Welcome to the NFL GPP Pivots article, where we’ll be looking to uncover some sneaky-good DFS plays away from the popular lifts. These recommendations are usually risk/reward commodities meant to be used in large-field tournaments. Typically, blending these low-owned hidden gems with well-aligned staples contributes to a viable GPP strategy.
Keep in mind that the following player write-ups were constructed earlier in the week, and sometimes injury situations can alter the fantasy landscape. Monitoring our NFL News & Headlines Feed up until game time will keep you in the loop while giving you the subsequent DFS consequences of each information piece.
We will be looking at the Sunday main slate, meaning Thursday, Sunday, and Monday night games are not included in the following analysis.
Ben Roethlisberger - Pittsburgh (vs. Seattle)
The Steelers’ performance on Sunday Night Football wasn’t pretty, but there’s room for optimism when looking forward to their home opener. Roethlisberger has always been better at home throughout his professional career, and this is an intriguing matchup against a Seahawks’ secondary that ranked 31st entering the season, according to Pro Football Focus. Andy Dalton was mentioned in this article last week, and he came through with a 35-51, 418 yard, 2 TD showing at Seattle … Turn the page from last week and take a close look at Roethlisberger in tournaments.
Also Consider: Jared Goff (LAR), Josh Allen (BUF)
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Sony Michel - New England (at Miami)
Michel was one of the few New England skill players who didn’t get in on the massacre against Pittsburgh last Sunday. That’s a tough pill for fantasy backers to swallow, as the game script fell perfectly into his wheelhouse. Taking a look on the bright side, Michel had 15 carries compared to eight for Rex Burkhead and four going to James White. It was just one of those games where Michel couldn’t get anything going (14 yards). He should get another chance at 15-20+ carries against a Miami defense that was absolutely demolished by the Ravens last week.
Chris Thompson - Washington (vs. Dallas)
If Washington’s game at Philadelphia is any indication, Chris Thompson is going to see plenty of work this season. He’s a receiving specialist within this Redskins’ backfield, meaning he’ll absorb snaps whenever Washington goes into pass-heavy mode while trying to make a comeback. That could be the case against Dallas in Week 2, and the Cowboys ranked 26th in DVOA (last year) for passing attempts to opposing running backs - ergo the optimism for Thompson.
Also Consider: James Conner (PIT), Gio Bernard (CIN)
JuJu Smith-Schuster - Pittsburgh (vs. Seattle)
This write-up serves as the main derivative of Roethlisberger’s analysis listed above. The Steelers’ offense couldn’t get anything going in New England last Sunday, and JuJu disappointed with only 10.8 fantasy points (half PPR) to his name. On top of that, he’s looking at a questionable tag while sustaining a toe injury. Both of those factors will lead to a lower-than-deserved ownership rate, but this is an excellent spot for Pittsburgh’s passing game - as noted earlier. Keep an eye on Smith-Schuster’s prognosis throughout the week, but the early reports suggest he should be good to go.
Cooper Kupp - LA Rams (vs. New Orleans)
I was fairly impressed with Kupp’s usage last week (10 targets), but it only translated to a 7-46 line. I’m expecting Kupp to see double-digit targets again this week, and he could break free for a huge fantasy performance as a result. The matchup looks promising in a likely high-scoring shootout against New Orleans. The Saints were sliced apart by the Texans’ passing attack on Monday Night Football, and it appears they’re still a bottom-ten defense in that regard. Kupp is looking at a healthy combination of volume and matchup potential to reward fantasy backers in Week 2.
Jared Cook - New Orleans (at LA Rams)
Let’s look to the other side of Week 2’s highest over/under (53.5) between the Rams and Saints. Cook generated offseason buzz among fantasy enthusiasts, especially when the Saints mentioned that they would feature him in certain spots. Well, that wasn’t the case in Week 1, as Cook only saw two targets - hauling both in for 37 yards. There will be nights like this for the big tight end, as Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara demand plenty of touches in the New Orleans’ offense. Cook’s matchup against the Rams doesn’t look great on paper (LAR was 5th in DVOA to TE last season), but I’m optimistic the 6’5” tight end will be more involved this time around. He’s definitely on my tournament shortlist.
Also Consider: Darren Waller (OAK)