Week 14 FanDuel Tournament Pivots

Julio Jones gets Josh Norman, and Antonio Brown faces a tough Bengals secondary on the road. Does that make DeAndre Hopkins 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 14 slate with a list of pivot options.


Chalk: Ben Roethlisberger, $8,300, at Cincinnati Bengals

Roethlisberger has insane home-road splits throughout his career. While he’s played in just three away games this season, he has just two touchdowns to four interceptions in those games. Last season, just 9 of his 32 passing touchdowns came on the road. The Bengals also come in as our 13th-ranked pass defense according to Net Expected Points (NEP). Given his probable high ownership, Big Ben is a decent fade in tournaments.

Pivot: Brian Hoyer, $7,000, vs. New England Patriots

In every game that Hoyer has started and finished, he’s had multiple touchdown passes. Let me say that again: In every game that Hoyer has started and finished, he’s had multiple touchdown passes.

The Texans are currently third in the NFL in pass attempts. This is partially due to game flow and poor running back play, but both should cause the Texans to go to the air against the Patriots this weekend. The Patriots do rank 11th against the pass according to NEP, but Malcolm Butler and company have been known to let up a big play or two…or three. And, with a guy like DeAndre Hopkins to throw it up to, we should expect Hoyer to have another nice day at a very inexpensive price.

Running Back

Chalk: Thomas Rawls, $7,400, at Baltimore Ravens

Of the backs not playing on Thursday, Rawls was the highest owned running back in Thursday Night’s FanDuel $2 Snap (21.6% owned). Since becoming the starter, Rawls has the most touches of any running back in the league. Hard to argue against that workload. But, as I’ve mentioned before, the Seahawks are a much different team on the road than they are at home. Typically we see a dip in both rushing yards and touchdowns from Seattle backs. This week, he faces a tough Baltimore Ravens run defense which ranks in the top 10 against the run according to NEP. 

Pivot: Chris Ivory, $7,100, vs. Tennessee Titans

Start Chris Ivory when he's at home and favored. That’s it! It’s as simple as that.

Seriously, though, over the last two seasons, there have been nine instances where Ivory was playing at home and the New York Jets were favored. Not only did he exceed his salary implied fantasy point total in every one of those weeks, but he smashed it -- his average salary implied point total in those games was 10.90, but his actual performance in those games was a whopping 18.69. The Jets are favored by more than a touchdown. Roster Chris Ivory this week.

Wide Receiver

Chalk: Antonio Brown ($9,300), Julio Jones ($8,800)

Take your pick. I mentioned already that Roethlisberger struggles on the road, and Brown will surely have high ownership rates. Jones, meanwhile, will see Josh Norman -- last season against the Panthers, Jones ended with fewer than 60 yards in both contests. 

Pivot: DeAndre Hopkins $8,700 vs New England Patriots

While the others are all paying up for the guys above, I’ll be paying slightly down and grabbing a player that's currently your second overall fantasy scorer on the season, and has proven time and time again that he can produce gigantic games.

Last week, Hopkins was severely under-owned due to a poor performance in in Week 12. Those who thought he’d scorch the porous Saints secondary were burned, and burned badly. 

This, really, is an ownership percentage move. We know Hopkins is capable of scoring more points than any wideout in football, and as noted above, the Texans may see a negative game script. That means more volume for Hopkins which, in turn, means more fantasy points.

Tight End

Chalk: Scott Chandler $5,800 at Houston Texans

Chandler should be another popular pick this weekend assuming Gronk is out again. And while I’ve always been concerned about the talent to begin with, now we need to worry about his quickly rising salary. Over the last two weeks, Chandler's salary has risen $1,200. He's now priced firmly between Jordan Reed and Antonio Gates. The price is just too high, especially given the matchup. Over the last 11 games, the Texans are only allowing an average of 41 receiving yards to the tight end position, allowing just 2 touchdowns over that span.

Pivot: Jason Witten $5,500 at Green Bay Packers

Witten hasn't seen the end zone since Week 1, but that could change this weekend. The Packers have done very little lately in the way of slowing down opposing tight ends -- over their last seven games, they have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in six of them. They are also giving up yards in chunks, allowing opposing tight end corps to top 100 yards three times over that span. We all know Matt Cassel can't throw down field. This seems like a great spot for Witten this weekend.