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Break The Slate: NFL DFS DraftKings Lineup Picks - Week 5

Hello again RotoBallers and NFL DFS fans! Thanks for joining me here at Break The Slate, a weekly article in which we try to pinpoint the best DraftKings plays available on the main slate. Unfortunately, Week 4 didn't exactly go as planned and was just one of those strange weeks that we see a couple of times a year in the NFL.

These DraftKings lineup recommendations are based on matchups, projected ownership, overall upside/talent levels, opportunity, and other factors such as Vegas odds, home field advantage, and more. There are quite a few great plays available, so read on to find out which players are the best for Week 5.

Good luck with your DraftKings DFS lineups, lets Break The Slate together!

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


DraftKings DFS Quarterbacks - Week 5 Picks

Jameis Winston - TB @ NO ($6,200)

All the preseason love that was going Jameis Winston's way seemed ridiculous after a disastrous opening week performance against the 49ers, but maybe we were right all along. The Tampa QB has certainly picked up the pace in his last two starts, throwing for a combined 765 yards and seven TDs against the Giants and Rams. The matchup is a bit tougher this week, as he heads to New Orleans for a divisional road game, but the Saints - despite shutting down Dak Prescott last Sunday night - aren't a matchup to fear, as they've allowed the third-most DraftKings points in the NFL to opposing QBs. Fantasy players were excited about what Winston might do under the tutelage of new Bucs HC Bruce Arians and things finally appear to be clicking. Winston has thrown for over 1,100 yards and is tied for the second-most TD passes in the NFL at nine - all this despite a sluggish start to the season. I look for things to continue rolling against the Saints this week.

Matt Ryan - ATL @ HOU ($5,900)

I grew up loving college football, so I don't really have a lifelong allegiance to an NFL team, but the Falcons have definitely been my 'favorite' NFL team for my adult life. Personal biases aside, I will continue to die on the "Matt Ryan is the most overlooked and undervalued DFS QB in the NFL" hill. This will probably be the case again this week, as I expect most of the DFS attention in this matchup to be on the other QB in this game - Deshaun Watson. Despite Atlanta's struggles as a team, Ryan is off to a blistering start in 2019, averaging 23.7 DK points per game. He's thrown for over 300 yards in every game this season and leads the NFL with 176 pass attempts. He draws a matchup against a Texans unit that has relinquished over 1,100 yards and 90 DK points to opposing QBs this year, in a game in which Houston should have no trouble shutting down Atlanta's non-existent run game and carries definite shootout potential.


DraftKings DFS Running Backs - Week 5 Picks

Dalvin Cook - MIN @ NYG ($8,400)

You won't find many surprises in this article at the RB position this week. I like grabbing as much floor as possible at running back, and there are several quality backs in great spots this week, so barring any breaking injury news I'll be leaning in a pretty vanilla direction at RB.

Let's kick things off with one of the most impressive running backs of the season, Minnesota's Dalvin Cook. We've always known the talent was there with Cook, but the biggest obstacle in his injury-plagued career has been staying on the field. He's been healthy this year and this run-first Vikings offense is taking full advantage of his ability. Cook sits one yard behind Christian McCaffrey for the most rushing yards in the NFL at 410. He's ran for over 100 yards in three of Minny's four games. This week's matchup against the New York Giants isn't as amazing as it appears at first glance (New York ranks middle of the pack in yards and DK points allowed to opposing RBs), but it is certainly a very strong spot for Cook.

Ezekiel Elliott - GB @ DAL ($8,300)

For all the pearl clutching that his holdout caused, the whole Ezekiel Elliott contract thing turned out to be nothing major. Zeke has played and been low-key solid, going for over 100 yards rushing in two of the Cowboys four games. He was practically shut down on the ground in a defensive struggle against New Orleans last Sunday night, but salvaged his numbers with a TD on the ground and six catches on seven targets for 30 yards. That's the thing about'll seem as though he's having a very ho-hum game and next thing you know he has 18 DK points. Obviously we want more than that at this price, but the point is that his floor is so stable that it's hard for him to have a truly bad game. That said, I'm focusing more on Elliott's ceiling this week against a Packers Defense that has been routinely shredded on the ground and has allowed the third-most DK points in the NFL to opposing running backs.

David Johnson - ARI @ CIN ($7,500)

Even though he's up to $7.5k, David Johnson might just be the best value on the board at the RB position this week. Despite not breaking 100 yards rushing in a single game this season, DJ has still managed to be effective and average 18.5 DK points per game. He's doing most of his damage as a receiver out of the backfield and gets a smash spot against a Bengals Defense that has allowed 285 receiving yards to opposing running backs, the most in the NFL. Cincy is also dead last in the league in DK points allowed to the RB spot at 156.44. In this high-volume Arizona offense, DJ will have plenty of opportunities to gash the Bengals both through the air and on the ground in Week 5, and will see a little bit of an increase in usage due to Christian Kirk's absence. This spot is beautiful and makes Johnson my favorite RB play of the week.


DraftKings DFS Wide Receivers - Week 5 Picks

Julio Jones - ATL @ HOU ($7,700)

The best receiver in the league against a rookie cornerback probably won't equal a great outcome for the home team in this one. Julio Jones is once again having a superstar-caliber season for the Falcons. He's went over 100 yards in two of Atlanta's four games and will see lots of Houston's rookie CB Lonnie Johnson Jr. this week, who currently has a PFF grade of 32.5, the third-worst grade of cornerbacks in the NFL this season. As we touched on when discussing Matt Ryan earlier in this article, the Falcons are one of the most pass-happy teams in the NFL and should once again be forced to the air quickly in this one. Jones is averaging a shade over nine targets per game and I wouldn't be a surprised to see him get over double digits looks this week.

Michael Thomas - TB @ NO ($6,600)

I very rarely roster Michael Thomas, so it feels a little weird that I'm interested in him with Drew Brees out of the lineup, but I'm really intrigued by Thomas' reduced price tag. At $6.6k we're getting a player that is still the unquestioned alpha in the New Orleans receiving corps and seeing basically 1/3rd of the teams total targets. Bridgewater is certainly no Brees, but Thomas is usually his first look and he's received 16 targets in Teddy B's two full games as the starter. He squares off against a Bucs defense that is improved, but still very beatable in the pass game and has yielded the fourth-most DK points in the league to opposing WRs. Bridgewater no doubt hampers Thomas' chances of breaking the slate, but we should have no problem seeing a great return on our $6.6k investment.

Auden Tate - ARI @ CIN ($3,500)

With John Ross headed to IR, there's practically a big neon arrow pointing to Auden Tate that says: "Play Me", so the Bengals wideout will no doubt be a popular option here. However, like Seattle's Will Dissly last week, he's chalky because he's a very strong play. Value is tough to come by on this slate and Tate is in a great spot to offer salary relief when constructing Week 5 rosters. I continue to circle the Arizona Cardinals anytime they are on the slate due to the amount of plays they both run and allow each week. While Ross is now out of the Cincy passing attack, Tate had actually already been integrated into the Bengals scheme, as he received 10 targets while playing 88% of Cincy's offensive snaps in Week 3 and getting six targets and being on the field for over 91% of snaps last week. He should continue to be heavily involved against the Cards.


DraftKings DFS Tight Ends - Week 5 Picks

Tyler Eifert- ARI @ CIN ($3,300)

Eifert is simply a flowchart play this week. What's a flowchart play? It goes something like this...
#1. Does Tyler Eifert play tight end in the NFL? If yes, go to question #2.
#2. Is Tyler Eifert's team playing the Arizona Cardinals this week? If yes, roster him on DraftKings.

Dawson Knox - BUF @ TEN ($3,100)

If we're going to afford all these high-priced RBs in Week 5, we're gonna need to save salary somewhere. Buffalo's Dawson Knox is worth a look if you want to pivot from Tyler Eifert and are comfortable with a semi-punt at the TE position. His viability rests on a couple of injuries'll want to keep an eye on Tyler Kroft's status, as well as Josh Allen's. If Kroft plays, Knox is totally off the board. If Allen sits, Knox becomes much riskier with Matt Barkley at QB. The rookie TE is athletic and has made some noise in Buffalo's last two games in which he's caught six passes for 125 yards and a TD. This Titans Defense is quickly showing themselves to be susceptible to the TE position, as they've allowed three TDs, 239 yards, and 65.90 DK points to opposing TEs this season.


DraftKings DFS Defenses - Week 5 Picks

New England Patriots - NE @ WAS ($4,300)

I've been riding this Patriots Defense this year and I see no reason (outside of salary considerations) to hop off now. The Pats have been wreaking havoc on opposing offenses this season and we can expect more of the same this week if Washington rolls out rookie QB Dwayne Haskins again or career backup Colt McCoy. I don't know if I'll be able to lock the Patriots in due to the lack of value on this slate, but I'll try my best to get up to New England as often as possible when constructing lineups.

Carolina Panthers - JAX @ CAR ($2.600)

This isn't a 'smash' spot at first glance, but I like the quality that we are getting with the Panthers at this price. The Carolina defense has stepped up in the absence of Cam Newton, allowing just 30 total points over their last two games, while creating four turnovers and racking up a massive 14 sacks. Gardner Minshew has played well since stepping into the starting role for Jacksonville, but he is still a rookie that's facing an improving defense on the road.

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