Welcome to the NFL Showdown Matchups Showdown Highlights for Week 5 Monday Night Football. Here we will provide a quick overview of the game’s key storylines and highlight some of the key insights from Awesemo’s world-class suite of tools to find the best NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel Showdown lineups. Let’s dive into the NFL DFS picks today for the Week 5 Colts vs. Ravens Monday Night Football matchup.
Week 5 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Showdown Picks
The 1-3 Colts travel back to the city their franchise abandoned three decades ago to face the AFC North-leading Ravens, who have won three straight games after an overtime loss to the Raiders in Week 1. Baltimore has dealt with a slew of injuries since the preseason, but heading into this weekend they are relatively healthy, especially compared to the Colts. The Indianapolis injuries including All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson – now on injured reserve – and the Ravens defensive front has the highest pressure rate of any team in the NFL.
You Might Not Need Both Quarterbacks in Cash Games
For most Showdown slates, the typical advice is to find a way to get both starting quarterbacks into the lineup. Since the position tends to score the most raw points, they are usually the lynchpin of a high-floor roster. However, with Carson Wentz’s projection currently coming-in nearly 10 points below Lamar Jackson’s, this might be a week to just play Jackson, allowing for more of the game’s premium skill position players in cash games. Jackson, the highest-salary player on both FanDuel and DraftKings, ranks as a top-two value play among all projected double-digit scorers. He is the highest value on FanDuel and is a no-brainer MVP choice when simply aiming for the cash line.
Jonathan Taylor Is the Only Clear Workhorse Running Back on the Slate
Taylor has underwhelmed from a fantasy perspective this season, ranking outside the top 14 running backs in opportunity share, targets, receptions and yards per touch. Compared to the Ravens backfield, however, Taylor is the only running back with a somewhat reliable workload on the ground and through the air. With a top-10 ranking in total red-zone touches, Taylor becomes a quality option on the more touchdown-dependent sites such as FanDuel and Yahoo, where he ranks as the third-best value play on the slate. Nyheim Hines certainly projects to get work in the passing game, but his workload has been highly variable as well. He has two games with six-plus targets and two more with two targets or fewer.
Baltimore’s 1A-1B-1C Receiving Corps
While the Ravens remain first in Awesemo’s game script-adjusted rush rate, the passing attack has benefited from a new three-headed monster that has allowed Jackson to take more deep shots. The results have been excellent, with Jackson currently averaging the most yards per attempt of his career. He has averaged 280 yards passing per game since Week 1 and does not seem to care which of Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown or Sammy Watkins he is throwing to. All three have target shares north of 21% and air yards shares between 18% (Andrews) and 32% (Brown). The trio has combined for nearly 70% of the team’s red-zone targets as well, giving them excellent touchdown upside. The Awesemo projections are particularly bullish on Brown and Andrews this Monday, with Andrews quietly ranked as one of the best value plays of any skill position player on DraftKings.
Michael Pittman Is a WR1 in Waiting
Pittman has had an up-and-down start to his 2021 season, with multiple performances outside the top 36 wide receivers in fantasy scoring, including a 5.9-point dud in Week 1. However, he has two games with at least 12 targets and already has a 20-point performance this season. The Colts have deployed more spread passing than other offenses and have five receivers and tight ends projected for 5-plus fantasy points. Still, Pittman has averaged a 26% target share, nearly 10 percentage points higher than any other player, and he has seen over 100 more air yards than the next-closest Colts receiver, Zach Pascal. While Pascal has seen a decent red-zone target share, Pittman has the higher projection and value ranking on both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Good Luck Figuring Out the Ravens Backfield
While a majority of early-season looks went to undrafted rookie Ty’Son Williams, Williams was a healthy scratch last weekend against the Broncos. Instead, the Ravens deployed a multi-back system, with Latavius Murray earning by far the highest opportunity share of any running back (28%). Le’Veon Bell saw just below 8% of the team’s offensive plays go his way in his first game with the Ravens, while Devonta Freeman earned just over 1%. Murray should have yet another crack to be the team’s primary back, though on a per-carry basis he was much less impressive than Williams. The Ravens may feel that the veterans are more equipped at blitz pickups, however, leading to additional playing time. The Awesemo projections see Murray as the best play amongst the group, and the Optimal Lineup tool shows Murray with a 38% probability of being in the optimal lineup on DraftKings, fifth best of any player on the slate. Still his range of outcomes remains high.
The Bottom Line
With Indianapolis struggling mightily with offensive line injuries, the Baltimore defense has a chance to be a major influence in this game. Wentz will need to play impeccably and avoid mistakes to keep this game competitive, but even if he can do that, do not expect massive fantasy production from the 1-3 Colts. The Ravens rank top 12 in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing offenses and third best in points allowed per play over their last three games. Should the Ravens defense hold up their end of the bargain, Baltimore should be able to stick to the ground game while taking occasional deep shots to Brown and Watkins, and the Colts secondary ranks 27th in the NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt. While the Ravens’ conservative style of play sometimes allows teams to stay close, Baltimore should have their way with Indianapolis.
Week 5 Monday Night Football Prediction: Ravens 28, Colts 21
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