DFS Pivot Plays week 6 2018

By Armando Marsal
Armando Marsal Popular plays are referred to as the chalk, which can be defined as a popular player that will be highly owned. Generally these players are considered must starts by the general consensus. A pivot play are players that will be less owned than the chalk, in a similar price range, and offering similar upside. These pivots are used to be contrarian and built unique lineups with differentiation. When you pivot to a player who is far less owned, the chances of leap frogging in tournament standings are higher, which increases your chances for potentially higher scores.

Each and every week, I will be identifying potential chalk and providing readers with a pivot play on the main slate. With that in mind, let’s not waste any more time and jump right into it.



Jameis Winston $5,800 at Atlanta Falcons

Let’s face it, Winston is going to be chalk this week and rightfully so. Not only does he come at a cheap price tag, but he also draws a great matchup. This contest has a healthy over/under and the spread is low, so plenty of points should be scored and this is a potentially great game environment for Winston. The Falcons rank 28th in DVOA against the pass and are yielding the third most DKFP per game to the position. In addition, they are giving up over 275 passing yards per game and have allowed 12 passing touchdowns (2nd most). He has been very sharp against this defense in recent years, throwing for 10 touchdown passes the last three games against them and never less than three touchdowns in a game during that stretch. Clearly there is plenty to like about him this week, making him a fan favorite. For what it is worth, this is chalk worth eating.


Jared Goff $6,000 at Denver Broncos

The Broncos used to be a defense that I did not like picking on with a quarterback, but this season they have been a bit more lenient against the pass. They rank 18th in DVOA against the pass and are yielding 19.7 DKFP per game to opposing signal callers. Not to mention, they have surrendered nine passing touchdowns this season. Not that it really matters for Goff, who has been great this season, even against tough defenses this season. Aside from all of the strong weapons on this offense, Goff has a heck of a coach that puts him in situations to succeed. Goff has topped 20 DKFP in three of his first five games thus far, scoring fewer than 19 DKFP just once. He offers as much upside as anyone on this slate, considering how well this offense has played and will likely be low-owned this week. The Rams have one of the highest implied team totals, so they are expected to put up some points, putting Goff in a favorable situation.

Running Backs


Joe Mixon $7,500 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Mixon returned from injury last week, after missing a couple of games, and touched the ball 25 times after the team said they could limit him. Joke is on us. This lkjweek, however, there are no expected limitations and he finds himself in a potentially good game environment. This contest has one of the higher over/under’s of the slate and the Bengals have a healthy implied team total, along as being favored at home. That said, the matchup against the Steelers is not all that great as they are allowing the third fewest DKFP per game to running backs and just 67.6 rushing yards per game. I get it, Mixon is a high volume back and his ability to be efficient in between the tackles, as well as a pass catcher out of the backfield, increases the upside. However, this is chalk I am willing to pass up on this week.


Jordan Howard $6,500 at Miami Dolphins

Howard did not see a ton of action last week, touching the ball a season low 11 times, but in my opinion that had a lot to do with the game script, as the Bears had a big lead. Tarik Cohen had a great performance and certainly made a case for a bigger role, but I still believe this is Howard’s backfield. He draws a strong matchup against the Dolphins who are yielding over 100 rushing yards per game, along with 32.3 DKFP per game. In addition, this unit has allowed seven total touchdowns to the position. Prior to last game, Howard was averaging over 20 touches per game, not receiving fewer than 17 in a single game. I expect that type of volume this weekend, with a potential big game for him. He will go virtually unowned, making him an enticing pivot off of the popular Mixon. In addition, he costs $1,000 less. Lastly, the Bears are slight favorites on the road here, so the game script should favor Howard.

Wide Receivers


Julio Jones $7,900 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Full disclosure, this is chalk I am not fading. Jones is in one of the better situations of any player this weekend. The Bucs are giving up 51.5 DKFP per game (2nd most) to receivers, and have allowed 66 receptions for 742 yards and nine touchdowns (2nd most). In addition, the one-on-one matchup against Carlton Davis is a really good one, as Jones has a 48 percent advantage rating according to PFF and Davis grades out below average. He has torched Tampa Bay throughout his career, finding the pay dirt 10 times in 12 games, scoring eight of those in home games, which this game will take place. Jones leads the team in targets by a decent amount and remains top three in air yards in the league, so it is only a matter of time before he gets it going in the touchdown department. Aside from the phenomenal matchup, his price is too cheap in my opinion for the caliber of receiver he is. Let’s not overthink it here and plug him into your roster.


Keenan Allen $7,500 at Cleveland Browns

Allen has been somewhat quiet since the start of the season, but is coming off of a solid performance and has a nice matchup at hand. The Browns are yielding over 40 DKFP per game to opposing wide outs. They have also surrendered 76 receptions (4th most), 957 receiving yards (6th most), and five touchdowns to opposing receivers. T.J. Carrie, who ranks below average on PFF, is expected to cover Allen, a matchup that he has a 19 percent advantage rating in. Allen’s role on this offense is solidified, he accounts for 26 percent of the target share, as well as 17.9 percent of the red zone targets. He is in a favorable situation and a potential good game environment here, and should also go overlooked, making him an intriguing pivot if you plan to fade Julio Jones.

Tight Ends


Cameron Brate $3,700 at Atlanta Falcons

Brate is going to be very popular this week and rightfully so. O.J. Howard will sit this one out as he battles an MCL sprain, so Brate is expected to be on the field often in this game, which is expected to be high scoring. In addition, Jameis Winston has shown solid chemistry with Brate and it would not be surprising to see him look his way often in this contest. I will have exposure to Brate in my Tampa Bay stacks, but this is not the best of matchups as the Falcons have done a decent job of limiting the damage by opposing tight ends. Therefore, I will temper my expectations. With that said, there is still plenty of upside here at a low price and in a favorable game environment, so rostering him does make sense.


David Njoku $3,800 vs. Los Angeles Chargers

I like the idea of moving off of Brate and pivoting to Njoku in tournaments. Like Brate, the matchup for Njoku is not great, in fact, it is a very tough one, so there is certainly risk involved here. However, the volume has been there for Njoku since Baker Mayfield became the starter, as he has been peppered with 18 targets. His efficiency has also improved, as Njoku has topped 50 yards in each of the last two games, while totaling 33 in the first two games combined. He has now scored in double figures in his last two games and looks to keep rolling this week. I like the volume he has been receiving and with his talent, it is only a matter of time before he erupts for a big game.

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