Joey Ricotta | November 24th, 2019
Welcome to the GPP/Tournament Plays article for Week 12. Let’s start by saying, any picks used or mentioned for cash games can be played in tournaments. I think that’s an important thing to know and can sometimes get confused whenever the two are mentioned separately. For that reason, I’ve tried to avoid mentioning my cash game plays for this article.
There’s merit to using or fading certain players in tournaments, whether it be ownership expectations, bust potential, etc. But, as I said earlier, just about all of the cash game plays are viable for tournaments. If you’d like to see who I like for those types of contests, you can check that out here. Getting a mixture of popular and lower owned players could be the best way to go. With that said, let’s get to some other picks I like for tournaments.
Baker Mayfield ($5,900 DK, $7,500 FD)
Looking back on last week, I should’ve played a lot more Josh Allen than I wound up playing. The matchup against the Miami Dolphins is a no brainer. Sure, Baker has struggled for most of the season. But he’s actually been much improved the last three weeks. Over the last three weeks, he’s thrown five TDs, zero INTs, and had a rating above 90 in each of those games. The Phins allow the sixth-most DK points per game to opposing QBs (22.6). And they’ve allowed the third-highest opponent average passer rating (105.6), behind only the Bengals and Cardinals. This all sets up a huge game for Baker and the somewhat rising ownership doesn’t really bother me.
Ezekiel Elliott ($7,500 DK, $8,100 FD)
How often do we get to play Ezekiel Elliott on the main slate at less than 10% ownership? That very well could be the case today. Coach Bill Belichick does a great job shutting down his opponents’ main offensive weapon. The New England Patriots have a very good defense, ranking number one in overall DVOA. But they aren’t as great when it comes to taking away the run (13th in rush DVOA). The weather in Foxborough looks wet with a decent amount of wind. I’m expecting the Cowboys to attempt to lean heavily on Zeke. Along with seeing the fourth-most snaps percentage-wise out of any running back in the league, Zeke also handles nearly 85% of his team’s red-zone carries. If the Cowboys are going the score at all, I’ll put my money on Zeke being the guy to do it. I’ll be overweight on him in tournaments.
Jaylen Samuels ($7,200 DK, $6,900 FD)
I get it. Samuels is overpriced. But he is getting extremely overlooked in this matchup. Samuels may never be a traditional running back that can be depended on to carry the ball on the ground a ton. However, he is a very good receiving back. The Cincinnati Bengals are allowing the fourth-most DK points to opposing running backs (second-most on the slate). James Conner has been ruled out. JuJu Smith-Schuster has also been ruled out. Diontae Johnson has cleared concussion protocol, but you have to think he might be on somewhat of a pitch count or snaps limit. Benny Snell Jr. looks to be returning this week. He could be eased into the mix and given a lighter workload as well.
Trey Edmunds actually played more snaps than Samuels did last week against the Cleveland Browns. However, Samuels had 10 touches compared to Edmunds’ six, and he touched the ball on 40% of the snaps he played. A much higher usage rate than Edmunds who touched the ball on less than 20% of the snaps he played. In PPR formats like DraftKings, Samuels holds more value. He has a 13 catch game under his belt already and caught a touchdown last week.
Jeff Driskel has been on my radar all week. I don’t mind using him naked (without a receiver) in cash games, but pairing him up with a receiver or two in tournaments could maximize his potential. Bo Scarbrough has been getting touted as if he’s the second coming of Jim Brown. The Redskins secondary is vastly overrated because they have a former stud playmaker by the name of Josh Norman. Golladay and Jones could easily exploit Norman and the rest of the bunch. Plus, it’s not like Jones and Golladay haven’t erupted before. Jones’ four TD game against the Minnesota Vikings and Golladay’s four games over 100 yards receiving, proves that.
Josh Gordon ($4,200 DK, $5,100 FD)
There are few players performing as well or better than Russell Wilson right now. Gordon made his Seahawks debut in their Week 10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He only made two catches, but he also didn’t play many snaps and was still getting accustomed to the playbook. Fresh off Seattle’s bye week, I expect Gordon to be more caught up to speed. Dealing with a shin contusion that caused him to stay two nights at Stanford Hospital, Tyler Lockett has logged limited practices all week. It sounds like he’s going to suit up for this contest. However, a conservative approach, even if that means a pitch count as far as snaps go, isn’t out of the question. Russell Wilson throws one of the best deep balls in the game and Gordon can go up and get it with the best of them. Don’t be overly surprised to see Gordon burn a very mediocre Eagles secondary for a score or two.
Jacob Hollister ($4,300 DK, $5,800 FD)
Russell Wilson loves throwing to his Tight End’s. It really doesn’t matter who it is at this point. One of them gets traded or goes down with an injury and another one steps in to contribute. Over the last two games, Hollister has built a nice rapport with Wilson. He’s been targeted in the red zone twice in each game (four times total) and has reeled in 12 of 16 total passes for 99 yards and three touchdowns. Hollister’s price has come up to a point where many people don’t want to play him. Two touchdown upside at lower ownership? Perfect.
For the most part, the defenses I’m targeting in tournaments are the exact same as the ones I’ll be using in cash games. Generally, for tournaments, I’ll build lineups using players and stacks I like and use whatever remaining salary I have on defense. This is always the last position I fill out, although I may use mixtures of the same lineup with different defenses to have a better shot at striking gold, given the unpredictability of it.
- Cincinnati Bengals ($2,100 DK, $3,800 FD)
- Denver Broncos ($2,400 DK, $3,800 FD)
- Atlanta Falcons ($3,500 DK, $4,300 FD)
- Jacksonville Jaguars ($2,800 DK, $4,200 FD)
- Pittsburgh Steelers ($4,000 DK, $5,000 FD)
For further defense analysis and picks, you can check out my cash game article here.
Favorite Game Stacks
Miami Dolphins @ Cleveland Browns
Baker Mayfield was among the most popular names to be waiver wire claims this week and for good reason. The Miami Dolphins let opposing offenses pretty much do whatever they want against them. I’ll be stacking Baker with Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and Kareem Hunt, while also, using plenty of Nick Chubb. To run some of those stacks back, I’ll be using the Dolphins’ number one downfield threat, DeVante Parker and Allen Hurns who saw 87% of the snaps in Week 11 and 89% in Week 10. Kalen Ballage doesn’t seem very talented, but still is getting the majority of the work for now. I don’t mind using him as a dart throw in large-field tournaments.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
Get ready for fireworks. Both featured QBs love to chuck the ball all around the yard, and we shouldn’t expect anything different in this game. Look for the usual suspects to have big games once again. Jameis Winston, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans on the Bucs’ side. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley for the Falcons. Feel free to mix and match all six of those guys into different lineups. It’s chalky but well warranted. Deep sleepers include Ronald Jones, Cameron Brate, and Brian Hill. Prepare yourself. Using the last three on this list is not for the faint-hearted. They are definitely risky.
Honorable Mentions: CAR @ NO, DET @ WAS, OAK @ NYJ
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