RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 5

Fri Oct 8 11:26am ET
By MIKE BARNER
Contributing Writer

Related photo caption below

Lawrence has DFS value Week 5


Week 5 brings the last full slate of games before bye weeks kick in. That means we still have a lot of options to wade through in DFS. Let’s try to help narrow down the field by highlighting some players to consider for your entries, as well as a few to possibly avoid.

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen, BUF at KC ($8,000): There is the potential for plenty of points to be scored when the Bills take on the Chiefs. The Chiefs have allowed 31.3 points per game, which is the second most in the NFL. Allen has 10 total touchdowns through four games and has a ton of weapons around him, so expect him to have a big performance as the Bills try to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes and company.

Trevor Lawrence, JAX vs. TEN ($5,800): Lawrence had a quiet showing against the Bengals last week, completing 17-of-24 passes for 204 yards and no touchdowns. He did provide some value with his legs, rushing eight times for 36 yards and a score. Overall, he’s off to a rough start with five touchdowns passes and seven interceptions. However, this is a great matchup for him against the Titans, who have allowed the 10th-most passing yards per game in the league. They even had difficulties against Zach Wilson last week, who threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns after combing for zero touchdown passes and six interceptions his previous two games.

Player to Avoid

Jameis Winston, NO at WAS ($5,600): Winston might be an appealing play on the surface given Washington’s defensive struggles. They’ve allowed 10-passing touchdowns, which is tied for the fourth-most in the league. However, Winston might not receive enough opportunities to take advantage of this matchup. He hasn’t attempted more than 23 passes in a game this season, which has contributed to him throwing a total of three touchdowns over the last three games. Throwing for five touchdowns over 20 attempts like he did in Week 1 is not sustainable, so the with the expectation that he remains limited in this matchup, his upside might not actually be that high.

Running Backs

Nick Chubb, CLE at LAC ($6,700): If you’re looking for a running back who contributes in the passing game, you won’t find one in Chubb. He’s received only four targets this season. However, he’s rushed for at least 83 yards in all four games, including 100 yards on 21 carries in Week 4. Also, he has a whopping 18 red-zone carries so far. There’s the potential that he smokes a Chargers team that has allowed the fourth-most rushing yards per game.

Zack Moss, BUF at KC ($5,300): One of the few teams that has been worse at stopping the run than the Chargers has been the Chiefs, who have allowed the third-most rushing yards per game. That makes Moss an interesting option, especially at his cheap salary. He’s received at least 13 carries and rushed for at last 60 yards back-to-back games and he reached the end zone in Week 4. That could become a more common theme for him given that he has 13 red-zone carries through the three games that he has played.

Player to Avoid

Najee Harris, PIT vs. DEN ($6,900): The good news for Harris is that he has received at least 14 carries in three of four games. The bad news is that his poor offensive line hasn’t left him with many open running lanes. He hasn’t topped 62 yards in a game yet and has rushed for 45 yards or fewer three times. More tough sledding could be ahead against the Broncos, who have allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game and just two rushing touchdowns.

Wide Receivers

Deebo Samuel, SF at ARI ($7,100): It’s uncertain who will start at quarterback for the 49ers with Jimmy Garoppolo battling a calf injury. Trey Lance certainly looked comfortable throwing to Samuel when he stepped in, though, helping Samuel finish Week 4 with eight catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Samuel has received at least eight targets in all four games and should remain busy as the 49ers try to keep pace with the Cardinals’ explosive offense.

Emmanuel Sanders, BUF at KC ($5,000): Despite having Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley in the fold, the Bills haven’t been shy about looking Sanders’ way. He’s received at least six targets in all four games, helping him catch 16 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. His total of two red-zone targets indicates the Bills might not look his way often when they get in close, but his target share alone means that he could provide value at this salary.

Player to Avoid

Odell Beckham Jr., CLE at LAC ($6,000): Make no mistake about it, the Browns are a run-heavy team. Beckham still managed to receive seven targets in Week 4, but he could only catch two of them for 27 yards. He’s a shell of the player that we remember making sparkling one-handed catches with the Giants, so rolling with him at this salary against a Chargers defense that has only allowed six passing touchdowns this season might be ill-advised.

Tight Ends

Dalton Schultz, DAL vs. NYG ($4,400): There is some potential value to be had at tight end this week. One option to consider is Schultz, who has followed up nicely from a breakout 2020 campaign in which he posted 63 receptions, 615 yards and four touchdowns. He already has three scores this season and has received at least six targets in three of four games. Up next is a matchup against a Giants defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.

Mike Gesicki, MIA at TB ($4,100): Teams often have to throw a lot against the Buccaneers for two reasons. First, they have a stellar run defense. Second, they have to try and keep up with Tom Brady and their offense. That’s contributed to the Bucs allowing the most passing yards per game in the league and the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Gesicki has received at least six targets in three straight games and should remain busy with Will Fuller (finger) out.

Player to Avoid

Robert Tonyan, GB at CIN ($4,300): Despite only receiving 59 targets over 16 games last season, Tonyan managed to produce 11 touchdowns. That rate isn’t sustainable and that’s proven to be the case this season with him reaching the end zone only one time so far. He only has a total of eight catches for 74 yards, so with Schultz and Gesicki filling larger roles with their teams and having similar salaries, taking a chance on Tonyan doesn’t seem necessary.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Top Headlines
The Paur Report

RTSports Weekly: Week 13

Player Notes
Brandon McManus Dec 6 12:30am ET
Brandon McManus

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus made his only field-goal attempt from 42 yards out in the 22-9 loss to the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. The Broncos offense finally got into the end zone late in the game when they were down by multiple scores and elected to go for a two-point conversion (which failed) instead of kicking the extra point. McManus has only missed three of his 22 field-goal tries on the season and has missed one of his 23 extra-point attempts, so accuracy hasn't been the issue. Denver's low-upside offense is what is keeping McManus from being a top-12 fantasy kicker each and every week. This was the first game in 2021 in which he didn't attempt an extra point, but he's also had three games with no field-goal tries. McManus should be much more active in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions at home.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Dec 6 12:30am ET
Patrick Mahomes

Even though the Denver Broncos defense only scored four points in most fantasy formats in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, they played pretty well overall against an explosive Chiefs offense. They were able to hold Patrick Mahomes and Company under 300 yards of total offense, including just 178 yards through the air and 89 yards on the ground. The Broncos defense sacked Mahomes twice, and rookie first-round cornerback Patrick Surtain II recorded his third interception in the last two games on a tipped pass off the hands of receiver Tyreek Hill. The Denver D is the strength of this team, and they'll be a popular streaming option in Week 14 against a Detroit Lions team coming off their first win of the season.

From RotoBaller

Tim Patrick Dec 6 12:20am ET
Tim Patrick

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick will want to move on quickly from his performance in the Sunday night loss to the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs. In the 22-9 loss, he had season-lows in catches (one) and receiving yards (nine) on five total targets in Week 13. Since scoring his fourth touchdown of the year in Week 9, Patrick has only six catches on 14 targets for 49 yards in three games. The 28-year-old usually catches most passes thrown his way, but he couldn't get on the same page as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in prime time. In Denver's low-volume passing attack as the No. 3 receiver behind Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, Patrick's floor is scary as a WR4/5 in deeper leagues.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Dec 6 12:10am ET
Noah Fant

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant finished the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13 on Sunday night with four grabs for 33 yards on four targets. The bad news is that backup tight end Albert Okwuegbunam had the same number of targets as Fant and caught three passes for 21 yards. The Broncos just have two many receiving weapons and Fant isn't really being used as a viable receiving threat down the field. As long as the Denver offense continues to be a run-first unit and Okwuegbunam remains involved to steal targets away from Fant, he'll likely be a frustrating low-end TE1 play unless he gets into the end zone. Fant hasn't scored since Week 6 and has gone over 40 receiving yards just once since then.

From RotoBaller

Courtland Sutton Dec 6 12:10am ET
Courtland Sutton

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton was barely heard from yet again in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Week 13. Sutton finished the game with two receptions on six targets for a measly 15 yards. Really the only good news in this one was the fact that his six targets were tied for second-most on the team with Jerry Jeudy. Since Jeudy returned from a high ankle sprain in Week 8, Sutton has nine catches for 110 yards and no touchdowns on 18 targets in five games. That says it all right there. The Broncos prefer not to throw the ball too much if they don't have to, and when they do, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater usually spreads it around to a bunch of different weapons. The 26-year-old has found his way to the bench is most fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

Travis Kelce Dec 6 12:00am ET
Travis Kelce

Facing the toughest defense against tight ends in Week 13, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce posted a rare dud. Targeted eight times on the evening, Kelce was only able to haul in three balls for 27 yards. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has struggled this season and that has trickled down to Kelce having some rare duds this season. Despite that, managers should continue to treat Kelce as one of the best tight ends in the game. The good news is that Kelce will face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14. When the teams previously met in Week 10, Kelce went for eight receptions and 119 yards. Managers should have no reservations about sitting Kelce next Sunday or any week moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Jeudy Dec 6 12:00am ET
Jerry Jeudy

Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy caught four of his six targets for a team-leading 77 receiving yards in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. Jeudy's four receptions were tied for second-most on the team, and his six targets were also tied for second-most. The 22-year-old second-year wideout continues to be quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's favorite receiver. However, Bridgewater has mostly been mediocre this season, and the Broncos are a run-first offense when they get into positive game script. Most of Jeudy's damage was done late in the game with the Chiefs up by multiple scores. Jeudy will be looking for his first touchdown of the season in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions, where he'll be a WR3/flex.

From RotoBaller

Tyreek Hill Dec 5 11:50pm ET
Tyreek Hill

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a quiet outing in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The Cheetah was targeted five times during the contest and caught two balls for 22 yards. He also had a ball hit off his hands and into the hands of rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II that would be the only interception for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes struggled on the evening and with windy playing conditions, those could both be attributed to Hill's final game line. Regardless, Hill posted a dud, but managers shouldn't be too concerned with his ability to put up WR1 numbers in most weeks. Hill will face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 and previously recorded 7 receptions for 83 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 10 victory.

From RotoBaller

Mike Boone Dec 5 11:50pm ET
Mike Boone

Denver Broncos running back Mike Boone stepped into the RB2 role behind rookie Javonte Williams in the Sunday night loss to the Kansas City Chiefs with Melvin Gordon (hip, shoulder) inactive. Boone only had five touches on the night (four carries, one catch) compared to Williams' 29, but he looked explosive and fresh when he was called upon. On his four carries, Boone totaled 35 yards (8.8 yards per carry), and he caught his lone target for a 19-yard gain. The 26-year-old was basically used to spell the impressive Williams in this one, and that would likely continue to be the case if Gordon misses time, which won't give Boone any standalone fantasy value. If Gordon returns in Week 14, Boone will have an even smaller role as the RB3.

From RotoBaller

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Dec 5 11:40pm ET
Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire played the lead role in his second game back from a knee injury during a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. CEH recorded 54 yards on 14 rushing attempts with three receptions for 28 yards. It wasn't the best performance for the sophomore runner, but it was a solid performance nonetheless. Backup running back Darrel Williams saw his fair share of action on Sunday evening and was on the field for all third-down plays. Edwards-Helaire should see his role grow down the stretch run, but managers would be wise to insure him with Williams. Next up will be a matchup versus the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 and CEH should be considered a RB2 with RB1 upside in that contest.

From RotoBaller

Javonte Williams Dec 5 11:40pm ET
Javonte Williams

Denver Broncos rookie running back Javonte Williams was finally unleashed on Sunday night against the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs with Melvin Gordon (hip, shoulder) inactive, and he didn't disappoint. Williams was the Broncos offense, carrying 23 times for 102 yards while adding a team-high six receptions on a team-high nine targets for 76 yards and a receiving score for Denver's lone touchdown in the 22-9 loss. He averaged 4.4 yards on the ground and looked like the real deal. Williams is one of the toughest backs in the league to bring down, and he's an extremely powerful runner with tackle-breaking ability. His fantasy managers will be crossing their fingers that Gordon won't return in Week 14 for a dream matchup against the Detroit Lions. If Gordon is out again, Williams will have RB1 upside.

From RotoBaller

Darrel Williams Dec 5 11:40pm ET
Darrel Williams

Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams recorded 20 yards on five carries in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The veteran was in for all third-down plays and recorded three receptions for 60 yards. With running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire healthy and back in the picture, Williams has fallen back into a backup role over the past two contests. Moving forward, Williams should be rostered by all Edwards-Helaire managers for the stretch run, but will be hard to trust without a full time role. Next up for Williams will be a Week 14 date against a Las Vegas Raiders defense that he had his best game of the season against earlier in the year.

From RotoBaller

Miles Sanders Dec 5 11:40pm ET
Miles Sanders

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (ankle) stated he "absolutely" expects to play in Week 15 against the Washington Football Team. During Sunday's meeting against the Jets, the 24-year-old aggravated the same ankle the landed him on the injured reserve list back in October. However, with the team having a Week 14 bye, Sanders has a good chance at being back. However, if he doesn't, Jordan Howard (knee), Boston Scott (illness), and rookie Kenneth Gainwell, who arguably had the best game of his career against Washington, could be in store for more work. Still, fantasy managers should keep Sanders on the roster as there is a small upside there, although he has been far from a reliable option throughout the 2021-22 campaign.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Mahomes Dec 5 11:30pm ET
Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes put together another underwhelming performance in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The former MVP has been having an off year by his standards and completed just 15 of his 29 pass attempts for 184 yards and an interception. His interception came when wide receiver Tyreek Hill failed to haul in a pass that hit off his hands and into the hands of rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II. It wasn't all bad for managers of Mahomes with him rushing four times for 12 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Mahomes has been a shell of himself this season, but his enormous upside makes him a must-start on a weekly basis. Mahomes will look to put up improved numbers versus a Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14, a defense that he torched for five touchdowns earlier this season.

From RotoBaller

Teddy Bridgewater Dec 5 11:30pm ET
Teddy Bridgewater

Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had more interceptions than touchdown passes in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Week 13. He finished the night 22-for-40 for 257 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a game-sealing touchdown for KC's defense. Bridgewater ran the ball four times for 17 yards. The yardage total was nice, but Bridgewater and the Broncos passing game never really got in sync all night, with a lot of his yards and his lone touchdown to rookie running back Javonte Williams coming in garbage time with the Chiefs ahead by multiple scores. The Broncos offense is usually in trouble when they have to rely on Bridgewater's arm. He'll have a nice matchup against the Detroit Lions next week, but Bridgewater lacks upside on a weekly basis as a low-end QB2.

From RotoBaller

Terry McLaurin Dec 5 11:20pm ET
Terry McLaurin

Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin finished with only three catches for 22 yards during the win over Las Vegas on Sunday. The 26-year-old disappeared in Week 13, and it came after he had at least seven targets in each game since Week 1. However, Logan Thomas (knee) likely is done for the year, so McLaurin could get more looks from Taylor Heinicke moving ahead, starting in Week 14 during the NFC North battle with the Cowboys.

From RotoBaller

Marlon Humphrey Dec 5 11:13pm ET
Marlon Humphrey

Baltimore Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey (shoulder) is expected to miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury suffered in Week 13, according to sources. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Humphrey could be out 'a while.'

From TheHuddle

Derek Carr Dec 5 11:13pm ET
Derek Carr

Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr completed 28 of his 38 pass attempts for 249 yards and gained 24 yards on two carries in a 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team in Week 13.

Fantasy Spin: Carr has now finished with one touchdown or less in four of his last five games, and his hot start to the season seems like a distant memory. At this point, Carr is a reach as QB2.

From TheHuddle

Antonio Gibson Dec 5 11:10pm ET
Antonio Gibson

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson had another solid performance on Sunday during the win over the Raiders, compiling 88 yards off 23 attempts. He also secured five of his six targets for 23 yards while also finding the end zone off one of those catches. The 23-year-old has turned up the volume, as he now has at least 19 carries in each of his last four games. He's also been an essential contributor on the receiving end, and he could have an even more prominent role moving ahead with Logan Thomas (knee) likely done for the year. Nonetheless, Gibson has been the real deal and should be considered a priority option for fantasy managers in all formats.

From RotoBaller

Adam Thielen Dec 5 11:03pm ET
Adam Thielen

Updating previous reports, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (ankle) has a high-ankle sprain, according to a source, and will undergo further testing Monday, Dec. 6.

Fantasy Spin: Not good. Regardless of the test results, it's improbable we'll see him in Week 14, and don't be surprised if he is out multiple weeks. WR K.J. Osborn will be a hot fantasy pickup this week.

From TheHuddle