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.
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Gardner Minshew II ($5,800), Marlon Mack ($5,300), DJ Chark ($6,300), Chris Thompson ($4,000) - Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Jaguars’ QBs excelled against the Colts last season, with Gardner Minshew throwing for 296 yards and three TDs against them in Week 17. The second-year QB had a much better rookie season than most people realize, posting the best deep ball percentage in the league in 2019, per PFF. Indianapolis projects as one of the weaker secondaries for 2020 and allowed Minshew’s top WR in DJ Chark to go for an 8/104/2 line against them in Week 11 last season. With the Jags set as 7.5-point home underdogs on DraftKings Sportsbook, Chark projects for a healthy volume of targets in a matchup that produced a ceiling-type game from him last year. Adding in veteran RB Chris Thompson to a three-man Jags passing stack also makes sense. The Colts allowed the most receptions to the RB position last year and the receiving back looks set for a big role early given the Jags’ lack of depth.
These two teams produced two higher-scoring games last year, totaling 46 and 58 points respectively, so I also like targeting veteran RB Marlon Mack as a run it back play on the other side. He might lose some snaps to rookie Jonathan Taylor ($5,800) but has been dubbed the starter for Week 1. The Jaguars allowed the eighth-most DKFP to opposing RBs last season, with Mack rushing for three TDs and 6.4 YPC on 29 attempts against them last season. Mack’s ownership should remain low due to Taylor’s presence, and he’s a great way to complete this stack and attack this potentially explosive game in GPP lineups.
Just Missed: Russell Wilson ($7,000) – DK Metcalf ($5,800) – Hayden Hurst ($4,300)
Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, $5,400
There’s no QB on the Week 1 slate with a bigger range of outcomes than Trubisky. The beleaguered first-round pick from 2018 barely edged out Nick Foles in a preseason camp battle and will certainly have a short leash if he struggles early. That said, Trubisky’s Week 1 price and matchup makes the risk here palatable. The Lions are a candidate to show some positive regression on defense in 2020 but they’re also a team that Trubisky has torched over his career. The mobile QB threw for six TDs vs. just one INT in two games vs. the Lions last season and has now posted 330 yards or more in three career starts vs. Detroit. The matchup for number one wide receiver Allen Robinson ($6,500) looks solid as he’ll likely be matched up against a rookie in Jeff Okudah. The Bears also figure to be passing more than usual here as they may not have a traditional every down back available, with David Montgomery ($5,900; groin) potentially out, so hybrids Tarik Cohen ($4,600) and Cordarrelle Patterson ($3,400) may get the bulk of the workload. The negative sentiment and risk factor are sure to keep ownership low but the upside here looks legitimate. It feels weird to type, but Trubisky’s price makes him a great GPP target in Week 1.
Just Missed: Russell Wilson ($7,000)
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Chargers, $6,700
Mixon is coming off a strong finish to 2019 where he rushed for over 100 yards in three of his last four games. The fourth-year back touched the ball no fewer than 23 times in the Bengals’ last four games of 2019 and with a rookie QB under center, the Bengals could be looking to get him a similar workload early in 2020. Despite entering Week 1 as 3-point underdogs on DraftKings Sportsbook against the Chargers, the potential for an upset here feels strong. The Chargers weren’t a great rush defense in 2019 and lost their best defensive player recently in safety Derwin James. Los Angeles allowed the second-most fantasy points per game last season to opposing RBs, making this a solid matchup for Mixon on paper. The low sentiment on the Bengals should keep his ownership down and his sub-7k price tag is easy enough to swallow.
Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles at Washington, $4,800
Some of Scott’s value in the Eagles’ Week 1 matchup versus the Washington Football Team relies on the health of lead back Miles Sanders ($6,800). Sanders would be a great play in his own right here but missed a lot of time late in training camp with a lower-body injury. Even if Sanders is active for Week 1, the Eagles seem unlikely to feed him a huge workload given the lack of conditioning. Scott was extremely effective for the Eagles down the stretch in 2019, collecting 25 receptions and four rushing TDs in the Eagles’ final four regular season games of 2019. If the Eagles—who are 6-point road favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook—get up early on Washington, you could see a lot of Scott late in this game, which gives him some appeal as a GPP flyer or as part of an Eagles GPP stack.
Just Missed: Josh Jacobs ($6,800), J.D. McKissic ($4,000)
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings, $7,300
The Packers’ top wideout looks set for a big 2020 season and has a fantastic matchup right off the hop. The Vikings’ secondary has major question marks at cornerback this year after losing three of its top corners from 2019 over the offseason. The Vikings will essentially be marching out a group of unproven players like former UDFA Holten Hill, who missed eight games last year due to substance and PED abuse. Adams was nearly unstoppable after coming back from injury in 2019 and posted 160 yards and 138 yards, respectively, in two tough playoff matchups against the 49ers and Seahawks. Adams owned the Vikes last year as well, posting 100+ yards against them in both matchups, and has either posted 100+ yards or a TD against them in six straight games. Don’t be afraid to pay up here in Week 1.
Curtis Samuel, Carolina Panthers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $4,600
Samuel was dismissed as a bit piece by some Carolina media members this offseason but was also talked up positively by his coaches, so the range of outcomes here for him in Week 1 feels extremely wide. While his actual Week 1 role is up for debate, he seems likely to move around the formation quite a bit when he’s on the field and should get lots of tasty matchups against Vegas slot corner Lamarcus Joyner in Week 1, a player who currently carries the fourth-worst PFF rating of any starting corner. Samuel was a hybrid player in college at Ohio State whose 4.3 speed allowed him to score 15 rushing TDs and average 7.5 yards per carry. If the new coaching staff decides to utilize him more in space, or he just excels due to Teddy Bridgewater ($5,900) being a massive QB upgrade, the matchup here could lead to a great opening week.
Just Missed: Allen Robinson ($6,500), Chris Conley ($4,000)
Hayden Hurst, Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks, $4,300
Acquired by Atlanta from Baltimore in the offseason, the 27-year-old Hurst never acted as the primary ball-catcher for the Ravens but is a former first-round draft pick who caught over 40 passes in his last two years in college. Hurst is slated for an every down role for the Falcons and will be entering an offense where TE Austin Hooper ($5,100) was able to nab over 70 receptions in each of his final two seasons with Atlanta. The potential for Hurst to act as a high-volume receiver right from the get go certainly exists here and he has a fantastic match-up Week 1 against the Seahawks, in a game with second largest O/U total (49) on DraftKings Sportsbook on the main slate. Seattle also allowed the third most overall receptions and second most fantasy points per game to the TE position last season. Don’t be shocked if double-H starts 2020 fast in what has the potential to be one of the highest scoring games on the slate.
Just Missed: Greg Olsen ($4,000)
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins, $3,200
The Patriots begin the 2020 season at home as 6-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook against the Dolphins. This would often have been a spot they would have opened as double-digit favorites in the past but sentiment on the Patriots this year is the lowest it has been in over a decade. While a lot has changed about this Patriots DST unit since a year ago, some key pieces—like defensive player of the year Stephon Gilmore—remain. Miami beat New England late in the season last year but will still be starting journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,300), who has 37 INTs the last two years, here against one of the best defensive head coaches in history. This is a solid pay-up spot at home for a unit who was second in the league in turnovers created last season.
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons, $2,400
Seattle added highly-rated corner Quinton Dunbar and one of the best safeties in the game in Jamal Adams to their roster over the offseason. This was already a unit who ranked sixth in turnovers last year and averaged 10.2 DKFP in road starts for 2019. The matchup against the Falcons isn’t the greatest on paper, but Matt Ryan ($6,700) did struggle at the start of 2019, throwing nine INTs across the Falcons’ first eight games. Seattle comes in as small 1.5-point road favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook and has the tools on defense to slow down Atlanta’s higher-powered offense and perhaps create some havoc in what is projected to be a close game. They’re a solid pay-down target this week in GPPs.
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