What’s up everyone and welcome to Ben’s Building Blocks! If you’ve never read my content before, welcome. To those that have, welcome back. I truly appreciate everyone that reads and supports during NFL season. This article is designed for me to highlight the top plays of the week, and my overall player pool for the main slate. Obviously, things can change rapidly in the NFL with injury news on the weekends, so I would be sure to subscribe to our premium package for access to my Final Thoughts cheat sheet, our premium discord channel and my core plays. Our Core Plays product gives you the ability to tail all of our analysts in your contests each week. We do the work for you, and you simply plug and play with our premium Core Plays. With that being said, let’s hop into the Week 5 slate…
After a week of max pain (barely missing out on shipping showdown back-to-back slates) I’m more than ready for Week 5. This week, I believe cash game roster construction comes down to three players in Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts and Tom Brady. Nobody comes close to the ceiling of Allen or Hurts, especially on this slate where we don’t have Lamar Jackson. Both Allen and Hurts have been posting monster fantasy games, and they’ve shown the ability to do so in blowouts so I’m not worried about any potential blowout this weekend. Buffalo, in particular, has shown the willingness to continue throwing the ball even when leading by a large margin so I have no concerns over Allen. Hurts ranks top-six in passing yards, and is tied for the league-lead in carries inside the 20 yards line. If he gets pushed at all by this Cardinals offense, we could see a massive game. It’s a no brainer to just plug in one of these two for cash builds…the problem is we once again are starved for value. Brady enters the conversation on DraftKings where there’s no apparent value outside of tight end. He’s at home, and the Buccaneers should be more pass-heavy now that their pass catchers are healthy. That $2,000 in savings makes a big difference, and I have multiple builds to choose from for my main team this weekend. On FanDuel, I think you plug in either of Hurts or Allen.
If I don’t play Hurts/Allen in cash games, they will likely be my main tournament teams. I also think Justin Herbert is in a good spot against a Browns defense that loves to allow big play. Trevor Lawrence is my favorite mid-tier play, at home, against a beatable Texans secondary. Houston looks like a strong pass defense on paper — but it’s important to remember three of their games have come against the Broncos, Bears and Colts. The one game they faced a capable offense — last week — they allowed over 300 yards to Justin Herbert. I said on this weeks podcast this is a spot for Lawrence to have his best game as a pro — and I will have some exposure to him in GPP.
Core: Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Tom Brady
Pivots: Justin Herbert, Trevor Lawrence
Running back is a bit weird for me in Week 5, and my pool is bigger than most weeks. For cash games, I’m really interested in all of Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara and Jeff Wilson Jr. This is such a get-right spot for Dalvin Cook. He’s at home, against a bad run-defense, and he just hasn’t been finding the end zone. He still ranks top-eight among running backs on this slate in weighted opportunity, His red-zone role hasn’t been there, but that could be chalked up to small sample-size. Overall, the Bears have allowed the third-most rushing yards to running backs this season and I think the Vikings should be playing from ahead. He’s underpriced on both sites and can be used in all formats. The hot button saying of the week is that Alvin Kamara is the cheapest he’s been in five years. Yes, $6,600 is way too cheap for him especially against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle has allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs this season, and I see no reason why Kamara is this cheap. There are always concerns he loses some third-down work again — but that’s baked in to this egregious price tag. New Orleans has a really solid team total, and I will likely force Kamara into my builds. I prefer both of these guys to Lenny Fournette — who is definitely in play. Tampa Bay could easily be winning this game and turn it into a big Fournette second-half. He’s top-four among RB’s in weighted opportunity but I’m taking a stand with both Cook and Kamara ahead of him. Wilson is underpriced due to being on Monday night football. Wilson once again dominated snaps, and is too cheap even with a lack of a receiving role. Carolina ranks bottom-eight in rushing yards allowed to RB’s and we know that the 49ers want to lean on the run game. I don’t like these guys that don’t catch passes as chalk, but it’s hard to avoid him especially in cash game-type contests.
Everyone I have listed below is in play for me and will be in consideration for my lineups. One guy that really sticks out the more I’ve researched is Derrick Henry. I said on this weeks podcast that it’s obvious we like to play Henry when he’s going to be low-owned. Our Projections Portal currently ha shim projected for 8% ownership. More importantly, it’s now been multiple games of the Titans throwing Henry the ball. He has a 20% target-share over the last two games which is basically unheard of for the King. Washington is not a great defense, and the Titans are favored here so 25+ Henry touches look to be in play. He will be a staple of my GPP teams.
Core: Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Lenny Fournette, Jeff Wilson Jr, Rhamondre Stevenson
Pivots: Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb, Austin Ekeler, James Robinson, Damien Harris
Once again in Week 5, wide receiver is dominated by the mid-tier. All of Chris Godwin, Tyler Lockett, Chris Olave and Drake London are in between $5,000 and $6,000 on DraftKings and all will be pretty highly owned. This is obviously the range I’ll be living in for cash builds especially with the lack of value. I do think, if choosing, Olave and Godwin stick out as my favorites and I would have London ranked last of the four. London should dominate the targets with no Kyle Pitts, but there’s a very real chance that the Falcons offense bottoms out vs a great defense and so I don’t think he’s a must play.
The story of WR this week is where to go in tournaments with so much focus on the same four to six guys in cash games. I love all of AJ Brown, Christian Kirk, Terry McLaurin and Mike Evans. Brown is my obvious go-to in Hurts stacks — he ranks first in all of football with a 46% share of Air Yards from Hurts. He also had a TD called back last week, and I think the big game is coming soon. Kirk has one of the best roles in football right now, but doesn’t have the name-brand value of some of these other receivers. He’s near the top of the slate in Air Yards share and target-share, and also has one of the best red-zone roles among all receivers. Obviously, he’s my stack with Lawrence but he is a completely fine one-off in other builds as well. McLaurin correlates nicely with my Derrick Henry love, and gets a nice boost with no Jahan Dotson. Tennessee is allowing the fourth-most DK points and receiving yards to WR’s this season. Evans is the easy pivot off Godwin in tournaments.
I’ll likely look to double-stack my Josh Allen team — and you can run that back with George Pickens but I also don’t think a run-back is needed. Deebo Samuel is also egregiously priced on FanDuel — he’s GPP viable on DK but in play for cash on FD.
Core: Cooper Kupp, Christian Kirk, Chris Godwin, Tyler Lockett, Chris Olave, Drake London
Pivots: Stefon Diggs, AJ Brown, Mike Evans, Jaylen Waddle, Terry McLaurin, Mike Williams, Gabe Davis, George Pickens
Tight End is once again straightforward in Week 5, with three guys making my cash game pool. One of them — Zach Ertz — is better suited for tournaments in my opinion so really it’s coming down to playing chalky Tyler Higbee or saving with the punt option in Cade Otton. Higbee somehow leads his position in targets this season, and looks to be the clear second-option after Cooper Kupp. Los Angeles is still dealing with offensive line problems, and we could see more check-downs/screens headed Higbee’s way in Week 5 with Micah Parsons breathing down Matt Stafford’s neck. He’s a fine option in cash games, but I will be avoiding him in tournaments if he holds as the highest-owned option as we head into Sunday. Otton got a huge boost on Friday when Cam Brate was ruled out — and he will now step in as the Bucs starting tight end. Tom Brady loves to target his tight ends, and Otton’s 3-29 line from last week would play just fine at the minimum price.
Ertz stands out as a top play for me, especially as a run-back in my Hurts lineups. He ranks second in the NFL in targets inside the 20 yard-line with six of them coming inside the 10. Arizona is making it a point to get him the ball inside the red-zone, and now he faces a team we love to target with tight ends.
Goedert can be played as a one-off or in a Hurts stack, while Njoku is my preferred run-back on aa Justin Herbert team. Both have ceilings on this slate, and they become even more valuable with no Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews.
Core: Zach Ertz, Tyler Higbee, Cade Otton
Pivot: Dallas Goedert, David Njoku
Bold Call of the Week
AJ Brown scores multiple TD’s!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)