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2023 NFL Week 5: Top Underdog Higher, Lower Entries to Consider

We will evaluate the projections available on Underdog Fantasy each week and craft entries that leverage game environments and correlation to maximize value. 

Week 5 Higher/Lower Entries

Dak Prescott HIGHER than 0.5 interceptions and Christian McCaffrey HIGHER than 17.5 rushing attempts and Brandon Aiyuk HIGHER than 3.5 first downs

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In the Sunday night matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers, the 49ers enter as slight favorites. In games where Dak Prescott throws at least one interception, the 49ers will likely lead in time of possession. 

If the 49ers have a lead for most of the game and can control the clock, they will likely rely on their rushing attack. With Elijah Mitchell out, Christian McCaffrey will continue to see the majority of the carries. While the Cowboys’ pass defense is currently top five in both dropback estimated points added (EPA) and success rate allowed, their rushing defense is eighth in EPA allowed and 28th in success rate. 

Brandon Aiyuk has 17 catches through his first three games, including Week 2, where he left in the first half and did not return. All 17 of Aiyuk’s receptions have gone for first downs. So far, he has averaged 5.7 first downs per game. Though extrapolating small samples can cause issues, Aiyuk’s breakout appears real. 

Darius Slay HIGHER than 3.5 tackles + assists and Puka Nacua HIGHER than 64.5 receiving yards and Matthew Stafford HIGHER than 24.5 completions

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The Philadelphia Eagles have one of the league’s most successful rushing defenses, ranking in the top seven in EPA per rush and success rate. If the Los Angeles Rams have a lead early in the game, they might still rely on their passing attack to move the ball down the field. If the Rams are playing from behind, they will abandon their rushing game to try and keep pace with the Eagles.

Puka Nacua should be a focal point when the Rams throw the ball. While Cooper Kupp’s return could lead to similar production levels between the two, Nacua has eclipsed 70 receiving yards in all four games, with over 115 in three games. When the Rams successfully move the ball, Darius Slay will have plenty of opportunities to tackle the Rams’ wide receivers, including Nacua.

Isiah Pacheco HIGHER than 56.5 rushing yards and Alexander Mattison LOWER than 55.5 rushing yards and Kirk Cousins HIGHER than 0.5 interceptions

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In the anticipated high-scoring game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings, Alexander Mattison has a difficult path to rushing for at least 56 yards. If the Vikings have to play from behind, they will likely shift their tendencies to prioritize passing the ball. If the game is competitive, or even if the Vikings have a lead, he must fend off Cam Akers, who should see at least as much of the rushing workload share as he did in last week’s Minnesota debut.

In games where the Chiefs are either leading or playing competitive football, the Vikings’ tendency toward passing should make Kirk Cousins more likely than not to throw an interception. When Cousins throws an interception, it will require the Vikings to pass the ball more, lowering Mattison’s expected rushing workload. Isiah Pacheco should see from 12 to 16 rushing attempts in this game against a mediocre rushing defense. The Vikings have a league-average rushing defense, ranking 15th in EPA per rush and 17th in defensive rushing success rate.

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