DFS: FANDUEL Week 5, Ryan OR Roethlisberger?

The DFS lineup featured in this column last week scored 164.1 FanDuel points, but did not cash in the GPP we played it in. Yeah, we are still a little bitter. With scoring through the roof, we are focused on building a lineup that has the potential hit at every position.

QB Matt Ryan (ATL, $8,300 on FanDuel, 13.9% projected ownership on FantasyPros) or Ben Roethlisberger (PIT, $8,400, 20.2%) are both likely to have huge days as the game has an over/under of 58 points. Roethlisberger is projected on multiple sites at the highest QB of the week, but just slightly higher than Ryan. This is likely because the Steelers are three-point favorite playing at home. That spread shows this game is really a toss-up. Ryan has been the most consistent QB over any in the league over the last three weeks in which he has compiled 1,065 yards and 12 total TDs. If you are playing multiple lineups, you likely want exposure to both. This game could go well above 58 combined points.

RBs/Flex

RB Todd Gurley II (LAR, $9,100, 49.4%) has the highest FanDuel average of any RB on the Main Slate of 24.7. Gurley carried the ball 17 times for 83 yards and caught four of six targets for 73 yards and a TD against the Vikings on Thursday night. Gurley comes into Sunday’s game with 10 days rest and faces the Seahawks defense that has allowed a sixth highest average of 122.5 rushing yards a game. The Seahawks defense allowed RB David Johnson (ARI, $7,600, 16.1%) to score 20.2 FanDuel points last week and lost Earl Thomas (broken leg) in the process. The stage is set for Gurley to be Gurley.

RB Melvin Gordon III (LAC, $8,700, 31.4%) 23.4 FanDuel average is second on the Main Slate and just .7 of a point behind Gurley. Gordon had 15 carries for 104 yards and caught seven of 10 targets for 55 yards and a TD against the 49ers last week. Gordon faces the Raiders who are third-worst at defending the run with 139.2 yards a game allowed and rushing TDs allowed (5).

RB T.J. Yeldon (JAC, $6,500, 13.9%) appears to be at a discount considering the playing time is slotted for with teammate Leonard Fournette (hamstring) out. Yeldon rushed 18 times for 52 yards and a TD and caught all three of his targets for 48 yards and a TD against the Jets last week. This week he faces the Chiefs who have given up a fifth worse average of 123.2 rushing yards per game and has allowed five rushing TDs. The Chiefs defense can also be exploited through the air by RBs and have allowed 31 receptions for 385 yards and two TDs. Yeldon (ankle) has been limited in practice this week. We expect Yeldon to play, but if he doesn’t we will switch him out with RB Matt Breida.

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Alternative RBs

RB Matt Breida (SF, $6,200, 6.5%) should see plenty of work and is in a great matchup against the Cardinals. That has given up a second-worst average of 141.2 rushing yards per game and a league-high seven rushing TDs. In Week 2, Breida had a 23.4 FanDuel performance against a good Lions run defense Breida is in a timeshare with Alfred Morris, but last week he led the 49ers running backs in offensive snaps (38) and touches (12). Morris had 14 and five, respectively.

RB James Conner (PIT, $7,800, 27.3%) and Christian McCaffrey (CAR, $8,100, 26.7%) appear to be in good position and are slightly cheaper choices on the high end.

WRs

WR Calvin Ridley (ATL, $6,800, 6.2%) leads the league with six receiving TDs on just 21 targets (52nd). We would like to see Ridley targeted more often, but he has made the most of the opportunities he has had. This week Ridley faces the Steelers who have allowed a third-worst average of 324.2 yards per game to WRs. With the highest projected over/under on the week, there is good chance Ridley finds the end zone again he makes for an affordable stack with Ryan.

WR Dede Westbrook (DET, $5,900, 9.8%) caught nine of 13 targets for 130 yards and had an 11-yard rush, but lost a fumble against the Jets last week. He has scored more than 15 FanDuel points in two of the previous three weeks (15.6, 4.6 and 16.6). Now he faces the Chiefs that has allowed a second worst 343.0 yards a game to WRs. The Chiefs led all teams with 145 points scored, which means QB Blake Bortles will likely have to throw the ball a ton to stay in the game.

“Westbrook leads the Jaguars in receptions (21) and receiving yards (294), according to ESPN Staff writer Michael DiRocco. “He also leads the team with 24 targets, which is an indication of how much Blake Bortles trusts him.”

WR Emanuel Sanders (DEN, $6,700,7.4%) has seen at least seven targets in three of four games and has a nice FanDuel average of 15.2 points per game. He has a great matchup week should help him rebound from his five of seven performance for just 45 yards on Monday against the Chiefs

“His matchup this week doesn’t get any better,” Mike Tagliere for FantasyPros in his weekly column The Primer. “He’ll see Buster Skrine in coverage, potentially the league’s worst slot cornerback. He’s been targeted 21 times this year, allowing 16/206/1 in the process. And no, this isn’t a one-year type thing, as he’s allowed at least a 94.7 QB Rating in his coverage in each of the last four seasons. You know how Dede Westbrook went off for nine catches and 130 yards last week? Mmhmm. Sanders needs to be in lineups as a high-end WR2 despite Keenum’s struggles.”

Alternative WRs

WR Kelvin Benjamin (BUF, $5,000, 0.1%), WR Kenny Golladay (DET, $6,300, 31.2%) and WR Jarvis Landry (CLE, $6,900, 9.1%) have plus CB matchups, according to Mike Woellert weekly WRs vs. CBs Analysis column at 4 for 4.

TE

TE Vance McDonald (PIT, $4,600, 28.6%) has had five targets in each of the last three games. He has averaged four catches a game with 66.6 yards. McDonald also has one TD. He offers another piece of the expected high scoring game.

Alternative TE

TE Austin Hooper (ATL, $5,000, 8.2%) has the better matchup than McDonald in the ATL vs. PIT game. The Steelers are last in receptions (30) and second-worst in both yards allowed (339) and TDs (3) to TEs, according to Pro Football Reference.

Defense

The Cleland Browns Defense ($3,500, 11.2%) let us down last week as the Raiders scored 45 points. Even in that dismal performance they still three sacks and two INTs and managed to salvage 3 FanDuel points. The still lead the league in fumble recovers (6) and third in INTs (7). However, they have an 8.8 FanDuel average which is well above value.

Dan McLellan’s Best Lineup: Feel free to use many of the same players, but please apply your own research, logic, and strategy and alter this in some way.

Listen In: Every Sunday at 12:30 eastern, I join an experienced group of NFL DFS players at wblzmedia.com. Together we build our own Sunday Million lineup. It’s a great example of hearing how the thought process that went into this article plays out in real-time.

Play on FanDuel: If you want to give DFS a shot on FanDuel, use the link to signup. Once you deposit and pay $10 in the paid contest, you will get an extra $25 and I get $20.

Dan McLellan’s Rankings:

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