Week 5 of the NFL season is upon us and fantasy owners are looking for an edge where they can find one. Making the right roster decisions is more critical than ever. We look at some of this week’s starts and sits and hope everyone picks up a much-needed win as we near the midseason point:
Tom Brady, New England Patriots at Washington Redskins
If there was any thought of benching Brady after his tough game in Buffalo last week, go splash water on your face and pull yourself together. Even GOATS have bad days. Washington is almost literally the exact opposite of Buffalo in terms of defensive prowess. This is the smashiest smash spot of the weekend. Don’t overthink it.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Bengals are a hot mess, but they’re facing a team whose mess is even hotter, especially in the secondary. Auden Tate is proving to be a fine replacement for the injured John Ross and Tyler Boyd shouldn’t have much trouble with this secondary, either. The Cardinals are giving up production in the passing game by the boatload. If you need a fill-in, Dalton’s matchup is hard to ignore.
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers
Is it recency bias, or is there actually something to worry about after last week’s rough game against the Saints? Regardless of which side is right, the fact remains Prescott now has to deal with a resurgent Packers defense that has held its past two opponents to 160 and 161 passing yards and hasn’t allowed more than 225 in any game this season. If you have a decent backup, give him some consideration here.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings
It’s one thing to let Jones loose against the Buccaneers and Redskins. It’s a whole other story against a legit defense like the Vikings. Points and yards are going to be very hard to come by, and that doesn’t sound like a winning fantasy strategy.
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
This pick hinges on the availability of Jamaal Williams, who entered the league’s concussion protocol on Monday after the scary hit he took in last Thursday’s game against Philadelphia. If Williams is unable to suit up, Jones would dominate the touches out of the backfield. He’s quietly having a strong start to the season, averaging 20 DK points per game over the past three weeks with four touchdowns.
James White, New England Patriots at Washington
It appears DraftKings has joined the herd in over-reacting to the Patriots’ mediocre offensive showing against Buffalo on Sunday. White, who was targeted 10 times against the Bills, only saw his salary increase by $100 this week as the Pats go from a brutal defensive matchup to a genuine cupcake this week. Wayne Gallman destroyed Washington as a pass-catcher last week and White is a lot better than Wayne Gallman. Like the rest of the Pats looking to put last week well behind them, expect White to come out hot this weekend.
Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles
It now appears that Sam Darnold, the kissing bandit, will not be fully recovered from his bout with mono this weekend, putting the offense back in the hands of Luke Falk. This is terrible news for Lev Bell owners in season-long and should be all anyone in DFS needs to hear to stay far away for another week. The Eagles’ front seven feasts on opposing running backs, and have no reason not to put all their energies into stopping Bell in this game.
Mark Ingram II, Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s really been hit or miss with Ingram this season. He has two monster games, against Miami and Kansas City, and two duds against Arizona and last week against Cleveland. Facing a Pittsburgh team that got an enormous confidence boost in Monday’s rout of the Bengals, it feels like a “miss” spot here.
Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets
Jeffery returned from an injury last week against the tough Packers defense and was target nine times, turning three into catches, including a touchdown. Jeffrey will now have had 10 more days to fully recover and gets a Jets defense at home, which is a far cry from facing the Packers in Green Bay.
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders
Robinson still managed his usual seven targets last week, despite the presence of Chase Daniel at quarterback, subbing for the injured Mitchell Trubisky. Now Daniel and Robinson have had a full week of practice together to develop chemistry, which is bad news for a Raiders defense getting torched through the air.
D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers defense has been very stingy against WR1s this season, putting Chark at an immediate disadvantage. Dede Westbrook was a favorite target of Gardner Minshew II for most of last week’s game, making Chark all the more risky.
Stefon Diggs, Vikings at Giants
Whatever is going on between Diggs and the team, it’s obviously not good and coach Mike Zimmer implied its possible Diggs gets benched for Sunday’s game. It’s already been a down year for Diggs, who’s been playing hurt and not producing. It’s pretty much just the Dalvin Cook show here, and no part of the Vikings’ passing game is attractive right now.
Tyler Eifert, Bengals vs. Cardinals
We believe Andy Dalton is in store for a big game this week, and with John Ross sidelined, it’s mostly going to fall to Tyler Boyd and Eifert to lead the way. Eifert has been targeted at least seven times in every game and should have his way with the shoddy Arizona defense.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans
Knox is the best tight end you’ve never heard of, but he’s been coming on strong the past two weeks, putting up a 6-125-1 over those two games, including a date with the Patriots. The Titans got destroyed by Austin Hooper last week, and have struggled against tight ends all season. Knox is the sleeper pick of the week.
Delanie Walker, Titans vs. Bills
On the flip side, Walker draws the toughest defense in the league against the tight end position. Walker, who is dealing with a knee injury, had just two targets last week.