FanDuel Week 5 Slate Breakdown with Cash and GPP Picks
As I suspected, chasing points last week with Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, and Rob Gronkowski proved futile. This week sets up a bit differently, though, because many of last week's high scorers at RB are in great spots again this week, so I don't believe fading them will provide the same type of leverage as fading the aforementioned studs provided last week. Instead, the edge this week will likely come from going against the grain in terms of Vegas lines—there's a handful of favorites that probably shouldn't be, and a bunch of lines that seem off in general. I'm sure the plethora of surprise outcomes last week will serve as reason enough already, but I'll still remind and encourage you to not treat the Vegas lines as gospel. Don't rely on "wisdom" of the crowd and public perception—exploit it.
Games to Target
Packers (25.75) at Cowboys (28.25): O/U 52.5
This is one of the few games I agree with Vegas on, though I thought the game should be closer to a pick 'em and the total slightly higher.
After allowing 8 TD passes over the past three weeks, Rod Marinelli’s defense is likely to keep bending and breaking against Aaron Rodgers ($9,500), who is the top cash game play and highest-ceiling tournament option at QB against a Cowboys defense ranked 22nd in aFPA to the position. From a tournament leverage perspective, the $1,500 gap between Rodgers and every other QB suggests the best move would be to not go too overweight on Rodgers, instead using exposure to arbitrage Rodgers at a cheaper cost—it’s a similar situation to Tom Brady last week.
Rodgers’ TDs are most likely to go to Jordy Nelson ($8,600), who has caught a TD in 14-of-20 games since the start of 2016; Nelson is cash-viable as well. The highest-leverage play on the Packers is Martellus Bennett ($5,300), who may be the best double-digit TD bet of the week under $6,000—especially after Rodgers suggested he wants to get Bennett going early. Given his QB and the game’s high total, Bennett is cash-viable, though I prefer Jesse James ($400 cheaper) for lineup construction purposes.
Randall Cobb ($6,600) caught 7 passes in each of these teams’ two meetings last season; he’s a solid play whose stock would go up if Davante Adams ($6,900) or even Ty Montgomery ($7,500) misses the game.
In short, Rodgers and Nelson are the top plays, then Bennett, then everyone else.
Because opposing passing games are correlated, Dak Prescott ($7,700) makes for a nice leverage play off Rodgers because he’s $1,800 cheaper, though Prescott is expected to garner significant ownership himself. Nevertheless, Dak is cash-viable as a home favorite with the highest implied total of the week, as well as the highest Value rating at his position.
My preferred cash game play in this contest is Ezekiel Elliott ($8,900) for the same reasons as Dak. We want talented players in high-scoring games who will handle the ball frequently, and only three RBs average more touches than Elliott’s 23.0 per game.
After facing Janoris Jenkins, the Broncos’ no-fly zone, and Patrick Peterson, this is Dez Bryant’s ($7,800) easiest matchup. Opposing passers have targeted 67% of their passes toward wide receivers against the Packers, tied for second-most in the league, and the Packers rank 20th in WR aFPA. Dez leads the league in targets inside the 10-yard line with 6.
The Dak-Zeke-Dez stack is in play in tournaments. The odd man out is likely Jason Witten—Green Bay is allowing only 5.9 yards per target to tight ends and they rank second in TE aFPA.
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