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Fanball Fantasy Football: Week 5 Value Picks

Sasha Yodashkin

Sasha Yodashkin writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Week 4 of the NFL season will require some precise roster management with a lot of firepower sitting out as Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans and Washington have byes. The Fanball format calls for a QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, FLEX WR/TE, FLEX RB/WR/TE, D/ST lineup with a $55,000 salary cap. The players below can fit into lineups regardless of strategy, as they all offer strong value relative to price.


Tom Brady, NE at TB ($8,500):
Brady will show no mercy coming off a loss, and Bill Belichick won't hesitate to reach into his endless bag of tricks on offense to make up for a horrendous defense. Expect a huge performance from New England's aerial attack against a Buccaneers defense that's allowed more passing yards per game than every team except Brady's own Patriots. With a pair of performances that exceeded 36 fantasy points already, the veteran signal caller shows no signs of slowing down and has a slew of receiving weapons at his disposal in what promises to be a high-scoring affair for both sides.

Carson Palmer, ARI at PHI ($6,400):
Palmer continues to stay affordable while churning out 300-yard performances. He's thrown for 1,014 yards in three games without running back David Johnson and has a quartet of talented wide receivers at his disposal in Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson. With receiving back Andre Ellington starting to get a larger share of backfield snaps as well, coach Bruce Arians has accepted that Arizona is going to have significant trouble moving the ball on the ground. Philadelphia is second-best in the league stopping the run and third-worst defending the pass from a yardage standpoint, so Palmer should cruise to a fourth consecutive 300-yard game.


Todd Gurley, LAR vs. SEA ($8,600):
The instinctive response most fantasy owners have when they see a player facing the Seahawks is to look elsewhere, but this is actually a favorable matchup for Gurley. Seattle has struggled to defend the run, allowing 134 yards per game on the ground. With 596 yards from scrimmage and seven touchdowns already this season, the focal point of Los Angeles' offense has been the best player in fantasy and should maintain that elite form Sunday.

Bilal Powell, NYJ at CLE ($6,200):
Even if Matt Forte plays through turf toe this week, Powell should work as the primary option against the winless Browns after running roughshod over the Jaguars with 163 yards and a touchdown last week. New York lacks difference-makers on the outside, so Powell should also be tasked with making plays as a receiver out of the backfield in addition to handling a hefty rushing workload. For an every-down back coming off a tremendous effort, $6,200 is a surprisingly affordable price.

Latavius Murray, MIN at CHI ($4,300):
Murray is expected to serve as the lead back in Minnesota in the wake of Dalvin Cook's torn ACL and should get a heavy workload from the get-go with the Vikings likely sitting on a lead for most of this matchup with the Bears. He fared well as the starter the last two seasons with the Raiders, topping 1,000 rushing yards in 2015 and scoring 12 touchdowns last year. Murray's price doesn't reflect his new role yet, so this is the week to buy low on him.


Jaron Brown, ARI at PHI ($3,700):
Even with the full set of Arizona wide receivers suiting up last week, Brown still held down a consistent starting role on the outside while John Brown and J.J. Nelson rotated opposite him and Larry Fitzgerald operated out of the slot. Jaron took advantage of that playing time with a career-high 105 receiving yards against San Francisco in Week 4, giving him 205 yards and a touchdown the last three weeks. Philadelphia allows 285 passing yards per game and the Cardinals will throw early and often given their struggles on the ground, so the volume and opportunity should once again be there for Brown.

T.Y. Hilton, IND vs. SF ($7,700):
Hilton managed just three catches for 30 yards last week, but he is far from the first wide receiver to struggle against Richard Sherman in Seattle. The speedy wideout showed great chemistry with quarterback Jacoby Brissett as the two hooked up for 153 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland in Week 3, so the pair should exploit a 49ers secondary that's closer to the Browns than the Seahawks in terms of talent. If tight end Jack Doyle (concussion) sits, Hilton would earn an even bigger share of targets this week.

DeSean Jackson, TB vs. NE ($4,700):
Those who don't feel like paying $9,100 for Mike Evans can get Tampa Bay's No. 2 receiver for little more than half that price. The speedy Jackson is a boom-or-bust play, but he's likely to boom against a Patriots defense that's last in the league at defending the pass with 324 yards allowed per game. Belichick's gameplans are famous for focusing on limiting the opponent's most dangerous weapon, so Jackson should be able to get free deep a few times while the Patriots are busy trying to contain Evans on the other side.


Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ at CLE ($3,800):
Jenkins has had a sizable role the last two weeks with nine catches for 77 yards. He's not going to lead the position in scoring this week, but his affordability and matchup make the former Buccaneer a solid value play. He's no less likely to make a serious dent in the porous Browns pass defense than underwhelming wide receivers Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, especially after Bengals tight end Tyler Kroft burned Cleveland for two touchdowns last week.

Charles Clay, BUF at CIN ($5,500):
Few tight ends are as important to an offense as Clay is in Buffalo. After leading the team with 57 catches and tying for the lead with four touchdowns last year, Clay's off to an even better start this season with a team-high 227 yards and two touchdowns receiving. While other tight ends in more explosive offenses are often inconsistent or touchdown dependent, Clay offers a nice baseline while still bringing the potential to go off like he did in last week's 112-yard performance at Atlanta.


Baltimore Ravens at OAK ($2,900):
Baltimore struggled the last two weeks, lowering the defense's price to just $200 more than the bottom-priced Buccaneers unit. That affordability makes the Ravens an intriguing choice against a Raiders offense that managed just 20 points the last two weeks with Derek Carr under center and will now trot backup quarterback E.J. Manuel out in the wake of Carr suffering a transverse process fracture in his back. While it feels like forever ago, Baltimore did hold its first two opponents to just 10 combined points in a 2-0 start. Don't be surprised if the Ravens return to that early season form here.

Miami Dolphins vs. TEN ($3,000):
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is dealing with a strained hamstring that knocked him out of last week's loss to the Texans and is likely to be a gametime decision. Even if he suits up, Mariota will be operating with hampered mobility, which is a big deal for a quarterback who scrambled for two scores last week and consistently makes an impact with his legs by either rushing for positive yardage or extending plays outside the pocket. Should Mariota sit, the Titans would have to turn to either Matt Cassel or Brandon Weeden. Either scenario would weaken Tennessee's passing attack and establishing the run will be difficult since Miami has allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards per game.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.