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NFL DFS Showdown Spotlight: Week 5 Monday Night Football DraftKings & FanDuel | Colts vs. Ravens

Eric MacPherson

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The best NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Week 5 Monday Night Football Colts vs. Ravens | Expert projections, rankings & lineup optimizers picks.

For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will be providing free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks for today. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 5 Monday Night Football slate featuring the Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens.

NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Week 5 Monday Night Football

Baltimore will be without left tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle), though that is the only recent injury. They are still missing quite a few defensive reserves on top of their decimated running back corps. Indianapolis is missing offensive lineman Braden Smith and defensive starters Kwity Paye and Rock Ya-Sin. For those who have not been following the Colts, T.Y. Hilton is also on the injured reserve.

Indianapolis Colts: 19.5

Quarterback

Carson Wentz is not a good quarterback. While he is worthy of being a starter in the league, he is only just above replacement level. Though injuries have taken out a lot of the depth for the Baltimore defense, they are still in the top third of the league and more than capable of keeping Wentz in check. On the season Wentz has five touchdowns against one interception, and he has not topped 251 yards passing.

Running Back

Jonathan Taylor is playing half the snaps, with Nyheim Hines working in on the passing downs and when the Colts are inevitably playing catch-up. While the Ravens have ceded five touchdowns rushing, they are allowing just 85.8 yards on the ground per game. Taylor is going to need to get in his work early since Hines will be in for pass protection once the Colts are behind by two scores.

Removing Week 1 where Taylor saw half a dozen targets against Seattle, bringing in all six for 60 yards, he has just seven targets for five catches and 21 yards in the other three games. The silver lining is that Taylor has seen six or more red-zone looks in three games.

Marlon Mack was inactive for Week 3 but did get showcased in Week 4, with 10 carries and two targets for a grand total of 23 yards. Both the Colts and Mack are looking to part ways, but at best teams may be offering a conditional seventh-round pick. If he is active tonight, then that is a very crowded backfield for a team going nowhere fast.

Wide Receiver

This has been the Michael Pittman Jr. show without T.Y. Hilton, and he leads the Colts with 36 targets. Zach Pascal is next with 23, while the rest of the wideouts have 15 combined looks. There is no need to perfume the proverbial pig; Indianapolis is a disaster on offense. They have the 27th-ranked rushing and passing DVOA, and it seems ridiculous that the Ravens are not double-digit home favorites.

Tight End

Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox are viable options, with both being on the field quite a bit. However, they are relatively interchangeable from a fantasy standpoint, which makes Doyle ($2,600) the clear option on DraftKings where he has half of the salary cap impact compared to Alie-Cox ($5,000). Rookie fourth-rounder Kylen Granson saw a season-high 42% snap share last week, as Doyle has been dealing with a back issue.

Defense/Special Teams

The Colts have eight takeaways, though they are near the bottom of the NFL with just eight sacks. The Ravens will be looking to control the game on the ground, which limits the opportunities for defensive fantasy production.

Baltimore Ravens: 26.5

Quarterback

This will be the third time in five weeks that Lamar Jackson has taken the prime-time stage. He will be on upwards of 95% of all rosters, and the only real decision is if he lands in a multiplier or Flex slot. Jackson has not been particularly prolific, with only four touchdowns passing and another two on the ground.

Running Back

Ty’Son Williams was inactive last weekend, as Latavius Murray has taken over the lead backfield role. He played on 62% of the snaps, with Le’Veon Bell (27%) and Devonta Freeman (8%) working into the mix. Murray had 18 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown, while Bell had four for 11 yards and Freeman had 4 yards on his lone attempt. Bell also saw the only running back target.

Wide Receiver

Sammy Watkins (29) and Marquise Brown (28) lead the team in targets. Brown has been productive, with 19 catches, 326 yards and three touchdowns. Watkins has been steady, with four receptions in each game and 257 yards. Devin Duvernay has 11 targets for just six catches and 59 yards, though he has the other touchdown.

Both Rashod Bateman (core muscle surgery) and Miles Boykin (hamstring) may be back from injury tonight. Bateman was the Ravens first-round selection this year, so he has some intrigue. Boykin is roster fodder at best.

Tight End

Although Mark Andrews has not scored a touchdown, he is third on the Ravens with 25 targets and 253 yards, and his 18 receptions are the second most. Josh Oliver has two red-zone looks, but he has played on only 42 snaps, and Eric Tomlinson has not seen the ball on any of his 71 plays.

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Defense/Special Teams

Baltimore has 10 sacks through the first month of the season, and coincidentally that is how many the Colts have allowed. The DraftKings premium is not too steep, and this unit very much in play at $4,400 tonight.

Monday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value, but for those taking the MME approach, remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their quarterback.

Week 5 Monday Night Football NFL DFS Rankings

Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Lamar Jackson: It is not even close.
  2. Carson Wentz: Only player who projects within 10 points of Jackson.
  3. Mark Andrews: The touchdowns will catch up throughout the season and could start tonight.
  4. Justin Tucker: Most accurate kicker in the history of the league, also set a league record with a 66-yarder this season.
  5. Michael Pittman: Another candidate for positive touchdown regression, unlikely to happen tonight.
  6. Latavius Murray: Capable pass catcher, but Baltimore does not go to their running backs often; he really needs to score.
  7. Sammy Watkins: Major discount to Brown on FanDuel ($6,000) and DraftKings ($5,200).
  8. Rodrigo Blankenship: Indianapolis settles for a lot of field goals when their drives stall out.
  9. Marquise Brown: Salary is lofty, but where else are gamers spending?
  10. Jonathan Taylor: Could see 17 touches with fewer than 50 yards; could luck into two touchdowns.

Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Rashod Bateman: DraftKings minimum salary at just $200.
  2. Baltimore D/ST: They will probably land on a third of all rosters tonight.
  3. Nyheim Hines: Likely to see 8 to 10 opportunities in a low-volume offense.
  4. Zach Pascal: Should get a handful of targets, but the accuracy will be questionable at best with Wentz.

Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks

  1. Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox: Literal coinflip; Doyle has a big salary edge on DraftKings.
  2. Marlon Mack: Tonight’s MME special; if active, he could see zero touches or 12.
  3. Parris Campbell: Well down the pecking order.
  4. Le’Veon Bell: Battling Jackson and Murray for carries.
  5. Devin Duvernay: Better on FanDuel ($6,000) than DraftKings ($4,800); moves to the top of this section if Bateman remains out.
  6. Indianapolis D/ST: Contrarian option; if they get a return touchdown in a low-scoring game, they could be a difference maker.
  7. Devonta Freeman: Needs a lot of things to break in his favor to get any fantasy production.
  8. Miles Boykin, Josh Oliver, Eric Tomlinson, James Proche, Mike Strachan, Ashton Dulin: Over/under of 5.5 combined looks for this motley crew.

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Take a look at our depth charts, starting lineups and inactive player list. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS tips for multiple game slates, head over to NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL DFS rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking.)

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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