Zach Ertz

Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports

Fantasy Football: Who to start in Week 5

Pete Davidson
October 06, 2018 - 4:34 pm

Let’s take a quick break from the Red Sox/Yankees hysteria and look at five strong plays for Week 5, at varying price levels.

For the freshest insights on all the Week 5 action, tune in to the Fantasy Football Hour, this Sunday morning right here on 93.7. Jim Hackett and I will take your questions (via text) and get you ready for Sunday! For my take on every relevant fantasy player this weekend, check out my lineup rankings at

All player pricing for this article was sourced from DraftKings.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers vs. Giants, $8,000

He’s pricey, but still $1,600 below this week’s ceiling. This allows for more lineup possibilities than you’ll get with Todd Gurley or Alvin Kamara (plays Monday), which is important with this week’s tight pricing. McCaffrey played every snap in Carolina’s last game. He’s the guy in the backfield along with Cam Newton. Those two will suck up most of the oxygen on the Panthers’ side of the ball this week. McCaffrey is averaging 22.6 touches per game and is a perfect fit for DraftKings full PPR scoring. I think McCaffrey has a 35-point ceiling in this game and a sturdy floor to go with it. He’s going to be a mainstay in my lineups this week.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings at Eagles, $7,000

He’s in a great spot here. The Eagles have been beaten regularly at both outside corner spots, and that’s where Diggs runs the bulk of his routes. The Vikings will not be able to run the ball without Dalvin Cook (hamstring) against one of the very best run defenses in football. They are going to throw, and while I like Adam Thielen ($7,000) a ton this week, I’ll usually take the savings and go with all the upside Diggs brings. Playing both in a stack with Kirk Cousins ($6,000) makes plenty of sense in large tournaments.

Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles vs. Vikings, $6500

If you are going to pay up for a top tight end this week, which is not a no-brainer, the guy I would be targeting is Ertz. He’s a pure PPR tight end, so he fits DraftKings’ scoring perfectly. Both of these teams, the Eagles and Vikings, have been playing a fast pace this year—leading to high numbers of plays. This also helps Ertz. Xavier Rhodes will be working on Alshon Jeffery most of the game, and that should only increase Ertz’s target total. I won’t be able to get him into all of my lineups because he’s expensive, but I want to use him as much as I reasonably can this week, and I certainly won’t be playing any of the other expensive tight ends over him.

Derek Carr, QB, Raiders at Chargers, $5,200

I know what your thinking because I’m thinking it too, but hear me out. I’m not suggesting you lean in on Carr this week, but some exposure makes sense. Yes, he’s been turnover-prone through four weeks, but he’s also been productive. Carr has thrown for 1373 yards and six scores through four games—connecting on 71 percent of his pass attempts. That’s a big leap for Carr relative to his career numbers and Jon Gruden deserves a lot of credit here. The old coach’s route design has been excellent so far—getting Carr defined reads and setting his receivers up for yards after the catch. I’ve been saying this for a few weeks over at Rotobahn. Gruden may be a poor GM, but he can coach, and I believe in this offense this week, at the Chargers, who will be without pass rushing monster, Joey Bosa.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Packers vs. Lions, $3,300

He’s not quite a “free square” at this point, because we are not sure who the Pack’s top three receivers will be just yet. However, it’s a near lock that Scantling will be no worse than third in the pecking order. That alone makes him a viable play at a price this low, but if we get confirmation that Geronimo Allison will sit, he becomes a very strong option. It’s not complicated. How often have we seen one of Aaron Rodger’s primary weapons at near floor pricing? I’ll have plenty of exposure to Valdes-Scantling this week.