4 NFL FanDuel Tournament Pivots for Week 6
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 6 of the 2020 NFL season.
Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
Quarterback tends to see more spread out roster percentages compared to other positions, and that should particularly be the case this week with several big names off the main slate.
This less top-heavy group figures to lead many to pay down at the position, with Matthew Stafford ($7,300) likely garnering the most attention as a top point-per-dollar value. Lamar Jackson ($9,000) should also be fairly popular as usual, and Deshaun Watson ($8,200) and Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,400) are both coming off their best games of the young season.
But what about the quarterbacks in the game with the highest total of the week? After opening at 51.5 points, Packers-Buccaneers has jumped over every other spot to 55.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook and even up to 56.5 at other books.
Aaron Rodgers ($8,400) has been on fire to start the year and actually leads all quarterbacks on the slate in FanDuel points per game (25.88). The amazing thing is he's done it while having Davante Adams ($9,000) for just one full game. With Adams back this week, he, Rodgers, and Aaron Jones ($8,500) make stacking the Packers' side of this game pretty straightforward.
On the other hand, Tom Brady isn't really getting talked up much, but there's no reason to think he can't have a big game if we're expecting this to shoot out. Brady hasn't been as consistent as Rodgers, but he has a 5-touchdown, 33.46-point game on his ledger, proving he's still capable of getting there if forced to air it out. Green Bay hasn't been particularly stingy against the pass, too, ranking 20th in schedule-adjusted pass defense, per numberFire's metrics.
However, rostering Brady is partially contingent on the health of weapons. As of this writing, Chris Godwin ($7,700) will be a game-time decision but is trending towards playing, according to head coach Bruce Arians. If Godwin and Mike Evans ($7,600) -- who is also a game-time call -- are both good to go, then we can feel much more confident in stacking up Brady and the Buccaneers.
Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
FanDuel Salary: $5,800
Another player you can stack with Brady is Ronald Jones, giving you the potential to soak up all of Tampa Bay's touchdowns. Jones is particularly intriguing for game stacks because all of the aforementioned players from the Packers-Bucs game carry higher salaries.
There's a ton of value at running back this week, too, so most people won't be looking to roster him. Just look at all his competition in the sub-$8,000 range: Mike Davis ($7,500), Alexander Mattison ($7,000), Kareem Hunt ($7,000), James Robinson ($6,500), David Montgomery ($5,900), and Myles Gaskin ($5,700).
It's easy to argue that all of those guys are objectively better plays than Jones, and that's even more the case with Leonard Fournette possibly returning to action for Tampa Bay this weekend.
But Jones has performed well while Fournette's been out, producing back-to-back 100-yard rushing days while averaging 18.5 carries and 7.0 targets per game. Jones has seen his snap rate rise to 69% and 64% in those two games, and while that figures to dip if Fournette is back, it's possible that his recent play relegates Fournette to a diminished role.
The Packers also present a fantastic matchup, as they rank 25th in adjusted run defense and are tied with the Panthers in allowing the most FanDuel points per game to running backs.
Yes, Jones is a tougher sell on a deep running back slate, but we're going to want plenty of exposure to this game, and he's one of the easiest ways to do so.
Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
FanDuel Salary: $5,900
The Vikings have the slate's highest implied total (29.50) in a projected shootout against the Falcons, and Alexander Mattison and Adam Thielen ($7,400) will almost certainly be popular ways to get access to this offense. Mattison is a no-brainer play in a presumed bell-cow role in place of Dalvin Cook, while Thielen owns a slate-high 33.1% target share and has posted back-to-back games with over 20 FanDuel points.
On the other hand, Jefferson flopped in a juicy matchup against Seattle last week, catching 3-of-5 targets for a mere 23 yards. In fact, he's now seen five or fewer targets in four his five games.
But Jefferson is still second on the team in both target share (19%) and air yards share (24%), and those low target numbers are also the result of quarterback Kirk Cousins rarely attempting many passes on a run-first team.
That shouldn't be the case against Atlanta (54.5 over/under), though, and Cousins chucked it 39 times in a close game against the Seahawks. We saw Jefferson's upside a few weeks back against Tennessee (27.0 FanDuel points), so we shouldn't hesitate to hop back on board this week.
Hayden Hurst, TE, Atlanta Falcons
FanDuel Salary: $5,400
Tight end is even more bare than usual, with Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Darren Waller all off the slate. Most will probably either pay up for Mark Andrews ($7,600) or jump down to Jonnu Smith ($5,800). Michael Gesicki ($5,600) and T.J. Hockenson ($5,700) could also get some love.
One person who probably won't is Hayden Hurst, who really hasn't had a notable performance since Week 2 against the Cowboys (15.7 points). That just so happens to be the last time we saw a full game with Julio Jones, who will finally return this week with no injury designation. Matt Ryan has really struggled to perform with Julio out of the lineup, so his presence could breathe some much needed life into this offense.
Despite the recent lack of production, Hurst still ranks fifth among tight ends in routes run, and he's averaging a respectable 5.6 targets per game that isn't that far off from what Andrews gets (5.8). It might also surprise you that the Vikings rank 32nd in Target Success Rate allowed to tight ends.