Welcome back to Week 5 of the WR/TE Grind Down. Last week went well at the TE position with all four picks hitting pay dirt, and Jordan Reed finding the end zone twice. Unfortunately things didn’t go nearly as well at the WR position. Antonio Brown and Will Fuller were fine, but Marvin Jones floundered, Jeremy Maclin was unable to take advantage of garbage time, and I targeted the wrong two WRs in the Oakland/Baltimore game.
On to Week 5. Hopefully we can continue to nail TE and then add in a few more hits at the WR position. I’ll be focusing on the FanDuel main slate, so there will not be any picks from Monday Night Football.
Cash Game Targets
Antonio Brown ($9,400) vs New York Jets – Brown makes this cash game targets section easily, as he’s a lock and load each and every week. He’s still managed to produce quality outings in each of the last two weeks despite the Steelers being blown out two weeks ago and then them jumping out to a huge lead last weekend, which is not a good game script for WRs. Brown is the safest thing there is in fantasy football, and there’s enough value emerging at RB to fit him in this week. The Jets have a very good run defense, but can be had through the air, so I would expect the Steelers to attack with a healthy dose of Brown.
T.Y. Hilton ($7,700) vs Chicago – I really like Hilton in all formats this week. He offers that huge game-breaking ability that is ideal for GPPs, but his usage also makes him a great target in cash games. He’s fourth in the NFL in targets and has registered double-digit targets in each game this year. That’s great usage for cash game purposes. and he’ll continue to serve as the focal point offensively with Donte Moncrief sidelined. He’ll be at home in a stadium, which plays to his game-breaking speed, and will face a really banged up Chicago defense. The Colts team total is sitting at 26 points, which is sixth highest on the NFL odds board this week, and given Hilton’s usage, I think he’s a great bet to play a big role in that production.
Julian Edelman ($7,000) at Cleveland – Edelman has had a rough start to the year with Brady suspended, but his struggles have kept his price down, and now Brady is back. Rob Gronkowski may not be operating at full strength, which leaves Edelman as a great option in this New England passing attack. They are facing a porous Cleveland secondary that has been carved up all year long, and the Pats check in with the top team total on the slate at 28.5 points. The Patriots have never been scared of running up the score and should look to get Brady re-acclimated right off the bat, so I want exposure to the Pats passing offense and think Edelman is the safest bet. He was a curious addition to the injury report on Thursday, so do keep an eye on his status, but as long as everything checks out, he’ll be a staple for my cash games.
Odell Beckham ($8,500) at Green Bay – Beckham has been in the news a lot this week, and the narrative is that he’s really struggling. While he hasn’t been great this year, the only real big difference between this year’s numbers and last year’s is that he had scored two TDs at this point last year, but has yet to find the end zone this season. Beckham is still tenth in the NFL in overall targets, and this looks like a potential get right spot. The Giants have struggled to run the ball this year, and the Packers have just erased opposing running games, allowing just 1.8 YPC, which leads the NFL by a wide margin. Those factors should really force the Giants to the air. Additionally, the Packers will once again be without Sam Shields. With Shields out, the Packers have allowed career efforts to Marvin Jones and Stefon Diggs in back-to-back weeks, so I like this spot for Odell to finally hit pay dirt for the first time this year.
Brandon Marshall ($7,600) at Pittsburgh – I mentioned Antonio Brown as the clear cash game option, and one of my favorite strategies is to stack opposing #1 WRs. I tried this strategy last weekend with Brown and Jeremy Maclin, which didn’t work out, but I’ll go right back to the well this weekend. This is an elite Pittsburgh offense at home, so they should be playing with a lead, which should put the Jets in pass-first mode. The Steelers also have a strong run defense, which further bolsters the notion that the Steelers should be throwing a ton. With Eric Decker out, Marshall is the clear cut top WR for the Jets, and Pittsburgh has allowed the third most passing yards so far this year.
DeVante Parker ($6,400) vs Tennessee – This pick is contingent on what the weather is looking like in Florida, but if everything is clear, I like Parker for GPPs. I actually like Ryan Tannehill a little bit as a value QB option this weekend, and I’m a fan of his two top WR options in Jarvis Landry and Parker. Landry is more of the cash game option due to his elite usage (second in targets), but I like Parker’s big play ability for GPPs. Based on where he lines up on the field, he should see plenty of Perrish Cox, who has been abused this year. Cox is one of the worst rated CBs so far this season, and he coughed up a big game to a similar big-play WR in Will Fuller last weekend.
Cash Game Targets
Zach Ertz ($5,600) at Detroit – I typically like to save at TE in cash games, so I’m eyeing the guys in the mid-$5,000 range like Ertz, Zach Miller and Hunter Henry. Miller is currently questionable and I’ll give Ertz the slight edge over Henry, so I’ll roll with him here. He’s back at full strength and returns just in time to face a Detroit defense that has been shredded by TEs this season. The Lions allowed three receiving TDs to Colts TEs in Week 1, a big week to Delanie Walker in Week 2, and then Zach Miller found the end zone against them last weekend. Ertz had seven targets in the one game he’s played this year and makes for a nice value against this Detroit defense that has clearly struggled against TEs.
Martellus Bennett ($6,300) at Cleveland – I’d like to list Rob Gronkowski here, and I still may grab some ownership in GPPs, but I’m a little leery of the rumors about him not being 100%. He hasn’t been running a ton of pass routes, so if he is in fact hobbled, Bennett could continue to produce big outings, especially with Brady returning. He’s already topped 100 receiving yards twice this year without Brady under center, so he should continue to excel with Brady coming back. The Browns were carved up by Dennis Pitta earlier this year and then Jordan Reed last weekend, so the favorable matchup is certainly there.