4 NFL FanDuel Tournament Pivots for Week 4
If you've played daily fantasy sports for a while, you realize by now the importance of being contrarian, especially in large-field tournaments. Being able to recognize which players are going to be owned by the majority of the field -- and to find players who you think have a similar point projection but will come at much lower ownership -- can help separate you from your opponents.
The purpose of this article will be to identify some players who will be the chalk at each position and how you can pivot off of them with high-upside options who could go overlooked.
Let's take a look at pivot options for Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
FanDuel Price: $7,600
An over/under sitting at 48 points has this game with the fourth-highest total on the slate, but only one quarterback is being talked about from this one. Let's take a look at the other one.
Russell Wilson is the quarterback everyone in the fantasy industry is talking about this week and rightfully so. He is coming off a massive game and is playing the fast-paced Arizona Cardinals, who are allowing the third-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season.
It makes sense that Wilson will be popular this week, but what about Kyler Murray? The rookie has been consistent to start the season, so let's take a look.
So far this year, Murray has a low of 16.36 FanDuel points and a high of 22.62 points, showing a steady range of production. In his season-low scoring output, he didn't have any touchdowns, which, oddly enough, is encouraging. If he can score that many points without a touchdown, his upside is fantastic. Murray has also attempted at least 40 passes in each of his three games, as the Cardinals are often trailing. They are also playing at the fastest pace this season, according to FootballOutsiders.com, which means more scoring chances.
The matchup is somewhat sneaky-good against the Seattle Seahawks, who have allowed two passing touchdowns in each game this season and are around the league average in FanDuel points allowed per game to quarterbacks. We have a team who loves to throw the ball, will be playing from behind as 5.0-point home underdogs, and is facing a secondary that hasn't been good to start the season.
It helps to look at the other quarterback options around Murray to see why he should be lower owned, thus making him a solid tournament pivot.
At $7.8K, we have Philip Rivers taking on the Miami Dolphins, presenting a very easy matchup. At $7.7K, we find Jared Goff as a home favorite with a high implied team total. Down at $7.3K, there is Daniel Jones, who should be very popular given his debut performance and matchup. Finally, Matthew Stafford, at $6.9K, who will be throwing the ball plenty against the Kansas City Chiefs. All of those options are in good to great spots, which is why Murray shouldn't be too popular.
James White, New England Patriots
FanDuel Price: $6,200
Getting away from popular running backs can present massive upside in tournaments. So who is a quality contrarian option this week?
At a very modest $6.2K price tag, we find James White, who is in a fantastic spot to continue his strong start this season. As of now, Rex Burkhead was listed as limited in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday of this week. That is something to keep an eye on, because if Burkhead misses the game or is limited at all, White would be the clear number one pass-catching running back for the New England Patriots. This season, Sony Michel has only one target in the passing game, while Burkhead has 17 in three games. If Burkhead is out, then some volume opens up for White.
Last week, White missed the game due to the birth of his child, and with him being out of the lineup, Burkhead played on 74% of the offensive snaps. In Week 2, White was in on 31% of the offensive snaps while Burkhead played 24% of the snaps. White has a clear role in this offense, and that should have him ready to produce fantasy points against the Buffalo Bills, a defense that is allowing 19.9 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season, which 17th in the league.
At $6.4K, Leonard Fournette might be a popular option this week, and LeSean McCoy, who is $6.3K, will be popular with Damien Williams out. A bit lower at running back, we find Wayne Gallman at $5.8K, and he should be one of the more popular options on the entire slate. White simply falls into this weird middle area and shouldn't see much ownership on Sunday.
Preston Williams, Miami Dolphins
FanDuel Price: $5,200
This is the first and what could be the last time I'm going to talk about a Miami Dolphins' player for fantasy purposes.
Miami comes in as 15.0-point home underdogs to the Los Angeles Chargers in what should be a very one-sided football game. Even with that said, there is some fantasy value to grab from the Dolphins -- namely Preston Williams.
Through the first three weeks of the season, Williams has five red zone targets, which is tied for the third-most in the league. Yes, a Dolphins player is that high on the red zone targets list. This is actually very interesting given their matchup versus the Chargers, who are allowing 30.6 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers, which is the 14th most in the league.
There is no doubt the Dolphins are a bad football team, but that is a large part of why Williams will be overlooked this week. From $5.7K and down, we find Marquise Brown, Parris Campbell, Trey Quinn, and Paul Richardson -- just to name a few -- who are all in strong matchups at nearly the same price tag.
Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
FanDuel Price: $6,400
The range of outcomes for tight ends is always large, and hitting on the right player can make or break your lineup.
The top tier of tight ends is clear on a week-to-week basis, and then we have some value options, who should also be popular. The mid-tier options might have a tougher matchup, be overpriced, and/or have low usage within the offense. Austin Hooper is a tight end you could drop into the mid-tier and forget about, but his usage bucks the trend at the position. He has played on 89% of the offensive snaps this season, which is the second-highest on his team -- even higher than Julio Jones.
Hooper also has a 27.27% red zone target share, the second-highest on the Atlanta Falcons, according to NFLSavant.com. He also comes in with an 86.36% catch percentage, which is the fourth-highest in the entire league, per Next-Gen Stats. He is up against the Tennessee Titans this week, and Tennessee is allowing the ninth-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends this season. With an implied team total set at 25.00, the Falcons and Hooper are in a spot to score some points, and they probably won't be one of the more popular offenses.