Welcome to the weekly tournament plays article for Sunday’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate. I’m going to be focusing purely on high-upside plays and stacks that are likely to be lower-owned in the largest tournaments on the slate. There will be a lot of bust potential found here most weeks too, but big GPPs are generally not won by making the popular moves.
Ryan Tannehill ($7,000) – AJ Brown ($7,200) – Brandin Cooks ($6,900)
While many DFS players will be deciding whether or not to try and fit in Derrick Henry’s massive $9.4K salary in this week, targeting the Titans pass game has some merit as well. The Texans have allowed the seventh-most passing yards and passing TDs in the league and are coming off a game where they allowed Brandon Allen ($5,000) to throw for 371 yards and two TDs. Ryan Tannehill is certainly better than what the Texans faced last week and has been a true stud for fantasy purposes in 2020, as he comes in averaging 22.2 DKFP per game. Tannehill’s upside has really shown through of late, too, as he’s hit over 31.0 DKFP in two of his last four starts.
Tannehill’s DraftKings price has come up for this matchup — which should keep his ownership levels lower — but he’s still easy to stack with his WRs, who aren’t overly expensive despite having great matchups. Houston’s secondary has cratered late in the season and has now allowed six receiving TDs to opposing WRs over their last four games and 21 to the position on the year — the second-most in the league. While Corey Davis ($6,200) has shown well for parts of 2020, it’s A.J. Brown ($7,200) who remains the team’s WR1 and most consistent big play threat. He’s sixth in TDs scored among WR and also ninth in yards per reception. Brown’s absolutely demolished Houston in his short time in the league, too, going for four TDs against them in three games while also going for over 110-yards in two of those games. Like Tannehill, he’s also likely to go overlooked here due to price despite being in a great spot.
As for the other side of this game, I have no issues in paying up for Brandin Cooks against one of the worst secondaries in the league. Cooks is at his highest price-point of the year, but he’s more than proven to be a reliable WR1 in this offense of late, accumulating five or more catches in each of his last four starts. He’s also showing great upside when his targeting spikes, as he’s now gone for 30-plus DKFP twice on the year. The Titans secondary has allowed the second-most receptions to opposing WRs and with Houston coming in as large underdogs, Cooks should be in position to grab a whole bunch of targets. While there’s solid RBs in play here, too, this game features plenty of big play WRs going up against two of the thinnest secondaries in the league, so stacking the passing games feels like a great way to pivot off the popular RB plays this week.
Just Missed: Tom Brady ($7,200) – Mike Evans ($7,500) – Antonio Brown ($5,500)
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders ($5,000)
Lock is setting up as a potentially great GPP target for those in need of a cheap QB for Week 17. The Broncos take on the Raiders this week — whose defense left their team’s body after Week 12 — and they’ve allowed an average of 34.3 points per game over the last six weeks. Vegas comes in still without a viable pass rush, averaging just 1.3 sacks per game (fourth-last in the league) and have now given up multiple passing TDs to opposing QBs in six-straight games. Denver’s rush game isn’t great — they’re just 14th in YPC and rush yards per game — and their defense is also terrible as they’ve allowed the seventh-most opponent rushing yards per game. Given Derek Carr’s ($5,700) solid play, teams generally end up passing against the Raiders anyways, as their opponents are averaging 35.9 pass attempts per game — the ninth-most in the league. This all sets up as a great spot to deploy Lock and one of his cheap receiving targets, who will open up a ton of salary and allow you to stack studs at different positions for the roller coaster that is Week 17.
Just Missed: Tom Brady ($7,200)
David Montgomery, Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers ($7,700)
If the Bears are going to have any shot of winning this week’s game vs. Green Bay, they’ll likely need a big game from Montgomery to keep Aaron Rodgers ($7,400) off the field. Montgomery certainly seems like he’ll capable of holding up his end of the bargain, too, as he comes in having averaged 5.6 YPC over his last five games. The Packers defense has also been quite giving to opposing RBs, allowing the fourth-most DKFP and fifth-most receiving yards to opposing RBs this season. However, even if the Bears are down in this game, Montgomery is still going to be involved. Montgomery’s averaged 85% of the snaps played the last two weeks and has been a big PPR producer when Chicago gets into catchup mode — especially against the Packers in Week 12, when he caught five passes and scored a receiving TD. With his price up and ownership likely levelling out a bit, deploying him in a solid matchup makes sense, as Chicago isn’t likely to rest him much in a must-win game.
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants ($6,400)
Elliott returned last week and had one of his best games of the year in helping the Cowboys to a monster win over the Eagles. Zeke had a healthy workload against Philly, rushing for 5.5 YPC against a decent rush defense and also grabbed all four of his targets in the passing game. The injury rest may have helped the Cowboys lead RB and he’ll almost certainly be leaned upon heavily in Week 17 against the Giants, in what is a must-win game for both teams. The Giants have a decent pass rush, and with the Cowboys likely not wanting to leave their fate in the mobility of Andy Dalton ($5,600), you should see Zeke push for season-highs in carries and touches here. The Giants have been solid against the run this year, allowing just one 100-yard rusher, but they’ve looked a little fatigued of late, allowing 155 yards to Baltimore’s RBs last week. They have also now ceded rushing TDs to opposing RBs in three-straight games. Now available at his lowest price-point of the season, Elliott’s a great GPP target for Week 17.
Just Missed: Malcolm Brown ($4,300)
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons ($7,500)
It took 16 Weeks, but Evans finally produced one of the slate-breaking type of games he’s become known for since joining the Buccaneers as a rookie. Evans led the Bucs in targets with 12 last week, and absolutely torched a depleted and undermanned Detroit secondary for 181 yards and two TDs. Coming off such a good performance means that playing him in Week 17 may feel like chasing points, but he’s got the right attributes for a potentially great GPP target. His upside remains intact given the matchup with Atlanta, who has given up the fourth-most receptions and DKFP to opposing WRs this year, and a $1.4K price increase is also going to ensure his ownership stays low. Despite some poor games early in the year, Evans usage has remained steady and he sits seventh among all WR in red zone targets this year, while he has averaged nine targets overall his last six games. With some bonus money and incentives on the line, expect Evans to continue rolling here against a flimsy pass defense.
DJ Moore, Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints ($5,700)
Moore made his return to action two weeks ago for Carolina and has averaged nine targets per game since rejoining the team. There’s been plenty of ups and downs with Moore (mainly due to volume) in 2020, but as we saw against the Packers — when he made a couple of incredible downfield catches and posted 131 yards on just six catches — his upside for DFS is firmly intact. Carolina has no reason to sit back in this game against the Saints defense, which comes in having given up five TDs to opposing WRs in their last four games. Moore beat the New Orleans secondary for two TDs on just four catches in Week 7 and also posted a monster day against them last season, when he went for 6-126 and two TDs. His floor isn’t nearly as safe as other top WRs, but he’ll bring low ownership and upside that makes his price extremely palatable in this spot.
Just Missed: Tim Patrick ($4,000)
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders ($4,400)
Fant has been a bit of a tease in 2020, as he’s been priced up around the mid-tier players at TE most weeks, but comes in having produced only three TDs and one game with over 20.0 DKFP. Still, the talent here is tantalizing and Fant has really come on as his team’s dominant receiver towards the end of the year, averaging 10 targets over his last two games. While he’s at the mercy of a sub-par QB situation with Drew Lock ($5,000) still in town, Fant and Lock have a good matchup here to perhaps close out 2020 with a bang and secure themselves jobs for next season.
The Raiders have now given up 26-plus points in six-straight games and the Broncos should be looking for some revenge from an embarrassing Week 10 loss. Fant’s not coming in with much fanfare — which is great for GPPs — and is also a player who is overdue for some positive TD regression given that he’s scored just once since Week 2, yet leads his team in red zone targets. While his QB makes him a touch risky, the target share and matchup means his upside looks legitimately elite this week.
Just Missed: Evan Engram ($3,700)
Buffalo Bills ($3,200) at Miami Dolphins
The Bills defense has started to look a little more ferocious the last few weeks. Buffalo has averaged 10.5 DKFP in their last three games and finally have most of their important defensive pieces healthy as they move towards the playoffs. The Bills aren’t necessarily a dominant unit in any one area, but they do rank 14th in sacks per game and have landed three or more sacks eight times this year. The momentum they bring in is nice, but the real attraction is the matchup. Miami has been relying heavily on their rush game and defense to bail them out lately, but that formula seems unlikely to work for the entire game here given how well the Bills offense has played.
Since taking over as starter, Tua Tagovailoa has averaged just 6.3 Y/A, and has also averaged just 119 yards passing over his last two games. The Bills are in a great spot against a weaker QB who could be forced into some mistakes once the Bills offense puts pressure on Miami to throw more (and they almost certainly will). Buffalo ranks fifth in the league in turnovers created and there’s the potential here for a late game DTD. As perhaps the hottest team in football, Buffalo’s defense shouldn’t be ignored and are pretty reasonable to fit in from a salary perspective.
Just missed: New York Jets ($2,300)
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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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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