As we head into the weekend, be sure to check out all the content rolling onto the Rotoworld Daily page. Here’s a list of articles looking at the NFL DFS Week 5 slate. I will be updating as new columns are added, so consider this section as the DFS Table of Contents.
NFL DFS Bargains by Renee Miller
DRAFT NFL Strategy by Spencer Limbach
DRAFT NFL Mock by Spencer Limbach
QB/RB Grind Down by Stephen Young
NFL DFS Starting Points by Renee Miller
NFL DFS Single Games by Spencer Limbach
DraftKings NFL 6-Pack by Chris Prince
WR/TE Grind Down by David Kaplen
NFL GPP Plays by Spencer Limbach
DraftKings Tiers by Hayden Winks
NFL DFS Fades by Renee Miller (coming soon)
Rotoworld Ranks vs DFS Pricing by Rich Hribar (coming soon)
Now onto the NFL DFS Must Plays for week five!
Just a reminder, this column includes only Sunday afternoon games, as that’s considered the main slate on DFS sites. Games on Monday and Sunday night do not factor into this analysis.
PLATINUM: Build your lineup around these guys
Melvin Gordon III – RB – LA Chargers (vs Oakland)
This one is pretty much a no-brainer in my opinion. Gordon has been a fixture in these NFL DFS Must Plays columns, and now he enters one of his best matchups of the season. The opponent, Oakland, just allowed a combination of Nick Chubb and Carlos Hyde to amass 187 rushing yards and three touchdowns last week. The Raiders have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, a number that seems to be trending even further in the wrong direction. Meanwhile, Melvin Gordon continues to profile as one of the best fantasy running backs in the game with the ability to pick up yardage (and scores) through the air or ground.
Editor's Note: If you love Fantasy Football you have to be playing on DRAFT. It's daily fantasy football snake drafts instead of salary caps. All the fun of season long drafts but with no management and they last for just one week. They take minutes to complete and there's even auction drafts! No more setting lineups or constantly worrying about pros, just draft and win! Right now DRAFT is giving Rotoworld readers an exclusive FREE entry into a real money draft when you make your first deposit! Here's the link
Matt Ryan – QB – Atlanta (at Pittsburgh)
I’m going to stick with the theme of not overthinking things for the rest of this article. After all, this column is meant to highlight the best NFL DFS cash game commodities in excellent situations. Matt Ryan fits that description beautifully this weekend. Pittsburgh’s secondary has been miserable, currently allowing the third most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Ryan enters this exploitable matchup with plenty of confidence by racking up 32, 41, and 30 fantasy points in his past three games respectively. There’s a very good chance he’ll cross the 30 FP barrier yet again, as the emergence of rookie WR Calvin Ridley (more on him later) has really helped Ryan’s fantasy outlook.
GOLD: Next wave to consider in terms of priority
JuJu Smith-Schuster – WR – Pittsburgh (vs Atlanta)
I was originally looking to pair Matt Ryan with Julio Jones, but Atlanta’s elite receiver has a cumbersome salary that doesn’t mesh the best with other pieces from this article. In lieu of that, I find myself looking quite often to JuJu Smith-Schuster for a cheaper cost. Here’s why: 1) The Steelers have been a pass-happy offense, something that will likely continue in a potential shootout vs Atlanta. 2) The Falcons are hurting on defense with both starting safeties (and starting MLB) out. 3) JuJu has identical target (49) and reception (31) numbers to teammate Antonio Brown (53 & 29 respectively) for a much cheaper salary. 4) Smith-Schuster also offers one of the best ways for Pittsburgh to attack the vulnerabilities of this Atlanta defense – running majority of his routes to the middle of the field.
T.J. Yeldon – RB – Jacksonville (at Kansas City)
With Leonard Fournette already ruled out, T.J. Yeldon makes for a pretty easy value commodity in cash games and tournaments alike. He’s coming off a big 21.5 FP performance (100 total yards, 2 TD) with Fournette leaving early after 11 carries in that contest. That leaves enough room for Yeldon to at least surpass his 21 touches from last week, and he should be a huge part of the gameplan while Jacksonville tries to maintain possession in an effort to keep Kansas City’s lethal offense off the field. Pairing him with Gordon at running back seems like an excellent duo in cash games.
SILVER: Good options that narrowly rank ahead of similar players
Calvin Ridley – WR – Atlanta (at Pittsburgh)
The reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month is still too cheap despite racking up six touchdowns over his past three games. I already touched on how great the matchup looks for Matt Ryan and company, profiling similarly to the Falcons’ shootout vs New Orleans in week three. Ridley went for 7-146-3 in that game, and I’m not ruling out a similar fantasy ceiling in this one: at least from a yardage perspective. The Pittsburgh secondary is certainly burnable from all angles, and Ridley should be able to post his fourth straight satisfying fantasy total.
Joe Mixon – RB – Cincinnati (vs Miami)
We leaned heavily on Giovani Bernard for DFS purposes with Joe Mixon out the past two weeks. It appears the tables have turned, as Mixon is expected to return this week with Bernard highly questionable to suit up. That puts Mixon in the RB2 or FLEX consideration with a confident matchup against a Miami team that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing backs. Cincinnati checks in as 6.5 point home favorites, so game flow is on his side as well.
BRONZE: Not 100% necessities, but they mix well into a quality lineup
Vance McDonald – TE – Pittsburgh (vs Atlanta)
McDonald is grossly underpriced, especially on FanDuel where the $4600 salary should probably be at least $1000 more. Vance will continue to be regularly involved within this pass-heavy Pittsburgh offense, and good things tend to happen whenever he’s targeted. Remember earlier when I pointed to JuJu Smith-Schuster benefitting from Atlanta’s defensive injuries? McDonald should see a boost with the intermediate targets down the middle of the field as well, running directly into the Falcons’ question marks … Vance makes for an easy value lift at a tight end position that doesn’t have much opportunity cost.
Dede Westbrook – WR – Jacksonville (at Kansas City)
Spinning the roulette wheel to land on one of the several viable Jacksonville receivers carries some risk, but I believe Westbrook could provide nice value as a WR3 in this matchup. There should be plenty of targets to go around as the Jaguars try to keep pace with Kansas City and their vulnerable secondary. Westbrook is coming off a sweet 9-130 performance on 13 targets last Sunday vs the Jets, and he’s looking like the top option of that passing game at the moment. I don’t mind taking a chance on him to round-out my lineups, considering the matchup at hand is a good one.
PARTICIPATION RIBBONS: Fell just short of a featured spot
Cam Newton – QB – Carolina (vs NY Giants)
Julio Jones – WR – Atlanta (at Pittsburgh)
Christian McCaffrey – RB – Carolina (vs NY Giants)
Tyler Boyd – WR – Cincinnati (vs Miami)
Sterling Shepard – WR – NY Giants (at Carolina)
Tennessee Titans – DEF (at Buffalo)