Fantasy Sports

Week 5 NFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet

Image Courtesy of Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

Running Backs

Top Picks – guys you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. Melvin Gordon vs. Oakland – The Raiders have been horrible at stopping anything and the Chargers should take advantage of that.
  2. Todd Gurley vs. Seattle – The Seahawks have given up a lot of yards on the ground, and aren’t good at covering backs in passing routes.  This bodes well for Gurley.
  3. Christian McCaffrey vs. New York Giants – The Giants seem unable to stop anything near the line of scrimmage, and that is where McCaffrey makes his money as a runner and a receiver.

Players to watch – keep an eye on what happens and think about the future

  1. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram vs. Washington –  Kamara is still an amazing player, and if you have him then you have to start him (even if Washington has a sneaky good run defense and is coming off a bye week). With that said, Ingram is back in the mix now, and he’s the guy that figures to get goal line work.  What I want to watch here is how the snaps are split.  If it’s 75% Kamara than you’re still in great shape, but if the team is looking to use Ingram more and Kamara only gets 60% of the workload I’d consider selling.

Players to avoid – I’d rather not start these guys if I can avoid it

  1. Joe Mixon vs. Miami – When Giovani Bernard is out Mixon is money in the bank, but when he’s in Mixon is an afterthought.  Right now Bernard is in.
  2. Adrian Peterson vs. New Orleans –  Some of you might say that Peterson is due for another huge game, and you might be right, but I feel like the Redskins are going to have to pass to keep up with the Saints, and the Saints haven’t been bad against the run, they have been horrible in pass coverage.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Aaron Jones vs. Detroit ($4,300) – The Lions are giving up HUGE numbers to running backs, and Jones gets that lovely match-up this week.
  2. David Johnson vs. San Francisco ($6,300) – He’s just so cheap this week.  It’s actually kind of sad.  He’s a risk/reward kind of play as he gets more involved in the offense.
  3. Derrick Henry vs. Buffalo ($4,400) – It’s all about the match-up and this is a sweet one for Henry.

Wide Receivers

Top Picks – guys you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. DeAndre Hopkins vs. Dallas – Dallas has some good defensive players, but with Will Fuller out (more on that later) Hopkins is really the only threat.
  2. Michael Thomas vs. Washington – He’s getting way too many targets to not be an automatic start each week.
  3. Antonio Brown vs. Atlanta – This figures to be a super high scoring game and Brown can exploit a second-rate secondary.

Players to watch – keep an eye on what happens and think about the future

  1. Tyreek Hill vs. Jacksonville – He’s been doing too well to not start, but the match-up against Jacksonville gives you some concerns. I don’t see him as a red zone target, so you might have to dial back expectations.
  2. Jamison Crowder vs. New Orleans – The Saints always figure to allow a lot of points and score a lot, which means more passing for the other team and for the team they are playing. If Crowder was going to explode this would be a good week to bank on it.

Players to avoid – I’d rather not start these guys if I can avoid it

  1. Corey Davis vs. Buffalo – This is all about Buffalo having one elite corner in White who moves with the other teams best receiver.  That would be Davis this week.
  2. Quincy Enunwa vs. Denver – Denver has been good against the pass and Enunwa could struggle as his QB has to deal with the Denver pass rush.
  3. Will Fuller vs. Dallas – Fuller is expected to miss the game with a ham string injury.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Adam Thielen vs. Philadelphia ($7,700) – The Eagles one weakness on defense is their outside defending of WR.  Thielen is the guy who can take advantage of that.
  2. Alshon Jeffery vs. Minnesota ($6,200) – He’s still priced super low coming off the injury.  Look at the numbers he put up last week.
  3. Jordy Nelson vs. Los Angeles Chargers ($4,500) – Priced on the cheap and getting more targets as he and Carr get on the same page.

Quarter Backs

Top Picks – guys you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. Matt Ryan vs. Pittsburgh – This is going to be a gunslinger special and Ryan has been putting up great numbers.
  2. Ben Roethlisberger vs. Atlanta – Atlanta is not healthy in the defensive backfield and this figures to be a high scoring game.
  3. Cam Newton vs. New York Giants – The Giants let Dak Prescott run for a mile when they played him.  Newton can pass, meaning defenders are going to give him more room to run.

Players to watch – keep an eye on what happens and think about the future

  1. DeShaun Watson vs. Dallas – Watson has been up and down.  This is a good litmus test against a solid defense.
  2. Ryan Tannehill vs. Cincinnati – I’m not sold on Tannehill yet as a reliable fantasy starter.  Doing something big against the Bengals would help his stock.
  3. Patrick Mahomes vs. Jacksonville – Mahomes is putting up unreal numbers, so at some point he has to have a flop game, right?!  If there was any game for that, this is that game.  If he plays well he’s an auto start the rest of the season.

Players to avoid – I’d rather not start these guys if I can avoid it

  1. Eli Manning vs. Carolina – Apart from check downs to Barkley he’s done nothing great this year.  It would help if his line could keep him upright.
  2. Josh Allen vs. Tennessee – The kid still has a lot of growing up to do.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Russell Wilson vs. Los Angeles Rams ($5,100) – The Seahawks figure to pass a lot to keep pace, and Russel may be forced to scramble more because of the great Rams D line.
  2. Blake Bortles vs. Kansas City ($5,500) – He’s too cheap, and assuming the Chiefs can put up points he would be forced to throw to keep pace.

Tight Ends

Top Picks – guys you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. Zack Ertz vs. Minnesota – He’s been even better with Wentz back in the mix.
  2. Travis Kelce vs. Jacksonville – This is a bad match-up, but he’s going to be the only target in the red zone because of his size.
  3. Jimmy Graham vs. Detroit – Detroit has good outside coverage, but inside is another story.  Expect Graham to have a great day.

Players to watch – keep an eye on what happens and think about the future

  1. David Njoku vs. Baltimore – I’m still not sold he is going to be a reliable option for Baker, but let’s see how he does this week.
  2. Ian Thomas vs. New York Giants – He’s the guy in Carolina for the time being, and the Giants might just forget to cover him.  Let’s see how he and Cam can grow as a couple.

Players to avoid – I’d rather not start these guys if I can avoid it

  1. Geoff Swaim vs. Houston – Swaim had a good week last week, but guys like Gathers are still getting red zone targets.
  2. Ben Watson vs. Washington – Washington has had a surprisingly good defense this year.  Off a bye week I’d avoid Watson.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Vance McDonald vs. Atlanta ($3,700) – A high scoring game where the TE figures to get involved especially around the goal line.
  2. David Njoku vs. Baltimore ($3,400) – Boom or bust pick, but he’s too cheap to ignore.

Defenses

Top Picks – teams you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle – They force too many sacks and turnovers to get away from.
  2. Carolina vs. New York Giants – The Giants allow way more sacks than the average team.
  3. Tennessee vs. Buffalo – Bad line, rookie QB, it all spells lots of sacks and turnovers for the Titans

Teams to watch – keep an eye on what happens and think about the future

  1. Dallas vs. Houston – Pretty evenly matched game, let’s see how they do.
  2. Houston vs. Dallas – Pretty evenly matched game, let’s see how they do.

Teams to avoid – I’d rather not start these guys if I can avoid it

  1. Jacksonville vs. Kansas City – The Chiefs are putting up lots of points, not turning it over and protecting the QB.  Jacksonville is elite, but they may not be up to task here.  Consider starting other options if you have them.
  2. New York Jets vs. Denver – Denver has been scoring better than expected, and the Jets offense figures to give the ball back more than they should.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Jacksonville vs. Kansas City ($2,800) – Because of the bad match-up with the Chiefs the Jags are under priced this week.  It’s a risky start, but not insane.
  2. Baltimore vs. Cleveland ($2,800) – Cleveland, for as good as they have been, have turned the ball over a lot, and allow pressure.
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