Large field tournaments are what make DFS such an exciting attraction week after week. It takes just one lineup to hit it big and cash in for a five or six figure week (or seven if you’re “lucky” enough to win a millionaire contest). Building GPP lineups can be pretty labor-intensive with so many options throughout the league, and chasing upside can be defeating when your favorite life-changing lineup bombs and you can’t even see the cash line from the depths of your couch.
In order to speed up your lineup building process, I’ll be here weekly with some of my favorite tournament plays for the upcoming NFL weekend. Remember, all we’re chasing is upside in our tournament lineups, but check out more details regarding GPP lineup construction here.
Tournament Plays for FanDuel and DraftKings: NFL Week 5
Carson Palmer (ARI, FD: $7,200, DK: $5,900) at Philadelphia Eagles
Palmer makes for a great tournament option this week against an Eagles passing defense that’s allowed the second-most passing yards to opposing QBs. Arizona is currently first in the NFL with 45.8 pass attempts per game and second in passing yards per game with 292. Palmer has thrown for 325+ yards in three consecutive games, although only four touchdowns in those games. He’s attempted the second most red zone passing attempts (12), but only has one passing TD, tied for the fewest of any quarterback with more than four red zone attempts. He’ll face pressure as usual but through volume, the yards should be there once again for Palmer this week, and I like his chances of racking up a couple touchdown passes with his usage in the red zone.
Russell Wilson (SEA, FD: $8,000, DK: $7,100) at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have been shredded by opposing quarterbacks the last two weeks, allowing 584 passing yards and five touchdowns. This makes for an exciting matchup with Wilson who has been rolling the last few weeks. He’s tallied 668 passing yards and six touchdowns, 64 rushing yards and a touchdown, and has turned the ball over just twice in those games. This game has the second highest total of the weekend at 46.5, so I have confidence Wilson will put up some quality numbers. He’s priced as QB2 on both sites, so players might just decide to pay up for Rodgers, leaving Wilson likely under-owned at the position.
Todd Gurley (LAR, FD: $7,800, DK: $8,000) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Gurley might be my favorite tournament play of the slate due to the fact I think people will be scared away by the Seahawks defense. But Seattle has actually been vulnerable to the run this season, having allowed the fifth-most rushing yards and 5.1 yards per carry, which is fourth-worst in the NFL. Gurley has been a workhorse for new head coach Sean McVay, totaling 63 touches in the last two weeks. He’s seeing touch numbers like Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson have seen, and he’s taken advantage of them. He’s racked up 500 total yards in his last three games, finding the end zone six times in those contests. His price is still way too cheap on both sites, so feel confident sticking him in your lineups this weekend.
Carlos Hyde (SF, FD: $7,200, DK: $6,900) at Indianapolis Colts
The oft-injured back for the Niners has avoided (major) injury thus far and has been a workhorse in his own right. He’s seen 49 touches in the last two weeks, including 13 red zone rushing attempts and 10 targets in the passing game. The Colts have been decent in terms of allowing fantasy points to opposing RBs, but are 24th in DVOA against the rush. Hyde should find (fantasy) success on the ground, but his passing game involvement is what makes him a great tournament play this week. He’s run 90 pass routes through four weeks which is behind only James White and Andre Ellington at the RB position. He’s become pretty game-script independent and should excel in this matchup, so I love Hyde as a tournament option this week.
Isaiah Crowell (CLE, FD: $6,100, DK: $4,700) vs. New York Jets
Hardly anyone will play Crowell after he’s tallied just 184 total yards and 0 TDs through four games. Crowell just hasn’t gotten the chance to get going, however, as the Browns haven’t played a single offensive snap with the lead this season. It’s currently a pick ’em game in Cleveland, so Crowell might finally see some snaps with the lead. The Jets are currently 27th in DVOA against the rush and have allowed the fourth-most points to opposing running backs. Head coach Hue Jackson has repeatedly claimed confidence in Crowell, so I’m excited about his opportunity to breakout against a weak rush defense. It’s not an easy play by any means, but one that could separate you from nearly the entire field if he hits.
A.J. Green (CIN, FD: $8,300, DK: $8,200) vs. Buffalo Bills
Since Bill Lazor took over as offensive coordinator, Green has caught 15 of 20 targets for 174 yards and two touchdowns. He’ll face a Bills defense that has been stingy against WRs (sixth-fewest fantasy points), but they haven’t really shut down anyone of Green’s caliber. They shut down the Jets and Panthers, but surrendered six catches for 98 yards to Demaryius Thomas and only faced Julio Jones for about a quarter (still caught three for 30). Green will get overlooked with Jordy Nelson and Dez Bryant around his price range, so you’ll get low ownership on a player that’s had great production in the last two weeks. Sounds like a great tournament option to me.
Dez Bryant (DAL, FD: $7,800, DK: $6,500) vs. Green Bay Packers
The eighth-year vet sees his most favorable matchup of the season against the Packers. He’s seen shadow coverage from Patrick Peterson, Janoris Jenkins, and Trumaine Johnson thus far, with his only other game coming against the Broncos. He’ll now see coverage from Damarious Randall and Kevin King, who are rated as Pro Football Focus’ 103rd and 91st ranked coverage corners. This game has the highest total of the weekend (53) and it should be a high scoring affair on both sides, meaning Dak Prescott will look to target Bryant early and often. He also has the touchdown upside you’re looking for. Prescott has targeted Bryant six times inside the 10-yard line, the most of any receiver, and he’s caught 12 touchdowns in his last 17 games. This all adds up to big week for Bryant, and while he will be popular, it would just be a bad fantasy move not to play him.
DeVante Parker (MIA, FD: $6,100, DK: $6,600) vs. Tennessee Titans
I’m hoping people stay off the Dolphins after their abysmal offensive performance in the last two weeks (just six points combined against Jets and Saints). The Titans are currently 29th in DVOA against the pass and have allowed the most fantasy points to the WR position. Parker has seen at least eight targets in every game this season, 25.2% of the team’s target share, and 37.5% of Miami’s total receiving yardage, which is second behind only Antonio Brown. Tennessee has already allowed eight touchdowns to the WR position, so I love Parker’s chances of landing in the end zone at least once. He’s too cheap on both sites considering his usage and matchup, so I love him as a tournament play this weekend.
Jaron Brown (ARI, FD: $4,500, DK: $4,500) at Philadelphia Eagles
It’s pretty ridiculous that Brown is the minimum price on FanDuel after catching eight of 12 targets for 105 yards in Week 4. He’ll now get to square off against a secondary that’s allowed the most receiving yards and the third-most fantasy points to opposing WRs. Brown has actually seen more targets than Larry Fitzgerald in the last three weeks (29 to 28) and has played more than 93% of the snaps in each of the last two weeks. The Cardinals are averaging the most passes per game with 45.8, so Brown should get plenty of looks once again this weekend. His price and matchup are awfully desirable, making him an exciting tournament play.
Evan Engram (NYG, FD: $5,400, DK: $4,000) vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The rookie out of Ole Miss isn’t your standard first-year tight end, having already caught 19 of 30 targets for 200 yards. He’s becoming a more popular option for Eli Manning as well, as his targets have increased every week leading to 11 in Week 4. New York is committed to the passing game, throwing on nearly 70% of their plays thus far. While the Chargers have allowed just 5.2 points per game to TEs, Engram has more of a wide receiver build and route running style. He should see between 7-10 targets once again, so I like his chances of having a big game as a focal point in the Giants’ offense.
Zach Miller (CHI, FD: $4,900, DK: $2,800) at Minnesota Vikings
After seeing 15 targets in the first two weeks, Miller scrounged up just five looks from Mike Glennon in Weeks 3 and 4. He’ll now be catching passes from rookie Mitchell Trubisky, who I think will love having a big body to target against the Vikings. Minnesota has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and Chicago has the worst WR group in the NFL. I have a feeling this will be a bounce back game for Miller, making him an interesting tournament option at the near minimum price on both sites.
Baltimore Ravens (FD: $4,500, DK: $2,900) at Oakland Raiders
The Raiders will stick EJ Manuel at quarterback this week after Derek Carr sustained a back injury in Week 4. Baltimore is currently ranked second in overall defensive DVOA and second in pass DVOA. Manuel has coughed up 23 turnovers in 17 career starts, making him an enticing option to target a defense against. I don’t see Manuel having success with an offense that’s scored just 20 points in their last two games. Be confident in the Ravens defense this weekend, despite their long road trip.