My Week 5 daily fantasy football (DFS) picks feel a little "safer" than usual. To balance it out, a little bit, here are three RBs who are "leverage plays" or "punt plays" only and not intended for any 50/50 entry: Kenneth Gainwell, Malcolm Brown, and Chris Evans.
I feel a little better now and more "at balance." Speaking of balance, I remind you that I will go through each position and list one "safe" pick and one "high-risk/high-reward" pick. For those of you familiar with DFS, the first is essentially a cash-game play and the second is a GPP play. I also will make sure that said player is priced proportionately about the same across DraftKings, FanDuel, and the other major sites. For those of you unfamiliar with DFS, do yourself a favor and look up cash games vs. GPPs. Or hit me up on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) and I will explain it to you personally.
Here are the Week 5 DFS picks.
Safe Quarterback Week 5 Pick
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants (DK $6900, FD $8100)
That is now seven TDs over the last two weeks for Prescott. And given that the Giants are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, I think it's another big day for Prescott playing at home in big D.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 5 Pick
Daniel Jones, New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, (DK $6000, FD $0000)
On the other side of the ball down in Dallas will be Jones. Go ahead and check it out because you might not believe me, but Jones is currently the 11th-best quarterback in fantasy football. He's ahead of Ryan Tannehill, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert. I swear.
You know the risk with Jones; in any game against any team. But it takes some guts to play Jones on the road against a Dallas defense that has people talking, especially with their league-leading eight interceptions already this season. But that Dallas D might be a better real-world pass defense than one to avoid in fantasy. Because the Cowboys are yielding the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. I will definitely have Jones on a few of my GPP entries this week.
Safe Running Back Week 5 Pick
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $9000, FD $10,400)
Let's ignore all the Urban Meyer distractions/issues for the moment. This Jaguars defense is still a work in progress at best. On the other end of the scale, you don't see a much more proven RB than Henry. I remind you that Mark Ingram ran roughshod over this Jacksonville defense. I like Ingram, but he will never be as good as Henry. The only reason not to play Henry this week might be the price. I'm willing to pay the premium.
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 5 Pick
Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Miami Dolphins (DK $5200, FD $6400)
Love this pick this week, maybe a little too much. I've entered over a dozen entries already at this point and I'm not sure there is one that didn't have Fournette on it. Coming off of 92 yards against a tough Patriot defense, he is just too underpriced on both sites (and Yahoo! as well!).
Miami has an extremely good secondary, but the run defense leaves a lot to be desired. The Dolphins are giving up the third-most fantasy points to RBs. Ronald Jones II is becoming a non-factor and Giovani Bernard has injury issues, making Fournette the obvious bell cow against Miami. And with Bruce Arians likely to let his defense and run game be the start of the show this weekend, I'm going all-in on Fournette this week.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 5 Pick
CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants (DK $6200, FD $6900)
With another week or two before Michael Gallup comes back, Lamb should still see plenty of targets. And I mentioned above how much I liked Dak Prescott. We could see a lot of Amari Cooper, but I'll take the lower-priced Lamb who should put up a line close to Cooper, if not better.
High Risk/Reward Receiver Week 5 Pick
A.J. Brown, Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $6500, FD $6900)
Two concerns with Brown. One, he is coming off an injury that kept him out last week, so I'm not sure he's 100 percent. Secondly, as I mentioned this could be a big Derrick Henry game and Brown could be left with just a few scraps. But with Julio Jones already ruled out, I think Brown fills a void that Ryan Tannehill will be more than happy to target every time he drops back to pass.
Safe Tight End Week 5 Pick
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots at Houston Texans (DK $8100, FD $8200)
A sleeping border patrol officer stops more people than the Texans currently do. Tight ends might actually be their biggest weakness though. They are the second-most generous team when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing TEs. And look at whom they've played — Jacksonville, Cleveland, Carolina, and Buffalo. I'm not seeing too many top-five TEs there.
Hunter Henry is averaging just under 10 fantasy points per game this year. Wanna bet he gets that average up to double digits after this weekend?
High Risk/High Reward Tight End Week 5 Pick
Evan Engram, New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (DK $3200, FD $5300)
The Cowboys can at least blame some of their lowly performance versus TEs on having to face Gronk in Week 1 before he got injured. But they gave up nearly 24 fantasy points to Philadelphia TEs two weeks later. And despite shutting down Carolina TEs last week, they're still currently the seventh-most generous when it comes to fantasy points and the position.
Engram has had success against Dallas before, having scored twice in the last three times he visited Jerry's place. I got a feeling he makes it a third.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 5 Pick
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins (DK, $4700 FD $4800)
Gimme a good reason other than salary not to start Tampa Bay against Miami this week... yeah, that's what I thought.
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 5 Pick
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (DK $4200, FD $4400)
Ben Roethlisberger has often had his way with the Broncos. Two performances ago, he lit them up for 426 yards in Denver. And more recently, just barely a year ago, Pittsburgh planted 26 points on Denver.
A lot can change in one year.
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.