Week 14 DraftKings Tournament Pivots

Is Lamar Miller trustworthy enough to use in tournaments this week?

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: Jameis Winston $5,500 vs. New Orleans Saints

Probably the chalkiest thing you can do in NFL daily fantasy is immediately select the quarterback facing the Saints. But with so many people on the quarterback facing the Saints each week, the smart thing to do is to fade the masses.

Also, lest we forget, aside from Jameis’ five touchdown game against the Philadelphia Eagles -- more on this later -- he has thrown for just three touchdowns over his last five games. He's generally been a fantasy quarterback who provides a nice floor, not necessarily a great ceiling.

Pivot: Tyrod Taylor $5,400 at Philadelphia Eagles

At just $100 less than Winston, we see Tyrod Taylor. A DFS darling at the start of the season, he’s seen his appeal wear off since missing a couple games due to injury. While everyone is targeting the Saints secondary, I’ve moved on to targeting the Eagles secondary -- one that's now given up multiple passing touchdowns in each of the five games since their bye. Additionally, they've allowed 13 passing touchdowns over the last three games, as well as back-to-back 300 yard quarterbacks.

Taylor has quietly put up two great games in a row, including last week’s 29.24 DraftKings point game against a Texans' secondary which ranks fifth best according to Net Expected Points (NEP). Taylor’s lack of perceived receiving options should also keep his ownership percentage down.

Running Back

Chalk: Javorius Allen, $5,300, at Seattle Seahawks

Tough to argue against a running back that has 21 receptions over his last three games – especially in a PPR format – but I will try to do my best…

I’m with you -- Matt Schaub is not a good NFL quarterback. I used to think that Alex Smith was the king of the check down until I realized even Mr. Smith has thrown the ball half a yard more downfield on average over the past two weeks than Schaub. Allen will surely continue to get targeted in the Baltimore “passing” game, but his lackluster performance running the ball is what concerns me.

Since becoming the starter, Allen is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry. And two of the three defenses he’s faced rank 20th or worse against the run according to NEP. This week, he gets the formidable task of facing a Seahawks run defense that ranks third best against the run according to NEP. The Seahawks have held opposing running backs to just 3.5 yards per carry at CenturyLink Field, too. 

Pivot: Lamar Miller, $5,700, vs. New York Giants

This season, when Lamar Miller has received at least 12 carries, he's averaged 23.6 DraftKings points. When he fails to reach 12 carries, he averages just 8.25 DraftKings points.

Obviously, a lot of this comes down to game flow. In Weeks 11 and 12, Miller combined for just a dozen rushing attempts, but this was largely because the team was down for most of the game and in catch-up mode. Ryan Tannehill’s average of 41 pass attempts over those two games was five more than his seasonal average of 36.25. This week, game flow should be more in Miller’s favor as he is at home, with an even spread.

Wide Receiver

Chalk: Danny Amendola, $5,200, at Houston Texans

Many see Danny Amendola as Julian Edelman-lite. And while this may be true, I believe his matchup against the Texans this week is much harder than many realize.

As noted, the Texans currently rank fifth best against the pass, per NEP. Amendola is a volume receiver, we all know this. But, what if the volume isn’t there? Over the last six weeks, the Texans have only allowed 61 receptions to wide receivers, second fewest to only Denver over this span. That's a little scary for a guy like Amendola.

Pivot: Allen Hurns, $5,500, vs. Indianapolis Colts

Typically, the week a player comes back from injury, he's severely under-owned because of the perception that he may get injured again. While this may be true for some injuries (hamstrings, most notably), this is typically not the case for players coming back from concussions, such has Hurns.

Let’s also not forget that Hurns' best game of the season -- 11 receptions, 111 receiving yards and a touchdown -- came in Week 4 against the Colts. With targets being funneled in his direction in order to avoid Vontae Davis coverage, we could see more of the same this week. Remember, this is a receiver that scored in seven straight games this season, too.

Tight End

Chalk: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, $2,700, vs. New Orleans Saints

People looking to punt tight end this week have been looking at ASJ, and I’m not exactly sure why. I even had a questions this week from someone on Twitter asking if they should start ASJ over Jordan Reed. Let’s slow down, guys.

Yes, the Saints have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, but they also did shut down ASJ and the Bucs tight end corp in Week 2 to the tune of just 2 receptions and 29 receiving yards. Seferian-Jenkins had a great Week 1, and everyone has been waiting for that upside to return, but can we all just agree that maybe that performance was fluky? He saw just 30% of the Buccaneers snaps last week and finished with just 3 receptions for 31 receiving yards.

This isn't to say he can't and won't perform, especially if his snap rate rises, but given his probable ownership numbers, he's not a bad fade in tournaments.

Pivot: Will Tye, $2,800, at Miami Dolphins

Want a guy on no one’s radar? How about Will Tye?

Over the last three games, Tye is averaging 11.3 DraftKings points. And they haven’t been up and down games -- consistency has been his friend, as he's caught 5, 6 and 3 receptions for 56, 74 and 70 yards, respectively.

When you are trying to hit 5x value (5 times salary) for tournament plays, starting off with a 4x floor isn't half bad.