Week 14 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||Position||Fantasy PPG||Expected Fantasy PPG||Fantasy PPG OVer Exp|
QB Deshaun Watson, Browns ($7,000 FD/$6,400 DK)
It was to be expected that Deshaun Watson would need to shake off some rust before becoming a weekly fantasy option. Qualitatively, the setting and surrounding narrative for his return in Week 13 was a bit tumultuous. Watson's game had some solid pieces that we can build on and use as a contrarian piece in Week 14. The first was that he carried the ball seven times in a mix of designed runs and scrambles. He only tacked on 21 yards with those carries but that's probably the floor of what he can do with that many touches on the ground.
Through the air, the Browns weren't very effective either. There was a bit of variance involved in this game as the Browns defense scored a bunch on special teams and defense, keeping the offense off the field. This week against the Bengals, the Browns offense will probably have extra possessions and be pushed to keep pace with the high-powered Bengals' offense. The weapons are there for Watson as well. Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Njoku, and Kareem Hunt are all dynamic pass-catchers that can help him hit his ceiling projection.
WR Corey Davis, NY Jets ($5,700 FD/$4,200 DK)
This is your classic leverage spot for a player whose teammate has caught a ton of steam and will be heavily rostered. Garrett Wilson has had an incredible run over the last couple of weeks with Mike White at quarterback. However, Davis should be right there with him given the usage he saw last week. Davis racked up 10 targets last week but has only averaged seven fantasy points since returning from injury despite averaging 6.5 targets in that span. The game environment should be conducive to another game in which Davis pushes for double-digit targets. The play here is running back your some of your Bills stacks with Corey Davis instead of Garrett Wilson.
TE T.J. Hockenson, Vikings ($6,500 FD/$5,100 DK)
Hockenson remains on the breakout model after having a down game again for the Jets, but his usage and the game script in his return to Detroit should be very friendly. I don't always believe the hype around narratives, but Hockenson returning to Detroit probably has some merit to it. He was a beloved top draft pick that they traded away pretty shockingly mid-season. I could see the Vikings trying to get him in the end zone against his former team.
All that aside, the matchup is pretty solid, too. The Lions, though they've been playing a bit better defense of late, are still giving up the fifth most fantasy points to tight ends. Hockenson has three games of nine or more targets in his last five and is averaging eight targets per game over that span. He has not played a game with the Vikings where he was targeted less than six times. He again provides some leverage off what should be a popular Justin Jefferson week, or you can add him to Vikings double stacks and Lions runbacks.
WR Deebo Samuel, 49ers ($7,100 FD/$6,100 DK)
The perfect storm is brewing for Deebo in San Francisco. With Elijah Mitchell on the shelf, Samuel has returned to the backfield and will most likely get around five touches as a running back. The usage with Brock Purdy under center was also encouraging. Purdy targeted Samuel 10 times in the Week 13 game against the Dolphins. Kyle Shanahan wasn't ready for a Brock Purdy game last week but made it work.
This week, we could see a bunch of wrinkles thrown in to help the young quarterback. That should include lots of Deebo in the quick game and out of the backfield. I am expecting them to get him involved in a bunch of screens and sweeps to give Purdy easy reads throughout the game. Deebo's price has dropped to a point we haven't seen in quite some time. This seems like the stars are aligning for a 7/100/1 type game for a guy we were taking in the second round just three months ago.