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Best DFS stacks & blowup targets for Week 5 of the 2021 NFL season

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (2) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

DFS success boils down to finding the highest-scoring fantasy football players at each position in a given week. With close to 20 playable options at the quarterback and tight end positions, along with even more at the running back and wide receiver positions, it is a feat in itself to identify one position correctly.

To finish at the top of a DFS contest, you must hit on basically all skill positions and circumvent the randomness associated with selecting defenses. Doing all of this while also fitting under the confines of a salary cap makes DFS one of the most difficult setups to beat consistently, especially for large-field tournaments.

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It requires an element of consistency in processes while being able to block out the noise of what the general public continues to preach as the best plays. In order to help newer players along, this article is focused on highlighting the process I use each week to build my DFS tournament lineups. Let’s walk through each model I use to piece together the best lineups to hopefully finish atop a massive-field guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contest. 

Related content for you: Week 5 WR/CB mismatches and shadow coverages to leverage in DFS & fantasy football leagues via Ian Hartitz


Stacking is essential to success in DFS GPPs. Stacking is a way to increase variance, which is the only option that offers enough upside to win a GPP tournament.

Adding in additional variance via a game-level stack has shown to outperform field usage at the top of GPP lineups. This takes not only a quarterback and pass-catching option but also runs it back with a pass-catcher and/or running back from the opposing team.

The results speak for themselves, as the game stack and highly correlated lineups have continued to finish at the top of GPP contests across the industry to start the 2021 season. 

My approach to identify the best game stack opportunities incorporates spreads and totals along with prior relevant fantasy performance for each team to project the games with the best chance to finish as the highest-scoring on the slate. The top games to stack based on this model are below, along with the options most likely to perform if the game goes over. 



Paul Brown Stadium is hosting the second-highest total game on the main slate in Week 5. The total has moved up 2 points since the open with all indications pointing toward this game going over. The spread has moved in the Bengals’ direction, with the preseason number of +6 not forecasting the early-season success the Bengals have experienced. 

Cincinnati looks like a legitimate contender in the AFC and has the chance to prove it as a field goal underdog at home on Sunday. Even in a loss, we should expect the Joe Burrow-led Bengals offense to throw throughout this contest. Green Bay has the seventh-best defensive ranking according to our opponent-adjusted grades, but has just a league-average coverage grade to start the season. Cincinnati’s perceived difficult matchup could keep DFS players away from rostering their pass-catching options on Sunday. 

Ja’Marr Chase has the easiest matchup against the Packers secondary and should be able to take advantage of fellow rookie Eric Stokes. Stokes has a 53.5 coverage grade through four games and has allowed a first down or touchdown on 25% of his 28 targets faced this season. 

Tee Higgins is returning from injury and should see a mix of Stokes and Jaire Alexander. Higgins has a modest salary compared to fantasy projections, which is why the Bengals-heavy stack looks like the best approach on Sunday. Running it back with the unquestioned target king is the best correlated upside approach for a DFS lineup on Sunday.

Remaining Roster Average: DK $4,980, FD $6,160

PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


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