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DFS Plays: NFL Week 5 DFS Game-by-Game Analysis

Mario Mergola

Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola

Whether it’s fantasy or real-world implications, Week 5 is littered with excellent matchups. Thankfully, we have a near-full slate ahead of us, so even if we decide to shy away from some games because of how close the two teams are, there are plenty of other options to be had elsewhere.

Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Week 5 NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.

DFS PlaysLuke May is Sporfolio’s NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as the expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles

Luke’s DFS Take: It is not often that there is a game that I have little to no feelings towards, but that is the case with this matchup. My biggest issue is that I don’t really know if either of these defenses are any good, and the offenses have been inconsistent as well. The Vikings’ offense went crazy against the Rams last week, but only scored six points against the Bills the week before. The Eagles’ offense should be great on paper, yet they haven’t scored more than 23 points in a game yet, this year. All of this uncertainty makes it incredibly difficult for me to get a read on this game which makes me uncomfortable. I can conceivably see this game being high-scoring, being a defensive battle, or seeing either team dominate. If I had to pick players in this game it would be any of Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen or Zach Ertz simply because of their volume in their respective offenses, but with no strong feelings for this game, I likely won’t be rostering anyone.

Mario’s DFS Take: I took an informal poll among friends to get a feel for the sentiment around the Minnesota Vikings. The results were unanimous – at least, as unanimous as it could be given how poorly constructed my one-question survey was. Every answer I received displayed some sense of concern about the Vikings. Whether it was the defense getting shredded by the Rams in Week 4 or the offense completely falling apart against the Bills, concerns were found everywhere. I get it. Minnesota was forgiven for its disaster against Buffalo, as football fans generally understand that any moment could produce an ‘off week.’ But the follow-up was where worry was born, as the Vikings’ strength – the team’s defense – was unable to match the intensity of the Rams’ offense. While this is true, it still does not speak to the inner nature of the Vikings. That is, they lost to a better team whose offense is as hot as any. But, buried within that loss are two keys to Minnesota’s next game. Philadelphia’s offense is nowhere near as potent as that of the Rams and the Vikings’ offense was able to tally 446 yards while scoring 31 points. Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs are all on my radar for Sunday, especially since Philadelphia’s defense is much better against-the-run than stopping the aerial attack. Don’t be scared to roll with some Vikings.

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

Luke’s DFS Take: I want to find reasons to be excited about this game. I want to get on board with the battle of Josh Rosen and C.J. Beathard. But I just can’t do it. David Johnson was better last week, but his lack of involvement in the passing game is concerning beyond a point I’m willing to risk anymore. All of our best targets at running back are guys who catch the ball, and with the Cardinals not using him that way, it is hard to get behind him with a limited ceiling. There is little to be excited about with the rest of the Cardinals’ offense. Beathard performed admirably, as we thought he may, in his first start of the season, and he almost managed to lead an ‘upset’ victory against the Chargers. George Kittle shined last week, but his price is quickly approaching the other elite tight end options, and it scares me to pay up for a tight end whose quarterback is far from reliable. Part of me wants to be all-in on this game, but my better judgement is simply not seeing any reason to take a chance on these offenses right now.

Mario’s DFS Take: I still haven’t found the answer as to why the Arizona Cardinals are getting points against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, but I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth any longer. Instead, I’ll just use quarterback Josh Rosen in a tournament and future Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald anywhere and be happy with their projected low ownership percentages. Fitzgerald remains without a touchdown catch on the year and, quite frankly, has performed a little worse than I would like, but he is still as reliable as it gets when a big catch is needed. As the Cardinals seek their first win of the season, expect Fitzgerald to be heavily involved. Of course, the same can be said of David Johnson, who is still seeking a breakout performance, but has a touchdown in each of his last two games.

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Photo Credit: By Jeffrey Beall (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons