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Week 5 NFL DraftKings Tournament Pivots

You can't be all chalk in tournaments. Let's take a look at some players to use instead of the popular weekly picks.

In daily fantasy football tournaments, you don't want to use the same guys everyone else is playing. You need to be different. You need to be contrarian.

Throwing chalk plays into a tournament lineup can sometimes work, but it's also important to know which players to pivot to, or use instead of the popular, chalky option. Let's take a look at the Week 5 slate with a list of pivot options.


Chalk: Sam Bradford $6,000 vs New Orleans Saints

Last week, we saw the Sam Bradford we had been expecting in an Eagles' uniform, as he put up a nice 270-yard, 3-touchdown performance against the Redskins. This week, the matchup does look tasty for Bradford, as the Saints rank 30th against the pass according to our schedule-adjusted Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. At home, in a high over/under game against a struggling secondary, plenty of folks will be on Bradford.

Pivot: Marcus Mariota $6,000 vs Buffalo Bills

There’s a lot more to like about Mariota than just his amazing first name. The Titans had the bye week to prepare for a weak secondary that has allowed multiple passing touchdowns in every game this season (a total of 10) and is currently allowing the fourth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. The rookie also comes into Week 5 with the 13th best NEP per passing play of any NFL quarterback (0.20). The Titans are slight underdogs this weekend against the Bills, and with a mess at running back, this has the makings of a great game script for Mariota.

Running Back

Chalk: Devonta Freeman $6,300 vs Washington Redskins

The regression is coming! The regression is coming! Much like Ben Roethlisberger last season when he came off his back-to-back six passing touchdown performances, Freeman's going to end up being one of the highest owned player of the weekend. Tevin Coleman did practice in limited fashion for the first time since Week 2, but if he plays, we can expect him to be a change-of-pace back at best. 

Freeman's been great according to our numbers, but he now checks into a game against the Washington Redskins run defense that has allowed the least amount of points to opposing running backs, ranking third according to our metrics against the run. Given the matchup, and high ownership, I’m looking elsewhere in tournaments.

Pivot: Mark Ingram $6,100 at Philaedelphia Eagles

Currently, Ingram is second in targets (24), first in receptions (22), and third in receiving yards (203) among running backs this season. In DraftKings full point per reception (PPR) scoring, he's a valuable asset going largely unnoticed. I mentioned earlier in the Bradford blurb about how this game as one of the highest over/unders of the week. Also, playing against the Philadelphia Eagles, this will be an up-tempo game which should help the Saints run more plays than average. The Eagles do have a very strong run defense, which makes Ingram more of a tournament play this week.

Wide Receiver

Chalk: Julian Edelman $7,000 at Dallas Cowboys

Edelman has everything you're looking for from a mid-tiered priced wide receiver. He's targeted heavily both between the 20s (10th in targets in the NFL this season despite a bye week) and in the red zone (7 red zone targets). Dating back to last season, Edelman now has 10 straight games of 7 or more receptions (includes playoffs). The Patriots have the highest implied point total of the week and, prior to their bye, he was the highest owned player in DraftKings' biggest tournament at 36.68% owned. Not much of this is going to change his crazy high ownership percentage.

Pivot: Amari Cooper $6,600 vs Denver Broncos

Not only will a similarly priced Edelman keep Cooper’s ownership level low, but so will the tough matchup against Aqib Talib and the Denver Broncos. The Raiders are at home and 4.5 point underdogs, which means they should be down and need to throw early. And this is not a team unafraid to throw the ball. After finishing with just 538 pass attempts last season, the Raiders are currently on pace to smash this mark, currently trending towards 684 passes. The Raiders also have the second most passing yards on the season. As I mentioned, the Broncos defense is tough -- they rank first in the NFL on defense according to our numbers -- but Derek Carr has been a highly efficient passer having the sventh highest NEP per passing play in the NFL.

Tight End:

Chalk: Charles Clay $4,100 at Tennessee Titans

This season, Clay has seen 24.16% of his team’s targets. This is the highest target percentage in the NFL at the position -- more than Rob Gronkowski (21.05%), Greg Olsen (23.14%), and Travis Kelce (19.58%). This week he faces the Tennessee Titans, a team allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. While his $4,100 price tag looks like a bargain, it’s not nearly as enticing as it was just two weeks ago when it was just $3,100.

Pivot: Owen Daniels $2,700 at Oakland Raiders

Start your tight ends against the Oakland Raiders. So far this season, every starting tight end to face Oakland has finished either first or second in weekly tight end scoring in PPR formats. And two of the four tight ends have scored twice.

Owen Daniels has not been spectacular this season, but he does have a touchdown in each of his last two games, and Peyton Manning is looking much more relaxed in the pistol offense. Pay down to Owen Daniels and reap the benefits. Even if he finishes lower than other tight ends have against Oakland this year, he provides enough cap relief to pay up on studs elsewhere in your lineup.

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