DraftKings NFL: Week 5 Picks
DraftKings NFL: Week 5 Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.

Now that we have four weeks of data to work with, I will start incorporating fantasy points allowed by position more into the research. Also, I am breaking out the players by "Cash" and "GPP" now.

QUARTERBACK

I can see six quarterbacks (Ben Roethlisberger, Blake Bortles, Andy Dalton, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton) comprising the bulk of the ownership this week. Finding the ones who are 1-5 percent owned who will finish in the top 5 is the chase. No Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Deshaun Watson or Drew Brees in the Sunday main slate, and with Aaron Rodgers not 100 percent healthy and Patrick Mahomes playing the Jaguars, the position is lacking in depth at the top.

CASH

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. ATL ($6,900): You know the narrative about playing Big Ben at home, especially now that the Steelers are passing a ton (41-60-38-47 pass attempts last four games) and JuJu Smith-Schuster has emerged as a legitimate WR1 in addition to Antonio Brown. The Falcons' defense has been ravaged with injuries and it has caught up to it in a big way by allowing 31, 43 and 28 points to quarterbacks in the last three games. The Falcons still have a lot of pride and will come to play on offense, but the Steelers could put up 40. The over/under is 57.5 which is one of the highest in quite some time. Lock BB in for 300/3 TD, with a ceiling of 400/4 TD.

GPP

Kirk Cousins, MIN at PHI ($6,000): Early projected ownership numbers have Cousins about the 15th owned quarterback, which is perfect for a tournament play that has a ceiling of a top-3 finish. The Vikings are coming off a 10-day window from the Thursday night game against the Rams. So, they are plenty rested and in a situation where this is a must-win game along with revenge from the playoffs last year. Cousins can light up this Eagles' secondary with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, which makes them a great tournament stack. He has already posted two games with more than 35-plus points (vs. Packers, vs. Rams) and the Eagles gave up 34 to Marcus Mariota and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

RUNNING BACK

With no Alvin Kamara or Ezekiel Elliott on the Sunday Main slate, ownership will be heavy on Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon and Christian McCaffrey up top and on T.J. Yeldon, Kerryon Johnson as value plays.

CASH

Todd Gurley, LAR at SEA ($9,400): With the Rams 7-point road favorites at Seattle, game script should favor the run versus the pass. The reason I say that is because Vegas data is very strongly correlated with division games and chalk road favorites. The games overwhelmingly trend to the under. While the total is 50.5, the game could end up 34-10 and still favor the run if the Rams jump to a big lead. Last year, Gurley posted a monster 48-point game at Seattle in Week 15 and even at this high price tag, he should pay off in cash games with a 30-point floor.

T.J. Yeldon, JAC at KC ($5,600):
With Leonard Fournette already ruled out for Week 5, Yeldon is in a smash spot against the Chiefs. Yeldon looks like a different player now versus the one we saw a few years ago who just could not do much. He is an asset in the passing game, and with no other running backs there to take carries, at a mid 5K price, a 4x in cash is attainable easily as he hit for 24 last week against the Jets. Yeldon and Gurley will be the highest-owned running backs on the Sunday main slate, which is why they are mostly cash game plays. Both are workable in GPPs, but I would probably only use one, not both in the same lineup.

GPP

Aaron Jones, GB at DET ($4,300): The buzz is starting to grow on Jones because every day the Packers have one less wide receiver in play this week. Also, the Lions are the worst team in the NFL against the run. We have not seen it from Jones this year, so this is a speculation play that he gets fed the ball early and often with success. Jones is a solid pivot off Yeldon in tournaments.

Matt Breida, SF vs. ARI ($5,700):
Breida has a good matchup against a Cardinals run defense that allowed Mike Davis to carve it up in Week 4. The Cardinals have already allowed four running backs to score at least 24 points. While Breida is not a 20-carry-per-game back, he can still do damage with 10-15 carries and 3-5 targets in a PPR.

WIDE RECEIVER

The passing explosion has really opened value at wide receiver this year and taking three mid-priced receivers is a lot more viable than in years past. Players not in the Sunday main slate are Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, Julian Edelman, T.Y. Hilton, Randall Cobb(inj), Geronimo Allison(inj), Sammy Watkins(inj). There could be several others with a questionable injury designation come Sunday. There is still plenty of depth at the position this week.

The top trio will be heavily owned (Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster); all are in the the same game. I would advise having at least one in both cash and GPP lineups.

CASH

Mohamed Sanu, ATL at PIT ($4,000): One of the best cash-game strategies at wide receiver is finding the highest projected total and then getting a piece of the passing game cheap. That fits the bill with Sanu this week. He has not had an explosion game this year outside of Week 1 against the Eagles (20), but he is on the field more than any other Falcons receiver. And in a game with a total of 57.5 his opportunity for targets and touchdowns is high, with a solid floor.

John Brown, BAL at CLE ($5,600):
I have written up Brown in prior weeks and he has paid off each time. Brown has become the WR1 in Baltimore and is still underpriced by $1,000. The Ravens have a good matchup against a Browns secondary that was torched by Derek Carr last week. This Browns' secondary has allowed five receivers to score at least 17 points, so there is a floor of 3.5x-4x that Brown can achieve.

GPP

Adam Thielen, MIN vs. PHI ($7,700): Thielen still does not get the respect of a top receiver based on his salary and his projected ownership (16th). But he has posted games of 34, 27 and 30 the last three games and looks to be Cousins' favorite target. I think the ownership is low because the total on the game opened at 44.5 and has only moved to 46.5. The total is just too low and should be closer to 48. The game will be a shootout, as the Vikings are not running the ball and you cannot run on the Eagles anyway. Also, this is a must-win game for Minnesota and playoff revenge from last year. The Eagles will be content winning the NFC East with 9-10 wins, but the Vikings need this win just to remain in the playoff hunt. We have seen the Vikings' defense get lit up on the road. The Eagles' secondary has allowed four games of at least 23 points to wide receivers. I can see this game getting into the mid-50s, perhaps more like 30-24.

Dede Westbrook, JAC at KC ($4,700):
Most GPPs lineups need that sub $5K receiver who goes off for a 5x-6x game, and Westbrook fits that profile this week. In the two games Leornard Fournette did not play ,he posted 17 and 25 points at a cheap, low $4K. Blake Bortles will be throwing a lot more against one of the league's worst secondaries, creating opportunities for Westbrook this week. When you ask who the highest-scoring Jaguars receiver is, Westbrook's name is not the first that comes to mind.

TIGHT END

Tight end has quickly become a wasteland with injuries to Delanie Walker, Greg Olsen, Jack Doyle, Evan Engram, Tyler Eifert and Charles Clay. Not to mention Rob Gronkowski, Eric Ebron and Jordan Reed are not in the Sunday main slate. This leaves us with few options.

CASH

Vance McDonald, PIT vs. ATL ($3,700): To use the higher-priced running backs this week, we need to find some salary relief, and McDonald is in the game with the highest total. McDonald put up 24 points in Week 2 against Tampa Bay, so he does have a ceiling. But this week, I would be happy if he can post 12-15 points.

GPP

George Kittle, SF vs. ARI ($5,400): You would think Kittle would be a top-3 projected owned tight end, but he is projected as sixth. I'll take the lower ownership with a player who has posted three games of 14,15 and 27 who looks to have chemistry with his new quarterback. Arizona has been tough against tight ends, which is probably driving down his ownership.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

CASH

Ravens DST at CLE ($2,800): Normally I prefer my cash DST to be a large home favorite, but in this case price dictates the play, and at $2,800, it opens a lot for lineup construction in cash contests. The Ravens are a top-5 defense and get Jimmy Smith back from suspension, which makes them even more dangerous. Baker Mayfield has a tough draw in his second full game as a rookie, and I can see him having a tough time.

GPP

Panthers DST vs. NYG ($3,300): The key to finding a tournament DST is a home favorite with a lower total and high sack potential. We get all three with the Panthers, and they are only projected to be the sixth-highest owned defense. Eli Manning has been sacked 9 percent of the time, which is bottom 6 for quarterbacks who have played three games, and the Panthers have a sack rate of 7.2 percent, which is top 10.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Michael Rathburn plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: burnnotice, DraftKings: burnnotice, Yahoo: burnnotice, Fantasy Aces: burnnotice, FantasyDraft: burnnotice.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Rathburn
Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.
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