Week 5 caps off with a showdown in Los Angeles between the Cowboys and Chargers at 8:15 p.m. ET. The Cowboys are listed as 1.5-point road favorites, while the total sits at 50.5 points.
Finally, make sure to check out all the projections available for purchase (Chris Raybon’s come included with a FantasyLabs subscription) within the FantasyLabs Models. Subscribers now have the option to purchase Derek Carty’s THE BLITZ from our Marketplace. Projections from One Week Season and Establish the Run are available if you’re a subscriber to those specific sites (our optimizer is a separate add-on feature).
You can also combine them to create your own aggregate DFS projections:
NFL DFS Stud Picks
This slate is jam-packed with studs, with six enticing options above $9,000 on DraftKings and $13,000 on FanDuel. Austin Ekeler is the highest-priced, as he returns from injury for his first game since Week 1. The matchup on the ground is daunting, as we just saw Dallas hold Christian McCaffrey to 2.7 yards per carry.
With a new offensive coordinator, Ekeler’s usage may be different than we saw last year when the wide receiver room was ravaged. However, Ekeler did see a 27.3% target rate per route run with Mike Williams off the field and Keenan Allen on the field last year.
Ekeler looks like he’ll be the lowest-owned of the studs, but I think that’s how it should be. I definitely wouldn’t fault you for playing him, but choosing between these studs is like drawing straws, and Ekeler pulled the short straw.
With Williams off the field (and Ekeler), it’s been the Keenan Allen show. He was held in check in Week 4 but lit the world on fire in Weeks 2-3. Allen combined for 82.56 DraftKings points over the two-game stretch.
WR1s have had success against Dallas, and they haven’t even faced anyone of Allen’s caliber yet. He’s a strong play tonight and a preferred option to Ekeler, in my opinion.
Justin Herbert has been stellar for fantasy purposes so far, averaging 25.7 DraftKings points per game. His two rushing touchdowns in Week 4 gave him a serviceable score, but points are points nonetheless.
This will be Herbert’s toughest matchup to date, as Dallas is first in the league in pressure rate and has allowed the sixth-fewest DraftKings points per game to opposing quarterbacks. However, he’s a strong bet to lead the slate in raw points. I personally prefer passing on Allen and Ekeler and using Herbert, if only allowed to roster one of the three.
Dallas’ stud trio comes in lower-priced than Los Angeles, with Dak Prescott leading the way. Los Angeles has allowed the most DraftKings points per game to opposing quarterbacks, which could be the perfect remedy for Prescott. It’s been a sub-par year for him thus far, coming off a 7.32-point performance against Dallas and yet to top 20 DraftKings points in a game.
My approach to Dallas is different than Los Angeles, as Tony Pollard is my preferred option, with CeeDee Lamb close behind him and Prescott in third. Pollard’s usage has been directly correlated to game scripts, as he hasn’t been needed in the second half of the past two weeks due to blowouts.
His role is elite, especially if this game stays close. He’s a safe bet for 20-ish opportunities, as he’s been used heavily on the ground and through the air. Weeks 2-3 were Dallas’ only games that were semi-competitive in the second half, and Pollard handled 33 and 26 opportunities in those contests. He’s my top overall play on the slate and my favorite captain option.
CeeDee Lamb voiced his frustration with his target share thus far and now gets a great matchup. Los Angeles has allowed at least 75 yards to Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson, Jaylen Waddle, Treylon Burks, and Davante Adams. Hill (11/215/2) and Jefferson (7/149/1) posted massive lines in particular.
All six studs are easy to buy into, and separating them is difficult. My order of preference is Pollard, Herbert, Lamb, Prescott, Allen, and Ekeler.
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NFL DFS Midrange Picks
Joshua Palmer headlines the mid-range section, and he’s expected to suit up despite dealing with a groin injury. He practiced in full all week, before being listed as questionable, suggesting that he may have tweaked it on Saturday’s session.
Palmer caught three of eight targets for 77 yards in Week 4 and is the strongest bet for volume after Ekeler and Allen. He’ll likely slip through the cracks tonight, as most people will opt to jam as many studs as possible. He’s a solid option in tournament builds, as I’m expecting Los Angeles to opt for more deep passes in this spot.
Joshua Kelley will certainly still have a role, but he’s far too expensive with Austin Ekeler back. He’s not on my radar tonight.
Brandin Cooks hasn’t done much in his short stint with Dallas. He has just nine catches for 73 yards through four games. I far prefer teammate Jake Ferguson in the same price range, who has seen a great red zone role. He’s seen a healthy 10 red zone targets on the year and is a strong bet to find the end zone. He’ll likely see a lot of Derwin James, which diminishes his outlook a little.
Gerald Everett is part of a four-way committee at the tight end position and hasn’t put together much. He’s topped three catches just once and is yet to get double-digit DraftKings points in a game.
Quentin Johnston is an intriguing value option, as he ran a route on 71% of the dropbacks before the bye. He’s now had another week to get acclimated to the offense and is a solid deep threat. I like him a lot as a value option tonight.
Michael Gallup is very cheap and comes in second on the team in routes run. He’s yet to find the end zone this year but has posted valuable scores in two of five games on the year. He looks like a very strong, albeit high-owned value option tonight.
NFL DFS Value & Punt Picks
- Defenses & Kickers: These options are always in play in the single-game format, but make sure to correlate the rest of your lineup around them.
- Donald Parham Jr. ($2,200 on DraftKings, $7,000 on FanDuel): Parham is questionable for this matchup with a wrist injury but will likely suit up. He has a solid red zone role, with three touchdowns in four games. He’s a viable value option.
- Kavontae Turpin ($1,600 on DraftKings, $6,500 on FanDuel): Turpin has been used more in a gadgety role, with some red zone usage. He hauled in a 26-yard touchdown last week. He’s an intriguing option tonight as a salary-saver with big-play upside.