Four weeks have come and gone, and we’re officially into the grind of the NFL season. As usual, DraftKings is opening contests and releasing salaries for the week ahead on Sunday evening. In the fast-changing landscape of the NFL, that leaves plenty of time for obvious value to appear.
Let’s take a look at a few players who stand out for Week 5, using the early projections in our NFL Player Models. Of course, these models update frequently. Things will likely change between now and Sunday, but it’s still good to have a plan of attack.
If there’s news between now and lock — and there will be — the models will update to reflect that.
As always, they’re powered by Sean Koerner — the most accurate fantasy ranker in the industry from 2019-2021.
For full access to our models, you’ll need to sign up for a FantasyLabs subscription:
NFL DFS Quarterback Values
Tom Brady ($6,000) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons (48 Total)
Since joining the Buccaneers, Brady’s cheapest DraftKings price to date has been $6,100. That makes Week 5 the lowest price we’ve seen for Brady in a very long time. Week 5 salaries came out before Brady’s Sunday night football game against the Chiefs — his first game this season with all three top receivers playing.
The difference was immediately apparent, with Brady more than doubling his previous highest DraftKings score of the season. Some of that was due to the fast-paced game environment that comes with playing the Chiefs — but not all of it.
Besides, the Falcons certainly aren’t a bad matchup either. They rank 25th in points per game allowed and have a +3.1 Opponent Plus/Minus allowed to quarterbacks this season. We have an all-time great quarterback, with a full complement of weapons, against a bad defense, all at a bargain salary. What more could you ask?
Brady leads the position in Pts/Sal projections as of Tuesday.
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Values
Tyler Lockett ($5,600) Seattle Seahawks (+5.5) at New Orleans Saints (45.5)
Lockett was a popular choice last week against the awful Lions defense, but he was outshone by teammate DK Metcalf. Not that it was a bad game for Lockett, who posted a 6/91 receiving line. Still, a disappointment given the 48 points scored by the Seahawks.
Still, he’s essentially even with Metcalf in targets, drawing 34 this year to 35 for Metcalf. The Seahawks’ awful defense forces them to be a pass-heavy team, and Geno Smith has been remarkably efficient through the air. That’s a solid combination for an offense that funnels the bulk of its targets to only two players.
Historically, it’s largely been a coin flip between Lockett and Metcalf in any given week. Their total fantasy scores are within a tenth of a point of each other on the season. Lockett is checking in at a $1,200 savings this time though, making him the obvious value. (Though the higher variance on Metcalf’s scoring makes him potentially a better play in large-field tournaments, pending ownership.)
Lockett leads all receivers in Pts/Sal on the slate.
NFL DFS Running Back Values
Rhamondre Stevenson ($5,500) New England Patriots (-3) vs. Detroit Lions (46.5 total)
Stevenson seems to be inching away with the Patriots’ backfield, with his total carries increasing in each game this year. Additionally, he added five targets in each of the past two games. While Damien Harris is still seeing slightly more rushing attempts, Harris has just four targets the past two games.
Targets are considerably more valuable than carries — particularly with a third-string rookie quarterback starting. Additionally, it’s an excellent matchup for New England against a Lions team that has given up the second-most fantasy points to running backs — and the most actual points to opponents — this season.
There could very well be enough running back scoring against the Lions for both Stevenson and Harris to have solid price-considered games in Week 5. Stevenson is the preferred option though thanks to his pass-game role. He ranks top five in Pts/Sal at the position as of Tuesday.
NFL DFS Tight End Values
Kyle Pitts ($4,400) Atlanta Falcons (+8.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (48 total)
Pitts has had a disappointing start to 2022. His high DraftKings score in a game is just 13.7, and he’s failed to catch a touchdown or eclipse 100 yards in any game this season. That has understandably driven down both his price and his ownership to start the year.
However, there’s a lot to like about his chances in Week 5. His target share ranks fifth among all tight ends. One of the reasons that hasn’t translated into fantasy production is because of the Falcons’ extremely low pass rate. They’ve attempted just 24.5 per game, ahead of only Chicago.
However, this week they play the Bucs. Tampa Bay has forced their opponents to the air in recent years, ranking first in opponent pass rate last season and seventh so far in 2022. Additionally, top running back Cordarrelle Patterson is on IR, which should tilt the Falcons to the air.
Beyond an uptick in pass rate, taking Patterson out of the lineup could also shuttle more targets to Pitts. Patterson has/had a significant role in the passing game, which could be absorbed (in part) by Pitts.
We know about Pitts’s athleticism, so if he’s able to draw a few more targets, he could be Week 5’s TJ Hockenson — a promising young tight end who hasn’t lived up to (fantasy) expectations but finally breaks out.