Last updated: October 3rd at 5:05pm ET
Team Totals: Patriots 29, Redskins 13.5
Coming off a miserable offensive effort in Buffalo, this is a get-right spot for the Patriots, who offer DFS team-stack possibilities with Tom Brady at the forefront. Washington has supported high floors by yielding top-13 fantasy results to 3-of-4 quarterbacks faced, while Brady has top-14 scores in 3-of-4 starts, including two top-seven finishes. Despite several offensive line losses, Brady has taken just three sacks one month in. He should experience another clean pocket against the Skins, who managed three combined sacks and eight QB hits against the Bears and Giants in their last two games. … With Sony Michel badly struggling behind an injury-ravaged line without FB James Develin (neck, I.R.) and Rex Burkhead’s (foot) health in doubt, James White is New England’s lone bankable PPR back. White played a season-high 52% of last week’s offensive snaps, led the Pats in targets (10) and receiving (8/57/0), and now faces a Skins defense Wayne Gallman stung for 6/55/1 as a pass catcher in Week 4. … Burkhead injured his foot in practice last week, played a season-low 12 snaps at Buffalo, and looked to aggravate the injury on a fourth-quarter punt. He’ll need to re-prove his health to become fantasy viable again. … Projected game script should work in Michel’s Week 5 favor – the Patriots are favored by 15.5 points in D.C. – but Michel has virtually no room for error with zero targets on the season in a dysfunctional rushing attack. He’s fantasy football’s most touchdown-dependent commodity beyond Adrian Peterson.
Brady’s Weeks 1-4 target distribution: Julian Edelman 32; Josh Gordon 27; Phillip Dorsett 23; White 21; Burkhead 18; Jakobi Meyers 4; Ryan Izzo 3; Matt LaCosse 2. … Whereas all Patriots pass catchers were predictable Week 4 duds in a game at Buffalo where Brady managed 150 passing yards, Week 5 offers a premium bounce-back spot. The defenseless Skins have been torched for 29-of-35 passing for 334 yards (9.5 YPA) and four touchdowns on slot targets this year. Edelman runs 74% of his routes inside. … Perimeter WRs DeSean Jackson (8/154/2), Taylor Gabriel (6/75/3), Devin Smith (3/74/1), Alshon Jeffery (5/49/2), and Amari Cooper (4/44/1) have all paid dividends versus Washington, boding well for Gordon and Dorsett. Gordon leads New England in targets (18) over the last two weeks, while Dorsett has paced the team in Air Yards (182). Popping in Josh Hermsmeyer’s Week 5 Buy Low Air Yards Model, Gordon is an upside WR2 play against the Skins. Dorsett a similarly high-ceiling WR3/flex. … I’d hesitate to stream 38-year-old Ben Watson in his first game off suspension, but tight end-premium leaguers need to pick him up. Watson shouldn’t struggle to earn passing-down snaps over blocker Izzo and invisible LaCosse.
As the winless Redskins continue to treat their Week 5 starting quarterback as a secret of the darkest depths, we’re left to a guessing game between Dwayne Haskins, Colt McCoy, and Case Keenum while focusing on New England’s D/ST. Haskins is our preferred option from that standpoint; the rookie No. 11 overall pick showed precisely why Jay Gruden didn’t want to play him in the first three weeks by coming off the bench to throw three picks among 17 attempts in last week’s blowout loss to the Giants. … Chris Thompson is Washington’s lone fantasy-viable running back with the Skins highly likely to play from behind. The Patriots have stymied enemy backs for 62/210 (3.39 YPC) rushing on the year – bad news for Adrian Peterson – while Thompson ranks second among NFL backs in targets (28) and receiving yards (251). … Terry McLaurin’s hamstring injury proved serious enough to sideline him last week and limit him in this week’s practices. With Stephon Gilmore’s shadow on tap, this is a wait-and-see week for McLaurin to gauge his health amid quarterback uncertainty. … Trey Quinn (2/10/0) and Paul Richardson (3/14/0) flopped spectacularly as Week 4 punts after McLaurin was announced as inactive, and Vernon Davis is in concussion protocol. Good luck getting this moribund Redskins offense right.
Score Prediction: Patriots 34, Redskins 7