Flying 2018 NFL Season

It’s hard to believe that it’s already Week #5 of the NFL season. We have quite a bit of data now, which makes drafting a daily fantasy football team a lot easier. But, as you’ve already guessed, that data makes finding a good team roster easier for everyone else, too. That’s why my strategy looks at statistics, but also takes the expected value and the matchups that each player will find themselves up against into account. The goal is to draft the best team possible so that you have a chance of taking home the top honors in your DFS football league.

Are you ready to get started with your first look at Week #5? You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to see who to start and who to sit when considering the top selections for each of the major positions.

Week Five Action is Picking Up

Picking the tough ones is what it’s all about. Be on the lookout for some quality players.


Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben is the most expensive of the Sunday QBs this week with a salary of $6,900 at DraftKings. Roethlisberger has thrown 8 TDs so far this season and has a total of 1,414 yards for an average of 353.5 per game. These numbers have helped him to establish the top spot this week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s the best choice in this situation. The Pittsburgh Steelers are taking on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and even though the Falcons have only ranked #25 against the pass so far this season, the potential for return on Roethlisberger is less than what you will find from a couple other QBs this weekend. With an average of 25.7 fantasy points per game, he is a compelling choice, but there are better ones waiting for you.

Matt Ryan: One of those choices is Ryan, the QB that will be facing Pittsburgh. While the Falcons have a weak defense against the pass, the Steelers have an even weaker one, ranking #29 in the NFL. Furthermore, Ryan has averaged 29.2 fantasy points per game so far this season and has 10 TDs. Not only is he performing at a higher level and facing a weaker team, Ryan is cheaper at $6,600. The drawback to Ryan? He’s playing on the road. He has a much lower average while playing in an away setting. However, we only have one game of data from the road so far this season. That’s not enough to discount Ryan here.

Blake Bortles: Bortles is in a unique position this week. With an average of just 22.0 fantasy points per game, Bortles normally wouldn’t be a top consideration here. But the Jaguars are taking on the Kansas City Chiefs, who are ranked #27 in the NFL against the pass. Bortles has only averaged 273 yards per game, but I expect to see him outperform that number on Sunday. The best thing about Bortles is his value. He comes with a price tag of $5,500, which makes him significantly cheaper than other QBs. While he isn’t expected to perform quite as well as Ryan, he is so much cheaper that it allows you to look for big wins within other parts of your roster.

QB Start: Ryan, Bortles

QB Sit: Roethlisberger

Running Back

Matt Breida: One of those big wins could be Breida. The San Francisco 49ers have struggled to pass the ball well this year, and Breida has benefitted because of that. The 49ers are playing the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, who are struggling even more than they are. This presents a good opportunity for Breida to see more carries and put up numbers even better than what his 78.3 yards per game suggests that he’s capable of. He does have 1 TD so far this year, and there’s a good chance that we could see him add to this, too. At $5,700, he’s not the most expensive RB out there, but he does have the weakest competition and the largest ceiling.

David Johnson: Johnson is the most expensive RB this weekend at DraftKings with a salary of $6,300. He has averaged 46.8 yards per game and has already scored 3 TDs. He’s in a good position to have a good game, but there are a number of problems with Johnson. For one, the Cardinals are really struggling to put points up. That means that they are relying on Johnson a lot, and a decent defense is going to recognize that and give him some extra coverage. As Johnson and the Cardinals face San Francisco, we don’t expect the #24 ranked 49ers to be the best team in the NFL against Johnson, but they also are likely to try and put a stop to him as it’s their only shot of winning this game.

RB Start: Breida

RB Sit: Johnson

Wide Receiver

Antonio Brown: Brown is the most expensive player in all of DFS football this weekend with a salary of $9,100. The Steelers have an edge against the Atlanta Falcons, but as I mentioned when talking about Roethlisberger, that edge is not going to shine through with the passing game. Brown is averaging just 68.0 yards per game with 3 TD, which seems a bit high. However, even with those decent numbers, his fantasy point total per game is currently fairly low at 18.6. Although a strong receiver, Brown is not in the best of positions right here. He might perform right at his average, but there’s little chance that he will out perform these numbers.

Julio Jones: That’s why Jones is the better pick this weekend than Brown. He’s a little cheaper at $8,500 and has a slightly higher point ceiling here thanks to the fact that the Steelers’ defense is struggling against the pass. He is averaging 125.5 yards per game but has 0 TDs, which will change over time. However, even without a TD, Jones has a higher fantasy point total per game than Brown does with his 21.6. Jones has a distinct advantage going into this game and will benefit your roster far more than anyone else.

WR Start: Jones

WR Sit: Brown