We close the door on another week of NFL DFS, but another one opens shortly thereafter. There’s no doubt about it, it’s been a tough start to the season. Continuing to pay down at D/ST has been my bread & butter and I rolled out the New England Patriots in Week 4 on DraftKings. Was it a good decision? In hindsight, yes, but truthfully my read was wrong. The Packers moved the ball and put up points at a rate I wasn’t expecting. However, a pick-six in the second quarter was all we needed and it helped New England exceed 4X value on DraftKings last week. If you’ve been frustrated in Cash games this year, maybe scale it back one week and just play low-cost, smaller-field tournaments to right the ship and come back to Cash games at another time. We’ll keep you covered heading into Week 5 as the NFL DFS Watch List was published on Tuesday and gets updated through the week and it’s never too early to dive into the NFL DFS Projections, Draft Percentage Forecaster, and see what lineups you can build with the NFL DFS Lineup Generator.
Be sure to check out the rest of the NFL DFS Coaches and DFS Watch List throughout the week!
NFL DFS D/ST Top Plays For Week 5
Poor Kenny Pickett. He was named the Pittsburgh Steelers starting quarterback earlier this week and his first career start comes on the road in Buffalo against a defense that is starting to get healthy and was looking solid even when they were dealing with injuries. Despite the poor weather last week, Buffalo’s secondary looked great with the returns of Jordan Poyer and Dane Jackson. Now it’s possible they get Ed Oliver back this week as well which would just make matters worse for Pittsburgh. Buffalo has not yet let a team post 300 yards of offense and they have 13 sacks and nine turnovers through four games. The over/under s very high at 47 points but the Bills are massive 14-point favorites. Pickett threw three interceptions a week ago against the Jets and fumbled as well. Do we really think it’ll get better for the rookie in this matchup?
San Francisco 49ers
The travel shouldn’t be too much of an issue for San Francisco this week considering they’ll be playing in the 4:00 pm ET window on Sunday. So I’m throwing out the West coast team playing on the East coast narrative because this 49ers defense is among the three best in the league. They just held the defending Super Bowl champions to 257 yards of offense and nine points. The numbers are amazing. Matthew Stafford has thrown for the most yards against this secondary and even he topped out at 200. The most rushing yards they’ve allowed? 101 to Denver in Week 3. They’ve allowed just 25 total points in their last three games and 44 total points on the year. Now they get the Carolina Panthers who have plenty of concerns on the offensive side of the ball. The 49ers should probably be $500 more on DraftKings. Even as a more expensive option, they have one of the easiest matchups on paper. The expected total is under 40 points and they’re favored by nearly a touchdown.
Here’s a team that’s pretty damn fun to watch. Since their Week 1 matchup against the Lions that turned into a shootout, the Eagles defense has shown up and returned 45 DFS points the last three weeks. They’ve allowed a total of just 28 points and 723 yards of offense while posting 15 sacks and nine turnovers in that span. That’s absolutely phenomenal. The concern in this matchup is garbage time. The Cardinals have looked somewhat inept through the first three-quarters of every game this season and then garbage time wields its ugly head and Kyler Murray decides to start generating offense.
In Week 1 against the Chiefs, they had just seven points through three quarters before a pair of touchdowns in the fourth made up for a lackluster day. In Week 2, the Raiders had a 23-7 lead at the end of three quarters before collapsing and losing in overtime to Arizona. They put up 12 points (four field goals) against the Rams and they all came in the second half. Last week in Carolina, they were tied at ten through three quarters before the Cardinals pulled away in the fourth quarter collecting 16 points. I have complete faith the Eagles can return value and that they can be a slate-breaker as long as they keep the Cardinals in check for all four quarters. The over/under is pretty high at 49 points, but the Eagles have been the best D/ST in fantasy through four weeks, yet there are five more expensive teams on the board because of Philly’s matchup against Arizona? I’ll take the discount and potential low ownership in tournaments.
NFL DFS D/ST Mid-Price Plays For Week 5
This is a fantastic matchup for Tennessee this week. It seems like every week it’s a D/ST in this mid-range that breaks the slate and it could very well be the Titans in Week 5. The Commanders allow the fourth-most fantasy points to the D/ST position and their offensive line is atrocious as Carson Wentz has been sacked 17 times. Remember, the Lions have a poor defense. That team gets into shootouts because the defense is so bad. And even that group recorded five sacks with an interception and a safety against the Commanders. The over/under isn’t necessarily the lowest on the slate at just 42.5 points, but it’s low enough to garner interest from a DFS perspective and the Titans likely show up as a contrarian play with plenty of upside in this matchup.
New York Jets
You can make the argument the Jets should be in the value tier, I wouldn’t argue with you but I already like two cheap teams in that range as it is. But this is really betting against Teddy Bridgewater above all else. The Jets defense played out of its mind last week against the Steelers with four interceptions and three sacks. But aside from the quarterback position, the Dolphins are still loaded on offense. Tyreek Hill even told a reporter that he could put numbers with the reporter throwing him the ball. A lot of people may target the Dolphins for DFS and that’s fine. But I’m of the mindset the Jets could have more upside in this matchup. Vegas projects a good amount of scoring so I wouldn’t play them in Cash games. You can spend up or down from this spot, but they’re in play for GPP’s.
NFL DFS D/ST Value Plays For Week 5
The Cowboys are priced down this week because of their matchup with the Rams. When you’re trying to shut down Cooper Kupp, it’s best to take a “bend but don’t break” mentality. I’m more than happy paying down for a great defense even if they’re going up against an explosive offense. But only if there’s reason for optimism. The Cowboys are fifth in defensive DVOA and they’ve yet to allow an opposing quarterback to throw for 200 yards. That’s incredibly impressive. They’ve only forced four turnovers on the year, but they’re still third in pressure rate and they’ve recorded 15 sacks through four games. And the Los Angeles Rams offensive line has been a bit of a revolving door with their personnel.
We’ve seen the Rams struggle against elite defenses already this year. They put up ten points on the Bills, then nine last week against the 49ers. Even against a suspect defense like the Cardinals they only put up 20. Matthew Stafford has thrown six interceptions through four games to go with two fumbles (one lost) and he hasn’t been lighting up the stat sheet either. They have no one that can really stretch the field so as long as Dallas keeps Kupp in check they should pay off. If there’s a popular pay-down D/ST this week on DraftKings, it’s likely Dallas despite the road matchup.
The Bears seemingly provide a good enough floor for DFS usage each week. That’s the case when your defense tends to play out of its mind and makes more plays than the offense. Will that continue through the rest of the year? Hard to say, especially if the Bears offense struggles to stay on the field. But the Bears get a good matchup this week against Kirk Cousins and the Vikings. Does the prospect of trying to shut down Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, Irv Smith Jr., and KJ Osborn look difficult? Sure. Even Marshon Lattimore couldn’t contain Jefferson last week in London. The Bears opened as 4.5-point underdogs and that quickly moved to being 7.0-point underdogs. Not great. However, this is a defense that can make plays going up against a quarterback that is known for making mistakes. Position of high variance, that’s what D/ST is. The Bears have seven sacks on the season with seven turnovers and they’ve held three of four opponents to 20 points or fewer. Given the price tag on Dallas this week, I don’t know if I’ll go to Chicago in Cash games, but I love them as a paydown in tournaments.
NFL DFS D/ST Fades For Week 5
I just haven’t liked what I’ve seen defensively from the Browns but it’ll certainly help their cause if Myles Garrett suits up with the Chargers a bit beat up. But even last week we thought the Bolts could struggle and they managed to have a productive day on offense against Houston. The Brown have only forced eight sacks and four turnovers through four games. That’s not that impressive. And the DFS production has translated to three, ten, three, and six points through the first four weeks. They are priced down this week but if you read up on the Jets, Cowboys, and Bears I’d rather take the discount with those three teams. This a game with one of the higher projected totals on the main slate and the Browns are about three-point underdogs. We can look elsewhere in Week 5.