DFS Air Yards Buy-Low Model: Week 2

Sep 12, 2018
DFS Air Yards Buy-Low Model: Week 2

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Each week I'll be posting the results of my Air Yards Buy-Low model in this space. The Buy-Low model looks at players who received opportunity in the form of targets and air yards and offers an expected fantasy points value based on those inputs. It then highlights which players underperformed relative to that expectation. The key insight behind the model is that opportunity is sticky and production in the form of catches, touchdowns and shot plays are not. You want to buy the signal and fade the noise. The model helps us do just that.

Week 2 in the NFL is filled with noise. Freak performances in Week 1 fantasy point totals lead to players you should probably never consider rostering looking at least somewhat enticing. In GPPs, especially, you need to look beyond the scores and identify value plays that are low-owned that can set your team apart. Here is a list of receivers and running backs who underperformed their volume in Week 1 that the model thinks could be in store for a bounce-back week in the near future. Maybe even this week.

Air Yards Week 2 Buy Lows
Player Predicted FP Actual FP Diff.
Adam Thielen 17.6 16.2 -1.4
Corey Davis 14.9 12.2 -2.7
George Kittle 14.5 14.0 -0.5
Robert Woods 12.3 6.7 -5.6
Christian McCaffrey 11.7 10.5 -1.2
Allen Robinson 11.2 10.1 -1.1
Zach Ertz 11.1 9.8 -1.3
Jakeem Grant 11.1 8.8 -2.3
Kelvin Benjamin 10.7 2.0 -8.7
Marvin Jones 10.7 9.4 -1.3
Josh Gordon 9.9 8.7 -1.2
Sterling Shepard 9.9 9.8 -0.1
Devin Funchess 9.6 7.1 -2.5
Travis Benjamin 9.3 3.5 -5.8
Pierre Garcon 9.0 4.1 -4.9
Chris Hogan 8.9 2.1 -6.8
Danny Amendola 8.4 6.6 -1.8
David Johnson 8.2 8.0 -0.2
Ricky Seals-Jones 8.0 4.9 -3.1
Donte Moncrief 8.0 2.4 -5.6
Courtland Sutton 7.8 6.5 -1.3
Trent Taylor 7.7 6.8 -0.9
Travis Kelce 7.6 1.6 -6.0
Albert Wilson 7.5 7.4 -0.1
Paul Richardson 7.5 6.2 -1.3
Deonte Thompson 7.4 5.7 -1.7
David Njoku 7.3 4.3 -3.0
Mohamed Sanu 7.2 5.8 -1.4
Chris Carson 7.2 5.8 -1.4
Darren Sproles 7.1 6.2 -0.9

Key Takeaways

  • Adam Thielen ($7,100 DK/$7,600 FD) makes the list despite a very strong Week 1 simply because the model believes that a player who saw as much opportunity as he did should have scored a TD. Thielen once again looks like the receiver to own in Minny. Diggs is no slouch, and they are very close in terms of talent, but Thielen simply runs routes that earn targets at a higher clip. Eventually, that opportunity will blow up and Thielen will hang a crooked number on the board.
  • Corey Davis ($5,100 DK/$6,300 FD) had a decent game but he underperformed his opportunity by a massive amount. The major question mark here is at QB—if Blaine Gabbert is under center moving forward even I will be fading my own model. If Mariota is a go, however, I would be interested in Davis as a low-owned flier.
  • Robert Woods ($5,900 DK, $6,500 FD) saw 9 targets and 161 air yards in Week 1, yet only pulled down 3 receptions. He will be a sneaky play in Week 2 and even if his volume falls off slightly he could still be in for a massive game. Woods has one of the highest spreads of predicted vs. actuals PPR totals.
  • The other player who woefully underperformed his volume was Kelvin Benjamin ($4,600 DK/$5,400 FD). He will be a massively low-owned contrarian play in Week 2, but he could pay off handsomely. The 8 targets and 195 air yards that Benjamin saw last week is typically good for at least 10 PPR points—Benjamin put up just two PPR points. Positive regression is coming, despite the play at the QB position. Editors note: Per SportsInfoSolutions, Josh Allen threw deep at a higher rate than any quarterback in Week 1. With a full game of reps, Benjamin could see even bigger numbers in the air yards column.
  • Pierre Garcon ($5,000 DK/$5,600 FD) and Chris Hogan ($5,400 DK/$6,200 FD) were the correct plays in Week 1. They got the volume, they just didn't put up the points. Garcon dropped a sure TD in the end zone, and Hogan caught just one ball on six targets. Both are highly likely to continue to see volume in their respective offenses. Better days are coming.
  • Finally, do not panic over Travis Kelce ($5,900 DK/$6,800 FD). He saw solid opportunity and his day in the sun in the Chiefs offense is coming. Perhaps even this week after a 6-target 92-air-yard performance.

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

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