Welcome in to a new year of Ben’s NFL DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings and FanDuel! In this article, I will highlight my favorite NFL DFS plays at each position for small-field tournament formats. If you’re interested in signing up for premium access, which grants you Core Plays for every slate, projections, Final Thoughts player pool + expert picks and our premium Discord click HERE. You can also sign up for our plethora of AI-driven sports betting tools and access to my weekly betting card by clicking HERE. Let’s get into the plays…
It was an amazing start to the NFL season with my premium Core Plays taking down tournaments on the first slate of the season!
We have officially made it past the quarter mark of the season and head into Week 5! I feel like I was on a lot of the right plays last week, but just didn’t end up with them all on the same team. Hopefully readers of my article had strong weeks, with one of my main targets I wrote up being the De’Von Achane and Stefon Diggs mini-stack. Week 5 profiles a lot like Week 3 in my opinion – there will be heavy ownership concentration on the KC/MIN game and if you want to attack that game, you’re probably going to have to find unique ways to do so.
Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts are leading he position in OWN% projections as I type this. Both are in play for cash games for me, but I think I’m going to come in underweight there in tournaments. As of now, my main list for stacks consists of Anthony Richardson, Tua Tagovailoa, Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford and Daniel Jones.
Even if he isn’t super chalky, Richardson is likely my cash game QB this week. It’s really hard to argue the role he is in, and in a pass-funnel spot we could see a ceiling-level game from him if he finds the end-zone with his legs again in Week 5.
Cousins is a way you can be different within the chalkiest game on the slate. Most people will want to double-stack Mahomes or use a Mahomes team with Justin Jefferson on the other side. I love Isaiah Pacheco this week – so a Cousins to Jefferson stack with Pacheco makes too much sense. Even on non-Cousins teams – Pacheco/JJ is my favorite correlation of the week.
As for Tua, I’ve been all over him all season and I’m not going to stop now. They are in another smash spot at home against the New York Giants. De’Von Achane is currently projecting for over 30% ownership, which means a Tua stack could provide us some leverage in smaller field contests as well. I’m not sure how the Giants are going to stop this Miami offense on a short week for them. Wink Martindale’s defenses have long struggled to tackle and once his defense is among the league-leaders in YAC allowed. They’ve also allowed points to be scored on 46% of drives this season — the third highest rate in the NFL. This is a nightmare spot for them against Mike McDaniel, and I could once again see the Dolphins dropping 40+ points on their opponent.
Stafford is due for some big-TD regression and it could start this week. Philly is so good on the defensive front that they are forcing opponents to throw at one of the highest rates in football. Staff has been victimized by pass catchers getting tackled inside the the 5 yard line over 5 times this season. His 2023 TD rate is 1.8% compared to a career-average of nearly 5%. He’s going to lock in a 3+ passing TD day soon – and we can take advantage of being ahead of the curve on him – in Cooper Kupp’s first week back.
We once again have the mid-tier RB’s dominating ownership projections across the industry. As of Saturday AM — the most popular expected RB’s in order are De’Von Achane, Alvin Kamara, Bijan Robinson, Joe Mixon, David Montgomery and Breece Hall. All of those guys are in play for cash games for me, and I will likely be picking two of them and moving on in those contests. As for three-max and GPPs, the most unlikely to make their way into my lineups is Kamara, Robinson and Mixon. I never like playing Mixon when he’s popular, and while Robinson is electric I feel like he is a little to expensive for me in a ceiling-level ownership week. If he’s going to be 30%+ owned I will likely drop down to the cheaper options. I don’t hate a Robinson/Collins or Dell mini, however, and it’s something I will consider this weekend.
Achane is a tough sell for me at this ownership after we got him sub-10% last week – but man is he good. One of the reasons I liked him last week was the legit red-zone role they seemed ready to hand to him, and he scored a RZ TD early in the game last week. Raheem Mostert is a great pivot – but Achane is still fine in a Tua stack. I would have issues one-offing him at this OWN%, though. I would include Achane in a Dolphins stack, whereas I would play Mostert as a one-off and hope for him to score multiple times.
Montgomery and Isaiah Pacheco are my favorite options as of now. Monty is coming off a 30+ carry game and should be ready to roll with the long week after a Thursday night game the week prior. Pacheco has finally separated from the other backs in KC and we have seen MIN scheme to allow teams to run on them. As I noted above – I love the Pacheco/JJ mini stack this week.
Wide Receiver is always tough to break down in terms of OWN% – but as of now here are the guys projecting for over 15% ownership: Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, Ja’Marr Chase, Hollywood Brown, Wan’Dale Robinson, Kalif Raymond, DeAndre Hopkins and Garrett Wilson.
I don’t need to write about JJ and Tyreek, they are the best plays on the board but I slightly prefer JJ this week. Chase is just a step below them for me with how injured Joe Burrow has been – but if Tee Higgins gets ruled out I want to be aggressive in getting Tyler Boyd exposure. He is cheap, and has been the biggest beneficiary of Higgins being out the last few seasons. Boyd/Brown mini-stacks would be good in all contest types. I prefer Robinson to Raymond for a cheap play, and even at high-OWN% will be using him as the run-back in my Dolphins stack. Hopkins can be used on the other side of s Richardson team.
In terms of guys I like that are projecting for a bit lower-ownership — Cooper Kupp, Jaylen Waddle, Adam Thielen and Rashee Rice. I see no reason why the Rams would rush back Kupp – I’m going to take a stand on him being fully healthy and will be playing him heavily while everyone is scared to play him. We have yet to see a Waddle game this season, the YAC allowed and bad tackling from the Giants helps him this week and he will be pretty much unplayed. Rice has seen a workload increase for the Chiefs recently, he’s cheap and honestly my favorite WR for them. He can be used in a Mahomes stack – or opposite JJ.
Per usual, TE is a disaster and I will be looking to save money at the position outside of any Travis Kelce exposure. I love prioritizing TE in my stacks, and that will likely be my strategy again in Week 5. As of now, we have Travis Kelce, Sam Laporta and Zach Ertz soaking up the highest OWN% projections. Kelce is fine in all formats but I typically find myself underweight on him most weeks. Ertz chalk is never something I want to play into, so I will likely be passing there. As for Laporta, I think he is arguably the biggest winner with Amon-Ra St. Brown doubtful and he is one of my favorite targets in all formats. You can use him as a one-off – or in a mini-stack with someone like Adam Thielen.
Tyler Higbee and Tyler Conklin are two options I like in tournaments. Higbee can be used in the Stafford stack I talked about above, while Conklin can be used as a one-off. Denver’s defense has been a sieve all season while Conklin has quickly become one of Zach Wilson’s favorite targets. He has averaged just under 6 targets per game in Wilson starts, and has seen some end-zone looks as well.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)