I can't believe it's already week 5, but we’re moving right along with the 2018 season. It's been the year of the pass, and we've had almost a 25% increase in passing touchdowns from this time last season. We're getting deeper in the season, and we're able to start looking at DVOA and more defensive stats now. Let's get into my favorite quarterbacks and running backs for Week 5 on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Cash Game Targets
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Atlanta Falcons
This game is featuring the highest implied total on the entire slate and has two offenses that throw the football a lot. Atlanta has allowed 335+ passing yards and three touchdowns in three straight games. They're dealing with some key injuries to this defense, and I fully expect to take advantage of it again this weekend. Ben has attempted at least 38 passes in each of the first four games, and Conner hasn't run more than 15 times in a game since Week 1. Atlanta ranks 27th in DVOA against the pass, and they're allowing 78.1 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs. This is a great spot to load up on Ben for cash games and look to pair him with a WR or RB in tournaments.
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Blake Bortles @ Kansas City Chiefs
While I think it's important to check ownership on Bortles for tournaments, I think he sets up as a cheaper option for cash games this week, assuming the weather is going to be okay in Kansas City. The Chiefs are 4-0 and they've looked great on offense this season, but they've been awful on defense. They rank 30th in DVOA against the pass and 32nd in DVOA against the run. They've allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and they've allowed multiple passing touchdowns in three of four games this season. Bortles will be without Fournette this weekend and T.J. Yeldon is banged up. Therefore, he’ll be asked to throw more, and he's already thrown for 375+ yards in two of the four games this season.
Matt Ryan @ Pittsburgh Steelers
I talked about the high implied total with Ben, and I'm thinking Ryan flies a little more under the radar than Big Ben this weekend. Ryan is averaging 27.2 fantasy points on FanDuel and 29.2 on DraftKing this season. After not throwing a touchdown in Week One against the Eagles, Ryan has thrown ten touchdowns in the three games since. The Steelers are allowing the third most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in three straight games. They've also allowed 325+ passing yards per game in the last three games. Pittsburgh and Atlanta are both in the top ten in pace of play this season, and with these two defenses struggling, I'd expect a lot of points in this game.
Josh Rosen @ San Francisco 49ers
I'm a very tournament-minded fantasy player, and I really like the price plus upside for Rosen this weekend. Arizona plays at the 30th pace in the NFL this season, but the 49ers are 13th in pace, which gives the Arizona offense a nice bump in this game. San Francisco is ranked 23rd in DVOA against the pass this season. With that said, they've allowed multiple passing touchdowns in all four games this season, and at least 20 fantasy points to each opposing quarterback. I don't expect a lot of people to be on Josh Rosen this weekend, but at his price, we're looking at 4x type upside in this matchup.
Cash Game Targets
Melvin Gordon vs. Oakland Raiders
Oakland is ranked 28th in DVOA against the run this season, and they face one of the best running backs in the NFL this weekend. Gordon has one of the highest floors this weekend and should have no problem excelling in this matchup. Gordon is seventh in rushing yards, second in receiving yards, and third in catches among running backs this season. He's averaging the third most fantasy points per game among running backs this season, and the Raiders are allowing the ninth most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. If I'm paying up in cash games, I'm taking the floor of Gordon in this matchup.
T.J. Yeldon @ Kansas City Chiefs
If you're not playing Bortles, I think you have to consider Yeldon. He's cheap and will be the featured running back in this offense in week 5. The Chiefs are allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs this season. Running backs are beating them both on the ground and through the air; they’re allowing 123.25 rushing yards per game and 98.6 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs. With Fournette out this weekend, Yeldon is in line for three down work, and he's scored at least 15 DraftKings points in three of four games this season.
Aaron Jones @ Detroit Lions
Aaron Jones started the second half for the Packers last weekend and led the three running backs in snaps. Jones averaged seven yards per carry in six attempts in his first game back in Week 3, and then averaged 5.9 yards per carry in Week 4 on 11 attempts. Jones is the best running back in Green Bay, and I feel like this is the week they're going to unleash the beast. The Lions have struggled on defense this season, and they're ranked 27th in DVOA against the run. This is one of my favorite games to target this weekend, and I don't expect Jones to be too popular.
Christian McCaffrey vs. New York Giants
McCaffrey has played 96.8% of the snaps this season, which leads all NFL running backs. Not only is he in the top ten in rushing yards, but he's also in the top ten in receiving yards, targets, and receptions. He's only played three games compared to almost everyone else playing four games. The Panthers are coming off a bye week, and they have a good matchup against the Giants. The Giants rank 29th in DVOA against the run and 22nd in DVOA against the pass. With McCaffrey averaging 22 touches per game, and his work in the passing game, he has massive upside if he's able to find the end zone. He's averaging 21.3 fantasy points per game, and that's without scoring a touchdown yet this season.