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DFS data dive: The highest fantasy ceilings of Week 12

Landover, Maryland, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands the ball off to Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (7) against the Washington Football Team at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Our series of analyses on the single-game DraftKings showdown slates uses the combination of current projections, historical game results and similarity algorithms to simulate an upcoming game by looking back at the most similar historical matchups.

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In this analysis, I’m taking the same outline and applying it instead to the DFS main slate by projecting the likelihood each individual quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and D/ST option will be the highest scorer of the slate. In doing this, we can find the unlikely tournament plays who may not have been on your radar.


For each game on the DFS Sunday main slate, I looked through thousands of NFL matchups from 2014-2021 and found the closest analogies according to the following parameters: betting spread, over/under and average fantasy points scoring for the top-ranked positional players of both rosters (QB1, RB1, WR1, TE1).

Once I get the 75 most similar matchups for each upcoming game, I then simulate the main slate 10,000 times by randomly choosing one of the 75 matchups for each game. Then, I find the highest-scoring quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and D/ST on the slate.

The last step is totaling the number of times a particular team shows up as the top option for the slate at each position and dividing by the total simulations. That number is what I call “highest-scoring %” in the team-labeled bar charts below. Below the charts, I join the highest-projected player on that team for the position, then list their projected fantasy points and salaries for DraftKings and FanDuel.

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Pos Highest % Player Team DK Fpts DK Salary FD Fpts FD Salary
QB 13.81 Tom Brady TB 24.7 7,600 22.6 8,200
QB 10.43 Jimmy Garoppolo SF 19.2 5,700 17.8 6,500
QB 7.80 Matt Ryan ATL 20.7 5,500 19.2 7,100
QB 7.60 Justin Herbert LAC 22.5 6,600 20.9 7,800
QB 7.30 Kirk Cousins MIN 18.1 6,300 16.8 7,500
QB 6.61 Trevor Lawrence JAX 19.2 5,400 17.8 6,700
QB 6.11 Matthew Stafford LA 17.9 7,100 16.6 7,700
QB 5.03 Joe Burrow CIN 20.9 6,200 19.4 7,100
QB 4.66 Jalen Hurts PHI 22.3 7,300 21.0 8,400
QB 4.57 Aaron Rodgers GB 19.6 6,900 18.5 7,900
QB 4.49 Carson Wentz IND 17.6 5,800 16.4 7,300
QB 3.71 Cam Newton CAR 19.4 5,600 18.2 8,000
QB 3.63 Daniel Jones NYG 19.4 5,600 18.0 7,000
QB 3.45 Teddy Bridgewater DEN 19.4 5,300 18.2 7,100
QB 2.93 Mac Jones NE 18.1 5,400 17.0 6,800
QB 2.76 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 16.0 5,200 14.9 6,600
QB 2.43 Tua Tagovailoa MIA 17.4 5,500 16.4 6,900
QB 2.35 Tyrod Taylor HST 20.5 5,300 19.2 7,400
QB 1.57 Zach Wilson NYJ 16.7 5,100 15.7 6,200
QB 0.84 Ryan Tannehill TEN 17.4 6,100 16.6 7,200


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