The purpose of this column is to pinpoint widely held selections at every position. I will then outline some sneaky pivot plays (with lower ownership rates) for large-field tournament consideration. Essentially, it’s your traditional GPP/Tournament Picks article with an emphasis on getting away from those groupthink selections of the week.
In other words, I’m playing devil’s advocate while going against the grain. Hopefully, this will help uncover some lower-owned pivot plays to accompany the popular, well-aligned picks in your FanDuel lineups. You don’t necessarily have to be “different” across the board to field a high-upside team. However, mixing in a few sneaky picks with a small ownership rate could be the difference between a good and great result.
This article covers the main slate for FanDuel NFL Week 5, meaning Thursday and Monday games are not included.
Pivot 1: Jacoby Brissett – Indianapolis (FanDuel Price: $7,000)
I’m hoping Brissett is underrated this weekend. His rushing upside provides an added dimension to amass fantasy production vs a subpar San Francisco defense. In fact, I would compare this matchup to Brissett’s home date with Cleveland two weeks ago. If you recall, the Colts’ QB went bonkers with nearly 28 FP - helped by two rushing touchdowns. While you can’t rely on 13+ FP from his rushing line, it’s nice to know he has that upside in his back pocket. Indianapolis should be able to steadily move the ball here, and this game has some sneaky shootout potential to bolster both offenses (more on that later).
Pivot 2: Andy Dalton – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $7,100)
I touched on Dalton in the FanDuel NFL Stacks column earlier this week, and he certainly fits the mold as a GPP Pivot as well. Even though the Cincy QB has impressed with 45 total fantasy points over the past two weeks, he’s still priced as a bargain commodity well below the high-end signal callers. His opponent, Buffalo, has looked good defensively, but I’m not sure if that’s an early season aberration or not. Either way, Dalton is brimming with confidence upon regaining that coveted rapport with stud WR A.J. Green. While his go-to receiver will likely carry a large ownership contingency, Dalton should be underrated in large-field tournaments. There’s a chance Green could carry him to fantasy promise, especially if the Cincinnati running game continues to struggle.
Pivot 1: Melvin Gordon – LA Chargers (FanDuel Price: $7,100)
As mentioned with QB Jacoby Brissett, I’m hoping Melvin Gordon holds a low ownership rate. People may be discouraged by last week’s poor outing and the cross-country road trip at NYG. Gordon is playing through a knee injury, but he’s fully expected to take his usual snaps in week five. Those who subscribe to the “squeaky wheel gets the grease theory” have to really like the Chargers’ RB this weekend. Gordon admitted he was frustrated after only getting 10 carries last Sunday, and he wants more touches. He’s right, and the coaching staff knows it. I’m expecting them to feed him the ball against a Giants’ defense that is solid against the pass but ranks 28th vs the run this season.
Pivot 2: Andre Ellington – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $5,400)
The high-end running backs (Bell, Elliott, etc) are begging for your attention in this slate, and it’s possible to blend them within a quality lineup. In other words, FanDuel’s loose salary cap diminishes the need to take a chance on boom-or-bust value commodities. Andre Ellington certainly fits that mold, and he’ll likely carry a lower-than-deserved ownership rate. He looks like the only member of that backfield worth fantasy consideration, as they have been feeding him targets from the RB position (10 carries, 22 targets, 14 receptions, and 185 total yards in past two games).
Pivot 1: DeVante Parker – Miami (FanDuel Price: $6,100)
It’s tough to roster anyone from Miami’s offense right now, but this is a prime bounce-back opportunity vs a struggling Tennessee pass defense. Sure, Jay Cutler and company couldn’t take advantage of a well-aligned date with the Saints (in London) last Sunday, but I’m still willing to take a chance here. DeVante Parker has big-play potential, and he’s facing a defense that has given up a ton of chunk yardage plays (and TDs) as of late.
Rummaging a little deeper among the list of cheap wide receivers yields a pair of San Francisco pass-catchers. As noted earlier, I believe this SF-IND matchup has sneaky shootout potential. Both defenses have been gashed in the passing game as of late … As for Robinson and Taylor, their DFS potential depends on the status of Marquise Goodwin (limited in practice on Wednesday with concussion). If Goodwin is playing, I may avoid this situation altogether. If he’s out, Robinson and Taylor (order of preference) should see more looks. That was the case last week, as Robinson saw 12 targets (3 rec, 52 yds) compared to 10 from Taylor (5 rec, 47 yds). Pierre Garcon may be locked up by stud CB Vontae Davis, vaulting these two receivers into high-volume opportunities (if Goodwin is out).
If Goodwin ends up playing, I’ll likely turn my attention to Jaron Brown ($4500) when scrounging for a cheap WR3. Aside from Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals are reeling with injured skill players. Brown has stepped into a sizable role with 29 targets, 14 receptions, 205 yards, and a touchdown combined in the past three games.
Pivot: Jared Cook – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $5,300)
Derek Carr is out this week, which will likely push most people away from any Oakland pass catchers. However, I don’t mind Jared Cook while serving as a safety valve for E.J. Manuel. The backup QB seemed to be favoring Cook towards the end of last week’s contest at Denver. There’s a chance the 6’5” journeyman tight end will see double-digit targets in this role, presenting a sneaky ROI opportunity.
Also, Hunter Henry ($5200) is a high-upside target against a Giants’ defense that seemingly loves letting tight ends score.