The most time consuming aspect of being a Daily Fantasy Sports player is the act of setting your lineup. Millions of people around the world spend countless hours each week trying to find “The Perfect Lineup”. Setting that perfect lineup requires knowing which players have the best possible match ups that you can exploit and which players have the worst match ups that you should avoid. My studs and duds article will hopefully give you a little insight into which of those players you should be choosing from while you try to set your Draftkings lineup.
Patrick Mahomes 7500– This one is pretty obvious. The reigning MVP is averaging 29.45 DK points per game through the first four weeks of the season. In week 5, he matches up with an Indianapolis Colts team that is 23rd in opposing QB points. In two games against Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan, The Colts have given up an average of 318.5 yards and 3 touchdowns. Coming off a Detroit game where he failed to throw a Touchdown pass in a game for the first time in his career, I expect Mahomes to come out firing on all cylinders in a game that has the highest over/under (57) of week 5.
Jameis Winston 6200– “Famous Jameis” is on quite a hot streak right now. After a slow start to the season, Jameis is averaging 382.5 yards and 3.5 touchdowns over his last two games. In week 5, he will face a Saints defense that ranks 30th in the NFL in opposing QB points, even after holding Dak Prescott to only 8.62 DK points. Armed with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, expect Jameis to light up the Superdome on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers 6200– Coming off a week where he scored 30.48 DK points against the Eagles, A-A-Ron heads down to Texas to due battle with the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, he will be doing so without his WR1, Davante Adams. Adams suffered a turf toe injury in the final five minutes of week 4, that will force him to miss this game. Dallas also happens to be 4th in the NFL in opposing QB points. Down their best weapon, Green Bay should employ a run heavy approach in this one. Rodgers has given the Cowboys fits over the years, but I just don’t see it happening in this one.
Philip Rivers 5800- Rivers has actually performed fairly well this season. Through four weeks he is the number 8 QB according to Draftkings. He faces a Denver secondary in week 5 that has been one of the best in the NFL. Denver is 6th in the NFL in opposing QB points and the Chargers best weapon (Keenan Allen) will be shadowed by pro bowler Chris Harris. If you factor in the return of Melvin Gordon, we could see the Chargers implement a more run heavy approach this week. His price may make him seem like a value, but don’t fall into that trap.
David Johnson 7500– You can’t quite ask for a better match up from a Fantasy perspective. The Bengals rank dead last in the NFL in opposing RB points and just gave up 50 combined DK points to James Connor and Jaylen Samuels last week. While DJ hasn’t had a lot of success rushing the ball, he ranks 2nd in the NFL in targets among running backs. Kliff Kingsbury continues to exploit defenses by lining DJ up in the slot on 14% of his plays. In a game that has an over/under of 47.5, I think David Johnson has a big week.
Leonard Fournette 6400– After beginning the season rather slowly, Fournette exploded for 220 yards in week 4. Only Christian McCaffrey and Le’Veon Bell are handling a higher % of their teams snaps than Fournette (91%). His usage rate is everything you want in a Fantasy running back right now. In week 5 he faces a Carolina defense that slightly below league average in opposing RB points. They also gave up big rushing performances to Todd Gurley and Peyton Barber in weeks 1 and 2. Look for Fournette to hand 20-25 touches in a competitive game and to definitely return value on his price.
Melvin Gordon/Austin Ekeler 7000-6700– Ok here’s the deal, Gordon and Ekeler do not make the Duds list because I think they will play bad. They make the Duds list because I truly don’t know how the Chargers are going to utilize them. In the 12 games he played in 2018, Melvin Gordon handled 72% of the Chargers snaps. In the first four weeks of 2019, Austin Ekeler is the number one running back in Fantasy Football. The Chargers are stuck between a rock and hard place. Personally, I think this is going to develop into a true committee. Gordon and Ekeler will split the rushing snaps with MG taking all of the goal line opportunities and Ekeler handling a majority of the passing down work. In summary, there is too much unknown about this situation and both are too pricey to use in week five.
Josh Jacobs 4500– Since his big week one performance against Denver, Josh Jacobs has only averaged 9.03 DK points per game in the last three weeks. That ranks 47th among all running backs in that time period. He continues to provide no value in the passing game, having only 3 catches on 5 total targets. As if all of these facts weren’t worrisome, the vaunted Bears defense come to the black hole in week five. The Bears are coming off a performance where they held league leading rusher Dalvin Cook to 35 yards on 14 carries. Even with the low price, avoid Jacobs at all costs.
Chris Godwin 6900– In what was supposed to be a tough match up in week four, Godwin eviscerated the Rams to the tune of 12 catches for 172 yards and 2 TDs. His week five match up couldn’t get much better. On the fast turf of the Superdome, Godwin will face a Saints defense that ranks 28th in opposing WR points. Slot Cornerback PJ Williams has been particularly bad. Since the start of last season, Williams has given up 991 yards and 9 touchdowns to slot receivers. Considering Godwin plays more than 50% of his snaps in the slot, fire Godwin up with confidence and expect a big game from him.
Julian Edelman 6300– Coming off a bad week four performance against Buffalo where he only scored 7 DK points, Edelman looks poised for a big bounce back in week five. The Redskins rank 31st in opposing WR points and their slot corner Fabian Moreau suffered an injury to his knee last week. This means that, more than likely, 7th round rookie Jimmy Moreland will be lined up across from Edelman all game. After having their worst offensive performance of the season, I fully expect Belicheck and the Pats to put their foot on the gas pedal this week. Stick Edelman in your lineup and expect a good performance.
Keenan Allen 7300– Keenan Allen has been nothing short of spectacular this season. The number one wide receiver in fantasy, Allen is averaging 25.88 DK points per game this season. I don’t necessarily think that Allen will have a bad game in week five. But he will be shadowed by All-Pro Denver Cornerback Chris Harris all game. Denver also ranks 3rd in opposing WR points through the first four weeks of the season. As the third most expensive WR on this week’s slate, you’re paying for Allen’s ceiling when he could perform closer to his floor. I won’t fault you if you use him, but buyer beware.
Amari Cooper 6800– After a 5 catch 48 yard performance against the Saints, things don’t get much easier for Cooper in week five. The Packers rank 1st in opposing WR points and the expectation is that up and coming shutdown cornerback Jaire Alexander will shadow Coop all game. Cooper should receive a big target share in this game, but I’m not so sure the masterful route runner will be able to shake Alexander too many times. The 8th highest price WR this week, Cooper could perform closer to a WR3 than WR1 in week five.
George Kittle 5300– TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS PRICE WHILE YOU CAN! This will probably be the cheapest you will get Kittle all season. He faces a Browns defense that ranks 22nd in opposing TE points. While Kittle has had a slow start to the season, the underlying numbers don’t lie. According to Graham Barfield, Kittle ranks 1st in air yards and 2nd in target share among Tight Ends. He has also had 17.1 PPR points negated due to penalty this season. I’m plugging Kittle into my lineup everywhere I can in week five.
Greg Olsen 4000– Through four weeks of the season, Olsen sits as the number seven overall tight end. The Jaguars may seem like an imposing match up, but they actually sit 19th in opposing TE points. With their corners locking down the wide receivers, that should leave some room for Olsen to operate in the middle of the field. Olsen’s potential upside for a 4000 dollar price tag seems well worth any potential risks.
Darren Waller 5000– Darren Waller has been one of the biggest surprises of the fantasy season so far. Coming into the season as a sleeper, all Waller has done is be the number five overall tight end through the first four weeks. While his usage and target rate is among the best in the league, his week five match up with Chicago is not. The Bears average a league low 6.86 yards per target to Tight Ends. There are too many risk factors to feel truly confident about plugging Waller into your lineup in week five.