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 that could go overlooked.
Let's take a look at pivot options for Week 5.
Mac Jones, QB, New England Patriots ($6,700)
With all of the value options at quarterback this week, Mac Jones should be going overlooked.
We don't often get to say there are a ton of value options at quarterback, but Week 5 is bringing something new to the table. Trey Lance ($6,900) could be starting for the 49ers if Jimmy Garoppolo isn't able to play. Trevor Lawrence ($6,500) has a soft matchup versus the Tennessee Titans. Justin Fields ($6,400) is the new starting quarterback for the Bears. There's a lot going on in this tier, and it should cause Jones to slip in popularity.
That would makes Jones a great pivot due to a number of reasons. First off, he has a phenomenal matchup against the Houston Texans. Houston is allowing the sixth-most (23.6) FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks. This should put Jones in a good spot to cross 20 FanDuel points for the first time this season -- and his career.
It's also becoming clear that the Patriots struggle running the ball and are relying on Jones to pass more frequently. So far this season, the Patriots, as a team, have 274 rushing yards, which is the second-fewest in the league. This has led to Jones posting 40 and 51 passing attempts in the last two games. That is a significant volume of attempts that grants him upside, and that can lead to plenty of fantasy points against a weak Texans' defense.
There are a few pieces falling into place for Jones to go overlooked and have his best start of the season.
D'Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions ($6,900)
Whenever a team is both on the road and a large underdog, we see their players rostered in very low percentages in DFS contests. This is what we want, as the fantasy points can still be there for those players regardless of the outcome of the game. We can look to D'Andre Swift, who has been off to a strong start this season and seeing sold volume. Swift is dealing with a groin injury and has been limited in practice, but that is the same practice designation he has carried for two weeks, and he hasn't missed a game.
We'll need a final update on Swift before the slate locks, but we want to look to him as a solid pivot away from the other chalky running backs in that salary range. Chuba Hubbard ($6,700), Alexander Mattison ($6,500), and Leonard Fournette ($6,400) are all set to be popular, and that gives Swift the chance to go overlooked.
Swift (63.2% of snaps) is splitting the backfield time with Jamaal Williams (40.1%), but Swift has still out-touched him in three of four games this season. Swift has also piled up 6, 7, 5, and 11 targets this season, compared to Williams, who has 0, 2, 3, and 9 targets in his four games. If Williams continues to see a lesser role in the passing game, Swift will be the primary option, and the Lions are in a passing game script as 9.5-point road underdogs.
This should significantly benefit Swift. The Vikings are also allowing 23.0 FanDuel points per game to running backs, which is the 12th worst in the league. It's a great matchup and no one should be rostering Swift this week.
Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars ($6,600)
The Titans' defense is bad.
When push comes to shove, that is the plain truth. It is especially so against wide receivers, and we should be looking to attack them each and every week.
More specifically, the Titans are allowing 43.7 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers this season, which is the second-most in the league. They have allowed the second-most receiving yards (944) and tied for the most touchdowns (8). Their secondary is an absolute mess, and it's a pile of fantasy points waiting to be grabbed.
We know that D.J. Chark is on injured reserve for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and that leaves Marvin Jones as the clear number one receiver. Jones comes in with a team-high 32 targets, a team-high 11.58 average depth of target (aDOT), and a team-high 4 red-zone targets.
With Jones playing on 92.5% of the snaps, running a route on 93.9% of the passing plays, and the favorable matchup in front of him, he should be able to roast the Titans' defense this week.
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($5,000)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers carry a very strong 29.00 implied team total against the Miami Dolphins, and we should see them sail to victory this week. Hopefully, some of those points come via Cameron Brate, who can continue to fill the void left by Gronkowski.
Last week with Gronkowski out, Brate ended up with 6 targets, 2 receptions, and 29 yards. While that may not be a ton, we did see him run a route on 65.9% of the passing plays. That mark is far higher than O.J. Howard, who only ran a route on 31.8% of the passing plays. Howard (67.6%) did play on more snaps than Brate (63.5%), but it's clear that Brate is the preferred receiving tight end of the two when Gronkowski is out.
There should be plenty of chances for Brate to reach value this week since the Buccaneers are one of the pass-heaviest teams this season. Their 71% pass rate is the second-highest in the league, and we should see that on full display this week assuming they exceed their lofty team total.