Air Yards DFS Value Index Week 16

by Edward DeLauter · Strategy

This is the Air Yards DFS Value Index for Week 16!

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.

Best Values

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. The 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.

We will highlight two wide receivers on the Air Yards Value Index priced above $5,500. Then, our focus will shift to the top ten Air Yards value plays priced at $5,500 or below on DraftKings.

Paying Up

Amari Cooper – DK: $5,900

Air Yards Value Score: 99.05

Air Yards: 1,504 (No. 5 among qualified wide receivers)|
Air Yards Share: 38.1-percent (No. 8)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 747 (No. 2)|

Amari Cooper saw a season-low snap share of 71.9-percent last week and is attempting to play through a core muscle injury. He has failed to crest double-digit fantasy points since DeShaun Watson‘s return from suspension. Additionally, he has yet to see over 100 Air Yards in a contest since Watson’s return. Facing the Saints this week in a matchup that has a double take-inducing, lowest on the slate, 32.5 point total, Cooper is at best a contrarian tournament play in the event that the Vegas prognosticators are wrong on this one.

Terry McLaurin – DK: $6,200

Air Yards Value Score: 76.34

Air Yards: 1,326 (No. 10)|
Air Yards Share: 35.0-percent (No. 11)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 667 (No. 7)|

With Chris Olave nursing a hamstring injury, Terry McLaurin leapfrogs Olave as the next best higher-priced value play. McLaurin is coming off a week 15 performance where he saw his second-lowest Air Yards total of the season of only 38 Air Yards. This was likely due to the Commanders taking a very run-heavy approach against the Giants’ susceptible run defense. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to exploit the 49ers’ defense this week.

However, the Commanders are a 7-point underdog and will likely be in comeback mode against a superior San Francisco squad. While the matchup is not an ideal look for McLaurin, look for him to see closer to his season average of 94.7 Air Yards this week. In a week where the slam dunk plays are few and far between, you could do worse than having exposure to McLaurin in all formats.

Top-10 Value Plays

10) Noah Brown – DK: $3,600

Air Yards Value Score: 42.44

Air Yards: 720 (No. 45)|
Air Yards Share: 20.8-percent (No. 59)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 286 (No. 62)|

9) Michael Gallup  – DK: $4,200

Air Yards Value Score: 43.41

Air Yards: 710 (No. 49)|
Air Yards Share: 25.2-percent (No. 42)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 458 (No. 27)|

The Air Yards Value Plays list leads off with two somewhat similar Cowboys. Over the past two games Noah Brown has out targeted Michael Gallup 15 to eight, has 91 more Air Yards, and has scored 28.2 more fantasy points. Gallup has run only seven more routes over this two-game span than Brown despite out snapping Brown in each contest. This begs the question of whether this is the start of a trend or just a small sample blip. The seasonal usage suggests the latter, as Gallup has a higher Air Yards share than Brown and only 10 fewer Air Yards despite playing in two fewer games than Brown. Playing in a game with one of the higher projected point totals on the week, I’d be interested in playing both wide receivers in tournament formats skewing my ownership in favor of Gallup as opposed to Brown.

8) Darius Slayton  – DK: $5,200 

Air Yards Value Score: 44.56

Air Yards: 780 (No. 41)|
Air Yards Share: 29.1-percent (No. 27)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 346 (No. 48)|

Darius Slayton leads the Giants in Air Yards (296) and targets (24) through the past four weeks. However, he is only one target ahead of slot receiver Richie James during this time frame and has been outgained in Air Yards by Isaiah Hodges over the past two weeks combined. This is a long-winded way of saying that the Giants’ wide receiver opportunity distribution is somewhat even-handed between Slayton, James, and Hodges. Up against the Vikings this week in a game that has one of the higher projected point totals on the slate, all Giants wide receivers make for an interesting play. Additionally, Slayton is the most volatile play, and the one with the highest ceiling thanks to his 12.6 ADOT (No. 24).

Darius Slayton Advanced Stats & Metrics

7) D.J. Chark  – DK: $4,200

Air Yards Value Score: 48.82

Air Yards: 639 (No. 56)|
Air Yards Share: 31.4-percent (No. 21)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 393 (No. 40)|

D.J. Chark got lost in the Sauce last week seeing only two targets and 19 Air Yards while running the majority of his routes against Sauce Gardner. In the three games prior to last week, Chark saw at least 76 Air Yards and five targets while averaging 15.3 fantasy points per game. Look for Chark to bounce back this week against a less formidable C.J. Henderson and the Panthers. He is a recommended play in all formats.

6) Jakobi Meyers  – DK: $4,800

Air Yards Value Score: 50.57

Air Yards: 766 (No. 42)|
Air Yards Share: 31.0-percent (No. 22)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 299 (No. 57)|

The mantra of “Jakobi Meyers in cash forever and always” will be put to the test this week. Not because of on-field opportunities as Meyers is coming off a 109 Air Yards outing and has averaged over 72 Air Yards and five targets his past four games. This is because of one of the most inexplicable plays in NFL history which cost the Patriots an opportunity to win last week’s game. Assuming Bill Belichick doesn’t respond with some form of benching, Meyers should be firmly in your cash game lineup.

5) Marquez Valdes-Scantling  – DK: $4,300

Air Yards Value Score: 51.66

Air Yards: 943 (No. 29)|
Air Yards Share: 23.1-percent (No. 49)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 421 (No. 34)|

Marquez Valdes-Scantling is what we though he was. He is a highly volatile receiver with a 14.3 (No. 8) average target distance that averages one Deep Target a game. While Valdes-Scantling is averaging almost five targets in his past four games, he has failed to capitalize on this usage posting only one double-digit fantasy outing during that four-game span. He is a part-time player seeing roughly half the Chiefs’ offense snaps and running a route in slightly under three-quarters of all pass plays in the last four games. He makes for an uninspiring tournament dart throw this week against the Seahawks.

4) Donovan Peoples-Jones  – DK: $5,100

Air Yards Value Score: 52.70

Air Yards: 1,020 (No. 23)|
Air Yards Share: 19.3-percent (No. 39)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 375 (No. 42)|

Donovan Peoples-Jones saw only 19 Air Yards last week but was able to finish with 13.1 fantasy points in large part due to a three-yard touchdown scored off a flat route. However, he saw a season-high 178 Air Yards two weeks ago and is averaging almost 73 Air Yards per game on the season. Unfortunately, Air Yards may be prayer yards this week against the Saints in a game that has the lowest projected point on the slate. Peoples-Jones is a tepid contrarian play based on the matchup and potential game script this week.

3) Drake London  – DK: $4,800

Air Yards Value Score: 61.12

Air Yards: 988 (No. 24)|
Air Yards Share: 29.1-percent (No. 28)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 595 (No. 14)|

Drake London is the most unappreciated rookie wide receiver in the league. He has seen double-digit targets in his past two games and at least 100 Air Yards in the past two contests. While fellow rookie Desmond Ridder may not be an upgrade from former starter Marcus Mariota, London should continue to be peppered with targets as the Falcons’ best playmaker. He saw an absurd 42.3-percent target share in his first game with Ridder last week. London makes for a great play in all formats and is the preferred value play of the week.

2) Gabriel Davis  – DK: $5,000

Air Yards Value Score: 61.95

Air Yards: 1,134 (No. 18)|
Air Yards Share: 26.8-percent (No. 38)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 526 (No. 60)|

Gabriel Davis has largely disappointed this season. Most fantasy players expected more boom weeks than the four games in which Davis has finished as the WR18 or better. Perhaps a boom week finally happens this week against an exploitable Bears secondary.  Davis is averaging 87.2 Air Yards on the season and 1.5 Deep Targets a game. His 14.9 Average Target Distance (No. 5) makes Davis the quintessential boom-or-bust tournament play.

1) D.J. Moore- DK: $5,500

Air Yards Value Score: 100

Air Yards: 1,204 (No. 14)|
Air Yards Share: 44.7-percent (No. 1)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 634 (No. 10)|

D.J. Moore was mistakenly redacted from the Air Yards Value List last week under the assumption that he would be unable to play because of an ankle injury. However, not only did Moore play in week 15, he finished as the WR16 on the week posting 18.3 fantasy points while seeing six targets and 106 Air Yards. He remains the far and away best offensive playmaker on the Panthers as evidenced by his league-leading 44.7-percent Air Yards Share. Look for Moore to get lots of opportunities this week against the Lions. He is a recommended play in all formats.

Good luck to everyone in Week 16. May all your Air Yards be realized. Have a Merry Christmas!