DFS guide: Week 6 in DraftKings tournaments
I’ll be honest. I’m a tournament player. In any given week, 90 percent of my money in play is often in guaranteed prize pools and I just use cash games as a steady way to fund my GPP spending. I love building contrarian lineups that I think will be low-owned and have the potential to win me a huge tournament. Traditional QB/WR stacking? No. We take things much further here, going QB/WR1/WR2/TE and the other team’s WR1. It doesn’t always lead to profitable weeks, but that’s the life of a GPP player. You take the natural ebb and flow of it in stride and keep grinding and sticking to the process that leads to big payouts. Here’s how I’m approaching Week 6.
(For the DraftKings cash game guide, click here)
In a game where every dollar of salary counts, we often see the highest-priced guys overlooked as people look for values. It makes sense, but also leaves us without the true “studs” that are priced up for a reason — they’re very good at scoring fantasy points. Tom Brady ($8,300) is one of my favorite tournament options for several reasons this week. He’s priced $1,000 more than the next highest quarterback on the main slate, Aaron Rodgers ($7,300). He’s also carrying a “Questionable” tag after suffering an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. Brady is taking on a Jets defense that has allowed the seventh-most passing touchdowns to start the year, and is one that’s he has historically fared quite well against. He’s averaged 24.8 DraftKings points against them over the last two years, and to be frank, Brady is absolutely tearing it up right now with his recent play. He’s coming off four consecutive 300-plus-yard outings, routinely hitting that three-point bonus, and I think he does it again here.
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Drew Brees ($7,200) is another quarterback worth paying up for this week. Brees and the Saints are playing at home as current six-point home favorites and are coming off their bye week. Brees is a fantasy magician at home, making fantasy points appear out of nowhere. He’s averaged +5.8 DK points playing at home versus on the road over the last three years. In fact, seven of those 25 games he’s scored over 30-plus DK points. Over his last five seasons coming off the bye, Brees is averaging 349 passing yards and three touchdowns. He’s in a perfect matchup against a Lions’ secondary that’s beatable at almost every position. In fact, all three of Brees’ primary wide receivers are in our top-12 “values” in our DFS Lineup Optimizer.
Now it’s time for you to scroll down to the RB segment if you’re a bit squeamish. Ben Roethlisberger ($5,700) is coming off perhaps the worst game of his life after throwing five interceptions. Nobody will be playing him, not even his family members. However, this Kansas City defense isn’t impervious to big fantasy outings. They just allowed Deshaun Watson to throw five passing touchdowns against them, scoring 35.5 fantasy points. They gave up a 28.8 outing to Carson Wentz, which could’ve been higher if it weren’t for two fumbles. Both these quarterbacks found ways to target Terrance Mitchell, who’s been a complete liability in coverage. Our own Scott Barrett uncovered this statistic, but it’s worth repeating here: Last season the Chiefs allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers running routes from their quarterback’s left. They are allowing the third-most this year. Big Ben stacks with Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant will go wildly underowned, but it merits some consideration.
I love the running back position this week. There’s so many different options at varying price points, that it allows you to get very creative in roster construction.
Leonard Fournette ($8,000) takes the cake as my favorite stud to pay up for. He’s top-five in Actual Opportunity and averaging 22.9 DK points per game. The Rams have given up at least 24 DK points to Ezekiel Elliott, Carlos Hyde, and Chris Thompson so far this year. I’d expect Fournette to join that subset after this week.
Devonta Freeman ($7,400) isn’t being talked about enough in my opinion. He’s a major 13-point home favorite — yes, a two-touchdown favorite — against a putrid Miami team. Freeman has scored 21 of his 34 career touchdowns playing at home, and he’s seeing significant volume as of late. He has 20, 24, and 21 touches over his last three games and has a chance to absolutely demolish a Miami defense that has allowed versatile backs in Melvin Gordon and Alvin Kamara to each score 20-plus DK points against them.
Speaking of Kamara ($4,500), he makes for an interesting tournament option this week playing at home against the Lions. The linebackers of Detroit have struggled in coverage, allowing the fifth-most receptions to the position to start the year. Kamara and teammate Mark Ingram ($4,400) are both in play this week as major home favorites coming off the bye.
My favorite tournament option regardless of price this week is perhaps a bit risky, but Javorius Allen ($5,400) keeps finding his way into my lineups. Allen takes on a Chicago linebacking corps that has been riddled with injuries. They have allowed the second-most rushing touchdowns on the ground to running backs and some big outings recently to Le’Veon Bell (21.8 DK points) and Jerick McKinnon (26.6). Allen is a versatile back that excels both rushing and receiving. With Terrance West likely out of the picture, Allen could be in a smash spot to see the lion’s share of touches and cross the goal line a time or two.
There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding DeAndre Hopkins ($8,100) in cash games, but he looks like a tournament option for me more than anything. Hopkins has been seeing some unreal volume, but I’m not sure how much the team will be throwing in the second half. He also draws a tough matchup against our No. 3 graded cornerback in coverage, Jason McCourty. McCourty is allowing a 52.4 passer rating when targeted against — fifth-lowest in the league. He has yet to allow a touchdown and has two picks on the year. I’d rather pay up elsewhere at WR, but I understand a sprinkling of Nuk given his incredible volume.
The first guy that immediately stands out to me in tournaments is DeSean Jackson ($5,800). He’s been repeatedly mentioned as a tournament guy, but for good reason:
Since 2008, DeSean Jackson ranks 1st in pass plays of 30+ yds & 2nd in 20+. Faces CB Justin Bethel who’s allowed TDs of 37, 45, & 59 so far.
— Tyler Buecher (@TylerBuecher) October 12, 2017
DJax eats up big plays for breakfast. He draws a terrific matchup against Justin Bethel who’s been a liability in coverage, ranking as our No. 87 graded corner. I like the idea of going a bit contrarian as well and playing Mike Evans ($6,900) here, despite the tough matchup against Patrick Peterson. Last year in this exact spot, Evans still managed to find a way to put up a 6-70-1 stat line against him. If we can get that out of Evans, a couple long bombs to Jackson, a short TD from Cameron Brate, we could be talking full onslaught with Jameis Winston at the helm. Pat Thorman highlighted this matchup in his weekly Snaps, Pace, & Stats article (required reading for DFS degens), noting that this should be a pass-happy game up in pace.
I mentioned Davante Adams in this week’s Cash Game Guide, but it bears repeating again here. I think he’s in an absolute smash spot against Trae Waynes. Waynes has allowed 23-of-31 targets to be caught against him for 307 yards and a score to date. He’s allowing 0.36 fantasy points per route covered and is currently our No. 90 graded corner.
I like both of the Raiders receivers this week if Derek Carr is able to return and play. Michael Crabtree is priced far too low at $5,800 and DraftKings is daring you to play Amari Cooper with a price tag of just $5,000. It’s difficult to gauge who will draw Casey Hayward’s coverage, but whichever wide receiver isn’t being chased by him could see some significant volume. Crabtree has historically roasted the Chargers, scoring a touchdown in each of the last four games he’s played against them. The pace of this game is a concern, so if Carr doesn’t look like himself in warmups, be ready to pivot elsewhere.
There aren’t a lot of cheap wide receivers that interest me this week. However, if Mohamed Sanu misses this game as expected, Taylor Gabriel ($4,600) has a chance to go off any time he touches the ball. Last year, only Julio Jones and A.J. Green had a higher yards per route run than Gabriel’s 2.45. He scored touchdowns of 9, 9, 25, 35, 47, 64, and 76 yards. I’ll take the arbitrage Tyreek Hill at a fraction of the cost this week where he should see a bump in snaps.
I love the pricing of tight ends this week by DK. There’s a player at every price range that’s worthy of considering in tournaments.
Rob Gronkowski ($6,800) is always in play given his massive ceiling. Excluding his last game against the Jets where he played only 10 snaps, Gronk has seen 6, 16, 10, and 10 targets in his last four matchups against the Jets. He’s averaged 17.6 DK points in those four contests.
It’s automatic at this point — start tight ends against Cleveland. Ryan Griffin ($4,000) is certainly priced up, but the Browns are allowing the most receptions and second-most touchdowns to the tight end position. Their opponents are scoring a touchdown on 85.7 percent of their red-zone trips allowed, highest rate in the league. Houston is a 10-point home favorite with an implied team total of 28.25 points. Griffin is splitting time with Stephen Anderson so he’s not a slam dunk, but he’s certainly in consideration for tournaments considering the Browns have allowed four of their first five opponents to have a tight end finish with 14.9 DK points or higher.
In tournaments, I like to keep a tight core of DST units hoping one of them goes off and all my lineups shoot up the leaderboard. I will be paying up at the position for the most part, and rotating through a core of Kansas City, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Houston. There’s a good variety in defenses to select in Week 6.