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Identifying potential Week 7 blowup performances for DFS

Sep 13, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (83) attempts to catch a pass in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

In its most boiled-down form, DFS involves the process of 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.

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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 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. This 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 the historical opportunity they have been given. 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. 

Week 6 was another quality week from the blowup model. The different sites cause some salary discrepancies, but Justin Jefferson, Will Fuller V and A.J. Brown were all plays on various sites, according to the model. Julio Jones was the only real miss, but his situation tough to project all week given his questionable tag. 

Anthony Firkser was somehow the top-scoring tight end in Week 6. Although I didn’t write up a blurb, he was popping up on all three site charts as the best low-priced tight end option. At less than 1% ownership, these are the exact plays that the blowup model can help identify that lead you to the top of DFS contests. Let’s continue to identify some hits as we head into Week 7.

KENNY GOLLADAY ($6,700)

Since returning in Week 3, Golladay has seen 23% of the team targets while being targeted on 24% of his routes. He has run a route on 84% of team dropbacks, making him the clear No. 1 option in this passing offense. The real eye-opening number is his air yards market share, which sits at 33.2%. In a paced-up game with the third-highest total, Golladay will blow up if he gets close to 10 targets. 

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