WATCH: PIVOT PLAY – DeANDRE HOPKINS
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.
Brock Osweiler ($5,400) and DeAndre Hopkins ($7,400) and C.J. Fiedorowicz ($2,800) = Combined $15,600
It wasn’t easy to write down Brock Osweiler’s name after his performance last week, but this week Osweiler and Houston get a nice “get right” matchup. The Texans take on the Lions who have allowed 284 yards and 2.25 TDs to opposing QBs thus far on the year, and have been particularly giving on the road allowing 10 passing TDs in three road games so far. While DeAndre Hopkins has been a bust thus far in 2016, it’s looking very likely that the Lions will be without their best cornerback in Darius Slay this week.
That could mean big things for Hopkins, who has not been without opportunity of late with 36 targets over his last three games. While speedster Will Fuller is definitely a stacking option as well, I’d prefer to round things out with the cheap TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, a player who has amassed 22 targets over his last three games and who now faces a Lions team who has given up seven TDs to the TE position already this season.
Bonus: Josh McCown ($5,200) and Terrelle Pryor ($6,100)
Derek Carr ($5,900): Carr takes on a Tampa Bay defense this week who haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher yet this season but have given up at least two passing TDs in four of six games, all while facing some of the worst passers in the league thus far in Case Keenum, Colin Kaepernick and Paxton Lynch. Carr is much more efficient than those names, and while he hasn’t had an explosion game yet, he has scored over 23 fantasy points on DraftKings four times already in 2016. Given Tampa’s propensity for stuffing the run and Oakland’s strength at WR, Carr could easily push for 30 fantasy points here in a game which currently has a close point spread, a high game total (49.5) and the makings for a potential shootout.
Bonus: Tyrod Taylor ($5,400)
Christine Michael ($7,300): The Saints have been decimated by RBs this season giving up an astounding 12 TDs already through only six games. While Michael is obviously in a good spot here, I expect his ownership will remain low given the fact he’s the second most expensive RB on the board this week. While Michael has lost a few passing down snaps to the previously employed C.J. Spiller and C.J. Prosise, he’s still averaged nearly 4 receptions a game over his last four starts, and has dominated the red zone rushing. For tournaments, Michael also looks like a great leverage play against the likely popular Jimmy Graham “revenge narrative” and could easily find the end zone multiple times this week in one of the best matchups possible for a main-carry RB.
Frank Gore ($4,700): The Colts are not known for running the ball well, but they have improved in this area recently, with Gore recently recording the first 100-yard rushing game by a Colt RB in four years. While Gore hasn’t put up huge yardage this season, his usage has been excellent and he’s played on nearly 75% of the offensive snaps over the last three weeks. With none of the backups taking away time, Gore has also been more involved in the pass game of late too, catching 5 balls twice in his last four starts. The Chiefs aren’t the best matchup, but have allowed opposing RBs to gain over 100 yards against in two of their last three starts, and also allowed 7 receptions and a receiving TD to New Orleans RBs last week. I expect Gore to be overlooked in this spot, as he almost always is, making him a great target for your tournament lineups.
Bonus: Knile Davis ($3,400)
Amari Cooper ($7,600): The last time the Tampa Bay secondary faced two elite wide receivers, back in Week 4, they allowed 14 receptions and two TDs to Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas. Cooper is coming off a disappointing week where he was only targeted five times, but that was mainly due to stud rookie Jalen Ramsey shadowing him. There is no one near as good as Ramsey in Tampa’s secondary, and don’t forget that while Cooper was overshadowed by Michael Crabtree last week, he did have 25 targets in the two weeks before last. This is another big game spot for Cooper and he should be relatively ignored based on recency bias alone making him an excellent tournament target.
John Brown ($4,700): Brown is questionable to play this week, but the injury isn’t overly debilitating as he’s only been dealing with symptoms from sickle-cell syndrome. If he does get cleared, Brown will be in a nice spot against a Carolina secondary who has been torched at times this season and has now allowed five TDs to wide-outs over their last three games. Outside of last week when he sat, and the game where Drew Stanton started, Brown has been Carson Palmer’s favorite target compiling 34 targets in his last three games with his starting QB at the helm. Against a much weaker 2016 Carolina defense, Brown looks like a nice tournament target as I think many will simply ignore him based off of injury news and the perceived strength of the Panthers D.
Bonus: Tyreek Hill ($3,000)
Travis Kelce ($4,900): Kelce gets to take on the Colts this week who have now given up the third most receptions and yards to the TE position in the league. While not overly productive thus far in 2016, Kelce still seems like a breakout waiting to happen as he leads KC in red zone targets with eight, but hasn’t had as many opportunities as normal the last couple weeks due mainly to game flow. This week, against the Colts, who will have to sell out to have any shot at stopping the run, Kelce may go completely overlooked and should make for a good leverage play in tournaments against all those people who load up on Spencer Ware. While he’s definitely carrying a smaller than normal floor, point-wise right now, Kelce’s upside is big in this matchup and makes him a great tournament target.
Bonus: Gary Barnidge ($3,300)
Dallas Cowboys ($3,000): The Cowboys aren’t a team that one usually thinks of when it comes to defense, but so far this year they’ve been great, allowing the 7th fewest points against in the league, while also holding down 12th spot in takeaways as a team. The Eagles started off great this year, but offensively they’ve done almost nothing the past three weeks, relying on special teams to save them. Carson Wentz only has 3TD v 3INT over his last three games and has looked shaky in closer games. I think Dallas is the better team and could hammer the rookie quarterback at home this week with a defense that has been underrated this season.
Bonus: San Diego Chargers ($2,400)
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.