Week 10 DraftKings Tournament Pivots
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: Derek Carr $5,800 vs Minnesota Vikings
Carr has been on fire as of late. He has 289 or more passing yards in each of his last three games to go along with an 11-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He’s finding his big-play rookie (Amari Cooper), as well as his teammate, and also former top-10 NFL draft pick, Michael Crabtree. In fact, over that three game span, Crabtree has racked up 20 receptions for 273 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Carr gets a much tougher challenge this week against a Minnesota Vikings defense which ranks 12th against the pass, according to Net Expected Points (NEP). They have only allowed a 300-yard passer once this season, and only nine passing touchdowns all year. Carr could potentially see an uptick in pass attempts if Latavius Murray misses this game, but it’s still a situation I’m avoiding.
Pivot: Eli Manning $6,700 vs New England Patriots
I was honestly shocked to see Eli only owned in 3% of the teams in the FanDuel Mini Drive Thursday night. The Patriots/Giants game has by far the highest over/under of the week, and has all the makings of a shootout. We all know the Patriots can put up points on the board in a hurry, and with the Giants inept running “attack” (ranked 26th according to our numbers), they’ll have to throw the ball to keep up.
The Patriots secondary has been performing better – ninth in pass defense, according to NEP – but Odell Beckham should be able to take advantage of the struggling Malcolm Butler. Butler finds himself in the bottom 10 out of all cornerbacks in yards allowed, receptions allowed and touchdowns allowed.
Chalk: LeGarrette Blount $4,900 at New York Giants
Blount had an excellent week last week after Dion Lewis went down with his torn ACL, putting up more than 100 rushing yards for the first time in an NFL regular season game since Week 3 of 2014. Game script should be in his favor, as Vegas currently have the Patriots as heavy road favorites. It's a great matchup, but Blount’s lack of involvement in the passing game (just three targets all season) and questionable role have me looking elsewhere in this price range.
Pivot: Jonathan Stewart $3,300 at Tennessee Titans
Ok, ok. I can take it. Go ahead and give it to me about how I just went on and on about Blount not being involved in the passing game and how now I’m endorsing J-Stew. But what I like about Stewart is his well defined role and inexpensive salary. Since their bye, Stewart has seen at least 20 carries in every game. Over these four games, he’s also seen four or more red zone looks (carries and targets) in each contest. Again, that’s 20-plus carries and 4-plus red zone looks per game at only $4,300. As 5.5-point favorites on the road, we should expect him to reach value.
Chalk: Antonio Brown $8,800 vs Cleveland Browns
The Steelers presumably will be without their top quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, and their running back has an elite matchup against the worst ranked run defense in the NFL, according to NEP. Vegas also has the Steelers as the lowest implied point total (23.5) of any favored team this weekend. And, it appears the Steelers just game plan differently with Jones under center. With Landry as their quarterback, the Steelers are only passing the ball 54.6% of the time (53 pass, 44 run). With Roethlisberger, the Steelers are throwing the ball 65.3% (209 pass, 111 run).
So, what does this all mean? It appears even the Steelers themselves want to be a little more conservative with their young, third-string quarterback. It means we should see a low scoring game, with DeAngelo Williams getting a lot of work grinding down this terrible Browns defense.
Pivot: Dez Bryant at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I completely understand the concern around Dez -- he's got a bad quarterback, and he missed practice Wednesday with a knee injury. But here we have an opportunity to own one of the league’s elite receivers, in a plus matchup (Buccaneers rank 26th in pass defense, according to NEP), at very low ownership. Sign me up.
Chalk: Jordan Reed $4,600 vs New Orleans Saints
Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert combined to make up over 40% of the tight ends owned in the FanDuel Mini Drive. Tight end is one place I always look to pivot from chalk because of the high variance of it’s position. Does Reed make for a safe play? Sure. At home, in a high over/under game, against a defense that's allowing the second most points to opposing tight ends on the season -- that's gold. But if we want to differentiate, we have to look elsewhere.
Pivot: Richard Rodgers $3,000 vs Detroit Lions
As I mentioned above, the high variance of tight ends makes pivoting to a lower owned tight end ideal. With tight ends, typically the workload is so minute that you’re looking for one that can find the end zone at least once, or hopefully twice.
Last week, Rodgers saw a season high nine targets, including two in the red zone. Since their bye, Rodgers is tied for the most red zone targets on the team with Randall Cobb (3). The Packers have the second highest Vegas implied point total of the week (31), and Rodgers faces a Detroit Lions defense that has allowed a touchdown to an opposing tight end in six out of eight games this season. Coming off a two-touchdown day last Sunday, there's a chance he finds the end zone again.