Ten members of the Footballguys DraftKings staff compiled value-based rankings for Week 5 of the NFL season. Those results are shown below with the highest ranking at the top. Each position is ranked as follows: (A dash indicates that player was not ranked).
Quarterback - Top 8
Running Back - Top 12
Wide Receiver - Top 12
Tight End - Top 8
Defense - Top 5
To determine the average ranking, any player not ranked received a value of the lowest rank for that position, plus 1 (LR+1). For example, the Top 8 quarterbacks are ranked by each staff member. If one staff member did not rank a particular quarterback, but others did, the ranking for that quarterback is 8+1 or 9. Instead of displaying a 9 in the table, a dash is used to show that player was not ranked, after average rank was obtained.
The value-based, collaborative results provide a window into which players are the best options for this week's slate of games. I'll explain why certain players are ranked as they are and also provide additional commentary volunteered by various staff members.
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Quarterbacks
|Tom Brady||NE||at CLE||7500||6||1||1||2||1||3||7||2||2||1||2.6|
|Brian Hoyer||CHI||at IND||5500||2||-||8||4||-||2||3||1||1||-||4.8|
|Carson Wentz||PHI||at DET||6400||5||3||2||5||2||5||-||-||7||6||5.3|
|Ryan Fitzpatrick||NYJ||at PIT||5100||1||-||-||3||3||-||4||7||-||3||5.7|
|Philip Rivers||SD||at OAK||6900||8||-||3||7||7||-||-||-||5||5||7.1|
|Eli Manning||NYG||at GB||6000||-||-||-||8||6||-||1||6||8||7||7.2|
|Andy Dalton||CIN||at DAL||5900||3||6||-||-||-||-||-||4||-||8||7.5|
|Jameis Winston||TB||at CAR||5800||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||3||-||-||8.4|
|Tyrod Taylor||BUF||at LA||5200||-||-||5||-||-||8||-||-||-||-||8.5|
Tom Brady ($7,500) is the clear chalk play at quarterback this week despite being away from all Patriots facilities, coaches and staff for four weeks. How super is Tom Brady? We're going to find out this week. The matchup at Cleveland is favorable, but you have to wonder if he'll be sharp out of the gate. Ownership should be high on Brady this week, so in GPPs the better option may be to zag when others zig.
Other options include:
Ben Roethlisberger ($7,200) vs the Jets who are tied for 7th worst in DK points allowed to quarterbacks this season. Roethlisberger is coming off a big home game in the rain against the Chiefs where he had 5 touchdown passes. Aside from Matt Ryan, Roethlisberger was the big winner in Week 4. If you chase points this week, will you reach paydirt? The matchup is a good one, remember, the Jets struggled to stop Russell Wilson at home last week. Teams make adjustments though and Todd Bowles is known to crank up his defensive strategies. The consensus likes Roethlisberger with eight rankings in the Top 10 for value plays and six in the Top 3.
Cheaper options: Brian Hoyer ($5,500) at IND, Carson Wentz ($6,400) at DET, Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,100) at PIT and Joe Flacco ($6,200) vs WAS are all options to consider. One or more of these qurterbacks likely will equal or exceed the production of the higher priced options. All have good matchups but only Flacco plays at home.
A case for Wentz - Only Atlanta has allowed more DK FPs to quarterbacks than Detroit this year. We've seen Wentz play with poise and control in his three starts. Could this be the week he cashes in from a fantasy sense? The Eagles have had two weeks to prepare for Detroit, and Philadelphia has outscored their opponents by a whopping 65 points in three games. Wentz looks awfully tempting this week.
Hoyer has looked sharp of late, maximizing his targets' productivity and without even tapping into Alshon Jeffery yet. He's been throwing (successfully) in the red zone, too. And while Hoyer rarely stays sharp long, it's easy to feel warm and fuzzy in taking on the Colts.
Tom Brady makes a lot of sense this week playing with the chip on his shoulder against a weak Cleveland defense. I can’t get behind him as my top pick though. Ben Roethlisberger blew up on Sunday night against KC and the Jets make a great opponent for him to do it again. Brian Hoyer is having solid games, despite a weaker Chicago offense. Facing a tired Indy defense gives him a good shot to reach value this week.
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Running Backs
|Jordan Howard||CHI||at IND||5200||2||2||3||3||3||2||3||5||3||3||2.9|
|Melvin Gordon III||SD||at OAK||7000||1||1||5||6||5||4||7||2||7||5||4.3|
|Devonta Freeman||ATL||at DEN||5000||10||7||2||7||-||-||4||3||-||6||7.8|
|DeMarco Murray||TEN||at MIA||7200||11||11||-||-||7||7||-||1||9||7||9.2|
|Jeremy Hill||CIN||at DAL||4200||8||-||11||-||-||11||10||11||11||-||11.4|
|LeGarrette Blount||NE||at CLE||5600||-||9||-||-||12||-||-||10||6||-||11.5|
|LeSean McCoy||BUF||at LA||6600||-||-||-||-||10||9||-||9||-||11||11.7|
|Matt Forte||NYJ||at PIT||6200||-||-||-||12||-||5||-||-||-||9||11.7|
|David Johnson||ARI||at SF||7900||-||6||-||9||-||-||-||-||-||-||11.9|
|Duke Johnson Jr||CLE||NE||4100||7||-||10||-||-||12||-||-||-||-||12.0|
|James White||NE||at CLE||3900||5||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.2|
|Bobby Rainey||NYG||at GB||3300||-||-||-||-||-||-||9||-||-||-||12.6|
|Giovani Bernard||CIN||at DAL||4400||-||12||12||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.8|
|Lamar Miller||HOU||at MIN||6300||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12||12.9|
David Johnson ($7,900) at SF, Le'Veon Bell ($7,500) vs NYJ, Melvin Gordon III ($7,000) at OAK and DeMarco Murray ($7,200) at MIA are the better higher priced options this week. All three could pay dividends with volume and scoring opportunities. Bell seems to be the better option of the group sticking at the same price as he was last week, reaching 3x value despite not reaching the end zone.
There are several lower priced running backs who could have success including one late addition to the ranks - DeAndre Washington ($3,400) is gaining steam as a player to watch due to the news of Latavius Murray (toe) looking doubtful for Week 5. Washington is the trendy value pick who has made good on the majority of his snaps. Last week he touched the ball 80% of the time he received a snap. Washington may be the one who benefits most, but don't forget about his teammates Jamize Olawale ($3,000) and Jalen Richard ($3,300) as potential GPP targets. Either could be the one to get a score or long play.
The best option this week from a value stanpoint may be Jordan Howard ($5,200) at IND and Jerick McKinnon ($4,000) vs HOU. These two finished #1 and #2 in the consensus rankings for Week 5. Howard had nine Top 3 votes finishing as the #1 value play at running back this week. He is expected to shoulder the load for the Bears again and be a big contriubtor on offense. the Colts are a favorable matchup allowing the 4th most DK points to opposing running backs. Chicago has injuries in their receiver corps which further accentuates the likelihood of a strong rushing game from Howard.
DeAndre Washington looks like a great play with Murray looking like a scratch (as of Wednesday). Watch to see if he improves through the week because if not, Washington is gold. Howard and McKinnon should get plenty of opportunities, especially in a PPR format. Pittsburgh is vulnerable to receiving backs, and Forte is one of the best.
"Exotic smashmouth" currently means riding Murray relentlessly, in both phases of the offense. He's taking well over 60% of the Titans' rushes, and he's 4th on the slate in receiving yardage since Week 2. His matchup with a reeling Dolphins defense is tasty.
Tevin Coleman (sickle cell trait) is likely to see a reduced workload Sunday. While the matchup is daunting, Freeman comes quite cheaply and will likely dominate the passing game, boosting his floor.
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Wide Receivers
|Sammie Coates Jr||PIT||NYJ||3600||1||-||-||12||6||8||1||-||-||4||8.4|
|Brandon Marshall||NYJ||at PIT||7100||7||5||-||4||-||9||7||9||4||-||8.4|
|Robert Woods||BUF||at LA||3900||2||8||12||11||-||3||4||-||-||7||8.6|
|Steve Smith Sr.||BAL||WAS||5300||-||-||4||8||5||11||5||10||-||12||9.4|
|A.J. Green||CIN||at DAL||8900||-||4||-||-||3||12||-||-||2||11||9.7|
|Tyrell Williams||SD||at OAK||4700||-||-||-||9||7||7||9||-||-||5||10.2|
|Quincy Enunwa||NYJ||at PIT||4600||-||7||-||-||-||-||2||8||12||9||10.3|
|Jordan Matthews||PHI||at DET||6800||9||12||8||6||8||-||-||-||11||-||10.6|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||NYG||at GB||8500||-||9||7||-||9||-||-||-||9||-||11.2|
|Eddie Royal||CHI||at IND||4200||4||-||-||-||-||-||6||12||-||-||11.3|
|Julian Edelman||NE||at CLE||6700||11||-||9||2||-||-||-||-||-||-||11.3|
|Dontrelle Inman||SD||at OAK||4100||-||-||-||-||2||-||-||-||-||-||11.9|
|Mike Evans||TB||at CAR||7500||10||10||-||-||10||-||-||11||-||-||11.9|
|Julio Jones||ATL||at DEN||9600||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||2||-||-||11.9|
|Marvin Jones Jr||CIN||at DAL||7600||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||4||-||-||12.1|
|Sterling Shepard||NYG||at GB||5500||-||-||5||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||12.2|
|Travis Benjamin||SD||at OAK||6500||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||10||-||12.7|
The consensus is high on paying up for Antonio Brown ($9,800) this week with six #1 rankings. The Steelers rebounded on offense last week with a convincing game from Ben Roethlisberger and his go-to receiver, Brown. This week's matchup against the Jets looks good on paper, however the Jets have not allowed a touchdown to a wide receiver in each of the last two games (SEA, KC). Brown and the Steelers offense may be matchup-proof, especially at home, but $9,800 is a lot to spend on one player.
Other higher priced matchups to consider include: A.J. Green ($8,900) at Dallas and Julio Jones ($9,600) at Denver. Green has a better matchup than Jones, but if Atlanta is clicking on all cylinders on offense and Julio Jones is brimming with confidence after his monumental game last week against Carolina. The threat of playing against Denver may keep some people at bay, which means his ownership percentage should be relatively low.
Some lower priced options with a high degree of value include: Sammy Coates ($3,600), Robert Woods ($3,900) Eddie Royal ($4,200) and Cole Beasley ($4,300). Coates is a boom/bust option who is capable of a big play any given week, but he is not one to be involved heavily in the offense. Expect between 30-40 snaps, which limits his potential. Robert Woods will see more involvement in the Bills offense and is arguably a better cash game option, as a result. Expect him to see upwards of 60-70 snaps. Eddie Royal is an excellent option, but he's battling a calf injury that could limit his ability. Cole Beasley was a slight disappointment last week, but that could change with a favorable game script.
Terrelle Pryor is still a great salary in a PPR format. He’s still the guy you want from that offense. The patriots are a 10 point favorite, meaning Pryor is going to see a ton of looks. Robert Woods looks like good value with Watkins out of the way and a rejuvinated Buffalo offense. Steve Smith was due for a big game last week and he came through. He’s still good value this week. Brandon Marshall looks like the guy who is ‘due’ this week too (Thanks Ryan Hester).
Hilton remains the primary Colts target in Donte Moncrief's absence. He's likely to find room - and the end zpne - against a decimated Bears secondary that can't cover when it's intact.
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Tight Ends
|Zach Ertz||PHI||at DET||3500||1||3||1||2||2||1||1||3||4||1||1.9|
|Hunter Henry||SD||at OAK||3300||8||1||3||5||3||4||4||6||6||3||4.3|
|Zach Miller||CHI||at IND||3600||3||-||6||-||1||-||3||1||1||4||4.6|
|Martellus Bennett||NE||at CLE||3700||7||8||-||-||4||-||-||-||2||-||7.5|
|Cameron Brate||TB||at CAR||2900||5||7||5||8||-||-||-||5||-||-||7.5|
|Jacob Tamme||ATL||at DEN||3000||-||6||-||4||-||7||7||-||-||6||7.5|
|Ryan Griffin||HOU||at MIN||2500||-||-||-||-||8||3||-||-||-||8||8.2|
|Jordan Reed||WAS||at BAL||6600||-||-||7||-||-||-||-||8||7||-||8.5|
|Delanie Walker||TEN||at MIA||4700||4||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.5|
|Charles Clay||BUF||at LA||2700||-||-||-||6||-||-||-||-||-||-||8.7|
|Will Tye||NYG||at GB||2600||-||-||-||-||-||-||8||-||-||-||8.9|
The best value plays at tight end this week look to be in the $3,000 to $4,000 range and possibly even lower. Zach Ertz ($3,500), Kyle Rudolph ($3,600), Hunter Henry ($3,300) and Zach Miller ($3,600) are the ones who the consensus voted as the top plays. Ertz returns from a rib injury and finds himself in an offense that is finding it's groove. He is expected to be a big part of the Eagles offense now that he's healthy. There doesn't appear to be much concern about the team easing him into a prominent role. Zach Miller could have a big impact for the Bears against the Colts, however he is dealing with a rib injury that could limit his abilities. If he practices in full on Friday expect him to be a big part of the offense. Kyle Rudolph is settling in perfectly with Sam Bradford. The Vikings offense isn't a juggernaut, but they are making timely plays, often involving Rudolph, especially in the end zone. Stefon Diggs is dealing with a groin injury, which could mean more targets to Rudolph. He's definitely one to consider in cash games. At $3,600, he's a cheap option who could pay dividends. Another lower priced tight end to consider is Cameron Brate at $2,900 he's a bargain and he's facing a Panthers defense that has struggled this year, epsecially against tight ends.
Zach Ertz should be back this week and his salary makes him the easy pick for #1 overall. I’ve been on the Kyle Rudolph train in both DFS and season long, so I still think he’s a great value. Hunter Henry isn’t as chalk as he was last week, but there is still some value there due to price and opportunity.
Brian Hoyer is clearly comfortable throwing to Miller, especially near the end zone. The Colts are extremely vulnerable in the middle of the field, and Miller is a little too cheap.
DraftKings Consensus Rankings: Defenses
|New England||NE||at CLE||3700||-||1||2||-||3||5||4||-||1||5||3.9|
The top defensive plays this week are Minnesota, New England and Philadelphia with hononrable mention to Buffalo and Baltimore. It's difficult to shy away from a Vikings team that is playing well on both sides of the ball, but especially their defense.They have 2 defensive touchdowns, 11 turnovers, 15 sacks and they lead all defenses in DK scoring by 15 points. The price is appealing at $3,400 and they are playing at home against a Texans team who have thrown six interceptions this year.
If you want to stay away from Minnesota, because they will be highly owned, New England and Philadelphia are excellent options. Philadelphia has outscored their opponents by 65 points in just three games. Defensively, they have allowed only 27 points in three games (9 points per game). New England is one to consider with Cleveland as the opponent. Emotions will be high with the return of Tom Brady. You have to figure Bill Belichick will have a plan in place to thwart rookie Cody Kessler. It could pay big dividends for them this week.
The Ravens are still figuring out their offense, and it's resulted in a recent mess of turnovers. Washington has been taking advantage of late, with eight takeaways over the past three weeks. This game has the look of a 16-13 slugfest.
The Titans are weak on offense and weather could play a factor this week in Miami. The field may not be in great shape either. Price and opportunity make them my top pick. Minnesota looks like the defense you are going to want to pay up for every week. Any team vs. the Browns makes it into the top 5.
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