Daily Fantasy Football Range-of-Outcome Projections: Week 2
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. For quarterbacks and running backs, this measures games with 3x value versus games with worse than 2x value. For wide receivers and tight ends, it's 2x versus less than 1.5x. Think of it as a floor-versus-ceiling rating. Higher is better, and they should be compared only within the same position.
With a lot of high-scoring games on tap for Week 2, a good handful of quarterbacks have strong median projections. Of course, Lamar Jackson is at the top and rates out with a high raw ceiling, but Dak Prescott's too close behind at too big of a FanDuel savings to ignore. In a snake draft, Lamar is still the QB1, but Dak and Kyler Murray are priority salary cap plays over Lamar and Patrick Mahomes.
Josh Allen is part of a game with a low total but rates out well in the sims because of his rushing floor and ceiling. The same can be said for Deshaun Watson, though he should be playing catchup opposite Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
If seeking to spend down at quarterback, I'd still give the nod to Carson Wentz or Matthew Stafford over the rest, even with rushing options Ryan Tannehill and Mitchell Trubisky rating out a little ahead.
|Benny Snell Jr.||$4,600||9.1||1.98||3.6||13.5||7.1%||0.45|
Usually, Christian McCaffrey is a lock play, but in a salary cap format, that may not be the case. We've got a ton of value in the form of Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kenyan Drake, and Jonathan Taylor in the boom/bust category -- which accounts for salary. That said, McCaffrey offered the highest floor and ceiling in the sims, but the matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pushes him more into tournament territory in salary cap formats.
It's not really a week where we need to get cute in cash games or single-entry tournaments. Elliott, Edwards-Helaire, Henry, and Taylor are tough to ignore given their situations relative to other rushers.
We'd probably be safe to assume that Saquon Barkley will be an unpopular FanDuel pick at his $9,000 salary and coming off a dreadful opener. Plus, his matchup with the Chicago Bears doesn't suggest to bring a lot of touchdown equity with it. For that reason, he's an elite tournament pivot from the chalky backs in his salary range.
Only four receivers rated out with a 25th-percentile projection of at least 10 FanDuel points, compared to seven backs. With Calvin Ridley's median outcome so close to the other studs', he really enters cash-game consideration. If you're spending down for Jonathan Taylor, it's hard not to make up for that with Davante Adams, whose floor and 15-FanDuel-point rate is a cut above everyone's but Julio Jones'.
Will Fuller and Michael Gallup rated out as top-five floor/ceiling options, which is enticing because of the high-salaried running backs who stand out. I'm still leaning on a Zeke/Henry/CEH core at running back and looking at these wideouts for salary relief.
Travis Kelce's the guy this week, based on the simulations. I would've expected Mark Andrews to be closer to that level, but Andrews drew just six targets in the opener, and volume is always a legitimate concern for Andrews on a run-heavy team.
It drops off significantly behind those two, but it's Hunter Henry opposite Kelce with the next-best 25th-percentile outcome. Henry is fourth in boom/bust ratio behind Kelce, Andrews, and Dallas Goedert. Goedert's $5,500 salary puts him firmly in the cash-game consideration set after a nine-target game.