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PlayLine NFL Projections: Week 5

Josh Engleman



NFL DFS ownership projections for the afternon slate on Draftkings & FanDuel from the world's #1 daily fantasy football player Presents: $1,000,000 Perfect Line Bonus + $5,000GTD – The Rocket Launcher

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Players: Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson, Alex Smith & Drew Brees

Stats: Passing yards


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Today, we’ll be projecting the expected yards for the four quarterbacks, Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson, Alex Smith and Dree Brees, in the “ Presents: $1,000,000 Perfect Line Bonus + $5,000GTD – The Rocket Launcher ($1,500 to 1st!)“ PlayLine contest.

Your PlayLine predictions are scored according to the chart below. It’s really simple. The closer your PlayLine is to the athlete’s actual performance, the more points you get. The more points you get, the better your chances of winning!

You will receive PlayLine points each time the featured athlete registers a stat that you predicted will occur. Once the athlete’s actual stat total in a particular category goes over your prediction, you will no longer receive additional per stat PlayLine points.


Dak Prescott

Prescott recorded a season-high 255 passing yards against the Lions last week, easily surpassing his previous high of 170. Prescott and the Cowboys will face the Houston Texans this week, a team that Prescott has yet to play so far in his three-year career. The Texans have stumbled out of the gate with a 1-3 record, and currently rank in the bottom 15 in points conceded and yards allowed per game.

They’ve dropped off big time since possessing a top-5 defence just two seasons ago and that bodes well for Prescott to have another solid outing this week. Furthermore, the Texans gave up a season-high 437 passing yards to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts last week, so they’re certainly vulnerable.

Prescott has averaged just 203.9 yards per game over the past two seasons, which isn’t spectacular, and he has a standard deviation of 55 yards. The DAL/HOU over/under is currently set at 45.5 with the Texans as -3.0 favourites.

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As previously mentioned, the Texans’ defence has struggled though, and it could open the door for Prescott to experience some success this week. With everything considered, Prescott will likely land between 215-240 yards.

Deshaun Watson

Watson has been great for the Texans over the last three weeks, averaging 356.6 passing yards per game. Their opponent this week, though, currently has one of the best defensive units in the league this season. The Cowboys sit in the top-7 in both points (19.3) and yards allowed (306.3) per game. They did, however, let the Lions loose for 382 overall yards last week, but it’s going to be a tough task for Watson and the Texans to get much rolling against them this week.

Watson will have to be at his best to throw for over 350 yards for the third consecutive week, so predicting anything higher than that may be a stretch. There isn’t a large sample size for the second-year QB, but he’s got a career average of 267.7 yards per game which is fairly solid. His standard deviation, though, comes in at 102 yards which is quite high.

He’s tough to pick because of the small sample size, but we’re going to have to go mostly based off his performance so far this season and the Cowboys’ defence that he’ll be squaring off against; the weather for Sunday evening looks to be promising, so that shouldn’t impact much. Being at home will certainly help Watson’s cause, but the prediction for this week is between 260-300 yards.

Alex Smith

Smith comes into this week well rested and ready to go after a bye week. The Redskins have the Saints on the docket, whose defence currently ranks in the bottom eight in points and yards against. The Saints, though, did manage to hold the Giants to just 299 total yards of offense last week, but the Giants have struggled offensively this season and we can probably take the Saints’ success there with a grain of salt.

Smith has been steadily producing this season, averaging 255.6 passing yards per game. That mark is slightly below his average across the past two seasons (267.2 yards per game), and over that same span he has a standard deviation of 59 yards. He’s been pretty consistent with his yardage in recent seasons and that hasn’t changed since moving to Washington, but he’s due for a big game and the Saints present an opportunity to do so.

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He went for a season-high 292 yards against the Colts a few weeks ago, and against this Saints defence he may be able to top that mark. The weather conditions won’t be an issue because it’s being played indoors, so aside from being on the road, Smith will be able to settle in nicely and go toe-to-toe with Brees. You can probably look for Smith to land somewhere in the 285-320 range.

Drew Brees

Brees struggled big time against the Giants last week, throwing for a season-low 217 yards. His passing yardage has fluctuated game-to-game this season, which could bode well for him leading into this week’s game against the Redskins. The Redskins’ defence, though, has been superb. They rank in the top-3 in both points allowed per game (14.6) and opponents’ yards per game (278), so Brees is going to have his hands full.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers did manage to expose the Redskins’ defence a little last week, totalling 340 yards for the game, so there’s hope for the Saints. Over the past two seasons, Brees is averaging 281.5 passing yards per game with a standard deviation of 69 yards.

The WSH/NO game has an over/under of 52.5, with NO being -6.5 favourites, meaning their implied total is 29.5pts. They have topped that total in 3-of-4 contests this year thus far, winning each time they surpassed the 30pt total, with Brees throwing for an average of 342 yards across these contests. In their 21-18 victory over the Browns in Week 2, the lone time the Saints failed to top the 30pt mark, Brees totalled just 246 yards. Given their implied total, and that they’ll be playing in the friendly confines of the Mercedes Benz Superdome, a 290-320 projection makes total sense.

Josh is Contributor for where he hosts video and writes content regularly across the primary sports of MLB, NBA, and NFL as well as contributing to the development of models and projections for soccer. He originally started producing projections & articles for Reddit's r/DFSports in 2014 where he built a loyal following that brought him to where he is today. Josh is most known for his elaborate Excel spreadsheets, which he shares in all of his video content. You can find him on Twitter or hanging out in Awesemo's Premium Slack. You can contact Josh by emailing [email protected].

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