Week 5 of the fantasy football season is upon us, which means another week with a fresh start for daily fantasy football players.
Daily fantasy football uses a salary cap system for picking teams for its most popular games, and that means looking for the best values will help you win every week. Saving in some areas while spending big in other areas will lead to the best team which scores the most points.
This week, we’ll be taking a look at players and citing their values on DraftKings (where you can get a bonus on your first deposit just for clicking that link!), DraftStreet, and FanDuel. If you’re curious about rules, scoring systems, and other available games, be sure to check them out.
So who are the best players to play this week? Which have the best prices for their potential scoring performances? Which players are overpriced, and worth avoiding completely? Check out my picks, and leave yours in the comment section below.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Tennessee Titans ($7,743 on DraftStreet)
If you play on DraftStreet, and you want to spend big at other positions, you have to take a risk at quarterback. No site has quite the range of prices at QB like DraftStreet, which is why Fitzpatrick is even remotely playable this week.
For around one-third of the price of Peyton Manning, you can get a starting quarterback going against a very tough defense. But even with a bad matchup against Kansas City, any performance on such a low dollar figure will help your team succeed. And if the Chiefs jump out to an early lead, Fitzpatrick can mop up serious profit for you in garbage time. Fitzpatrick is probably the best backup quarterback in the NFL, so it’s not a stretch to expect him to have a decent game filling in for Jake Locker, even against tough opposition.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans ($11,052 on DraftStreet)
Don’t allow what you think of the San Francisco defense to distract from the reality of how they’ve played this season. Especially with Arian Foster available at reasonable prices against them this weekend.
They’ve already allowed a pair of very nice rushing performances this season, and Foster and the Texans are ready to do it to them again. Arian Foster is not going to be cheap all season long, so take advantage while you can. Some sites will factor in perceived strength of opponent when determining price, and that benefits you when you select Foster on any site where he’s priced lower than players like Marshawn Lynch and LeSean McCoy.
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals ($4,531 on DraftStreet)
Yes, Gresham is splitting time with Tyler Eifert at tight end. It’s not an ideal situation. But with bye weeks already in full effect, any tight end who might catch four or five passes should be considered for starting in fantasy.
And when the price is this low, you have to roll with a guy going up against a team (New England) who allowed a huge game to a tight end just a week ago. Yes, that tight end was Tony Gonzalez, but it proves that there is a vulnerable spot in the New England defense that the Bengals could exploit with Gresham.
Worth the Price
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles ($8,800 on FanDuel)
The New York Giants have been nothing short of a disaster this season, and that’s great news for Michael Vick. The Eagles will have no issues scoring against the Giants, and the Giants might keep the game competitive, meaning Vick will be airing it out all day.
Other than Peyton Manning, who is significantly more expensive, there aren’t many locks for success among the top quarterbacks this week. Vick is the exception. He’s going to do well, and the price is right. You should start him if you’re “spending big” at QB.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks ($8,600 on FanDuel)
The Seahawks take on the Colts this weekend, who have a better defense than advertised. But that doesn’t mean Marshawn Lynch won’t be able to go Beast Mode against them.
With no Adrian Peterson or Doug Martin this week, there aren’t many good options at the top of the pile among running backs. Lynch is consistent, and he’s the focal point of a run-first offense, so he’s really the best “expensive” back in Week 5.
Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos ($7,800 on FanDuel)
Something is broken in daily fantasy football. Wes Welker is priced as a second-tier wide receiver, despite being one of the highest scorers and most consistent performers at the position. So before the people running these games figure that out, you should really start Welker every single week.
This week is absolutely no exception, as the Broncos take on the Cowboys. Monte Kiffin is the king of Cover 2 defense, which only further benefits a shifty possession receiver like Welker. He’s going to find holes in the zone defense and get open for Peyton Manning, who will certainly find him when he’s open.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers ($9,800 on DraftKings)
Rodgers seems like he should be worth the price, but look back at his recent performances against the Detroit Lions.
The Lions have never really been talented at defensive back during Rodgers’ career, so it makes little sense for Rodgers to not dominate his division rivals. But this just isn’t a matchup that suits the Packer QB, and that is enough reason to avoid him in favor of Tom Brady or preferably Michael Vick this week.
Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers ($5,600 on DraftKings)
Smith will line up against Patrick Peterson on Sunday, which is reason enough to look elsewhere at wide receiver. The Panthers’ number one receiver will likely be shadowed by the same corner who silenced Vincent Jackson in Week 4.
Add to that the fact that Greg Olsen and Brandon LaFell will likely be open thanks to a lack of solid coverage options outside of Peterson, and Smith is unlikely to deliver good value on Sunday.
Seattle Defense and Special Teams ($5,000 on DraftKings)
Don’t spend this much on a defense. Please, I’m begging you. Don’t do it.
Especially not when they’re playing the Colts. Yes, Andrew Luck is still young and he might be rattled by the Seahawk defense. But he could also have a career-defining moment and have a great game against the Seattle D. And either way, Indy is unlikely to roll over and die and provide the fantasy point opportunities needed for Seattle to live up to this price tag.