DraftKings Starts of the Week – Week 5

I’ve analyzed each of the matchups in Week 5 and come up with the best starts at each position (by salary tier) for your daily fantasy football lineups… Feel free to share your winnings.


*Tier 1: $7,000+, Tier 2: $7,000-$6,000, Tier 3: $6,000-$5,000, Tier 4: Under $5,000

Tier 1: Aaron Rodgers – GB at DAL ($8,100)

Aaron Rodgers is good at throwing the football. Tom Brady, and Alex Smith are the only QBs with more fantasy points than Rodgers this season. No QB has thrown more than the 10 TDs put up by Mr. Rodgers (through 4 weeks). The Packers offense will likely be rolling with straight rookies at RB as well, so it’s not likely they’ll be leaning on the ground game.

Then, there’s the Cowboys. Only 8 teams have allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, and they’ve given up 8 passing TDs over the past 3 weeks.

If you can come up with any reason to not like Rodgers this week, please let me know.

Tier 2: Matthew Stafford – DET vs. CAR ($6,300)

Stafford is also pretty good at throwing the football. Yes, the Panthers have allowed the 8th fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs, but they also happened to play 2 of the league’s worst passing offenses over the 1st 2 weeks. Over the past 2 – against Brady and Brees – they’ve given up 5 passing TDs, and an average of 263.5 yards through the air.

Tier 3: Carson Palmer – ARI at PHI ($5,900)

Palmer has more passing yards than every QB not named Tom Brady, and while he’s also thrown more interceptions than all but 2, the Eagles have just 3 interceptions on the season. Philly has also allowed the 3rd most passing yards per game, 6th most passing TDs, and will be without Fletcher Cox. Then, there’s the fact that Arizona has next to no run game resulting in Palmer attempting more passes than every other QB through 4 games.

He’ll ball out at Lincoln Financial.

Tier 4: Josh McCown – NYJ at CLE ($4,500)

The Browns have allowed 9 TD passes on the season (more than all but 2 teams), and have been terrible against opposing TEs. Well, over 20% of McCown’s passes have targeted his TEs over the past 2 weeks, so you have to figure he should be able to exploit this weakness and put up some decent numbers. A McCown/Austin Seferian-Jenkins stack will cost you just $8k, but should produce some very gratifying results.

Running Back

*Tier 1: $7,000+, Tier 2: $7,000-$6,000, Tier 3: $6,000-$5,000, Tier 4: Under $5,000

Tier 1: Le’Veon Bell – PIT vs. JAX ($9,500)

Let’s take a quick look at a few of the Jags performances against opposing RBs this season, shall we?

RB vs. JAX Team Car Yds Yds/Car TD Rec Yds Fantasy Pts PPR
Lamar Miller HOU 17 65 3.8 2 31 9.6 11.6
Derrick Henry TEN 14 92 6.57 1 15.2 15.2
Alex Collins BAL 9 82 9.11 8.2 8.2
Bilal Powell NYJ 21 163 7.76 1 4 27 25 29
Elijah McGuire NYJ 10 93 9.30 1 2 38 19.1 21.1

$9,500 is a pretty steep bargain, though.

Tier 2: Melvin Gordon – LAC at NYG ($6,000)

Gordon has been underwhelming to start the season, but so has the Giants run d. In fact, the 122.5 rushing yards they’ve allowed per game are the 4th most of any team. I sense a breakout.

Tier 3: Marshawn Lynch – OAK vs. BAL ($5,100)

E.J. Manuel is starting at QB for the Raiders on Sunday… Not only 11 words that no Raiders fan wanted to hear, but also 11 that suggest Lynch should see about 50 carries this week. Oh, and the Ravens haven’t been very good against the run.

Tier 4: Duke Johnson Jr. – CLE vs. NYJ ($4,700)

The Jets have allowed 3 RBs to put up 50 yards receiving against them. Well, actually 2. LeSean McCoy put up just 49 in Week 1, but I rounded up *shrug*. Anyway, they haven’t been very good at preventing backs from catching passes and have given up a healthy 6.25 receptions per game to opposing backs. Johnson has the 4th most targets of any RB in the league through 4 weeks (28), and the 4th most receptions of any RB (20).

Honestly, he’s been their most effective back on the ground as well.

*Bonus* Wayne Gallman ($3,900)

Wide Receiver

*Tier 1: $7,000+, Tier 2: $7,000-$6,000, Tier 3: $6,000-$5,000, Tier 4: Under $5,000

Tier 1: Jordy Nelson – GB at DAL ($8,100)

See Aaron Rodgers.

Tier 2: T.Y. Hilton – IND vs. SF ($6,000)

No, Hilton hasn’t put up huge numbers this season, but the 49ers have allowed 3 receivers to surpass 100 yards receiving over the past 2 weeks. They’ve also allowed a receiving TD in every game this season.

Oh, and Jack Doyle is out for this one.

Tier 3: Kelvin Benjamin – CAR at DET ($5,900)

The Lions allowed Larry Fitzgerald to put up 6 for 74 in Week 1, Julio Jones dropped 7 for 91 on them in Week 3, and last week Stefon Diggs caught 5 for 98. Now no, none of them found the end zone, but clearly they’ve struggled to defend #1 receivers.

Tier 4: Jaron Brown – ARI at PHI ($4,500)

See Carson Palmer above, then factor in that Brown has 29 targets over the past 3 weeks.

Tight End

*Tier 1: $5,000+, Tier 2: $5,000-$4,000, Tier 3: $4,000-$3,000, Tier 4: Under $3,000

Tier 1: Zach Ertz – PHI vs. ARI ($6,200)

Since the Chiefs play Sunday night, Ertz is the only TE in this tier on the non-prime time DraftKings slate. I wouldn’t advise playing him this week though.

Tier 2: Martellus Bennett – GB at DAL ($4,100)

Their are better options for cheaper, but the Cowboys have allowed a TE to put up more than 40 yards in 3 of their 4 games.

Tier 3: Austin Seferian-Jenkins – NYJ at CLE ($3,500)

Scroll up, check out Josh McCown. ASJ should ball out.

Tier 4: Jesse James – PIT vs. JAX ($3,000)

The Jags have allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing TEs, and the fewest to opposing WRs. Le’Veon Bell is likely to see a gang of touches, but Big Ben will have to throw the ball at some point, and James should find himself on the receiving end quite often.

Defense/Special Teams

*Tier 1: $3,500+, Tier 2: $3,500-$3,000, Tier 3: Under $3,000

Tier 1: Pittsburgh Steelers – $3,900

Through 4 weeks, the Steelers have the 2nd most sacks, 6th most interceptions, and have gone under the Vegas total in all 4. Thing is, the Jags have allowed the fewest sacks, and Bortles has thrown just 3 interceptions so it’s not exactly the greatest matchup. Still, the Giants defense is vastly overrated, and the Seahawks don’t perform well on the road and are facing the league’s #1 scoring offense, so there isn’t a better choice.

Tier 2: Detroit Lions – $3,200

Meet the Detroit Lions, your #1 scoring fantasy defense through 4 weeks. The #1 scoring defense who faces a Panthers offense which has allowed opposing DSTs to average 8.5 points per game (8th most). Cam Newton has more interceptions than all but 2 QBs, and has been sacked more than all but 7. The Lions have 10 sacks, and are 2nd in interceptions on the year. Yes, please.

Tier 3: Buffalo Bills – $2,600

The Bengals offense has come around these past 2 weeks, yes. However, they faced an injured Packers team, and the Browns. Let’s not get carried away. Andy Dalton has been sacked 14 times (5th most), and has thrown 4 interceptions (7th most).

This Bills d has allowed just 4 TDs on the season (1 passing, 3 rushing), and the Bengals haven’t scored a rushing TD on the season. A.k.a. it’s not likely we’ll see an offensive explosion; which is evidenced by the opening point total of 38.5 (2nd lowest implied point total of any game this season).

As always, thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with the latest fantasy/betting advice, and follow @maxingyourodds on Twitter for daily insights.

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