Last week was ugly for fantasy so if you saw green for your cash lineups, it probably wasn’t pretty. Hopefully you at least took my running back advice from Week 4 and plugged in Nick Chubb and Leonard Fournette. Outside of that….not great, Bob. The beautiful thing about DFS, however, is last week doesn’t matter. We have lineups to build so I’ll stop wasting time. Let’s get to my Week 5 FanDuel picks for cash games.
Matt Ryan, $7700 – I typically like to pay down as much as possible at the quarterback position, but the cheap options in Week 5 make me feel queasy. With Atlanta traveling to Houston, we have two teams with explosive offenses and implosive defenses. Ryan will be facing off against PFF’s 27th-ranked coverage graded team in Houston. Outside of last week’s stinker against Tennesee, Ryan has thrown for at least two touchdowns in every game and has over 300 passing yards in all four. With an over/under currently at 50, we should be looking at some fantasy fireworks.
I really wish we could trust Minnesota’s passing offense because Kirk Cousins is sitting at $6800 in a juicy matchup against the G-Men of New York. I, however, don’t have the conviction nor cajones to plug him in. Tom Brady is $100 cheaper than Ryan and gets Washington. Chase Daniel actually made the Chicago passing game seem semi-alive last week and now gets a much easier matchup against Oakland. With a price tag of $6500 he could definitely be in play, just don’t expect a massive game. Daniel will provide a floor, but there’s not much of a ceiling there.
Just a note here before getting into running backs for Week 5: I like a lot of these plays up and down the board so you’ll have flexibility in your lineups and be able to pick where to pay up depending on your running back construction.
Ezekiel Elliott, $8800 – I can’t start a Week 5 cash game article without leading off with Elliott. The Packers passing defense has been extremely good this year. Their rush defense? Not so much. Excluding Week 1, Zeke is averaging 20 carries per game and his snap percentage shot up to 97% last week and he saw seven targets. The price tag is high, but so is his usage and ceiling.
Dalvin Cook, $8200 – Another expensive option, but Cook is in play every single week because of the offense he resides in. Someone should tell Mike Zimmer you can actually take the football and make it fly through the air to another Viking, but I digress. Cook has a favorable matchup and can be plugged into lineups with confidence.
Three mid-range guys I like: Joe Mixon ($7100), Leonard Fournette ($6900), and David Johnson ($6800). Johnson is super intriguing not only because of his matchup against the sieve-like Bengals defense, but the injuries for Arizona’s wideouts. Per PFF, Johnson has lined up either in the slot or out wide on nearly 18% of his snaps. He’s seen an average of 10 targets the past two weeks. With Christian Kirk and Damiere Byrd sidelined, we could see the same for Johnson this week.
On the cheap side, I’ll slide down to David Montgomery at $5700. Our own Nate Henry has written about Montgomery’s increased snaps, touches, and targets over the past two weeks. Game flow should dictate more of the same for Monty. Oakland has given up multiple rushing touchdowns in two of four weeks so if Montgomery is able to find the endzone he’ll pay off his $5700 price tag.
DeAndre Hopkins ($8500) and Julio Jones ($8200) – I’m lumping these two together because of the game stack and because this feels like a “get right” spot for both. Both passing defenses are easily exploitable and neither team has a great running game. Pretty simple play here (other than the price tags).
Tyler Boyd ($6700) – We’ll need to find cheaper options with so many great plays with high salaries. Boyd fits the bill, especially going up against Arizona. John Ross has hit injured reserve and outside of Boyd, Cincy’s targets leave a lot to be desired. Boyd should be looking at 10+ targets in this one.
On the other side of Boyd’s matchup is Larry Fitzgerald at $5800. His price seems way too low considering the matchup and Arizona having nothing else at wideout. Curtis Samuel ($5500) has more variance than what’s typically looked for in cash games, but he leads Carolina in targets since Kyle Allen took over, and Jacksonville will be without Jalen Ramsey once again. With his price tag, it only takes one long touchdown catch to hit value.