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The best DFS stacks & blowup targets in Week 18 of the NFL season

Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) runs for yards after the catch against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

DFS success boils down to finding the highest-scoring fantasy football players at each position in a given week. With close to 20 playable options at the quarterback and tight end positions, along with even more at the running back and wide receiver positions, it is a feat in itself to identify one position correctly.

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To finish at the top of a DFS contest, you must hit on basically all skill positions and circumvent the randomness associated with selecting defenses. Doing all of this while also fitting under the confines of a salary cap makes DFS one of the most difficult setups to beat consistently, especially for large-field tournaments.


One of the best ways to find value opportunities on a given slate is to start with the salary-adjusted expectation for all players. DraftKings has been around for over six years, so we have a worthwhile dataset of player salaries and their resulting fantasy performances. By figuring out the expectation based on each player’s salary and position, we can compare their salary-expected fantasy performance to PFF’s fantasy projections in order to highlight the best value plays based on salary.

Player Position Team DK Salary Salary Expectation Proj. Fantasy Pts Proj. Above Salary Expectation
Sony Michel HB LA 6000 13.30 20.18 6.88
Allen Robinson II WR CHI 4000 6.96 12.18 5.22
Marquez Valdes-Scantling WR GB 4500 8.53 13.20 4.67
Allen Lazard WR GB 4600 8.85 13.44 4.59
Brandin Cooks WR HST 6300 14.21 18.46 4.25
Ricky Seals-Jones TE WAS 2800 3.86 8.01 4.15
D.J. Moore WR CAR 5800 12.63 16.71 4.08
KhaDarel Hodge WR DET 3200 4.44 8.40 3.96
Cole Kmet TE CHI 3400 5.75 9.51 3.76
Marvin Jones Jr. WR JAX 4300 7.90 11.63 3.73
Olamide Zaccheaus WR ATL 3600 5.70 9.36 3.66


Utilizing specific variables, we can build a model tuned to predict performances where a pass-catcher goes over a certain site-specific scoring threshold. For DraftKings, this is set at 25 fantasy points.

This model provides the percentage chance each receiver will meet or exceed our fantasy-point threshold for the site given their historical opportunity. The model won’t be right on every player, but it is useful in identifying the blow-up performances we want to unearth in our DFS lineups.


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