DraftKings Week 5 DFS NFL Sleepers & Contrarian Plays

Written By Nate Lawson on October 6, 2017

Week 5 DraftKings.com DFS NFL Pivot, Sleeper, and Contrarian plays

Week 5 NFL is upon us and everyone is looking to cash in on the big money DFS NFL contests at DraftKings. Every week, we’ll take a look at the top pivot plays off of the chalk, as well as identifying contrarian options and sleepers. And to keep up with all things PlayPicks, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

As with any DFS sport, the advice below is relevant for fantasy purposes. A player, stack, or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than they are in real life due to matchup, price, game flow, etc. This is important when constructing a roster. And if you’re looking for new ways to play DFS, be sure and give BOOM Fantasy and DRAFT a try!

Now let’s dive in to our week 5 pivots, sleepers, and contrarian plays.

Week 5 DraftKings.com DFS NFL Pivot, Sleeper, and Contrarian plays

CHALK: Bilal Powell ($6.2k) @ CLE
PIVOT/CONTRARIAN: Jay Ajayi (6.6K) vs. TEN 

As you see in our Week 5 DraftKings picks and plays article, I like a lot of other running backs better that Ajayi. Let’s face it, he has not looked good the past two outings, and that is going to lead to a further deflation in ownership. But matched up against a Titans defense that just allowed the Texans to set a franchise record for points score in a game, the Dolphins lead back is in great shape for a bounce back game at low ownership.

While the Titans are allowing the 9th fewest DK ppg to opposing backs, they have not faced a better one than Ajayi from a DFS perspective. The back has immense upside, as we saw with his multi-200 yard games last season, and the Dolphins are home against a team that may be without their starting quarterback.

This has the makings of a breakout performance, especially if Mariota sits and the Dolphins can stick to ground control. Take advantage of the low ownership, and consider Ajayi has a high-upside pivot off Carlos Hyde.

CHALK: Dez Bryant ($6.5k) vs. GB
PIVOT: T.Y. Hilton (6.0K) vs. SF 

Dez Bryant is expected to be easily the most heavily owned receiver in the $6-7K range, and he has the upside to warrant it, facing a weak Packers secondary. But a slightly less expensive Hilton also has a good matchup, and maybe even has higher upside, facing a 49ers defense at home.

San Francisco has the 26th ranked DVOA against the pass, and, in 2016, Hilton was twice as likely to catch a touchdown pass at home than he was on the road, and also twice as likely to catch a touchdown pass in Colts wins vs. losses.

The Colts are -1.5 to win the game, and Jacoby Brissett has looked competent thus far in the season. Look for Hilton to burn some defenders on home turf, and serve as a very high upside pivot off Bryant.

CHALK: Le’Veon Bell ($9.5k) vs. JAX
PIVOT/LEVERAGE: Antonio Brown ($8.4K) vs. JAX
This is my absolute favorite type of tournament pivot. You have an elite wideout against arguably the best secondary and an elite running back against a bad rushing defense. Frankly, it seems almost too easy.

This Sunday, there will be mass exposure to Le’Veon Bell in both cash games and GPPs. And rightfully so – he’s up against a weak defense in a game Pittsburgh should control through an unrelenting ground attack. And for what it’s worth, I’ll likely have a good deal of exposure to Bell. But almost no one will look to fit both Bell and Antonio Brown into their lineups, and not many will look to pivot off Bell and onto Brown.

But you should consider it. Brown’s ownership will be far lower than normal this week (at least by his standards) and his $8.4K price tag is as good as it gets. And hey, all it takes is a bad hit on Bell, or an awkward tweak for 30%+ of the Milly Maker lineups to go up in smoke. Consider Brown as a pivot off the likes of Bell and Jordy Nelson.

SLEEPER: Ben Roethlisberger ($6.4K) vs. JAX – Pivot
Naturally, I couldn’t put Brown and not sneak Roethlisberger in here. Honestly, though, the inspiration came from a conversation with my friend and season-long fantasy opponent who said he was ready to drop Big Ben in a 10-team league. If season-long players are getting this fed up already, I can’t imagine what the majority of DFS players think of Roethlisberger.

All that is to say that Big Ben will be extraordinarily low-owned this week. There’s reason to think he shouldn’t be. He has arguably the top two offensive weapons in the game. He’s playing at home in a game where they’re expected to score in the mid-20s. And Jacksonville actually has been competitive this year. Maybe it won’t be a blowout!

Roethlisberger comes with considerable risk given the Jags’ tremendous, top-ranked secondary, not to mention his struggles thus far in 2017. But with Bell, Bryant, and Brown at his disposal, Roethlisberger is mighty tempting as a very low-owned pivot off of Eli Manning and Dak Prescott.

SLEEPER: TJ Jones ($3.0K) vs. CAR 
Kenny Golladay exited week four’s matchup against the Vikings, and TJ Jones filled in quite nicely as the Lions’ third receiver. Jones was tied for the lead in targets during the game (though that was just five targets) with three receptions for 33 yards. Hardly the most impressive outing, but he may have an opportunity to put things together with another nod at the WR3 position this week against Carolina.

Now, Golladay is questionable, so he could play this week, which would push Jones well off every DFS player’s radar. But he has yet to practice, and the probability of him suiting up doesn’t appear good. If he does indeed sit, fire up Jones as a cheap punt option who should get 5+ targets against a below average secondary (DVOA).

SLEEPER/CONTRARIAN: Javorious Allen ($4.5K) @ OAK 
Allen will almost certainly be faded by the vast majority of DFS players this week, given his limited upside and inconsistency. But this week, he gets an Oakland team that is dead last in DVOA against RBs catching passes out of the backfield.

The Ravens are probably not a good team, and Joe Flacco has never been less elite. But they have a lot to prove this week, and their season is far from over as they’re sitting in second place in the AFC North even after back-to-back embarrassments to Jacksonville and Pittsburgh. With Flacco’s struggles connecting with wide receivers, look for Allen to get plenty of looks and hit value, thanks to the PPR scoring format over at DraftKings.

SLEEPER: Eric Decker ($4.0K) @ MIA 
The veteran wide out gets a prime matchup against the woeful Miami secondary in a game featuring two struggling defenses. Yes, Marcus Mariota is questionable, and Matt Cassel is a bad quarterback. But the masses will flock to Rishard Matthews, and I’m not sure that’s the best idea, especially if Mariota is out.

Decker is a veteran presence on a team lacking it, and he’s not far removed from a time in his career where he was catching touchdowns in more games than he wasn’t. The Dolphins are last in DVOA vs. WR2, and even though Decker is third on the team in targets and averaging just 8.7 ypc, if Cassel plays, Decker should be the recipient of a high volume of targets on shorter routes.

But, for the record, I also like him as a contrarian move away from Matthews even if Mariota plays if you want exposure to this offense vs. the lowly Dolphins D.

CHALK: Jordy Nelson ($8.1k) @ DAL
LEVERAGE/PIVOT: Randall Cobb ($6.7K) @ DAL 

I love Aaron Rodgers this week, as I mentioned in the main DraftKings picks article for week 5. If I love Rodgers, I gotta love his pass catchers too. That said, Jordy Nelson is almost certainly going to be the highest owned wideout this week not named Dez Bryant. The Green Bay Packers are beat up, thanks to a vicious shot endured by Davante Adams last week and several broken ribs for Ty Montgomery. While both are somehow on track to potentially suit up Sunday, Cobb should be the beneficiary of neither operating at 100%.

Also, for as good as the Cowboys defense should be, they’ve underachieved drastically this season. I expect their gameplan to focus around Jordy Nelson, and that pressure should funnel looks Cobb’s way.

And why not? The veteran has scored at least 13.0 DraftKings points each game this season, Aaron Rodgers is in true form, and the Packers are expected to score well into the 20s. And this play becomes even better if Montgomery and/or Adams suit up, as fewer and fewer players will look to roster Cobb.

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Nate Lawson

Nate began playing DFS back in 2013, focusing on low stakes MLB contests over at DraftKings. Now, the vast majority of his DFS time is spent identifying optimal picks and player exposure for NBA and NFL GPPs, though MMA and eSports are his DFS guilty pleasures. With a focus on constant iteration, Nate spends a lot of his non-DFS time reading books and essays by leaders in finance and entrepreneurship for application to his DFS strategies...with a bit of cryptocurrency trading on the side.

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