2018 Fantasy Football: FanDuel NFL Week 5 Picks, Sleepers and Strategy

Do you like free money? See who are the best plays this Week 5 of the DFS FanDuel season.

Welcome back to FanDuel Picks Week 5, your one-stop shop for the best daily fantasy football advice. The RB-heavy strategy continues to pay dividends (and American dollars) to you faithful followers, as Week 4 suggested loading on high-end, high-volume RB talent . Our suggested number one pick, Ezekiel Elliott, came through with a monster performance tallying 32 FanDuel points, and Alvin Kamara dominated again with a whopping 38.6 points. But key contributions from undervalued stars like Giovani Bernard (23.6), Sterling Shepard (20.7) and James White (27.2) helped to round out rosters as well. Heck, even the quarterbacks featured last week (Deshaun Watson, 32.1, and C.J. Beathard, 19.82, respectively) even greatly exceed expectations. After four weeks dominating the daily fantasy game, we are riding on a high here at RSJ. But this is a what have you done for me lately business, and I am only as good as my most recent suggestions. So onward and upward. As a note, these picks are based on Sunday only leagues, so players on Thursday, Sunday night, and Monday night will be ignored.


  • Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons ($8,300) – Week 5’s marquee offensive matchup pits (pun intended, you’ll see) two of the NFL’s most high-flying and elite units. The Atlanta Falcons travel to Pittsburgh (told you) to take on the not-so-vaunted Steel Curtain in a game with the highest projected game total Sunday (57.5 points). As three point road underdogs (and a team with an implied team total over 27 points), Matt Ryan and the Falcons could be throwing all afternoon Sunday to keep pace with Pittsburgh. Ryan comes into Week 5 blazing, with 10 touchdowns and 1 interception over his past three games, averaging 33.7 FanDuel points per contest over that timeframe. The Steelers boast a strong run defense, so look for Ryan to follow the game scripts of other teams this year by taking advantage of one of the league’s weakest secondaries which has allowed the second most points to the quarterback position.
  • Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders ($7,000) – Another game, another brewing shootout. The Oakland Raiders visit the Los Angeles Chargers Week 5 in a game with the second highest projected total Sunday at 53.5. Like the Falcons, the Raiders are underdogs in this one (by 5.5 points), yet still have a lofty implied team total of 24 points. Like Ryan, Derek Carr should be slannnnggggin’ all day Sunday afternoon against a Charger secondary allowing the ninth most points to opposing quarterbacks. And that includes decent games by future Hall of Famers Josh Allen (15 points) and C.J. Beathard (19.82 points). Carr seems to have finally grasped John Gruden‘s offensive scheme, averaging over 350 yards per game and completing 70.5% of his passes since Week 2. Playing from behind, look for Carr to rack up the yards and touchdowns in a hurry.

Running Back

  • Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams ($9,100) – Chalk. Todd Gurley has yet to score below 22 FanDuel points, making him arguably the most consistent and reliable daily fantasy performer this year. Playing in one of the best offenses we have seen in a very long time (maybe since the Rams previous version of the Greatest Show on Turf from 1999-2001), Gurley’s versatility in both the run and pass games make his floor so high, most elite talents cannot even reach it. His ceiling? Try the Empire State Building. Projected as 7 point road underdogs in Seattle with an implied team total of just under 29 points, look for the Rams to jump out to an early lead (per usual) led by Todd Gurley, and look for them to kill clock late (also led by Todd Gurley) to wrap up their fifth victory in five tries.

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  • Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers ($8,700) – Allowing the second most yards per carry and third most rushing yards per game, all-world running back Melvin Gordon should pulverize a week Oakland run defense. As noted above, the LA Chargers should be locked into a shootout with the Raiders, and they have an implied team total of 29.5 points. As one of the best dual-threat running backs in the NFL, Gordon gives you that safe high floor, along with the boom potential each and every week.
  • James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers ($7,800) – Shocking to see this name given his price and downward trend (31.7 to 17 to 12 to 7.9 FanDuel points), but let’s slog through the facts. True, his volume has been decreasing seemingly every week, but his targets in the passing game have remained consistently in the 5-7 range and he continues to rack up the receiving yardage. Also, Atlanta has allowed the second most rushing touchdowns on the year, the fourth most yards per carry, and the fifth most fantasy point to opposing running backs, including monster receiving games out of the backfield to Christian McCaffrey (14 catches on 15 targets for 102 receiving yards) and Alvin Kamara (15 catches on 20 targets for 1244 yards). Look for a bounce back from Conner in a week of low ownership.
  • David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals ($7,600) – If I told you two years ago David Johnson‘s FanDuel price would have dipped this low you would have laughed at me. But here we are. The Arizona Cardinals anemic offense continued its season long struggles Week 4, and currently average the least points per game (9.3) and yards per game (208.5) in the NFL. But all is not (yet) lost on Johnson, who scored his second touchdown on the year last week, and also handled his most rushing attempts (22) and touches (25), and enjoyed season highs in rushing yards (71), receiving yards (41), and total yards (112). The 49ers allow the eighth most fantasy points to opposing running backs and the Cardinals will likely rely more on their workhorse RB than their rookie QB Josh Rosen.
  • T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars ($6,500) -In a game with sneaky shootout potential, the Jaguars visit the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs in a game with serious playoff implications. This should be a tightly contested affair, as Vegas projects KC as just a 3 point home favorite. And with Leonard Fournette already ruled out, T.J. Yeldon is expected to see a heavy workload Sunday. The Chiefs have struggled containing running backs this year, allowing over two hundred yards of total offense and over 1 touchdown per game to the position. Yeldon’s prowess as a pass catcher could exploit a susceptible Chiefs defense and could pay dividends to FanDuelers.
  • Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers ($6,100) – I am a big “trend” guy, and that is what the daily fantasy game is all about. Aaron Jones led the Packers three-headed RB monster in snaps Week 4 with 29, providing a stellar 11-65-1 TD line to go along with his one reception for 17 yards. Seeming like the most skilled and versatile running back of the bunch, Jones could feast against a Detroit Lions defense allowing the most rushing yards per game, the third most rushing yards per attempt, and the third most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Wide Receiver

  • Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($8,800) – See Ryan, Matt above. Julio Jones is coming off another monster performance after catching 9 of 12 balls for 173 yards, and the Steelers have no human or other being / entity on their roster to compete with his talent.
  • Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons ($6,500) – Talk about a strong stack! This may be the popular play Week 5, but some matchups are too juicy to avoid. Calvin Ridley continued his touchdown streak Week 4 after catching 4 balls for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns, giving him an eye-popping 6 touchdowns over his last three games. The Steelers have already allowed points in bunches to opposing speedy WR 2’s (Josh Gordon (1-17-1 TD), Sammy Watkins (6-100), Chris Godwin (5-74-1 TD), and John Brown (3-116-1 TD)), so Ridley could boom once again.
  • Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders ($6,500) – Let’s stack it up again! The LA Chargers allow the fourth most points to opposing WR’s this year, and the Raiders will likely be throwing all Sunday, trying to keep pace with the Charger’s high-powered offense. While Amari Cooper continues to drive fantasy owners insane (3 catches for 26 yards in two games combined this season, 18 catches for 244 yards and a touchdown in his two other games), his potential still remains sky high with Carr and Gruden.
  • Taywan Taylor, WR, Tennessee Titans ($5,000) One of my favorite waiver wire pickups this weekTaywan Taylor appears to have separated himself as the WR2 in the Tennessee Titans offense. OHHHHH what a coveted spot! Well, Marcus Mariota completed 30/43 passes (69.8%) for 344 yards and 2 touchdowns Week 4, looking like the superstar field general we all predicted would show up last season. Taylor caught 7 of 9 passes for 77 yards, and looks to be the perfect compliment in Matt LeFleur‘s offensive scheme. As the targets come, the YAC and scoring will starting flowing. I love Taylor and his upside.

Tight End

  • Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons ($5,000) – Well, we spent like a housewife on Black Friday above, so now it is time to get reallllllllll cheap. The Steelers have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year, so Austin Hooper and his big frame have a chance to dominate an undermanned Steeler coverage crew in the red zone.

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  • Vance McDonald, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,600) – What is FanDuel THINKING with this price!?! As mentioned, this game is going to be an absolute track meet featuring two of the most prolific offenses and inept defenses. In Week 4, Vance McDonald out-snapped Jesse James 39 to 27, and out-played him after putting up a 5-62 week (as opposed to James’ 1-23 week). As the unquestioned TE1 on a rolling Pittsburgh offense, McDonald looks to be one of the biggest FanDuel robberies Week 5.


  • Tennessee Titans DST ($3,900) – The Buffalo Bills enter Week 5 with the lowest implied team total of the week at just 18 points. And rightfully so. In Week 4’s visit to Lambeau Field, the Bills mustered just 11 first down and 145 yards of total offense (a mere 2.6 YPP), while allowing 7 sacks and turning the ball over 3 times (good for 23 FanDuel defensive points for the Green Bay Packers DST). The Tennessee Titans DST gets the dream matchup with this brutal offense, and profile as not just the best streaming defense this week, but one of the best overall defenses after recording at least 3 sacks in each of their past three games, and averaging 9 FanDuel points per game.
  • San Fransisco 49ers DST ($3,800) – The team with the second lowest implied team total (the Arizona Cardinals) travels to San Fransisco to take on an injury ravaged 49er squad. The San Fransisco 49ers DST pick is more about saving money and playing the numbers as the Cardinals “showcase” the worst offensive team stats across the board in the NFL.

And that’s a wrap for Fanduel Week 5 analysis. Remember to always look at the matchups and Vegas totals, which are always telling, and do not be afraid to admit they know more than you, because they usually do. Until next time, good luck and don’t forget to tip me 10% of your earnings. Thanks in advance.

To contact me with any questions or general fantasy football discussion, please email me at redsocker45@gmail.com or tweet me @AJGamballer.


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