It’s hard to believe we’re already five weeks in and we now turn our attention to Week 6 of the 2023 NFL season. With bye weeks in full effect, and injuries taking a toll, we have 11 games on tap for Sunday’s main slate and six of the games opened with game totals under 44 points. We have some very popular matchups to lean into. I’m pretty much off any D/ST that is in a game with a total over 46 points. I’m keeping a consolidated player pool in terms of D/ST’s for Week 6. I’m either living in the top tier or spending way down to open up salary. Let’s check out the top D/ST’s for Sunday’s main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.


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San Francisco 49ers

After three straight home games, the 49ers head back out on the road to visit the Cleveland Browns. It’s a 1:00pm ET game. Normally that would give me some pause for a West coast team. But the 49ers are just so good that it is difficult to fade them in this matchup. Over their three-game home stand they allowed a total of 38 points and 709 total yards of offense. Deshaun Watson has been medically cleared to return but hasn’t practiced and missed Cleveland’s game prior to the bye week. San Francisco can get pressure on opposing quarterbacks as good as any other team and some sportsbooks have this total as low as 37.5 points and the 49ers are favored by a touchdown. $4,000 is a fair price tag even if they are the most expensive option on the slate.

Philadelphia Eagles

The top tier is pretty well defined this week. I’m targeting two of the best defenses in the league or I’m paying down. The Eagles arguably have a better matchup than the 49ers. The Eagles haven’t forced a turnover since Week 3. But let’s be honest, they’re facing the New York Jets led by Zach Wilson. Wilson played some inspired football in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs. But last week in a great matchup against the league’s worst defense he couldn’t even get to 200 passing yards, he threw a pick, and also had ball security issues. The Eagles still have an outstanding pass rush and they’ve been tough to run on. New York just lost Alijah Vera-Tucker to a torn Achilles and Mekhi Becton is playing through a beat up knee. The Eagles are arguably the best play on the entire slate if you can afford them. Update: Jalen Carter and Darius Slay will be inactive for this matchup. It's a mild downgrade to Philadelphia but overall the opinion on them doesn't change drastically given how beat up New York's offensive line is.


Houston Texans

This is a game with a pretty low total with some books giving it 42 points, but the Texans are slight underdogs. Houston will strictly be just a GPP recommendation. For Cash I’m paying up or going for a cheaper team. I like the personnel upgrades on the defensive side of the ball, but at the same time this team only has seven sacks through five games and in three games they recorded zero. Carr hasn’t thrown for over 300 yards since Week 1 and even for that DraftKings bonus he needed a late, deep pass to Rashid Shaheed to get there. But he just hasn’t lit up opposing defenses and on the road he’s averaging just 171.3 passing yards per game. The Texans have five takeaways in their last three games while allowing just 44 total points in that span. It’s a risky play but there’s some upside in this play for Tournaments.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DraftKings is serving some cheap D/ST’s that have performed well so far this year while also coming off a bye week. So I’ll take the bait. The Bucs come off their bye week sitting at 3-1 and they host the Detroit Lions on Sunday. The Bucs are roughly three-point dogs and the total is right around 43.5 points. That’s not the lowest on the slate but certainly not awful. Goff really needs a controlled environment for fantasy success. In three games at home this year he’s averaging 267.3 passing yards per game with a 7:2 TD:INT ratio. On the road his completion percentage drops 7.8 points with 231.5 passing yards and a 2:1 TD:INT ratio in just two games. It’s also early in the week and Tampa is projected for rain and storms Thursday-Saturday so it’ll be quite humid and disgusting to play in on Sunday. With fresh legs and the Tampa defense allowing just 16.5 points per game on the year, I think we can pay down to Tampa in all formats. They have a dozen sacks and 10 takeaways through four games.

Cleveland Browns

If you need to save $100 on DraftKings, then the Browns are the next paydown option. Truthfully, there’s a ton of risk here and naturally we should feel better about just using the Buccaneers. Prior to their bye week the Browns were torched by Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. But they opened the season allowing just 20 points and 491 yards of offense in their first three games. Obviously there’s risk but we know the Browns can put pressure on the quarterback. Unfortunately the quarterback for the 49ers, Brock Purdy, does a very good job of quickly getting the ball in the hands of the team’s best playmakers. But Purdy just finished three straight home games where he completed 75.6% of his completions while averaging 281.7 passing yards per game. On the road the first two weeks he averaged just 213 yards per game. But the Browns obviously have to account for the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle. It’s a tall task but the Browns are rested and still have talent on the defensive side.


Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders are in play on FanDuel where they’re a more reasonable price. But $3,900 on DraftKings is hilarious. You either pay $100 more for San Francisco or you save $100 and play the Eagles. Or you go dumpster diving! The Raiders didn’t have to travel for this matchup but it’s still a short week of preparation for this team since they played on Monday night. Entering Week 5, the Raiders had totaled just seven sacks and one takeaway in four games while netting just six fantasy points on DraftKings. They did have a strong performance Monday night against Green Bay, but I’m not overly impressed because I’m not incredibly high on Jordan Love. The Patriots offense is terrible. They’ve scored just three points in their last two games. This is easily one of the worst teams Bill Belichick’s ever coached. But the Raiders aren’t world beaters on defense. The projected total is 41.5 points which is fine, but there are easily better games to look for a D/ST not coming off a quick turnaround.