WATCH: PIVOT PLAY – DARREN SPROLES
This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite tournament plays for the upcoming NFL week. I’m going to be focusing on high upside plays and pairings that could really pay off big for you in a tournament.
Ben Roethlisberger ($6,800) – Antonio Brown ($8,900) = Combined $15,700
With people focused on potential good spots for Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan this weekend, it’s likely Pittsburgh skill players will go somewhat under the radar. Ben Roethlisberger is coming off a bad game (not terrible, just not great), so recency bias alone will mean he’s probably going to be quite over-looked. Ben’s home splits make this a good spot for him as he’s averaged 313.0 yards and four TDs a game thus far at the friendly confines of Heinz Field. As for Antonio Brown, after being bottled up for three quarters last weekend he still put forth seven catches, 85 yards and a TD. Now he’ll get to take on a secondary down its best corner in Morris Claiborne. Pittsburgh needs a win here, and when it has won this year it’s been great for fantasy as they have averaged 34 points as a team. I think the Steelers win this week, and I think this duo puts up a huge week for fantasy.
Bonus: Marcus Mariota ($5,700) – Rishard Matthews ($4,200)
Dak Prescott ($6,100): While people might be scared off Prescott because of the low volume of passing (less than 35 attempts in six of eight games), it should be noted that he has scored 23 or more fantasy points in three games already this season. With Pittsburgh sporting some brutal run stats, the tendency here will be for people to lean towards Ezekiel Elliot as a play, but it should be noted that the Steelers have been much better against the run at home. In fact, the Steelers have held RBs to just 3.9 yards per carry at Heinz Field while also not allowing a single rushing TD. This sort of trend should push Dallas more towards the pass and force Dak to have to create more offense with his arm and feet. A huge fantasy day could be incoming for the rookie, and at $6,100, I think he makes for a terrific tournament target.
Bonus: Marcus Mariota ($5,700)
Todd Gurley ($5,300): As Gurley’s price continues to drop on DraftKings, so has people’s interest in using him. While I can’t deny the ineffectiveness of the Rams offense, one trend that many people will overlook this week is the fact that Gurley has 21 targets – and 17 receptions – over his last four games. While the lack of big plays is troubling, the added pass work really sets his floor at an incredibly safe level and provides more upside in the event he finally breaks one. The Jets are obviously a tough matchup, but they are also a team on the downward trend and have given up five TDs and two 100+ yard days to RBs in their last four games. At $5,300, with his fantasy potential diversified by passing targets, now is the time to buy low on Gurley in GPPs and hopefully reap some benefits in my opinion.
C.J. Prosise ($3,900): Prosise has been getting a push of late for Seattle and out-snapped Christine Michael last week 26–18. Although the rookie is a bit of an unknown quantity, he does have three-down skills and at 220 pounds also carries sub-4.5 speed. While New England hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all year, it is significant to note that they’ve allowed the third-most receptions in the league to the position. With Seattle likely to be in pass-heavy mode most of this game — given their inability to run and their 7-point underdog status — Prosise could be in for a big increase in workload Week 10 and makes for an intriguing boom-or-bust play at RB.
Bonus: Jonathan Stewart ($4,900)
Jordan Matthews ($5,900): Matthews looks like he might finally be on the brink of becoming an elite fantasy wideout. He’s now seen 25 targets over his last two games as the Eagles have regressed a bit as a team and had to rely more on late passing to keep games close. Last week Matthews just missed a couple of would-be TDs in the end zone but again looked like the Eagles best option at WR. The good news is Matthews ownership will likely still be low in a great matchup against the Falcons this week, a team that loves shootouts, and that has allowed the most passing TDs thus far on the season.
Rishard Matthews ($4,200): At the risk of being a “Matthews-only” guy, my other WR pick is Rishard Matthews, who has five receiving TDs over his last five games. In fact, since Week 5 (when the Titans finally got over their Andre Johnson obsession), Matthews has averaged 15 fantasy points a game and will now get to take on the Green Bay Packers in Week 10, who’ve allowed the fourth-most TDs to WRs this season. With QB Marcus Mariota playing well right now, I think Matthews has tons of upside in a game with a 49.5 projected point total, where passing should be the focus for both sides. He makes for a great salary-saving play at WR, and few at his price range will carry upside similar to his.
Bonus: Doug Baldwin ($5,800)
Zach Miller ($3,600): Miller has quietly averaged 8.25 targets over his last four games. While the talented pass catcher hasn’t found the end zone in that span, he’s eclipsed 14 fantasy points twice and gets a great matchup this week against Tampa Bay, who has given up three TDs over its last two games to TEs. Miller looks like a nice leverage play as well since his price is easy to digest and it’s very likely he’ll be lower owned than teammate Alshon Jeffery (who is also in a great spot). I think Miller has high upside this week, and with most DFS players focused on his teammate, should remain relatively ignored.
Bonus: Lance Kendricks ($3,000)
Atlanta Falcons ($2,600): The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t falling apart, but they are going through some regression. Over their last three games the Eagles and their QB Carson Wentz have turned the ball over five times, while only throwing for two TDs. The Falcons have given up their fair share of points this year, but after a slow start, their pass rush has been great of late and they are now up to eighth in the league in sacks and are also third overall in forcing fumbles. Pressure is what creates turnovers and prevents offenses from getting into rhythm, and right now Atlanta is getting pressure. I like Atlanta as a low-owned, low-priced tournament target this week against a QB who has more turnovers than TDs in his last three starts.
Bonus: San Diego Chargers ($2,900)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.