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Identifying potential Week 14 blowup performances for DFS

Nov 22, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

In its most boiled-down form, DFS involves identifying the highest-scoring 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.

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 in large-field tournaments.

Being first and foremost a data company, PFF has the ability to build and train models not only on public data but also PFF specific data, such as receiving grades and pass routes run, among a litany of other variables. Utilizing specific variables, we can build a model tuned to predict performances where a pass-catcher goes over a certain site-specific scoring threshold. That threshold is defined at 25 DraftKings, 20 FanDuel or 20 Yahoo receiving fantasy points.

This model provides the percentage chance that 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 performances that we want to unearth in our DFS lineups. 

Each of the top three wide receiver scoring games popped up in the blowup model in Week 13. Corey Davis was the key differentiator in DFS — at less than 10% ownership — but Justin Jefferson and Davante Adams were also hits at under 20% ownership. Keke Coutee was the perfect player to round out DFS lineups, with his ownership being less dramatic than most anticipated. 

Darren Waller was our top tight end option using this model, and he delivered a rebound performance at under 10% ownership. It was close to a perfect week from this article, with very few dud performances among players identified. 

Totals continue to trend down — the mean this week is the fourth-lowest of 2020. Outside of the weather concerns in Week 8, this is the lowest total outside of the first two weeks of the season. The difference from previous weeks is that we actually have quite a few high-total games, but the low totals are dragging the mean down. This should once again spread ownership out among numerous pass-catching options.

Let’s take a look at the best bets to blow up on the main slate for DFS Week 14. 

DAVANTE ADAMS ($9,300)

Adams is reaching historic wide receiver salary levels; only three wide receiver weeks have had a higher salary in the past four years. No wide receiver has ever hit a salary of 10,000, but Adams could if he continues to garner his typical volume. He has seen over a 30% target share in six of nine games where he has run a route on at least 80% of dropbacks. 

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