RealTime DFS Strategy: Week 5

Fri Oct 9 10:56am ET
Contributing Writer

Bridgewater can produce big

We have reached the first week of planned byes in the NFL with the Lions and Packers set to get some rest. They might not be the only teams sitting at home, though, with other franchises dealing with positive cases of COVD-19. As things currently stand, here are some players to target and avoid among the available options.


Dak Prescott, DAL vs. NYG ($6,600): Prescott is off to a monstrous start thanks to his defense forcing him to throw a lot in games. He almost led an incredible comeback last week against the Browns, throwing for 502 yards and four touchdowns in a game that the Cowboys ultimately came up short. With at least 450 passing yards in three straight games, he is a safe option to at least strongly consider in cash games.

Teddy Bridgewater, CAR at ATL ($5,800): Despite not being known throughout his career for racking up passing yards, Bridgewater has thrown for at least 269 yards three of four games this season. He was excellent last week against the Cardinals, throwing for 276 yards and compiling three total touchdowns. Now, he’s presented with a stellar matchup against a Falcons team that has allowed 34.5 points per game.

Player to Avoid

Carson Wentz, PHI at PIT ($5,900): This is an easy pass, especially since Bridgewater checks in at a cheaper salary. Wentz has been awful with seven interceptions compared to just four touchdown passes and the Eagles continue to be hit hard by injuries at wide receiver. Facing a Steelers defense that is one of the best at putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks likely won’t make things any better for Wentz and company.

Running backs

Mike Davis, CAR at ATL ($6,900): Davis has proven to be far more than a capable fill in for Christian McCaffrey (ankle). In his two games as a starter, he’s posted at least 91 total yards and a touchdown in both contests. Like McCaffrey, he’s excellent at catching passes out of the backfield, racking up 13 receptions across his two starts. With the Falcons’ defensive struggles already detailed, Davis makes for a great option at a reasonable salary.

Devonta Freeman, NYG at DAL ($5,800): Freeman showed some encouraging signs last week. He was on the field for 54.5 percent of the Giants offensive snaps, which helped him finish with 68 total yards. As he continues to become more familiar with his new team, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him play in an even higher percentage of their offensive snaps. If he can garner more work here, he could shine against a Cowboys team that has allowed the second-most rushing yards per game.

Player to Avoid

Malcolm Brown, LAR at WAS ($6,100): This Rams’ backfield is a mess from a fantasy perspective. Even with Cam Akers (ribs) out the last two games, we still haven’t received much certainty about the position. Brown only has 16 carries across the two games with Akers sidelined, totaling 57 yards. He also hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1. The Rams could ride the hot hand in any given game, which makes Brown too risky given that he doesn’t come at a significant discount.

Wide Receivers

Robby Anderson, CAR at ATL ($6,400): Yes, I like a Panthers stack this week. How could you not with how atrocious the Falcons have been? Even without his top two wide receivers, Aaron Rodgers lit them up for 327 yards and four touchdowns last week. That could mean a big afternoon is in store for Anderson, who has recorded at least 99 yards in three of four games this season.

Darius Slayton, NYG at DAL ($5,800): The Giants haven’t exactly had an easy schedule, which hasn’t done their offense any favors. Injuries haven’t helped, either. Not only is Barkley out, but so is their top wide receiver Sterling Shepard (toe). Slayton has received at least six targets in all four games this season and could once again be busy as the Giants try to keep up with the Cowboys’ potent offense.

Player to Avoid

A.J. Green, CIN at BAL ($6,100): This might be the easiest pass on the slate. Despite receiving the second-most targets on the team, Green only has 119 total receiving yards this season. In a very favorable matchup against a suspect Jaguars defense last week, he only caught one pass for three yards. Now he has to face one of the best defenses in the league in the Ravens. No thank you.

Tight Ends

George Kittle, SF vs. MIA ($6,200): It’s pretty safe to say that Kittle looks to be healthy. After sitting out the previous two games, he stormed back in Week 4 against the Eagles with 15 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. He also did that with Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard at quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) could return this week against a Dolphins defense that has allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game, which would leave Kittle with tremendous upside.

Dalton Schultz, DAL vs. NYG ($5,100): What many people predicted would be a breakout season for Blake Jarwin has proven to be just that for Schultz after Jarwin tore his ACL in Week 1. Since then, Schultz has posted 17 receptions for 208 yards and two touchdowns. With so many weapons around him, Schultz could continue to fly under the radar against opposing defenses and remain a productive fantasy option.

Player to Avoid

Zach Ertz, PHI at PIT ($5,500): Since the Eagles have very few healthy options at wide receiver, opposing defenses have focused their efforts on stopping Ertz. The 49ers did just that last week, holding him to four catches on five targets for nine yards. He hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since Week 1 and has registered 42 yards or fewer in three of four games. Playing the Steelers isn’t exactly an ideal situation for him to get back on track.

Mike Barner has been covering fantasy sports since 2007. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, SportsLine and RotoWire. Mike was also a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. Follow Mike on Twitter @rotomikebarner.

Player Notes
Chris Carson Oct 22 12:20am ET

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson was dealing with a knee injury heading into the bye week, but now that he's rested, he's ready to go for Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. He's the RB8 on the year despite playing in just five games, and he's firmly entrenched as his team's starter. He has 45 more carries than any other Seahawks running back and he's added on to that with 18 more receptions than either of the other two backs on the team. The Cardinals are allowing a healthy 19.7 fantasy points per game to running backs, and Carson has a safe floor as an RB2 with RB1 upside.

From RotoBaller

D.K. Metcalf Oct 22 12:20am ET

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is the WR8 on the year through six weeks, and he's looking to keep that rolling in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. Metcalf is expected to match up with cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, and that's an advantage in favor of Metcalf, who has a decent speed advantage over Kirkpatrick. Metcalf has gone for at least 90 yards in every game thus far, and he's scored a touchdown in four out of five games. With the connection he has with quarterback Russell Wilson right now, he's an easy start in all formats this week as a WR1.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Lockett Oct 22 12:20am ET

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett cooled off in Weeks 4 and 5 after a hot start to the year, but he has a strong chance to bounce back in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. Lockett has seen at least four targets in every game, and he's quarterback Russell Wilson's first or second read on every play. He's catching just under 80 percent of the passes thrown in his direction, and he's been a great threat to all areas of the field over the last three seasons. With players on byes, you can have a good amount of confidence slotting him into your lineups this week as a WR2 in Seattle's high-scoring offense.

From RotoBaller

Robert Woods Oct 22 12:10am ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods has played well to start the year, as he's the WR10 through six weeks, but his matchup for Week 7 against the Chicago Bears is going to make things very difficult to maintain that pace. The Bears are allowing just 17.4 points per game to fantasy receivers, and Woods primarily lines up outside, where Chicago's two best corners are. The matchup is certainly a difficult one, but Woods has been the Rams most consistent wideout this year as a chain-mover. Because of his consistent target share, he remains in play as a WR2 in PPR leagues, albeit one with a lower floor this week.

From RotoBaller

Los Angeles Rams Oct 22 12:10am ET

The Los Angeles Rams Defense has been one of the better units through the first six games of the season, and they should be able to continue that in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. Outside of their Week 1 win over the Detroit Lions, Chicago has turned the ball over at least once in every game. They've also given up 11 sacks so far this year. With a couple of good defenses on byes this week, the Rams slot in as a solid top-five option this week. They should be able to keep the score low while generating turnovers and sacks while looking to bounce back from their divisional loss to the 49ers in Week 6.

From RotoBaller

Sam Sloman Oct 22 12:10am ET

Los Angeles Rams kicker Samuel Sloman has some heat on him after the team signed kicker Kai Forbath this week, but he's still the starter for Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. This matchup has the potential to be a defensive struggle like it was in 2018, and that could give Sloman more scoring chances if the offense moves the ball consistently enough. If they're able to get the ball into field-goal range, he could put up some points, but the Bears are allowing fewer than 20 points per game to opposing teams. Although four teams are on byes this week, you should be able to find a better option than Sloman in standard-sized leagues.

From RotoBaller

Russell Wilson Oct 22 12:10am ET

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is well-rested following his bye week, and he'll be looking to continue his quest for an MVP in Week 7 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are allowing fewer than 17 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, but they haven't faced an outfit like the one Seattle is trotting out. With two top receivers along with a strong leading running back in Chris Carson in tow, Wilson has too many weapons at his disposal. In addition to that, the Cardinals lost star edge rusher Chandler Jones for the season due to injury. They won't be able to generate a consistent amount of pressure, and you'll feel extremely confident with Wilson in your lineups in all formats.

From RotoBaller

Jared Goff Oct 22 12:00am ET

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff has been a low-end QB1 for the majority of the season, but that is not the case in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. The Bears Defense has been playing lights-out football through the first six weeks of the season, and they haven't shown signs of slowing down. They're allowing an average of just under 17 points per game to the quarterback position. Goff has solid weapons all around him, but this is just a brutal matchup from a fantasy perspective. With four quarterbacks on a bye this week, Goff could be in the streaming conversation in deeper leagues, but you should temper expectations. He should be in the middle tier of QB2s this week.

From RotoBaller

Darrell Henderson Oct 22 12:00am ET

Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson will be looking to bounce back in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears after a decent performance in Week 6, but it won't be that easy. The Bears are tied for 10th in fewest fantasy points allowed to the running back position, and Henderson remains in a crowded backfield that also includes rookie Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown. Week 6 was the first game that Henderson cleared 50 percent of the offensive snaps this season, and he just barely beat out Brown for that honor. Due to his command of the carries as of right now, you have to slot him in as an RB2 option, but temper your expectations against a strong Bears Defense.

From RotoBaller

Cooper Kupp Oct 22 12:00am ET

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had a down game in Week 6, and it looks like those struggles could continue in Week 7 against the Chicago Bears. The Bears are allowing just 17.4 points per game to the wide receiver position, and their cornerbacks are playing lights-out. The one advantage that Kupp may have in this game is that he plays primarily out of the slot. With cornerbacks Jaylon Johnson and Kyle Fuller primarily operating on the outside, that gives Kupp the easier matchup against Buster Skrine. Against a strong Bears Defense on Monday night, Kupp should be considered more of a low-end RB2 play. He just hasn't found the connection with quarterback Jared Goff this year yet that his fantasy managers expected.

From RotoBaller

Carlos Dunlap Oct 21 10:23pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals DLs Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are being phased out of the team's defensive game plan, and they're each frustrated with their lack of playing time, according to multiple sources. Atkins was on the field for 18 snaps in Week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts, mostly on third down, while Dunlap was in for 28 total defensive plays.

From TheHuddle

Carolina Panthers Oct 21 9:50pm ET

The Carolina Panthers Defense, though improving and showing signs of efficiency, is not a viable starting option this week. They face the Saints, who have a potent offense consisting of Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, and elite WR Michael Thomas, who could potentially return this week. In addition, the Saints have been the third-worst matchup for fantasy defenses. The Panthers' defense should be on the bench this week.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Moore Oct 21 9:40pm ET

Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore should best be viewed as a low-end WR2 for this week. Moore hasn't been the most productive receiver for Carolina this season as Robby Anderson has emerged into a top option. Nevertheless, Moore's role is still decent as he has seen at least four targets in each game. There is no reason to discount the WR's value completely as he has still gotten over 90 yards in three games as well. That's enough to give him starting value against a New Orleans defense allowing the 11th-most points to fantasy WRs.

From RotoBaller

Curtis Samuel Oct 21 9:40pm ET

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel is currently dealing with a knee injury and his status for Week 7 remains unclear. Samuel also missed Week 6. The WR has offered very modest value in the passing and rushing game this season, getting no more than 51 receiving yards and 28 rushing yards in any contest. Even if he's active, there are certainly better flex options for this week.

From RotoBaller

New York Giants Oct 21 9:40pm ET

The New York Giants Defense has been better in recent weeks and has another good matchup in Week 7 with a Thursday night matchup with a banged-up Eagles offense. Philadelphia is missing starters across the offensive line and skill positions, and will face the challenge of playing on a short week. Led by cornerback James Bradberry, whose shut down play on the outside has taken away opposing number-one receivers, the Giants are a startable unit in fantasy at Philadelphia.

From RotoBaller

Ian Thomas Oct 21 9:40pm ET

Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas is well off the fantasy radar heading into Week 7. The TE has only gotten three receptions for 14 yards and a score on seven targets in the past three games. His role is simply not large enough for him to merit good fantasy value.

From RotoBaller

Sam Darnold Oct 21 9:33pm ET

Updating a previous report, New York Jets QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) saw limited reps in practice, and head coach Adam Gase spoke about it after. 'Right now, we're just saying that all options are available,' Gase said Wednesday, Oct. 21. 'We'll have him on a pitch count.'

Fantasy Spin: Darnold sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder on Oct. 1, and he hasn't played or practice since, with Joe Flacco starting the previous two. Even if Darnold were able to play against a very giving Buffalo Bills pass defense, only fantasy owners in deeper leagues using two starting quarterbacks should even consider him at this point.

From TheHuddle

Evan Engram Oct 21 9:30pm ET

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram is off to a disappointing start to the season, but draws another favorable matchup in Week 7. Philadelphia allows the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, though it may not matter as Engram has not taken advantage of other favorable matchups. Engram has not found the end zone this season and has just one game with more than 35 yards. New York completed just 12 passes last week so it's hard to trust anyone in this pass offense. Engram is a risky starter, but does possess upside and can be started in deeper formats.

From RotoBaller

Robby Anderson Oct 21 9:30pm ET

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson is a WR2 this week against New Orleans. Anderson has emerged as the top target for Teddy Bridgewater this season and already has three 100-yard games. He has also seen at least four receptions and five targets in all six games. Given the increasing rapport with Bridgewater along with a large role in this offense, Anderson is a solid starter against a Saints team allowing the 11th-most points to fantasy WRs.

From RotoBaller

Teddy Bridgewater Oct 21 9:20pm ET

Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a QB2 for this week against the Saints. From a fantasy perspective, the QB has been mostly mediocre aside from Week 5 against the Falcons and overall has six passing touchdowns to five interceptions thus far. Though the Saints allow the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, Bridgewater hasn't proven that he can be an explosive fantasy option. Only consider him in two-QB leagues for this week but there are certainly better options based on matchup.

From RotoBaller