4 NFL FanDuel Tournament Pivots for Week 12

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 12 of the 2019 NFL season.


Sam Darnold, New York Jets

FanDuel Price: $7,400

Here we go -- it's time to look at some tournament pivots for DFS contests this week.

In the last two weeks, Sam Darnold is starting to look like the quarterback the New York Jets thought he would be, but it should be taken with a grain of salt. Darnold faced the New York Giants and Washington in the past two weeks, posting six total touchdowns in that span. It's nice production, but the opposing defense certainly has a lot to do with things.

Now, it sounds like I'd be convincing you to stay away from Darnold, but it's actually the exact opposite. He is going to feast again this week. It's clear this season that Darnold is able to look good versus a bad defense and struggles against good ones -- he's a young quarterback; that's what happens. But he is up against a weak pass defense this week, so we want to stick with him.

That weak pass defense belongs to the Oakland Raiders, who are 3.0-point road favorites and the over/under is set at 46.5 points. Passing the ball is the path to success against the Raiders, as they are allowing 21.4 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks -- the seventh-most in the league. They are also giving up the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to wide receivers. Last week was the first time since Week 3 the Raiders didn't allow multiple passing touchdowns to the opposing quarterback.

With Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, and Carson Wentz on this slate, Darnold shouldn't be highly-owned.

Running Back

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns

FanDuel Price: $5,600

In what could be the biggest leverage spot on the entire slate, you should be looking towards Kareem Hunt in tournaments this week. This is a potential double-dip scenario, and there are a few different things to consider, so let's jump in.

First off, the Cleveland Browns are 11.0-point home favorites against the Miami Dolphins, which has Cleveland coming in with a slate-high 28.25 implied team total. None of this should be shocking -- Miami is terrible and we've been attacking them all season long. So where does the double-dip for tournaments come into play?

There should be plenty of ownership on Nick Chubb this week, but since returning from his suspension, Hunt has played on 54% and 55% of the snaps over the last two weeks. He has 10 rushing attempts and 17 targets over those two games, which is strong considering these are his first games with the offense. In fact, he has finished as the third-most and second-most targeted player in the Browns' offense over the past two games. The lone negative is that he has yet to find the end zone.

If Hunt grabs his first touchdown this week, it could be the classic "vulture" touchdown away from Chubb, which is the first part of the double-dip. The second part would be for the fact the players around his price are all set to be popular this week. Miles Sanders is the same price. Brian Hill ($5.5K) is a clear lead back. Derrius Guice ($5.4K) is back from his injury and starting to grab a role in that offense.

Hunt is the clear backup for the Browns, but he has a chance to be a huge leverage play this week.

Wide Receiver

D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

FanDuel Price: $6,700

Tyler Lockett is having a phenomenal season for the Seattle Seahawks and is ready to take on the Philadelphia Eagles, who are allowing a whopping 33.0 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers -- the fifth-most in the league. It's an amazing spot, and we have Seattle coming in with an implied team total at 23.00, which should only be on the rise with Lockett confirmed in.

With all that being said, you want to be pivoting to D.K. Metcalf, who is cheaper and in the same matchup.

Metcalf comes in with a 12.7 average depth of target (highest on the team), is tied for the team lead in market share of air yards, per, and is second in total target share behind Lockett. Metcalf is the clear number two receiver for the Seahawks, and he's got 19 targets over the past two games. Yes, some of those targets in their game against the San Francisco 49ers came after Lockett left with an injury, but that should only further prove that Russell Wilson is willing to look toward Metcalf.

Pivoting within a team can be a difference-making move.

Tight End

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills

FanDuel $4,800

With a 37.5-point over/under, the Denver Broncos-Buffalo Bills game doesn't look too appealing.

By no means am I advocating for you to stack up this game, but that doesn't mean we can't find a player we like. Specifically, that would be tight end Dawson Knox, who is only $4.8K this week. I love the savings he brings this week when we don't have a ton of value options.

The Broncos are allowing 10.3 FanDuel points per game to tight ends -- which is the 15th most in the league. That's right around the league average, so Knox doesn't stand out there, and with an ugly over/under, this game isn't going to be one targeted by many.

In this lower tier for tight ends, we have Greg Olsen ($5.1K) in a great fantasy environment, Dallas Goedert ($5.2K) in a solid matchup and Michael Gesicki ($5K) has six targets in three straight weeks. Knox is certainly more touchdown-dependent compared to those players, but he has the third-most targets on the team and the fourth-most red zone looks. The role for him is there, and with Chris Harris on John Brown, Josh Allen should have to look elsewhere this week.