoring DraftKings wide receiver on the season and yet priced as the fourth-most expensive option.

Along these same lines, if the Chargers are thin again at wide receiver then Dontrelle Inman makes an interesting punt play at DraftKings. He was a cash game target last week with all of the injuries and ended up leading the team in targets with seven. He’s just $3400 on DK.

DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins FD 8500 DK 7800
Opponent ATL
Proj Points FD - 19.53 DK - 22.82

Hopkins could be in for a monster this week. He’s had a brutal stretch to start the season facing shadow coverage from Marston Lattimore, Casey Hayward, Jalen Ramsey and a very good Carolina secondary. That’s about as tough as any receiver has had it through the first four weeks. And it goes a long way to explain, theoretically, why his early-season returns have been so pedestrian compared to what we are used to. He's just 11th in targets after a season finishing 5th in that category and fourth overall in receiving TDs with 11. Are we really that far removed from his top tier performances or has he just run real bad on matchups? I'll take the latter. If there was a breakout spot, this is the one.

Tyler BoydTyler Boyd FD 6700 DK 6500
Opponent ARI
Proj Points FD - 15.22 DK - 18.36

Auden TateAuden Tate FD 5300 DK 3500
Opponent ARI
Proj Points FD - 10.07 DK - 12.06

John Ross is going to miss a month or so and that does leave an opening at wide receiver for the Bengals. While that might not be saying a whole lot considering the nature of this team, as I said with Dalton, the Cardinals are still giving it up on defense this season. Boyd was already seeing consistent usage in this offense, ranking sixth in the league in targets with 38 and converting them at 71%. Projecting him for double-digit targets once again isn’t a stretch and he’ll face Tramaine Brock primarily out of the slot.

Meanwhile, Tate has seen 16 targets over the last two weeks and combined them for a 10/138 line. That isn’t overwhelming, but again the Bengals are now without Ross who totaled 32 targets through the first four weeks of the season. Opening up the opportunity for a passing game against this Cardinals’ defense is a prime spot for value and Tate is coming cheap on both sites. I actually don’t mind the idea of stacking both he and Boyd together in cash games considering the price points.

Keep an eye on the Christian Kirk ankle situation. We can play both sides of this news really. If he’s given a clean bill of health, then I think he makes an excellent cash play against the Bengals this week. On the flip side, if he were to sit, that would be a lot of targets up for grabs in the Cardinals’ offense. Larry Fitzgerald would move up the cash game ranks quite a bit.

Tight Ends

Darren WallerDarren Waller FD 6400 DK 5000
Opponent CHI
Proj Points FD - 14.11 DK - 17.37

Week 4 was a quiet one for what we've come to expect from Waller, but he still caught 7 of 8 balls thrown his way for 53 yards. He's now led the Raiders in targets in three of their four games this season, and the seven targets against Kansas City was just behind Hunter Renfrow's eight that week. He's just a flat out good receiver, and the best option the Raiders have right now. He's second among all tight ends in targets, first in receptions (six ahead of 2nd place), and third in receiving yards. Last week was a tough one for tight ends, with no tight end really going off, and a few Johnny-come-latelies catch tight ends to sit atop the fantasy scoring leaderboards. With Will Dissly playing on the Thursday night game and Kelce and Kittle playing in prime time, safety is preciously difficult to find at the position this week. I'll stick with Waller, even in a tough match-up with the Bears.

Mark AndrewsMark Andrews FD 6100 DK 4800
Opponent PIT
Proj Points FD - 13.5 DK - 16.41

He hasn't been as consistent as Waller, and for that reason you won't consider playing him over Waller on DraftKings where receptions are key. One thing Andrews does have going for him is red zone target-share, though. With a touchdown in three of his first four games, he's presenting Jackson with a big reliable body when they get down and close, and that should be a trend we see continue going forward. You'll want to monitor the foot situation, which very well could be leading to this inconsistent production, but if Andrews gets fully healthy this is a juicy spot against an overrated Pittsburgh defense. Also considered: Austin Hooper, but only kind of. I'm certainly not paying for him at a higher price tag than the more consistent Waller or Andrews, but he's interesting as a value option at $4,500 on DraftKings.

Defense / Special Teams

EaglesEagles FD 4900 DK 3700
Opponent NYJ
Proj Points FD - 9.11 DK - 9.11

PatriotsPatriots FD 5500 DK 4300
Opponent WAS
Proj Points FD - 9.21 DK - 9.21

It will be an interesting week for defenses, with a couple of very obvious big money options and then a slew of question marks. The early season strategy has by and large been to take defenses facing the Jets, Dolphins, or Redskins, and for the most part this has been a pretty high floor approach. I mean, the Giants just held the Haskins-led Skins to 3 points. What can this potentially historic Pats team do? The Eagles aren't as good a defense and they probably aren't in quite as good a spot, but they are significantly cheaper, and they represent a way to get a high floor with plenty of upside against a hapless Jets offense.

SteelersSteelers FD 3400 DK 2100
Opponent BAL
Proj Points FD - 6.4 DK - 6.4

But what if you can't pay up? This is where things potentially get dicey. This DraftKings price is begging you to take Pittsburgh, who just held the Bengals to three points on Monday night. Lamar Jackson has never played in Pittsburgh before, but the Ravens are just four-point favorites here, and it's not like Jackson is immune to mistakes. He takes a fair amount of sacks, and getting hurried in the pocket could ding his efficiency. Listen - this is far from a high floor play, but if it allows you to invest an extra $1,500-$2,000 elsewhere you might be rewarded for it.


image sources

  • Cowboys Panthers Football: (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)

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