Daily Fantasy Football Range-of-Outcome Projections: Week 13

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.

Table Terms

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.


Simulation Results

Player FanDuel
Value 25th
Russell Wilson $9,000 21.62.4016.527.334.7%0.81
Kyler Murray $8,700 21.02.4215.626.731.9%0.86
Deshaun Watson $8,200 20.42.4914.526.029.1%0.94
Justin Herbert $7,900 19.12.4213.724.824.0%0.85
Kirk Cousins $7,300 19.02.6113.624.422.6%1.21
Aaron Rodgers $8,500 18.82.2113.524.423.4%0.49
Cam Newton $7,500 18.22.4312.623.819.7%0.84
Ryan Tannehill $7,800 18.22.3312.523.220.3%0.66
Taysom Hill $7,700 18.12.3513.123.719.6%0.77
Jared Goff $7,200 17.92.4912.123.019.6%0.93
Derek Carr $7,200 17.72.4612.123.219.7%0.90
Mitchell Trubisky $6,900 16.92.4411.721.913.4%0.90
Philip Rivers $7,000 16.72.3811.222.114.8%0.78
Mike Glennon $6,800 15.72.3110.821.412.1%0.77
Matt Ryan $7,400 15.42.0810.520.712.4%0.42
Baker Mayfield $7,100 15.42.1710.020.99.8%0.54
Matthew Stafford $6,800 15.22.2410.120.69.9%0.63
Carson Wentz $7,300 15.22.0810.420.39.6%0.38
Sam Darnold $6,500
Colt McCoy $6,500
Brandon Allen $6,000


The quarterback position is largely underwhelming this week with some of the high-salaried options having shortcomings. Russell Wilson's Seattle Seahawks are dead last in pace the past two games, Deshaun Watson will be without Will Fuller, Justin Herbert plays a New England Patriots team that can ugly up a game.

Kyler Murray did get in a full practice, and Aaron Rodgers is in a good spot with his team healthy, as I discussed on this week's Heat Check podcast.

The best salary-saving option looks like Kirk Cousins, who was the only passer with more salary-based "boom" games than he had "bust" games in the simulations.

Running Back

Simulation Results

Player FanDuel
Value 25th
Dalvin Cook $10,500 22.42.1416.928.262.8%2.75
Derrick Henry $10,000 21.52.1516.427.056.8%2.87
James Robinson $7,800 16.02.0510.221.129.5%1.70
Austin Ekeler $7,000 16.02.2810.121.833.3%2.21
Alvin Kamara $7,500 15.92.1210.521.732.0%1.90
Aaron Jones $8,400 15.01.789.720.726.7%1.10
D'Andre Swift $6,800
Miles Sanders $7,200 13.41.868.018.620.0%1.23
Chris Carson $8,000 13.11.648.018.017.4%0.74
Wayne Gallman $6,100
Nick Chubb $8,700 12.91.487.618.520.0%0.55
David Montgomery $6,200
David Johnson $6,200 12.01.947.316.411.6%1.37
Giovani Bernard $5,800
Kenyan Drake $6,600 11.81.796.816.614.0%1.08
Jonathan Taylor $6,400 10.71.686.415.37.5%0.88
Nyheim Hines $6,400 10.21.595.414.57.0%0.76
Jamaal Williams $5,200 9.91.915.714.35.0%1.26
Damien Harris $5,900 9.91.685.614.97.9%0.93
Devontae Booker $6,000 9.91.655.414.15.4%0.88
Kareem Hunt $6,300 9.91.575.514.45.8%0.71
Frank Gore $5,300 9.31.755.213.53.4%1.04
Josh Jacobs $7,800
Myles Gaskin $5,500 8.01.464.012.22.1%0.60
James White $5,700 7.81.374.112.02.5%0.51
Chase Edmonds $5,500 7.71.404.210.91.0%0.45
Carlos Hyde $5,700 7.61.343.811.61.5%0.46
Latavius Murray $5,800 7.61.313.911.41.1%0.41
Darrell Henderson $5,600 7.51.343.811.22.0%0.45
Todd Gurley $6,600
Cam Akers $5,600
Brian Hill $5,800
Duke Johnson $6,000 5.60.942.68.70.1%0.10
Ito Smith $5,500 5.30.972.28.20.0%0.12
Ty Johnson $4,800
Malcolm Brown $5,200
Jordan Wilkins $5,500 5.00.912.47.90.0%0.10
Matt Breida $5,300 4.90.932.47.80.1%0.12
Jalen Richard $4,500
DeAndre Washington $5,400 4.50.832.17.00.0%0.07
Alexander Mattison $7,300 4.30.591.96.80.0%0.00
Samaje Perine $4,600 4.00.882.06.30.0%0.05


Three backs rate out with elite floor/ceiling performances in the simulations: Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, and Austin Ekeler. They're all priority plays on FanDuel, and you can roster all three in the same lineup if you're open to some value at receiver.

The sims still like Alvin Kamara a decent bit, ranking him fourth in boom/bust rate, but I'm not there, considering his new role under a new quarterback.

D'Andre Swift, James Robinson, and Kenyan Drake are next up for me from a process standpoint, and they also rate out well.

It's worth noting that Nick Chubb is down the list from a boom/bust standpoint, ranking 13th.

Wide Receiver

Simulation Results

Player FanDuel
Value 25th
Davante Adams $9,500 16.11.6911.221.129.5%0.85
D.K. Metcalf $8,500 14.51.719.319.824.1%0.93
DeAndre Hopkins $8,000 14.41.809.220.125.4%1.09
Keenan Allen $8,100 14.31.779.019.523.1%1.03
Calvin Ridley $8,400 13.71.637.819.021.2%0.78
Adam Thielen $7,800 13.61.748.519.022.6%1.02
Tyler Lockett $7,900 13.61.728.319.121.6%0.94
Allen Robinson $6,900 13.21.917.518.720.4%1.27
Michael Thomas $7,200 13.01.817.718.720.6%1.09
Robert Woods $7,100 13.01.837.418.218.1%1.08
A.J. Brown $8,200 12.81.567.518.319.5%0.69
Brandin Cooks $6,500 12.61.946.818.419.1%1.32
Justin Jefferson $7,700 12.41.617.117.817.6%0.78
Cooper Kupp $6,600 12.11.836.717.014.6%1.10
DeVante Parker $6,800 11.11.635.516.614.0%0.84
Jakobi Meyers $5,900 11.01.876.016.011.7%1.21
Tee Higgins $6,400 11.01.725.715.910.7%0.96
D.J. Chark $6,300 10.91.745.916.514.3%1.05
Jarvis Landry $6,000 10.71.795.716.713.6%1.10
Marvin Jones $6,000 10.41.734.915.310.1%0.93
Denzel Mims $5,500 10.21.865.415.29.5%1.14
T.Y. Hilton $5,600 9.91.764.515.18.6%1.00
Mike Williams $5,800 9.61.664.514.58.5%0.85
Tyler Boyd $6,600 9.61.454.114.57.8%0.62
Michael Pittman Jr. $5,600 9.31.664.214.17.8%0.90
Sterling Shepard $5,600 9.31.664.614.06.9%0.88
Damiere Byrd $5,300 9.11.734.414.07.4%0.93
Keke Coutee $4,800 9.11.903.413.85.9%1.16
Jamison Crowder $6,200 8.91.434.013.16.4%0.54
Nelson Agholor $5,400 8.91.644.213.16.2%0.83
Corey Davis $6,100 8.71.433.813.75.9%0.60
Keelan Cole $5,300 8.51.613.913.03.9%0.77
Breshad Perriman $5,900 8.41.423.913.05.2%0.59
Laviska Shenault $5,200 8.31.593.712.83.9%0.80
Darius Slayton $5,700 8.11.433.712.83.6%0.61
Travis Fulgham $6,300
Hunter Renfrow $5,400 7.81.443.312.33.8%0.63
Josh Reynolds $5,500 7.81.413.513.04.5%0.62
Christian Kirk $5,800 7.71.333.212.54.0%0.53
Allen Lazard $5,600 7.61.363.111.71.7%0.49
Anthony Miller $4,900 7.61.543.212.22.6%0.77
Jalen Reagor $5,500 7.51.362.912.12.3%0.51
Russell Gage $5,200 7.31.412.611.81.9%0.64
Darnell Mooney $5,100 7.01.373.011.63.4%0.59
A.J. Green $5,200 7.01.352.911.31.1%0.54
Golden Tate $5,200 6.91.322.810.81.6%0.51
Zach Pascal $4,800 6.91.432.410.31.4%0.58
Henry Ruggs $5,400
N'Keal Harry $5,100 6.71.312.411.11.4%0.55
Emmanuel Sanders $5,300
Larry Fitzgerald $5,000
Julio Jones $8,000 6.00.752.09.80.4%0.03
David Moore $5,000
Danny Amendola $5,000
Rashard Higgins $5,400
Isaiah Coulter $4,500
Kenny Golladay $7,000 5.70.822.19.40.3%0.07
Cordarrelle Patterson $5,500
Chris Conley $4,700
Marquez Valdes-Scantling $5,700 5.40.941.99.20.2%0.19
Adam Humphries $4,900
Jakeem Grant $4,800


The top of the receiver pool is intriguing, but the $7,000 range is fairly barren. The five best boom/bust ratios belong to wideouts below that $7,000 mark: Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson, Jakobi Meyers, Keke Coutee, and Denzel Mims.

Still, if you're of the opinion that these more value-based wideouts don't pan out (and there are reasons for concern for all five) and you play the angle of Cook and Henry being kept in check, the elite ceilings of guys such as Davante Adams, D.K. Metcalf, DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen and the others would give you a very different lineup construction from most.

Tight End

Simulation Results

Player FanDuel
Value 25th
Darren Waller $7,000 12.51.798.117.234.5%1.05
Hunter Henry $6,000 9.11.524.513.418.0%0.68
Evan Engram $6,000 9.01.505.113.116.9%0.61
T.J. Hockenson $6,100 8.91.464.712.915.1%0.54
Austin Hooper $5,300 8.41.584.412.212.8%0.73
Dallas Goedert $6,200
Hayden Hurst $5,600 7.61.363.511.49.7%0.45
Jonnu Smith $5,700
Jordan Akins $5,200 7.01.353.110.77.3%0.49
Mike Gesicki $5,700
Trey Burton $5,500
Tyler Higbee $5,100
Robert Tonyan $5,900
Kyle Rudolph $5,000
Jimmy Graham $5,400
Zach Ertz $5,700 5.50.972.28.31.4%0.12
Tyler Eifert $4,700
Gerald Everett $4,800
Harrison Bryant $4,500
Will Dissly $4,500
Jared Cook $5,500 4.50.831.87.20.6%0.06
Jacob Hollister $4,900 4.30.871.87.00.5%0.09
Chris Herndon $4,500 4.20.941.86.90.1%0.14
Anthony Firkser $4,600 4.20.901.76.80.2%0.12
Dan Arnold $4,600 3.60.781.35.70.0%0.04
Drew Sample $4,500 3.40.761.45.60.0%0.03
Ryan Izzo $4,500 3.40.761.45.30.0%0.04
Mo Alie-Cox $4,800 3.40.711.26.00.0%0.06


This position has been bad most weeks, but this is an especially bad week for tight end. Darren Waller easily ranks as the best play but is hard to prioritize at $7,000. The cluster of Hunter Henry, Evan Engram, and T.J. Hockenson rate out relatively closely overall with our algorithms ranking them in that order. I'm highest on Hockenson in a game featuring two teams that have played at fast paces recently.

The simulation-based value play of the week is Austin Hooper (which feels like it's always the case, but at least he's in a great game environment), followed by Jordan Akins, Kyle Rudolph, and Tyler Higbee.