The 2020-21 NFL season is in full swing and there are huge Week 5 DFS contests being offered on DraftKings with big prize money up for grabs.

In this weekly column, we will identify the best plays, values, and tournament options for your NFL DFS lineups. We’ll also offer the best “fades” at each position, indicating which players to avoid when building your lineups.

Keep in mind that some of the plays offered are better for “Cash” games, i.e. 50/50, H2H, and Double-Up formats that require a more conservative approach. Some plays are recommended for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where it’s necessary to take more risk in the hopes of separating from a large field. Those GPP plays can also be ideal for Best Ball formats where players with higher upside are valuable.

For those interested in the DFS Single-Game Slate contests, here’s a quick recap:

In the “Showdown” mode on DraftKings, there are five utility spots and a “Captain” slot, who receives 1.5x multiplier for all DK points accrued. Pricing differs for players when selected in the Captain spot versus the FLEX spots, with all players required to fit under a $50k salary cap. All options are in play from QBs, RBs and WRs, to kickers and D/ST from each team.

Keep an eye on injury news right up until kickoff since things can change quickly in the NFL. Please note any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.

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Top NFL DFS DraftKings Plays for Week 5


Best Play: Dak Prescott ($7.4k)

The Cowboys defense might finally hold up and prevent Prescott from throwing for huge yardage, but he still has a good floor-ceiling combination regardless of game script. Dallas has a hefty 31.5-point implied total and should do more damage through the air against a Giants D that allows 3.6 YPC and has only given up 4 rushing TDs through 4 games. Prescott is averaging 349.6 passing YPG with 11 TDs and 1 INT over his last 3 starts against the Giants. 

Value Play: Matt Ryan ($6.1k)

Both QBs in this game are definitely in play with Teddy Bridgewater ($5.9k) also a candidate for Cash or GPP lineups. Ryan is set to bounce back after posting weak numbers against two solid NFC North defenses with his top receivers banged up. Ryan has posted a 117.2 passer rating with 11 TDs and 1 INT over his last 4 starts against a Carolina team that now ranks 26th in DVOA pass defense. The Panthers allow the fifth-highest completion rate (71.7%) this season and the Falcons allow the fourth-highest (72%), so stack QBs and WRs from this game.

GPP Play: Deshaun Watson ($6.9k)

The 0-4 Texans could be inspired after Bill O’Brien was finally fired, and they get a juicy matchup where they can showcase their potential going forward. Jacksonville ranks dead last in DVOA pass defense and is coughing up 399.5 total YPG and 29.3 PPG. Only Carolina has a lower adjusted sack than the Jags (4.2%), so protection won’t be a concern as Watson looks for his speedy WRs downfield. 

Fade: Jared Goff ($6.5k)

While he’s been better this year in empty stadiums, Jared Goff remains a reliability on the road. He posted an 84.2 passer rating with 10 turnovers over 8 road games last year and faces one of the tougher defensive lines in football this week. Washington has the second-highest adjusted sack rate (11%) and ranks third in DVOA pass defense. The Rams are playing at the third-slowest pace in the first half and will likely look to establish the run on the road. 

Running Back

Best Play: Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6.8k)

The No. 32 overall pick has been solid with double-digit DK points in all 4 of his starts, but Edwards-Helaire has yet to have a huge game. That could be coming this week against a Raiders defense that yields 138.3 rushing YPG and has given up a league-high 8 rushing TDs. While the Chiefs have used creative goal-line plays to convert in recent weeks, they won’t have to do anything tricky to pound it in against Vegas.

Value Play: Todd Gurley ($5.7k)

While he’s not seeing a ton of touches, Gurley is the unquestioned lead back inside the red zone for Atlanta. He ranks third amongst RBs with 19 red zone touches this season and has tons of upside against a Panthers team that coughed up the most rushing TDs last year and has allowed the second-most rushing scores (7) this season.

GPP Play: Mike Davis ($6.4k)

Playing Davis on DK is a way to pivot off the “chalk” of Kareem Hunt ($6.5k), who should see high ownership with Nick Chubb (knee) on I.R. With Christian McCaffrey (ankle) out, Davis is thriving in a lead role and is seeing the same type of receiving usage with 21 catches on 23 targets over his last 3 outings. The Falcons have already coughed up 3 receiving TDs to RBs this season along with the second-most receptions (34) to the position. 

Fade: Joe Mixon ($6.3k)

Mixon erupted for 181 scrimmage yards and 3 TDs against the Jaguars defense last week and rushed for 114 yards on 30 carries the last time he faced the Ravens. But it would be foolish to expect another high-volume day with the Bengals (+13.5 at DK Sportsbook) entering Baltimore as huge underdogs. The Ravens rank third in DVOA rush defense and have given up 229 receiving yards to RBs compared to just 309 rushing yards, so Giovani Bernard ($4.1k) could feasibly outscore Mixon. 


Wide Receiver

Best Play: Calvin Ridley ($7.5k)

Julio Jones (hamstring) left Monday’s game due to injury and might be limited if he plays on a short week. Ridley also looked limited by an ankle issue while catching 0 balls on 5 targets, but the 25-year-old Alabama product should be healthy enough to serve as Matt Ryan’s top target this Sunday. Football Outsiders is projecting Carolina to finish dead last in DVOA pass defense and that secondary should get burned repeatedly in Atlanta this week, so target Ridley and Russell Gage ($5.1k) if Jones is out or hobbled. 

Value Play: Robby Anderson ($5.9k)

The Panthers top receiver under Matt Rhule has been Robby Anderson, not D.J. Moore. Anderson has a 24.8% target share and has accounted for 28 of Carolina’s 103 completions this season. This week he’ll face a Falcons team that ranks 31st in DVOA pass defense and Atlanta can only hope that safeties Keanu Neal (hamstring) and Ricardo Allen (groin) are able to return after they lost CBs Darqueze Dennard and A.J. Terrell indefinetly.

GPP Play: Will Fuller V ($6.6k)

While he may not be as talented as DeAndre Hopkins, Fuller is seeing an expanded workload in his new role as Houston’s top receiver. Take away his goose egg against the Ravens stalwart defense, and he’s averaging 7.3 targets with 18 catches in 3 games. The Jaguars pass defense is horrendous without a notable CB capable of containing Fuller, and interim HC Romeo Crennel could look to turn his top weapon loose in his first game at the helm. 

Fade: Tyreek Hill ($6.9k)

Hill has a TD in all 4 appearances this season and is due for regression if he fails to find the end zone. He’s drawn just 6 targets in the 3 games this season in which KC controlled the action and the Chiefs (-12.5) have opened as big favorites this week. The Raiders have allowed only 5 receiving TDs and 9 pass plays of 20-plus yards this season. 

Tight End

Best Play: George Kittle ($6.6k)

Holy Kittle, the Niners have their lead dog back. The TE caught 15 of 15 targets for 183 yards and a TD in a tough matchup against Philly on Sunday night and he should be rostered this week regardless of who the 49ers start at QB. Nick Mullens will likely be benched and if Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) can’t return, Kittle will work with C.J. Beathard, his college teammate at Iowa. He’s flashed great chemistry with Beathard and has a great floor-ceiling combination against Miami’s 26th-rated pass defense.

Value Play: Evan Engram ($4.6k)

Engram is a Cash play in PPR formats with a significant opportunity share on a team that will likely be chasing points. He ranks fourth among TEs with a 21.1% target share and faces a struggling Cowboys defense that’s allowed the fifth-most receptions (26) to his position. Engram caught 17 of 22 targets for 164 yards in his two meetings with Dallas last season and will see more looks with Sterling Shepard (toe) unavailable.

GPP Play: Eric Ebron ($4.0k)

The Eagles have been nails against TEs that past few years, but are springing leaks in coverage this season. They’ve allowed the third-most receiving TDs (5) and fifth-most yards (276) to the position, having recently been gashed by Kittle. Ebron was touted as one of Pittsburgh’s best red zone weapons during the preseason and filled that role with 5 catches for 52 yards and a TD while narrowly missing a second score in Week 3. The Steelers should install some plays to highlight Ebron in the red zone after their impromptu bye week. 

Fade: Mark Andrews ($6.2k)

Andrews bounced back in the box score with 3 catches for 67 yards and 2 TDs last week. That type of TD rate is hardly sustainable on a run-heavy team. The Bengals rank 21st in DVOA rush defense and haven’t yet allowed a TD to a TE this season. The Ravens should pound the rock and cruise in this game.