FantasyDraft Week 5 DFS Plays for Thursday Night Football
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It was a successful Week 4 in daily fantasy football as many of my recommendations came through. As I do when I have a bad week, we must turn the page and move on.
Prior to breaking down the Thursday night game from a daily fantasy perspective, I will recap how I did in the Fantasy Draft $100,000 Run and Gun (Sun Only) tournament from the week before. You can compete against me weekly throughout the season.
I was able to build a strong lineup which cashed, but in order to really do damage in a tournament this large you can’t afford to miss on any players. It should be noted that I only enter one lineup when you’re allowed to enter 137 times.
I was high all week on the Bengals-Falcons game and I made sure to get exposure by stacking my Falcons with quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Calvin Ridley and then roster running back Gio Bernard from the Bengals. I was shocked that Ryan was only 11 percent owned as I thought he would be higher and I will sign up all day in a tournament this large with a player that has the upside of Ridley at only four percent. The rookie delivered as he scored two touchdowns. Bernard was the chalk of the week, but I knew he had a chance to put up huge numbers and I didn’t want to miss out. I don’t regret any of these moves.
Saints running back Alvin Kamara has been playing out of his mind and even at his high price and ownership, I needed him in my lineup and he delivered. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was in prime position to have his best game of the season and he also came through even with the high price and ownership.
It was announced Sunday morning that Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb would be inactive so I knew teammate Geronimo Allison would get a boost in production. Allison had a solid game, but in this tournament, we need a great game and that didn’t happen. I will take the 14 points in a cash game format, but I needed the wide receiver to find the endzone.
My biggest whiffs were Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and the Browns defense. I thought the Browns defense would be able shut down the Raiders offense, but unfortunately, the Browns turned the ball over numerous times which gave the Raiders great field position and they capitalized. The Browns defense did record three sacks and two interceptions, but giving up 45 points is not going to win any large field tournaments.
I’m still shaking my head about Smith-Schuster as he had one of the better matchups among wide receivers this week and the Steelers were playing at home in a game against the Ravens that was expected to be high scoring. Smith-Schuster’s price was way too cheap and he was coming off three straight games of at least 19.90 FantasyDraft points. However, the Ravens shut him down as he was only able to score 10 points and any hope to see my name move up the standings on Sunday night vanished.
I’m happy overall, but I need to identify a couple more players like Ridley who are low owned and have the chance to score over 20 FantasyDraft points.
Moving on to the Thursday night contest between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots, we get two teams who are dealing with injuries, but Vegas doesn’t seem too concerned as the over/under is currently set at 51.5. The Patriots have an enormous implied team total at 31 and are 10.5 point favorites.
The Patriots offense scored a season high 38 points against the Miami Dolphins in Week 4 and quarterback Tom Brady threw for 274 yards with three touchdowns. It should be noted that Brady did throw two interceptions in that game and now checks in as the highest priced quarterback this week at $13,600. At home, I believe the Patriots will be able to move the ball and score points, but I’m not willing to pay that price for Brady. He makes for an elite tournament option as many others will look elsewhere due to that price. I will get my Patriots exposure at the other positions.
If I’m using a quarterback from this game, I will turn to Colts signal caller Andrew Luck. The veteran quarterback is $3,300 less than Brady at $12,300 and is coming off a game in which he threw for 464 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 11 yards. There’s a strong chance wide receiver T.Y. Hilton will miss the game with a hamstring injury which will hurt Luck’s outlook as there aren’t many other playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. I put Luck in the tournament category as there are other similarly priced quarterbacks I will be using this week in cash games and we have already seen this season that Luck has a low floor in games in which he has struggled.
The Colts running back situation is a mess as no running back has at least 150 rushing yards this season. Jordan Wilkins is leading the way with 38 carries, but is averaging only 3.6 yards per carry. It’s only going to get more complicated as Marlon Mack is expected to return from a hamstring injury and Robert Turbin from suspension.
The true value at the position comes from rookie Nyheim Hines and his ability to catch the ball as a receiver. Hines has already had two games of at least seven receptions and is coming off a monster performance in Week 4 that saw him haul in nine passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns. The issue with running backs that rely on their fantasy production to come from the passing game is that they have extremely low floors and are game flow dependent.
However, as mentioned before, Hilton is unlikely to play and tight end Jack Doyle could miss his third straight game so Hines has a chance to be a factor once again. Also, the Patriots are favored by 10 so the Colts could be throwing a lot which again gives Hines an uptick in value. Finally, Hines is only $8,800 and on a site like FantasyDraft that is a full point per reception, Hines is firmly in play this week in all formats.
It’s always difficult to trust the Patriots backfield, but due to injuries, it’s becoming easier. Rookie Sony Michel had his breakout game in Week 4 as he rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown. Even more important, he had 25 carries. Michel won’t be a factor in the passing game as that will continue to be James White, but at least it appears the Patriots are going to hand the ball off to the rookie. Michel is priced correctly at $12,300 and is a fine option in all formats.
White continues to be productive as he already has four touchdowns this season, three of them as a receiver where his value comes from. White did chip in with eight carries last week, but saw a season high 10 targets that he converted into eight receptions. That won’t happen every week, especially with Julian Edelman returning from suspension. However, Brady loves looking White’s way and he will always have tremendous upside because of that. White is only $9,500 which is incredible value and makes a great option in all formats.
As previously mentioned, Patriots wide receiver Edelman is returning from suspension and it couldn’t happen at a better time. No Patriots receiver has caught 20 passes which includes tight end Rob Gronkowski. It has been a very frustrating year for Chris Hogan and the newly acquired Josh Gordon may be another week away until he makes any kind of impact. This means Edelman has a chance to be targeted early and often in his first game and we want to take advantage. Edelman checks in at $13,300 and is viable in all formats.
For the Colts, if Hilton is indeed out, Chester Rogers and Ryan Grant will see an uptick in targets. Rogers received 11 targets in Week 4 while Luck threw Grant’s way seven times. Rogers is basically free this week as he is only $6,400. To put that in perspective, there are four defenses that are the same price or higher than Rogers this week. If Hilton is inactive and we think this game will be high scoring along with the Colts playing from behind, Rogers is the perfect punt play option in Week 5. Rogers is an elite tournament option and I’ll even recommend him for cash lineups as that price is simply way too cheap for a player who led all Colts wide receivers in Week 4 in total snaps.
Gronkowski has been a disappointment through four weeks as we have only seen the big tight end do a “Gronk Smash” once. Gronkowski is now dealing with an ankle injury that isn’t considered serious, but has caused him to miss practice leading up to the game against the Colts. Until we see the tight end take over a game, the price will always be too high to consider Gronkowski in cash lineups. This week is no different as Gronk is priced at $13,400 which is an easy fade in cash games. However, if he is active, he will always be a great tournament option.
Eric Ebron was a disappointment two weeks ago when Doyle was absent, but he came through for fantasy owners in Week 4 as he hauled in five catches for 40 yards and a touchdown. The tight end has now been targeted 21 times in the two games that Doyle has missed and is ranked in the top 10 in the league in redzone targets. Doyle could miss his third straight games which makes Ebron another strong target, especially at an extremely affordable price of $6,800.
This game should be a shootout and both defenses are middle of the road in most defensive statistics. There’s not a lot of analysis that needs to be done as both defenses can easily be avoided.