Vegas over/under totals of 50+ points abound in Week 5. Based on the opening month of data points and the specific games for Week 5, what are you strong takes on the offenses-players-stacks to target or avoid of the high point totals?
James Brimacombe: I almost think if you are playing cash games still at this point that you only want to consider players in these type of games as that is where the chalk plays are coming from. For example in this set of five games, you can go with Ryan, Roethlisberger, Rodgers, Stafford, or a Rivers at QB and feel great about it. Running back the same story with Conner, Aaron Jones, Gordon, Lynch, and whatever Atlanta or Cincinnati backs that are healthy. For GPP, I think looking for a Matt Ryan and Austin Hooper would set you up for a different stack than your opponents, also could look for a Tannehill and Stills stack that might be lower owned. With these high totals I think you continue to attack them in cash games and let others make mistakes and in GPPs I think you can still play these guys but look for areas that you can get lower ownership.
Phil Alexander: In Atlanta at Pittsburgh, Austin Hooper is affordable and should be the lowest-owned viable member of the Falcons passing game. Travis Kelce (7-109-2), the combination of Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard (9-106-1), and the Ravens assorted tight ends (10-99-0) have gotten over on the Steelers in each of the last three games -- a trend that started last year after linebacker Ryan Shazier was lost to injury.
Marvin Jones Jr' price is down $2,000 since Week 1 on DraftKings -- an indicator he shouldn't be popular this week. While player vs. team stats can be noisy, especially in the NFL, it's difficult to ignore Jones' performances against Green Bay since joining the Lions. In four games over the last two seasons, Jones has averaged 8.25 catches, 117 receiving yards, and 1.25 touchdowns per game vs. the Packers. Targets are more spread out this year in Detroit with the emergence of Kenny Golladay, but 15 or so points -- Jones' approximate production from Weeks 2 and 3 -- would be enough for him to help your tournament lineups at his reduced price, and there is clearly upside for more.
Most folks will be eager to keep riding the Bengals offense, which isn't necessarily a bad idea, but the Dolphins won't receive much love on the other side. Cincinnati has been flamed by every quarterback they have faced so far, a list that includes Joe Flacco and the tentative Week 1 version of Andrew Luck. Pairing Ryan Tannehill with Kenny Stills or Albert Wilson (especially if DeVante Parker scratches again), and running it back with a Bengals running back and pass catcher should qualify as a contrarian way to gain exposure to this game's high total.
There are many appealing plays in Oakland at LA, but Mike Williams stands out a week after he disappointed as a fairly popular pick against San Francisco last week. Travis Benjamin is hurt again for the Chargers, which clears the way for Williams to play additional snaps. The Raiders have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season and Williams has emerged as Philip Rivers' preferred red zone target (26.9% average target market share). 15 points in this matchup looks like Williams' floor with Benjamin sidelined, which nearly puts him at tournament value, without allowing for the possibility he scores multiple touchdowns.
Dan Hindery: I am targeting Davante Adams this week. He has been solid to date, ranking as the WR17 so far on FanDuel and averaging a line of 7-71-0.75. However, he hasn’t gone off for one of the big, multi-touchdown games he is capable of and the Packers offense has been underachieving. After a mediocre offensive performance against Buffalo on Sunday, Aaron Rodgers blasted the game plan and said Adams "should have had 20 targets" instead of 14. Expect Green Bay to force-feed the ball to Adams against Detroit.
John Ross strained his groin while catching a long touchdown last week and missed most of the second half against Atlanta. If he is healthy and a full participant in practice, he is a very intriguing GPP option this week (especially on DraftKings at a price of just $3,400). With Xavien Howard likely to shadow A.J. Green and Minkah Fitzpatrick manning the slot against Tyler Boyd, Ross will have the best matchup for the surprisingly potent Bengals pass offense. He could finally have a breakout performance and his deep speed means he doesn’t need a lot of touches to put up big fantasy numbers.
Will Grant: The cash / chalk play continues to be New Orleans and the team they are facing. For the Saints, that Kamara and Thomas. Taking a walk down Narrative Street this week, Drew Brees needs just 201 yards to move past Brett Favre and Peyton Manning to become the NFL’s all-time leading passer. As nearly a touchdown favorite at home on Monday Night, you can’t create a better stage for him to do it. If you’re in cash games, you need to think of multiple people in the Saints offense. The short passing game of Washington makes Chris Thompson a great play this week as well against a soft New Orleans defense.
For GPP this week, I like the Green Bay – Detroit game. Neither team runs the ball well, and both teams need to win this game because the division is up for grabs. That sets up multiple stacks and cross-team stack options like Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, and Kenny Golladay or Matthew Stafford, Golden Tate and Geronimo Allison. This game could easily see 650 passing yards by the time it finishes.
Justin Howe: Atlanta-Pittsburgh will be pure chalk this week, with the quarterbacks and wideouts flooding everyone’s rosters. I’ll be all-in in cash games – those pass defenses are legitimately awful. But in tournament play, I’ll be looking at the Bengals, who get another strong matchup and get to lace up at home. The Dolphins are still struggling to rush the passer, and they’re down a starting cornerback. Their retooled secondary is making big plays (and leading the league in interceptions), but still consistently blowing downfield coverages and allowing huge catch-and-runs. Bill Lazor’s offense is varied and exciting this year, and there shouldn’t be any shortage of downfield opportunity for A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. A super-stack with Dalton may wind up being my biggest GPP play this weekend.