Deshaun Watson- Watson is set to be the chalk this week at Quarterback at home against the Falcons, and I really can’t argue the reasoning behind that. Dating back to last season, this Falcons defense has been abysmal without Keanu Neal who is out for the remainder of the season. They gave up an absolutely huge week to Marcus Mariota last week, and while that was just one week, we have a healthy sample of this defense without Neal and we also know that Dan Quinn is one of the leading candidates to be the first coach fired this season. Watson was held in check against the Panthers last week, but he already have multiple 30 fantasy point games this season and can beta you through the air or on the ground with his legs. The biggest key here is that the Falcons are bottom-three in the NFL in sacks, allowing Watson time to pick out DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller will go a long way towards him providing a ceiling-type output this week and he is one of only two QB’s I’m debating on my own personal cash game lineup for Week 5.
Andy Dalton- The only negative with Watson is his price tag, I typically like to save a bit of money at the Quarterback position and I might not be able to get up to him if we are going to partake in another jam them in build this week, but more on that later. I’m very curious to see where ownership ends up on Dalton this week, it’s pretty apparent to me that Watson is going to be the highest-owned player here and I could also see recency bias taking over here and corrupting the minds of DFS players after Dalton’s horrible Monday night showing in Week 4. Outside of the Pittsburgh game on the road, where he has struggled throughout his career, Dalton has put up 18+ fantasy points in each contest all against good defenses — the Bills (road), 49ers and Seahawks (road). The main reason he struggled so bad in that Monday night game was the offensive line play in front of him, and that won’t be as big of a deal against a Cardinals defense that struggles to put pressure on opposing Quarterbacks. If he had put up 18 points against an elite Bills secondary last week, he would undoubtedly be chalk this week, and this is his best matchup of the season against a team that has been destroyed by every Quarterback they’ve faced in 2019. I have him much closer to Watson than most others this week, and it will ultimately come down to whatever I do with the rest of my roster.
Potential week 5 Threesome?- This is definitely the readers favorite section, and it looks like I will be deploying a similar strategy to what I have used the last two weeks. The infamous threesome in cash games. We have four stud RB’s in quality matchups this week, and simply choosing three of the four is the direction I currently want to go with the value we were given at receiver and Tight End.
Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott both profile as locks to me on this slate, so deciding on the third guest is the decision to be made over the weekend. I don’t need to go in depth on why CMC is a lock, aside from leading the league in touches, whereas Zeke is one I’ve gotten a lot of questions on in Discord this week. Everyone knows that the Cowboys offense does not run as effectively without Tyron Smith, but I’m willing to ignore those splits this week given the matchup with the Packers. The Packers have been an extreme run-funnel spot this season, and with Smith out I think we could see the Cowboys focus more on giving the ball to Zeke anyways rather than banking on what could be less that normal protection around Dak Prescott. We haven’t seen that huge game from Elliot yet this season, and he’s still been able to give us more than 17 DraftKings points, which is exactly the type of floor we love in cash games.
As far as the third goes, it’s going to come down to David Johnson vs Dalvin Cook. Cook is currently projected for higher-ownership, and rightfully so given the type of volume he has seen this season especially when leading. I’m going to go out on a limb and side with David Johnson this week, however, in what seems to be the perfect matchup for him against the Bengals. Cincinnati ranks bottom-three in the NFL in DVOA against pass-catching backs this season, and Johnson is tied with McCaffrey for the most routes run by a Running Back this season. He should see even more time in the slot with Christian Kirk down, and I really like the potential upside for a few hundred less than Cook this week. This is not to say Cook is a bad play, he’s a great play, and I would be comfortable with any combo of the four.
David Montgomery- If you choose not to jam three running backs in this week, dropping all the way down to David Montgomery makes a ton of sense to me given his cheap price tag. Montgomery gets a dream matchup in London against a Raiders defense that we have attacked weekly on the ground. Montgomery broke through with 24 touches in Week 4, and with Mitch Trubisky sidelined it wouldn’t shocked me if Matt Nagy looked to lean on the run game a bit more than usual, especially if they are winning like Vegas projects. Montgomery is one of my favorite plays on this weeks main slate.
Michael Thomas (DK)/DeAndre Hopkins (FanDuel)- If you’re looking to spend up at receiver this week we have a difference between the two main sites. Thomas checks in at UNDER $7,000 on DraftKings so when I say “spend up” that really isn’t the case with MT. Thomas ranks second-overall in the NFL in weighted opportunity rating according to airyards.com, and his volume hasn’t really changed with Drew Brees out due to injury. Thomas is a lower aDOT receiver which plays into Bridgewater’s strength, and I would love to get him into my main lineup come Sunday.
I’ll cover the matchup a bit more in depth below with Will Fuller, but the fact is that pricing is generally a bit softer on FanDuel, and there is no Michael Thomas situation with someone severely under-priced. Even if I can’t get up to Watson, grabbing Hopkins provides high-upside exposure to that game and I do think you’re able to get there.
Larry Fitzgerald- Fitzgerald has already been a popular play in DFS cash games multiple times this season, and that shouldn’t change in Week 5 with Christian Kirk set to miss this game for the Cardinals. Fitz leads this team in both air yards and weighted opportunity rating, and his floor/ceiling only increases without Kirk stealing targets. I don’t think he’s a must play at his price, but this is probably my favorite game as a whole on this slate and I would have no issues playing two Cardinals in cash games (assuming the other is DJ).
Will Fuller- Lots of people have told me this week that someone can’t be “due” for a big game in the NFL, but the case for Will Fuller this week is a bit different. For starters, he’s been extremely unlucky for the majority of the season and that trend continued in Week 4 when Watson barely missed him on a wide-open, would-be 75 yard touchdowns as well as on what would have been another long gain. Fuller has over 50% less real yards compared to his air yards per airyards.com, another sign that positive regression should be soon to come. The Falcons were gashed play after play on the outside last week by the Titans — both Corey Davis and AJ Brown scored with over 90 yards, which bodes well for Hopkins and Fuller in Week 5.
Auden Tate- Tate is sure to garner the attention of the masses in DFS this week with John Ross out for the Bengals. Tate has drawn 16 targets over the last two weeks, and was even getting some designed red zone looks on Monday night against the Steelers. Unlike Ross, Tate is a big, physical receiver and is someone that has been good in both the preseason and limited action this season. Aside from the ELITE matchup against a Cardinals defense that has allowed 9 touchdowns through the air in 2019, he is priced at under $4,000 on DraftKings and is really hard to avoid in cash games, especially since I don’t like Tyler Eifert (see below).
Javon Wims- Wims was confirmed as a value play once we got news that Taylor Gabriel wasn’t making the trip to London, and he just happens to be the same price as Auden Tate. Now, I wouldn’t play him OVER Tate, but it is nice to have mutltiple punt receivers to work with and potentially playing them together is not out of the question for me as we head into the weekend. Wims played over 90% of the snaps in last week’s win over the Vikings, also without Gabriel, and this is someone that we have seen have success before in the NFL, albeit in the preseason. I personally think the Bears are going to win this game handily against the Raiders, so game-script is a concern, but it’s not as risky given his price tag and the flexibility it allows with roster construction.
Outlook: Tight End is particularly hard this week, with no clear standout play to me. Some may be chasing the Tyler Eifert chalk due to his matchup with the Cardinals, by now everyone has figured out that the Cardinals are downright terrible against Tight Ends. The problem for me is, Eifert is not as involved in the offense as some of the TE’s to wreck them, even Will Dissly last week is a much bigger part of the Seahawks offense than Eifert is to the Bengals. With that being said, I don’t see Eifert smashing personally unless he scores a touchdown or two, and I simply won’t be relying on that at expected high-ownership.
I will most likely be dropping off of Eifert to Noah Fant against the Chargers, or going up to Zach Ertz against the Jets. I would also include Austin Hooper in my cash game pool on the opposite side of the Houston game, and I will likely be deciding between one of those three. Some may be worried about Fant, but he is one of my favorite plays on this slate for his price and I don’t think he has any lower of a floor than Eifert does for cheaper.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)