Yahoo DFS Football: Week 5 Picks

Yahoo DFS Football: Week 5 Picks

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Football series.

The Week 5 NFL main slate begins Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EDT and features 12 games. Bye weeks still have not begun, but the Jets-Falcons game from London at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday will be the fourth game that falls outside the main slate, along with Rams-Seahawks kicking off the action Thursday, Bills-Chiefs (Sunday night) and Colts-Ravens (Monday night). The Sunday night game (over/under: 56.5) and Thursday night game (over/under: 53) are projected to be the week's two highest-scoring matchups, so expect to see an emphasis on players from those games in full-week contests. Injuries at the quarterback position have created some meaningful fantasy opportunities on both sides of the ball in Week 5, while a pair of top-five draft picks from recent years at running back should showcase their skills, and one of the league's top wide receivers is primed to feast in a favorable matchup.


QB: Trey Lance, SF at ARI ($23): Lance could be thrust into a starting role earlier than expected by Jimmy Garoppolo's calf injury. The third overall pick in the 2021 draft played the entire second half in last week's loss to Seattle, throwing for 157 yards and two touchdowns to go with 41 yards on the ground. Two halves of such production would make Lance a tremendous value, and his rushing prowess coupled with the after-the-catch abilities of top targets Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, not to mention the offensive wizardry of coach Kyle Shanahan, have Lance in position to find fantasy success, even against the league's last remaining undefeated team.

RB: Damien Williams, CHI at LV ($18): Williams was excellent after David Montgomery exited last week's win over Detroit with a knee injury, racking up 70 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and two targets. Chicago's old-school emphasis on its defense and running game should lead to Williams seeing all the work he can handle for the duration of Montgomery's multi-week absence, as rookie sixth-round pick Khalil Herbert is the only alternative in the Bears backfield. Against a Raiders defense that's tied for the second-most scrimmage touchdowns allowed to running backs (six), Williams should easily outperform his valuation.

WR: Diontae Johnson, PIT vs. DEN ($20): Ben Roethlisberger should probably follow in the footsteps of fellow 2004 NFL draft class quarterbacks Eli Manning and Philip Rivers and hang up his cleats soon, as his underwhelming 4:4 TD:INT might even downplay Big Ben's abysmal performance so far this season. That being said, the one man who hasn't been dragged down by Roethlisberger's struggles is Johnson, who has established himself as Pittsburgh's clear No. 1 receiver over Chase Claypool and the ghost of JuJu Smith-Schuster. Johnson missed Week 3 with a knee injury but has garnered double-digit targets in each of the other three games, totaling 23 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns on 35 targets. His massive volume should translate to success against a Broncos secondary that could be without promising young cornerback Patrick Surtain, even in what should be a low-scoring game overall.

Other Against-the-Grainers

QB: Patrick Mahomes (KC, $37), Ryan Tannehill (TEN, $29), Jalen Hurts (PHI, $28)

RB: Najee Harris (PIT, $21), Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL, $18), Samaje Perine (CIN, $16)

WR: Terry McLaurin (WAS, $22), Ja'Marr Chase (CIN, $20), DeVonta Smith (PHI, $16)

TE: Mike Gesicki (MIA, $16), Blake Jarwin (DAL, $12)

DST: Green Bay Packers (at CIN, $11), Los Angeles Chargers (vs. CLE, $14)



Kyler Murray, ARI vs. SF ($41): If you don't want to roll the dice on the affordable Lance, then it makes sense to pay up for the other dual-threat quarterback in what's expected to be the main slate's highest-scoring game (over/under: 52.5 points). Murray had a three-game rushing touchdown streak snapped by the Rams last week but still tossed a pair of scores to bring his passing TD total to nine, and hes averaging 28.0 fantasy points per game through four weeks while leading Arizona's offense to a league-best 35.0 points per game. With injuries hobbling San Francisco's secondary, the 49ers have allowed a 7:1 TD:INT through the air to go with 122 rushing yards (fifth most) and two touchdowns (second most) to opposing quarterbacks. Considering that last season only Murray's own Cardinals (453) allowed more rushing yards to quarterbacks than San Francisco's 446, mobile signal-callers have consistently picked this defense apart, and Murray's been the cream of the crop league-wide under center so far.


Saquon Barkley, NYG at DAL ($23): Prior to tearing his ACL early last season, Barkley was universally regarded as a top-five running back. He reminded us of his abilities last week with 126 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns on 18 touches in an upset win at New Orleans, yet Barkley's still valued outside the top 10 options at his position heading into a matchup with a Dallas defense that's allowing 396.3 scrimmage yards per game — seventh most in the league. If last week's performance was an indication of a return to his pre-injury form, then Barkley won't be available in this salary range much longer. Even if he's still not back to where he was, Barkley's three-down role makes him an appealing play in what should be a high-scoring clash of NFC East rivals.

Leonard Fournette, TB vs. MIA ($18): Fournette had a touchdown vultured by Ronald Jones last week, but there's no question that the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft is the top option in Tampa Bay's backfield. After racking up 138 scrimmage yards on 23 touches in the Week 4 win over New England, Fournette has now out-rushed Jones 183-77 this season, and he's been an underrated contributor in the passing game with at least three receptions in every game (compared to Jones' season total of one catch). Fournette's role should lead to success against a Dolphins defense that's allowed the third-most scrimmage yards (669) and second-most touchdowns (six) to running backs, especially if Giovani Bernard's absence extends another week.


DJ Moore, CAR at PHI ($20): Moore was already getting No. 1 wide receiver volume before Christian McCaffrey went down with a hamstring injury, and he saw his usage climb even further in McCaffrey's absence last week. In addition to lining up in his customary spot on the outside, Moore also flexed into the backfield — notably doing so in the red zone — as the team's most trusted option to replace some of McCaffrey's contributions on designed check downs. Moore ended up torching Dallas' defense for 113 yards and two touchdowns, notching his third consecutive eight-catch effort and topping 100 yards for the second straight week. An Eagles defense that just allowed 186 yards and three touchdowns to Kansas City's No. 1 wide receiver Tyreek Hill is unlikely to slow down Moore's momentum.

Justin Jefferson, MIN vs. DET ($32): Jefferson has quietly racked up 26 catches for 338 yards and three touchdowns already, and he brings a three-game touchdown streak into this juicy home matchup with a Lions defense that's allowing 29.8 points per game — fourth most in the league and second most on the main slate. Teammate Dalvin Cook will likely be a popular pick as well, but the star Vikings running back has been slowed by an ankle injury recently, while Jefferson's healthy and firing on all cylinders. The second-year wideout could wind up working as the focal point of Minnesota's offense here but has the skills to thrive even if that's not the case.

Laviska Shenault, JAX vs. TEN ($18): Is it a coincidence that Shenault's first triple-digit scrimmage yard performance last Thursday came in the same game that DJ Chark exited early with a season-ending ankle injury? Probably not, as Jacksonville's 2020 second-round pick now finds himself as a clear top-two option in the team's passing game alongside Marvin Jones ($20). Both are solid choices after having had three extra days to prepare for a visit from a Titans secondary that's been the most vulnerable in the league against wide receivers, allowing the most yards (944) and touchdowns (eight) to the position.


Hunter Henry, NE vs. HOU ($16): Henry probably won't carry your team, but he's a high-floor play at tight end against a Houston defense that has allowed the fourth-most catches (26) and yards (267), as well as the second-most touchdowns (three), to the position. Jonnu Smith's presence caps Henry's ceiling, but the former Charger has nine catches to Smith's four over the past two games. Henry also found the end zone for the first time in a Patriots uniform last week, as did Smith, and Henry's in good company as one of just three tight ends to top 30 yards in all four games this season, alongside Darren Waller and Kyle Pitts.


Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT vs. DEN ($16): Patriots-Texans is unsurprisingly tied for this slate's lowest over/under (41.5 points), and the Patriots defense ($16) is consequently also a strong play against a Texans team coming off a historically inept performance, but Broncos-Steelers is right there as well with an over/under of 41.5. With Roethlisberger no longer capable of carrying the team with his arm, it will be up to the stout Pittsburgh defense to lead the team to victory at home against a Broncos offense that will likely turn to Drew Lock under center with Teddy Bridgewater in concussion protocol. The Steelers' defense almost carried the team to a win in a much tougher matchup against the Packers last week but had a crucial would-be blocked field goal touchdown wiped out by a phantom offsides call. Look for this unit to dominate against Lock, who had 113 yards and an interception on 21 pass attempts last week, giving him a pedestrian career TD:INT of 23:19 over 19 games.

Honorable Mentions

QB: Daniel Jones (NYG, $25), Sam Darnold (CAR, $29), Kirk Cousins (MIN, $34)

RB: Damien Harris (NE, $19), D'Andre Swift (DET, $22), Darrell Henderson (LAR, $23)

WR: Davante Adams (GB, $33), Deebo Samuel (SF, $24), DeVante Parker (MIA, $17)

TE: Darren Waller (LV, $23), Dawson Knox (BUF, $19)

DST: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. MIA, $18), Denver Broncos (at PIT, $19)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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