DFS Week 5: DRAFT Targets & Players to Avoid

Last week I helped you avoid Wilson and Drake and guided you to upside glory with Gio Bernard and Phillip Rivers. I’ll be helping you navigate this user-friendly and competitive way to play DFS every week this season. My advice is based on 6 team standard fast draft formats.

If you’re not familiar with DRAFT I highly encourage you to jump into your App store or Google Play store and download the most user-friendly and fun DFS app out there. You can try DRAFT by taking advantage of our promo code “Top2”-you’ll get a free $3 entry. My takes are a combination of stats, match-up analysis, and what I’ve seen drafting this week: to draft with me next week add me MattHicks15.

Quarterback

Favorite Play: Matt Ryan (ATL) vs PIT

Ryan is putting the “hot” in “Hot-Lanta” right now. Despite being an afterthought in fantasy drafts this offseason, Ryan has finished as a Top 10 quarterback 3 times this season, and as a Top 5 quarterback twice. He’s currently QB2 overall, QB6 in passing yards, QB6 in passing touchdowns, and has as many interceptions (2) as rushing touchdowns. This week, Ryan faces off against a dismal Pittsburgh defense that has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. They’ve allowed an average of 324 passing yards and 3 touchdowns per game. Dodge the bigger names and lock in Ryan for Week 5.

High Upside:  Alex Smith (WAS) vs NO

Smith has been pedestrian so far this season, compared to his 2017 re-breakout season. Smith’s done well to protect the ball, with just one interception so far, but has been held back from fantasy relevancy by his 4 total touchdowns. In Week 5 Smith gets to fix that: he plays the Saints, who have allowed 11 touchdowns over the first 4 weeks (two games of which were against Tyrod Taylor and Eli Manning). Smith is coming off an early season BYE that gives Washington a leg up on a hot Saints team. We’re likely to see a shoot-out and Smith (and his fantasy owners) will reap the benefits.

Do Not DRAFT: Patrick Mahomes (KC) vs JAX

He’s match-up proof, right? We’re going to see this week: the QB1 sophomore sensation is facing out against the best passing defense in the league. The Jaguars are allowing just 183 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks. Mahomes has gotten his greatest fantasy return from his league-leading touchdown total (14) but Jacksonville has allowed just 1 passing touchdown to opposing quarterbacks in 4 weeks’ worth of play. Don’t get me wrong, Mahomes will still play well, but he won’t be a top 6 guy and he will demand first 3 rounds value-so I’m out on him in DRAFT this week.

Running Back

Favorite Play: Melvin Gordon (LAC) vs OAK

Per usual, Gordon is flying under the radar this season. Gordon has been tearing up opposing defenses in both the rushing game (276 yards, 2 touchdowns) and passing game (24 receptions, 199 yards, 3 touchdowns). Now he faces off against the Raiders who have allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. He’s finished as a top 10 RB in 3 of his 4 weeks this season, making him consistent in every sense of the word. Consistency, when mixed with upside is the key to fantasy victory. Give me Gordon, or give me a loss.

Upside Target: Carlos Hyde (CLE) vs BAL

I bet your reaction was the same most on DRAFT will have this week: no way I’m playing this guy against the Ravens. That’s where the value comes in for the RB6 overall on the season. Hyde isn’t putting up flashy numbers (98 rushing yards is his season high) but he is getting significant volume (21 carries per game). Hyde’s also finding the endzone, a lot, in fact he’s found the endzone in every game this season (and twice against the Jets in Week 3). Hyde should be available in the 5th round of your drafts, allowing you to wrap up your roster with a safe floor and high upside.

Do Not DRAFT: James Conner (PIT) vs ATL

Conner’s an easy guy to get stuck with this week: he’s still a hot name coming off an early start in what is supposed to be a high-powered offense and has a juicy match-up against an Atlanta offense notorious for allowing fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Conner, however, is on a downward trend that should force even his staunchest truthers to pump the brakes. Since getting 31 carries in Week 1, Conner has just 32 total carries in Weeks 2-4. In Week 4, he had just 9 carries and rushed for less than 20 yards for the second time in four weeks. Conner has also seen his snap count consistently drop: he played in 92% of snaps in Week 1, 89% in Week 2, 85% in Week 3, and 79% in Week 4. The Steelers are likely going to be in a high scoring game, where they’re desperately trying to play catch-up as they slowly watch their season slip through their hands. I don’t want the struggling running back who has been non-existent in the passing game in that situation, and neither should you.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Favorite Play: Julio Jones (ATL) vs PIT

I’m fully aware that Julio hasn’t scored a touchdown this season, and I fully don’t care. Jones is leading the league in yards, averaging 125 yards/game this season and has a fantastic match-up and the hottest QB in the game throwing him the ball (see gush session above). Pittsburgh has allowed the second most yards to opposing wideouts this season, and the third most touchdowns. Stack Julio with Ryan, sit back, and dominate your line-ups this week. Julio is worth taking at the first round turn all week.

Upside Target: Alshon Jeffery (PHI) vs MIN

Alshon had a great return to NFL action in Week 4; catching 8 of his 9 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. Jeffery proved to be an essential piece of the Eagles offense, opening up the outside for Wentz and giving him a legitimate deep ball threat (13.1 yards/target) to offset Agholor and whatever running back happens to be in the game at any given time. Jeffery faces off against the Vikings defense in Week 5, which isn’t as scary as it sounds: they’ve given up the 8th most fantasy points and the 6th most touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. Jeffery is likely to sneak into the 4th and 5th rounds, making him a huge value for you this week; get him cheap while you can.

Do Not DRAFT: Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG) vs CAR

OBJ has been extremely average this season. He’s caught less than 100 yards in two of four weeks, despite being targeted at least 9 times per game. It’s tough to decide what’s more concerning: Beckham Jr’s zero touchdowns or his inability to be a factor at all down the field. His season high yards/reception is 12.8 (Week 2 vs Dallas) and averaged just 8.6 yards/reception in Week 4 vs a weak New Orleans secondary. This doesn’t seem to be the week for a break through, either: the Panthers have allowed just 2 passing touchdowns this season. You’re probably going to have to spend a 1st or 2nd round pick on this flashy name, a gamble that’s not likely to pay off for you.

About Matt Hicks

Matt’s writing at Top2 is focused on dynasty fantasy football. He loves blending his experience writing research in the field of education with fantasy football stats. Matt currently lives in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You can follow Matt on Twitter: @Top2Matt

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