Week 5 DFS Player Pool
Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season delivers the most unique to date. With no Mahomes, Allen, Jackson, Wilson or Stafford on the main slate, ownership likely skews from from full game stacks towards mini stacks than usual.
Another week and another main slate full of Schefter bombs that will lead right up until inactives come out. With so many studs highly questionable or potentially limited, this slate is getting noisy and difficult to hone in on this early so be ready to pivot or reconstruct your lineups by noon based on the news that comes out. Until then, let's break down this week's player pool by starting with some full game stacks.
Games to Target on Draftkings
Full game stacks this week are few and far between but I think I might prefer weeks like this because we are are able to zero in on a couple of select games and find a couple of unique spots to create leverage around the chalk.
Dallas cowboys vs New York Giants
Easily one of my favorite games of the week and really any game involving Dallas is going to be a no brainer to consider. While the Cowboys are 17th in seconds per play on the season they are still 6th in situation neutral pace. Some positive game scripts have led to a slower overall pace due their commitment to Zeke in the second half of games. This has also created two games for both Cooper and Lamb where they have finished worse than 50th in weekly WR scoring. The good news? Dallas is hyper predictable and will do exactly what they should do in any given situation. With a win probability of over 80%, let's not forget that this is still a divisional game and the Giants are desperate to keep pace in the NFC East. The other important factor here? These defenses are complete and total wastelands. For the Giants, defensive regression was almost too easy to foresee but I'm not sure anyone expected a bottom 5 fantasy defense against opposing Quarterbacks and Receivers. Hopping over to Dallas we knew it couldn't actually get any worse than last year's utterly abysmal, embarrassing, pathetic dumpster fire. They have improved significantly and are literally a bottom 10 defense in the NFL. They play aggressive which means they can turn you over or give up a bomb at any given moment. That's the kind of defense we love to target in fantasy as it speeds up the game immensely. Speaking of speeding up the game the Giants are 14th in situation neutral pace and 12 seconds per play overall. I'm as stunned as you are by that metric but I do love to see it. Now let's get into my favorite plays this game.
Dak/pass catcher/Giants bring back - If the Giants can keep this close or even jump out to an early lead then watch out for a Prescott bounce back game. At $6900 on Draftkings, I love stacking him with Lamb as people have soured on him in recent weeks. We know the DFS world is different than season long perspectives so I expect him to garner double digit ownership as his price has plummeted to $6200 this week. He's a borderline lock for me this week though. I was on Cooper last week and that hasn't changed, if you're fading the Dallas run game then a double stack with Cooper and Lamb is in play. Schultz has been killing it and has stolen some of those Lamb targets in the middle of the field so if I'm playing Lamb then I am likely fading him in this one although keep in mind it's another great matchup for him so he is playable along with Cedrick Wilson. If I'm loading up on the Dallas passing offense then I'm bringing it back with Golladay, Toney or Barkley. Simple as that. If you need a cheap TE then you can grab Engram and hope he falls in the endzone after receiving 6 targets in last weeks game against the Saints.
Daniel Jones/pass catcher/Zeke - This is literally the inverse of the above except I specified Zeke. If you believe the Cowboys lead according to Vegas and estimated win probability then Zeke at $7k is a must start as he has finally looked reasonably athletic while the Cowboys Offensive Line is top 3 in Run Block Win Rate. When Trailing by 7+ the Giants are sixth pace which leads me to Daniel Jones who is averaging 25 Draftkings points on the season. He's one of the best values on the slate at $6k and you can stack him with Golladay (5.9k), Toney (4k), Engram (3.2k) and yes, even the rare Running Back/Quarterback stack in Barkley (7.3k).
Jones/pass catcher/Lamb - Same as above except a closer game that increases Lamb's volume. You can literally insert any Dallas WR here but Lamb is my favorite this week.
eagles vs Panthers
This section will not be nearly as long and is very straightforward. Hurts ($7k) is easily one of the best fantasy players out there and has 21 or more Draftkings points in all of his starts. You can play him solo or stack him with Smith at $5.9k or Ertz at $3.4k. Goedert is too expensive for me this week but again, Hurts is playable by himself. On the flip side Sam Darnold is apparantly a RedZone monster and while I don't expect that to continue, I do think he's just fine again this week. You can comfortably stack him with DJ Moore (7.5k) who is just shredding opposing defenses and for the sake of leverage plus savings, Robby Anderson (5k) who left nearly 100 air yards on the field last week as his target share has bounced back. Please note, Darnold is easily 4th out of the quarterbacks listed so far and is the least likely to make my lineup but he is playable even if $6.6k is simply more than I want to pay for him. With CMC doubtful, I actually don't mind going right back to Hubbard here as a post hype sleeper this week in a plus matchup. He got the volume we were looking for he just got robbed by two Darnold rushing touchdowns. While this game is less stackable than the above, I do think their are some unique scenarios you can play out, including the extremely rare naked QB opposing RB (Hurts/Hubbard) stack. I'll likely grab a couple pieces from this game due to its upside but I won't be overweight.
Draftkings Mini Stacks for Your Lineups
The mini stacks section received great feedback last week so let's keep that energy going and dive into a little 1v1 correlation to consider when building your lineups. You can typically squeeze a couple of these into your lineups to boost overall correlation alongside your game stack or simply build a heavily correlated lineup without a game stack. This is also a great week to do just that due to the lack of explosive offenses on this slate and options like Lance and Hurts at great prices.
Ricky Seals Jones(2.5k) or Curtis Samuel(3k)/Marquez Calloway(4.7k) - A mega cheap and mega chalk correlation that creates salary space elsewhere. With Dyami Brown and Thomas out an explosive Curtis Samuel doesn't need much nor does Ricky Seals Jones as he fills in for Thomas this week. You could even play both and bring it back with Calloway who should at least receive opportunity against a vulnerable pass defense. Don't force Calloway into your lineups though as there are better options.
Swift(6.1k)/Mattison(5.7k) - The rare Running Back correlation! Rob and I discussed this extensively on the DFS Podcast this week and it's viable although rare. Swift is a pass catcher and if Cook is out then Mattison is a lock at a cheaper price than he was last week. You can also check out Justin Jefferson or Adam Thielen in correlation with Swift if you so choose. Heck, the Vikings were almost a full game stack for me but I had to eliminate someone. If Cook plays then Jefferson/Swift become my favorite 1v1 in this game.
Parker(5.4k) or Waddle(4.8k)/Fournette(5.2k) or Godwin (6.3k) - Any coach who tries to run on the Bucs should be fired immediately. You have to throw against them and with a depleted secondary, it's the only way to put up points consistently. I like both Parker and Waddle but won't play both. I don't have a favorite it could literally come down to the pricing fit in my builds when selecting between them. Fournette received 80% of the touches last week and the Dolphins are most vulnerable against the run. There is nothing I hate more than a Bruce Arians RB but he is playable. Godwin is simply too cheap for his role as Howard will be on Evans.
Davante Adams(8.2k)/Bengals WR - I think Davante is in an absolute smash spot this week and I will force him into my lineups where possible. The Bengals defense is bottom 5 in end zone catch rate allowed dating back to last season so let's not overthink this one. As for the Bengals WR's, just pick one. It's roulette and they are all still priced similarly in the 5k range.
Henry(9k) or Brown(6.5k)/Shenault(4.8k) - Self explanatory. Henry owns the jags and will destroy them. Julio is out and its the annual AJ Brown blow up after an injury week.... I think?? We will see but one of these dudes has a 30 point day. With Chark out, I like Viska to see an uptick in ADOT even though Colin Johnson will eat some of that up. Marvin Jones is playable and you should consider him but I have age bias so I'm just gonna die on that hill and probably watch everyone who play the old man count their money.
Kenan Allen(6.5k)/Browns RB - Allen feels like a must play and the Brown running backs certainly aren't. Don't force Chubb or Hunt into your lineup but the Chargers are a run funnel going against a run first team and a quarterback with shoulder injury albeit in his non throwing shoulder.
While the above should be plenty of information there are still plenty of other viable plays on Draftkings this week. At the end of the day, targeting pace is always going to be a priority of mine alongside concentrated volume. Keep in mind, my focus is on mid stakes, small field (1k or less), single or 3 entry max tournaments. This allows me to play some of the best plays and apply leverage at one or two unique spots rather than getting cute everywhere. I say that to reinforce a core conviction of the Roster Up DFS Team, contest selection is the most important part of your weekly decision so never lose sight that your roster construction should be based off of your contest type.