Specifically, I will be focusing on players’ ownership projections and Leverage Scores within our FantasyLabs Models to identify these contrarian targets. Leverage Scores are a combination of a player’s projected ceiling and ownership. In other words, a high ceiling combined with a low ownership projection means a high leverage score.
Don’t forget to check out our Lineup Builder if you like to hand build your lineups for single-entry or 3-entry max tournaments and our Lineup Optimizer for those of you who like to enter multiple lineups into tournaments. Our optimizer allows you to create up to 300 lineups with the click of a button.
The Lineup Optimizer has endless customization opportunities.
Finally, make sure to check out all the projections available for purchase (Chris Raybon’s come included with a FantasyLabs subscription) within the FantasyLabs Models. Subscribers now have the option to purchase Derek Carty’s THE BLITZ from our Marketplace. Projections from One Week Season and Establish the Run are available if you’re a subscriber to those specific sites (our optimizer is a separate add-on feature).
You can also combine them to create your own aggregate projections:
NFL DFS High-Leverage Stack
Lamar Jackson ($8,100) + Zay Flowers ($5,600)
Facing a putrid Cardinals’ defense, Jackson to Flowers is a tremendous stack. Arizona is the second-worst-graded defense on PFF this season, and they are giving up the third most yards per pass (7.5). In this spot, the Ravens boast the second-highest implied team total on the slate (27 points) via the FantasyLabs Vegas page.
Jackson this season has not only been an outstanding passer, ranking third in yards per attempt (8.1), but he also has been active as a rusher, ranking second among quarterbacks in carries per game (10) and red zone rushes (18). Excluding Anthony Richardson (shoulder) — who is done for the season — Jackson leads all quarterbacks in DraftKings points per dropback (0.65). The 26-year-old has scored at least 29 DraftKings points in three of his past five starts and brings the highest ceiling among quarterbacks in the BLITZ projections.
Flowers has quickly become the Ravens’ top wideout during his rookie season and is the best player to pair with Jackson this week. Mark Andrews is always an appealing player to stack with Jackson, but the Cardinals have surprisingly been elite at defending tight ends this season, giving up the four fewest receptions (23) and zero touchdowns to the position.
Conversely, Arizona has gotten torched by opposing receivers, surrendering the most yards (1,357), the fifth most catches (103), and the seventh most touchdowns to the position (7), making this a perfect spot for Flowers. This season, the rookie leads Baltimore in target share (27.4%), red zone targets (9), and targets over 20 yards (11).
Flowers should produce his best fantasy score to date this Sunday, and while he is expected to be decently popular, Jackson is forecasted for single-digit ownership on DraftKings according to the BLITZ projections, and this pairing shouldn’t be a common stack in GPPs.
NFL DFS Running Back Leverage Pick
Christian McCaffrey ($9,200)
With McCaffrey only projected to be around 12% owned on DraftKings this Sunday, according to the BLITZ projections, the superstar back is the best skill player to pay up for in GPPs. McCaffery has been a true workhorse back this season, ranking fourth in carries per game (17.9) and leading all running backs in red zone carries (33) while logging 78.8% of his team’s snaps. As a receiver, McCaffrey has seen a target on 19% of his routes while running a route on 73% of his team’s dropbacks.
The back ranks second only to Tyreek Hill in DraftKings points this season and has scored a touchdown in 16 straight games, which is an NFL record. As for his matchup, McCaffrey is in an excellent spot. He will be at home and taking on the Bengals, who are allowing the third most yards per rush (5.0) and are the sixth-worst-graded defense on PFF. The Niners carry the sixth-highest implied team total in this spot (23.75 points), and they are favored by four points.
For his career, McCaffrey is providing 24.1 DraftKings PPG as a home favorite via the Trends tool.
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Leverage Pick
Rashee Rice ($5,000)
Rice is a terrific, affordable way to attack the Chiefs, who are in a gorgeous spot vs. the Broncos. Going against this Denver defense that is the worst-graded unit on PFF and that is giving up the second most yards per pass (7.9), Kansas City presents the third-highest implied team total on the slate (26.5 points). Furthermore, this contest sports the second-highest total on the board (47 points).
As the season continues, Rice’s role has kept growing, with the wideout’s route rate increasing in three straight games – to a season-high 65% this past Sunday – helping Rice score 14 DraftKings PPG during this span. For the season, the 23-year-old has been targeted on an eye-popping 28% of his routes, including nine red zone targets, which is tied with Travis Kelce for the most on the Chiefs. Overall, Rice impressively ranks fifth among receivers in DraftKings points per snap (0.37), putting him in some elite company. The only receivers who rank better in this metric this season are Hill, Stefon Diggs, Justin Jefferson, and Mike Evans.
If the second-round pick’s role continues to trend upward this weekend, Rice should beat this salary with ease and has the potential for a career-best performance in this incredible matchup vs. the Broncos. According to the BLITZ projections, Rice is only forecasted to be around 5% owned on DraftKings.
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NFL DFS Tight End Leverage Pick
Conner Heyward ($2,600)
If not paying up for Kelce this week, full punting at tight end with Heyward is the best move, especially with him projected to be only around 4% owned on DraftKings, according to the BLITZ projections. With Pat Freiermuth (hamstring) on IR, Heyward has been the Steelers’ top tight end the last two weeks, seeing a target on 16% of his routes while running a route on 70% of his team’s dropbacks.
The results haven’t been great, with Heyward only amassing 4.8 DraftKings PPG during this time, but he should improve and possibly reach double-digit DraftKings points in a prime spot vs. the Jaguars this weekend, who are allowing the second most yards to tight ends this season (447).
Note: player and ownership projections may change leading up to lock. Be sure to check out the Player Models for any changes.