Break The Slate | DFS Money Makers Week 5

by Jared Michelizzi · Strategy

Welcome to the Week 5 DFS Cash Game breakdown and picks article! If you’re new to this article or DFS cash games, please check out my ’10 Rules to Live By’ article.

We are now in the thick of the NFL season. The bye weeks are already starting. We have players starting to come back off of suspensions and IR that we will need to keep an eye on. Because of the byes, we only have 10 games on the main slate. This does compress ownership and gives more overlap between lineups. This means the difference between winning and losing will usually come down to one or two players or one key decision about your lineup construction. Stick to your process you have been developing over the first four weeks. Keep putting in the work and you will continue to see the positive results we have been getting.  

I mentioned this last week in this section but want to reiterate it again. There is a lot of valuable information here for all forms of DFS. Remember the cash game plays are usually the best plays on the slate. The question you need to ask yourself is what is the ownership going to be and do I believe the player will beat the ownership projection. You can see projected ownership in the DFS Lineup Genius. I repeat though, as stated in the 10 Rules article, we do NOT care about ownership for cash games. 

On to the Week 5 Cash Game Picks.

Week 4 DFS Cash Game Picks:


Jalen Hurts

FanDuel: $8600

DraftKings $8000

There is no clear play at quarterback this week. There are a couple key decisions though. The first one is if you want to pay up to the top of the salary pool or save a few thousand and go with the second tier. If you are paying up to the top your decision is between Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes. I wouldn’t blame anyone for going with Mahomes. The reason I have Hurts is the running game and the tush push. If it gets down to the goal line, the odds are Hurts will be running it in. 

Tua Tagovailoa

FanDuel: $8000

DraftKings: $7100

Tier 2 consists of Tua Tagovailoa, Anthony Richardson, and Kirk Cousins. Richardson has performed far better than people thought he would. The game plan Shane Steichen has been employing is working for Richardson and maximizing his skills. Cousins leads the league in passing touchdowns with 11. He could be in for another shootout this week with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to town. I will spare you all any Taylor Swift comments or references. Tagovailoa, on the other hand, has been the captain of the most explosive offense in the NFL this season. He has had a bit of a down game in the last few weeks because the running backs have performed so well. This week, though, against the pitiful New York Giants, he should have a strong floor with the upside potential we have seen in the first few games this year.

Running Back

Joe Mixon

FanDuel: $7000

DraftKings: $6400

I don’t like Joe Mixon. I tried to avoid him like the plague in season-long, and that decision has proven to be wise. The Bengals, in general, have looked horrible. Joe Burrow is on pace to throw only nine touchdowns this season. However, the last part is where the tables start to turn on why we want to play Mixon this week.

First and foremost, he has a workhorse role. Mixon boasts an Opportunity Share of 84.7-percent (No. 4). Next, because the passing game has been so terrible. Therefore, they really need to get Mixon going to stabilize the offense. Lastly, the price and the matchup all align to make him a good play.

Bijan Robinson

FanDuel: $8200

DraftKings: $7700

For the first time since Week 1, Bijan Robinson is making an appearance. His salary predictably ballooned up after Week 1 but now has come back to a reasonable area. He has the highest raw projected points for a running back on the slate for me this week by almost two fantasy points. His salary should be about a 1,000 higher than it is, so I will take the value and fire him up. 

Bijan Robinson Advanced Receiving Stats & Metrics

What makes Robinson a particularly safe cash game play is his receiving usage. He leads running backs in receptions with 19 and as you can see in the above graphic his other advanced receiving metrics are all strong. 


Marquise Brown

FanDuel: $6400

DraftKings: $5000

Marquise Brown is making his first appearance in the article, and he is emerging as my top point-per-dollar play on DraftKings. Arizona, in general, has been a pleasant surprise. 

Marquise Brown Advanced Stats & Metrics

Brown hasn’t been a traditional cash game play in years past, but with his role in this offense he has maintained a decent floor this year. Brown also possesses the ability to stretch the defense at any moment, giving him the potential for a breakout game. Surprisingly, he has evolved into a player with the exact mix of floor and ceiling that we seek in cash games.

Further Wide Receiver Thoughts:

Instead of picking an additional wide receiver I’m not fully confident in, I’m going to share my thoughts on the position across the board. First, there’s Ja’Marr Chase. He does stand out in the projections. However, I can’t confidently recommend him again after his poor start to the season. Yes, if Tee Higgins is out, that gives him a boost. However, I’m still not super confident in that because they do have a strong WR3 in Tyler Boyd, and Burrow has been struggling this year.

DeAndre Hopkins looks like a good option for his price. If I had to pick someone else for this spot, it would be him. I don’t think he will disappoint if you play him. It’s just that we haven’t seen anything close to a ceiling game from him yet. As long as Cooper Kupp remains out, Puka Nacua is a solid pay-up option if you can’t reach all the way up to Justin Jefferson or Chase. Overall, I would consider allocating more salary this week to the other positions.


Travis Kelce

FanDuel: $8700

DraftKings: $7600

As usual, Kelce is expensive, but he also remains the best tight end in the game. We finally got the blow-up game last week from Mark Andrews. This week, it’s Kelce’s turn. He has a matchup against the Minnesota Vikings and their leaky defense. Additionally, the game has the highest over/under on the slate at 52.5. With not many other high-priced locks at other positions, Kelce is a good use of salary this weekend.


Tennessee Titans

FanDuel: $3500

DraftKings: $2400

The pay-down option this week is none other than the Tennessee Titans. They will also be the only defense in the article instead of my usual two choices. With a low salary on both sites, they are the defensive cash game play across the board. Richardson has been productive so far this year, but he is still an unproven rookie who could easily turn the ball over multiple times. The defense doesn’t need much to pay off its price. However, if any of those turnovers turn into a score, you are looking at a massive score from this cheap defense and will likely need them to make it above the pay line.


The bonus GPP pick in the conclusion hit again last week with some of the Bills players going nuclear and Devon Achane being one of the best running back plays of the week. In fact my exact words were “do it through ONE of the Dolphin’s running backs or James Cook to differentiate your stacks.” If you followed that things worked out very well. 

This week we are going with the Chiefs and Vikings as the GPP pick. People struggle to fit in Patrick Mahomes because of the cost of him and Kelce. There are similar issues with Cousins and Jefferson. For that reason ownership shouldn’t get too crazy. I also would look at playing it through Isiah Pacheco as he could have a big game. I would avoid the Vikings backfield as it could end up being a full time share this week. Cam Akers looked very good last week, but I don’t think the Vikings are ready to give up on Mattison just yet. Let’s get out there and get that Money!

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