Week 5 FanDuel Top Shelf & Bargain Bin Plays: Matty Ice Ready To Fly High

Matt Ryan

In week 4, we had a couple monster fantasy performances from some budding superstars. Devonta Freeman‘s breakout continued with another three touchdowns. If you’re counting at home that’s six touchdowns in the last two weeks making him the number one scoring fantasy running back this season. It remains to be seen if his hot streak is a result of two cupcake matchups versus the Cowboys and Texans or a sign of things to come. Freeman was supposed to spell Tevin Coleman, but after his rib injury the second-year player has looked anything like a backup. We also witnessed Todd Gurley burst onto the NFL scene in his second week back versus the Arizona Cardinals. He looked like the second coming of Adrian Peterson and one can only imagine what he’s capable of moving forward.

The Bengals, Broncos, Falcons, Panthers, and Packers all moved their pristine records to 4-0 and are looking really good. Speaking of the Falcons, I would like to start off my Week 5 FanDuel Top Shelf Plays with a dirty bird that is poised for a big week. If you want to fly high this week you’ll want to punch your ticket to the Matty Ice show. He’ll be coming to you live from the Georgia Dome so be sure to join the party.  Good luck everyone this week in your FanDuel tournament and cash games. We won’t let any scandal keep us from playing a game that we love so much.  I salute everyone in the DFS industry and especially all the dedicated players that trust the direction we’re heading, which is up.

Top Shelf Picks

Quarterback

Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons $8300

vs Washington Redskins

It’s no secret that Matt Ryan loves the home cooking of the Georgia Dome. The Atlanta Falcons are red-hot under new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and defensive mastermind Dan Quinn. In the past, the Falcons have relied on a strong passing game to anchor their offense, which has made them one-dimensional. The coaching changes have given Ryan something he hasn’t had in years: a strong running game. The pressure is off Ryan’s shoulders with a high-octane running game featuring an emerging Devonta Freeman. Ryan finally looks comfortable rolling out of the pocket and is just scratching the surface in Shanahan’s offense. The Redskins have been stingy on the ground this year, ranking second in the NFL with only 312 rushing yards allowed and one rushing score. This will be a game that Shanahan will ask Matt Ryan to do more with his arm so expect plenty of pass attempts.

Tom Brady – New England Patriots $8800

at Dallas Cowboys

Bill Belichick and company have had plenty of time to prepare for a walking wounded Cowboys team coming off their bye week. The Cowboys resemble a team of replacements with Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Lance Dunbar all on the shelf. Dunbar is done for the year and that’s huge considering he was Brandon Weeden’s most trusted target since taking over under center. The Cowboys will struggle to move the ball, allowing the Pats to control the clock and rack up points. Tom Brady will have plenty of time in the pocket versus a Cowboys defense that ranks close to the bottom of the league with only six sacks. He will also continue his assault of NFL defenses and this week it will be in Jerry’s house. This game has the highest over/under of the week at 50 points, so get Brady in your FanDuel lineups.

Bargain Bin Plays

Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears $7400

at Kansas City Chiefs

Jay Cutler came back with a vengeance last week versus the Oakland Raiders, throwing for 281 yards and two scores. It was a respectable showing considering he was without the services of his top target monster Alshon Jeffery. Cutty will be another week removed from his hamstring injury thus allowing him to be more mobile in the pocket. He should also get back one of the best receivers in the NFL with the return of Jeffery to the starting lineup. The most enticing thing in Cutler’s favor is the plus matchup. He gets the luxury of facing the Chiefs defense. They’ve been torched by opposing quarterbacks, allowing an NFL-worst eleven passing touchdowns. Cutler has plenty of weapons to help him rack up passing yards and at his current FanDuel salary of $7400, he’s a great bargain. I love him especially in tournament play were his owner percentage will be very low.

James Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers $6400

vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Jameis Winston had a rough day at the office in week 4 versus the Carolina Panthers. Josh Norman had a pick six, which was one of four interceptions thrown by Winston. I’m willing to forget about Winston’s terrible performance last week considering it was the best defense he’s faced all year. The Jags are beat up and without the services of leading tackler Paul Posluszny and their best interior lineman Sen’Derrick Marks. In addition, as a team the Jags only have one interception on the year and it belongs to Paul Posluszny. It’s only a matter of time before Winston and Mike Evans get on the same page and start connecting on a regular basis. My gut says this is the week Winston starts playing like the number one pick and showcases why many scouts called him the best quarterback prospect to come out since Andrew Luck. He’s definitely worth a shot if you want to go contrarian at quarterback this week, and spend the extra money you save at quarterback to beef up the rest of your skill positions.

Top Shelf Picks

Running Back

Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs $9100

vs Chicago Bears

Jamaal Charles is a slam-dunk DFS play in week 5. Things can’t get much better than a juicy matchup at home versus the rebuilding Chicago Bears. The Bears defense has struggled to contain opposing running backs. The Bears have allowed 4.4 yards per carry and just over 40 yards receiving per game to the position. You could easily make the argument that Charles is the best running back the Bears will face and definitely the best pass-catching one. He’s the most expensive running back on FanDuel this week, but for good reason. If you’re paying up at running back this week be sure to get Charles in your lineup.

Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers $9000

at San Diego Chargers

Only Devonta Freeman is averaging more fantasy points per game currently than Le’Veon Bell. Bell has hit the grounding running since returning from suspension. Last week he had a tough divisional matchup on Thursday Night Football versus the Ravens, but that didn’t stop him from balling out. The Ravens had gone 29 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher until Bell rumbled for 129 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Bell proved that without Big Ben, he won’t miss a beat and is capable of carrying the offense with his legs in the meantime. This week the Steelers travel to sunny San Diego to take on the Chargers. The Chargers have been gashed on the ground allowing the fourth most rushing yards (507) and an NFL-worst yards per rush attempt (4.9). The Steelers will lean heavily on Bell until Big Ben returns to the fold so expect Bell to feast on a porous Chargers defense.

Dion Lewis – New England Patriots $6900

at Dallas Cowboys

At this point, you either believe in Dion Lewis or you don’t. The thing with Lewis is you have to put aside Bill Belichick and his bag of tricks and realize he’s earned his role, which isn’t going away anytime soon. Also consider that LeGarrette Blount poses zero threat to Dion Lewis snaps and is a glorified goal line pounder at best. Lewis has been a bargain bin find for the Patriots and is the latest diamond in the rough for his lucky owners. He’s drawn comparisons to Kevin Faulk, and like Faulk did back in the day, he makes defenders miss at an alarming rate. According to Pro Football Focus, Lewis leads the NFL in missed tackles created (20) and has done it in just three games. Lewis currently ranks sixth among active running backs with 15 receptions and, more impressively, has only failed to catch 4 of his 19 targets.

This week Lewis faces a Cowboys defense that will most likely be without stud linebacker Sean Lee, which makes this matchup even more enticing. Lewis has proved that he’s more than just a situational pass-catching running back and can also be trusted to do the heavy lifting on first and second down, along with handling short-yardage situations. I prefer Lewis over more expensive options like Eddie Lacy, Marshawn Lynch, Mark Ingram, Carlos Hyde, and Latavius Murray making him a steal at his current FanDuel salary of $6900.

Bargain Bin Plays

Todd Gurley – St. Louis Rams $6700

at Green Bay Packers

Todd Gurley had his coming out party in week 4, gashing a stout Arizona Cardinals front seven for 146 yards on 19 totes. Gurley averaged 7.7 yards a carry, ripping off gains of 12, 20, 23, 30, and 52 yards in the second half. Gurley is as advertised and the real deal proving why the Rams invested so highly in the 10th overall selection of the NFL draft. He’s been billed as the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson and the sky is the limit this rookie. The Rams travel to Lambeau Field this week to face a Packers defense that shut down Carlos Hyde last Sunday. The Packers are an improved defense but still have allowed the 11th most rushing yards in the NFL, while allowing an eye-popping 4.8 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Gurley will be an excellent contrarian or tournament play since most people will shy away from this matchup given the Packers recent defensive success.

T.J. Weldon – Jacksonville Jaguars $6600

at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

T.J. Yeldon is coming off his first 100-yard rushing performance of his NFL career, totaling 105 yards on 22 carries versus the Colts. Currently, he leads all rookies with 80 touches. As you can see, Yeldon has the look of a workhorse bell cow running back and is getting high-volume carries. The former Alabama star has a juicy matchup this week versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have allowed the third-most rushing yards (547) to opposing running backs. This is a game that Jacksonville can win, meaning Yeldon should be in line for another 20-carry day which he should parlay into another 100-yard rushing performance. I’m all in on Yeldon at his current FanDuel salary of $6600. I also feel strongly that this is the week Yeldon scores his first rushing touchdown.

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Top Shelf Picks

Wide Receiver

Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons $9200

vs Washington Redskins

If you paid up for Julio Jones in week 4 you came away very disappointed with his final stat line of 6/38. The Texans focused on taking Jones out of the game early and made someone else beat them, which in this case was Devonta Freeman and Leonard Hankerson. As I touched on earlier, Kyle Shanahan is finding creative ways to get the ball to Julio Jones and other Falcons receivers. This was the first game of the season Julio failed to register double-digit targets, which I’m chalking up as an outlier. Shanahan knows a thing or two about the Redskins, who will be visiting the Georgia Dome this week. He’s aware that the Skins are a stingy defense on the ground and rank second in the NFL with only 312 yards rushing yards allowed. This game will need to be won through the air for the high-flying Falcons resulting in Jones getting peppered with targets. If you’ve checked the Vegas odds, you’re aware that this game has the third highest over/under of the week at 48 points. All signs point to Julio bouncing back and putting up a monster line, making him the elite wide receiver play available on FanDuel.

Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos $8600

at Oakland Raiders

Demaryius Thomas has historically been a slow starter out of the gate, but he’s due for a monster game. DT has been reliable with at least seven receptions in every game so far, but the touchdowns haven’t been there with only one to date. He’s currently third in the NFL in targets behind DeAndre Hopkins and Julio Jones with 50, so don’t give up on him. Demaryius travels to the Black Hole this week to take on a Raiders team that has allowed the second-most passing yards behind the New York Giants. Another reason I really like Thomas this week is because he posted 19 receptions for 223 yards versus the Raiders last season. This is the week DT has his best game to date and hits paydirt a couple of times.

Julian Edelman – New England Patriots $7700

at Dallas Cowboys

Everyone knows that Julian Edelman is a PPR monster and his 42 targets are the 10th most in the NFL. The Patriots have had plenty of time to prepare for their trip to Dallas coming off their bye. Make no mistake Tom Brady will come out guns blazing, targeting Edelman early and often. I’m picking on the Cowboys this week since their defense is banged up and their secondary has proven to be exploitable. They gave us some big plays to the Saints on Sunday Night Football, but none bigger than the 80-yard game-winning touchdown pass to C.J. Spiller. Edelman is a much safer option than higher-priced options like Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, and Antonio Brown. I’d recommend employing a few Brady-Edelman stacks with this game profiling as the highest over/under of week 5 at 50 points.

Bargain Bin Plays

Wide Receiver

Kamar Aiken – Baltimore Ravens $5800

vs Cleveland Browns

I was watching Thursday Night Football last week and one player stood out to me, well besides the obvious that is Le’Veon Bell. That player was Kamar Aiken and no he’s no relation to country music singer Clay Aiken. Kamar is a big target for Joe Flacco standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 215 pounds. He made some big catches in the game and managed to haul in five out of seven targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. He also almost made a highlight reel catch on the sideline in OT, but Steelers defensive back managed to knock the ball out of his hands. It’s obvious that Flacco trusts Aiken and, more importantly, looks for him in the red zone. In games that Aiken has seen four or more targets, he’s produced at least 77 yards receiving. While some doubters might say that he only got the extra targets because Steve Smith was injured, I disagree. Aiken is in his prime at age 26 and entering his third season as a pro. All signs point to Aiken as a true breakout type receiver this year. He has a golden opportunity in front of him after the news of multiple microfractures in Steve Smith Sr.’s back. Smith is looking at a multiple week absence from the starting lineup so Aiken instantly becomes Flacco’s most trusted target in the passing game.

Dorian Green -Beckham- Tennessee Titans $5000

vs Buffalo Bills

Dorial Green-Beckham is a beast standing at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds. He’s a huge vertical threat and red zone target who consistently uses his massive frame to box-out defenders. While DGB comes with a lot of risk baked in with off the field concerns, you have to consider the upside he possesses – which is out of this world. After struggling with dropped passes and conditioning during his first few months on the job, his confidence is at an all-time high. Marcus Mariota has targeted DGB five times in the past two games and two of those targets where red zone targets that he hauled in for touchdowns. The Titans had the bye week to integrate DGB into the offense, which makes him a very interesting tournament option at his current basement bargain salary of $5000. I love the Titans matchup this week versus the Bills defense, who’ve struggled to contain opposing number one wide receiver’s this season. While DGB isn’t technically Mariota’s number one option, he seems to be his top red zone target. Buffalo has allowed the fifth-most passing yards (1218) and are tied with the Bears with the second-most receiving touchdowns (10) allowed.

Top Shelf Picks

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski- New England Patriots $8400

at Dallas Cowboys

He’s back! We all had to suffer through a week of DFS without Gronk in our lineups. The Patriots travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in what should be a high-scoring affair. On paper, the Cowboys have been decent defending opposing tight ends but that’s because they haven’t faced an elite one all season. The Cowboys allowed their first touchdown to an opposing tight end when Josh Hill scored last Sunday night. The loss of Sean Lee is huge considering he’s capable of matching up with most tight ends over the middle and containing them. Gronk will be in the majority of my tournament and cash lineups since he’s always the top-tier option at a volatile position.

Bargain Bin Play

Owen Daniels- Denver Broncos $4900

at Oakland Raiders

It’s no secret that the Oakland Raiders are putrid versus opposing tight ends. The streak continued last week with my recommended Top Shelf tight end play Martellus Bennett. The trend continued as Bennett put up a stat line of 11/83/1. Owen Daniels has scored touchdowns in back-to-back games and Manning has been looking his way quite often in the red zone. Don’t expect much in the way of receptions and yardage but a couple of scores are in this play this week for Daniels. Of course, when you’re facing the soft Raiders defense than anything is possible.

Defenses to Target

Denver Broncos- $4900

at Oakland Raiders

The Denver Broncos are the top scoring defensive unit this year and it’s not even close. They’ve been impossible to contain and have recorded an NFL-leading 18 sacks. In addition, they’ve allowed a 28.0 QBR this season, which is unheard of and the lowest number recorded by a defense in the past two seasons. In a year where it’s been nearly impossible to count on any defense to be a consistent week-to-week starting option, they’ve been the exception to the rule. Fire them up versus second-year starter Derek Carr and expect them to rack up the sacks while forcing a couple turnovers with their aggressive blitz packages.

Cincinnati Bengals- $4700

vs Seattle Seahawks

The Cincinnati Bengals continue to fly under the radar in the jungle. They’ve yet to allow an opponent to score over 21 points at home. The Seahawks are coming to town after a short week with little time to prepare for the 4-0 AFC North leader. The Seahawks struggled on Monday night to move the ball versus the Lions stout d-line, making running the ball a tough task. Marshawn Lynch is questionable at best and even if he’s active, there is no guarantee how effective he’ll be or how many snaps he’ll play. Fred Jackson has a high-ankle sprain leaving rookie Thomas Rawls to possibly carry the mail again. The Bengals have been stingy on the ground and have only allowed 343 yards and zero rushing touchdowns. If they sell out to stop the run than Russell Wilson will be forced to make some plays with his arm which he’s struggled to do with any consistency. The Bengals are a sneaky FanDuel option this week and one that definitely need to be considered at their current salary of $4700.


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