Underdog Best Player Pick ‘Ems | NFL Week 5

by Ahaan Rungta · Underdog Pick Ems

Welcome back to the Underdog Best Player Pick ‘Ems NFL Week 5! The 2023-24 Underdog Fantasy Pick ‘Em article series is your spot for finding the best-value weekly spots to pick whether players will go higher or lower than their projection.

As usual, if you want weekly audio content for pick ‘ems, including getting in early on some lines that will move early in the week, check out the Pick ‘Em Power Hour every Wednesday and Friday with us hosts, Ahaan S. Rungta (@AhaanRungta) and Trevor Tipton (@FFCULater).

If you would like to tail our plays or create your own, join Underdog today with promo code UNDERWORLD for a 100% deposit match up to $100 USD upon entry. Here are our picks for Week 5.

Ahaan’s Week 5 Picks

Derrick Henry (TEN) HIGHER than 0.5 rush+rec TDs

Despite losing some of his workload to rookie running back Tyjae Spears, Henry is still the man when it comes to scoring opportunities. He has nine of the 11 Tennessee running back red zone opportunities this season. This weekend, he faces a Colts defense that ranks No. 18 in EXP overall and has allowed four rushing touchdowns to running backs—only five NFL teams have surrendered more this season. The books like the Titans’ chances to score in a competitive game this week. The implied Vegas team total for Tennessee is 22.5. Since last season, Henry has a touchdown in nine of 12 games where they scored at least 17 points.

This play is equivalent to an “anytime touchdown” on the sportsbooks and is juiced at nearly -180 by Vegas. We are getting extreme value on it as a pick ‘em piece as the veteran Derrick Henry is in a great spot to cash us out in Week 5.

Brock Purdy (SF) HIGHER than 2.5 rushing attempts

The 49ers have a real shot at a Super Bowl thanks to their loaded roster on both ends of the football. They are 4-0 this season and have faced very little adversity. That might come to a quick halt in Week 5 when they face another contender, the Dallas Cowboys.

Recommended: 0.50u on the two-pick entry

The second-year quarterback Brock Purdy posted at least three carries in five of his eight games last year. Additionally, he’s rushed three of his four games this year despite being involved in game scripts where he hasn’t had to drop back and make a play too often. This season, the Cowboys rank No. 1 in pass rush win rate and No. 1 in pressure rate. They have forced every quarterback they have faced to scramble, allowing 13 attempts to Daniel Jones, five attempts to Zach Wilson, six attempts to Joshua Dobbs, and three carries to Mac Jones despite him only playing three quarters.

Purdy should be forced to scramble at least three times even in a neutral game script. However, it is also worth noting that a kneel counts as a rushing attempt.

Trevor’s Week 5 Picks

Michael Pittman Jr. (IND) HIGHER than 59.5 receiving yards

The Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. has been a favorite for Anthony Richardson for the Colts, averaging 9.5 targets per game through four weeks. He is also seeing deep targets, with an average depth of target of 10.2 yards. This week, Pittman faces a Titans defense that is one of the worst in the NFL against the pass. The Titans allow an average of 11.6 yards per reception and a 72-percent catch rate, both of which are bottom-three marks in the league.

Pittman has some key stats to help with this matchup vs. the Titans. He currently has 270 air yards through four weeks, which includes games without Richardson. At the same time, he has 121 yards after the catch, which is top 14 in the NFL. This season Pittman has 26 receptions on 38 targets. The Colts have a team-implied total of 20.5 points. To achieve that number, Pittman will have to be involved heavily this week. 

In a crucial matchup for both teams, Pittman will be the focus of the offense this week as teams have been unable to run on the Titans. His 9.42 yards per route run will open the door for the Colts receiver to go over this by a solid amount. PlayerProfiler has him projected for 6.5 receptions with 75 yards this week, giving us a modeled line of -160, which is why we like using pick ‘ems with Underdog.

De’Von Achane (MIA) HIGHER than 50.5 rushing yards 

In Week 5, the Dolphins have the highest implied Vegas team total of any team (30.5), and rightfully so. They face a Giants defense that provides the best matchup on the board, particularly by offensive line run blocking.

Recommended: 0.50u on the two-pick entry

The rookie running back De’Von Achane is currently averaging an absurd 11.44 yards per carry and 103.0 yards per game in the two weeks since his full return. He leads the league with an 18.5-percent explosive run rate, and the Giants are giving up 4.3 yards per carry and the No. 4-most running back yards in the NFL. Achane and his 179 yards after contact are a perfect fit for the Miami offense. Additionally, in a perfect matchup, this Underdog projection is simply not an appropriate reaction to his talent and role. In a game script that is likely going to be positive, given a 12-point spread in favor of Miami, Achane will likely be in plenty of situations to run the ball and clear this number with ease.