Finding solid value plays on salary-based DFS sites is essential when trying to build successful lineups. Each week I’ll discuss players at every position who I think are the best bets to outperform their salary and provide that much-needed value. Each position is followed by salary restrictions for each site. Make sure to take note of salary differences between sites, as a player may make a much better value on one over the other.
NFL Week 5 Daily Fantasy Value Plays at QB, RB, WR, TE, and D/ST for DraftKings and FanDuel
(Restrictions: FanDuel: <=$7,500, DraftKings: <=$6,000)
Jacoby Brissett (IND, FD: $7,000, DK: $5,600) vs. San Francisco 49ers
I’ve been impressed with Brissett’s performance after being in Indy for just one month (acquired September 2). He posted a QB7 outing against the Browns at home just two weeks ago, and will now welcome the 49ers to Lucas Oil Stadium. The Niners have given up 649 yards passing and four touchdowns over their last two weeks. Brissett has shown he can produce on the ground as well as through the air, racking up 69 rushing yards and two TDs on 14 attempts in his three starts. He’s priced in the bottom 10 on both sites, so I like his value this week and think he can post a solid fantasy game against a weak 49ers secondary.
Carson Palmer (ARI, FD: $7,200, DK: $5,900) at Philadelphia Eagles
Arizona currently leads the league in passing attempts (45.8 per game) and will travel to Philadelphia to take on a defense that’s allowed the second-most passing yards this season. They’ve allowed two consecutive games with 345+ passing yards to go along with five passing touchdowns. The game plan should be simple for Bruce Arians and the Cardinals this week, as their running game has transformed into a short passing game (RB Andre Ellington saw 15 targets in Week 4). Palmer has a full arsenal of weapons at his disposal with John Brown back from a quad injury, so I like his chances to light up this secondary for the third consecutive week, making him a great value play at the quarterback position. It could get ugly behind a leaky offensive line but sheer volume should overcome the sacks and pressure.
Thomas Rawls (SEA, FD: $4,800, DK: $3,700) or Eddie Lacy (SEA, FD: $4,600, DK: $3,400) at Los Angeles Rams
The musical chairs act in Seattle’s backfield continues as Chris Carson was placed on injured reserve with a broken leg. In his absence, Lacy racked up 52 yards on 11 carries withThomas Rawls out as a healthy scratch. However, head coach Pete Carroll seemed to hint that Rawls would take over in his post-game presser, stating “With Chris being banged up, we’re so fortunate to have Thomas ready to jump back out there.” It appears Rawls will be the lead pack, but Lacy can’t be ignored until we get further confirmation on their intended usage.
Either back would have a dazzling matchup against the Rams. L.A. has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing backs and it isn’t even close. They’ve allowed 560 rushing yards and six touchdowns (league-high) on 113 attempts (4.96 ypc). They’ve been torn to shreds in three consecutive weeks by the Redskins, 49ers, and Cowboys, and the Seahawks should too. Pay attention to Carroll’s signals regarding the feature back (if he does) and look that way as a solid value option for running back this weekend.
Andre Ellington (ARI, FD: $5,400, DK: $4,600) at Philadelphia Eagles
Ellington emerged as a big pass-catching threat for the Cardinals in Week 4 as he was targeted 14 times by Carson Palmer. He hauled in nine of those targets and had a TD taken away from him after replay, which would have launched him up into the RB1 category for the Week. The offensive line has been a liability for the Cardinals early on, as they’ve allowed 43 QB hits on Palmer through four weeks. Ellington has become Palmer’s safety blanket when the pocket collapses, and I expect that to continue to against an aggressive Eagles defensive line. While his pass-catching ability makes him more of a target on DraftKings, Ellington’s usage could make him a solid value play on FanDuel as well.
Duke Johnson Jr. (CLE, FD: $6,000, DK: $4,900) vs. New York Jets
The third year back from the U has now out-snapped Isaiah Crowell 163-147 after four weeks and has been the more dynamic runner and pass catcher of the two. Johnson has averaged 8.8 yards per touch while Crowell is stuck down at 3.6 through four games. The winless Browns will host a Jets defense that has allowed the fourth-most points to opposing RBs on the season and rank in the bottom 10 in terms of receptions and receiving yards allowed to running backs. Johnson’s versatility in the backfield and in the passing game provides him with a great floor, and you have to believe DeShone Kizer will continue to look his way as he’s been the Browns’ most consistent offensive player. I expect Johnson to even further solidify his role in the offense this weekend and have his third straight game with double-digit fantasy points.
Rishard Matthews (TEN, FD: $5,600, DK: $5,400) at Miami Dolphins
Rookie Corey Davis has already been ruled out for Week 5 with his hamstring injury, so Matthews should see a big role in the passing game once again.
Rishard Matthews target share splits with Corey Davis Week 1-2, without him Weeks 3-4:
Wk 1: 22%
Wk 2: 22%
Wk 3: 32%
Wk 4: 40%
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) October 2, 2017
As you can see, he’s seen a huge market share increase with Davis out. Matthews has seen 18 targets in the last two weeks, 11 more than any Titans WR and five more than TE Delanie Walker. Miami has allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game and the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game, creating a pass-funnel defense. Matthews should see a majority of targets in the passing game once again, so feel confident plugging him into your lineups at his current price.
*If Marcus Mariota is inactive, I wouldn’t be nearly as excited about Matthews, but still think he can reach value with Matt Cassell or Brandon Weeden under center.
Jaron Brown (ARI, FD: $4,500, DK: $4,500) at Philadelphia Eagles
I’m not sure why Jaron Brown is still the cheapest WR for Arizona, but I certainly won’t complain about it. Brown has seen the more targets than Larry Fitzgerald since being activated in Week 2 (29 to 28) and has 205 receiving yards, second behind only Fitzgerald. The Eagles have been torched in the passing game thus far, having allowed the most catches and yards to opposing wide receivers. Teams are so eager to exploit Philly’s depleted secondary that they’ve thrown on 71.2% of plays, while no other team has seen more than 65.2%. I see no reason why Carson Palmer doesn’t air it out at least 40 times on Sunday, so I love Brown’s value at just $4,500 on both sites.
Brandon Marshall (NYG, FD: $5,800, DK: $4,600) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
This is a perfect spot for Marshall to score his first touchdown and show why the Giants signed him in the offseason. The Chargers have allowed six touchdowns to opposing WRs through four weeks, the second-most in the league. Stud cornerback Casey Hayward will shadow OBJ, leaving Marshall to square off with Desmond King, who gives up seven inches and 30 pounds to Marshall. L.A. has been a sieve to opposing running games thus far, but the Giants have run on just 30.1% of their plays this season, the second-fewest in the league. Therefore, I think Marshall will be a popular option in the passing game after seeing 21 targets the last two weeks, especially in the red zone where he has a huge size advantage against King.
Benjamin Watson (BAL, FD: $5,100, DK: $3,600) at Oakland Raiders
Watson leads the Ravens in receiving yards with 146 through four games. Their passing attack his been dismal to start the season, as they’re dead last in the NFL with just 142.5 passing yards per game. Watson has seen 17 targets over the past three weeks, however, and gets to face a Raiders defense that’s allowed ninth-most points to opposing TEs thus far. Joe Flacco hasn’t found any rhythm with his wideouts and should look Watson’s way frequently, as Watson is just one target shy of Mike Wallace and Buck Allen for the team lead in the last three weeks.
New York Jets (FD: $4,300, DK: $3,000) at Cleveland Browns
The Browns have become a common target to stream defenses against, and rightfully so. They’ve surrendered the second-most points to opposing defenses thus far and will continue to run out rookie DeShone Kizer to play through his mistakes. While New York struggled through the first two weeks, they’ve allowed just 20 points combined in Weeks 3 and 4. I don’t think the Jets are a great defense, but they don’t need to be to have success against Kizer and the Browns. They make a solid value option on both sites this weekend.