NFL DFS: Week 5 Cash Breakdown


CASH Game Strategy Reminders

The first thing to discuss with regards to cash games is contest selection.  What?  Yes, contest selection matters for cash games as well.  Let’s walk through the type of cash game contests that I would focus on for NFL DFS.

Find large Contests.

The 11 man double-ups might seem great as 5/11 will place and you only have to beat 6 people.  Then you really notice the chalk and that two or three “pros” have the exact same lineup minus one player.  It’s not that all of them are sharing lineups, but its that they’ve done this long enough that they have a trusted process that will lead them to the same spot.  Can you beat them?  Yes.  Is it annoying to sweat in an 11 man contest?   Yes.   Go for the larger contest.  Sort by the size of the contest descending and then go from there.

  • 50/50‘s….  Simple math, they’re the best in terms of the pay-line with 50% of the field cashing.  You aren’t pulling back a full 2x but you will want to target the largest 50/50’s you can find.
  • Double-Ups … Same logic here on the size of the contest, find the bigger ones and preferably the ones with SINGLE ENTRY into them.
  • 3-man … Some will enjoy a 5 man contest or even the 10 man leagues, but one alternative to the normal cash games will be the 3 man contests.  Look for ones that arent full close to lock as those generally will give you better variance on the players in them.


  • Remember to focus on trying to get a balanced lineup in cash games.  We take a little less risk with game stacks in cash, but like tournaments we are seeking the best plays each week.  Sometimes with cash we get suckered into playing “must own” plays and when there isn’t obvious value it really makes things risky.  Try to focus on a balanced lineup each week with guys who are going to come through.


  • Each week look at the rankings and determine if the top ranked players are premium players or not.  For example, if you don’t see Gronkowski, Ertz, Kelce, etc. listed as top TE plays then it’s likely a position to pay down for that week.




Each week we are going to post these CASH game plays early in the week.  It’s often a good indicator of the early week rankings but things will change with late week injuries or late scratches.  Monitor the Optimizer and Scout Rankings for updates as the week moves on.

All prices listed below are DraftKings prices.



Scout Rankings Picks of the week
  1. Ben Roethlisberger – $6,900
  2. Matthew Stafford – $5,700
  3. Matt Ryan – $6,600
  4. Philip Rivers – $6,700


  1. Russell Wilson – $5,100
  2. Blake Bortles – $5,500
Ben Roethlisberger (DK – $6,900/FD – $8,400): After three good games (335/1, 452/3, and 353/3) to start the year, Roethlisberger struggled to get the ball downfield last week (274/1) leading to only 5.8 yards per pass attempts. Ben is on pace to set a career high in completions over 20 yards (68) while averaging 46.5 pass attempts per game. Atlanta struggled to defend QBs in their last three games (335/3, 396/3, and 337/3) that were all played at home. The Falcons also had failure defending WRs over their last three games (16/223/3, 15/177/2, and 18/238/2), which bolds well for Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster. His floor starts 300 yards passing with an excellent chance at week high in passing TDs.

Matthew Stafford (DK – $5,700/FD – $7,600): Stafford averages 300 passing yards and two passing TDs per game. His only impact game (347/3) came on the road vs.the 49ers. Last year Matthew Stafford passed for 684 yards and five TDs in two games vs. the Packers. Green Bay played vs. QBs in three games (171/0, 220/0, and 151/0) while failing to defend the Vikings’ receiving core (425/4). The Packers did face three teams with below par WRs (CHI, WAS, and BUF). The Lions have strength at WR, which was the failure by Green Bay in Week 2 (23/282/4). Upside matchup in what should be a nice battle on the scoreboard.

Philip Rivers (DK – $6,700/FD – $8,200): Last week the game step up perfect for Rivers after falling behind early, but the Chargers continue to gain many yards from the RB position hurting his upside in passing yards. Philip has three TDs in three of his four starts while coming up only league average in yards over the last three games (256, 226, and 250). Rivers already has 19 completions over 20 yards, but only one of those plays gained over 40 yards. Oakland allows over 30 points per game, but offenses have had more success on the ground (5.6 yards per rush and five TDs) than in the air (233, 222, 341, and 220 yards). The Raiders allowed eight passing TDs and 7.6 yards per pass rush, which invite failure risk. Melvin Gordon looks elite this year leading to big plays in the ground or via the pass. I expect the sharps will focus on Gordon in this matchup while Rivers flies a bit under the radar due to a higher salary in Week 5. He has three very good WRs plus two RBs with pass-catching scoring value. Don’t overlook his explosiveness in this matchup.


Scout Rankings Picks of the week
  1. Todd Gurley – $9,400
  2. Saquon Barkley – $7,700
  3. Melvin Gordon III – $8,600
  4. James Conner – $7,500
  5. TJ Yeldon – $5,600
  6. David Johnson – $6,300

Value (Sub 5k)

  1. Dion Lewis – $4,700
  2. Philip Lindsay – $4,800
Todd Gurley (DK – $9,400/FD – $9,100): Over the first four games, Gurley has 532 combined yards with six TDs and 15 catches to place him second in RB scoring behind Alvin Kamara. He’s averaging 22.5 touches per game. Last year Todd had his coming out party in his start in Seattle when he gained 170 combined yards with four TDs and three catches. This season the Seahawks rank 10th RB Fantasy defense while showing risk in two games vs. the run (32/146 and 19/166). They allow 4.6 yards per rush, but ball carriers only have one rushing TD. Overall, RBs have 15 catches for 149 yards and one TD on 23 targets while facing Jordan HowardEzekiel Elliott, and David Johnson. LA will test Seattle in all areas on defense, which invites multi TD upside for Gurley in this matchup.

Melvin Gordon (DK – $8,600/FD – $8,700): Gordon doesn’t get as much press as the other top RBs in the leagues plus he has Austin Ekeler stealing touches and TDs from him. Melvin looks electric behind an improved offensive line. He’s gaining 5.1 yards per rush, which is well above his last three seasons (3.5, 3.9, and 3.9). Over four games, Gordon has 78 touches for 475 yards with five TDs and 24 catches. Last year he had 150 combined yards with two TDs and nine catches in his start in Oakland. The Raiders have struggled with the run game in three contests (LAR – 26/140, DEN – 28/168/2, and CLE – 31/208/3) while only failing in the passing game vs. RBs in Week 1 (5/57/1). Rivers completed 37 percent of his passes in 2018 to RBs, which sets a high floor in catches for Melvin. This game should be played at a fast pace setting up a favorable game for Gordon, but he needs a pair of TDs to create a separator score.

James Conner (DK – $7,500/FD – $7,800): The excitement of Conner being an impact RB is starting to fade. Over his last three games, James struggled to find running room (32/97/1) while averaging only 3.0 yards per carry over this span. He did catch 13 of 18 targets for 107 yards to help raise his value in his last three games. On the year, James has 396 combined yards with three TDs and 18 catches. The Falcons allow the third-most Fantasy points to RBs while having success in all areas (TDs – 7, catches – 42, and yards – 686 yards). Conner now has a lower salary and one of the better RB matchups on the week. Possible center square due to his lower salary.

T.J. Yeldon (DK – $5,600/FD – $6,500): Yeldon tends to fall short of his expected value when given a chance to start. Last week with minimal Fantasy owners started him with Leonard Fournette starting, T.J. finished with a season-high 100 combined yards with two TDs and three catches while receiving 62 percent of the RB snaps in Jacksonville. Yeldon has 340 combined yards with three TDs and 14 catches. The Chiefs allow 5.5 yards per rush with RBs scoring six TDs plus failure defending RBs in the passing game (31/385/2 on 38 targets). A favorable matchup with a reasonable salary, but a Fantasy owner could still get beat by the coaching staff in play calling and playing time.

Aaron Jones (DK – $4,300/FD – $6,100): Last week Jones flashed his potential upside when he gained 82 combined yards with a TD and a catch while ending out Jamaal Williams in playing time (38 to 37). His success should lead to more touches as long as game score doesn’t work its way to a chaser game. The Lions have struggled in three games vs. rushers (36/169/2, 28/190/1, and 35/183). A favorable matchup with a chance at a TD and/or 100+ yards rushing.



Scout Rankings Picks of the week

  1. Antonio Brown – $9,100
  2. Odell Beckham Jr – $8,000
  3. Keenan Allen – $7,800
  4. Juju Smith-Schuster – $7,500
  5. Davante Adams – $7,600

Mid Range

  1. Kenny Golladay – $6,000
  2. Amari Cooper – $5,500
  3. Golden Tate – $6,700


  1. Keelan Cole – $4,900
  2. Marvin Jones Jr. – $4,700
Antonio Brown (DK – $9,100/FD – $9,000): Fantasy owners are still waiting for Brown to deliver an impact game. On the year, he’s averaging over 13 targets per game while scoring three TDs. Antonio doesn’t have over 100 yards receiving in any game with only three catches over 20 yards, which puts him on a pace for 12 on the year. Last year Brown had 27 catches over 20 yards in 14 games. WRs have 58 catches for 681 yards and seven TDs on 82 targets against the Falcons with two players gaining over 100 yards (Michael Thomas – 10/129 and Tyler Boyd – 11/100). Atlanta’s CBs will have their hand full in this game on the road leading to Brown producing his best game of the year. His salary is top shelf, which requires almost two TDs and over 100 yards receiving his salary bucket.

Julio Jones (DK – $8,500/FD – $8,800): After four games, Jones is the ranked 8th in WR scoring in PPR leagues with two strong games in yards and catches (10/169 and 9/173). Julio is on pace for 2,008 yards, but he doesn’t have a TD on the year despite averaging 17.3 yards per catch. His catch rate (63.0) is slightly ahead of last year’s pace (59.4). Jones averages 11.5 targets per game with most of his chances coming in Week 1 (19). Pittsburgh struggled with WRs in each of their last three games (14/210/3, 17/278/2, and 14/234/1) with four WRs gaining over 100 yards (Jarvis Landry – 7/106, Sammy Watkins – 6/100, Mike Evans – 6/137/1, and Jones Brown – 3/116/1) on the year. Great matchup, but the Falcons need to find a way to get him involved in the TD department.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (DK – $7,500/FD – $8,000): Smith-Schuster saw his streak of 100+ yards receiving end last week at home when the Ravens held him to four catches for 60 yards on 11 targets. JuJu has three strong games (5/119, 13/121/1, and 9/116) already in 2018 while averaging over 12 targets per game. CB Brian Poole lines up in the slot on most plays for the Falcons. He tends to allow a high catch rate while keeping his defender in front of him. Smith-Schuster will catch plenty of balls with a TD being a reasonable outcome in this shootout game. In the mix for sure at this level.

Kenny Golladay (DK – $6,000/FD – $6,300): With each game that passes in 2018, Golladay has seen a drop in opportunity (12, 9, 7, and 4 targets). Over four games, he has 23 catches for 330 yards and two TDs on 32 targets while receiving WR2 targets in Detroit. The Packers hope to have CB Kevin King back in the starting lineup after missing the last two games with a groin injury. Golladay has the tools to have success in this matchup, but he needs a bump in targets.

Keelan Cole (DK – $4,900/FD – $5,700): Cole went from Fantasy gold in Week 2 (7/116/1) to Christmas coal over the last two games (5/40 and 2/15). On the year, Keelan has 17 catches for 225 yards and one TD on 24 targets. His opportunity is going to be inconsistent from week-to-week, but he does have the skill set to produce when given an opportunity. WRs have 60 catches for 626 yards and five TDs on 104 targets against the Chiefs with the Steelers having the most success (24/216/2). Two WRs have over 100 yards against Kansas City (Keenan Allen – 8/108/1 and JuJu Smith-Schuster – 13/212/1). Interesting game if Patrick Mahomes can put points on the scoreboard. I expect better in Week 5.



Scout Rankings Picks of the week
  1. Austin Hooper – $3,000
  2. Jared Cook – $4,800
  3. Vance McDonald – $3,700
  4. Jimmy Graham – $4,700
  5. Zach Ertz – $6,500
  6. Nick Vannett – $2,500
Jared Cook (DK – $4,800/FD – $5,900): Cook had his second impact game of the year in Week 2 (8/110/2). Jared has 26 catches for 370 yards and two TDs in 35 targets, which puts him on pace beat his career high in catches (52) and receiving yards (688) halfway through the season. Last week Cooks struggled vs. George Kittle (6/125/1) after playing well against TEs over their three games (1/6, 5/43. and 3/38) with their best outcome being their success vs. Travis Kelce (1/6 on six targets). Just like Kittle, Jared’s ticket came in last week. Excellent opportunity at this level with some signs of upside again in a possible chaser game with LA having talent at CB.

Vance McDonald (DK – $3,700/FD – $4,600): Last week McDonald was on the field for a season-high 62 percent of the TE snaps form the Steelers. Over his last two games, McDonald has nine catches for 174 yards and one TD on ten targets. TEs have 19 catches for 194 yards and one TD on 29 targets against the Falcons. Their best job defending the TE came in Week 1 vs. Zack Ertz (5/48) when Atlanta’s defense was healthy. Gaining momentum as a dump off option as defenses try their best to take away Pittsburgh top two WRs, but he remains target challenged in most games.

Ricky Seals-Jones (DK – $2,900/FD – $5,100): Over four games, Seals-Jones has ten catches for 123 yards and one TD on 19 targets. His lack of success could be his fault, but the poor QB in Arizona has to be a big factor. His last three catches have totaled 87 yards and one TD on seven targets, which shows his big-play ability if he breaks free at the second and third level of defenses. This season TEs have a TD in each game vs. the 49ers with 18 catches for 217 yards on 26 targets. San Fran had the biggest problem against Travis Kelce and the Chiefs (9/127/1 on 13 targets). There are enough positive signs here to gamble on Ricky if you trust Josh Rosen on the road.


Scout Rankings Picks of the week
  1. Ravens – $2,800
  2. Titans – $4,000
  3. 49ers – $3,000
  4. Panthers – $3,300
Carolina Panthers – The Giants come in having not scored 30 or more points over the last three seasons!!  Going into Charlotte against a Panthers team coming off a bye is not a spot where they’re likely to light it up.


About Steve Renner 1215 Articles
Steve has been a part of the Full Time DFS team from the beginning when we migrated over from Scout Fantasy Sports. As a former contributor on the message forums at Scout he developed a following for his unique writing on MLB DFS. He continued this over with the launch of FullTimeDFS and built a team and platform focused on the common every day DFS player and not those who are just looking for a quick win or to build out MME in every sport for screenshot glory. Steve (sdchickens) specializes in MLB (Dongers Club), NHL (Slap Shot) and NFL (The Ambush). On a personal level he also loves College Sports and will dabble in them for DFS purposes a ton. And yes, he's an avid Saints fan.