NFL: FanDuel Cheat Sheet Week 5 (Pt. 1)
Buffalo @ Cincinnati
- o/u 39.5, CIN -3.5
- Tyrod Taylor ($7,200) had just eight total TDs on the road last season (five passing, three rushing) and he has thrown just one touchdown in two road games this season.
- LeSean McCoy ($8,200) appears to be a fade this week. The Bengals haven’t gotten gouged by a running back for big yards since Week 1 and Vontaze Burfict is back to make a positive impact for them. On the other hand, McCoy is in for huge volume and finding the end zone would almost ensure he returns value as a result.
- The wide receiver position is a wasteland and there is no reason to consider Zay Jones ($4,500), Andre Holmes ($4,600), or any other Bills receiver.
- Charles Clay ($5,700) is still reasonably priced and his volume is consistent, having seen more than five targets in three of four games. If there was a Bill to play this week, he’s the one.
- Andy Dalton ($7,100) has seen his pass attempts get cut down since Bill Lazer has taken over as the OC. He has attempted 57 passes in the two games since Lazer took over as opposed to 66 in the first two games of the season. He can make up the difference with efficiency, but Buffalo is a solid defense.
- Joe Mixon ($5,900) has clearly taken over the lead running back role, logging 35 carries in the team’s past two games. In contrast, Jeremy Hill ($5,500) has seen just 13. Mixon hasn’t done much with those carries, however, tallying just 11.6 and 6.8 Fanduel points in those two weeks respectively.
- Gio Bernard ($5,700) has managed to make plays, but he gets only five to six touches a game, making him a difficult player to roster.
- AJ Green ($8,300) is the only wide receiver worth knowing. It’s never a bad idea to roster Green, but this isn’t the best spot to do it either.
- Tyler Kroft ($5,700) is suddenly a trendy sleeper after a big weekend against Cleveland. There’s a role to be had in carving out targets on the team, but the Browns have allowed the second most points to tight ends on the season (his matchup last week) as opposed to the Bills allowing the 24th most. Tyler Kroft isn’t someone to chase.
- This isn’t a game to target. A.J. Green, LeSean McCoy, and Charles Clay are playable even if they aren’t in the best spots.
LA Chargers @ New York Giants
- o/u 45, NYG -3.5
- Philip Rivers ($7,300) has had a narrow range of outcomes, posting between 17.24 and 19.88 FD points in three of his four games. In four games when Rivers traveled east for 1 PM kick last season, he threw five 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions and averaged 313 yards per game. Prior to last week’s torching, the Giants had allowed only four passing TDs in three games.
- Melvin Gordon ($7,100) continues to struggle with efficiency but also gets a ton of volume, both rushing and receiving the ball. Meanwhile, the Giants run D has looked vulnerable, allowing both Jacquizz Rodgers and Ameer Abdullah to rush for over 70 yards. Given that, if Gordon can find the end zone, something he has done very well in his career, he should be a very solid play.
- The Giants defense has been stout against wide receivers this season, so despite his fairly impressive and consistent start to the season, Keenan Allen ($7,500) is not in a great spot to produce this weekend. Tyrell Williams ($6,500) had been quiet prior to a 75 yard TD last week, but he will likely be matched up against Eli Apple, who has been vulnerable this season. Travis Benjamin ($5,200) is a dart-throw against a good defense.
- The Giants still can’t cover tight ends. Hunter Henry ($5,200) comes at a higher price with more risk. Antonio Gates ($4,600) comes at a lower cost but with little ceiling.
- Eli Manning ($7,000) scored 24.64 and 27.72 FD points over the past two weeks. The Chargers are a mediocre matchup, but the price tag of Eli Manning stands out, as only DeShone Kizer, Josh McCown, Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, and EJ Manuel come cheaper.
- Wayne Gallman ($5,200) was promising in his first game action, and should see a decent workload with Paul Perkins out. The matchup is also middle of the road for RBs.The Chargers haven’t allowed much in the way of running backs receiving the ball out of the backfield, limiting the appeal of Shane Vereen ($4,900) despite the price tag.
- The Chargers secondary has been inconsistent, allowing big games to Tyreek Hill and giving the Dolphins’ wide receivers plenty of room to roam. That makes Odell Beckham ($8,900) an interesting option. Brandon Marshall ($5,800) is a sneaky play as he has gotten 10 and 11 targets respectively over the past two weeks. Sterling Shepard ($6,000) has gotten inconsistent targets and is touchdown dependent.
- Evan Engram ($5,400) has emerged as a major part of the Giants’ offense, not having fewer than seven targets since Week 1.
- This game has a lot of interesting pieces. Manning is a strong play thanks to his price tag, and pairing him with Beckham, Marshall, or Engram are viable plays. Gallman may end up chalky, and if that’s the case he’s an easy fade. The Chargers are slightly less appealing, but Gordon is one of the best RB plays this week, and both tight ends are viable options.
Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles
- o/u 45, PHI -6.5
- In four early east-coast kickoffs last season, Carson Palmer ($7,200) averaged 271 passing yards and threw seven touchdowns in comparison to eight interceptions. He has been sacked 17 times already this season.
- Chris Johnson ($5,700) continues to lead the Cardinals in carries, but to say he has been ineffective would be kind. Andre Ellington ($5,400) has become a big part of the passing game, receiving eight and 14 targets over the past two weeks. The Eagles have been stingy as far as allowing running backs to catch passes out of the backfield this season. Kerwynn Williams ($5,200) appears to be out of the picture.
- The Eagles are a good bet to allow a long passing touchdown at some point, and they have often allowed multiple wide receivers to gouge them for big yardage. Larry Fitzgerald ($6,700) has a safe floor and is a cash game play. John Brown ($6,200) is limited by injuries and played only 61% of the team’s snaps last week. Jaron Brown ($4,500) has played over 90% of the snaps each of the past two weeks, has over 10 targets two of the past three weeks, and has the speed (4.45 40) to get behind the Eagles D. JJ Nelson ($5,300) is also a deep threat, but seems to have a shrinking role in the offense, receiving only three and four targets over the past two weeks.
- Carson Wentz ($7,600) has had his pass attempts cut over the past two weeks, which has plummeted his fantasy value.The Cardinals have allowed 17.38 points per game to quarterbacks, 13th most in the league.
- Wendell Smallwood ($5,900) is expected to be ruled out for the Eagles. That frees up the workload for LaGarrette Blount ($5,900), who suddenly looks as if he remembers how to run the football. The Cardinals have been good against running backs this season, allowing an average of 17.23 FD points per game, though they did allow Ezekiel Elliot and Carlos Hyde to rack up some yardage and Frank Gore to find the end zone against them. He could be worth a flier in a contrarian move.
- Alshon Jeffery ($7,100) will likely be matched up with Patrick Peterson, putting a damper on his fantasy value. Non-primary receivers have had some success against the Cardinals, which makes Nelson Agholor ($5,100) a sneaky option worth considering in tournaments. Torrey Smith ($5,100) falls into the dart throw category.
- Zach Ertz ($6,600) falls into the non-primary receiver category as well, but the Cardinals have been stingy against tight ends save a matchup against Jack Doyle.
- This game features a number of intriguing options that should fly under the radar on Sunday. Jaron Brown, LaGarrette Blount, and Nelson Agholor stand out.
Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions
- o/u 42, DET -2.5
- Cam Newton ($7,800) looked like vintage Cam last week, dropping 34 FD points against the Patriots. However, the Lions have been an incredibly stingy defense against opposing quarterbacks this season allowing just 12.48 FD points per game. Matt Ryan did have a decent game against them, so there is precedent for elite quarterbacks playing well against them. On the other hand, the rest of Newton’s track record has been less than stellar this year.
- Christian McCaffery ($6,200) hasn’t been involved enough to return value and the Lions track record suggests this won’t be the week he breaks out. Jonathan Stewart ($5,700) has received most of the rushing workload, meaning if he scores a TD he is likely to return value. The Lions have allowed three rushing touchdowns this season.
- Kelvin Benjamin ($6,200) has yet to find the end zone this season though the Lions had allowed at least one receiving score in every game this season until shutting down the Vikings last week. Devin Funchess ($6,300) caught two TDs last week in a big performance, though he had gotten just one red zone look before last week.
- Matthew Stafford ($7,600) has managed over 20 FD points only once this season, and over 15 points only twice. Carolina hasn’t faced a comparable QB this season, but Carolina has allowed only 14 FD points per game to quarterbacks this season.
- Ameer Abdullah ($6,000) has had the workload to return value on his salary, but he needs to find the end zone to get there. The Panthers have allowed only two rushing TDs this season, though they did face the anemic offenses of the 49ers and Bills. The Panthers have allowed three running backs to catch six or more passes this season, which works in Theo Riddick’s ($5,200) favor.
- Golden Tate ($6,700) has 17 catches for 165 yards, and one touchdown in two home games this season. Number one wide receivers have had some success against the Panthers, with Michael Thomas and Pierre Garcon each collecting over 80 yards against them. Marvin Jones ($5,500) hasn’t seen over six targets this season.
- Carolina has allowed opposing tight ends just 5.6 FD points per game, and Eric Ebron ($5,200) has been ineffective this season.
- This game isn’t especially exciting but there are a few options worth getting exposure to in Matthew Stafford and Golden Tate. Jonathan Stewart, Ameer Abdullah, and Theo Riddick shouldn’t be dismissed as options but are TD dependent.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
- o/u 42, PIT -7.5
- Blake Bortles ($7,100) has been ineffective this season and there isn’t any reason to play him.
- Leonard Fournette ($7,600) has managed at least 13.1 FD points in every game this season. The Steelers have proven vulnerable to the run game, allowing a massive game to Jordan Howard and a high YPC marks to Dalvin Cook and Alex Collins.
- Allen Hurns ($6,000) and Marqise Lee ($5,800) don’t get consistent targets and their results are even more inconsistent.
- Ben Roethlisberger ($7,900) and the Steelers offense hasn’t looked to be on the same page this season as he has yet to top 17.52 FD points in a game this season. The Jaguars have allowed only 7.52 points per game to opposing QBs this season, though they haven’t faced any elite offenses.
- Le’Veon Bell ($9,500) will get volume and has a chance to have a monstrous game if the Jaguars run defense doesn’t improve. They have allowed 148 rushing yards per game and four rushing touchdowns.
- It’s always difficult to disregard Antonio Brown ($8,800) but the Jaguars passing defense has been been incredibly effective to this point. Martavis Bryant ($5,700) remains a constant deep-threat and one deep touchdown is enough to pay off his cost. JuJu Smith-Schuster ($5,400) is working his way into the Steelers’ offense, but doesn’t have enough current volume to make him worth rostering.
- Both of the running backs are strong options in this game. Steer clear of the Jaguars’ passing attack, and use the Steelers passing attack only as a contrarian move in the off-chance that they go off in their second home game of the season.
Tennessee Titans vs. Miami Dolphins
- o/u 43, TEN -3
- Marcus Mariota ($7,800) isn’t worth considering whether he plays or not due to his injury. Matt Cassel ($6,100) would certainly offer salary cap savings, but the risk is absolutely massive in a middle of the road matchup.
- The Dolphins have gotten exposed by running backs with receiving ability out of the backfield. Neither Derrick Henry ($5,800) and DeMarco Murray ($6,400) have showcased that ability this season, though they may be relied upon as a safety valve if Matt Cassel draws the start.
- The Titans wide receivers will draw a positive matchup this weekend as the Dolphins have gotten gouged in the pass game. Matt Cassel throwing passes to them will dampen that, however. Rishard Matthews ($5,600) has seen between eight and 10 targets in three of four weeks this season. Eric Decker ($5,400) hasn’t established his role in the offense yet and with Matt Cassel taking over at QB, his comfort level in the offense isn’t likely to rise.
- Delanie Walker ($6,000) could be heavily targeted by Cassel as a safety valve, but Cassel’s efficiency is a concern.
- Jay Cutler ($6,700) has been awful this season, failing to capitalize on a few positive matchups. However, the Dolphins are now heading home for the first time this season, and if there was a time for him to produce this would be it. The Titans have allowed 24.68 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season.
- Jay Ajayi ($7,300) has failed to get things going this season but the Titans are the a good matchup, allowing backs to produce on the ground and through the air. He is a risky play due to his shaky production but the Titans defense presents opportunity.
- Jarvis Landry ($6,600) is a target hog making him better suited for DK. On the other hand, DeVante Parker ($6,100) has touchdown upside and has seen no fewer than eight targets in a game this season. The Titans have allowed 37.13 points to WRs this season, second most in the league. Kenny Stills ($4,900) has had inconsistent targets but is an interesting dart throw.
- If Marcus Mariota were fully healthy, this game would be intriguing as an under the radar stack. As it currently stands, Jay Ajayi and DeVante Parker are strong plays.