NFL DFS: Cash Game Plays for Week 5by Joe Ricotta October 11, 2020 0 comments
Once again, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into this week’s main slate of games. As of writing this, the Tennessee Titans versus Buffalo Bills game has been rescheduled to this upcoming Tuesday night. The New England Patriots versus the Denver Broncos game has been pushed back to Monday afternoon. With that said, we are left with a solid 10-game slate, which should allow us to get exposure to some high scoring affairs.
The cash game article’s goal is to outline some of the safer plays while also providing options that will help you create the most optimal builds. The whole point of it all is to make some money. Sometimes we won’t, but putting ourselves in the best position to do so is the most important part. That should go without saying but can sometimes get overshadowed by the results on a week to week basis.
Mostly, people want to know how many points a guy scored, and not necessarily the route that took them there. DFS is not only a science but a math equation. Let’s dive in, put the pieces together, and try to solve it. Here are the NFL DFS Cash Game Plays for Week 5.
Disclaimer: As always, there will be a lock emoji next to a few of my favorite plays. All of the guys mentioned are viable for cash games, but the ones with a lock emoji will be fixtures in my main lineup.
Matt Ryan ($6,100 DK, $7,700 FD)
You could pay up for Dak Prescott, who will have an exceptional matchup against the New York Giants, but that could strap you a little bit when it comes to roster flexibility for the rest of your spots. Ryan has had a rough go of it as of late, scoring 12.4 DK points in each of his last two outings. With that said, last week, the yardage was there, but the touchdowns were not. In Week 3, he went up against a tough defense in the Chicago Bears. Now, he gets a soft matchup against the 26th ranked defense in pass DVOA, the Carolina Panthers. Additionally, he’ll be returning home to play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and we know how well he plays at home. Look for Ryan to turn it around here and the touchdowns to follow.
Teddy Bridgewater ($5,900 DK, $7,100 FD)
Teddy Two Gloves is starting to get comfortable with his new team and coach in Carolina. The chemistry between him and his receivers is building, and he gets a fantastic matchup versus an egregiously bad Atlanta Falcons secondary. The Falcons are second-worst in DVOA against the pass (25.4%) and passing yards allowed per game (341.5). Matt Ryan can certainly sling it on the other side, so he’ll need to stay aggressive in this road matchup. Teddy is also running the ball a little bit more. Last week he ran six times for 32 yards and scored a touchdown. If he continues to take off once in a while, his floor is reasonable, especially considering his cost.
Other Options: Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson
Ezekiel Elliott ($7,800 DK, $9,000 FD) – 🔒
Zeke is a freak! He’s the highest-priced running back on the slate, but he’s nowhere near Christian McCaffrey territory on DraftKings, which is normally around $9,000. While Dak Prescott is on pace to smash the single-season passing yards record after throwing for 502 yards last week, Zeke’s production hasn’t been impacted. The workhorse averages 22.6 DK points per game, gets a ton of red zone volume, touchdown opportunities, and passing work. If Daniel Jones and the New York Giants don’t play better than they have to start the season, this could get out of hand early. Zeke could get be in store for a massive workload this week. Don’t overthink it, Zeke is a lock.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,800 DK, $7,900 FD) – 🔒
The rookie out of LSU hasn’t had a monster game since his debut eruption in Week 1. However, his receiving usage and snaps have increased. Over the last three games, he’s averaging more than five targets and 43 receiving yards per game. He just hasn’t broken 100 yards on the ground or put the ball in the end zone since Week 1. He’s due. Oh, and not to mention, the Las Vegas Raiders have allowed the most DK points per game to opposing running backs and rank third-to-last in DVOA against the run. Fire up CEH.
Mike Davis ($6,400 DK, $6,800 FD) – 🔒
Davis is tied for seventh in the NFL in red zone targets with seven. So, he doesn’t need to slam it in from the goal line to get a touchdown. A Bridgewater short toss and quick scamper will do the trick. James Robinson is my preferred option on FanDuel for Cash Games because of his lower price and better rushing upside. However, as it stands now, Davis is projected to be higher owned on both sites, so you might want to eat the chalk. That’s up to you. Nonetheless, he’s getting all of McCaffrey’s vacated opportunities. Let’s keep riding this discounted gravy train while we can.
A shootout is the most likely scenario that plays out in Atlanta today. In seasons past, Moore would be the safer option when comparing him and Anderson. That’s not the case this season. Anderson has caught 82.4 percent of passes, compared to Moore’s 66.7 percent. Both are in outstanding spots against the lowly Falcons for all of the reasons why Bridgewater is a good option. Each has the advantage over Isaiah Oliver and Kendall Sheffield, no matter who is guarding who. If I had to lean one player over the other, I’d roll with Anderson. However, my gut tells me Moore is due for an explosion and bound to have one sooner than later.
Diontae Johnson ($5,600 DK, $5,800 FD)
The number two wide receiver in a Ben Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh Steelers offense has always gotten an extremely fair shake. Because JuJu Smith-Schuster draws a lot of the defense’s focus, Johnson has performed like the defacto number one. The Steelers were off last week due to COVID-19, and that allowed Johnson an extra week to get healthy after leaving their Week 3 contest with a concussion. The two games prior, Big Ben targeted Johnson in the double-digits in each game. I’m not all too worried about Darius Slay; this is a solid price point to roster the second-year wideout.
Olamide Zaccheaus ($3,000 DK, $4,800 FD)
This sounds like a dart throw type of move, right? Let’s put this into perspective. First of all, you aren’t playing him with the expectation that he’s going to catch eight passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. However, if Julio Jones is out, he’s more than viable at the bare minimum price of only $3,000 on DraftKings. Over the last two games, he’s caught 12 of 15 targets for 127 yards. Zaccheaus is a good play for many of the same reasons Ryan is. If Julio is out, he’ll be lined up on the opposite side of Calvin Ridley with Russell Gage doing most of his work in the slot. Both of those two should command more attention than Zaccheaus. Remember, if Julio is active, this becomes a moot point, and Zaccheaus won’t be an option. Jeff Smith of the New York Jets could be a solid dollar for dollar pivot.
Darren Waller ($5,900 DK, $6,800 FD)
Waller is a target magnet and has proven last year wasn’t a fluke. He comes into this game fifth in the NFL in targets with 40 through four weeks of play. That marker is first among tight ends. The next closest to him is Travis Kelce (14th overall with 35), who he, ironically, will be facing this week. Kelce is terrific, and I won’t argue with you if you want to use him instead. However, Waller is $500 cheaper on DK and $1,000 cheaper on FD, and he had two of his biggest games of 2019 against the Kansas City Chiefs. In those two games combined, Waller hauled in 13 of 16 targets for 163 yards.
Evan Engram ($4,600 DK, $5,500 FD)
Engram is coming in at high ownership, and for a good reason. He looks to be someone who is on the brink of having a big game. The Dallas Cowboys have been dreadfully bad against all pass-catchers, tight ends included. Austin Hooper had his first fantasy-relevant week, reeling in five catches for 34 yards and one touchdown last week. Engram remains Daniel Jones’ most targeted option (21.43% target share).
Other Options: George Kittle, Travis Kelce
If you’re a returning reader, you know how I like to look for cheaper defenses than most people feel comfortable with. I felt like I needed to say that as almost a disclaimer before we get going. This doesn’t necessarily make all of these defenses “safe,” although I know that’s normally the goal in cash games. Because of the unpredictability at the position, I’m more willing to punt defense in hopes of finding some cheap turnovers. Taking salaries into consideration, here are my favorites.
Houston Texans ($2,600 DK, $3,700 FD)
Inspired football. That’s what I’m banking on after the firing of head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien. The Jacksonville Jaguars have the fourth-worst pass protection adjusted sack rate in the NFL (8.7%). If there was ever a time for the Texans to start getting to the quarterback, this is it. A hungry team is a scary one.
Indianapolis Colts ($3,300 DK, $4,500 FD)
The Colts are arguably the best defense in the NFL. Stats-wise, they are. They stand first in overall defense DVOA (-25.7%). They will be without stud linebacker Darius Leonard, but that doesn’t scare me off of them. Are we sure the Cleveland Browns are this good offensively or have they just played some subpar defensive teams, allowing them to go bonkers?
Other Options: Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns
Good luck and let’s win some cash! Follow me on Twitter for any last-minute tweaks, updates, or questions you might have.
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