Welcome to the weekly tournament plays article for this week’s 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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Patrick Mahomes ($8,000) – Tyreek Hill ($8,000) – Nick Chubb ($6,600) – Austin Hooper ($3,800)
Cleveland has now allowed 300-plus yards and multiple touchdowns to opposing passers in six games this year and are coming off matchups against the Steelers where their secondary allowed Mason Rudolph and Ben Roethlisberger to combine for an average of 408 yards and three touchdowns. Cleveland gets some help back with CB Denzel Ward in the lineup here, but it likely won’t matter much. Even with Ward healthy, the Browns gave up the ninth-most yards and fifth-most touchdowns to opposing WRs this year, and the Brown’s are still short practice time given the teams COVID-19 situation. This is all to say that the stage might be set for a Tyreek Hill-Mahomes blowout game, of course. The two combined for 55 or more DKFP three weeks in a row between Weeks 9-12 against weaker secondaries, and with Hill off a week of rest, his injured hamstring should be good to go so he can resume his role as the focal point of this offense — a role which has seen him get 10 or more targets in six of the last eight games he’s started and finished.
On the flip side, we have an equally dynamic player — albeit completely different sort of player — in Nick Chubb to target on the Browns. The Browns still deploy Chubb in a timeshare of sorts, but DFS players need to quit worrying about the snap count and focus on the pure upside here. On top of leading the league in YPC among RBs, Chubb has taken a more dynamic role in the offense down the stretch as he’s seen 14 red-zone touches to Kareem Hunt’s four in the Browns last three games, and he also produced four or more receptions in two of his last three games. Regardless of game situation here, the Browns have proven of late they’re smart enough to keep deploying their best offensive player in new ways, and the Chiefs also gave up the eighth-most DKFP per game to opposing RBs, making it a pime matchup.
Considering the game total here, you also have to think Austin Hooper is in a spot to again see 10-plus targets. The TE comes in averaging 9.25 targets over the last four Browns games and has seemingly helped suck up some of the volume from the Odell Beckham departure. Kansas City allowed a 71% completion rate to TEs this year and nine touchdowns to the position. At 4k less than Travis Kelce ($7,800) this week, I dare say he’s the better points-per-dollar, play and with the Browns +9.5 underdogs, may even be in a position to challenge him for high scorer at the position this week.
Just Missed: Tom Brady ($6,300) – Chris Godwin ($6,100) – Rob Gronkowski ($3,600)
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Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints ($6,300)
Brady comes into this game a man on a mission. The Tampa Bay QB has now posted passer ratings of 104 or better in five straight games and continues to outperform his salary for DraftKings owners with a 29.90 point average over his last four games. While they started the season a little slower than expected, Tampa has also turned into one of the heaviest passing offenses over the last part of the year. Tampa threw the ball 39.2 times per game in the regular season and faces a New Orleans team who remains easier to throw against than run.
Despite allowing just 217 yards against per game this year, teams still threw the ball 34.6 times per game vs. New Orleans, the 16th-most in the league. The poor performances from early in the year against the Saints should also help keep sentiment low on Brady, but the recent form and volume here should outweigh those results for you, especially given his cheap price. He’s a good pay-down option if you’re looking to save some cash off the top plays at QB.
Just Missed: Baker Mayfield ($5,300)
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Rams ($6,800)
While most of the media in the Rams/Packers is focusing on the injury issues for L.A. at QB, one of the more underrated stories here is the status of Aaron Donald, who sustained a rib injury in their Wild Card Weekend win. It appears Donald will play, but he hasn’t practiced yet this week and only played 30 snaps last week against Seattle. Donald being even slightly limited would really open up the door for Aaron Jones to potentially do good things after the Packers RB came on nicely at the end of the season, averaging 6.25 YPC over his last four games. The Rams defense is stifling, but they were slightly more vulnerable to the run this year and gave up 81 receptions to opposing RBs — the 13th most in the league.
Expect the Packers to take advantage of any Donald missed snaps here with Aaron Jones who averaged 7.6 Y/R this year. Green Bay also comes in as -6.5 favorites here and are more likely to be up late in this game than down, which would play into Jones’ owners’ hands, as well. This game does set up as potentially the lowest scoring of the slate. But, if Green Bay wins, it could be on the back of their top RB here who will likely be lower-owned than his counterpart on the Rams this week.
Just Missed: Kareem Hunt ($4,800)
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints ($6,100)
There’s an obvious theme here this week and it centers around the Tampa Bay passing game, which has evolved as the season has progressed and meant big fantasy production for the Bucs WRs down the stretch. Over the last five games, Tampa WRs have now caught 13 touchdown passes, terrorizing opposing secondaries on a weekly basis. For his part, Godwin comes in as the most consistent of the big three for the Bucs. The third-year player is playing well over 80% of the snaps week-to-week and led them in targets with 12 against Washington, putting up 79 yards and a touchdown.
Godwin is the target here for numerous reasons, but mainly the matchup — which could see him primarily lining up in the slot across from with Saints nickel defender Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who rates out as the slowest and poorest graded Saints DB. Godwin burned the Saints last year playing a similar role alongside Mike Evans ($6,500) for three touchdowns in two games, which included a 7-125-2 line in Week 5. Tampa should be looking to exploit the mismatch here with their explosive receiver, making him a great target for GPP lineups.
Just Missed: John Brown ($4,600)
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints ($3,600)
As mentioned in the stacks section, I do think your top two TE options on the slate can be found in the Kansas City-Cleveland matchup. However, if you’re looking for lower ownership and a player with legitimate upside from a different game, Gronk is a solid pivot for big-field GPP lineups. Now in a bit of timeshare with Cameron Brate ($2,900) — who can also be considered here — Gronk should find himself outside the top five owned TEs this week, but may be in a spot to be more heavily utilized against a solid New Orleans secondary. The Saints allowed nine touchdowns to the TE position this year and also gave up the third-most red-zone targets to TEs on the season.
Teams often choose to throw away from New Orleans’ elite corners in the red zone and you have to expect with Brady and Gronk’s connection, that trend could continue here. Over the last eight games Gronk now has 32 targets and four touchdowns to his credit, and sits second on Tampa in red zone targets. While the touchdowns went to Brate last week, I give the slight edge to Gronk given he’s consistently played more snaps the last three weeks and, of course, has history with Brady.
Just Missed: Cameron Brate ($2,900)
Green Bay Packers ($3,900) vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Packers enter this game as -6.5 favorites and will likely be going up against a QB in Jared Goff ($5,200) who is far less than 100%. Goff has been a good target for opposing DST’s even when he was healthy down the stretch, throwing for 7 interceptions in his last six games of the year. While you may scoff at paying this price for a Packers defensive unit that allowed over 23.1 points per game, the Pack really tightened up on this side of the ball down the stretch and have allowed 16 points or less in four of their last five games.
Furthermore, this has been a solid unit to target at home this year given they have nearly double the amount of sacks when playing at Lambeau Field (27) than they do on the road. The Packers weren’t an elite turnover unit in 2020, but they have created five over their last three games and face an injured QB here who fluttered a lot of passes last week and was lucky to end the game without through a single interception. With some good value options at TE and WR this week, fitting the Packers in at DST should give you more unique builds since most will likely feel they’re overvalued and opt for higher variance plays with cheaper salaries.
Just missed: Buccaneers ($3,100)
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