Air Yards DFS Value Index Week 17

by Edward DeLauter · Strategy

This is the Air Yards DFS Value Index for Week 17!

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: $5,800

Air Yards Value Score: 100

Air Yards: 1,648 (No. 4 among qualified wide receivers)|
Air Yards Share: 38.6-percent (No. 7)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 836 (No. 2)|

Amari Cooper now has a four-game sample with Deshaun Watson throwing him the football and the results are not great. He was able to finally clear double-digit fantasy points last week against the Saints after seeing 10 targets and 144 Air Yards.  However, prior to last week, Cooper averaged a meager five fantasy points per game. He is still seeing the most opportunities in the Browns’ offense during Watson’s reign as a starter averaging eight targets and 87 Air Yards per game. However, with the way this offense is trending, Cooper is a process over results play in all formats this week.

D.J. Moore – DK: $5,700

Air Yards Value Score: 95.18

Air Yards: 1,301 (No. 14)|
Air Yards Share: 45.8-percent (No. 1)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 658 (No. 10)|

D.J. Moore is an alpha. Setting aside his Week 14 performance in which Moore sustained an ankle injury, Moore has seen at least six targets and 97 Air Yards through the past four weeks. He has finished as a top-16 WR or better in all of these contests and remains the Panthers’ only reliable offensive weapon. With the Panthers set to square off against the Buccaneers this week, in a game that could very well decide who wins the division, the Panthers will heavily rely on Moore again making him a great value play in all formats.

D.J. Moore Weeks 12-16 Game Log

Top-10 Value Plays

10) Darius Slayton  – DK: $4,900

Air Yards Value Score: 46.81

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

Darius Slayton took a back seat to Isaiah Hodgins (DK: $4,500) and Richie James (DK: $4,300) last week as he saw only six targets to Hodgins’s 11 and James’ 12. Still, Slayton only saw 22 Air Yards less than Hodgins and outgained James in Air Yards 82 to 76. All three Giants receivers make for intriguing value plays across all formats this week against the Colts however, with Indy’s rush defense more exploitable than its secondary, all three Giants receivers risk being game-scripted out of fantasy viability by a Saquon Barkley boom week.

9) Brandin Cooks – DK: $4,800

Air Yards Value Score: 47.67

Air Yards: 857 (No. 41)|
Air Yards Share: 30.0-percent (No. 26)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 453 (No. 30)|

Brandin Cooks returned last week to the Texans lineup for his first game since Week 12. He saw nine targets and 133 Air Yards and finished with 13.4 fantasy points. With Nico Collins on IR and journeyman, Chris Moore clearly not on the same skill level as Cooks, Cooks is the clear-cut number one passing game option. Look for Cooks to shoot some arrows this week against an exploitable Jaguars secondary as the Texans look to play spoiler to the Jaguars division title hopes.

8) Marquise Brown – DK: $5,500

Air Yards Value Score: 48.62

Air Yards: 897 (No. 36)|
Air Yards Share: 32.7-percent (No. 15)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 450 (No. 31)|

The Trace McSorley experiment, while a good potential band name, was downright ugly last week. Marquise Brown still saw 80 Air Yards and six targets but with McSorely under center, the Air Yards are more of the prayer yards variety. Just ask DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals are hopeful Colt McCoy returns this week, as are fantasy gamers. While the prayer yards may still be plentiful with McCoy under center, the prayers should have a better shot of being answered.

7) Alec Pierce  – DK: $3,900

Air Yards Value Score: 49.11

Air Yards: 809 (No. 42)|
Air Yards Share: 26.0-percent (No. 41)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 378 (No. 48)|

Alec Pierce‘s uneven rookie campaign continues as the Colts’ season swirls down the toilet bowl. Since the Colts’ Week 14 bye, Pierce has seen four targets per game but averaged only 40 Air Yards. This is a far cry from his 70 Air Yard plus outings that began his season. Like the Colts franchise, Pierce’s weekly usage and production are completely rudderless and about as predictable as a Jim Irsay press conference. He is an unreliable dart throw this week against the Giants.

6) Donovan Peoples-Jones  – DK: $4,700

Air Yards Value Score: 54.28

Air Yards: 1,093 (No. 25)|
Air Yards Share: 25.6-percent (No. 42)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 444 (No. 35)|

Donovan Peoples-Jones scored only 1.2 fantasy points last week but still saw five targets and 73 Air Yards. He is the secondary receiver in the Browns’ struggling passing game. Duds will happen. However, he has scored double digits fantasy points in three of the past four games. He is a value-based cash game play this week against the Commanders.

5) Garrett Wilson  – DK: $5,500

Air Yards Value Score: 56.99

Air Yards: 1,251 (No. 15)|
Air Yards Share: 27.5-percent (No. 36)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 604 (No. 16)|

Garrett Wilson‘s redux of the Zach Wilson experiment is over. While Garrett Wilson averaged 134 Air Yards and nine targets with Zach Wilson under center in weeks 15 and 16, he was only able to top out at 13.8 fantasy points in week 15. With Mike White expected to return as the starter this week, Wilson goes back to the top 5 WR upside he flashed with White under center in Week 12. He is no brainier play in all formats despite a tough matchup against Seattle’s secondary.

4) Mack Hollins  – DK: $4,200

Air Yards Value Score: 58.40

Air Yards: 1,139 (No. 20)|
Air Yards Share: 23.6-percent (No. 48)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 652 (No. 12)|

Mack Hollins’s usage took a nose dive last week with both Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow back in action for the Raiders for the second consecutive week. Hollins ran 31 routes but saw only two targets and seven Air Yards. Unfortunately, wind sprints do not score fantasy points. Hollins is capable of a boom game though as evidenced by his week 15 usage when, with both Waller and Renfrow healthy, he saw 171 Air Yards. After having some cash game viability mid-season, Hollins is back to being a tournament dart throw.

3) Allen Lazard  – DK: $5,400

Air Yards Value Score: 60.63

Air Yards: 1,127  (No. 21)|
Air Yards Share: 31.9-percent (No. 18)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 658 (No. 10)|

Allen Lazard took advantage of a Christian Watson injury that occurred late in the first half of last week’s game against the Dolphins. Lazard finished with 11 targets and 140 Air Yards producing 11.1 fantasy points. In the week prior, Lazard only saw two targets. Watson will have to be unable to go again this week for Lazard to have a widespread DFS appeal. If Watson does play, I’m fine with some Lazard exposure in cash formats.

2) Courtland Sutton  – DK: $5,100

Air Yards Value Score: 62.07

Air Yards: 1,221 (No. 17)|
Air Yards Share: 28.2-percent (No. 32)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 598 (No. 17)|

In his return to the Broncos lineup last week, Courtland Sutton saw 131 Air Yards on seven targets and was able to finish with double-digit fantasy points for the fourth consecutive time in each full game in which he has played. While clips of a wide-open Sutton stomping his feet while Russell Wilson inexplicably threw a YOLO deep ball have been making rounds on the internet, Sutton has proven that he can cook when Russ isn’t. Sutton remains a viable cash game play this week against the Chiefs.

1) Drake London  – DK: $4,900

Air Yards Value Score: 62.07

Air Yards: 1,096 (No. 24)|
Air Yards Share: 30.5-percent (No. 22)|
Unrealized Air Yards: 617 (No. 15)|

Drake London priced under $5,000 is straight-up theft. After his week 14 bye, and with fellow rookie Desmond Ridder under center, London has been peppered with an average of 10 targets per game and over 105 Air Yards per game. This has translated into double-digit fantasy points including a WR22 finish last week. London has yet to find the endzone, post-bye week, but when he does, the boom game is coming. He is the preferred Air Yards value play in all formats this week.

Good luck to everyone in Week 17. May all your Air Yards be realized. Happy New Year to you all!