WATCH: PIVOT PLAY – BRANDIN COOKS
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 large tournament.
Cam Newton ($6,800) and Kelvin Benjamin ($6,700) = Combined $13,500 total
This duo has been a disappointment for most of the year, but if you look at recent results, you’ll see there is a reason for optimism this week. While Cam Newton hasn’t done much lately, he’s still taking red zone carries and has averaged 7.75 carries overall in his last four games. Meanwhile, Oakland’s secondary has improved a bit as the year has progressed but have struggled all season against good QB-WR combos allowing seven 100 yard receiving games. Kelvin Benjamin hasn’t scored since Week 4 but is averaging 8.5 targets a game since then and is due for some “positive” regression soon. This duo should be lower-owned due to recency bias but is in a high upside spot on the road Week 12.
Bonus: Russell Wilson ($6,700) and Doug Baldwin ($6,300)
Ryan Tannehill ($5,500): Tannehill’s recent performance shouldn’t sway you away this week as he gets the “Coors Field” of NFL matchups. The 49ers have allowed the last five opposing QBs they’ve faced to average 24.10 DK points against them. While Tannehill has only thrown more than 30 times once in his last four starts, the likelihood of multiple TD passes in this matchup is high. With the 49ers establishing a bit of rhythm on offense themselves lately, Tannehill’s upside also increases as a result, as it’s more than possible that we see him throwing late into the game as well. With many likely looking to attack San Fran via the ground with Jay Ajayi this week, Tannehill should make for a low owned leverage play in GPP lineups.
Bonus: Colin Kaepernick ($5,300)
Melvin Gordon ($7,000): Houston is known for their defense, but against the run they’ve been below average this year, allowing 111 yards per game to RBs, while also allowing the 7th most fantasy points per game to the position. To add to Melvin Gordon’s upside here, he is averaging an astounding 30 touches (yes 30!) a game over his last four weeks and has also seen 6.5 targets a game in that span. Gordon’s passing role is significant here too as the Texans have been killed by opposing RBs in the pass game of late, allowing 25 receptions and 318 yards to RBs in the air (12.72 yards per catch).
Carlos Hyde ($4,800): Hyde hasn’t done much since Colin Kaepernick took over at QB for the 49ers. He has only seen three targets in the pass game and hasn’t found the endzone yet in three starts. Still, there’s reason for optimism. Hyde was the workhorse last week, with 19 carries and three receptions, while averaging a respectable 4.5 yards per carry. Hyde’s larger workload may signal a return to health, which is good news for fantasy, as he now gets Miami who got run on last week by the plodding Todd Gurley and who have allowed the third most rush yards per game at 126. At under $5k in price, Hyde carries upside and value for tournaments.
Bonus: Latavius Murray ($5,500)
Jarvis Landry ($5,900): If you like Ryan Tannehill this week then I guess you have to like Jarvis Landry as well. Like Tannehill, Landry hasn’t done much lately to gain our confidence, but he gets a superior matchup Week 12 (and a discounted price tag). The 49ers have allowed 14 TDs to the wide receiver position over their last seven games (2 per game), and in general, have allowed opponents number one receivers to have their way with them. Landry comes into this game averaging only 6.5 targets a game over his last four starts, but it’s hard not to see him getting a few extra targets against such a soft defense.
Kenny Britt ($5,400): While the debut of Jared Goff didn’t produce fireworks, Britt still ended up leading all Rams receivers in yards, catches and fantasy points Week 11. In fact, Britt has led the Rams in receiving in four of the last five weeks and also comes in with two 100 yard receiving games on the year. With no rain to slow things down this week, and the Rams likely having to throw more to keep up with the Saints in the Superdome, Britt could benefit from a slightly more confident Goff and a game-flow which favors an aerial attack.
Bonus: Tyler Boyd ($4,000)
Gary Barnidge ($3,600): The TE position is not fun this week as the options are somewhat limited thanks to byes, Thanksgiving games and injuries. The one positive note is the fact that Gary Barnidge will be getting his favorite QB back this week as Josh McCown is set to start for the Browns. Barnidge finally found the end zone last week courtesy of McCown, which isn’t surprising. Of the seven games McCown started last season, Barnidge scored in five of those games and totaled six TDs altogether when McCown was throwing him the ball. The Giants have allowed the eighth most yards and ninth most receptions to the TE position this season and were getting killed by Zach Miller last week before he went down with injury.
Bonus: Vance McDonald ($3,000)
WATCH: THE CHALK: GIANTS DST
San Diego Chargers ($2,700): There are a lot of good matchups at defense this week as Buffalo takes on Blake Bortles, New England takes on Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tennessee takes on Matt Barkley. I wouldn’t put anyone off those picks, but for tournaments, make sure you consider San Diego. The Chargers have registered at least one interception in all but two games this year and are third in the league in that category as a team. Meanwhile, Brock Osweiler has thrown an INT in all but two games and is third in the league in INTs thrown. At least a turnover or two is likely here and San Diego has been able to generate pressure through rookie Joey Bosa(Chargers are 11th in hurries). The Chargers have scored 12 or more DK points four times already this year and are in a spot where they could exceed that total again.
Bonus: Tennessee Titans ($2,800)
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.