Week 8 DraftKings Tournament Pivots

With everyone looking to play Stefon Diggs this week, Marvin Jones may be the perfect tournament pivot.

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: Andy Dalton $6,000 at Pittsburgh Steelers (8.2% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

Andy Dalton is your number three fantasy quarterback on the season, and he's performing well above expectation. Among quarterbacks with 100 or more passes, Dalton leads all of them in Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back. Yet, his DraftKings salary has actually decreased from his Week 1 salary ($6,100). 

Wait. What?

The Steelers are allowing 277 passing yards per game, which is the fifth most in the NFL. If you want to attack the Steelers, you do it through the air.

Pivot: Brian Hoyer $5,300 vs Tennessee Titans (3.4% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

First, a few stats -- with the names removed -- from the last four games of each player:

Player A: 1,298 Passing Yards, 11 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions

Player B: 1,112 Passing Yards, 10 Touchdowns, 2 Interceptions

Player A is Tom Brady (includes Thursday night’s game). Player B is...Brian Hoyer. Stunned?

Not only is Hoyer putting up solid numbers, but they're consistent, too! He has two or more touchdowns in four straight games, and at least 21.92 DraftKings points in three straight. He's only $300 above minimum salary, and with Arian Foster out for the season, we should expect to see Houston air it out even more than they already are. Pair him with Nate Washington for a very low-owned, low-salary stack.

Running Back

Chalk: Todd Gurley $6,300 vs San Francisco 49ers (39.4% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

Dude is a stud. No doubt. Recently, I compared him to Odell Beckham's 2014 season -- they're both eerily similar in that both were highly drafted rookies who missed a few games to start the season because of injury, and then immediately took the league by storm. It should come as no surprise that Gurley is tied for the fourth in NEP per rush (at least 50 attempts) behind Devonta Freeman, Lamar Miller (prior to last night's game) and Giovani Bernard. That’s pretty good company.

And let’s talk about this game script -- the Rams are favored by almost 10 points at home against a San Francisco team that is ranked 31st against the run according to NEP. The only thing that may keep Gurley from reaching high ownership may be the well-deserved $1,300 price jump over last week. But, even with this price hike, he's still underpriced and should be heavily owned once again.

Pivot: Charcandrick West $4,700 vs Detroit Lions (6.3% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

Charcandrick West and the Kansas City Chiefs fly across the pond to meet up the Detroit Lions over in London. West looked great last week on his way to 129 total yards on 24 touches. Any worry about Knile Davis stealing work was quickly forgotten about as West dominated the snaps 55 to 3.

Vegas seems to think that the Chiefs are going to be putting a lot of points on the board, as their implied point total is 4.35 points above their season average thus far. Favored by six, West appears to be highly likely to find the end zone at least once, as 46% of the Chiefs touchdowns this season have been rushing touchdowns. The Lions have been very forgiving as of late, too, having allowed 406 rushing yards, 5 rushing touchdowns and a 5.1 yards per carry average to running backs over the last three weeks.

Wide Receiver

Chalk: Stefon Diggs $4,800 at Chicago Bears (30.4% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

Last week, the winner of DraftKings' Millionaire Maker rostered Stefon Diggs despite his relatively small NFL experience -- just two games. What’s remarkable is he wasn't alone, as approximately 59,350 other teams (17.4% owned) rostered him.

With a longer track record under his belt (a whopping three games), an easier matchup (Chicago is ranked 26th against the pass according to Defensive NEP), and limited price increase (up just $600 to $4,800), we should see Diggs as a salary saving staple (say that 10 times fast) in DFS tournaments this weekend.

Pivot: Marvin Jones $4,200 at Pittsburgh Steelers (5.3% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

We’ve already identified Andy Dalton as a chalk play this week, and a Dalton/A.J. Green stack will be one of the most popular ones we see this weekend, but the Bengals receiver I want to own is Marvin Jones.

Over the last two games, Jones has seen 20 targets -- 5 more than teammate Green. He has also played in 87% of Bengals snaps, trumping Mohamed Sanu’s 66%. But, what makes Jones most appealing is his projected matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Antwon Blake. This season, Blake has allowed the second most receiving yards (489) and second most receptions (37) of any cornerback. According to Pro Football Focus, Blake also ranks 108th out of 109 cornerbacks; just barely ahead of Brandon Browner. Oh, yeah, and Jones has a five-inch height advantage over the 5’9” Blake.

Sign me up!