Get ready for more fantasy football goodness! DraftKings has a 12-game NFL slate for the featured contests in Week 5. As always, you’ll want to pay close attention to the news leading up to game day in case a game is rescheduled, but there are a dozen games currently set for Sunday afternoon, as the Packers and Lions get the week off as part of the NFL’s first regularly-scheduled bye week. Some of the matchups that are most intriguing include the 3-1 Colts visiting the 3-1 Browns, the Eagles visiting their in-state rivals in Pittsburgh, and the Cowboys and Giants meeting in an NFC East matchup that should have plenty of points.
As you get your DraftKings team together for Week 5, make sure to take a look at these affordable plays that come loaded with upside. Each week, I dive into the bargain bin and give you my favorite cheap plays based on recent form, matchup and expected opportunity. Here are the plays I like the most this Sunday.
($6,000 and under)
Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons, $5,900 – Bridgewater has led the Panthers to back-to-back wins to level their record at 2-2. Both of those wins are even more impressive since they have come without Christian McCaffrey (ankle), meaning more of the workload has fallen on Bridgewater. He has been sharp with his completion percentage and averaged over 285 passing yards per game. He has only thrown four touchdowns, though, which has limited his fantasy production. He will be coming off his best game of the season, posting an impressive 27.24 DKFP against Arizona in Week 4. He threw two touchdowns to go with 276 passing yards and also ran for a third score in the victory.
In Week 5, Bridgewater and the Panthers will roll into Atlanta to take on the Falcons, who will be on a short week after losing to the Packers on Monday Night Football to fall to 0-4. Atlanta’s defense has been their biggest issue, allowing 341.5 passing yards per game and 13 passing touchdowns in their four games. They have also let opposing QBs rush for three touchdowns and have surrendered 34.5 points per game.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs, $5,300 – Carr has been very accurate this season, completing over 72 percent of his passes in every one of his four games. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in three straight games and produced over 17 DKFP in each of those three contests. Carr ended up with 311 yards and two touchdowns for 24.44 DKFP in Week 4’s loss to the Bills, who have an excellent secondary. Carr had to attempt 44 throws to get to that total, but he has thrown at least 30 passes in every game this season, so the potential for volume is definitely there, especially in this matchup.
The Chiefs have started the season 4-0 as they host Carr and the Raiders, who they have beaten nine of the past 10 times the division rivals have met. Kansas City’s defense has been solid to this point of the season, but they do typically play from far enough ahead that opposing QBs have to air it out in an attempt to keep up. Despite a lack of depth in his receiving corps, Carr should be able to find success Sunday even if much of it comes in garbage time.
Other Options: Philip Rivers ($5,800), Daniel Jones ($5,400)
($5,000 and under)
Devonta Freeman, New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, $4,600 – Freeman is working his way into the Giants’ offense and led the team with 11 carries in Week 4 against the Rams. He only managed 33 yards on the ground but did save his fantasy day by catching 4-of-4 targets for 35 yards to total 10.8 DKFP. He played 54% of the Giants’ offensive snaps after logging just 29% the previous week. He should continue to grow in familiarity with the offense and step into a larger role moving forward. His involvement in the passing game is especially encouraging since PPR production lowers his risk of totally busting.
The Giants and Freeman have a great matchup this week against the Cowboys, who just gave up 307 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns to the Browns after losing Nick Chubb (knee) in the middle of the game. No team in the NFL has give up more points than the Cowboys, and they have allowed running backs to score four times in four weeks. Freeman will still likely be in a timeshare, but he’s trending the right direction heading into this favorable matchup.
Damien Harris, New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos, $4,300 – Throughout training camp, the buzz was that Harris was carving out a significant role in the Patriots’ backfield, but the second-year back out of Alabama landed on IR to start the season with a hand injury. He returned Week 4 against the Chiefs while fellow-RB Sony Michel (calf) went on IR, leaving Harris some room to earn his way into the always-shifting Patriots’ backfield rotation.
Harris looked very strong in his debut, taking 17 carries for exactly 100 yards against the Chiefs, highlighted by a nice 41-yard run in the third quarter. His 17 carries were the most by any Patriots RB this season, although he did play behind both James White ($4,900) and Rex Burkhead ($5,000) in the passing game. With Michel out again for this matchup with the Broncos, Harris should again be the primary runner, especially after his strong season debut. While it’s always tough to predict how Bill Belichick will rotate his backfield, I think Harris will get enough work in this game, which the Patriots should play from ahead. At this salary, he doesn’t have to play every snap to be a great value.
Other Options: D’Ernest Johnson ($4,700), Duke Johnson ($4,100)
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($5,000 and under)
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens, $4,900 – Higgins continues to grow into a larger role with the Bengals, who took the former Clemson Tiger with the first pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Higgins wasn’t targeted in Week 1 but has played over 50% of the team’s offensive snaps in each game since then and contributed increasing production each week. In Week 4, he had 77 yards on four catches and added a 13-yard rush to finish with 13.0 DKFP.
The Bengals are finding creative ways to get the rookie involved in the offense and should continue to do so this week against the Ravens. It’s a tough matchup for the Bengals, but Higgins still has enough upside to consider. Even with his 77 yards last week, there was the potential for much more, and he seems to be growing and progressing nicely.
Laviska Shenault Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans, $4,500 – Another dynamic rookie that is getting more involved in his team’s offense is Shenault, who the Jaguars took nine picks after Higgins. Shenault is also coming off a career-high 86 yards against the Bengals in Week 4 on his way to 14.1 DKFP. He has posted double-digit DKFP in three of his four games in the NFL and has also taken at least one carry in every game as well. Like Higgins, Shenault has enough play-making ability that his offensive coordinator is finding creative ways to get the ball into his hands, and that fact gives him both a higher floor and a higher ceiling.
Shenault and the Jags get a good matchup against the winless Texans this week. Houston’s secondary gave up 100-yard games to both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson last week in their loss to the Vikings, so it should be a good matchup for Jacksonville. Even with DJ Chark ($6,500) back from injury, Shenault stayed involved last week and seems to be solidifying himself as the team’s second WR. He’s a little cheaper than Higgins and has been more consistently involved.
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $4,100 – If you’re looking for a home run threat at a bargain basement price, check out Claypool. He has quickly become a big-play threat for the Steelers, who will be coming off a bye as they take on the Eagles.
Claypool had just one 24-yard catch against the Texans in Week 3 but was targeted on multiple deep shots from Ben Roethlisberger ($6,600) to stretch the field. He almost scored a touchdown on that one catch and did convert a critical third down. In Week 2, Claypool and Big Ben connected on those deep shots as the rookie caught 3-of-3 targets for 88 yards, a touchdown and 17.8 DKFP. With the Eagles dealing with multiple injuries, Claypool has the potential to get loose for big plays again this Sunday.
Olamide Zaccheaus, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers, $3,000 – The Falcons have had no trouble passing the ball, but their defense has let them down so far this season. While most of the Falcons’ pass-catchers are very expensive, Zaccheaus is an extremely affordable way to get a piece of the action. He hauled in 4-of-6 targets in Week 3 for 41 yards while filling in for an injured Russell Gage ($5,100) and playing 79% of offensive snaps. In Week 4, he was the second-most targeted Falcon while stepping in for Julio Jones ($6,800; hamstring), who had to leave at halftime. Zaccheaus finished with eight catches for 86 yards while playing 76% of offensive snaps to lead all WRs.
Jones was already dealing with a hamstring issue before the game and seemed to aggravate it in the second quarter. If Jones out or limited this week, Zaccheaus could be in for a sizable workload once again. He seems to have gained the trust of Matt Ryan ($6,100) and brings lots of upside as a punt play at the minimum salary this week, especially if there’s a clear path to playing time due to injury.
Other Options: Darius Slayton ($4,800), N’Keal Harry ($4,300), Isaiah Ford ($3,500)
($4,000 and under)
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles, $4,000 – Ebron is another Steelers’ pass-catcher who could take advantage of the good matchup against the Eagles. He started the season slow, but his role has grown in each game. In his most recent game, he caught 5-of-7 passes for 52 yards and a touchdown to finish with 16.2 DKFP in Week 3 against the Texans. He was second on the team in targets and almost had another touchdown on a good red zone look.
The Eagles have given up the third-most DKFP to opposing TEs in the NFL and are coming off surrendering a huge game to George Kittle ($6,600) and the 49ers. Even though Ebron isn’t on Kittle’s level, he should be able to find space to operate and put together a good week coming off Pittsburgh’s impromptu bye week.
Dan Arnold, Arizona Cardinals vs. New York Jets $3,200 – Arnold had a season-high four catches last week against the Cardinals for a season-high 39 yards and 7.9 DKFP. He is clearly Arizona’s top TE with Maxx Williams (ankle) on IR and not expected to return until around Week 8.
Arnold was considered a deep sleeper coming into the season and should have a chance to step up against the Jets. The Cardinals’ passing game is still very much a work in progress, and Kyler Murray ($7,200) could start leaning more heavily on Arnold, who has had multiple catches in three of four games this season.
Other Options: Darren Fells ($3,300), Nick Vannett ($3,000)
($2,800 and under)
Browns DST, Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts, $2,700 – The Browns have been a takeaway factory the past two weeks with four interceptions and four fumble recoveries against Washington and Dallas. They have also been able to post multiple sacks in every one of their games this season. They started slow with 0.0 DKFP against the Ravens in Week 1 but have put together at least 4.0 DKFP in each of their three games since. While the Colts have been good at taking care of the football so far this season, they have been held to 19 and 20 points in their two road games. If the Browns’ defense can continue that trend and limit Indy’s scoring, they should be a nice value play again this week.
WAS Football Team DST, Washington Football Team vs. Los Angeles Rams, $2,600 – Coach Ron Rivera made a QB change this week since he thinks the rest of his team has been playing well enough to have a better record than Washington’s 1-3 start. The defense has actually been very solid forcing six turnovers and piling up 14 sacks in four games. They started the season with an impressive 15.0 DKFP against the Eagles but also had 4.0 DKFP against the Cardinals and the Ravens. If the DST isn’t put in a bad position by turnovers, they have the potential to turn in a solid performance as they take on the Rams, who have five turnovers and six sacks allowed in their four games this season.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.