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Week 5 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups + Best NFL Player Props Picks

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Matt Savoca's abbreviated TOP NFL daily fantasy football matchups picks + player prop bets for Week 5, including T.J. Hockenson

The Fantasy Football Matchups Column returns for Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season. The column will break down key matchups for the most important players each week to provide tips for NFL DFS, player prop bettors and season-long fantasy football setting lineups on Yahoo, ESPN, Sleeper and CBS. Let’s dive into the all the NFL DFS tips matchups and fantasy football lineup decisions.

Week 5 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups & Player Props

Quarterbacks

Joe Burrow vs. Green Bay Packers

Burrow and the Bengals look to be changing their offensive identity, slowing their pace of play and drastically reducing the number of passes. But this week against the Packers, and without Joe Mixon, the Bengals may be forced back into a pass-happy game script. The Packers are injured in the secondary, and while they have gotten competent play from Eric Stokes, the loss of Jaire Alexander to a wrist injury makes this matchup much more appetizing for opposing offenses. Burrow ranks top 10 in the NFL in true completion percentage, deep ball completion rate, and adjusted yards per attempt, so take the over on Burrow’s pass completions prop line of 24.

Trey Lance vs. Arizona Cardinals

While Kyle Shanahan has shied away from naming a starting quarterback, Lance is expected to make his first NFL start this Sunday against the unbeaten Cardinals. The Cardinals are the favorites in this matchup, but Lance has a chance to add a whole new element to the already creative San Francisco offensive scheme. Playing on just 51% of snaps, Lance was able to put up over 20 fantasy points, and in DFS he offers rare upside as a rusher at a significant reduction in salary. Backed by PFF’s fifth-ranked offensive line, Lance has a chance to break out in a big way in this pivotal divisional matchup. Look for his rushing props to materialize shortly after he is named the starter.

Running Backs

Saquon Barkley vs. Dallas Cowboys

Barkley was worked back into the Giants offense slowly over the first two weeks of the season, but since then New York has given Barkley 42 opportunities, including 13 targets. Barkley ranks fourth at his position in opportunity share and third in routes run, and most importantly, he ranks top 10 in the NFL in yards created and evaded tackles per touch. Against the Cowboys this weekend, and without Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard once again, expect Barkley to be used all over the field and for the total opportunities to continue to pile up in a game with one of the highest Vegas totals on the entire slate. The best prop for Barkley is the over on his rushing prop of 54.5 yards.

Najee Harris vs. Denver Broncos

Harris has been an absolute workhorse, playing on 90% or more of snaps in three straight games and earning a league-leading 67 opportunities, including 27 targets. But despite putting up 91 total yards, Harris saw a slight dip in snap share and opportunity last week, and with the teammate Anthony McFarland designated for return, that trend may continue. Denver’s defense ranks top five in yards per carry and is best in the NFL in points allowed per play. Harris is not suddenly a stay-away player, and in DFS lineups he is still a viable option, but the odds of Harris having a ceiling game seem quite low in this spot. If Harris cedes significant opportunity to McFarland, Harris’ production could take a dip. Still, the volume makes the over on 54.5 yards rushing a solid play.

Aaron Jones vs. Cincinnati Bengals

After a dud in Week , Jones has been one of the most productive running backs in football. He is averaging 103 total yards on 21 opportunities per game, fourth best among all running backs, and his four-touchdown eruption in Week 2 was a perfect illustration of his versatility. The Bengals have been stout defensively, ranking top 10 in yards per carry allowed, yards per pass attempt allowed and points allowed per play, and yet the better play is betting on Jones and the Packers. The Awesemo Props Tool is taking the over on both Jones’ receiving prop of 25.5 yards and his rushing prop of 59.5 yards.

Wide Receiver

D.J. Moore vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The start to Moore’s fourth season has been nothing short of spectacular. Through four weeks Moore ranks top 10 in the NFL in targets, air yards, receptions, yards after catch, touchdowns and fantasy points per game. The advanced metrics love him just as much, as he ranks top five at his position in expected points added per play, all while Christian McCaffrey has missed time with a hamstring injury. And while the Eagles defense has looked strong on a per-pass basis, they are 31st in points allowed per play over their last three games. With Robby Anderson not seeing nearly the same opportunity as 2020, Moore is the unquestioned primary receiver with Sam Darnold under center. Therefore, it should not be surprising that the over on Moore’s receptions prop of 5.5 and yardage prop of 85.5 is a high-ROI bet.

Laviska Shenault vs. Tennessee Titans

In the wake of the injury to D.J. Chark, Shenault turned in arguably his best performance as a pro, with a career-high 99 yards receiving on 94 air yards. It was only his second time finishing among the top 20 receivers in PPR points as well, and he did it all on a season-low 19 routes. Shenault’s snap share is almost certain to increase, and his average depth of target is steadily rising. But even against the Titans defense, which has struggled mightily in recent weeks, the Awesemo Props Tool suggests taking a cautious approach to Shenault, indicating the under is the way to go for Shenault’s prop lines of 5.5 catches for 58.5 yards.

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Tight Ends

T.J. Hockenson vs. Minnesota Vikings

Hockenson started the year off red hot, earning nine-plus targets in back-to-back games and turning that massive initial opportunity into 16 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns. But since then, Hockenson has gained just 54 yards, and while his workload improved a week ago, he was held to two targets in Week 3 and is questionable heading into the weekend. In Week 5 Hockenson has a fantastic matchup against a Vikings defense that ranks 28th in yards allowed per pass attempt and well below average in points allowed per play. In a game with sneaky shootout potential, Hockenson stands out as the clear leader in the Lions passing game.

Mike Gesicki vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gesicki earned a mere 35% snaps share and scored zero fantasy points in a Week 1 victory over the Patriots. Since then, however, he has been one of the most heavily utilized players at his position, doubling his snap share and earning six-plus targets in three straight games. That included a 10-reception, 86-yard breakout in Week 3. This week Gesicki will once again be relied upon as a pass catcher and has an even higher opportunity floor due to the absence of Will Fuller. The Buccaneers rank 18th in the NFL in yards allowed per attempt and bottom 12 in points allowed per play, which is why the over on Gesicki’s receptions prop line of four is the play


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If you’re interested in other NFL DFS news for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, daily fantasy football rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking. Take a look at our inactive players, NFL depth charts and NFL line-ups.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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