Week 3 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 created by Sam Hoppen 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.
* PPR Points/G: PPR fantasy points per game, x-Fpts/G: expected PPR fantasy points per game, FPOE/G: fantasy points over expectation per game
QB Matt Ryan, Colts ($6,700 FD/$5,200 DK)
Fresh in the mind of the public is Matt Ryan taking a drubbing at the hands of the Jaguars. This week, the Colts host the Chiefs in a game with a total over 50 points. With Michael Pittman hopefully returning to full health, and the Colts forced to throw the ball due to game situation, we should see Ryan have the opportunity to convert on those unrealized fantasy points. He currently leads the way with an average of 8.7 fewer expected fantasy points per game. Ryan and a Colts passing stack can include Jonathan Taylor or act as leverage against the many who will roster him. It can also be a nice way to get exposure to this game, but be unique by rostering the Colts' side and bringing it back with a player or two from the Chiefs.
RB Javonte Williams, Broncos ($7,000 FD/$6,700 DK)
Williams' talent and explosive play ability will separate him from Melvin Gordon soon enough. Through two weeks much of the opportunity has been the same outside of Williams dwarfing him in high-value touches. There was a bit of separation in Week 2 however. Williams out-touched Gordon 19 to 11 and had the only carry inside the five-yard line. Gordon will most likely remain a thorn in Williams' side, however, it was promising to see him pull ahead in terms of overall and high-value touches. Williams isn't on the main slate this week, but I think he's an excellent play on the full slate, primetime slate, and showdown. Now that the majority of touches have started to swing his way, the explosive play touchdown is coming.
WR Chris Olave, Saints ($5,500 FD/$4,500 DK)
Chris Olave had one of the wildest air yard performances of recent memory last week with 365 yards. That was good enough to earn him 44% of Jameis Winston's air yards through two weeks. Granted a few of those targets were desperation heaves in Olave's general vicinity, Winston feeding him deep targets. He has a 21.9-yard average depth of target and has earned a 23% target per route run percentage. Olave has a game coming in which he reels in one or two of those deep shots and finishes with 100+ yards and one or multiple touchdowns. You want to roster him the first time it happens because after it does his percent rostered and salary will be extremely elevated.
WR, D.J. Chark, Lions ($5,500 FD/$5,100 DK)
Amon-Ra St. Brown's journey is won't I won't stop believing in, but there will come a week where the looks that D.J. Chark is seeing will lead to him landing in tournament rosters across the main slate. He leads the Lions with 105 air yards per game through two weeks, a 40% end zone target share, and a 17 yard average depth of target. Those numbers are prone to spike weeks. Serving as the deep threat and working mostly downfield will create a massive range of outcomes. This week against the Vikings projects to be a game of plentiful fantasy points that the masses are sure to flock to. A good way to get unique within this game is to get Chark into your stacks.