4 NFL FanDuel Tournament Pivots for Week 5
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 5 of the 2019 NFL season.
Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos
FanDuel Price: $6,600
I think Joe Flacco is a viable tournament pivot this week *ducks*. For as much as people slander Flacco, he is usable in tournaments and should be at very low ownership, which can be tough to find. Through four games this season, Flacco is averaging 37 passing attempts per game, the seventh-most in the league, along with nearly 270 yards per game.
This trend should continue this week as the Broncos are +6.5 road underdogs versus the Chargers, which should lead to the Broncos throwing the ball more. This is the game script we want to see, as this is where the upside for Flacco comes from.
The Chargers' defense has allowed eight passing touchdowns through four games this season, along with giving up 17.4 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks. With the volume of attempts Flacco is passing each game, he has surpassed 290 yards in two of his last three games, with four touchdowns in those two games.
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packs
FanDuel Price: $6,800
The Green Bay Packers are on the road to take on the Cowboys in a game where the over/under set at 46.5 points, which is the third-highest on the slate. Despite that, the Packers only hold a 21.5 implied team total, which is rather uninspiring, but nonetheless, we want Jones this week.
Green Bay won't have top receiver Davante Adams or backup running back Jamaal Williams, which should condense the usage within the offense. Last week, both Adams and Williams left the game early, which saw Jones record a season-high six receptions on a season-high seven targets. Those seven targets were tied for the highest on the team excluding Adams.
The Cowboys have allowed 180 receiving yards to running backs this season, which is the 12th-most in the league, along with 25 receptions, which is the 9th-most in the league. If Jones is going to be seeing more volume in the passing game against a weak defense, he needs to be considered a top option this week in tournaments.
In terms of pricing, Austin Ekeler and Leonard Fournette are just a few hundred dollars more expensive and both playing well. David Johnson, Derrick Henry, Wayne Gallman, and even Carlos Hyde are all cheaper than Jones, and in good spots in their own games.
Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons
FanDuel Price: $5,900
The over/under in this game is set at 50 points, which is the highest on the slate, so plenty of ownership will be flowing in this direction, as is a tradition for DFS players.
But how can we find leverage in this situation to pivot off of the chalkier plays? Fade the elite wide receivers and go to Mohamed Sanu. The elite receivers in this game are Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins, who will see plenty of ownership. Behind them, each team has Will Fuller and Calvin Ridley, who are both very exciting DFS options due to their big-play ability. This is why I love Sanu this week. He will be passed on for those other receivers but is still playing in this juicy fantasy game.
Sanu comes in with an aDOT of 7.9 this season, according to AirYards.com, which is the lowest on the Falcons. Ridley is cheaper than Sanu this week, but Ridley's aDOT is up at 14.6, which is what makes him so exciting in DFS. Sanu is averaging 7.7 targets this season but has yet to find the end zone. For my money, that will change this week as he should be lined up against Texans corner Bradley Roby, who is the 75th graded cornerback this season, according to PFF. The Texans have also allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to slot receivers, according to FantasyLeagueCollective.
Sanu is going to feast this week while going under-owned. Sign me up.
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills
FanDuel Price: $4,800
The Buffalo Bills have a low 17.75 implied team total, but that could be on the rise soon.
It was reported on Friday that Josh Allen went through a full practice and is officially listed as questionable for this game. A full practice on Friday after a concussion is a promising sign, which is why that team total for the Bills should be on the rise.
That is good news if we want to target their offense and specifically tight end Dawson Knox. They are up against the Tennessee Titans, who have a rather uninspiring defense and are allowing 9.9 FanDuel points per game to tight ends this season. They also just allowed 9 receptions for 130 yards to Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper last week, so this is a worthwhile spot to attack.
Tight end is a bit of a wasteland after the top-tier, and if we look towards the cheaper options, Tyler Eifert is in a super juicy spot versus the lowly Arizona Cardinals. Benjamin Watson is set to make his season debut with the New England Patriots and hopefully gets involved in the offense. Jason Witten is ready to troll everyone with another touchdown, and even Noah Fant is viable against a sneaky bad Los Angeles Chargers defense.
This leaves Knox all alone and out of some people's minds, since we don't have the news on Josh Allen yet. Believe me, only three targets per game for Knox isn't amazing, but in the last two games, he has three receptions in each, 58 yards or more in each, and one touchdown. That can get it done when he is under $5K this week.