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Top Picks for Underdog Fantasy Pick'em Week 5

By Matt Schauf 9:38am EDT 10/5/23

Play These Picks ... If You're Still Allowed

If you live in New York (like I do), then this weekly article will soon be useless for you.

The state decided this week that contests such as Underdog Fantasy Pick’em shouldn’t be legal. And it’s not the first to do so.

The governments of these six states have also addressed this style of contest in some way in recent months:

  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Wyoming

New York was especially annoying about it

On the same day it announced this action, the governor tweeted that N.Y. is allowing bars to start serving as early as 8 a.m. ET this Sunday because the Bills play at 9:30 in London.

The message: “We can’t trust you with your own money in pick’em games. But we trust you to start drinking at 8 a.m. as long as there’s a football game. When there’s no morning football, of course, we’ll go back to not trusting you on that front as well.”

I won’t waste more time digging into how nonsensical this combo of actions is. It’s pretty evident.

Instead, I’ll leave it at letting you know you probably only have two more weeks to play Underdog Fantasy Pick’em in New York. Other states? We’ll see.

One more thing

Oh, and sports betting is legal in N.Y., by the way. So you can build your own parlay on DraftKings if you want. Just not on Underdog Fantasy. Makes sense.

Now on to what you actually came here for …

Season-to-Date Results

Downturn last week, including a few barely misses.

The Monday night game was a killer, sapping Giants QB Daniel Jones with 11 sacks and killing Seahawks QB Geno Smith’s chances with an ankle sprain. (He’s one of two injured not counted below.)

Beyond that, we had Bills RB James Cook fall a half-yard short of his total-yards line. And I screwed myself out of a hit by breaking my own rule.

Had I included Jets QB Zach Wilson, he would have easily covered.

That didn’t stop me, however, from breaking the same rule this week.

Our tally so far …

  • Week 1: 13-22 (three injured)
  • Week 2: 14-14 (four injured)
  • Week 3: 11-10
  • Week 4: 9-11 (two injured)
  • Overall: 47-57

Now on to Week 5.

 

Best Picks for Underdog Fantasy Pick’em

As always, the market lines and our projections will be subject to change throughout the week. Make sure you check our Week 5 fantasy football rankings for updated plays along the way.

I’m later than usual pulling and posting this week’s numbers. So we’ve already seen some movers up and down. But we also wind up with more plays than usual.

TIP

If you haven't played before, use this Underdog Fantasy promo code to get your first deposit matched up to $100.

 

Passing Yards

Zach Wilson, New York Jets
Draft Sharks projection: 236.4
Underdog: 204.5
Difference: 31.9

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
DS projection: 280.1
Underdog: 259.5
Difference: 20.6

Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
DS projection: 223.1
Underdog: 204.5
Difference: 18.6

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
DS projection: 301.4
Underdog: 285.5
Difference: 15.9

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
DS projection: 226.5
Underdog: 212.5
Difference: 14

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
DS projection: 296.8
Underdog: 284.5
Difference: 12.3

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers
DS projection: 208.2
Underdog: 220.5
Difference: -12.3

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
DS projection: 236.1
Underdog: 251.5
Difference: -15.4

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
DS projection: 225.9
Underdog: 241.5
Difference: -15.6

Daniel Jones, New York Giants
DS projection: 207
Underdog: 224.5
Difference: -17.5

Analysis

Are we overreacting to one good half from Zach Wilson? Maybe. But I’ll at least include him this time. Especially against a defense that just allowed Justin Fields to throw for more than 300 yards.

Are we overreacting in the other direction to Daniel Jones’ horrid Monday night? Can’t say I’m too worried about that one. Even our low projection for him this week would be his second-best yardage total so far this season.

 

QB Total Yards

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
DS projection: 263
Underdog: 245.5
Difference: 17.5

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers
DS projection: 221.5
Underdog: 232.5
Difference: -11

Daniel Jones, New York Giants
DS projection: 243.8
Underdog: 267.5
Difference: -23.7

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
DS projection: 239.7
Underdog: 263.5
Difference: -23.8

Analysis

Three of these QBs appear in both sections. Joe Burrow looks most attractive for choosing total yards instead of passing.

The Underdog Fantasy numbers add 12 yards to his line for rushing vs. passing alone. Burrow and his bum calf have 3 total rushing yards through four games. So projecting a zero in rushing seems like a good idea.

 

Receiving Yards

Rashid Shaheed, WR, New Orleans Saints
DS projection: 43.9
Underdog: 27.5
Difference: 16.4

Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
DS projection: 71.7
Underdog: 55.5
Difference: 16.2

D.J. Moore, WR, Chicago Bears
DS projection: 66
Underdog: 50.5
Difference: 15.5

Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints
DS projection: 77.2
Underdog: 63.5
Difference: 13.7

Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets
DS projection: 71.7
Underdog: 58.5
Difference: 13.2

Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins
DS projection: 101.3
Underdog: 88.5
Difference: 12.8

Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
DS projection: 94.6
Underdog: 83.5
Difference: 11.1

Gabe Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills

DS projection: 51.1
Underdog: 40.5
Difference: 10.6

Adam Thielen, WR, Carolina Panthers
DS projection: 59.7
Underdog: 49.5
Difference: 10.2

Analysis

Chris Olave let us down big time last week, with just 1 reception for 4 yards. QB Derek Carr’s shoulder probably factored in.

To that end, Carr opened this week with a limited Wednesday practice. He missed the first two days last week before a limited Friday. Things should get better.

Of course, stopping Olave figures to be Job 1 for Bill Belichick’s defense this week. New England sits right in the middle of the league in WR receiving yards allowed so far, though. And the Pats are having so much trouble at CB that they traded this week for J.C. Jackson, who fell out of favor in a bad Chargers defense after signing a big contract.

Olave racked up 112, 86, and 104 yards in the first three games.

Another broken rule

Hey, it’s my rule. So I can break it whenever I want. And this time it’s Travis Kelce.

Our current numbers favor the under on his 78.5 receiving yards. But how can I recommend you play that when we favor the over on his QB’s yardage in a game with the week’s highest over/under?

It’s there if you want it, but I wouldn’t play it.

 

Rushing Yards

Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers
DS projection: 88.1
Underdog: 73.5
Difference: 14.6

Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders
DS projection: 77.7
Underdog: 65.5
Difference: 12.2

David Montgomery, Detroit Lions
DS projection: 81.6
Underdog: 67.5
Difference: 14.1

De’Von Achane, Miami Dolphins
DS projection: 61
Underdog: 50.5
Difference: 10.5

Total Yards (Rushing + Receiving)

Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders
DS projection: 86.8
Underdog: 75.5
Difference: 11.3

Analysis

It’s surprising that McCaffrey’s rushing line remains this low. He has run for 152, 116, 85, and 106 yards so far, with no fewer than 18 carries in any game.

Brian Robinson Jr. has two options here. You’ll notice that our rushing projection presents a bigger difference, though. Robinson has generated 82.6% of his yardage on the ground. And his team heads into Thursday night as a 6-point favorite.

That should mean positive rushing game script against a bad defense.

If he has a big night, it won’t matter which line you pick. But leaning on the rush looks relatively safer.

 

The Best Strategy to Win Your Season

Underdog Fantasy Pick’ems are fun. But if you’re like us, you’re primarily focused on winning your season. We want to help. Check out this video for some proven strategies … 

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