Supermodel Tyra Banks has amassed $95M in earnings throughout her 30-year career.
Similarly, I have a model. It’s super – a true thing of beauty. And, while it hasn’t earned $95M, it has made me quite a bit of money over the years.
That model is the DFS SuperModel. Each week it will highlight the top-25 most mispriced players on both DraftKings and FanDuel. While I can’t tell you what exactly goes into the DFS SuperModel, I can tell you what does not go into it – namely, our projections. For the most part, you should be deferring to those – primarily the FPTS/$ column you’ll find here – or use both together.
That’s what I’ll be doing in this article, using both resources to help me highlight the top main slate DFS Value Plays in any given week. Here’s Week 15:
Note 1: This is just the first-pass publish of the DFS SuperModel. The SuperModel and our projections will continue to update throughout the remainder of the week. (Saturday PM at the latest.)
Note 2: This is a pretty gross week. Per the DFS SuperModel, only 4 players offer at least $400 in savings on DraftKings. Typically that number is at about 15. So yeah, this is a pretty tough week.
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Model (DK: +754, FD: +306)
Per the DFS SuperModel, Gallup is popping as our top-overall value on DraftKings, priced at only $3,500. Here’s what Joe Dolan had to say in Vantage Points:
“Per SIS, the 49ers are ripe for Gallup to have a big performance — they’re more vulnerable to intermediate and deep passes (29th in YPA) than they are to short passes (2nd in YPA). Meanwhile, Gallup is 1st on the Cowboys in targets of intermediate or deeper… and 5th on short targets. The Niners have also allowed 9.1 YPA to receivers aligned out wide (2nd-worst in the NFL) and 6.1 YPA to receivers in the slot (best in the NFL). So, it’s a bad matchup for CeeDee Lamb, who aligns in the slot 91% of the time, but not Gallup who is out wide 84% of the time.”
I’m in full agreement. The 49ers are giving up the most FPG to opposing WRs on deep passes (11.5), and Gallup ranks 16th-overall in deep passing attempts (18). He’s also seen his target share jump from 11% to 18% with Andy Dalton under center. And as a bonus, ranks as one of our top-5 XFP-related values of the week.
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Model (DK: +663, FD: +694)
Last week Deebo Samuel played on just 1 snap before succumbing to injury, and Aiyuk clearly benefited from his absence. He ranked 2nd among all players in XFP, totaling 25.2 on 16 targets. And he was productive with that volume, scoring 24.9 DK FP. We were higher on him than anyone else in the industry, writing him up as a borderline must-play for DFS, so maybe this shouldn’t have been a surprise. Here are some crazy stats (now updated) that led up to that call:
Since Week 3, Justin Jefferson ranks 19th in XFP (13.8) and 7th in FPG (18.5). Since Week 7, he ranks 18th in XFP (14.4) and 14th in FPG (16.5)
Since Week 3, Aiyuk ranks 8th in XFP (16.0) and 12th in FPG (17.1). Since Week 7, he ranks 3rd in XFP (19.6) and 3rd in FPG (20.5).
Aiyuk has long been dominating Jefferson in volume (by XFP). And Since Week 3, he’s been returning 92% of Jefferson’s production (by FPG). Since Week 7, 124%. And yet, he’s just 86% of Jefferson’s salary on DraftKings this week, priced as only the 17th-most expensive WR on the slate. On FanDuel, he ranks just 16th in salary. And, again, that’s in spite of the fact that he ranks top-3 in volume and production over the last 8 weeks of the season.
We’ve long been viewing Jefferson as one of the best picks you could have made in the offseason. And as one of the most exciting and electric rookie WRs in some time. But we haven’t been doing that with Aiyuk, even though he’s been right there with him. And I don’t really know why.
Over his last 5 games, Aiyuk averages 11.2 targets, 99.0 receiving yards (low of 75), and 21.7 DK FPG (low of 19.7). Over this span, he’s seen target shares of 28%, 32%, 57%, 26%, and 39%, which amounts to 35% overall. For perspective, DeAndre Hopkins leads all receivers with 30.1%.
With WR Deebo Samuel reportedly “out a while”, and the 49ers now up against a Dallas defense that ranks dead-last in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing WR1s (+7.2), you’d expect us to be pretty high on him this week. And that’s exactly the case – per the SuperModel, Aiyuk is a top-2 overall value on both sites.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Model (DK: +640)
The DFS SuperModel has Hilton ranked as the 3rd-best overall value on DraftKings, offering $640 in added value off of his $5,500 price-tag. He’s risky – he might be someone to fade if he’s likely to be very highly-owned – but he’s still no doubt a tremendous value, priced as just the 25th-most expensive WR of the slate. Here’s what we had to say in Start/Sit:
T.Y. Hilton is back? Maybe! Hilton is by no means a sexy start, but you could do a lot worse if looking for a flex-play. After being a total non-factor through the first 11 weeks of the season, Hilton has been on quite the hot streak, averaging 7.7 targets, 92.3 receiving yards, and 22.9 FPG (low of 18.1) over his last 3 games. He also draws a top-3 matchup this week, against a Bradley Roby-less Houston defense he shredded in Week 13 (25.0 fantasy points) and has historically dominated throughout his career (19.9 FPG over his last 8 games against the Texans). In games without Roby this year, opposing WR1s have averaged a whopping 31.1 FPG against Houston – Davante Adams (44.6), D.J. Chark (27.6), Hilton (25.0), and Allen Robinson (27.3).
Model (DK: +451)
Fournette was a healthy scratch last week, but led the team in snap share and played on at least 50% of the team’s snaps in 5 of their prior 6 games. Last week, Ronald Jones was the workhorse, as expected, with LeSean McCoy (31%) and Ke’Shawn Vaughn (8%) trailing him in snap share. With Jones likely out for Week 15, Bruce Arians was asked (on Wednesday) who would take his starting role. He answered definitively, “Leonard will step back into that spot [if Jones cannot play], yes.”
So, what sort of workload should we expect from Fournette? Over the team’s prior 6 games, Fournette averaged 12.2 XFP to Jones’ 10.7. No other RB saw a single touch. I think that means Fournette should be locked into at least 12.2 XFP, but there’s a chance he sees a full-on bell cow workload. What I mean by that is there’s a legitimate chance he earns 70-90% of the backfield’s total XFP (~22.8) this week. For perspective, 77% would be 17.8 XFP, or mid-range RB1 usage, tied with Derrick Henry.
Of course, all of this being said, Fournette has been atrocious this year – averaging 3.77 yards per opportunity (carries plus targets) minus one big run. He was benched last week for a reason. And this week’s matchup is brutal – Atlanta ranks 4th-best in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing RBs (-5.0). But at the end of the day, he’s still a strong value, ranking as only the 36th-most expensive RB on DraftKings. I’m probably not as bullish, but the SuperModel thinks he’s the best RB value on the site.
Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Projections (DK: 2.82X, FD: 2.20X)
Excluding Week 7, when Drake was carted off the field with an ankle injury, he’s averaging 19.4 FPG across his last 6 games. That would rank 5th-best between Derrick Henry and Aaron Jones if over the full season. And he’s either scored a touchdown or rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his last 7 games. Since Week 11, he averages 19.8 XFP per game which ranks 3rd-most. And he totals 15 of the team’s 18 rushing attempts inside the 10-yard-line over this span. He ranks as the 2nd-best RB value on DraftKings (per the DFS SuperModel), where he’s just the 14th-most expensive RB on the slate. That’s the good news.
The bad news is, the matchup is tough. Arizona is favored by 6.5-points, but Philadelphia ranks 3rd-best in YPC allowed (3.70) and 10th-best in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing RBs (-2.0). Kyler Murray looks back to full health, rushing 13 times in Week 14. That means more dropbacks, less reliance on the RBs, and a massive threat to vulture rushing TDs. Drake’s usage has been strong in recent weeks, as outlined above, but it still amounts to just 65% of the backfield XFP and 53% of the snaps.
But more good news – Chase Edmonds has missed practice two days in a row (ankle). If he sits, I’m willing to go all-in on Drake. If he’s limited in any capacity, that’s still a massive boost to Drake who, remember, was averaging 19.4 XFP with just a 65% XFP market share.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Projections (DK: 2.58X, FD: 2.31X)
I spent a lot of time breaking down Taylor in the Week 15 XFP Report. I wrote a lot of words talking about how I was concerned that his recent upsurge in production wasn’t sustainable because he was still being capped at around 50% of the team’s snaps and 50% of the team’s backfield XFP. And then I concluded with the fact that, ultimately, none of that matters this week. Taylor is on an unreal heater, feasting in back-to-back-to-back pillow-soft matchups. And this week’s matchup is even softer than any of those. The Colts are favored by 7.5-points, against a Houston defense that ranks worst in FPG allowed (31.6), worst in rushing FPG allowed (21.2) and worst in YPC allowed (5.38) to opposing RBs. Over the last 3 weeks, Taylor is averaging 18.3 carries, 3.0 targets, 6.02 YPC, 138.0 YFS, and 22.8 FPG. He's rightfully a top-5 value for us on both sites (per our projections).
But if he’s likely to be massively owned, he might be worth fading in large-field tournaments. Again, he’s failed to reach 60% of the team’s snaps and 60% of the backfield’s XFP in 10 straight games. That makes him exceedingly risky.
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Projections (DK: 2.49X, FD: 2.41X)
Dobbins ranks as our top-overall RB value on FanDuel, ranking 11th in our projections but just 20th in salary. On DraftKings he ranks 6th-best. Here’s what we had to say in Start/Sit:
Has Dobbins finally been unleashed? I think so. Well, at least sort of. Dobbins – who ranks 3rd among all RBs in YPC (5.25) – has led the backfield in snaps, carries, and XFP in 3 straight games, averaging 13.7 touches, 69.7 YFS, and 13.6 FPG over this span. Dobbins has played on 63% of the team’s snaps over his last 2 games, compared to Gus Edwards’ 24%, Justice Hill’s 11%, and Mark Ingram’s 5%. This is a far-cry from a workhorse role or bell cow usage, but it is good enough to rank him as a low-end RB2 in this soft matchup. Baltimore is favored by 13.0-points against a Jaguars defense that ranks 5th-worst in rushing FPG (17.3), 7th-worst in receiving FPG (11.6), and 4th-worst in total FPG allowed (28.9) to opposing RBs.
He’s another risky play – even riskier than Taylor, and far too risky for cash – but he is a strong value and a great play for tournaments.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
Projections (DK: 2.79X, FD: 2.23X)
Henry is by no means cheap, but he is a top value – ranking 3rd among RBs on DraftKings and 5th on FanDuel according to our projections.
Henry gets stronger as the season goes on. Opposing defenses wear down, El Tractorcito does not. That’s a fact. And it’s also a fact that this is Henry’s best matchup of the season. And another fact – he hit 40.0 fantasy points in 2 of his 3 softest matchups thus far (HOU, JAX, JAX). The Titans are 11.0-point favorites this week, against a Lions team likely to be without starting QB Matthew Stafford. The Lions rank 7th-worst in YPC allowed (4.57), 3rd-worst in rushing FPG allowed (18.6), and worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing RBs (+7.5). Henry has a massive ceiling but also a significantly underrated floor – he averages 24.3 DKFPG over his last 20 games, hitting 30.0 DKFP in 35% of those games and 19.0 DKFP in 70% of games. He’s going to be massively chalky this week, but rightfully so.
Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Projections (DK: 2.49X, FD: 2.35X)
Sanders was always in position to be a 2020 league-winner. For one thing, he’s always on the field. He’s played on 73% of the team’s snaps in his 9 full games this year, which would rank 3rd-best among all RBs (behind Ezekiel Elliott’s and Christian McCaffrey, both at 76%). For another, he’s really freaking good. He ranks 2nd-best in YPC (5.65). And he’s reached at least 75 YFS in 8 of 10 games, despite being held to 10 or fewer touches in 3 of 10 games.
Sanders was always in position to be a 2020 league-winner. The only thing holding him back was questionable play-calling and incompetent QB-play. But maybe those concerns have since been remedied. The Eagles played maybe their best game of the season last week, in Jalen Hurts’ first career start, and Sanders smashed in their new more RPO-heavy offense. Sanders turned 14 of 17 carries and 5 of 6 targets into 136 YFS and 32.6 DK FP. Arizona is a perfectly average matchup on paper, and though gamescript is unideal (+6.5) he sees enough work in the passing game to not be too worried. As just the 11th-highest priced RB on FanDuel, he ranks as our 2nd-best value at the position (per our projections).
Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Projections (FD: 2.27X)
Our projections have Akers as the 4th-best RB on FanDuel, where he’s priced as just the 12th-most expensive RB on the slate.
Here’s what I had to say in the Week 15 XFP Report:
Akers was one of my must-draft targets for a large bulk of the offseason. And it’s been quite the rollercoaster ride. He earned 15 touches and the start in Week 1. Things were looking good. He earned the start again in Week 2, but suffered a serious multi-week rib injury immediately after seeing the first 3 RB touches of the game. He struggled to see the field after that, but burst back onto our radar in Week 12, turning just 9 carries into 84 yards and a score.
Since then, Akers has played on 71% of the team’s snaps, averaging 25.0 carries, 2.0 targets, 144.0 YFS, 20.8 XFP, and 19.2 FPG. Akers ranked 7th in XFP in Week 13, and 3rd in Week 14. He ranked 2nd in Snap% in Week 14 (79%). Over this span, he’s handled 79% of the XFP out of the backfield (90% in Week 14). If he managed a 79% of the backfield XFP throughout the whole season, he’d be averaging 18.9 XFP per game. Or what would rank 2nd-most among all RBs to play at least 7 games.
So, what’s going on? Is he who we drafted him to be – the rightful heir to Todd Gurley, beasting in a bell bow workload when it matters most (during the fantasy playoffs). I don’t know for sure. Sean McVay’s quotes were pretty discouraging at the end of last week’s game. But the good and bad news is we’ve learned by now we can never trust him. And, luckily, Akers’ Week 15 matchup has made things easy on us. The Rams are favored by 17.0-points against the Jets. So, there’s no way you can bench him in the spot.
All of this being said, he’s only $100 cheaper than Sanders, who we also like. So, you have a tough decision there. And the Jets have actually held their own against opposing RBs this year, despite frequently trailing by double-digits. Only 1 RB has reached 100 rushing yards against them, and they rank just 14th in rushing FPG allowed to opposing RBs (13.9).