Swirling Questions Surrounding Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, And Brandon Aiyuk

If you’re playing a Carolina Panthers vs. San Francisco 49ers DFS lineup for Sunday in Week 5, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess the most likely outcomes, including which players are in line to thrive more than anticipated or fall short of expectations.

The following recommended fantasy football lineup (for tournaments, 50/50, or head-to-head competitions) aims to lock in a relatively high floor while maximizing upside.

Recommended 49ers vs. Panthers DFS Lineup

Today, we’re playing DraftKings “Showdown Captain Mode,” which includes one player who earns 1.5 times his scoring output, plus five Flex players. The following NFL betting recommendations are based on proprietary PFN predictive analytics pulled from decades of NFL historical data.

Using this data, I’ve built dozens of models showing actionable probabilities of better-than-expected and worse-than-expected outcomes. Criteria such as age, durability, shifting personnel, schedule, and other factors help shape these final assessments.

49ers DFS Considerations

How many receivers can Jimmy Garoppolo feed? That’s a key question as we craft this DFS lineup. Since Week 15 of the 2019 season, he’s eclipsed 17 fantasy points only six times — and hit 21+ points only twice. Perhaps an ascending Brandon Aiyuk can help change that. For now, however, we should consider whether any receiver besides Deebo Samuel is worth the investment.

Consider also who they’re playing. The opposing Panthers feature a franchise RB with major durability concerns, and a stop-gap QB once considered a franchise quarterback, but who now brings limitations that render his receivers primarily unstartable.

We’ll get to the Panthers shortly. But it’s important to point out because San Francisco’s D/ST and kicker, Robbie Gould, might get boosts if this turns into a blowout.

And can we continue to trust Jeff Wilson Jr.? As always, inserting a starting RB into a DFS lineup carries certain expectations. Anything less than about 10-12 points would be viewed as a bust. Wilson’s lack of usage in the passing game this past Monday night surprised me. Normally he’s good for 2-3 per start. If we believe Wilson will re-claim that job, then he could be a huge-upside play with a nice floor.

Panthers DFS Considerations

Last weekend, DJ Moore rebounded as anticipated. But the degree to which he rebounded left us wanting more, as he converted a healthy 11 targets into merely six catches for 50 scoreless yards. Not inspiring. Sadly, that might be near his ceiling in a Baker Mayfield-led passing attack in which Shi Smith and TE Ian Thomas compete for a No. 3 receiving role.

MORE: NFL Survivor Pool Week 5

We have to wonder how much offense the Panthers can generate less than a week after San Francisco completely contained the mightier Rams. That’s not to say no Panthers will be relevant in DFS. But with $60,000 to spend, can we justify investing roughly 20% of that money on Christian McCaffrey? Or should we go cheap with Smith or Thomas, hope for 6+ points, and then load up on the Niners’ best options?

Recommended DFS Lineup

For a couple of days earlier this week, Wilson was my tentative Captain. Instead, that honor goes to Deebo Samuel ($11,600 normally, $17,400 as Captain). He’s the most expensive and highest-upside option in this contest.

Assuming Carolina’s defense (which is an impressive 13th-best in points yielded) keeps the Niners out of the end zone on a high majority of drives, I’d bet on Robbie Gould ($4,000) to knock through at least three field goals. Joining him are Aiyuk ($7,800) and George Kittle ($8,600).

Why not Wilson? He’s pricier than Aiyuk and Kittle, and Carolina’s run D (4.1 yards per carry) is respectable enough to be taken seriously, especially after containing Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara.

That leaves $12,200 for two slots. Most of that pile ($11,000) will go toward McCaffrey. He remains the Panthers’ offensive centerpiece, and his usage in the passing game should keep him relevant throughout the game. Finally, let’s throw $800 at Tommy Tremble, a TE who could overtake Ian Thomas as the clear starter as the season progresses.

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