Week 12 Breakout Player Model: Top Contrarian NFL DFS plays
One of the biggest advantages you can deploy in daily fantasy is buying low on a player who has fallen out of favor with the rest of the field but is set up for a smash week. The 4for4 Player Stat Explorer is home to a model that compares a fantasy player's actual fantasy output with their expected fantasy output, based on their usage and historical data. The goal is to highlight players that have had the requisite usage (snaps, targets, air yards, etc) to produce big fantasy outcomes, but due to the natural variance of the sport have yet to do so. Many times, those underperforming players will be low-owned in DFS and make for fantastic contrarian plays, which this article will highlight.
|Player||Team||Position||Fantasy PPG||Exp Fantasy PPG||FPPG Over Exp.|
WR Drake London, Falcons ($6,100 FD/$4,900 DK)
Drake has scored in consecutive weeks and he still finds himself on the breakout model. That's because he's still seeing a healthy amount of targets. He's seen games of six and seven targets in two of his last three games. What he needs to do is put the touchdown scoring and the receptions and yards together in one game. Kyle Pitts is on injured reserve, which means London can push for double-digit targets in this game against a bottom-10 pass defense. This may be the game where Drake can actually command multiple end zone targets AND push for double-digit targets overall.
WR Mike Evans, Buccaneers ($7,600 FD/$6,700 DK)
There's a case to be made that Mike Evans is a really solid leverage play this week as all the attention has turned to rookie second-string running back Rachaad White. Leonard Fournette is doubtful and White figures to handle the bulk of the running back workload at a severe discount. That leaves Evans on a deserted island ownership-wise. Pivoting to the passing game makes a ton of sense. The Buccaneers probably aren't going to go completely run-heavy without Fournette and try to slam White up the A-gap 20 times.
Evans has dominated the target share over the last month for the Bucs. In Germany, he saw six targets, but we can ignore that game as it's a bit of an outlier with the travel and game planning. In the three games before that, Evans averaged 12 targets per game. I would imagine Evans approaches that same type of 10-12 target game here against the Browns while providing a nice pivot play off the White chalk. Evans has the ability to turn these big target games into a 7/130/2 line, which he has failed to do over the last month. Let's fire him up and hope for that good regression.
TE Greg Dulcich, Broncos ($5,300 FD/$3,700 DK)
The Dulcich train has had a ton of riders the last few weeks and I think they may be hopping off. The usage has been there for Dulcich. He has an 11-yard average depth of target and has played 86% of snaps over the last three weeks. He has a high of nine targets in a game during that span as well. The athleticism of Dulcich is what makes him extremely appealing. He's not a catch-and-fall tight end. He can make players miss after the catch and even out-run defenders to make a splash play. That's the type of skill set required to have an outlier fantasy performance. According to the breakout model, he is due to convert on his targets and athleticism.
WR Mack Hollins, Raiders ($5,600 FD/$4,400 DK)
Hollins is going to remain on the breakout player writeup despite going for 6/52 last week. Derek Carr obviously wants to get the ball to Davante Adams, but Hollins has been the clear second option with Hunter Renfrow sidelined. Back in September, Hollions showed what he can do with the added targets when he went 8/150/1. He's currently seeing that same type of volume with two of his last four games reaching 8+ targets.
The Raiders may be in the same spot as the Buccaneers where they have a banged-up starting running back and could turn to the air a bit more than usual. The Seahawks, who've been stingy in terms of allowing wide receiver fantasy points, will undoubtedly focus their efforts on taking away Adams. There are some more popular wide receiver punts in the same range as Hollins like Garrett Wilson. I like pivoting to Hollins and hoping Carr finds him for a score.