4 NFL FanDuel Tournament Pivots for Week 8
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 8 of the 2019 NFL season.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
FanDuel Price: $6,900
There is plenty of talk this week surrounding Deshaun Watson, as he is in a great spot to score fantasy points, but in order for him to truly reach his ceiling, he will need to constantly push the ball and get the offense to score points. How does that happen? It happens when the Raiders' offense is scoring points, hopefully, through Derek Carr. This season, Carr has yet to score more than 17 FanDuel points, leading to him being overlooked on most slates.
This could be the week he breaks through that threshold given the matchup and the game environment. The over/under is a great place to start since there is a strong expectation for scoring, where the Raiders have a 22.25 implied team total. On the matchup side of things, the Texans are allowing 21.3 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season, which is the seventh-worst in the league.
Regardless of Carr and his inability to hit his ceiling of fantasy points prior to this game, he is in a great spot to finally hit over 300 yards and multiple touchdowns.
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
FanDuel Price: $6,800
OK, maybe not all the way to 61 total points, but there is no reason it can't go over the current line of 40.5. In that game last week, Latavius Murray rushed 27 times for 119 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns and caught 5 passes for 31 yards -- all for a total of 29.5 FanDuel points. The Bears are allowing 24.1 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season, which is the eighth-worst in the league. I want all of the Austin Ekeler shares this week. He is going to eat.
To start, Melvin Gordon simply hasn't been good this season, averaging under 3 yards per carry and just over 10 receiving yards per game. That's nowhere remotely close to being fantasy viable or real football viable.
On the other hand, we have Ekeler, who is coming off a monster 22 FanDuel points in Week 7, where he totaled 118 receiving yards. This was the fifth time this season he's gone over 60 receiving yards, with 5 or more receptions in each of those games. Ekeler is tied for second in target market share on the Los Angeles Chargers' offense and leads the team in receptions -- as a running back.
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
FanDuel Price: $5,500
This might be a bit of a hot take, but Corey Davis makes for a great tournament pivot this week, and he will score a touchdown for the second straight week.
Davis was highly touted coming out of Western Michigan Broncos and ended his career there as the all-time NCAA receiving yards leader. Since his time in the NFL, he has been inconsistent and underutilized in the Tennessee Titans' offense, among other things. But he is still a good receiver and in a great spot to find the end zone this week. Even though this game versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has a modest over/under set at 45.5, we should see most of their production come from their passing game.
The Buccaneers have a pass funnel defense, as they are allowing the third-fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs this season but the second-most FanDuel points per game to wide receivers.
This sets up nicely for Davis, despite the change at quarterback to Ryan Tannehill. Davis has an average depth of target (aDOT) sitting at 10.4, while Tannehill's passing aDOT is 8.0 yards -- in just over one game. It also helps that Davis had his most targets, most receptions, and second-most receiving yards last week, establishing a bit of a connection between him and Tannehill.
Eric Ebron, Indianapolis Colts
FanDuel Price: $5,400
Eric Ebron is the bane of the fantasy football community, but it's time to embrace him this week.
The Indianapolis Colts are hosting the Denver Broncos, where the over/under is set at a rather unexciting 43.5 points. It's super interesting, I get that, and if other DFS players are going to be staying away from here, there is a good chance at lower ownership. This is not to say we are in for a massive shootout with plenty of scoring, but that doesn't mean Ebron won't be a viable option this week. The Broncos are allowing 7.9 FanDuel points per game to tight ends this season, which is right around the league average.
With Devin Funchess out for the year, Ebron is now second on the Colts in market share of air yards, overall target share, and third in aDOT. Those are some seriously promising stats for a player who is this cheap and coming off his best game of the season. He posted 5 targets (tied for his season-high), 4 receptions (season-high), 70 yards (season-high), and a touchdown.