DFS NFL

The 2020-21 NFL season has kicked off and there are huge Week 5 DFS contests being offered on FanDuel with big prize pools and exciting new formats such as Best Ball.

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, which require a more conservative approach. Some plays are recommended for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where it’s necessary to take more risks 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.

Keep an eye on injury news right up until kick-off 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 FanDuel Plays for Week 5

Quarterback

Best Play: Lamar Jackson ($8.9k)

His price tag has dropped considerably after a couple of quiet games and now Jackson is finally more affordable in a smash spot. He burst for 152 rushing yards and a TD in Week 6 against Cincy last year and posted a perfect passer rating with 3 passing scores and 65 rushing yards in a blowout win in Week 10. Even if the Ravens (-13.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook) roll, Jackson should meet value, and the emergence of Joe Burrow gives hope to the possibility of a competitive division game.

Value Play: Ben Roethlisberger ($7.4k)

Don’t blitz a veteran quarterback. That’s a wise adage for defensive coordinators to live by, but Eagles DC Jim Schwartz is notoriously stubborn and married to his blitz packages. Roethlisberger has a 72% completion rate in his career with 2.5 seconds or fewer in the pocket. His receiving corps will be healthier coming out of their impromptu bye week and he’ll be able to attack downfield against an Eagles team that’s allowed 12 pass plays of 20-plus yards.

GPP Play: Teddy Bridgewater ($7.1k)

This Panthers-Falcons game is oozing with DFS potential and has a great chance to go over the 53.5-point total set at DK Sportsbook. Atlanta ranks 31st in DVOA pass defense, the Panthers defense ranks 26th, and the Falcons are second in pace of play. Bridgewater’s production has ramped up with Christian McCaffrey (ankle) out and he could have another big game against a banged-up Falcons secondary that is hemorrhaging yardage regardless of personnel.

Fade: Patrick Mahomes ($9.0k)

The Chiefs have the most creative goal-line offense in recent memory and Mahomes has been able to reap some of the rewards of that play-calling with some nifty flips and shovel passes. If KC converts on those opportunities without a forward pass, he could come up short of value at this price tag. The Raiders have allowed a league-high 8 rushing TDs to just 5 passing TDs and KC (-12.5) is heavily favored at home. 

Running Back

Best Play: Mike Davis ($6.8k)

There aren’t many better options on a per-dollar basis this week than Mike Davis. The veteran has stepped in for Christian McCaffrey (ankle) and is thriving as a dual threat with 21 catches on 23 targets over the past three weeks. Atlanta’s defense has been a sieve and has allowed the second-most receptions (34) to RBs this season. Davis has played on 76% and 71% of offensive snaps the past two weeks, so clearly he’s earned the trust of his coaches.

Value Play: D’Ernest Johnson ($5.3k)

The Colts defense has been lights out over the past three weeks, but hasn’t faced a rushing attack of this caliber. Cleveland ranks second in DVOA rush offense with an offensive line that leads the NFL in adjusted RB yards (5.79) and blocking at the second level. Nick Chubb (knee) is more talented than Johnson – who set program records at USF before going undrafted – but this is a system that will reward whichever back gets the rock this Sunday.

GPP Play: David Johnson ($6.4k)

Teams often respond following the firing of a HC and in the case of the Texans, the locker room should be invigorated after J.J. Watt reportedly led a players’ coup to oust Bill O’Brien. Watt could lead a superior defensive effort against the Jaguars this week and that would set up David Johnson for an increased workload in what could be Houston’s first win. Jacksonville has allowed the sixth-most rushing yards (554) through four games and Johnson has played on 80% of offensive snaps and touched the ball on 32% of those plays this season.

Fade: Josh Jacobs ($8.2k)

This price tag almost seems like a mistake considering the fact that Las Vegas (+12.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook) is a huge underdog. Granted, the Chiefs are coughing up 161 rushing YPG and shutting down opposing passing attacks, but Jacobs hasn’t capitalized in plus matchups against the Bills or Saints recently. He’s only averaging 3.6 YPC and while he posted great efficiency stats in his two meetings with the Chiefs last year, he only saw 29 touches as the Raiders lost by 18 and 31 in those games.

Wide Receiver

Best Play: D.J. Moore ($6.6k)

Moore is a great tournament play on what’s become a shorter slate since the Bills-Titans game became officially PPD. The Panthers offense is full of great options against Atlanta’s sieve-like defense, but the public should gravitate towards Robby Anderson ($6.2k) since he’s been more consistent. Moore is still drawing 41.9% of Carolina’s Air Yards and he’s averaging 16 yards per reception. Atlanta allows 11.7 yards per reception and has given up a league-high 21 pass plays of 20-plus yards. 

Value Play: Laviska Shenault ($5.3k)

After almost ignoring their versatile young WR in a blowout loss to Miami last Thursday, the Jags fed Shenault in the first half against Cincy and he produced 86 receiving yards on 6 targets. With D.J. Chark back in the lineup, Shenault will see softer coverage underneath and he’s emerging as the second option in a top-10 passing offense. Houston is allowing the second-highest passer rating (115.1) this season and just fired HC Bill O’Brien. 

GPP Play: CeeDee Lamb ($5.9k)

Lamb is only a risky play this week because game flow could potentially lead the Cowboys to stop throwing, which would be a huge departure from their recent results. Yet he could still find success over the first three quarters against a Giants team that ranks 24th in DVOA pass defense. James Bradberry is the Giants best CB by far, and he should do a decent job on Amari Cooper. So Dak Prescott should pepper Lamb with targets if he wins his matchup against struggling slot CB Corey Ballentine.

Fade: DeAndre Hopkins ($8.7k)

Hopkins is drawing a monstrous target share (34%) this season, but his average depth of target is only 7 yards, which ranked 92nd among qualified receivers. The Jets are only allowing 239.8 passing YPG this season and that’s mostly due to game flow. With Joe Flacco slated to start for the injured Sam Darnold, it’s hard to imagine the Jets keeping this game competitive.

Tight End

Best Play: George Kittle ($7.1k)

It’s rather surprising to see that Kittle is not the most expensive TE at FanDuel this week. He dominated in a tough matchup with 15 catches for 183 yards and a TD against the Eagles on Sunday and will serve as the Niners top receiving option against Miami’s 26th-rated pass defense. If Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) can’t go, C.J. Beathard should start over Nick Mullens, and Kittle has great chemistry with Beathard dating back to their college days at Iowa.

Value Play: Evan Engram ($5.5k)

Engram has yet to show much upside while the Giants score the fewest PPG (11.8) this season, but he could have a solid game against a Cowboys team that’s allowing the most PPG (38.3) through four weeks. Engram has run the second-most routes (154) among TEs and is drawing the third-most targets per game (7.5). He posted a 11-116-TD line in a visit to Dallas last year and the Cowboys LBs and safeties have been a mess this season.

GPP Play: Eric Ebron ($5.1k)

The Eagles love to blitz and Ben Roethlisberger is a veteran QB who thrives against pressure. Ebron could serve as one Roethlisberger’s primary “hot reads” in those instances and he’s likely to draw targets in the red zone as the Steelers come out of their unexpected bye week. The Eagles have given up 3 receiving TDs to TEs this year and Ebron caught 20 TDs over his previous 3 seasons before joining Pittsburgh.

Fade: Travis Kelce ($7.8k)

Kelce has been reliable this year, but is not flashing enough upside to justify this price tag. He’s averaging a modest 86.3 receiving YPG over his last three meetings with the Raiders and Vegas has allowed the fewest receptions (10) with just 1 TD allowed to TEs this season.

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