Fantasy-Tastic Week 5 Matchups
This week I’m moving off identifying trends and instead focusing on a handful of Week 5 matchups that you can exploit whether it’s in your season-long leagues or DFS lineups. The following five recommendations are some of my favorites and while they may not be the “trendy” pick of the week there is definitely value to be had here.
Pay the Man: Jamaal Charles will be a DFS Stud
Sunday is shaping up to be a monster Jamaal Charles game so if you’re looking to spend up on a running back in DFS, he’s your guy.
While the Chiefs offensive line has had plenty of problems protecting Alex Smith, it has been one of the best in terms of run blocking – especially in getting the running back to the second level (5-10 yards from the line of scrimmage).
According to Football Outsiders, the Chiefs rank first in second-level yards per attempt.
Charles is currently averaging 5.2 yards per rush, which ranks third among running backs who have played at least half of the team’s snaps. Vegas has the Chiefs pegged as a huge, home favorite over the Bears this week so you can expect many run opportunities against a bottom-third run defense (4.4 yards per rush allowed).
Sam Bradford’s Breakout Game? … it’s about time
Nothing, and I mean nothing, has gone as bad as the Chip Kelly experiment in 2015. The whole offense has looked out of sync, but this week they have the Saints at home so we could finally get the breakout game we’ve all been waiting for.
Vegas odds have the Eagles at an implied total of 26.8 points, which is about a touchdown over their season average. Furthermore, the Saints get very little pressure having just seven sacks and 38 QB pressures, which has led to just three total takeaways.
The Saints have specifically struggled with Brandon Browner, who is starting to get exploited by opposing offenses. In Week 3, he was torched by the Panthers as Greg Olsen beat him for a 52-yard reception and Tedd Ginn Jr. had three catches for 87 yards on just four targets. He was also beat by Brice Butler in Week 4 for a 67-yard gain. I would not be shocked to see Riley Cooper or Nelson Agholor break off a big gain this week to continue the trend.
Charles Clay’s Juicy Matchup
With Sammy Watkins out of the lineup, Clay is stepping in as the primary pass-catcher as he was targeted 13 times last week. This Sunday, Clay has a great matchups against a Titans defense that allowed Austin Seferian-Jenkins to go off in Week 1 and then both Coby Fleener and Jack Doyle combine for seven receptions and 83 yards on eight targets in Week 3. Another added bonus is that LeSean McCoy and possibly Karlos Williams will be out for this game as well, which could mean more volume for Clay.
On the other side of this matchup, I would avoid Delanie Walker as the Bills defense has all but shut down opposing tight ends. Aside from Rob Gronkowski in Week 2, the Bills have allowed Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and Larry Donnell to a combined 12 receptions (19 targets) for 76 yards without a touchdown.
Get Back on the A-Rob Train
Hopefully you were wise to fade Allen Robinson last week as he was facing a legitimate shut down cornerback in Vontae Davis. That worked out as he put up just four catches (11 targets) for 80 yards without a score while Allen Hurns busted out for 11 catches (14 targets), 116 yards and a touchdown. Robinson was still targeted 11 times in the game, however, and this week gets a cake matchup against a terrible Buccaneers secondary.
Blake Bortles loves to target his No. 1 wide receiver and especially loves getting him the ball deep – Robinson has been targeted deep (20+ yards downfield) on 37.5 percent of his targets, which is one of the highest in the league. Robinson’s 18.7 average depth of target (aDOT), according to Pro Football Focus, also ranks top five among wide receivers. I think he’s almost a lock to see at least eight targets and should have a good chance at breaking off a big play this week.
Don’t Overthink it…. Start Andy Dalton vs. Seattle
Obviously by now you’ve noticed that Andy Dalton has become a top 10 quarterback, but has he hit the elite, must-start territory? I think so, and I don’t think this matchup against Seattle is as scary as people will make it out to be. First, this isn’t your 2013 – or even 2014 – Seahawks defense and even though Kam Chancellor is back the team has played two home games against Jimmy Claussen and Matthew Stafford. Not quite a murderer’s row of quarterbacks.
The Seahawks will be away from the “12s” and their home atmosphere and will now face a Bengals offensive line that has yet to yield a sack and has allowed the third-fewest QB pressures this season. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus hasn’t been kind to the Seattle corners as both Richard Sherman and Cary Williams have graded in the negatives for their pass coverage, -0.3 and -1.4 respectively.
With an arsenal of weapons at his disposal – A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, and Giovani Bernard – it’s hard for me to see how Dalton doesn’t put up a solid week in what should be a pass-heavy attack for the Bengals.
George has been playing fantasy baseball since he was a kid, filling out every Sporting News salary league card, but never sending one in due to his lack of a checking account. He still remembers the time he spot-started Storm Johnson and got a rushing TD out of it. Never forget.