DFS Pivot Plays week 4 2017

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal

Week 4: 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 slate.



Tom Brady $8,000 vs. Carolina Panthers

Brady has been dominant in the last two games and that could very well continue this week against the Panthers. Carolina’s defense looked good in the first two weeks, but that was against the Bills and the 49ers. However, when they faced off against Drew Brees, they were unable to contain him and looked below average. The Panthers came into the season with a secondary ranked 22nd by Pro Football Focus, so Brady should be able to pick them apart. He has thrown for 825 yards and eight touchdowns the last two weeks, while topping 30 fantasy points in each of those contests. The Patriots have the highest implied team total of any team this weekend, which will influence ownership. In addition, when you consider how well he has played and the favorable matchup, he should be the most popular or one of the most popular quarterbacks this week.


Philip Rivers $6,300 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

I know that the price difference between Brady and Rivers is significant, but this week there is a major drop in price between the top quarterback and the rest of the quarterbacks. Rivers is coming off of a bad game, where he scored just 6.5 fantasy points after throwing three picks and not touchdowns. With that said, this shapes up to be a very good bounce back spot. He faces off against an Eagles secondary that came in this season ranked last by Pro Football Focus. Through the first three games, they are yielding 285.7 passing yards and over 16 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Eli Manning threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns against them, after throwing for 459 yards and one touchdown in his first two games combined. Rivers has 300+ passing yards and multi touchdown game upside, even more so in a matchup like this one. The Chargers have a healthy 25 point team total and this contest has an over/under of 48 points, so we should see some fireworks. I am bullish on Rivers this and think he could be less owned than he should be due to his performance last week.

Running Backs


Ezekiel Elliott $8,200 vs. Los Angeles Rams

Zeke gets a very appealing matchup this week against a Rams defense that has struggled immensely against running backs this season. They have allowed the second most rushing yards (399) and the most rushing touchdowns (5) to opposing backs, while yielding over 30 fantasy points per game. In addition, they have given up 14 receptions for 120 yards to the position. Elliott is a workhorse and usually sees 20+ touches, so he should be able to rack up the stats in this one and have a productive day. Consider Le’Veon Bell has struggled this season, has a tough matchup, and is more expensive than Elliott and David Johnson is hurt, Zeke should receive plenty of attention this week and rightfully so.


Devonta Freeman $7,300 vs. Buffalo Bills

Freeman will see some ownership too, but I do expect him to be less owned than Zeke. Freeman has scored at least one touchdown in each of his first three games and has 20+ touches in the last two contests, scoring 20+ fantasy points in each of those. The Bills have done well against running backs this season, but have yet to face a back of Freeman’s caliber. The Falcons are home favorites, which is typically a scenario that I like targeting running backs in and Freeman’s role on this offense is substantial, so I expect him to see plenty of touches once again in a game that they should be playing with a lead.

Wide Receivers


A.J. Green $8,600 at Cleveland Browns

Green generated buzz last week and delivered, and once again I expect him to be popular. Not only is he coming off of a 30.1 fantasy point performance, but he faces the Browns. Green is averaging 10.3 targets per game and has a catch rate of 65 percent. He has dominated Cleveland in each of their last two meetings, combining for 297 receiving yards with 13 catches and two touchdowns. This matchup is very good as he is projected to see a lot of Jason McCourty who he has a 54 percent advantage rating against. The Browns have allowed a touchdown in two consecutive games and 200+ receiving yards in two of their first three games to opposing wide outs. This is setting up to be another big weekend for Green and the general consensus is aware, making him a fan favorite this week.


Odell Beckham Jr. $8,900 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I pivoted from Green to Beckham last week and I am likely doing it again this week if I end up paying up for wide receivers. Beckham caught 9-of-13 targets for 79 yards and two touchdowns in Week 3 and gets to face a Bucs defense that has been unable to stop receivers this season. They are giving up 121.5 receiving yards and over 50 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers, while allowing four touchdowns to the position. In addition, they have surrendered +4.9 points above expectations to wide outs. Beckham is set to faces off against Brent Grimes, who he has a 45 percent advantage rating against. He is more expensive than Green and will likely go overlooked once again this week.

Tight Ends


Rob Gronkowski $6,600 vs. Carolina Panthers

Gronk has done very well in each of the last two weeks, catching 14-of-19 targets for 205 yards and two touchdowns, scoring over 22 fantasy points in each of those games. The matchup is not all that great, but for players like Gronk that does not tend to be a problem. He generates interest almost every week, but that increases when he is playing like he has been in recent weeks. Therefore I expect him to be quite popular this week.


Cameron Brate $3,800 vs. New York Giants

I really like the idea of attacking this Giants defense in the middle of the field. Their corners are very good and do a really nice job defending receivers. This should allow Brate to see more opportunities as Jameis Winston may have to look in his direction more often. Brate scored his first touchdown of the season last week, while catching all four of his targets for 33 yards. The Giants have given up a touchdown in each game this season to opposing tight ends and are yielding the third most fantasy points per game to the position. So long as the volume is there, Brate should have a productive Sunday.

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