News & Analysis

Daily fantasy picks: Week 5 AAF options for DFS

Feb 24, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Birmingham Iron wide receiver Quinton Patton (11) runs after a catch against the Atlanta Legends in the second half at Georgia State Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

(Playing AAF DFS this week? Win a one-year subscription to PFF Elite by playing this DFS contest on Fanball!)

Are you an absolute fantasy football fanatic, a DFS junkie, or just someone intrigued by the new Alliance of American Football League? Well, if so, I’ve got good news for you. FanBall has a DFS platform for the AAF and we’ve got content for it.

See below for how I’ll be attacking the Week 5 AAF slate over on FanBall.

Make sure you’re also checking out our rankings and projections and Jeff Ratcliffe’s WR/CB matchup chart for Week 5 of the AAF inaugural season.

Quarterbacks

Garrett Gilbert, QB, Orlando (@ Birmingham) ($6,800)
Zach Mettenberger, QB, Memphis (@ Atlanta) ($6,100)
John Wolford, QB, Arizona (vs. San Antonio) ($6,000)

At the quarterback position, Gilbert stands ahead of the pack, leading the position in PFF grade (83.3) and fantasy points per four quarters (23.7). Mettenberger doesn’t seem too far behind, however, leading the position in passer rating (123.0), while ranking second in PFF grade (80.4) and fantasy points per four quarters (22.5). Meanwhile, right behind him is Wolford, who ranks third in passer rating (99.3), third in PFF grade (78.0), and third in fantasy points per four quarters (20.5). After them, no one else comes even remotely close.

Gilbert has the toughest matchup of the week, up against Birmingham, who is surrendering the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (8.8, 4.8 fewer than the next-closest team). Wolford has the best matchup of the three, at home against San Antonio (17.4 fantasy points per game, second-most). Mettenberger’s opposition (Atlanta) ranks middle-of-the-pack in fantasy points per game allowed (15.3) but ranks dead-last in PFF Pass Coverage grade and is a much softer draw than the team he faced last week (San Diego).

I have all three ranked about even, and I expect that’s how I’ll approach DFS tournaments this week – splitting my ownership evenly among them.

Receiver stacks to target

Gilbert: Charles Johnson, Jalin Marshall, Rannell Hall
Mettenberger: Reece Horn, Devin Lucien, Dontez Byrd
Wolford: Rashad Ross, Josh Huff, Freddie Martino/Richard Mullaney

Running backs

Trent Richardson, RB, Birmingham (vs. Orlando) ($7,300)

Eat the Richardson chalk every week? Eat the Richardson chalk every week.

Kenneth Farrow, RB, San Antonio (@ Arizona) ($6,700)

Last week Farrow played on a whopping 56 of 72 snaps, a 77% snap share. Both numbers were the highest marks by any running back in any week this season. Farrow also totaled 145 yards on 30 carries and two targets. Those 30 carries were also the most by any running back in any week this season (by seven). Farrow feels rightfully chalky this week, up against an Arizona defense that is surrendering the third-most rushing yards per game (105.5) to opposing running backs.

Zac Stacy, RB, Memphis (@ Atlanta) ($6,300)

Stacy ranks third, second, and fourth in weighted opportunity over the last three weeks, averaging 16.7 carries and 2.7 targets per game over this span. He gets a best-possible matchup this week, against Atlanta. The Legends are surrendering the most fantasy points per game (29.4, +4.0) and the most rushing yards per game (120.0) to opposing running backs, while also allowing a 5.04 yards per carry average (the league average rate is 4.23).

Jhurell Pressley, RB, Arizona (vs. San Antonio) ($6,900)

Pressley totaled 123 yards on 13 carries and five targets in Week 4. That volume gave him the third-best weighted opportunity score of the week (16.1). That doesn’t seem too impressive on the surface; however, if excluding all Richardson games, that was also the second-best weighted opportunity score of any running back in any week this season. He played on 57% of the team’s snaps in Week 4, which ranked behind only Farrow (77%), Stacy (62%), and Richardson (58%).

Other

Ja'Quan Gardner ($5,600) has posted two of the AAF's three highest-scoring fantasy weeks at the position (in Weeks 2 and 3). He'd be a bet on efficiency, rather than volume, after drawing just nine carries and two targets last week (19 total yards). Still, it's a risky bet, and probably not one I'm going to be making this week, up against a Salt Lake defense that leads the league in yards allowed per carry (3.48).

If dumpster-diving at the position this week, Tarean Folston ($4,200) and Brandon Radcliff ($4,500) stand out for Atlanta. They have the second-best matchup of the week, up against Memphis (25.4 fantasy points per game allowed to running backs). Radcliff made his first AAF appearance last week, playing on 20 snaps, totaling 48 yards on 12 carries and one target. Folston was a Week 3 inactive, then named the starter in Week 4. He led Atlanta's running backs in snaps with 28, totaling 87 yards on five carries and six targets. The spread expects to be close and Memphis is a little more vulnerable (to running backs) on the ground than through the air, which suits Radcliff better, but Folston makes more sense on Mettenberger lineups (if you think Memphis puts up points).

Receivers

Expensive

Rashad Ross ($7,400) leads the position in fantasy points per game (20.6) and is also (easily) the most consistent option, with scores of 29.3, 16.7, 17.8, and 16.7. He’d be the wide receiver I’d want to pay up for this week.

Charles Johnson ($7,900), who is $500 more than Ross, is slightly behind him in terms of value. Though Johnson is still a very strong play in his own right, ranking second in fantasy points per game (18.5), and just ahead of Ross (first overall) in PFF grade (89.1 to 83.4), targets (33 to 27), and yards (410 to 295).

Mid-tier

Quinton Patton ($5,500) is a strong value, ranking seventh in fantasy points, third in targets, third in air yards, and seventh in salary. He also ranked second at the position in targets (eight) and third in air yards (108) last week.

Jalin Marshall ($5,400), De'Mornay Pierson-El ($5,000), and Nelson Spruce ($5,700) rank fourth, fifth, and sixth in fantasy points, while all also ranking between 10th and 13th in targets and air yards. Pierson-El would appear to be the best value, ranking 11th in salary, to Marshall’s eighth, and Spruce’s fifth. However, Pierson-El saw only two targets last week, while Marshall saw six (sixth-most), and Spruce saw five (12th-most).

Mekale McKay ($5,100) looks like a terrific value on paper, ranking third in fantasy points, second in targets, second in air yards, and 10th in salary. That said, he’s seen a decline in volume in recent weeks, totaling only 11 targets over the last two weeks, after averaging 11.0 targets per game over the first two weeks of the season.

Rannell Hall ($5,000) is another strong value, having seen five, six, and five targets over the last three weeks, ranking top-12 in targets and air yards over this span. He’s been productive as well, totaling 5.1, 16.8, and 9.7 fantasy points over this stretch. He ranks fourth in fantasy points per game over the last two weeks (13.3) and fifth over the last three weeks (10.5).

Cheaper options/punt plays

Greg Ward ($4,800) and Seantavius Jones ($4,400) haven't been very productive, but both have seen good volume, and especially when contrasted to their respective price-tags (Ward ranks 13th in salary and Jones ranks 19th). Ward ranks 13th in fantasy points, but fifth in targets and air yards. Jones ranks 16th in fantasy points but seventh in targets and air yards. Ward has seen six targets in each of the past three weeks, though Jones saw only two last week (after target totals of seven, seven, and eight).

L’Damian Washington ($4,600) has seen four, six, and then seven targets over the last three weeks. He’s turned that into only 10 receptions for 92 yards, but also ranked second among all receivers in air yards last week (126).

DeVozea Felton ($3,500) is now his team’s WR3 (by snaps). He ranked fifth in air yards last week (92.0) and sixth in targets (six) but totals just 41 yards on 10 targets over the last two weeks.

Brian Tyms ($3,700) was inactive the first two weeks of the season but leads Salt Lake’s wide receivers in snaps over the past two weeks of the season. Tyms has seen four and five targets over this span, with little production (38 yards), but does represent a decent value at his lowly salary.

Dontez Byrd ($4,000) recently emerged as a full-time player for Memphis. After averaging 14.7 snaps per game, he played on 51 last week. He’s only seen five targets over the past two weeks but caught four of those passes for 71 yards. Ideally, he should be in line for more work this week. Byrd’s teammate Devin Lucien ($4,100) was inactive over the first two games of the season but has seen good volume since Week 3 (coinciding with Mettenberger’s first dropbacks of the season). Over this span, he totals eight targets, six receptions, 70 yards, and one touchdown. Still, he’s just his team’s WR4 in snaps.

In Week 4, Freddie Martino ($3,700) emerged as the WR3 by snaps for Arizona. Still, he saw just three targets last week, and now totals only 42 yards on six targets over the past two weeks. He seems to be a fine value but would become too risky to play if Richard Mullaney ($3,000) makes his return this week. Mullaney ranked third in target market share (25%) heading into Week 3 but missed his team's last two games due to injury. If he’s active, he might be the best value play on the board at a stone-minimum price-tag. If he's out, we should also look at Josh Huff ($5,600), who, though expensive, saw terrific volume in his absence, ranking first in targets and air yards over the past two weeks.

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