This article looks to uncover some underrated NFL DFS Tournament Options for large-field contests. The following write-ups were constructed early Thursday morning, meaning injury information and news could alter the fantasy landscape. Be sure to keep your eyes on the Rotoworld NFL Headline Feed for breaking news and fantasy implications as we head into the weekend.
Keep in mind that we are looking towards the NFL Main Slate starting at 1:00 ET on Sunday. The Monday and Thursday games are not included in the following analysis, neither is the Sunday Night matchup between Houston and Dallas.
Kirk Cousins – Minnesota (at Philadelphia)
Cousins has been playing out of his mind with 35 and 32 fantasy points in two of his past three games. However, extenuating circumstances could lead to a lower-than-deserved ownership rate this weekend. Here’s the aforementioned situational factors: 1) Sandwiched between those amazing fantasy performances was a baffling 11 FP effort vs Buffalo that came despite racking up 55 pass attempts. 2) As amazing as Cousins was last Thursday, Jared Goff stole the headlines with an even better outing (and perfect passer rating). 3) Cousins played last Thursday, leaving time for him to slide back under the radar. 4) He’s playing on the road in Philadelphia. This is perceived as a tough matchup, but the Eagles have actually allowed the tenth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Marcus Mariota were able to record nice fantasy performances against Philly, and Cousins certainly has the ability (and receivers) to boost your tournament lineup.
James Conner – Pittsburgh (vs Atlanta)
The biggest part of this article stems around finding underachieving players in prime bounce-back situations. Conner certainly fits the mold. He has been somewhat mediocre ever since registering 32 fantasy points in the opener at Cleveland. Game flow has been a big part of that, given that Pittsburgh has unleash an air-based attack in their past three games. If the Steelers get back to finding their footing in the running game, Conner could be rewarded with a solid fantasy outing. The opportunity is certainly there (running and receiving) against an Atlanta team that ranks fifth in fantasy points allowed to opposing backs. Conner is also a candidate to benefit from a goal-line score or two while playing for an offense that moves the ball with regularity. Food for thought.
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Joe Mixon – Cincinnati (vs Miami)
Most people will probably be hesitant to use Mixon in their DFS lineups. He’s coming off a meniscus injury that left him sidelined for two weeks, but the Bengals’ RB was making some fantasy noise with 38 carries, 179 yards, TD, 6 receptions, 57 yards in a pair of games before that. It remains to be seen how much work Mixon will see on Sunday, but things could be trending upward if fellow RB Giovani Bernard (questionable with a knee injury himself) doesn’t play. While other DFS enthusiasts are taking a “wait and see approach”, you could find yourself ahead of the curve with Mixon and his subsequent upside. He has a nice opportunity against a Miami team that has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Game flow is on his side as well. If the volume comes his way on Sunday, Mixon could be in for a big showing.
Mike Williams – LA Chargers (vs Oakland)
Speaking of bounce-back candidates, both featured receivers undoubtedly fall into that category. Mike Williams is a big play threat for the Chargers, looking at a juicy home draw vs Oakland – who has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing receivers. Williams didn’t do much vs San Francisco last week as the Chargers focused more on the underneath and intermediate routes instead of looking towards heir vertical passing game. Travis Benjamin is still less than 100% (there’s a chance he won’t play this week), so Williams will continue to serve as the primary deep threat for this potent Chargers’ passing attack. There are big plays to be found against this Oakland defense.
Keelan Cole – Jacksonville (at Kansas City)
It appeared that Cole was making a name as the top receiver for Jacksonville, then he laid a dud with two catches and 15 yards (three targets) last week vs the Jets. Meanwhile, fellow pass catchers Moncrief and Westbrook enjoyed their most productive games of the season. I’m chalking that up to the normal ebb and flow of any passing offense on a week to week basis. In other words, Cole is still a vital part of this offense who will be looking at a potential breakout performance in a shootout at Kansas City.
Austin Hooper – Atlanta (at Pittsburgh)
Matt Ryan is on fire and Pittsburgh has allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. The Atlanta signal caller will be an understandably popular selection along with his receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. However, I haven’t seen much buzz surrounding Falcons’ tight end Austin Hooper. Let’s not forget about him in his salivating matchup! The Steelers have gotten shredded by opposing tight ends this season, providing a fantasy opening for Hooper despite his modest targets (and overall production) to date.