Air Yards DFS Value Index – Week 12 – Thanksgiving Edition

by Edward DeLauter · Value Plays

The goal of the Air Yards DFS Value Index is to determine the best “bang for your buck” in daily fantasy. This is accomplished by utilizing a player’s Air Yards and Air Yards Share to create a weighted Air Yards metric. We then compare this metric with each player’s DFS salary to create a Value Score. The best value Air Yards play on the week is always scored with a value of 100. All other players are compared against that player with decreasing value. This list is not a mere recitation of where each player is ranked — a simple machine could do that. This list contextualizes each player’s Value Score to present the top ten Air Yard values in DFS for the week, focusing on players priced at or below $5,500 on DraftKings.

For the Thanksgiving Slate we will highlight one wide receiver on the Air Yards Value Index priced above $5,500 and then focus on the top three Air Yards Value Plays priced at $5,500 or below on DraftKings. 

Paying Up

Darnell Mooney – DK: $5,700

Air Yards Value Score: 83.33

Air Yards: 856 (No. 18 among qualified wide receivers)
Air Yards Share: 35.7-percent (No. 18)
Unrealized Air Yards: 436 (No. 13)

Darnell Mooney took full advantage of the injury related absence of Allen Robinson (DK: $5,100) in Week 11. Mooney saw a team-high 16 targets, which was one less target that everyone else on the team combined. He also saw 219 Air Yards and was able to capitalize on this immense opportunity despite only catching five passes.

Darnell Mooney Advanced Stats & Metrics

Mooney finished as the WR4 on the week with 23.1 fantasy points. With Robinson yet to practice this week, Mooney looks to be in a smash spot again this week against the winless Detroit Lions and their exploitable secondary. At only $5,700, he would enter chalk play territory if Robinson is force to miss the game.


Top-3 Thanksgiving Slate Value List

No. 3) Bryan Edwards – DK: $3,900

Air Yards Value Score: 54.12

Air Yards: 619 (No. 38)
Air Yards Share: 21.8-percent (No. 53)
Unrealized Air Yards: 338 (No. 31)

Bryan Edwards skipped the turkey and went full on doughnut last week, scoring zero fantasy points. He also failed to see a single target in the Raiders’ blowout loss to the Bengals. While putting a player that saw zero targets last week into your fantasy lineup sounds like a great recipe for indigestion, Edwards has seen 13 (No. 26 among qualified wide receivers) Deep Ball Targets this season, and has a 16.3 (No. 5) Average Target Distance. Additionally, he usually sees four targets per  game in the Raiders offense, and there is no reason to think a lack of targets last week will carry over to his Thanksgiving matchup with Cowboys and boom-or-bust corner Trevon Diggs.

Bryan Edwards 2021 Game Logs

If Edwards sees the targets he has been seeing, there is a good chance he is able to make some big plays and be on some winning tournament lineups.

No. 2) Marquez Callaway – DK: $5,000

Air Yards Value Score: 56.58

Air Yards: 663 (No. 35)
Air Yards Share: 27.3-percent (No. 41)
Unrealized Air Yards: 333 (No. 33)

Marquez Callaway scored another touchdown last week, his third in as many games. However, he ceded leading the Saints in Air Yards on the week to teammate Tre’Quan Smith (DK: $4,400) who saw 92 Air Yards. However, Callaway still saw 64 Air Yards last week and is averaging 73 Air Yards over the past four games. Smith is less expensive than Callaway for the Thanksgiving slate, which will likely drive up Smith’s presence on rosters. If Smith is rostered more than Callaway, Callaway makes for a great contrarian way to gain exposure to the Saints matchup against the Bills.

No. 1) Emmanuel Sanders – DK: $4,800

Air Yards Value Score: 100

Air Yards: 1,007 (No. 12)
Air Yards Share: 30.5-percent (No. 30)
Unrealized Air Yards: 526 (No. 8)

Emmanuel Sanders posted another dud last week against the Colts scoring only 5.6 fantasy points. More concerning though is that he posted a season low 38 Air Yards in a game that the Bills where playing catch up as of the first quarter. Considering his performance so far this season, its best to chalk up his Week 11 opportunities as a fluke.

Emmanuel Sanders 2021 Game Logs

Sanders has seen 100 Air Yards or more in half of the games he played this season, and setting last weeks performance aside on the cooling rack, Sanders has seen at least 78 Air Yards per game. His 17.4 Average Target Distance will make him volatile however he should a mainstay in tournament lineups.

Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. May all your Air Yards be realized.