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Dan's DFS picks for NFL Week 5

8 Oct 2015

By Dan Podheiser
Man, it's been kind of a slow week for daily fantasy sports, huh?

Look, I'm not going to comment on this "insider information" scandal, other than to say that I knew there was a reason I've been losing so much!

But really, I'm going to be fair and balanced about this whole thing. More importantly, I'm going to continue to gamble on DraftKings and FanDuel every week.

Err, excuse me. I forgot DFS isn't gambling. Nothing to see here.

For a full explanation of the differences between DraftKings and FanDuel scoring, read this blog post by Daily Fantasy Sports 101.

Quarterback: Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (DK: $5,500; FD: $6,900)

Someone punch me in the face. Alex Smith has to be one of the six or seven worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL, but I'm so intrigued by his matchup at home against the Bears this week that I have to take that value.

Last week, I started young Raiders quarterback Derek Carr against the Bears, and Carr had an impressive first half before the Bears played the most inspired half of defense they've played in four years. I don't think they'll do that again this week. Despite Smith's shortcomings, he should be able to shred Chicago's defense with short passes over the middle and into the flats. It probably won't be pretty, but I could easily see a 300-yard, three-touchdown day out of Smith.

Running Back (DK): Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers ($6,200)

After an impressive rookie season backing up Frank Gore last year, Hyde burst onto the scene in Week 1 of 2015 with 168 yards and two TDs on 26 carries against a stout Minnesota Vikings defense. Since then, Hyde has been pretty bad from a fantasy perspective, rushing for a total of 114 yards on 36 carries over three games.

I like Hyde to bounce back this week on Sunday night against the Giants. New York is actually the No. 1 rushing defense in the league, but it's only been four games, and they haven't really played any strong rushing teams yet. San Francisco lives and dies on the ground game, led by Hyde and mobile quarterback Colin Kaepernick. I think Hyde will be the focal point of the offense this week in a low-scoring game.

Running Back (FD): DeMarco Murray ($7,400)

Speaking of disappointments, Murray has been the biggest free agent bust of the season so far. But he has such a soft matchup this week at home against the New Orleans Saints that I have to take a gamble on him when he's at likely the lowest price he'll be all season.

Last year as a member of the Cowboys, Murray torched the Saints for 149 yards and two touchdowns. I'll take that kind of performance.

Wide Receiver (DK): Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City Chiefs ($6,000)

In part one of my Chiefs stack this week, I'm pairing Smith with Maclin, his top receiving target. Maclin has seen double-digit targets in each of the last two weeks, including an 11-catch, 148-yard performance last week against the Bengals.

Look for Maclin to hit double digits in receptions again this week against the Bears. The question is whether or not he'll be able to get into the end zone.

Wide Receiver (FD): Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers ($7,700)

Allen came on strong at the end of 2014 after a mostly disappointing season, and has picked up where he left off in 2015. He was targeted a whopping 17 times in Week 1 and another 18 times in Week 3, hauling in 15 and 12 catches in those games, respectively.

Allen has been relatively pedestrian in his two other games this year, but I'm betting he'll go off for another huge performance on Monday night against the Steelers, who habitually get burned by talented slot receivers.

Tight End: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (DK: $5,200; FD: $6,500)

Kelce completes my Chiefs stack this week, having been one of the more consistent tight ends in the NFL this year. He still hasn't found his way into the end zone since his two-touchdown performance in Week 1, but he's had at least four catches and 49 yards in every game and can always be counted on as one of Smith's top targets in short yardage and red zone situations.

Defense: Cincinnati Bengals (DK: $2,800; FD: $4,700)

The Bengals are not one of the highest priced defenses on the board this week, but they take on the Seattle Seahawks, who looked absolutely hapless on Monday night without Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. The Seahawks, coming off a short week and an emotional win over the Lions, should have a letdown on Sunday. And the Bengals aren't too shabby on defense! This is a good value play, in my opinion.
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