*Record scratch. Freeze frame* Yup, this is me, Kyra Wiaterowski. I bet all 700 of my new Twitter followers are wondering how I ended up in this situation. Let’s run it back! Over the last two weeks, my articles have hit at an extremely high success rate, and my advice on value plays has really paid off for many of you.
Thank you to everybody who has been here since the beginning and continue to join me every Saturday morning since last season. I know since there are a lot of newcomers here and don’t necessarily know what to expect from me except that this chick makes some really good DFS picks. Allow me to explain to them something about myself and the weird creative way I’ve come up with comparing what I plan to do here for all of you who stay tuned to my articles every week this season.
In my very first article this year, I compared last year’s version of myself to being a rookie in the fantasy football and DFS space. I wasn’t bad or a bust like Denzel Mims, but I wasn’t ready to turn heads yet and said I was something more like a CeeDee Lamb who had so much more potential than the production I put out. So then I thought to myself, the goal for this year was to look toward my Year Two breakout. Honestly, with the recent successes, it feels like I’ve just hit my first 100-yard, two-touchdown game that’s grabbed the attention of absolutely everybody and has the fantasy world talking! That’s pretty cool, and the last thing I’m going to do is let up now and produce a dud.
I have over 1,400 new eyes watching, and I’m here to inform you that we have yet to hit our ceiling. There’s always more where that came from, and I stay motivated to improve and get better for all of you each week. You know, 76-80% hit rates are nice, but we want 100% — who are we kidding? I’m not about to pull a real-life CeeDee Lamb on you here and be some two-week wonder. You’re with the money team now, baby, and all we do is kash out! So let’s cut to the chase like Ja’Marr and get to what you really came for — those sweet value picks that not even Trevon Diggs could takeaway this week. Sorry if that was the corniest sentence I’ve ever come up with, but I thought it was clever, so get used to it, new people! This is what I do!
Club Fantasy covers all facets of fantasy football. Later today, we’ll have Oklahomie Doug’s Oh Captain, My Captain, covering the Sunday Night Showdown slate and you can watch Kyra with special guest Alfredo Brown on DFS and Chill, our weekly DFS show!
Sam Darnold (Draftkings: $6,600 / Fanduel: $7,600)
Listen up, people. This isn’t your grandfather’s Sam Darnold. This is a new, improved, and rejuvenated Sam Darnold who has been playing like a whole new quarterback that we’ve never seen before. He’s finally been unleashed from the chains with which Adam Gase held. So yeah, we can make all kinds of silly nicknames for it now, like “Cam Darnold,” but the fact of the matter is that he’s leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns. If you were to approach me as someone who came back from the future a month ago to let me know I should go place a bet on Darnold for multiple rushing touchdowns, I simply wouldn’t have believed you. I also wouldn’t have believed you if you were to tell me that he’s the QB5 heading into Week 5. This is all true, and while it may feel unreal to us, it’s about time that we take Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers seriously.
Christian McCaffery is being held out another week. That gives me more reason to believe Darnold needs to stay highly involved in this game because McCaffery isn’t there to steal the show against Philadelphia’s dismal run defense. Do I think he will just keep getting a rushing touchdown every single week? No. But while McCaffery is sidelined and out of the lineup, it doesn’t hurt to think it could easily happen again this week to pair along with a couple of touchdowns, especially when the Philadelphia Eagles are tied for 6th in the league, giving up an average of 2.2 passing touchdowns a game to opposing quarterbacks. The team they are tied with? The Dallas Cowboys, who Sam Darnold just faced while putting up an impressive stat line of 39 pass attempts for 301 yards, two touchdowns, and a pair of rushing scores to boot. The Eagles defense isn’t particularly a slouch this year and has been up and down depending on the matchup as far as fantasy QB finishes go. Still, I do believe in Darnold’s newfound rushing ability and a new set of weapons will help him against a bottom-of-the-barrel red zone defense to provide a couple of scores this Sunday.
While the Eagles looked good to start the season on defense, they’ve fallen apart the last two weeks and given up a ton of points. Philadelphia has just a good enough offense that both these teams will need to keep pace with one another, and that’s good news for the fantasy pieces in this game.
Joe Burrow (Draftkings: $6,100 / Fanduel: $7,000)
I can hear a lighter flickering in the distance as I turn on Lil Wayne’s mixtape No Ceilings to pair with my vibe for Joe Burrow this Sunday. It seems to be, or at least I’d like to believe, that all of the stars have aligned in a smash spot this week for Joe Burrow. Bad news has turned into good news when it comes to this fantasy matchup for Burrow. I’m not expecting Joe Mixon to play in this game, and I would also like to believe that head coach Zac Taylor will have to resort back to what we expected the Cincinnati Bengals offense to be: a high-volume passing attack. If that were to be the case, then it comes with good timing given the fact that star lockdown corner Jaire Alexander of the Green Bay Packers is set to miss potentially several weeks of football.
So whoa, baby, let me tell you — what if all Joe Burrow has to worry about in that Packers secondary is Kevin King and rookie Eric Stokes? Then we’ll have ourselves a barn burner in this one! We know what Aaron Rodgers is capable of, and while the Bengals secondary on paper has looked good, they really haven’t played any world-beating offenses. I believe they are a lot more vulnerable than they’ve seemed. Maybe the lack of high-volume passing had something to do with the fact Burrow had to shake off the dust from not playing for like 300 days and is getting himself comfortable again. Last week, we saw some of that when he torched Jacksonville’s secondary for 348 yards and two touchdowns. We have the perfect ingredients of no starting running back and no star corner for the opposing defense to create the perfect fantasy quarterback recipe to success.
The Packers’ defense comes with their own struggles too. Like the struggle to get pressure on the quarterback — an area of concern for Burrow. He’s been sacked 11 times already in four weeks of football. I mean, it’s an area of concern for any quarterback on any given Sunday, but you catch my drift! The Packers have the odds against them on defense pairing the inability to get sacks, and now their secondary is banged up? Give me all the Joe Burrow this week and stack him with any Bengals wide receiver. Don’t make this hard on yourself. Set it, forget it, and flick a lighter on a stogie while we watch Smokin’ Joe unlock his ceiling. Weezy F Baby and the F is for Fire him up!
Honorable Mention: Daniel Jones (Draftkings: $6,000 / Fanduel: $7,400)
Deep Sea Dive: Trey Lance (Draftkings: $5,700 / Fanduel: $6,900)
Ezekiel Elliott (Draftkings: $7,000 / Fanduel: $8,000)
Look, I don’t know if the person doing the salary pricing for running backs over at Draftkings found himself a fifth deep in some whiskey or what, but for Ezekiel Elliott to be the 8th highest-priced running back on this slate is just bananas to me. The last time Elliott wasn’t performing as a damn near top-5 running back was Week 1 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose defense doesn’t allow any running back to put up top performances against them. Those days of hitting the panic button on Zeke are far behind us, and if you are like Draftkings and haven’t noticed, then it is time to recognize.
Over recent weeks, we have seen a turning of the tides here where Dak Prescott doesn’t have to be so pass-happy because Elliott has been super productive on the ground. He’s looked a lot like RB1 Zeke and not like the ghost of Zeke’s past. Over the last few weeks, Zeke has finished as the RB11, RB3, and RB7 in Draftkings scoring, recording nearly 20 points or more each week. He’s also nabbed himself a touchdown in every single one of those games, to go along with 18+ carries and 300+ combined rushing yards. This week, Elliott is going up against the New York Giants, who have allowed opposing running backs, the 12th most fantasy points per game. At this point, I don’t think we are going to see Zeke priced below a top-5 running back again, so let’s take advantage while the gettin’ is good. He’s a super safe choice with a ton of upside, and he will be a starting point in all of my lineup builds.
D’Andre Swift (Draftkings: $6,100 / Fanduel: $6,900)
The fun thing about D’Andre Swift is that we can accredit his price tag to his up and down performances based on matchups throughout the season. After a less-than-ideal matchup, we see his price tag drop a bit and can plug him right back into the lineup for when it’s a good one again! We can look at Swift a couple of different ways, but you, me, and everybody but Dan Campbell knows this offense is crap without getting the ball in Swift’s hands. Campbell finessed us all last week into believing we would see more opportunities for Swift, then followed that up by Swift carrying the ball eight times with four receptions. Pretty pathetic. Let me ask you, Dan Campbell — how’d that work out for ya? Huh?! Not so good.
Swift is hands down the best playmaker on this team, and he is going to be involved in every game script where the Lions are playing from behind, which should be a common theme this season. He’s in an awesome bounce-back spot this week going up against the Minnesota Vikings, who allow the 11th most fantasy points per game to both opposing running backs and wide receivers. As we know, Swift’s bread and butter is his ability in the receiving game, so this can work out both ways for him very well. You can’t keep a talent like Swift’s down for long, and with a healthy 49.5 over/under, I know that he’s going to be heavily involved in this game.
Also, it might help if the other two top offensive weapons, Jamaal Williams or T.J. Hockenson, aren’t available. Their availability is currently up in the air as of Friday. I’ve also noticed that if his trend continues where he scores single digits, he’s followed it up with 20 point performances. So this week, he is due *wink wink*. All joking aside, I like Swift in this one after we saw what I believed to be his floor game last week, so the sky is the limit in this fantasy-filled matchup. Great bring-back option if your choose to play Justin Jefferson or Adam Thielen.
Honorable Mention: James Robinson (Draftkings: $6,000 / Fanduel: $7,400)
Deep-Sea Dive: Leonard Fournette (Draftkings: $5,200 / Fanduel: $6,400)
Deebo Samuel (Draftkings: $7,100 / Fanduel: $7,700)
*Fingers crossed* Please stay healthy, please stay healthy, please stay healthy! Deebo Samuel has been a menace to society whenever he is healthy and on the field, which dates back to his rookie season. This guy is not just some flash in the pan, and the only thing that holds him back from being this amazing player is his injury woes. He plays like an absolute animal. If this hasn’t been something you noticed even two years ago like me, then I know you see it now because what’s not to like about Deebo Samuel this year? He’s averaged at least ten targets a game, has two games over 150 yards, three touchdowns, on the field over 89% of snaps, has the most receiving yards in the NFL, and is the WR3 in PPR scoring. That is some elite status for the San Francisco 49er.
Deebo is the clear focal point in this offense like I said in last week’s article, and the trend continues here in Week 5 while he is still a value. This week we get to see him with rookie quarterback Trey Lance, whose skillset fits someone like Deebo Samuel. Lance has a big arm and big-play ability that we got to sneak a taste of last week when the pair connected on a 76-yard touchdown. That isn’t going to be uncommon amongst the pair because Lance’s big arm pairs beautifully with Samuel’s big-play ability. Big money moves if your asking me, which is why I love the hell out of some Lance/Samuel stacks this week for max value. But look, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad nervous with a new starting quarterback, but I have faith in Shannahan to scheme up the perfect game plan fitting for Lance and Samuel. Samuel is the clear focal point in this offense and will serve as a safety valve to Lance like he did on half the snaps last week against Seattle. I think he will be more than fine despite how good or bad Lance plays.
Ja’Marr Chase (Draftkings: $5,800 / Fanduel: $7,300)
We are long past the days of joking about Ja’Marr Chase, who couldn’t catch a cold or see without the stripes on a football. We are now seeing Ja’Marr Chase as the 2nd ranked best deep-threat in the NFL. Ja’Marr Chase is the 4th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft with four touchdowns through 4 weeks of football. We need to stop playing with the boy like he isn’t a grown-ass man with a golden opportunity this week for reasons I explained earlier about why I also liked his quarterback Joe Burrow. There is not much left to say that I haven’t already tapped into above, but Chase is cementing his role here on this Bengals offense and continuing his success with Joe Burrow picking up right where they left off back in college at LSU. No, J’aire Alexander means Ja’Marr Chase can do work on Green Bays’ vulnerable secondary this week, and his price tag makes it hard not to keep on plugging him into every single one of my DFS lineups.
Honorable Mention: Laviska Shenault (Draftkings: $4,800 / Fanduel: $5,800)
Deep Sea Dive: Curtis Samuel (Draftkings: $3,000 / Fanduel: $5,200)
Dalton Schultz (Draftkings: $4,400 / Fanduel: $6,200)
Hey, people get familiar with this dude because he is the TE3 on the season! His name isn’t George Kittle or Mark Andrews, and if we’re honest here, then I rather have him over both of those plays this week. He’s crushed it over the last two weeks recording three scores and racking up over 138 yards on offense while seeing 15 targets! He’s also been a huge red zone threat over the last two weeks, leading his team with three red-zone targets.
I’d like to believe some of that has to do with the matchups he’s faced where his fellow wide receivers have been kept busy in good coverage, and Schultz has been able to take advantage of his weaker matchups. Good thing that it’s more of the same here in Week 5 because the New York Giants just placed their best linebacker, Blake Martinez, on the IR and have given up the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. While the matchup isn’t as ideal for the wide receivers, the matchup stays damn lovely for Schultz. Blake Jarwin, who? Never heard of her. Hopefully, we see his usage continue to trend down, and Schultz earns even more snaps, looking like one of Prescott’s favorite targets and finishing as a top-6 tight end over the last two weeks.
Mike Gesicki (Draftkings: $4,200 / Fanduel: $5,600)
Speaking of dudes who have had an excellent past two weeks, let’s talk about Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki. Gesicki has seen himself TE1 production ever since Jacoby Brissett took over under center following Tua Tagovailoa’s injury and placement on the IR. We’ve watched Brissett just absolutely feed Gesicki with targets, 18 of them to be exact over the last two weeks to pair along with 15 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown. He has scored at least 16 fantasy points each of those two weeks, and now he gets a soft as butter Tampa Bay secondary, which has given up the 9th most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.
Makes me just all tingly inside just thinking about the fantasy goodness Gesicki is about to bring us at his value price. Just to make this sound even sweeter for ya if you don’t care enough yet… Tampa has allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in the past two games and is the only team who has yet to not give up at least a TE12 finish to opposing tight ends this season. Gesicki sounds like an absolute lock to me at the position this week, so get on it while his price still suggests he isn’t playing like the top-tier tight end he’s been.
Honorable Mention: Zach Ertz (Draftkings: $3,400 / Fanduel: $5,000)
Deep Sea Dive: Evan Engram (Draftkings: $3,200 / Fanduel: $5,300)
New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Football Team (Draftkings: $3,100 / Fanduel: $4,600)
Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions (Draftkings: $3,000 / Fanduel: $3,900)
Honorable Mention: Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers (Draftkings: $2,900 / Fanduel: $4,700)
Deep Sea Dive: Washington Football Team vs New Orleans Saints (Draftkings: $2,300 / Fanduel: $3,800)