Week 5 Daily Fantasy Football: Piecing Together the Optimal Lineup
Piecing together the perfect optimal lineup isn’t so easy in daily fantasy football. For one, you need the week’s top DFS producers for it to truly work out on a high level in a big GPP tourney and last week our optimal roster did not include a pairing of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.
Why? Because the Falcons were facing a to that point pretty decent Panthers defense and the week prior Jones was a total letdown against a bad Saints defense. That might explain why that pairing was super contrarian last week and paved the way to some serious cash for anyone using those two.
The logical plays don’t always pan out, so it does require some contrarian thinking at times to not just differentiate yourself, but to win major money. We still made out fine with our DFS optimal lineup last week, though. Kirk Cousins was a hit with three touchdowns, Le’Veon Bell was a monster in his return, Carlos Hyde and Todd Gurley were respectable with 14 and 13 fantasy points apiece and Demaryius Thomas was excellent with 21 fantasy points.
Where we missed the mark was with the Ravens defense (1 point!), DeSean Jackson (1.4!) and Dennis Pitta (4.7). Close, but no cigar.
We aim to right the ship this week. Join us as we mix our favorite studs with some strong value plays to formulate our ideal daily fantasy football optimal lineup for week five:
QB: Eli Manning – Giants ($6k)
Manning and the G-Men certainly have been struggling lately, but we needn’t throw them to the wolves for coming up short against an elite Minnesota defense. It was a brutal road game and that defense has made Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers look like tiny little children, too.
This week the Giants get a break against the Packers, who currently rank 29th against quarterbacks and 30th against wide receivers. This should be a highly owned option based on matchup, but Manning is also an absurd $6k at DK this week. He has yet to really deliver in daily fantasy football, though, so I do understand the hesitation.
Still, Manning was a DFS monster at times in 2015 and unless this Giants team is about to completely implode, the offense is bound to show up in front of the nation on Sunday Night Football. And if that somehow ends up being an awesome contrarian play, so be it.
RB: David Johnson – Cardinals ($7.9k)
I do acknowledge that Carson Palmer not playing on TNF could backfire here and allow the 49ers defense to swallow David Johnson’s soul hole, but I really can only think about all of the touches he’s going to get.
Drew Stanton is not very good, but DJ is and this Niners defense can be had. Johnson has been quite strong to start the year (15+ fantasy points every week), but I get the feeling the 1-3 Cards will lean on him hard for this one.
RB: Jordan Howard – Bears ($5.2k)
After paying up for Johnson to get the week started off on the right foot, there might not be much room (or need) for wishful thinking via another stud rusher. Besides, Le’Veon Bell has a good Jets front seven, Lamar Miller gets the nasty Vikings and Melvin Gordon’s touchdown streak could come to an end (just look at his yards per carry, bruh).
Even if that all doesn’t scare you, let’s just marvel at Howard’s killer first ever start last week (19 fantasy points). His role is rock solid, the talent is there, he’s a good value AND he gets a bad Colts defense that is currently ranked 29th against the running back position. Sign us up for some Jordan Howard, please and thank you.
WR: Odell Beckham Jr. – Giants ($8.5)
With Julio Jones facing the Broncos defense in Denver this week, it’s oddly Odell Beckham Jr. we’re deciding to confide in. Why, when Beckham is throwing temper tantrums and scoring 0 touchdowns on the year, would we do such a thing?
Because he’s a good value for his talent and he’s facing a bad Packers pass defense on Sunday Night Football, that’s why. Green Bay has given up monster outings to wide receivers in just three games, ranking 30th against the position so far in 2016. That plus Beckham needing a massive game to rehab his recent image just makes too much sense.
WR: Sterling Shepard – Giants ($5.5k)
I see no reason not to double down here on the Giants wide receivers. They fulfill a risky but worthwhile stack with Eli Manning, while Shepard here provides serious value.
Unlike ODB, Shepard actually has already scored this season and he’s been a very safe DFS option with 10+ fantasy points in three out of four games. We’re banking on the Giants showing up here, but the matchup suggests it’s fairly likely. We might as well include New York’s second best receiver, right?
WR: Brice Butler – Cowboys ($3.5k)
I also like Ted Ginn Jr. here if Cam Newton (concussion) suits up. They had a long touchdown pass called back a couple of weeks against and that connection is bound to pop up again soon. This week’s MNF battle with the Buccaneers (dead last against wide receivers) only makes it more tempting.
For now, we can roll with Brice, who was very strong last week (15 fantasy points) and is likely to be involved a good amount again if Dez Bryant is out for the second week in a row (leg).
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 30, 2016
So far it looks like Bryant won’t play this week. If he doesn’t, Butler looks like a fine cheap play and even a little contrarian for our GPP optimal lineup. If Cam suits up, we’ll gladly roll with a similarly contrarian Ginn play, as well.
TE: Zach Ertz – Eagles ($3.5k)
It’s fair to wonder just how healthy Ertz is (ribs) as he makes his return to the field this week, but at this price, I’m not sure I care. The guy has been a monster ever since late last year and Carson Wentz has shown the propensity to make good decisions – and more importantly – involve the tight end position in the passing game.
— Eagles Fans⚡️ (3-0) (@NoPhlyZone5) October 5, 2016
It only aids our cause that Detroit is 31st against tight ends through the first four weeks. Yikes, am I right? At this low price, you can’t afford to bypass Ertz this week.
FLEX: C.J. Anderson – Broncos ($6.9k)
I’m pivoting off of Melvin Gordon here, and that alone could make Anderson a fairly contrarian play at home with a matchup against a soft Falcons run defense. In reference to Gordon, the guy is scoring but the actual production isn’t there. Gordon has mustered just 2.2 and 1.9 yards per carry in each of his last two games and with injuries to San Diego’s o-line, that’s bound to catch up with him.
Even if it doesn’t, Anderson is a little pricey and facing a red hot Falcons team, so some people could get scared away. I’m not sure why, though, since Anderson bounced back with a solid 12 fantasy points last week and topped 18 total touches for the fourth week in a row. The matchup is stellar, too, with Atlanta ranking 27th against running backs through four games.
DEF: Philadelphia Eagles ($2.9k)
We got burned badly by the Ravens last week, so why get cute here? The Eagles have been flat out awesome defensively, notching at least 10+ fantasy points in all three of their games. Fresh off a bye week, they now get a Lions team that can’t run the ball and hasn’t been able to get any production out of Golden Tate.
This should play right into Philly’s hands, seeing as they’re #1 against quarterbacks, #2 against running backs, #5 against wide receivers and #1 against tight ends so far in fantasy football. Yeah, they’re good.
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