We are a quarter of the way through the NFL season. Some things are more clear, such as the Dallas Cowboys defense isn’t as bad as many thought, and the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are who we thought they were – both top teams. Some things are completely confusing, like what is going on with Eddie Lacy and LeSean McCoy, and are the Patriots really this bad?
Fortunately, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a weekly game. Even if your traditional fantasy league teams aren’t playing like they are supposed to, then turn to DFS and build a new lineup exclusively for Week 5. This week there are only two teams on bye, Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins. Most of the fantasy talent is at our disposal, so let’s get to it with some players to target for Week 5.
Elite, Expensive: Nick Foles, PHI (Week 5 vs St. Louis)
In Week 4, we saw the “bad” Foles. He threw for under 200 yards, two interceptions, and the offense looked stale scoring no touchdowns. Now is a perfect time for a “pick me up” game for Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles. St. Louis has been generous to quarterbacks this year and Philadelphia is at home, where they play substantially better. Expect Foles to bounce back and trounce the Rams.
Middle of the Road: Eli Manning, NYG (Week 5 vs Atlanta)
It may have taken a few weeks for Manning and the New York Giants to get used to Ben McAdoo’s offense. Over the first two games, Manning threw for 440 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. Over the past two weeks, Manning has thrown for 534 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Helped by an undervalued running game led by Rashad Jennings, Manning is finally becoming a decent fantasy option again. Week 5 brings Atlanta into New York. In what could be a tight, high-scoring game (over/under is set at 50, the highest of all Week 5 matchups), Manning should finish with a strong performance.
Cheap, High Upside: Blake Bortles, JAC (Week 5 vs Pittsburgh)
Bortles made his first career start in Week 4. He finished the game 29 completions on 37 attempts, 253 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. He also added 24 rushing yards. Not a bad debut on the road against a stout San Diego defense. One has to wonder if Jacksonville’s wide receivers were fully healthy, what kind of stats they would post. Week 5, Bortles is making his first start in front of his home crowd, so the adrenaline will be going and I see more chemistry and a better performance.
Elite, Expensive: Giovani Bernard, CIN (Week 5 @ New England)
Arguably, one of the best running backs for fantasy purposes so far in 2014 now matches up against a defense that just allowed nearly 200 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns (all be it, 2 were receptions) to running backs. Bernard got to rest in Week 4 because of the bye, so he should be ready to shred the New England defense.
Middle of the Road: Rashad Jennings, NYG (Week 5 vs Atlanta)
Jennings is one of the better, more consistent running backs so far through the first quarter of the season. He has 81 rush attempts, 341 yards (4.2 yards per attempt), and 2 touchdowns. He now faces the Atlanta Falcons who give up the most fantasy points to running backs, including four rushing touchdowns to date. Jennings struggled a bit in Week 4, but will get right back on track Week 5.
Cheap, High Upside: Khiry Robinson, NO (Week 5 @ Tampa Bay)
In Week 4, New Orleans was unimpressive in a bad loss to the Cowboys. In Week 5, the Saints come home, where they elevate their game compared to playing on the road. As long as Mark Ingram remains out, which he is for Week 5, Robinson is the lead running back. The Saints might jump out early, score often, and run the ball to kill time, so Robinson should see a lot of work.
Elite, Expensive: Alshon Jeffery, CHI (Week 5 vs Carolina)
Jeffery continues to be a Top 10 wide receiver option for fantasy football and that is while playing opposite the elite Brandon Marshall. The Jay Cutler-Marshall connection has lost some appeal this season as Cutler is targeting Jeffery often and Jeffery keeps producing. If Marshall rests his banged up ankle this week, as rumored, Jeffery becomes a great option against a soft Carolina secondary.
Middle of the Road: Vincent Jackson, TBB (Week 5 @ New Orleans)
This should be another high-scoring game. Tampa Bay is down Mike Evans due to injury, so Jackson should receive more targets from quarterback Mike Glennon. New Orleans allows the fourth most fantasy points to wide receivers, and when you factor in Tampa Bay will probably be playing from behind, Jackson is a good option for targets and points.
Cheap, High Upside: Golden Tate, DET (Week 5 vs Buffalo)
Tate continues to be undervalued in DFS. In Week 4, Tate finished with 8 receptions and 116 yards. Tate is leading the Detroit Lions in receptions, however he does not have any touchdowns yet. I expect Detroit to destroy Buffalo with Tate and Calvin Johnson scoring multiple touchdowns this week.
Elite, Expensive: Jimmy Graham, NO (Week 5 @ Tampa Bay)
Graham continues to be a great option to build a DFS team around. He started slow in Week 4, but finished with 8 receptions, 87 yards, and 1 touchdown. Tampa Bay does not perform well defending tight ends. Look for the Saints to “right the ship” at home this week and for Brees to target Graham often.
Middle of the Road: Greg Olsen, CAR (Week 5 vs Chicago)
Olsen remains one of Newton’s favorite targets. He is second behind Kelvin Benjamin but has more than double the targets of the third most targeted Panther. Being down to their fourth-string running back, Newton might have to rely on the pass, which means plenty of opportunity for Olsen.
Cheap, High Upside: Eric Ebron, DET (Week 5 vs Buffalo)
Ebron stepped in for an injured Joseph Fauria in Week 4 and did not disappoint for owners who took a chance on him. He finished with only 3 receptions for 34 yards, but did have 1 touchdown. Detroit said they want to get this big guy more involved in the offense, so his stock will continue to rise. At home, Detroit always puts on a show, so following my earlier “Detroit should destroy Buffalo” claim, expect Ebron to take his next step.
San Diego (Week 5 vs New York Jets)
San Diego remains a great option for Week 5 as they host the New York Jets who are struggling to find themselves. San Diego is allowing the fifth lowest points per game at 15.8. There might be a quarterback controversy for the Jets during this game as many want Geno Smith benched for Michael Vick. Either way, San Diego gladly welcomes this circus to town.
Detroit (Week 5 vs Buffalo)
Detroit has quietly been proving to be a great defense for this 2014 season. They have allowed the least amount of yards per game (267.3). Into Detroit comes Buffalo who is now starting Kyle Orton at quarterback. Detroit doesn’t allow teams to come onto their field and do much, so expect Detroit to play well.