TJ's #Taek: Week 12 NFL DFS Recap

Dec 01, 2020
TJ's #Taek: Week 12 NFL DFS Recap

Week 12’s winning lineups from the biggest contests on FanDuel and DraftKings can be used to tease out lineup-building strategies and offer clues on how you could have landed on a similar team. Reviewing your hits and misses each week is imperative if you want to be a profitable DFS player but examining winning lineups is also a useful exercise in cultivating a winning approach.

DraftKings Week 12 Millionaire Winning Lineup

Injuries and COVID concerns wreaked havoc on Week 12 but that didn’t mean there weren’t some predictable outcomes—this week’s winning lineup carried an average ownership of 14.8%, the second-highest of the season. After three straight weeks of winning lineups rostering three or fewer correlated players, Week 12’s winner had seven players with some correlation to another player in the lineup. This was just the third winner this season to use a quarterback priced below $6,000 and only the fourth to use a running back in the flex.

What Were the Indicators for the Low-Owned Plays?

The most obvious differentiator in this lineup was the Browns’ stack, which paired up a battery with two players who combined for just 4.2% ownership. Rostering Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry offered massive leverage off of a Cleveland backfield that had two running backs in over 10% of lineups with Nick Chubb on nearly 20% of Millionaire rosters. The Browns went into the week with the fourth-highest implied total of the week and were facing a Jaguars defense ranked in the bottom 10 in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to every skill position. Landry had seen nearly 30% of Cleveland’s targets since Odell Beckham’s injury.

Derrick Henry was a pivot off of the uber-chalk Dalvin Cook, who was in over 40% of Millionaire lineups. Although their salaries were $1,600 apart, Henry was priced as the RB3 on the slate. The Colts ranked as a top-10 defense against running backs going into the week but they were down both starting tackles and linebacker. Henry is almost always in GPP consideration when he has a low ownership projection, regardless of matchup.

FanDuel Week 12 Sunday Million Winning Lineup

When referencing a stars-and-scrubs lineup approach, it’s usually in reference to salary, but this week’s Sunday Million winner took a barbell approach to ownership, rostering just three players in fewer than 10% of lineups but each of those players was in fewer than 1.5% of lineups.

In the Saints’ first game with Taysom Hill at quarterback, Latavius Murray had one more touch than Alvin Kamara. With New Orleans set up to blow out an opponent that didn’t have a quarterback on the roster, riding the trend towards Murray proved to be a risk worth $500,000.

Trey Burton hasn’t played many snaps but he has been targeted at the highest rate of any Colt besides Nyheim Hines, and Burton was likely used as a leverage play off of the chalky Hines.

The only plausible reason to use Atlanta’s defense was as a huge salary-saver in a week where most rosters would have a defense priced above $4,000.

TJ’s Final #Taek

It’s impossible to predict a slate-breaking performance like Tyreek Hill had on Sunday, but it isn’t hard to narrow down which players have week-winning performances in their range of outcomes. In the Chiefs offense, Hill may be the outlier of all outliers but going into Week 12, few players were seeing the combination of volume and high-leverage targets that Hill was. In the month leading up to Week 12, Hill was one of four players averaging at least 10 targets per game with at least 10 deep targets (15+ yards downfield) in that span.

Narrowing down the pool of players that can actually break a slate and not just hit tournament value is important.

Zooming out beyond the few double-digit target receivers, here are all the players averaging at least eight targets per game over the last month along with their number of deep targets. Those with the most high-leverage opportunities to go along with their volume are potential slate breakers

Player Pos Team G TGTs/G Deep Targets
Tyreek Hill WR KC 3 15.7 13
Denzel Mims WR NYJ 3 8.0 12
Justin Jefferson WR MIN 4 8.0 11
Mike Evans WR TB 4 8.8 10
Chase Claypool WR PIT 3 10.3 10
Davante Adams WR GB 4 10.3 9
D.J. Chark WR JAX 3 8.3 9
Tee Higgins WR CIN 3 8.0 9
DeVante Parker WR MIA 4 9.3 8
Robby Anderson WR CAR 4 8.8 8
Marvin Jones WR DET 4 8.0 8
Terry McLaurin WR WAS 4 8.3 7
Diontae Johnson WR PIT 3 12.3 7
Allen Robinson WR CHI 3 10.3 6
Calvin Ridley WR ATL 2 9.0 6
Travis Kelce TE KC 3 10.0 5
Robert Woods WR LAR 3 11.0 4
Cooper Kupp WR LAR 3 8.3 4
John Brown WR BUF 2 9.5 4
Keenan Allen WR LAC 4 11.8 3
Stefon Diggs WR BUF 3 10.3 3
Tyler Boyd WR CIN 3 8.3 3
JuJu Smith-Schuster WR PIT 3 8.3 3
Brandon Aiyuk WR SF 1 14.0 3
J.D. McKissic RB WAS 4 8.8 1
Christian McCaffrey RB CAR 1 10.0 1
Austin Ekeler RB LAC 1 16.0 0
Deebo Samuel WR SF 1 13.0 0
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