Week 10 FanDuel Tournament Pivots

Many are on Blake Bortles, but don't forget about Peyton Manning in a plus matchup against the Chiefs.

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: Blake Bortles $7,800 at Baltimore Ravens

Listen, Blake Bortles is probably in contention for one of the best quarterback plays of the week. I’m not going to try to talk you off him from a skill and opportunity point. It’s all about ownership levels. 

From my research, tournament players who win the largest guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tournaments typically roster a quarterback in the 3% to 7% owned range. It’s pretty simple -- if Bortles has a great weekend like we all suspect, then you and at least 10% -- if that's where he's rostered -- of the field are all still vying for that top prize. But, if we can find a quarterback much less owned, you can eliminate more of the field with a great game from your pivot, or if Bortles happens to put up a stinker.

Pivot: Peyton Manning $7,700 vs Kansas City Chiefs

Low ownership doesn’t come without risk.

Peyton has looked rejuvenated since their bye week. He’s put up two respectable games and appears to have his deep ball back – did you see him step up and deliver that strike to Emmanuel Sanders last week? The Kansas City cornerbacks are susceptible to giving up the big play, especially Marcus PetersOur weekly rankings here at numberFire have both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders ranked in the top 13. With Manning developing more chemistry with tight end Vernon Davis as well, we could see the Peyton of old returning to form. And he's going to have low ownership, as he was rostered on just 0.6% of teams on FanDuel's Thursday Mini Drive.

Running Back

Chalk: DeAngelo Williams $7,600 vs Cleveland Browns

Williams is the chalkiest of all chalky plays this week. I’m honestly surprised he’s only 25.6% owned (in the Mini Drive), as many will see the matchup (Browns worst against the run, according to Net Expected Points, or NEP) and his big game last week and immediately make him their first running back selection. However, Vegas tells a very different story.

Not only is this game tied for the lowest over/under of the week, but the Steelers implied point total is the lowest of any favored team. Given Vegas’ prediction of a low scoring (defensive?) game, I could see the case for pivoting from D-Will to gain an advantage over 25.6% of the field if Vegas’ projections are correct.

Pivot: Lamar Miller $7,200 at Philadelphia Eagles

There has been a fundamental shift in the offense under interim head coach Dan Campbell. Not only is he finally giving Miller a proper workload -- 17.75 touches per game under Campbell versus 11.75 touches per game under Joe Philbin this season – but we are also seeing a huge increase in red zone production. In the first four games this season under Philbin, Miller had four red zone looks (carries plus targets). With Campbell, he had four just last week and eight over the last four games.

According to NEP, the Eagles' rush defense does rank 11th, but they've definitely sprung some holes recently, after allowing over 100 rushing yards to both Jonathan Stewart and Darren McFadden over the last two games. Look for Lamar Miller to make it three in a row this weekend.

Wide Receiver

Chalk: Stefon Diggs $6,600 at Oakland Raiders 

Another week, another plus matchup and high ownership level for Stefon Diggs. I’ll admit that it appears recency bias may have crept into some people’s subconscious with Diggs, as similar matchups in the past were rendering him 15% to 20% owned. On FanDuel's Mini Drive, he was roughly 11% owned.

However, in addition to last week’s down game (3 receptions and 42 receiving yards), his prior week was not as spectacular as the stat line might appear -- 64 of Diggs' 95 receiving yards (and his touchdown) all came with under five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Essentially, a Bears' defense that we have ranked 24th against the pass, according to NEP, shut down Diggs for more than 90% of the game. With his quarterback coming back from a concussion, and this game at one of the lowest over/unders of the week, this should be an easy fade.

Pivot: Brandon LaFell $6,200 at New York Giants 

In his three games since coming back from injury, LaFell has seen 24 targets -- 24 targets from the top quarterback in fantasy football.

Given his price, LaFell should be much higher owned than he was in Thursdays Mini Drive (6.4%).

The Patriots will waltz into MetLife Stadium with the highest implied Vegas total yet again and face a Giants defense which ranks 28th versus the pass, according to NEP. LaFell is projected to be matched up with backup Giants cornerback Jayson Hosley (Prince Amukamara is out again), where he'll have a five-inch advantage. That'll be great at the goal line.

Tight End

Chalk: Tyler Eifert $6,200 vs Houston Texans

Death, taxes and Eifert in GPPs. At least, that’s what it seems like lately. Eifert is your proverbial boom or bust play. He's so touchdown dependent, but he's also been getting those touchdowns. Eifert has only gone over 70 receiving yards once since Week 1. His seven touchdowns since then are what are keeping him so highly owned. 

However, the Texans have done a great job this season of keeping tight ends out of the end zone. Since Week 1, they've only allowed a single touchdown to opposing tight ends. He’ll make for a fun Monday night sweat, but give me a lower owned tight end with relatively the same high variance.

Pivot: Delanie Walker $5,900 vs Carolina Panthers

With six or more receptions in each of his previous three games, the only thing missing from Delanie Walker was touchdowns. But last week’s fourth straight six-plus reception performance finally brought us some scores. Regression to mean had to be coming soon, as Walker has now seen seven red zone targets the last two weeks. Most importantly, three red zone targets last week under new interim head coach Mike Mularky. He's a great pivot this week, despite the matchup.