4 NFL FanDuel Tournament Pivots for Week 11
If you've played daily fantasy sports for a while, you realize by now the importance of being contrarian, especially in large-field tournaments. Being able to recognize which players are going to be owned by the majority of the field -- and to find players who you think have a similar point projection but will come at much lower ownership -- can help separate you from your opponents.
The purpose of this article will be to identify some players who will be the chalk at each position and how you can pivot off of them with high-upside options who could go overlooked.
Let's take a look at pivot options for Week 11 of the 2019 NFL season.
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
FanDuel Price: $7,800
It's not often I consider using Tom Brady in NFL DFS, but this is the week to use him in tournaments.
We have been through a wild few weeks in the NFL, and what might be lost in that mix is the fact the last time the New England Patriots played a game, they looked bad. Really bad. It was that Sunday Night game against the Baltimore Ravens where the New England defense finally looked mortal, and their offense barely did anything.
Well, if that's on people's minds, this is the spot I want to buy back in on Tom Brady in a legitimately great spot. He is up against the Philadelphia Eagles in a game where the over/under is set at 45.0, making it the sixth-highest on the slate. All five games ahead of this one should see significant ownership at each position, making this the ideal low-owned spot to attack.
When it comes to rostering Brady, plenty of people think he doesn't have upside since the defense could score a touchdown, and they have viable rushing options -- all of which could cause him to throw only one touchdown. We've all seen it before -- the defense plays great, one passing touchdown, two rushing touchdowns, and boom. Patriots win the game, Brady doesn't put up a ton of fantasy points, and his expensive price tag is wasted.
Well, that won't be the case this week -- at least that's why I'm banking on Brady.
Over the last two weeks, the Patriots' rushing game has totaled 74 and 79 yards with one touchdown. That rushing attack now faces the Eagles, who are allowing the eighth-fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs this season.
On the other hand, their passing defense is allowing the 8th-most FanDuel points per game to wide receivers and 16th-most to quarterbacks this season. If I could insert the emoji with the monocle right here, I would. A 24.25 implied team total for the Patriots is still good, and Brady will light up a weak Eagles secondary this week.
Carlos Hyde, Houston Texans
FanDuel Price: $6,300
With no games over 20 FanDuel points this season, it can be tough to trust a running back like Carlos Hyde.
I'm not here to say Hyde is going to break the slate and have his first game over 20 points, but when it comes to roster construction this week -- he makes a ton of sense.
There are times to eat the chalk -- I mean this figuratively, not literally -- in DFS, and there are times to fade it. You can hop on with the chalk in plenty of spots this week, but a cheaper running might be the place to pivot.
At $5.9K we have the prize of the waiver wire this week in Brian Hill. Sure, a 49.5 over/under for the Atlanta Falcons is a place to target, and he should see plenty of work. At $6.4K, we have Ronald Jones, who is seeing more and more work for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are also playing in a game with a 49.5 over/under. Both players are solid options this week and should see the majority of carries.
But sitting at $6.3K, we have Hyde, who is splitting time with Duke Johnson, making him far less interesting. But there is more to break down. The Houston Texans are taking on the Baltimore Ravens, with a whopping 51.5 over/under, so why aren't we looking in this direction? You could say it's the timeshare -- Hyde hasn't played on more than 64% of the snaps in any game this season, while Duke Johnson is at 45% or higher in the last three weeks. That suggests they are in for the same work this week as we've seen in the past, but -- and it's a big but -- the matchup is horrible for Johnson and good for Hyde.
This season, the Ravens are allowing under 40 receiving yards per game to running backs and have allowed a single touchdown to them. Meanwhile, in the rushing game, they are allowing 77 rushing yards per game and have allowed eight rushing touchdowns in nine games. There will be plenty of scoring in this one, plenty through the air, and if it comes from the running backs, it will be on the ground with Hyde.
John Brown, Buffalo Bills
FanDuel Price: $5,900
Cheaper wide receivers can be hit or miss but not for John Brown.
This season, Brown has four or more receptions and 51 yards or more in every single game. Among wide receivers on the Buffalo Bills, he holds a 38% market share of air yards, with the next receiver at 18%, and a 24% market share of targets, with the next receiver at 20%. It's clear he is the Bills' number one receiver, and we want to utilize that against the Miami Dolphins this week, who are allowing 28.5 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers.
But why is he the pivot this week? Well, right around him in price, we have Tyrell Williams at $6.2K on the Oakland Raiders with the highest implied team total. At $6.0K, we have D.J. Moore in a blowup spot versus the Atlanta Falcons. Deebo Samuel at $5.6K is set for more targets due to injuries on the San Francisco 49ers, and finally, Calvin Ridley at $5.5K, who is too cheap and also set for a big game against the Carolina Panthers.
On top of all that, the Dolphins versus Bills game doesn't appear to have a lot of back and forth scoring, as the over/under is only 40.5. All of those players are in better game scripts, giving Brown a clear path to lower ownership.
Ryan Griffin, New York Jets
FanDuel Price: $4,800
A under $5K at tight end, who has touchdown potential?
Getting things right at tight end could legitimately win you a tournament, and that is always the goal. With George Kittle listed as doubtful and set to miss another game, the flocks of DFS players will be going to Ross Dwelley, who got the start in the most recent game for the San Francisco 49ers. Everyone will want a piece of Dwelley, since he very cheap and up against the Arizona Cardinals, who are, for lack of a better term, absolute garbage against tight ends. They are allowing 17.6 FanDuel points per game to them this season, nearly three full points worse than the next team. That's a very clear spot for value in Week 11, and not a big secret.
But if you want to get off of that ownership, the answer is Ryan Griffin of the New York Jets, who is just $100 cheaper compared to Dwelley. He won't change the rest of your roster construction, and if the Jets get into the red zone this week, he will be seeing the targets. To this point in the season, Griffin has five red zone targets (third-highest on the team), four receptions (second-highest), and three touchdowns (highest). The rest of the Jets have two receiving touchdowns while in the red zone this season -- Griffin has three.
Griffin played on 65% of the snaps last week at tight end, more than double the Jets' next tight end. I don't love this game for overall fantasy value, but Griffin can find a score this week.