Week 5 Daily Fantasy Football Match-ups to Avoid and Exploit
Week five of the 2016 daily fantasy football season is upon us, with Thursday bringing the start of the week with an ugly clash between the Cardinals and 49ers.
It’s been a weird season, to be sure, as the Eagles are among the undefeated, the Rams are 3-1 and Super Bowl contenders like the Panthers and Cardinals both sit at 1-3. Arizona will get a chance to rectify that right way on Thursday Night Football, but a Carson Palmer concussion could make Cardinals players a bit dicey. Yes, even against San Francisco.
That’s just one situation we may want to stay away from in week five, though. Let’s prepare for another intense week of NFL DFS action by breaking down the top five situations to avoid and exploit:
Match-ups to Avoid
Lions Pass Offense vs. Eagles Defense
It’s a little tough to go against Matthew Stafford and the Detroit passing game these days, as overall in 2016 they’ve been rather strong. However, they’ve shown us twice already they can be held in check and in week five they draw a very nasty Eagles defense that hasn’t given up much at all in three games.
More specifically, the Eagles rank #1 against fantasy quarterbacks on the year, allowing precisely ZERO touchdowns through the air. Stafford might not get blanked necessarily, but banking on a huge performance seems like quite the risk.
Todd Gurley vs. Bills Run Defense
Gurley has turned it on a bit lately, registering 21 and 13 fantasy points in his last two contests. The problem? He’s been averaging 2.4 yards per carry during that stretch and has grown to be rather touchdown dependent in a shaky Rams offense.
That’s bad news with a matchup with the Bills slated for week five, especially when you consider the brute Marcell Dareus is back in action.
Marcell Dareus will play in Buffalo Bills’ Week 5 game after serving 4-game suspension: https://t.co/WjyiOe4FTt
— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) October 3, 2016
Buffalo was not an elite unit without Dareus, but they’ve turned it up a notch the last two weeks and should be even tougher with their best run defender back in the saddle. Gurley is a good value at DFS sites like DraftKings, but this probably isn’t the spot to use him.
Julio Jones vs. Broncos Secondary
Wait, we’re suggesting to fade the dude that just ripped up the Panthers for 300 yards? Yeah, actually, we are. The problem with Jones is we’ve seen his meter run extremely high, but just two weeks ago it also ran extremely low. This week probably leans more towards the low end, as he and the Falcons draw a very good Broncos defense in Denver.
That’s a tough spot to be in, especially when you look at the fact that Denver is tops in all of fantasy against wide receivers, giving up just 13 fantasy points per game. They’ve given up just one score on the entire year and have done their impressive work against the likes of T.Y. Hilton, A.J. Green and Mike Evans. Completing shutting down Julio Jones could be tough, but you don’t need to pay up for the guy in hopes we see a repeat of week four. It simply isn’t happening.
Greg Olsen vs. Buccaneers Defense
Carolina could actually be in great shape on Monday Night Football this week, where they’ll take on a shaky Buccaneers pass defense. The only issue there is covering the tight end hasn’t at all been their issue.
In fact, the Bucs rank 4th in the league at covering the position, having only given up 12 catches and zero scores through four games. That’s pretty strong by itself, but when you see Olsen totaled just four catches and no scores in two meetings with the Bucs in 2015, it becomes an even bigger concern.
Matt Jones vs. Ravens Run Defense
A lot of people are going to be all over Matt Jones in daily fantasy football leagues this week, seeing as he popped off for over 100 rushing yards and a score last week. Unfortunately big games against the Browns kind of don’t count and Jones’ match-up with the Ravens this week figures to be much less promising.
Jones is certainly a talented back and with a cheap price tag at DK, we can see the interest. The optimism will be short-lived, however, as Washington tends to struggle on the road and Baltimore’s run defense has been rather strong. Like, 3rd overall against the running back position in fantasy football, kind of strong.
Match-ups to Exploit
Eli Manning vs. Packers Secondary
On to the good stuff, right? It starts with Eli Manning, who was straight up awful last week, but is an astonishingly low $6k at DraftKings this week. Even better, is he’s facing a really suspect Packers pass defense on Sunday Night Football.
Let’s be a little clearer. Green Bay is 29th against fantasy quarterbacks in 2016 and 30th against fantasy wide receivers. They simply cannot stop the pass. We’ve seen Stefon Diggs and Marvin Jones absolutely tear them up and with Odell Beckham Jr. fuming, it’s tough to imagine he doesn’t open up a can this week. Naturally, a cheap Eli should be a massive part of the fireworks.
Jordan Howard vs. Colts Run Defense
Howard was fantastic in his first NFL start last week, piling on 132 total yards on an awesome 26 total touches. He didn’t score, but that role and his talent suggest we’re going to see even better days ahead.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) October 5, 2016
That could come right away in week five, as Howard gets a really bad Colts run defense and head coach John Fox already admitted the Bears would lean on him hard.
That Indy defense isn’t just kind of bad, either. They’re 29th against the running back position and just got done letting T.J. freaking Yeldon abuse them in London. Yeah, you need to use Jordan Howard.
C.J. Anderson vs. Falcons Run Defense
As awesome as Atlanta has been lately, they have not been that great on the defensive side of the ball, a fact that could parlay into a huge week five outing for Anderson.
C.J. Anderson seems like a strong play most weeks, but in week five he’s at home and gets a Falcons run defense that is allowing the 27th most production to running backs in 2016. Anderson’s role, talent and solid DraftKings price tag ($6.9k) were all tempting enough, but this match-up puts him over the top.
Kelvin Benjamin vs. Buccaneers Secondary
Greg Olsen doesn’t have a great match-up this week, but teammate Kelvin Benjamin does. It’s about time, too, as KB has endured some brutal matchups en route to just three catches over his last two games.
That should change come MNF, where Benjamin should be extra busy against a Buccaneers pass defense that has sported the very worst numbers against the wide receiver position in 2016. There is the issue of Cam Newton (concussion) not yet being cleared to play, but as long as he suits up, Benjamin will be a must-start DFS option.
Zach Ertz vs. Lions Defense
The story is similar here with Ertz, who was off to a nice start in week one before sustaining a rib injury. He’s declared himself healthy now, however, and it looks like he’ll be back to normal in week five against a shaky Lions defense.
Detroit hasn’t just been a little shaky, either. They’ve been dreadful. The Lions are 31st in the league against fantasy quarterbacks, 27th against wide receivers and best of all, 31st against tight ends. Provided Ertz truly is healthy, he should have a good role and run wild in this match-up.
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