I hope everybody had some success in Week 4. The massive offensive numbers we saw in Week 3 were not repeated and the winning scores in most tournaments dropped dramatically. It will be interesting to see what Week 5 brings. I’ve done my best to isolate some of the options that I think you’ll want to consider as you fill out your lineups. As usual, I have broken them down into three cost categories.
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BIG-MONEY OPTIONS ($7,000 and up)
Tom Brady, Patriots at Cowboys, $7,800
While I am unlikely to pay that much for a quarterback, Brady is the one to spend on this week if you are going with a big-money option. He’s clicking with his receivers, and the Patriots have had two weeks to scheme-up the Cowboys. He’s also buoyed by the presence of Dion Lewis, who pads Brady’s passing yards in dumps and screens.
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs vs. Bears, $7,800
Le’Veon Bell is another great high-priced option, but I am giving the nod to Charles because I save 700 units. Charles gets five receptions almost every week and 100 plus total yards seems like a near given. Of course, the upside is a lot higher, and this is a week to chase that upside because the Bears are a team already in rebuilding mode. The big risk in this game is that Charles gets pulled early in a blowout. I’ll take my chances there.
Julian Edelman, Patriots at Cowboys, $7,000
I love the fit with DraftKings PPR format because of the way this guy is being targeted. I mean, Edelman is averaging 10 receptions per game, and he’s been targeted a whopping 42 times! And, I expect these trends to hold, which makes Edelman a very nice purchase, even at 7,000 units. He’s a great way to play a stack with Brady this week, and so is Rob Gronkowski for that matter.
MID-LEVEL OPTIONS ($4,000-$6,900)
Jordan Matthews, Eagles vs. Saints, $6,400
He’s still very involved. He just didn’t make the big play. The good news is that the Eagles have really moved the ball around, and that will loosen things up for Matthews, who still is the top option in the passing game. He was open for a long score last week but Bradford overthrew him by a few feet. Big plays are coming, and I doubt Matthews is heavily owned this week after two relatively quiet games.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons vs. Washington, $6,300
I am really not sure how he’s this cheap after what he’s done. He’ll be heavily owned this week, but I will have some Freeman shares spread out amongst all my lineups. It’s just good business, especially in head-to-head play and 50/50 contests. The matchup is not scary, and it helps that it’s at home.
Sam Bradford, Eagles vs. Saints, $6,000
I saw a lot of good things from Bradford last week despite the tough loss in Washington. He’s moving better than I expected considering what his knee has been through. He is using all his weapons, which is important because the Eagles want to be as tendency-free as possible. This home matchup with the Saints should provide plenty of fantasy opportunity. The fact that Bradford is getting the ball out quicker will help him against the Saints’ blitz packages. Another plus here is the Saints offense. I expect New Orleans to score plenty of points, and that will push the Eagles to stay on the offensive themselves.
Brandin Cooks, Saints at Eagles, $5,900
The price is right for Cooks, and I love this week’s matchup because the Eagles really don’t have anybody to deal with his quickness. Cooks’ redraft owners are praying for a breakout game, and this could be it. His lack of any big 2015 success may also keep his ownership down, which is an added plus.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars at Buccaneers, $5,100
He’s just 100 units over the minimum, and that opens up a lot of lineup possibilities elsewhere. Bortles has been solid so far, and this represents his best matchup of the year. He has some good chemistry going with his top two receivers. I like Allen Robinson as a stack option with Bortles, but Allen Hurns also is viable. The lack of a stud corner for Tampa makes me lean to Robinson, who clearly is the team’s No. 1 option.
Dion Lewis, Patriots at Cowboys, $4,800
He’s still healthy and fresh, so I am sticking with him. Yes, LeGarrette Blount now is locked in at the goal line, but Lewis still will be active in the red zone and will get some goal-line love at times. He’s a good receiver, and the Patriots are taking advantage of it, so he’s a great fit for DraftKings’ full PPR format and a nice Week 5 value at 4,800 units.
Todd Gurley, Rams at Packers, $4,300
He’s a big part of the game plan now, and it’s obvious that the Rams will need to lean on him so they can possess the football and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field as much as possible. At 4,300 units, I am having a hard time keeping Gurley out of my lineups this week. I doubt you will see him this cheap ever again.
BARGAIN BASEMENT (below $4,000)
Thomas Rawls, Seahawks at Bengals, $3,800
Rawls is a potential steal in both tournaments and in head-to-head or 50/50 contests. Marshawn Lynch already has been ruled out and Fred Jackson has a high-ankle sprain. Rawls should be looking at a lot of touches. He’s worth a good 1,200 units more than you have to pay this week. He’ll be in more than a few of my lineups.
C.J. Spiller, Saints at Eagles, $3,800
He’s more of a tournament option because his usage is not yet predictable. Having said that, you get huge upside with Spiller, who could become a huge part of a come-from-behind effort this week. He can do a ton of damage with just a few quality touches, and the Eagles do not match up very well with him if the Saints can get him in space, and they probably can.
Charles Sims, Buccaneers vs. Jaguars, $3,600
You want a cheap option who fits the PPR format? Sims could be your guy. He’s a great receiver out of the backfield and he could be featured if the Bucs fall behind. He’s a tournament dart throw and not a safe play in 50/50 or head-to-head games.
Owen Daniels, Broncos at Raiders, $2,700
He is a potential steal this week. The price is outstanding, but the matchup is even better. The Raiders have constant breakdowns against tight ends and there is no way this has gotten past Peyton Manning in the film room. If you want a more contrarian play, you can also consider Virgil Green at 2,500 units. The Broncos tight ends are going to do some damage this week, and I am using them both in tournaments. In 50/50 and head-to-head games, I am using Daniels.
Derek Carrier, Washington at Falcons, $2,500
If you want an option at the price floor, Carrier makes sense. He’s going to be a nearly every-down player due to Jordan Reed’s injury, and he’s a very underrated talent. I love him this week as a tournament dart throw with nice upside relative to the cost.
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