WATCH: PIVOT PLAY – MIKE EVANS
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 tournament.
Philip Rivers ($6,500) – Tyrell Williams ($4,400) – Hunter Henry ($3,600) = Combined $14,500
The Chargers-Falcons game has one of the highest totals of the week at 53 points, and while the Chargers are expected to lose, I think they’re good enough to win this game outright. If they do, it will likely be because Philip Rivers has a monster game. Melvin Gordon is averaging exactly three yards per carry in his last three starts, and Atlanta has allowed under 100 yards rushing in five of their six games. Atlanta also has the fifth fewest sacks as a team in the league, however, which should open up Rivers for more downfield throws. The combo of Hunter Henry and Tyrell Williams is also enticing for several reasons, the main one being price. The pair only cost $8,000 to roster together, and with Antonio Gates hurting and Travis Benjamin very questionable to play they could see their targeting increase this week. Rostering these three gives you exposure to an offense who should be throwing a ton in a game with lots of potential upside for fantasy.
Bonus: Blake Bortles ($6,200) and Allen Robinson ($7,300)
Blake Bortles ($6,200): I expect ownership on quarterbacks to be a little less spread out this week, which means I’m also expecting Blake Bortles to be low-owned. The Jags are slight home favorites this week and have a team total of over 24 points against a pretty bad Oakland defense who has allowed three games of at least 350 yards and 3 TDs to opposing QBs already this season. And while Bortles will never be an efficient QB, he can make up for it with his feet as he has seven games with 30 or more rushing yards over the last season and a half. With plenty of good value plays at QB this week, Bortles could be overlooked but makes sense as a tournament play, especially when paired with his top target in Allen Robinson.
Bonus: Russell Wilson ($6,700)
LeGarrette Blount ($4,900): While many may expect a shootout style of game between New England and Pittsburgh, I think Ben Roethlisberger being out changes the complexion of this game completely. Pittsburgh has been sneakily terrible against the run thus far in 2016, so Blount may have done well in this spot regardless, but with Landry Jones now starting New England is now much more likely to be in a position to be using Blount late in this game to salt away a win. RBs are already averaging a healthy 4.67 yards per carry against the Steelers this year, and six rushing TDs have already been scored against this squad as well. Blount could be the New England weapon that “goes off” so to speak this week and carries a ton of upside at a very affordable price tag.
Chris Ivory ($3,400): Ivory has finally made his way back to full health, and last week may have put the death blow into the highly ineffective T.J. Yeldon for fantasy. Ivory played on 40% of the snaps but out-touched Yeldon 13-7 and also got all three red zone carries for the week as well. With Yeldon having done nothing with Ivory gone, I can’t see the Jaguars staff not giving Ivory a bigger workload this week and seeing what happens. This is potentially great news for Ivory’s fantasy prospects as the Jags take on the Raiders in Week 7 who have given up at least one TD to the RB position in every single game thus far and also have given up the second most rushing yards to RBs overall. At $3,400, there is potentially a big game waiting here.
Bonus: Jerick McKinnon ($4,300)
T.Y. Hilton ($7,700): Hilton actually leads the NFL in targets on the season, but coming off a poor week may not be as heavily owned as he should be in this spot. Hilton was as much a victim of game flow last weekend as anything else, and I would not anticipate that he’ll have nearly as much trouble getting open against the Tennessee secondary who have been allowing big fantasy days to opposing teams’ top WRs. The other reason to like Hilton this week is the fact Indianapolis has been horrible against the run and could easily find themselves in a hole early in this game. That will mean more passing and more quality opportunities than last week for Hilton, who still really only needs a few targets to bust a big play.
Pierre Garcon ($3,700): Garcon is shaping up like one of my favorite plays this week. Jordan Reed is still highly questionable to play due to a concussion, and last week with Reed out Garcon finished the game with 11 targets and absorbed a lot of extra looks from Kirk Cousins. In fact, Garcon played the most of any Redskins receiver (81% of the snaps) Week 6 and put up his highest receiving total of the year with 77 yards. This week he takes on a Lions secondary who just got destroyed by Kenny Britt and Case Keenum, and with Detroit’s best corner, Darius Slay, likely to matchup with fellow speedster DeSean Jackson, Garcon is setup for a possible a monster game. I think he looks like a great value play for tournaments.
Bonus: Willie Snead ($5,800)
WATCH: PAT MAYO MAKES HIS CASE FOR KENDALL WRIGHT AS A VALUE PLAY
Gary Barnidge ($3,200): While I’m not a huge fan of anything Cleveland related who isn’t named Terrelle Pryor, Barnidge is exceedingly cheap this week, so much so that I think he makes for a great tournament play. The breakout star from 2015 has struggled with Cleveland’s QB changes this year, but he’s still managed put up three game with 10 or more DraftKings points in his last four starts, and that’s all without finding the endzone. With Terrelle Pryor slightly banged up and Cleveland taking on Cincinnati — who just got destroyed by Rob Gronkowski last week — I wonder if this is the spot where 2015 Barnidge finally rears up. The Bengals have allowed the 5th most TDs and fantasy points to the position thus far in 2016 making it a better than expected matchup.
Bonus: Delanie Walker ($4,900)
Baltimore Ravens ($2,700): The Jets are crumbling before our very eyes at the moment and will now turn to Geno Smith this week to “save them.” Meanwhile, the Ravens should be getting back their best corner in Jimmy Smith, who left last week early, allowing Odell Beckham to run wild in the second half. Even if Brandon Marshall puts on his superman cape here I would still expect the Ravens D to be good for at least two turnovers thanks to his QB. Outside of one game, Baltimore has also been great against the run, allowing the fourth fewest rush yards in the league in 2016. The Ravens run D should help force the Jets to put the game into Geno Smith’s unreliable hands, and I think that means a turnover or two (or three) for the Ravens D. This has big game written all over it.
Bonus: San Francisco 49ers ($2,500)
Geoff Ulrich and Peter Jennings are promoters at DraftKings and also avid fans and users (usernames: wavegoodbye and CSURAM88) and may sometimes play on their personal accounts in the games that they offer advice on. Although they have expressed their personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and they may also deploy different players and strategies than what they recommend above.