DFS Pivot Plays week 17 2017

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal Week 17: Pivot Plays By: Armando Marsal

Focusing on ownership percentages is critical and finding players that have potential to produce similar numbers (or even better) than higher owned players will put you in a good position to leap frog in tournament standings and give you a better chance to have a unique lineup. Ultimately, that increases your chances for potentially higher finishes in tournaments. In cash games, focusing on ownership is not important. With that said, let’s jump right into some of this week’s Pivot plays. Please note: I am only using players from the Sunday main slate.



Tom Brady $6,800 vs. New York Jets This is the cheapest that Brady has been all season, which seems odd because not only is this a phenomenal matchup, but the Patriots are also playing for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Jets rank 10th worst in DVOA against the pass and are giving up the eighth most fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers. Brady has thrown for multiple touchdowns three consecutive games against the Jets and in five of his last seven meetings against them, so his track record is certainly good in this matchup. The only concern I have is the potential blowout, but that is a risk I am willing to take with Brady at this price, because if this game does get out of hand, Brady would likely have something to do with it. This is just too good of a price to ignore.


Philip Rivers $6,600 vs. Oakland Raiders

The Chargers are likely going to let Rivers loose this weekend as they need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. He draws a very good matchup this week against a Raiders defense that ranks sixth worst in DVOA against the pass. Going back to the 2013 NFL season (nine games), River has averaged 284.9 passing yards per game against the Raiders and has tossed 18 touchdowns, so there is a history here. Another plus for Rivers is that since this game has a lot of implications, he should play the entire four quarters. While I do expect him to carry some ownership, I do not expect him to be as popular as Brady will be this week, which is why I like the idea of Pivoting to Rivers.

Running Backs


Derrick Henry $5,500 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Henry will get the start in place of the injured DeMarco Murray and should receive a ton of carries. He faces off against a Jaguars defense that has been generous to opposing running backs this season, allowing 97.9 rushing yards per game. Earlier in the year, Henry ran for 92 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries against the Jags, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. His longest run was for 17 yards, so it is not like the bulk of the yardage came from one big play. The Titans need to win this game to clinch a playoff spot so expect Henry to play all game, while the Jaguars do not have anything to play for so they could rest some of their top defensive players at some point in the game, making this an even better of a matchup for Henry. There is a lot to like about him this week, which is why he will be popular.


Jamaal Williams $5,200 at Detroit Lions

Williams is expected to receive the bulk of the carries with Aaron Jones out for Week 17. He draws a nice matchup against the Lions who are giving up 115.9 rushing yards per game over their last seven and have surrendered eight rushing touchdowns during that stretch. The Lions are also yielding the second most fantasy points per game to opposing backs and have surrendered the second most rushing touchdowns to the positon. Williams proved he can be a very productive back when given the opportunity and his ability to be both an efficient runner and a solid pass catcher out of the backfield, really increases his upside. He is cheaper than Henry this week and has a far better matchup, which is why I like the idea to Pivoting from Henry to Williams in large field tournaments.

Wide Receivers


Keenan Allen $7,800 vs. Oakland Raiders

Melvin Gordon is battling an injury and even though he is expected to play, he will be less than 100 percent. This could call for a Philip Rivers game, which would really bode well for Allen. He has let fantasy owners down the last couple of weeks, but the targets are still there as he has received at least eight targets in each of his last six games. He faces off against T.J. Carrie, who Allen has a 31 percent advantage rating against according to Pro Football Focus. This should be another busy week for Allen and considering the favorable matchup, a ceiling game is not out of the question for him. In addition, there is no need to worry about rest for Allen as the Chargers need to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive, so he should play all four quarters. He will be popular but rightfully so.


Golden Tate $6,300 vs. Green Bay Packers

Tate has been relatively quiet the last couple of games, but draws a very good matchup against the Packers this week. Green Bay has been generous to receivers all season, allowing the eighth most fantasy points per game to the position. He also draws a very nice one-on-one matchup against Morgan Burnett who Tate has a 42 percent advantage rating against. He had a big game against the Packers earlier this year, catching 7-of-9 targets for 113 yards, which was good for 21.3 DK points. The Lions do not have anything to play for this week, but all of the starters are expected to play their regular role. If you want to differentiate in tournaments and save some salary, Tate is an enticing Pivot off of Allen.

Tight Ends


Rob Gronkowski $7,000 vs. New York Jets

Gronkowski He draws a nice matchup against the Jets who have allowed nine touchdowns to tight ends this season, which is tied for third most in the league and a team that he torched earlier this season for 83 yards and two touchdowns. He has played well as of late, averaging 9.8 targets, 7.0 receptions, 116 yards, and 25.1 DK points in his last four games, scoring three touchdowns during that stretch. He is 11 receptions or 116 yards shy of earning a $2 million bonus, so this is added incentive for Gronk to come out and have a big game. Considering the amount of value options available this week, Gronk will be popular and rightfully so. He is Chalk I would not mind eating.


Eric Ebron $4,500 vs. Green Bay Packers

Several of the other top tight ends do not have much to play for this week, so they are either already ruled out or will likely play a limited role this weekend. This is why if you do not want to pay up for Gronkowski, Pivoting to someone like Ebron makes sense. Ebron has now scored in back-to-back games and has at least seven targets in three straight games. During that stretch, he has scored no fewer than 14 DK points in any of his games. This is also a favorable matchup for Ebron, as he has a 27 percent advantage rating against the Packers, which is the third highest of the week for anyone at this position.

Good luck to all this week. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on the Twitter machine: @Armando_Marsal