The NFL Week 5 DFS Review for DraftKings and FanDuel will make you wish you had a DeLorean so you could back in time, change your picks, and win a Milly. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works. We take our bumps, evaluate our process, and move forward. That’s my plan here. Go over my picks, understand how I got there, and try to understand what went right or wrong. As we maneuver through this wild season we want to analyze our process so we can improve our game in the long run. Remember, DFS is a marathon, not a sprint.
I won’t waste your guys time here with WHAT I SAID and WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. I wrote this article before the COVID news hit about Tennesee. As of this writing, we’re still waiting for the BUF/TEN game to happen. Let’s hope it does *crosses fingers*.
But I did suggest running with a Lamar/Brown/Boyd stack which turned out bad. Really bad. The Ravens are winning but they aren’t scoring at the rate they did last year and are playing much slower. These were noticeable signs the first few weeks of the season. But it’s something that I thought would right itself with back to back favorable matchups against the Washington Football team and Bengals. That didn’t happen. Monitor this situation as we move forward. If LJax keeps playing this way he’s a scary pick at his current price tag.
I’m ready to re-title this week’s article “Repeat offenders”. James Conner graces this list for the second time this season in what people will perceive as another “tough” matchup. I can see why people would be worried. Philly historically has been good upfront. So far this season they have allowed the eighth least amount of points to RBs. BUT they are middling in terms of rush defense efficiency and when we dig a little deeper we find that their opponents weren’t exactly the best indicator of a “tough schedule”. In week 1 Washington started a rookie RB who split time with Peyton Barber who vulture 2 TDs. In week 2 it was the Rams RBBC headlined by Darrell Henderson who gashed the Eagles for 81yds and a TD while also catching a couple of balls for 40yds. In week 3 it was the struggling Bengals and Joe Mixon who totted the rock for a meager 49yds. Then last Sunday night the 49ers sent out Jerick Mckinnon who put up a rock-solid game (14-54-1, 7-43). The bottom line is this. The Eagles have been “okay” against the run while also serving up solid stat lines to less than imposing backs. Their matchup this week against James Conner will easily be their toughest one so far. I love the opportunity for Conner here who should dominate in all aspects of the Steelers run game as (-7.5) home favorites. Compounding matters is that the Eagles have struggled mightily on offense and Pittsburg will by far be the toughest defense they have faced. This all sets up nicely for the Steelers to dominate this entire game. The Eagles are extremely weak in the secondary so its possible people will pivot to the passing game in an attempt to gain leverage. I say to pay up for Conner in a no doubt smash spot.
Stack Options: Paying up is the name of the game this week. When you click on Conner’s name be sure to add the Steelers defense as well. Carson Wentz has been giving out interceptions like candy on Halloween turning the ball over seven times on the season. That’s ridiculous. Ride that Interception house of horrors train while it’s hot with this rock-solid RB/DST correlation combo.
One of two things happened. The Steelers didn’t control the game the way I’d hoped and this turned into the Chase Claypool coming out party (Sorry Travis Fulgham. Come see us when you score 4TDs). Four TDs. FOUR (is this a broken record). Claypool got a ton of opportunity inside the RedZone and turned them glorious fantasy goodness if you used him. Which almost no one did. Except if you were desperate in a seasonal league. I’m not kidding. In the milly maker, he was only in 1.16% of lineups. I hate it when that happens. Buts it’s also the GPPs go. Ugh. Moving on. Conner didn’t get much of anything going saving his day with 1 TD and finishing with 16 total touches and 15.30 DKpts. His lead dog status remains the same. But as I alluded to earlier this game was all about Chase Claypool. I wouldn’t worry Conner going forward. His lead dog status is safe and Claypool isn’t going to rack up 4TDs every single game. Stay the course.
After flopping worse than Blair Witch 2 during the first couple weeks of the season and sidelined week 3 DJ Chark bounced back in a big way in week 4. Catching 8 of 9 targets for 95yds and 2TDs. Whatever concerns fantasy owners had for their stud WR quickly diminished and he’s back on our radar. This week the Jags get to feast on the Houston Texans. The football version of every quick death in a horror movie. Slow, mindless, and boring. The Texans secondary has been worked over by opposing WRs. Tyreke Hill (5-46-1), Sammy Watkins (7-82-1), JuJu Smith-Schuster (4-43-1), Justin Jefferson (4-103), and Adam Thielen (8-114-1) have terrorized this secondary. Now its Charks turn. People will be hesitant to go back to Jacksonville’s alpha WR because of his slow start and the presence of Keelan Cole. But I say this is the perfect opportunity to buy. Especially when people might be more enticed to pay $200 less for Marquise Brown and his smash spot against the Bengals. Compounding things, even more, is that the Jags are (-6.5) road dogs. The Texans are 0-4, just fired their HC/GM, and continue to trend in the wrong direction. This seems like the perfect spot for the Jags to go into Houston, steal a win and help continue the Texans spiral down the toilet. By continuing to serve up Chark with WR1 usage that will most certainly happen.
Stack Options: Pair up Chark with Minshew and run it back with Will Fuller. The only consistent member of that dumpster fire of an offense. Vegas has this game total at 54 so they’re expecting points and while I’m down on the Texans offense this will be a game where they’re going to have to keep pace with a Jacksonville offense that is in full DGAF mode. Don’t be afraid of what could potentially be a very low owned and high leverage game stack.
Chark flopped again. Just as it seemed he was getting his role back as the alpha WR in the offense it was Laviska Shenault who led the way with 8 targets. The Jags trailed in this game but it still didn’t get Chark going as he was only targeted 4 times which is unacceptable at his price tag. I think it’s worth taking a shot on him again. He’s still a primary option on the offense and he’s going to get targets. We just have to be patient and brace ourselves for the spiked weeks. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
So, we’re scrapping the bottom of the barrel on this one. It’s week 5 and options are limited unless you are paying up for the top guys. Which is a perfectly viable option. But let’s take a “leap of faith” on this one. Stick with me. I promise I won’t “be right back” (sorry its Halloween season and I’m in full-on spooky mode). Anywho, let’s talk a little Ian Thomas. Yes, I know he’s been a huge disappointment if you drafted him late in season-long leagues. I have a ton of him in best-ball and those teams are weeping at TE. But let’s talk DFS and how Atlanta’s defense has morphed into Pennywise from IT. But unlike kids being lured to their gruesome end in a sewer, the Atlanta defense has lured every TE they’ve face to a land of fantasy goodness. Going back to week 1 these have been the following stat lines to opposing TEs. Greg Olsen (4-24-1), Dalton Schultz (9-88-1), Jimmy Graham (6-60-2), and Robert Tonyan (6-98-3). This might be the best matchup Thomas is going to get all season and it’s an extremely risky play. But if you play GPPs then you know that risk is the name of the game. Embrace the volatility cause it just might swing towards Thomas this week. Remember, that’s all you need. Just one week, “one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip” (sorry 8 Mile is on).
Stack Options: Most people will be stacking Teddy Bridgewater with DJ Moore or Robby Anderson. I like the idea of stacking Teddy, Robby, and Thomas because most people won’t stack this trio. So if things swing the way we want you’ll be leveraging against the field that’s only double stacking. I’d even run it back with Ridley to get exposure to a full-on game stack. BOOYAH!
OH MY GOD, I HATE MYSELF. Seriously, I’m trying my hardest not to throw up while I review this atrocious pick. What actually happened here is that we learned Ian Thomas is not fantasy-relevant for the remainder of 2020. He got one target and didn’t catch it. A damn goose egg. I got way too excited about a guy I shouldn’t have. His inconsistent target share combined with the Robby Anderson/Mike Davis/DJ Moore show has made him useless. The targets are being concentrated on three guys. That’s it. Then you factor in CMC coming back very soon and he’s basically just a guy out on the field doing nothing for real-life and fantasy purposes. This was a bad pick. Plain and simple.
Remember, “Trust the Process” and we’re on to Week 6!