On tap for Sunday is a full slate of 12 games. Using Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool, each player is given a leverage score that is based on the player’s ownership and ceiling. A low projected ownership combined with a high ceiling means a higher leverage score. This column will dive into some of the best NFL DFS leverage targets for the main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Week 4 NFL DFS Leverage Picks
Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Score Ranks: DraftKings: 6th, FanDuel: 17th
Despite losing Ben Roethlisberger to retirement, Johnson has remained one of the most utilized receivers in the league. With Mitchell Trubisky under center this season, Johnson has seen double-digit targets in every game and ranks sixth in the league in target share (32.4%) while running a route on 97% of his quarterback’s dropbacks. Notably, Trubisky has shown a willingness to go deep to Johnson, who ranks sixth in targets over 20 yards (6) and third in air yards (368).
Their success down field hasn’t been great, with Johnson only bringing in one of his six deep targets, but this week’s matchup with the Jets is a perfect spot for the two players to connect on some deep balls. New York is allowing the third-most yards per pass attempt (7.5), and they have also given up the most receiving touchdowns to receivers (6). Johnson brings outstanding upside in this beautiful matchup, and Stokastic is only projecting him for right around 10% ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
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Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Score Ranks: DraftKings: 7th, FanDuel: 16th
This is a terrific time to buy low on Jacobs. Scoring single-digit fantasy points in two of his first three starts of the season, Jacobs is forecasting for low ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel. While the results have been less than ideal, his role this season has remained strong and positive regression is coming soon. Averaging 14 carries per game, Jacobs has handled 87.5% of the Raiders’ running back carries this season, which ranks fourth in the league. Included in this sample are nine red zone rushes, which are 100% of Las Vegas’ backfield red zone carries.
Yet Jacobs has yet to find the paydirt, which is likely going to change this weekend against the Broncos. Coming into this season, he had scored 28 touchdowns rushing across his first 43 games as a professional. At -114 on Caesars Sportsbook, Jacobs is the only skill player in this Raiders – Broncos matchup favored to score a touchdown, which is rather telling considering this contest features the likes of Davante Adams, Javonte Williams and Courtland Sutton. Also, the game total ranks fifth on the slate (45.5 points), and the Raiders are 2.5-point home favorites.
Historically, Jacobs has thrived in this type of situation, averaging 20 DraftKings points per game when favored at home (eight games). While this matchup isn’t great on paper — Denver is the sixth-highest-graded defense on PFF — everything else points to a performance from Jacobs that would be more than enough for him to beat his depressed price tags.
Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Score Ranks: DraftKings: 13th, FanDuel: 9th
Carrying the third-highest implied team slate at 26.25 points, the Lions are an enticing offense to stack this week against the Seahawks. This matchup’s total is the third largest on the board (48 points), and Lockett is the most optimal bring-back option for Detroit stacks, with modest ownership coming his direction and at cheaper price tags than D.K. Metcalf on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
This season, Lockett has run a route on 90% of dropbacks — 46% of which have come from the slot — and has seen a target on a team-best 26% of his routes. Three of these targets have been greater than 20 yards, and Lockett also leads the Seahawks in air yards (270).
He is fresh off back-to-back nine-catch performances, with 11 targets in each start, and competing as a 4.5-point underdog in this high-scoring environment is the perfect recipe for Lockett’s large role to continue. He is averaging 17.3 DraftKings points per game in totals of at least 45 points over the last two years and is rating as a top-10 receiver in leverage score in Stokastic’s Boom/Bust Tool.
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