Week 13 Breakout Player Model: Top NFL DFS Contrarian 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||Pos||Fantasy PPG||Exp. Fantasy PPG||Fantasy PPG Over Exp|
QB Kirk Cousins, Vikings ($7,400 FD/$5,700 DK)
Cousins falls into a favorable game script here that may be flying under the radar. The Jets with Mike White look like they'll be a more formidable force and this could result in the Vikings having to push the pace and attack through the air with Cousins. A Zach Wilson game could have turned into a non-competitive Dalvin Cook clock-killing second half. Cousins has been slinging the ball too, hitting 36 or more attempts in all but one of his last five games.
He was one yard away from a 300-yard bonus last week which is why I think he's popping in the breakout model. Nonetheless, I like his game environment and the fact that he will be at home on the fast track. People may be shying away from the Sauce Garnder matchup with Justin Jefferson, but let's attack it in what should be an under-rostered stack.
WR DK Metcalf, Seahawks ($7,600 FD/$6,700 DK)
Metcalf has been targeted 40 times in the last four games. Geno is absolutely rolling too, which makes this a bit of an easier decision. Metcalf really hasn't hit that ceiling game just yet, though. Last week's 11/90 line was the closest he's come to breaking through in the last month. In that span, he has a 30% target share and a 60% end zone target share. That usage has accounted for 77 air yards per game and a share of 38% of air yards.
This usage indicates he should be nuking slates, but for whatever reason, he just hasn't done it. It's not a Diontae Johnson situation either where the targets are just being wasted. He's making catches and making plays, but needs to score. The Rams are a serious pass-funnel as they've allowed teams to carve them up through the air, but rank fourth in rush yards allowed. Aaron Donald may miss this game which makes Geno's life easier in the pocket as well.
TE T.J. Hockenson, Vikings ($6,400 FD/$5,200 DK)
Hockenson will be a nice complement to Kirk Cousins in tournament lineups. The guy, much like Metcalf has been producing, but just not to the level that his usage indicates he should be. He finally got in the end zone last week, but before the Thanksgiving game, he scored 11 PPR fantasy points on 10 targets and 8 PPR points on 9 targets. He has become the second option on the Vikings behind Jefferson and though you pay somewhat of a premium for him, it's a nice trade-off to be able to pay down from Kelce and Andrews for a tight end that still has a 20+ point ceiling.
WR Ben Skowronek, Rams ($5,100 FD/$3,500 DK)
In the last three games for the Rams, Skowronek has 15 targets and only 6 PPR fantasy points to show for it. He's not someone who is going to go 10/100/2, however, there aren't a ton of paydown options this week that are enticing. What Skowronek can get you is a 4/40/2 line and that's an absolute smash at near minimum salary, especially on FanDuel where touchdowns are worth more given the scoring format. He's run a route on 75% of dropbacks in the last three weeks and if the Rams can get into the red zone, Skowronek is a big-bodied receiver that can go up and fight for contested catches. If you need a punt at WR, I'd consider him, especially as a bring-back in DK Metcalf lineups.