FAVORABLE MATCHUPS (CASH/GPP)
Matt Ryan (Dk – $6,800/FD – $8,300): In his three home starts, Ryan averaged 355 passing yards with four TDs compared to 268 yards on the road with half of a TD per game. He’s on pace for 5,123 passing yards with 42 TDs. Last year he passed for 529 yards and two TDs in two games vs. the Bucs. Tampa allowed over 330 passing yards to every QB in 2018 with QBs tossing 13 TDs. Matt has an impactful matchup with a chance at a special game. Last week he suffered a foot injury late in the game, which appears to be minor.
Kirk Cousins (DK – $6,700/FD – $7,900): Cousins completed 72 percent of his passes in each of his last four games while playing three of these games on the road. Kirk already has two impact games (425/4 and 422/3) while being on a pace for 5,401 passing yards and 35 TDs, which would be a career high in both areas. Two teams LAR – 354/1 and SF – 349/2) have over 300 yards passing against the Cardinals. Most teams have beat Arizona on the ground due to game score. They allow almost 35 runs per game with 660 yards and seven TD. Based on Cousins start to the year and the Vikings lack of success running the ball, he’ll draw plenty attention this week in the daily game. A winnable matchup, but Minnesota may not need him to pass to win the game.
Andy Dalton (DK – $6,300/FD – $7,500): Dalton came up short in his last game (248/1), but he did complete five passes over 20 yards while averaging 8.3 yards per pass attempt. He remains on pace to set career highs in passing yards (4,624) and passing TDs (38). Pittsburgh allowed over 300 yards passing in each of their last four games (326, 411, 363, and 305) with QBs tossing 13 TDs on the year. The Steelers have 19 sacks, which does mask some of their failure on pass defense if they do get to the QB. Possible 300+ yards with three TDs keeps Dalton in the mix at this level in the daily games. Both teams should score, which is another positive for his playable value in the daily games.
Jameis Winston (DK – $5,800/FD – $7,400): In a relief outing in Week 4, Winston completed 80 percent of his 20 passes with one TD and two Ints against a tough Bears defense. On the year, Tampa averages about 375 passing yards per game with 12 TDs while gaining 10.1 yards per pass attempts. Tampa can’t run the ball (3.1 yards per rush) with no rushing TDs by their RBs. Three teams (CAR – 335/3, NO – 396/3, and CIN – 337/3) have over 300 yards passing against Atlanta at home. The last four QBs vs. the Falcons all have three TDs. The Falcons have risk as well defending the run (4.9 yards per rush with eight TDs). Great tools in the passing game and Tampa will need to throw to win this game.
MATCHUP RISK / AGAINST THE GRAIN (GPP)
Philip Rivers (DK – $5,900/FD – $8,300): Rivers is on pace for 4,784 passing yards and 42 TDs while gaining 8.6 yards per attempt with a great completion rate (70.1). Philip has two TDs or more in each game with one impact outing (424/3). Cleveland allows 6.7 yards per pass attempt with QBs tossing seven TDs. The Raiders are the only team to have success passing the ball (438/4). The Browns’ defense allowed 21 points or fewer in four of their five games. Not the best matchup, but Rivers does have the tools to deliver an impact game if asked to attempt a high level of passes.
Russell Wilson (DK – $5,700/FD – $7,600): Wilson is well behind his expected pace in rushing yards (11/42) while also being on a slow path in passing yards (3,475). He has fewer than 200 yards passing in his last three games while averaging only 24.3 passing attempts over this stretch. His dropoff in production is helped tremendously by the Seattle run game over the last three weeks (39/113/1, 34/171/2, and 32/190/1). Oakland allows 8.5 yards per pass attempts with two teams having success passing the ball (MIA – 341/4 and LAC – 339/2). The Raiders struggled to defend the run in three games (26/140, 28/168/2, and 31/208/3). More of the same, but I sense the Seahawks’ play calling is on the verge of being more explosive in the passing game.
Blake Bortles (DK – $5,600/FD – $6,900): Bortles had tough sledding in Kansas City, which led to four Ints and one lost fumble. His mistakes also helped him attempt a season-high 61 passes. Blake has over 300 yards passing in three of his last four games (376/4, 388/2, and 430/1) while also being productive on the ground on the year (22/166/1). Dallas regressed vs. QBs in their last two games (307/2 and 375/1) after doing a respectable job against QBs over the first three games (161/0, 279/1, and 192/2). The Cowboys will rush the QB, and their CBs do have talent. More of fade on the road.
Joe Flacco (DK – $5,200/FD – $7,000): Over the last four games, Flacco passed for 1,314 yards with five TDs while attempting over 48 passes per game. This week he’ll be making his fourth start on the road in five weeks. The Titans showed risk vs. the pass over the first four games (230/2 and310/2) while allowing over 9.0 yards per pass attempt. Their worst two games vs. the pass did come at home (HOU – 310/2 and 348./2). Tweener game with both team expected to play well on defense.
BAD MATCHUP (AVOID)
Marcus Mariota (DK – $5,400/FD – $6,100): Mariota lacked follow through in Buffalo after his big game (344/2) vs. the Eagles at home. Last week he passed for only 129 yards with no TD. In his three failed games, Marcus has fewer than 130 yards passing with no TDs. Baltimore allows only 5.9 yards per pass attempt with QBs tossing six TDs. Their worst performance against QBs came in Week 2 on the road (265/4). A tough matchup with minimal explosiveness.
Mitchell Tribitsky (DK – $5,300/FD – $7,400): After passing for fewer than 225 yards in each of his first three games with only two combined passing TDs, Trubisky broke through with a huge impact game in Week 3 (354/6). His completion rate (70.0) is up with the big boys, but Mitchell only attempts 32.5 passes per game. QBs only have six TDs against Miami with their biggest failure coming in Week 4 vs. the Patriots (274/3). I’d love to believe in his, but his resume for competitive games is too short to trust on the road.
Ryan Tannehill (DK – $4,900/FD – $6,600): Tannehill lost his way in his last two road starts (100/0 and 185/1). He’s only averaging about 26 passes per game with only one decent game (289/3), which came on a couple of broken long pass plays. Chicago has 16 sacks in four games, but they do allow 7.5 yards per pass attempt with only Green Bay delivering an impact game (347/3). Not my kind of ride in the daily games.
Josh Rosen (DK – $4,700/FD – $6,400): Over two starts, Rosen only passed for 350 combined yards with two TDs and no Ints. He has a short completion rate (49.2) on the year, which isn’t helped by many dropped catches by his receivers. The Vikings allowed over 300 yards per game to QBs with more of the failure coming in their last two starts (LAR – 465.5 and PHI – 311/2). On the year, Minnesota now allows 9.1 yards per pass attempt with QBs tossing ten TDs. Improving player facing a defense that’s underachieved in 2018.
Josh Allen (DK – $4,700/FD – $6,400): Allen regressed in passing yards in each of his last four games (245, 196, 151, and 82) while delivering a poor completion rate (53.3) on the year. Josh has two passing TDs and five Ints with more success on the ground (31/135/3). Houston allows 7.9 yards per pass attempts with QBs throwing 12 TDs. The Texans have risk in their secondary, but Allen doesn’t the WRs to make Houston pay. A poor matchup with minimal impact upside.
Dak Prescott (DK – $4,700/FD – $6,800): Prescott doesn’t have over two passing TDs in any game in 2018, and he’s averaging under 200 yards passing per game. Overall, Dak averages under 29 passes per game. QBs only have three passing TDs against the Jaguars while gaining only 6.3 yards per pass attempt. The Cowboys’ WRs look dead in the water, which gives Prescott no playable value in any format.
NEUTRAL (MME GPP)
Ben Roethlisberger (DK – $6,500/FD – $8,500): After starting the year with over 300 yards in three games (335/1, 452/3, and 353/3), Roethlisberger came up short in passing yards in his last two starts at home (274 and 250) while delivering his third game with three TDs in his last game. Ben is on pace for 5,325 yards and 35 TDs. Cinci allowed over 300 yards passing in three games (319/2, 376/2, and 419/3) with success in their other games (150/2 and 185/1). This game should be played at a fast pace, which gives Roethlisberger winnable upside. Ben tends to be a step down on the road, and Pittsburgh should have success running the ball in close.
DeShaun Watson (DK – $6,400/FD – $8,100): Watson passed for 300 yards in each of his last four games (310/2, 385/2, 375/2, and 375/1) while gaining 9.1 yards per pass attempt over this span. His downside is 18 sacks. Watson is a pace for 5,830 combined yards and 29 TDs. Buffalo hasn’t allowed over 300 yards passing in any game with QBs tossing eight TDs. This season the Texans’ RBs have 380 yards rushing with one TD on 111 carries (3,4 yards per rush). Watson is trying to carry this team on his back, and I expect him to be a part of all TDs. His biggest question will come with the Bills ability to push the issue on the scoreboard. Dark horse for an impact game.
Andrew Luck (DK – $6,200/FD – $7,800): Luck attempted 121 passes in his last two games leading to two strong games (464/4 and 365/3). Just like many QBs in 2018, Andrew is on pace for a high level of success in passing yards (4,771) and TDs (38). His yards per pass attempts (6.1) remain at the bottom of the league, but he did complete eight passes over 20 yards in his last two starts. The Jets struggled to defend QBs in the last two games (388/2 and 377/2) while facing on one top QB in the year (Matt Stafford – 300/1). The tempo of this game should be much different than his last two starts for Luck pointing to a sharp decline in passing attempts. This status of T.Y. Hilton remains in question, which would be a key player for his explosiveness.
Cam Newton (DK – $6,100/FD – $8,400): Newton is off to a slow start this year. He has two games with fewer than 200 yards passing with short success as well in his last game (237/2). Cam is on pace for 4,192 combined yards with strength in TDs (40). Washington held QBs to short yards and TDs in three games (153/0, 179/2, and 265/2) with Drew Brees playing well last week (363/3). The Redskins allow 6.9 yards per pass attempt. Newton hopes to have Greg Olsen this week, which will help his ability to make plays in the passing game. More of a neutral matchup.
Jared Goff (DK – $6,000/FD – $8,200): Goff has over 300 yards passing in each of his last four games (354/1, 354/3, 465/5, and 321/1). Jared gained 10.4 yards per pass attempt while being on pace for 5,526 yards and 38 TDs. He yet to attempt over 36 passes in any game. The Rams scored over 30 points in each game this year while scoring 21 TDs on 51 possessions. Goff losses upside in TD by the explosiveness of Todd Gurley (seven rushing TDs). Denver lost their way defending the run last week (323/1), which led to a drop off in passing yards by the Jets (198/3). Over the first four games, the Broncos allowed 292 yards per game with six pass TDs. The Rams have a couple of WRs questionable for this week’s game, but I expect both Brandin Cooks and Copper Kupp to play. On a great pace with plus receiving options in the passing game. Lower tier option, but he has the highest upside if Denver rebound vs. the run.
Baker Mayfield (DK – $5,500/FD – $7,100): Over his two full starts, Mayfield passed for 637 yards with three TDs and three Ints. His completion rate (54.8) over this span does need work. On the positive side, Baker made ten plays over 20 yards in Week 4 and Week 5. The Chargers allow 8.6 yards per pass attempts while failing against two top offenses (KC – 256/4 and LAR – 354/3). Under the radar player with the arm to produce plenty of passing yards, but Mayfield needs to make more successful plays in the red zone in the passing game. Game score will be the key to his upside in Week 6.
Case Keenum (DK – $5,500/FD – $6,700): Keenum somewhat broke out of his slump last week on the road. He passed for a season-high 377 yards with two TDs and his seven Int on the year. Last season he had 22 TDs and seven Ints with the Vikings, but he’s well behind that pace in 2018 (five TDs and seven Ints). Over the last three games, the Rams allowed 85 points and eight passing TDs with the Vikings having the best success (422/3). The Broncos will need to throw to win, which gives Case a chance at plenty of passing attempts. Playing at home and his receiving core should work in his favor if forced to chance on the scoreboard.
Alex Smith (DK – $5,400/FD – $7,400): Smith only has four passing TDs over four games while still looking for his first game with over 300 yards passing. His completion rate (65.9) and yards per attempt (7.7) suggest more upside, but his receiving core can’t make big scoring plays or get open in the red zone. The Panthers struggled vs. QBs in their last two games at home (352/2 and 383/3) while allowing 8.4 yards per pass attempt. Based the injuries on Washington on offense, I would look elsewhere for upside.
Sam Darnold (DK – $5,300/FD – $6,800): Denver decided to leave their run defense at home last week, which led to Darnold only attempting 22 passes. He completed on 45.5 percent of his chances for 198 yards and a career-high three TDs. In his five starts, Sam has fewer than 200 yards passing in four games with his best showing coming at home vs. the Dolphins (334/1). QBs averaged over 300 yards passing vs. the Colts with two teams having success (HOU – 375/2 and NE – 341/3). Indy should score some points giving Darnold a chance to post the best Fantasy game of his career.
Derek Carr (DK – $5,100/FD – $6,900): Carr looks great as far as passing yards (1,641), completion rate (71.3), and yards per pass attempt (8.1), but he only has one game with more than one TD while throwing eight Int in five games. His best game came in Week 4 (437/4) at home. Seattle allowed over 300 yards in two games (DEN – 329/3 and LAR – 321/1). QBs have eight passing TDs while allowing 7.2 yards per passing attempt.