Week 7 FanDuel Tournament Pivots

Is Antonio Brown a worthwhile play this weekend against the Chiefs? In tournaments, he might be.

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: Matthew Stafford vs Minnesota Vikings $7,400

Last week, Matthew Stafford put up an absurd 34.9 FanDuel points. His 405 passing yards were more yards than he had thrown for in his two previous games combined. His four passing touchdowns matched his touchdown total from the previous four games combined as well. Big games like this will put a player on anyone’s map. And because of this performance, we saw Stafford’s price jump $500.

Stafford currently ranks 32nd in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) on the season, though, and we should expect him to continue to struggle this week against a Vikings defense that is 11th best against the pass when adjusted for strength of opponent.

Pivot: Blake Bortles vs Buffalo Bills $7,500

As teams continue to struggle running the ball against the Buffalo Bills – their 87.2 rushing yards allowed per game is fourth best in the league – they will need to turn to the passing game more and more. Blake Bortles has now thrown for multiple touchdowns or 298 yards in each of his last five games, and is currently third in the NFL in pass attempts. 

While the Bills have been able to stop the run, they haven’t been so lucky against the pass. On the season, they've allowed the ninth most passing yards in the league and third most passing touchdowns. T.J. Yeldon returned to limited practice on Thursday and Friday after missing practice earlier in the week, but with a banged up Yeldon, we should expect to see another high-flying passing attack in Week 7 from Mr. Bortles and the Jaguars.

Running Back

Chalk: Latavius Murray at San Diego Chargers $7,000

Fresh off a bye, Latavius Murray gets this tasty matchup against a San Diego Chargers run defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, ranking fourth worst against the run per our numbers. 

He's priced as the RB12 on FanDuel, and our rankings have him ranked 10th. However, as road underdogs, there could be better players at this price point. 

Pivot: Lamar Miller vs Houston Texans $6,700

New interim head coach Dan Campbell has finally done what former Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin was never able to do -- he removed the reins from Lamar Miller. Last weekend, Miller saw 19 carries for just the fourth time in his career. In three of these four games, Miller has at least 90 rushing yards and a touchdown. And in each of these contests, he's totaled at least 85 yards.

The four games give him an average of 18.8 FanDuel points a game. The Dolphins are favored by four at home against a Houston Texans team that is in the bottom 10 against the run, per NEP. We should expect to see Miller reach 19 carries in this positive game script and make for a nice pivot play.

Wide Receiver

Chalk: Brandon Marshall at New England Patriots $8,200

Brandon Marshall is the only NFL wide receiver to have at least six catches in every game. He’s had at least nine targets in every game and 100 receiving yards or a touchdown in every game this season. We should expect to see Brandon Marshall line up across from Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler -- on the season, Butler has allowed the 10th most yards and tied for the 4th most touchdowns of any cornerback. Tack on a game script that should have the Jets trailing most of the game, and we could see Marshall continue his reception, yardage and touchdown streak for at least another week.

Pivot: Antonio Brown at Kansas City Chiefs $8,300

$8,300. $8,300! I love targeting elite receivers when their salaries drop significantly. Since the beginning of the season, Brown has now seen his salary drop $1,000. The quarterback play has been less than stellar, of course, but with Vegas still yet to put a line on this game, we must expect that even Vegas doesn’t know whether we’ll see Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick, or even Landry Jones under center.

The Kansas City Chiefs rank in the bottom third of the league against the pass, per our numbers. The Chiefs have also allowed the eighth most passing yards, and are tied for allowing the second most touchdowns. Brown will definitely be a mainstay in my lineups once Roethlisberger is back, but for this week, take the great matchup and low ownership. It may be the last time you have a chance at getting Brown under 10% owned (owned in just 5.4% in Thursday night FanDuel tournaments).

Tight End

Chalk: Charles Clay at Jacksonville Jaguars $5,500

Tyrod Taylor is out. Karlos Williams is out. Percy Harvin is out. Sammy Watkins is out. Literally the Bills offense will need to run through LeSean McCoy and Charles Clay this weekend. And, the change to E.J. Manuel doesn’t affect Clay as much as some would think -- last week, Clay still managed 9 receptions for 62 yards on 13 targets.

Pivot: Julius Thomas vs Buffalo Bills $5,600

The other tight end in this game, Julius Thomas, led all Jacksonville Jaguars players with 13 targets last week. As I mentioned with Bortles above, the Jaguars will be throwing the ball a lot this weekend, and the Bills have been very favorable to opposing tight ends this season, allowing the ninth most fantasy points to the position.

Both of the Allen’s (Robinson and Hurns) are dealing with leg injuries -- should these injuries slow them down, especially Hurns, expect Thomas to prosper in the short passing game.