Dez-ert Island

Dez Bryant finally draws a cake matchup after four straight difficult ones so expect him to break out in a big way. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for Week 5 NFL contests.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals, $11,000 – The team’s running game is nonexistent so Carson Palmer will have to keep slinging the ball in Week 5 if the Cardinals expect to remain competitive. The statuses of Jordan Hicks and Fletcher Cox have yet to be determined but both are banged up. If one or both sit, drastically upgrade the prospects of Palmer who has been under pressure on 42.3-percent of his dropbacks this year (fourth highest rate in the league). Otherwise, Brandon Graham is the Eagles one true pass rusher and the secondary is dreadful. Jordan Mills has both been the most heavily targeted corner and the one who has allowed the most fantasy points. However, Rasul Douglas has allowed a QB rating when he has been targeted as well and the Cardinals are loaded with talent at the receiver. Palmer has attempted 17 more passes than the next guy (Tom Brady) and he has thrown for the second most yards this year. Due to the volume alone, Palmer is playable on a week-to-week basis, but this matchup really stands out.

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers, $18,000 – If locking one player onto cash game teams without question, make sure that guy is Le’Veon Bell at home against the Jaguars. To this point, no pass-catcher has gained more than 61 yards in the receiving department against the Jaguars and yet they rank dead last in rushing defense per Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic. Additionally, the Jaguars have allowed the most rushing yards (662) and the most yards per carry (5.7). Up until Week 4, the knock on Bell had been the lack of elite workload similar to what he had received last year. On Sunday, Bell silenced those critics: 35 carries for 144 yards and two TDs to go along with two receptions (RECs) on six targets for 42 receiving yards. Following an extensive holdout in the preseason, it understandably took Bell a little time to get going. Now that he is back to his full workload and normal effectiveness, fading him in a matchup against arguably the worst rushing defense in the league in just plain dumb.

Duke Johnson Jr., Browns, $9,800 – The Browns possess exactly one serviceable skill position player on offense and his name is Duke Johnson Jr. I know it, you know it and opposing defenses know it so it behooves Coach Hue Jackson to concoct a creative scheme that gets him the football early and often. FantasyDraft’s scoring format awards one point for every reception (REC) and Johnson Jr. is much more active in the passing game than in the rushing attack. Johnson has been targeted 17 times over the last two games combined and only Andre Ellington, Tarik Cohen and Christian McCaffery have been targeted more at the position. Furthermore, he has received three total red zone rushes in the last weeks (42.9-percent of the red zone market share) and it has led to two rushing TDs. On the other hand, the Jets rank 23rd in passing DVOA and 25th in rushing DVOA so Johnson Jr. should be able to beat them in multiple ways. Since he can contribute in a variety of ways, both his floor and ceiling far surpass the $9,800 price tag.

Dez Bryant, Cowboys, $12,300 – Through four weeks, here are the cornerbacks Dez Bryant has squared off against: Janoris Jenkins, Aqib Talib, Patrick Peterson and Tremaine Johnson. Amazingly, despite four straight tough individual matchups, Bryant has scored twice this year and caught five-plus passes twice. In Week 5, Bryant is primed to face his most beatable matchup of the season when he and the Cowboys take on the lowly Packers secondary. According to DVOA, the Packers rank 25th against opposing number one wide receivers (WRs) and they have yielded 96.0 yards per to top targets. Only Morgan Burnett has graded inside the top 85 corners in terms of coverage this year and he barely ranks inside the top 25. It takes a special sort of talent to slow down Bryant and Burnett does not fit the bill. Expect Dak Prescott to rely heavily on Bryant in this game and he is already the sixth most heavily targeted receiver in the league.

DeVante Parker, Dolphins, $12,300 – The Titans have already allowed five different receivers to finish as a WR1 in PPR formats this year: Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Doug Baldwin, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller. In other words, the Dolphins receivers both find themselves in an excellent spot against arguably the worst group of corners in the league. Exactly zero of their corners have graded inside to the top 40 at the position in terms of coverage ability and Logan Ryan, the man who will be covering DeVante Parker a ton, has yielded the highest QB rating of any corner this year. When targeted, Ryan has allowed QBs to post a 147.2 rating and he has already allowed 14 RECs (on 18 targets) for 188 yards and 2 TDs. While Landry leads the team in targets, Parker has been targeted 9.0 times per game which ranks 11th in all of football. He is a complete receiver too as he is both able to haul in tough passes at their peak and stretch the field. Against a defense that was just lit up by both Hopkins and Fuller, Parker’s upside is massive.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets, $7,000 – All tight ends (TEs) have done against the Browns all season long is feast and Austin Seferian-Jenkins is feeling hungry. The Browns have allowed the second most fantasy points to the position (per NFL.com) and they have already surrendered four TDs to the position. Since returning two weeks ago, Seferian-Jenkins has been targeted 10 times and caught nine of those passes. Although the Jets do not throw enough to sustain multiple options in the passing game, Seferian-Jenkins appears to be settling in nicely as Josh McCown’s security blanket. The team does not possess a true receiving back, and the WRs are boom-or-bust, so Seferian-Jenkins is a nice, stable target for the veteran. Expect more of the same against a putrid defense except with the possibility of adding a score. Hell, it is not like this team is loaded with huge red zone options in the passing game, so he could prove to be the first look by default.

Philadelphia Eagles Defense, $6,000 – No QB has been sacked more times than Carson Palmer (17) thus far and the Cardinals offensive line is brutal. Consequently, Palmer has thrown five interceptions due to being pressured at the fourth highest rate of any QB (behind only Jacoby Brissett, Case Keenum and Deshaun Watson). Unlike Brissett and Watson, Palmer does not possess the shifty ability to avoid pass-rushers so he is basically a sitting duck. The Eagles pass rush features Brandon Graham who has graded as the third best pass rusher in the league, according to PFF, and the team has produced 10 sacks (tied for 14th). Against a Cardinals team unable to establish the run, the defense will just need to focus on putting pressure on Palmer. If previous data is any indication, that should lead to some sacks and turnovers.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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