Welcome back to the “Everything You Need to Know” series! In Week 3, we got out in front of JSN’s continued downfall, pinned Buffalo and Miami as the DFS game-of-the-week, and massively over-trusted the New York Giants in what turned out to be a sickening blowout. The process has been working so far, so let’s get right into everything you need to know for NFL Week 5!
Rashee Rice Breakout Looming
Rashee Rice‘s usage continues to tick up, increasing his Route Participation in each week while clearing a 50-percent share in his last two games. He also is beginning to command more fantasy-relevant work, drawing four red zone targets in the last two games. Last week, he was tackled inside of the five-yard line twice, keeping his upside a secret for just a bit longer.
Facing an anemic Minnesota secondary, welcome to the Rashee Rice breakout week.
Hollywood Brown is Still the Alpha in Arizona
While Sunday turned into the “Michael Wilson Breakout Party”, Brown led the team in targets (again), receptions (again), and receiving yards (again). Brown continues to be undermentioned in fantasy analysis. Now that the focus is on Michael Wilson, take advantage of the Marquise Brown buy window.
Kyle’s at the Bottom of the Pitts
It’s over for Kyle Pitts. I take no pleasure in reporting this, but it’s true. Jonnu Smith is now the clear option in the pass game at the position, now clearing six targets in three straight games. Not only has he spelled Pitts, but his usage has been surprisingly impressive. Smith is earning a 17.4-percent (No. 12) Target Share and 16.5-percent (No. 8) Air Yards Share despite going a full game without a target.
Now a top target for the Falcons, Smith is rosterable in fantasy and should be a weekly consideration for those who are streaming.
Chuba Hubbard is the RB1 in Carolina
It’s only a matter of time before the share between Miles Sanders and Chuba Hubbard becomes a true 50/50 split. Hubbard has been more effective in all aspects of the game, clearing Sanders in most advanced rushing metrics and proving to be a more reliable receiver.
Highest % of runs to gain a 1st Down or TD (min. 25 carries)….
Chuba Hubbard 42.3%
De'Vone Achane 37.0%
Bijan Robinson 33.9%
Brian Robinson 32.8%
Raheem Mostert 29.2%
Isiah Pacheco 29.1%
D'Andre Swift 28.8%
Christian McCaffrey 28.8%
Nick Chubb (sigh) 28.6%
Kenneth Walker 27.7%
— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) October 2, 2023
It’s becoming clear that the Panthers’ offense is more efficient with Hubbard in the backfield. The commitment from Frank Reich to Sanders may prolong this outcome, but the team is not financially constrained by his contract beyond this season. At some point, they’ll want to see what they truly have in Hubbard.
Sell Alexander Mattison
Cam Akers is already cutting into Mattison’s workload. Don’t pay attention to the BS “Hot hand” approach that Kevin O’Connell communicated. Akers is too unfamiliar with the playbook to get significant touches. With that being said, Akers out-targeted Mattison in his first game as a Viking.
Not only that, but he also looked significantly more explosive with his carries. He out-performed Mattison 8.0 to 5.6 in Yards per Carry. As Akers’ continues to get more work in the passing game, especially in negative game scripts, and out-performs Mattison as a rusher, he will get more work. If there’s anyone over-reacting to last week’s usage, sell Mattison while you can.
Implied Team Totals
Highest Implied Team Totals
- Miami Dolphins (30.25)
- Kansas City Chiefs (28.5)
- Detroit Lions (27.5)
- Philadelphia Eagles (27.25)
- Buffalo Bills (27)
Our chalk target this week is going to be Chief’s and Vikings. Both defenses have struggled to silence offenses, and we know Minnesota will secede points. There should be plenty of offensive production this week. Expect Rashee Rice to have his breakout game.
There are five other games this week with game totals at or over 45 points. These games all have their respective chances to turn into a shootout, so there are many contrarian game targets this week.
Dolphins rushers should remain a heavy target in DFS this week, as they face a Giants defense who can’t stop a nosebleed.
Lowest Implied Team Totals
- Pittsburgh Steelers (17.25)
- Carolina Panthers (17.5)
- New York Giants (18.75)
- Chicago Bears (19.25)
- New Orleans Saints (19.75)
Arizona drops off of the bottom-five list for the first time this season, as their underrated offense begins to gain respect. Against a mid-tier Bengals defense, the Cardinals are a sneaky team to have exposure to in DFS lineups this week.
Depending on the health of Derek Carr, the Saints could be a fruitful contrarian target this week. New England’s defense has now lost Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez indefinitely and are getting a little too much credit in this matchup.
DFS Values: Joshua Dobbs ($5200), Marquise Brown ($5000), Nick Westbrook-Ikhine ($3500), Breece Hall ($5400), Devon Achane ($6100), Zach Ertz ($3500)
Jonathan Taylor and Cooper Kupp
While they both are unlikely to play in Week 5, this gives fantasy managers a sigh of relief. It won’t be long before both of these fantasy studs are back in your lineups.
Breece Hall has reportedly graduated from his snap count and will be a full go against Denver. This is a revenge game you do not want to miss out on. Remember, Hall suffered his knee injury against the Denver Broncos. He’ll look to shred that porous Broncos’ rush defense again in his “I’m back” moment.
Treylon Burks, who missed last week’s game with a knee injury, did not practice on Wednesday. This is not the start to the week fantasy managers hoped for. He now needs to log at least a limited session on Thursday if he’s likely to suit up against the Colts. If he plays, he’ll find a favorable matchup against the Colts. If he misses time, Nick Wetbrook-Ikhine is actually a viable flex play in his absence.
Zay Jones logged a limited session in practice on Wednesday, putting him on track to return to action against the Bills. Needing to compete with a lethal Buffalo offense, Jones will likely see a lot of routes unless Doug Pederson announces any sort of snap count for Jones.
Saquon Barkley returned to team drills on Wednesday. While obviously a good sign, it’s still unclear what this means for Barkley. Right now, it appears unlikely that Barkley will suit up. If he returns to a full session prior to Sunday’s matchup against Miami, then he’ll likely see the field. If not, which is the more probable scenario, then the veteran will be sidelined another week.
Kenny Pickett logged a limited session on Wednesday, wearing a knee brace on the knee he twisted/bruised in Sunday’s loss to Houston.
Reports have said Pickett should miss little-to-no time with this injury, so it seems he has a good shot of suiting up on Sunday. With Pittsburgh’s offensive struggles, it’s best if you avoided Pickett in matchups this week.
Tee Higgins did not practice Wednesday after suffering a rib injury in Sunday’s loss to Tennessee. This does not put Higgins on a good track to play Sunday against the Cardinals. With health concerns looming with him and Joe Burrow, we could see the Bengals rest their studs before their schedule difficulty starts ramping up.
Week over week, we’ve been paying attention to the right details and will continue to refine our process as we learn lessons from our losses. By continuing to attack the right matchups, and follow the right usage and efficiency trends, we’ll continue to DOMINATE our fantasy matchups and DFS lineups. Happy hunting!