Week 8 FanDuel Tournament Pivots

Everyone's on Philip Rivers this week, but could Eli Manning be the smart tournament play?

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: Philip Rivers $8,500 at Baltimore Ravens (9.5% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

Philip Rivers has surpassed 300 passing yards in each of his last four games, and he's also thrown for multiple touchdowns in each of these games. Quietly, Rivers is leading the NFL in passing yards (by almost 400) and is also second in passing touchdowns (Tom Brady).

I would compare the Baltimore Ravens secondary to that of Swiss cheese, but feel like that would be an insult to the cheese. The Ravens have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in five of their last six, and are allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the season. Even if Rivers doesn’t have Antonio Gates to throw to, we should expect him to keep his 300 yards and multiple touchdown streak alive.

Pivot: Eli Manning $7,300 at New Orleans Saints (4.2% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

Full disclosure: Eli Manning has been really, really bad the past two weeks. However, sharp DFS players will be on Manning this weekend. His salary has decreased by $500 over the last month, and $1,000 since the start of the NFL season. A matchup against the New Orleans Saints defense is exactly what Eli needs to get back on track.

The Saints rank third worst against the pass, per Net Expected Points (NEP). They're allowing the seventh most passing yards per game and have allowed the sixth most passing touchdowns. Vegas has this game as the third highest over/under, with the Giants playing as a dog on the road. Game script should be in Eli’s favor and he has the advantage of a fully healthy Odell Beckham (practiced in full Thursday) and Rueben Randle, who should take advantage of his matchup with Brandon Browner (who has allowed the fifth most receiving yards by a cornerback).

Running Back

Chalk: Justin Forsett $6,900 vs San Diego Chargers (18.3% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

Forsett finds himself in this week’s dream running back scenario. His team is favored, they're at home, and they're in a game with one of the highest over/unders of the week against a run defense that ranks 31st against the run according to our numbers.

Already this season, the San Diego Chargers have allowed six top 10 weekly running back performances and eight top 20 weekly performances. The Chargers have also allowed a 100-yard rusher in every away game. Plus, you also have the whole West Coast team flying East for an early game narrative.

Pivot: Doug Martin $7,500 at Atlanta Falcons (9.7% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

Martin has used the last three weeks to bump himself all the way up to the third overall running back in fantasy. His three straight games over 100 rushing yards is something he’s never done in his career. Best of all, he appears to be game script proof, as he's caught at least three balls in each of the last three games.

The Buccanneers just lost Louis Murphy for the season, and it appears they'll be without Vincent Jackson for at least this week. At some point, the Bucs will sign some street free agents to fill the void at wide receiver, but we should expect to see a huge workload for Martin again this week. And while the Falcons are not allowing many rushing yards (fourth fewest) they have allowed the most rushing touchdowns this season (10). Those touchdowns are the variance you want to see out of your tournament players.

Wide Receiver

Chalk: Antonio Brown $8,400 vs Cincinnati Bengals (11.3% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

What a difference a week makes! Last week, Antonio Brown was in the pivot section of this lineup. This week, he’s in the chalk section.

Let’s all thank Michael Vick for pushing Antonio Brown’s salary down into a range where everyone will once again be all over him. With Ben Roethlisberger back, Brown should be a chalky, cash game option once again.

Pivot: Odell Beckham $8,700 at New Orleans Saints (5.1% owned in Thursday FanDuel NFL Mini Drive)

I know it looks like I'm beating the New York Giants drum in this article having named Manning as a pivot and now Odell Beckham, but we should expect both to regress to the mean and produce well in this excellent matchup. Beckham is a big-play guy, and Delvin Breaux is projected to be on him and is susceptible to the big play (allowing 19.4 yards per reception). You also get the benefit of some nice salary reduction, as Beckham has seen his salary come down $400 over the past month.