4 NFL FanDuel Tournament Pivots for Week 15
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 15 of the 2019 NFL season.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
FanDuel Price: $6,900
Gardner Minshew should be a top tournament option this week, and it's not up for debate.
Across the industry, there hasn't been a ton of talk in regards to Minshew, and I have a few ideas on why. First off, this game features two teams that aren't very good, and that can certainly turn a few people away. The over/under is set at 45.5 -- which is decent, but there are seven games with higher totals. Along with that, the Jacksonville Jaguars won't have their number one receiver, D.J. Chark. Those are some legitimate reasons on why you would avoid this game when we have a full slate, but ultimately, that should lead to lower ownership.
It's key to find a player or set of players you can deploy in tournament lineups who can pop at lower ownership. Minshew is looking to be that option at quarterback. He is facing the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing 22.3 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks -- the second-most in the league. The Raiders have allowed 34 points or more in three straight weeks, two passing touchdowns or more in two of the past three weeks, and have given up the third-most passing touchdowns overall.
This is a fantastic spot for Minshew and the Jaguars' passing offense, even without Chark.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
FanDuel Price: $6,800
In a must-win situation, the Philadelphia Eagles need to rely on their offense to put up points in a great matchup.
The Eagles are still in the hunt for the NFC East title and have a chance to pick up a win as they take on lowly Washington. This game has a 38.5-point over/under, the lowest on the slate. I understand why many DFS players aren't looking here for massive amounts of fantasy production, because it likely won't have a ton.
That is fine. What we want is production out of Miles Sanders, who is still the lead running back for Philly. Last week, we saw Boston Scott grab 44% of the snaps, but Sanders still led the team with a 56% snap share. In fact, Sanders had led the team in snaps each week dating back to Week 9.
Regardless of the over/under, this matchup is a nice one for Sanders. Washington comes into this game allowing 23.1 FanDuel points per game to running backs -- the ninth-most in the league. We have attacked Washington on the ground all season -- why stop now? Is it because of the lower over/under? Is it because of the split carries last week? It could be either or both of those reasons, but Sanders is still facing a weak defense he can exploit in a crucial game for the Eagles.
Allen Hurns, Miami Dolphins
FanDuel Price: $5,800
The Miami Dolphins are bad -- we know that -- but they offer plenty of value this week.
Right now, DeVante Parker is still listed as questionable for this week's game against New York Giants, but he got in a full practice on Friday. It appears that he is on track to play, and if he does, that is fine, since we want to look toward Allen Hurns as a leverage play. Hurns has managed at least six targets in three of the past four games, four receptions or more in three of four games, and one touchdown. He's been consistent role for a player.
This week, Hurns' matchup is elite as the Giants are allowing 33.1 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers -- the third-most in the league. There is no doubt this is a matchup you want to attack in DFS, and if Parker is ready to play, Hurns makes for a nice pivot who could be primed for a big game.
Darren Fells, Houston Texans
FanDuel Price: $4,700
This is the game everyone is loading up on, and finding a possibly lower-owned option in this game can be tough. One hidden gem for the Texans is Darren Fells, who is super cheap this week and in a spot to reach the end zone. Currently, Fells is splitting snaps with Jordan Akins, presenting a problem for most fantasy players. How can you roster
a player at tight end -- a position with a lower range of outcomes -- who is splitting snaps? That seems like a huge risk. But Fells is the answer for the Texans in the red zone.
This season, DeAndre Hopkins has 11 red zone targets and is tied for most on the team. Hopkins, one of the best receivers in the league is tied (!) with Fells for the most red zone targets on the Texans. Fells has seven touchdowns from those 11 red zone targets, tied with Hopkins' season total. When Houston gets to the red zone, they look to Hopkins and Fells. A sub-$5K price tag for a player who gets the most valuable kind of targets -- and is in a great environment -- is tough to pass up.