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Fantasy football and betting primer for Week 5

Your one-stop shop for NFL fantasy football, DFS and betting advice for Week 5.

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) runs the ball as running back Andy Janovich (31) blocks for him against the Washington Football Team during the fourth quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Browns won 34-20.  Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Week 5 of the fantasy football season. There are quite a few injuries to navigate this week, so we’ll need to take a look at the most impactful when setting our lineups. Then I’ll give you my favorite DK individual plays at each position. And I’ll wrap it all up with my favorite wagers for this Sunday.

I’m not going to go into detail about the Covid-19 troubles other than to say, play it safe where you can and keep a close eye on the news.

I’ll also be answering start/sit questions in our War Room starting two hours before early game kickoffs. Do give a click if you’re reading this between 11 am - 1pm EST Sunday morningish.

Fantasy Relevant Injuries/Moves


Jimmy Garoppolo will start for the 49ers in Miami on Sunday. He will be an upgrade for the offense overall and in a good matchup.

Drew Lock has been limited at practice, but does have a real chance to play on Monday. The game getting moved due to Covid-19, may help him get ready for the start as well. He should be an upgrade over Brett Rypien if he can go.

Kyle Allen will get the start over Dwayne Haskins. He likely won’t be a big upgrade, but his knowledge of the offense could make them a little more efficient. We’ll have to wait and see.

Sam Darnold is out and Joe Flacco will take over against Arizona. Expect check downs.

Cam Newton could play Monday night, but his status is still up in the air. Unless you are stuck starting Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer, go with a safer option.

Running Back

Cam Akers appears like he’ll be a full go after getting full practices in this week. His return gives the Rams a crowded backfield with Darrell Henderson as the upside play, but will have a low floor.

Raheem Mostert has been getting in limited practices this week, trending toward playing. If he does, Jeff WIlson loses all fantasy appeal, but Jerick McKinnon is still a worthy flex play while Mostert should be back in your lineups.

Austin Ekeler is out with a sever hamstring injury, giving Joshua Kelley the start while Justin Jackson will be his backup, but also see a decent workload in a tough matchup with the Saints run defense.

Zack Moss continues to get in limited practices, but has yet to return for a game. This game, if it plays, has been moved to Tuesday, so there’s probably a real chance he returns with the extra time and hurts Devin Singletary’s fantasy upside.

Le’Veon Bell appears to be close to returning this week against the Cardinals if they play. The hope for Bell remains as a receiver. He should have a little flex appeal in PPR leagues, but his upside in this Jets offense remains low. UPDATE: Bell will play on Sunday

Phillip Lindsay will return against the Patriots this week. His presence will hurt Melvin Gordon’s touches.

Wide Receiver

Terry McLaurin has been limited this week, but isn’t on the final injury report and will play. He played through his thigh injury last week and put up good numbers in a tough matchup.

Julio Jones will test his hamstring on Friday. After reaggravating the injury in the game last week, the team should be cautious with him this week. If he can’t go, Olamide Zaccheaus would see a good bump in work. UPDATE: Jones didn’t practice all week. Even if he ends up dressing for this game, I won’t play him.

Michael Thomas has been limited this week, but is getting closer to a return. We’ll need to hear more about his Friday work as he gets ready for a Monday night matchup with the Chargers.

Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are both out against the Steelers. In the end, this is likely a bigger bump for the Steelers D/ST than any individual players. Zach Ertz should see a lot of targets, but we thought the same last week when he went for nine yards.

Diontae Johnson practiced fully on Thursday and appears ready to return after his concussion. He’s a must start as the target leader on the team.

Henry Ruggs will return this week after practicing in full on Thursday. He hasn’t been a useful fantasy player yet, but the potential is there.

Mike Williams is trending toward not playing again with his hamstring injury. If he can’t go, Jalen Guyton would see a boost, but Keenan Allen would also have a stronger fantasy floor.

A.J. Brown should be able to return if the Titans game is played on Tuesday, while Corey Davis and Adam Humphries are likely out with Covid-19. Brown would be in line for a bunch of targets.

Tight Ends

Jared Cook returned to practice on Thursday and was limited. He has a chance to return Monday night against the Chargers.

Jordan Akins is still in the concussion protocol but was able to participate in practice and appears close to being cleared to play against the Jaguars. UPDATE: Akins is questionable, but did clear concussion protocol and is likely to play. He has some streaming upside this week if you are hurting at tight end.

Noah Fant is unlikely to play against the Patriots with his ankle injury. Jake Butt would likely get the start behind him. UPDATE: Noah Fant is OUT.

Favorite DK plays


Teddy Bridgewater, $5,900 — The Panthers face the Falcons poor pass defense, giving Bridgewater good upside at a fair price on DraftKings. This game has a possibility of being a high-scoring affair, pushing both teams close to their fantasy upside.

Dak Prescott, $7,400 — Prescott probably won’t be forced to throw as much as he has been, but the Cowboys defense has been bad enough that maybe even Daniel Jones can put some points on the board. The good news is that the Giants pass defense is their weakness and the Cowboys have three great wide receivers and Prescott is prone to rushing touchdowns.


Kareem Hunt, $6,500 — Hunt has played extremely well this season, with five touchdowns and 17.4 DK pints per game. Now he gets the lead role with Nick Chubb out. The Colts are a tough defense, but they will be short-handed at linebacker this week while the Browns rushing offense has been elite.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, $6,800 —Edwards-Helaire hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1, but he’s getting a lot of touches, as he ranks fifth in touches per game for running backs with 21.3 per game. This week he gets a Raiders defense that gave up 210 rushing yards to Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and J.J. Taylor, while Alvin Kamara put up 174 total yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs should get a lead in this one and give Edwards-Helaire his 20 touches with a chance for big numbers.

Antonio Gibson, $5,000 — Gibson isn’t a locked in cash play, but I like this matchup and expect Kyle Allen to look to target the running back more often. The Rams rank 28th in DVOA against the run so far this season and Gibson’s touches have gone 11, 14, 12, 17 to start the season. If that number can stick up near 17, he’ll be a safe play moving forward.


DeVante Parker, $5,900 — The 49ers aren’t a defense to target all that often, but injuries continue to deplete their forces. New additions to their injury report include CB K’Waun Williams, CB Emmanuel Moseley, and CB Ahkello Witherspoon, as well as Ziggy Ansah and a long list of defensive studs on I.R. They’ve managed to play well despite those losses, but Parker should be able to take advantage of their depleted secondary and pass rush.

CeeDee Lamb, $6,000 — Lamb broke out with two touchdowns in Week 4 and is set up well this week, as James Bradberry will likely spend a lot of time on Amari Cooper and has been playing great. Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz may also capitalize on that coverage, but Lamb has show a little more consistency and upside.

Diontae Johnson, $5,600 — Johnson was knocked out of the Steelers last game with a concussion, but got extra time to heal due to the Titans Covid-19 outbreak. Before his injury, Johnson had 23 targets through two games and had caught 14 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. As long as he returns to that kind of target share, he should have no problem bringing back value this week against the Eagles.

Olamide Zaccheaus, $3,000 Zaccheaus’ price didn’t rise after he caught 8-of-9 targets for 86 yards due to the game being played Monday night. That leaves us with a bottom of the barrel priced receiver, who has caught 12-of-15 targets for 127 yards in his last two games. Injuries to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley have helped boost his workload and that could continue this week, as Jones doesn’t look like he’ll be healthy against the Panthers who rank 25th in pass defense DVOA.


Evan Engram, $4,600 — Engram hasn’t done squat this season, but also is fourth in tight end targets per game. Sterling Shepherd remains out and Saquon Barkley is done for the season, so the targets should continue. And against the Cowboys, there’s a good chance he makes good on those targets. Dallas is pushing the pace and have also allowed Hayden Hurst, Jacob Hollister and Austin Hooper all to catch touchdowns against them.

Eric Ebron, $4,000 — There’s a good chance I end up paying up for George Kittle or Travis Kelce this week, but the Eagles defense has been so poor against tight ends, that I want some exposure to Ebron. In their last game against Houston, Ebron caught 5-of-7 targets for 52 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles just gave up a monster game to George Kittle, but also allowed three touchdowns to Tyler Higbee and a touchdown to Logan Thomas.


Los Angeles Rams, $4,000 — Kyle Allen will get the start behind one of the worst lines in the league. Aaron Donald will be a problem for the not-very-good quarterback.

Favorite wagers

Last week I managed another 2-2 record against the spread, moving me up to 8-4 on the season. I once again learned to never bet on the Cowboys, but this is another week!

This week I’m going to throw some prop bets in here, as I am not all that keen on many of these game lines.

Chiefs (-11) vs. Raiders — The Raiders have been pummeled by the Chiefs in their last three games in Kansas City and all signs point toward that continuing this week. The Raiders defensive line ranks 30th in adjusted sack rate while the Chiefs offensive line is first in allowing adjusted sack rate. The Raiders are also 30th against the pass and 30th against the run in DVOA. This game is a mismatch of grand proportions.

Antonio Gibson OVER 18.5 receiving yards (-112)

Gibson should have a little better time getting targets with Kyle Allen under center and there’s little doubt that he has the ability to turn any target into a long gain, as we saw last week.

Mike Davis OVER 37.5 receiving yards (-112)

Davis has played in three games and topped this number twice. He also has 8, 8, and 5 receptions in those three games. The Falcons have given up receiving lines of 6-45 to Chris Carson, 6-33 to Ezekiel Elliott, 5-40 to Aaron Jones and 8-95 to Jamaal Williams. If Davis sees his normal target numbers, he will be in line for the over.

Amari Cooper UNDER 75.5 receiving yards (-112)

Cooper has topped this number every game he’s played this season, but this week he faces James Bradberry, who has limited Allen Robinson to 33 yards and Robert Woods to 36. Cooper will see targets, but Dak Prescott will also have CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup to throw to, which could prove much more fruitful.

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