Staking Bales: My Tournament Strategy for Week 8

Staking Bales: My Tournament Strategy for Week 8

By Jonathan Bales (Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Oct 25, 2013

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Jonathan Bales is a DraftKings Pro and the author of the Fantasy Football for Smart People book series. His latest book, How to Win at Daily Fantasy Sports, is a data-driven guide to winning on DraftKings. He is also (unofficially) sponsored by GrubHub.

Follow Jonathan Bales on Twitter: @BalesFootball.

I’ve been playing a lot of tournaments lately, mainly at DraftKings because they typically pay out the top quarter or top fifth of all entrants. And that’s if the tournaments fill. Sometimes they don’t, in which case you can see one-in-three entrants paid out.

That’s a really unique situation that a lot of sites don’t offer, and it has altered my tournament strategy. Basically, I can treat such tournaments as three-man leagues (with upside). Whereas I would typically heavily diversify my tournament lineups, I’m not doing that as much on DraftKings. I have no problem playing my top two or three quarterbacks, for example, and just rotating them in my lineups.

And while I’m always looking to stack in tournaments, pairing my quarterback with one or more of his receivers, I’m not forcing the issue if it’s not there. While I’m still looking for upside, it’s not required in many DraftKings tournaments to the same degree that it is on, say, FanDuel, where you regularly see tournaments that pay out just five percent of entrants.

Yesterday, I gave you some value plays on FanDuel and on DraftDay. Here are some players I think could have big games relative to their salaries across all sites.


Week 8 Values

QB Robert Griffin III @DEN

RGIII is back. After rushing 18 times in his first four games, Griffin has 20 carries in the past two. He’s totaled 161 yards on those rushes, including runs of 23 and 26 yards. The coaches seem more open to letting him use his legs as a weapon and, more important, Griffin isn’t hesitating to leave the pocket anymore.

When Griffin runs, he’s a top five fantasy quarterback. He’s going to see a whole lot of dropbacks this week, and thus a bunch of opportunities to rack up both passing and rushing yards.


RB Le’Veon Bell @OAK

Bell is one of the few mid-priced running backs who could see a heavy workload. He’s received at least 16 carries in his first three NFL games, and you just aren’t going to see other backs as cheap as him getting those kind of touches.

With a quality matchup in Oakland, Bell is a good bet to score at least once this week. The Steelers have also used Bell at least moderately in the passing game; he has eight receptions in his three games, which would put him on pace for 43 in a 16-game season.


WR Pierre Garcon @DEN

Quietly, Garcon is on pace for a huge number of targets with over 11 per game through Week 7. He’s been relatively efficient with those targets without scoring much (only two touchdowns) or generating many big plays; he has just one catch over 27 yards.

Due to his workload and matchup, Garcon is a safe enough option this week to stack with RGIII, regardless of the format. I typically avoid stacking in head-to-head or double-up leagues, but take a look at the over-under in the Redskins-Broncos game. It’s currently 59.5 at some sportsbooks, which is insane.

This game is going to be a shootout, and it’s really difficult to see Garcon getting fewer than double-digit targets. He’s one of the safer wide receiver plays this week.


TE Rob Gronkowski vs. MIA

In his first game of the 2013 season, Gronkowski received a career-high 17 targets. He caught only eight of them, but the heavy workload is a great sign. Tom Brady doesn’t have many weapons, so he’s going to look for his big tight end a whole lot.

Even without an ideal matchup, Gronkowski offers elite potential without a top-tier price tag on most sites. He’s a tremendous play in both heads-up leagues and tournaments.

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