FantasyDraft Week 5 Value Plays
Each week, l offer my favorite plays for the Sunday slate on FantasyDraft. 4for4’s Lineup Generator allows users to quickly pinpoint the top values at each position and I will expand on how each player is best deployed, whether it’s by game type, as part of a stack, or simply a core value across all formats. Note that FantasyDraft is a full-PPR site with yardage bonuses but the roster requires only two wide receivers and implements two flex positions.
Deshaun Watson ($12,200) vs. Falcons
Facing a secondary filled with holes, this game sets up great for Deshaun Watson. When adjusted for strength of schedule, Atlanta ranks 22nd in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and the Falcons’ pass-heavy offense could force a back-and-forth air battle. Houston is favored by five at home and their 27-point implied total is the fourth-highest on the main slate. Although there is often risk associated with Watson as a cash play because of his poor offensive line and high sack rate, Atlanta has been one of the worst defenses in the league at getting after the passer, ranked 26th in adjusted sack rate.
Carson Wentz ($11,400) vs. Jets
4for4 projects Wentz as the QB6 on the slate but he is barely priced as a top-10 quarterback. Favored by two touchdowns, only one team has a higher projected point total than the Eagles. Wentz comes into this game boasting a top-10 touchdown rate so even if Philadelphia continues to slant towards the run, his efficiency makes up for any lack of volume. New York is a bit of a pass funnel, ranked 10th in running back aFPA but 19th against quarterbacks.
Ezekiel Elliott ($15,600) vs. Packers
There isn’t a better play on the slate than Zeke. The Cowboys are a home favorite and the Packers simply cannot stop the run—they rank 31st in schedule-adjusted points allowed to the position but rank in the top five against quarterbacks and wide receivers. Elliott has seen over 80% of the backfield touches in two of the last three weeks—he shared touches in Week 3 because of a blowout—and saw every running back touch last week.
David Johnson ($14,100) @ Bengals
This is a week to pay up for at least two running backs in all formats and David Johnson offers enough of a discount from the other top plays to be able to jam him in with Zeke and still comfortably fill out a lineup. Only Christian McCaffrey has seen more targets than Johnson this year and DJ’s target share could go up with Christian Kirk out and newly-signed Pharaoh Cooper taking over in the second slot role opposite Larry Fitzgerald. No back has a better matchup, as Cincinnati ranks last in running back aFPA.
DeAndre Hopkins ($14,700) vs. Falcons
Despite being the most expensive receiver on the slate, Nuk is the top value at his position. Houston has lined up Hopkins all over the field and they can choose from a multitude of advantageous matchups this week. Both of the Falcons’ perimeter corners rank in the bottom 13 in fantasy points per target allowed and only three defenses have allowed more fantasy points per game to receivers lined up in the slot. With a top-five target share, Hopkins could easily exceed double-digit targets in a pass-heavy game.
KeeSean Johnson ($6,900) @ Bengals
With Christian Kirk out Sunday, 23% of the Cardinals’ targets are up for grabs and Damiere Byrd, who has played 92% of Arizona’s snaps, will also miss Week 5. Kyler Murray has forced targets to the slot but there is a matchup to exploit out wide as only two corners have been targeted at a higher rate than Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. Both offenses in this game throw at a top-three rate in neutral game script and both defenses rank in the bottom five in fantasy points per pass attempt allowed. If the offensive lines hold up their end of the bargain, this should be an aerial spectacle.
Travis Kelce ($12,100) vs. Colts
The Sunday night hammer is one of my favorite aspects of a full-Sunday slate and Kelce is the player that will catch the field late in the night this week. The Chiefs are favored by 10.5 at home—factors that favor tight end production—and projected for a league-high 33.75 points. Kelce hasn’t put up the numbers we’ve come to expect from him but it’s likely just a case of bad luck in the touchdown column. Against a Colts defense ranked 27th in tight end aFPA, Kelce’s touchdown regression could all come in one game.
Darren Waller ($9,300) vs. Bears
There aren’t too many comfortable pay-down options at tight end this week but Waller does come at a nearly-$3,000 discount to Kelce. The Raiders tight end ranks fourth among all players in target share (29.8%) and with Tyrell Williams dealing with a late-week foot injury, Waller’s role could increase in a game where the Raiders should have to throw as five-point dogs. Chicago’s one weak spot on defense has been against tight ends, as they rank 26th against the position when adjusted for strength of schedule.
Defense and Special Teams
Patriots ($7,300) @ Redskins
Paying up hasn’t traditionally been a popular DFS strategy but with multiple two-plus-touchdown favorites seemingly every week, it’s made sense to pay up for the floor. The Patriots have been arguably the best defense in the league and are built for positive game script, with a top-two pass rush and the fewest fantasy points per pass attempt allowed. Washington has allowed the second-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing defenses and they don’t even know who they want to play quarterback for them.
Carolina is a home favorite and they come into the week with the highest adjusted sack rate of any defense in the league. Jacksonville hasn’t thrown a ton but they do rank in the bottom half of the league in pass protection. Gardner Minshew has yet to face a dominant front seven so we could finally see some holes in the Swaguar’s game.