Our NFL product at FantasyLabs is powered by our Models, which feature projections from Sean Koerner. He’s been FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season ranker in three of the past four seasons, which makes our Models a must-have for the serious DFS player.
One of the best ways to incorporate his projections is by looking at each player’s Projected Plus/Minus on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Projected Plus/Minus is a proprietary metric that measures projected points vs. expected points. The higher the number, the better that player is expected to perform relative to his price tag.
If you wind up rostering players who finish the week with a good Plus/Minus, there’s a good chance you’re going to find yourself at the top of the leaderboards.
Here are six players who are popping as values in our NFL Models for Week 13.
Lamar Jackson ($7,000 on DraftKings) vs. San Francisco 49ers
Jackson has a brutal matchup this week vs. the 49ers. Their defense has been phenomenal this season, ranking second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and giving Jackson a disastrous Opponent Plus/Minus of -6.70 on DraftKings. For most quarterbacks, this would be an easy exclusion.
That said, Jackson is not most quarterbacks. It’s impossible to overstate how dominant he’s been this season. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in 10 of 11 games this season, resulting in an average Plus/Minus of +8.92 on DraftKings. He’s averaged 30.0 DraftKings points per game over that time frame, including 33.3 DraftKings points per game over the past month.
The 49ers closest defensive comparison is the Patriots, and Jackson shredded them on Sunday Night Football in Week 9. He was particularly effective as a runner, logging 61 yards and two TDs. The 49ers’ defense ranks merely 16th in rush defense DVOA, so Jackson should be able to find success on the ground even if he struggles a bit through the air. He’s an appealing target at a reduced salary on DraftKings.
Miles Sanders ($5,800 on FanDuel) @ Miami Dolphins
Sanders has been the Eagles’ featured back each of the past two weeks and his results have been disappointing. He’s been on the field for 128 of 151 total offensive snaps (84.8%), but he’s averaged just 11.5 carries and 4.5 targets in those contests. He hasn’t managed to find the end zone either, resulting in a mediocre output of 7.9 FanDuel points per game.
That said, don’t give up on Sanders yet. Jordan Howard is out for another week, so Sanders should once again receive the lion’s share of the playing time at RB. This is also a phenomenal spot vs. the Miami Dolphins. They rank last in defensive DVOA and 29th in rush defense DVOA, and the Eagles are currently 10-point favorites on the road. Historically, favorites of at least 7.5 points who are projected for at least 12% ownership on FanDuel have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.75 (per the Trends tool). He’s expected to be chalky, but this looks like the type of chalk worth eating.
Jamaal Williams ($4,500 on DraftKings) @ New York Giants
Williams is an interesting option at $4,500 on DraftKings vs. the Giants. He’s in a timeshare with fellow RB Aaron Jones, but the gap between the two has narrowed recently. Williams has played just two fewer snaps than Jones over the past two weeks, and he’s actually out-touched him 31 to 26.
More importantly, Williams has established himself as the clear preferred target in the passing game, which is obviously valuable on a PPR site like DraftKings. He’s seen 15 total targets over the past three weeks compared to just four for Jones. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Williams has averaged more fantasy points per opportunity and snap than Jones over the past month.
The Packers are in a nice spot this week vs. the Giants. They’re 6.5-point favorites despite playing on the road, and their implied team total of 25.75 ranks third on the slate. Williams’ salary has decreased by -$1,400 over the past month on DraftKings, so this is a nice buy-low opportunity.
Tyreek Hill ($8,300 on FanDuel) vs. Oakland Raiders
Hill is the most expensive option on the FanDuel main slate, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be one of the best values. His $8,300 price tag comes with a Bargain Rating of 99%, which ranks first at the WR position.
Hill has always been an appealing DFS option because he’s capable of turning any catch into a long touchdown, and he’s seen a ridiculous amount of volume recently. He’s logged at least nine targets in four of his last five completed games, including a whopping 19 targets three weeks ago vs. the Titans. He was well on his way to another big output in his last game, seeing two targets in just seven snaps before leaving the game with an injury.
Hill has the potential to do a lot of damage if he sees that many targets vs. the Raiders. They have been absolutely shredded by opposing WRs this season, giving Hill an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.30 on FanDuel. The Raiders allowed Sam Darnold to throw for 315 yards and two TDs last week, so it’s scary to think about what will happen when they have to face Patrick Mahomes.
Auden Tate ($3,800 on DraftKings) vs. New York Jets
The Bengals have been nothing short of a disaster this season. They’ve yet to win a single game, and they rank 30th in defensive DVOA and 31st in offensive DVOA. They’ve been particularly anemic on offense over the past three weeks, averaging just 11 points per game with backup QB Ryan Finley at the helm.
Thankfully, the Finley era has officially come to an end. Andy Dalton will get the start vs. the Jets, which should bring some life back to their offense. Dalton is far from a world-beater, but he still represents a massive upgrade from Finley.
Tate in particular should be happy to see Dalton back in the lineup. He logged 13 targets in the last game he played with Dalton, and he averaged 8.7 targets per game from Week 3 through Week 8. The Bengals’ WR corps hasn’t gotten any healthier since then, so it’s reasonable to expect Dalton to pick up right where he left off. That’s a lot of potential targets at just $3,800, particularly against a Jets’ secondary that has struggled at times this season.
Tyler Higbee ($2,500 on DraftKings) @ Arizona Cardinals
It’s hard to pass up on Higbee at the absolute minimum on DraftKings. He should see the majority of the snaps at the TE position because of an injury Gerald Everett, and the Cardinals have been an absolute disaster against TEs this season. Everett owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.40 on DraftKings, which is one of the top marks at the position. Matt Freedman goes into detail on Higbee in his fantastic weekly breakdown series, but he’s essentially a full-time player at a part-time price in one of the best possible matchups. That’s good enough for me.