Daily Fantasy Football Range-of-Outcome Projections: Week 8
Fantasy football is a volatile game.
Sometimes, a shoelace tackle is the difference between a 10-yard catch and a 70-yard touchdown, and sometimes goal-line carries go to backup players.
It happens. A lot.
And, don't get me wrong -- median projections are quite valuable and capture the most-likely scenario. Setting your lineups based on 90th-percentile projections isn't the right way to handle things for a head-to-head lineup, but if you want to figure out which players can bust a slate open, then you'll have to embrace some risk.
That's why I've started simulating NFL weeks and seeing what happens when the slate is played out 1,000 times. Here are some things that popped at each position this week, based on my simulations, which factor in numberFire's projections and my own tweaks.
FanDuel Salary: A player's main slate salary on FanDuel.
Median FDP: A player's median FanDuel projection across the 1,000 slate simulations.
Value: Projected median FanDuel points per $1,000 in salary. All quarterbacks generally have a 2.00 FanDuel-point-per-$1,000 rate at the low end, which implies 2-times value, or 2x value. On a full slate of 13 games, roughly 13 running backs tend to have a 2x value projection. On a full slate of 13 games, a small handful of receivers may get to a 2x median projection, and just more than 30 will be at 1.5x. On a full slate of 13 games, few tight ends will get to a 2x median value, and anything above 1.5x is generally a top-six projection. It's important to understand the different value expectations across positions.
25th Pct: The player's 25th-percentile FanDuel point projection, meant to show a low-end (or floor) outcome. Every player's true floor is zero.
75th Pct: The player's 75th-percentile FanDuel point projection, meant to show a somewhat attainable/projectable high-end (or ceiling) outcome without simply looking at true outlier performances.
FDP%: The frequency with which a player surpassed a certain raw projection threshold, meant to show a raw ceiling outcome. This doesn't adjust for salary and is a different value for each position.
Boom/Bust Ratio: The frequency with which a player had a "boom" game compared to a "bust" game based on historical, position-based value outcomes. For quarterbacks, this measures games with 2.75x value versus games with worse than 2x value. For running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, it's 2x versus less than 1.5x. Think of it as a simple floor-versus-ceiling rating. Higher is better, and they should be compared only within the same position.
The quarterback pool has a lot of studs at the top, but Russell Wilson again elevates based on his boom/bust ratio. The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are in one of the best games -- if not the best game -- of the week based on all the weather concerns around the league. Patrick Mahomes has the best raw median projection but has blowout risk against the New York Jets. That's okay, though, because we can pivot down to Lamar Jackson at a salary of just $8,300.
We also have a few standout lower-salaried plays with Joe Burrow and Ryan Tannehill going head-to-head in my second favorite game of the week, and believe it or not, Jimmy Garoppolo at just $6,600 has a lot of appeal, as I discussed on this week's Heat Check podcast.
Kareem Hunt once again rates out as an elite salary-based play based on his floor and ceiling outcomes, and Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara are the standout studs based on the simulations. I'm always lower on Henry than the projections, but against the Cincinnati Bengals in a likely shootout, Henry gets bumped up. Kamara, meanwhile, gets a really tough matchup against the Chicago Bears and will likely need the usual volume to hit his ceiling. Dalvin Cook grades out a tier (or two) below those two backs, yet his game environment is more akin to Henry's than is Kamara's.
Of the backs hovering around $6,000, 5 are actually inside the top 10 in boom/bust ratio (Myles Gaskin, Jerick McKinnon, Joshua Kelley, Darrell Henderson, and David Montgomery). Only Gaskin profiles as a strong DFS play to me with his certain workload and efficiency.
Davante Adams is the WR1 in the median outcomes, and that's even with our algorithm a little lower on him than the consensus seems to be. There's a lot of love for both Seattle receivers, D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, each of whom have top-three boom/bust ratios. Tyreek Hill joins them, but the blowout risk for the Chiefs is more than a little worrying for him to reach his true ceiling.
There's a good crop of receivers in the $7,000-plus range who project for similar odds of 20-plus FanDuel points, so we have a lot of ways to differentiate this week away from whichever receivers trend toward being the chalkiest.
|Irv Smith Jr.||$4,500||5.3||1.18||2.4||8.2||1.3%||0.30|
We have four big dogs in the mix this week with George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, and Darren Waller on the slate. The two salary-based standouts, though, are Kittle and Waller, and they fit my process better. Kelce's got blowout risk, and Andrews is in a tough game.
There isn't much love for Mike Gesicki, but he's still a high-volume player who gets downfield work and should be in play for tournaments.