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  • These five facts, mostly about players breaking out before our eyes, will help you build your Week 15 DFS lineups.
By Chris Raybon
December 15, 2017

Traditional fantasy football is about spotting breakout candidates before the fact so you can draft or pick up them up before anyone else. Daily fantasy, on the other hand, is about spotting players in the midst of a breakout. That creates a situation where you’re getting value because the player’s salary will likely continue increasing, but you’ve bought in before it reaches that high point.

Here are four facts about players in the midst of a breakout, along with one more about a quarterback whose lack of a breakout puts the opposing defenses in prime fantasy position.

1. Jimmy Garoppolo has averaged 313.5 passing yards per game and 9.0 yards per attempt in two starts as a 49er

More impressive than Garoppolo’s numbers are who he’s compiled them with at receiver: Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor and Louis Murphy have been his top three targets. The second-round pick San Francisco traded for Garoppolo is already looking like a bargain—just like his salary on FanDuel ($7,300) and DraftKings ($6,300) as he goes against an inconsistent Titans pass defense.

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2. Alex Collins has averaged 19.8 touches, 98.0 total yards and 1.2 touchdowns per game in four games since the bye

Most importantly, Collins put up 3.3 targets and 2.5 receptions per game over that span, despite the presence of receiving-back extraordinaire Danny Woodhead, which raises Collins’s floor in the event of negative game script. Collins should have no trouble Irish dancing through a Browns defense that has allowed more than 100 yards from scrimmage to each of the past four lead backs they’ve faced.

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3. Dede Westbrook leads the Jaguars with 33 targets since being activated in Week 11

Westbrook has caught at least five passes in each of his past three games, but his rapid emergence isn’t surprising if you’ve followed his career. He was a Heisman finalist in 2016 and led the NFL in receiving yards during the 2017 preseason before suffering an abdominal injury that sidelined him for 10 weeks. This week, he gets to continue making up for lost time against the Texans, who allow the fourth-most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to wide receivers.

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4. The Packers allow the most schedule-adjusted fantasy points in the league to wide receivers

This bodes well for Devin Funchess, who has hogged 45% of Carolina’s wide receiver targets since the team dealt Kelvin Benjamin in Week 9, scoring four touchdowns over that span. The increased likelihood of a shootout with Aaron Rodgers coming back, along with injuries to Green Bay cornerbacks Kevin King (shoulder, IR) and Davon House (back) further enhances Funchess’s outlook.

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5. Bryce Petty has thrown an interception once every 20.3 career attempts

Thrust into a starting role this week after Josh McCown (hand) went on injured reserve, Petty’s main qualification for the job is “not being Christian Hackenberg.” Meanwhile, only five teams have more interceptions than New Orleans’s 14. The Saints are double-digit favorites at home against the Jets, which is pretty much the ideal scenario for a defense/special teams in fantasy.

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