If you have been following Rotoworld Daily’s MLB or NBA Pivot columns over the past season, then you already know the drill. If not, I recommend you check those out. Also, please read the following description to gain a sense of what this article strives to provide.
The purpose of this column is to pinpoint widely held selections at every position. I will then outline some sneaky pivot plays (with lower ownership rates) for large-field tournament consideration. Essentially, it’s your traditional “GPP/Tournament Picks” article with an emphasis on getting away from those groupthink selections of the week.
In other words, I’m playing devil’s advocate in going against the grain. Hopefully, this will help find some lower-owned pivot plays to accompany the popular, well-aligned picks in your FanDuel lineups. You don’t necessarily have to be “different” across the board to field a high-upside team. However, mixing in a few sneaky picks with a low ownership rate could be the difference between a good and great result.
This article covers the main slate for FanDuel NFL Week 3, meaning Thursday and Monday (London too) games are not included.
Pivot 1: Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $8,000)
Roethlisberger got some love in my FanDuel NFL Stacks article earlier this week, and the same logic carries into this column. I’m thinking the aforementioned, similarly priced players like Carr, Ryan, Newton, and Stafford will attract higher ownership rates. On top of that, most people tend to avoid Roethlisberger on the road, as his home/away splits have been well-documented over the past few years. However, the matchup potential should not be ignored. Chicago’s secondary clearly has some problems, especially with CB Prince Amukamara nursing an ankle injury. Pro Football Focus ranked the Bears’ secondary 30th overall heading into the season (reference here), and they haven’t done anything to shake that designation. I’m expecting some explosive plays to Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant on Sunday; gaining fantasy points through dump passes to Le’Veon Bell doesn’t hurt Ben’s prospects either.
Pivot 2: Kirk Cousins – Washington (FanDuel Price: $7,600)
As a season-long shareholder of Kirk Cousins, I feel like a good authority to say he has disappointed through two games. However, he’s looking at a classic bounce-back situation in a potential shootout with Oakland. Cousins has been much better at home throughout his career, and this is a primetime national TV spot. The game script should feed Kirk’s upside, trying to keep pace with Oakland’s efficient offense. He has been spreading the ball to numerous receivers this season, so you don’t necessarily have to pair him with anyone. It’s important to keep an eye on Jordan Reed’s status moving through the week. If he’s out, Cousins may need to be slightly downgraded as a fantasy option (still tournament playable though).
Pivot 1: Isaiah Crowell – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $6,600)
Crowell hasn’t done much this season; however, we really didn’t expect him to come through against Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The Browns’ RB finally has a solid matchup against a suspect Indianapolis front seven. More importantly, the game script could tilt in Crowell’s favor for the first time this year. The Colts’ offense has been stagnant without Andrew Luck, opening the door for Cleveland to build a lead in this game (and hold good field position). From there, Crowell would see more carries throughout the second half, unlocking that fantasy upside.
Pivot 2: Mike Gillislee – New England (FanDuel Price: $6,800)
That Houston front seven is no joke, and I’m assuming most people will avoid Gillislee for that reason. However, this recommendation is more about opportunity than matchup. The Patriots check in as 13 point home favorites, and you better believe they’ll see plenty of scoring opportunities. Houston QB Deshaun Watson will be a star eventually, but the rookie signal caller could help New England see great field position all afternoon. Gillislee has secured the LeGarrette Blount goal-line role this season, and he could add a few more trips to pay dirt on Sunday.
Pivot 1: DeVante Parker – Miami (FanDuel Price: $6,500)
This is my favorite recommendation of this article. Before getting ahead of myself, take note that Parker is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. He participated in practice Wednesday and should be a full-go on Sunday. His teammate, WR Jarvis Landry, should be watched closely with a knee injury … Regardless of Landry’s status, I love Parker’s upside this weekend. He drew a tough matchup against the Chargers last game, leading Jay Cutler to look towards Landry all game. That’s not the case this time around, as the Jets don’t really have a lockdown corner to fear. The Parker-Cutler connection looked great throughout the preseason, and there’s an opportunity to showcase that rapport in this matchup.
Pivot 2: Devin Funchess – Carolina (FanDuel Price: $4,800)
Cam Newton and Kelvin Benjamin will likely make for a popular stack this weekend. Don’t overlook WR Devin Funchess as an extension of Newton, as he looked good following Greg Olsen’s early departure last game. As you probably know, Olsen will be out for some time, creating a void within Carolina’s passing game. Funchess is a big-bodied receiver (6’5” 235 lbs) who seems poised to step up. He’s really cheap on FanDuel, worth considering in cash games and tournaments alike.
Pivot: Eric Ebron – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $5,200)
Ebron is still has more potential than tangible results at this point in his career. Last Monday’s five reception, 42 yard, TD performance served as an exciting reminder to his upside. Ebron could be called upon again, noting the potential shootout vs Atlanta. He’s underpriced too, serving as a nice GPP salary relief pivot away from high-end lifts like Kelce, Ertz, and company.