Daily Fantasy Football Floor and Ceiling Projections: Week 6

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, including dynamic variance based on underlying passing, rushing, and receiving data.

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 a 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
Patrick Mahomes$9,00025.32.8119.531.151.3%2.85
Lamar Jackson$8,20025.23.0719.130.751.4%2.61
Justin Herbert$8,00021.12.6415.226.028.8%0.96
Kyler Murray$8,40020.92.4815.326.329.9%0.99
Matthew Stafford$7,90020.32.5715.525.125.8%0.81
Dak Prescott$8,10020.22.5015.125.528.0%0.81
Joe Burrow$7,40019.32.6114.424.422.1%0.64
Taylor Heinicke$7,30018.92.5914.124.221.6%0.59
Aaron Rodgers$7,70018.62.4213.123.619.6%0.50
Carson Wentz$6,70017.72.6312.622.816.3%0.39
Kirk Cousins$7,10017.42.4612.522.716.1%0.36
Baker Mayfield$6,80017.32.5412.122.413.9%0.32
Mac Jones$6,50017.32.6512.722.214.7%0.33
Daniel Jones$7,20016.82.3411.622.314.6%0.33
Sam Darnold$7,50016.22.1711.521.712.6%0.27
Teddy Bridgewater$6,60016.12.4411.520.910.8%0.22
Derek Carr$7,00016.12.2911.220.610.4%0.20
Jared Goff$6,90016.02.3211.221.011.5%0.23
Justin Fields$6,40015.32.4010.420.49.0%0.18
Davis Mills$6,70013.

Noteworthy wind is in the cards for a lot of the top-projected quarterbacks this week, but the sims have a clear top duo with Patrick Mahomes ($9,000) and Lamar Jackson ($8,200); they're the two guys with a 75th-percentile outcome north of 30.0 FanDuel points.

Behind them, it's the usual expectations in virtually cascading order of salary. Joe Burrow ($7,400) and Taylor Heinicke ($7,300) make for the best sub-$7,500 options available, but the high ceilings for Mahomes and Jackson make them building blocks for me.

Running Back

Simulation Results

Player FanDuel
Value 25th
Christian McCaffrey$10,00020.52.0514.226.351.7%2.84
Kareem Hunt$7,40020.02.7013.625.950.0%2.59
Austin Ekeler$8,40017.32.0611.722.535.9%1.56
Dalvin Cook$8,80016.81.9111.422.534.8%1.38
Jonathan Taylor$7,50016.12.1510.621.831.7%1.18
Darrell Henderson$7,30015.22.089.820.226.3%0.98
Aaron Jones$8,00015.11.899.720.526.9%0.91
Ezekiel Elliott$8,30014.81.789.620.326.1%0.86
D'Andre Swift$7,10014.
Joe Mixon$7,00014.12.018.819.020.9%0.70
Antonio Gibson$6,70013.82.058.718.519.7%0.59
Josh Jacobs$6,80012.61.858.317.516.1%0.47
Devontae Booker$5,90011.
Khalil Herbert$5,50011.62.116.816.513.4%0.36
Darrel Williams$5,20011.52.216.716.210.3%0.34
Chase Edmonds$5,90010.61.805.915.39.2%0.25
Melvin Gordon$6,00010.61.776.015.68.9%0.25
Javonte Williams$5,60010.21.825.415.17.4%0.22
Jamaal Williams$5,7009.71.705.213.96.2%0.16
Latavius Murray$5,8008.71.494.712.73.8%0.09
Damien Harris$6,2008.61.394.412.83.1%0.10
James Conner$6,1008.21.354.312.72.7%0.08
Tony Pollard$6,0007.71.293.412.22.3%0.07
A.J. Dillon$5,4007.51.383.511.42.6%0.06
Jerick McKinnon$4,6007.21.572.912.02.5%0.06
Sony Michel$5,4007.11.323.011.11.4%0.05
Nyheim Hines$5,1007.01.372.911.31.6%0.04
Mark Ingram$5,3006.91.302.611.42.1%0.05
J.D. McKissic$5,2006.81.312.811.01.5%0.04
Alexander Mattison$7,7006.40.822.110.21.2%0.02
David Johnson$5,2006.
Rhamondre Stevenson$5,1005.
Ty'Son Williams$5,8005.70.982.19.90.7%0.02
Brandon Bolden$5,2005.10.991.08.70.4%0.01
Chris Evans$4,6004.
Marlon Mack$5,0004.10.820.37.70.1%0.01
Kenyan Drake$5,3003.70.710.17.50.2%0.01
Peyton Barber$5,5003.30.590.06.80.1%0.00
Chuba Hubbard$6,9003.00.430.06.50.0%0.00

The injury list is long at running back, but it does vault Kareem Hunt ($7,400) into elite value territory because Nick Chubb is ruled out.

News also opens up value for Khalil Herbert ($5,500), as Damien Williams has landed on the COVID-19 list, adding to the list of sub-$6,000 backs we can target. However, note the 20-point odds: they're high only for the feature backs at higher salaries. Value exists within the position, but sheer upside will be harder to find down lower in the salary pool.

Wide Receiver

Simulation Results

Player FanDuel
Value 25th
Davante Adams$8,50018.32.1513.123.241.6%2.10
Tyreek Hill$8,70017.11.9711.523.938.1%1.56
Cooper Kupp$8,20016.31.9812.520.225.5%1.43
Terry McLaurin$7,40014.21.929.319.122.3%0.69
Ja'Marr Chase$7,80014.11.818.819.623.4%0.75
D.J. Moore$7,60014.01.849.018.920.6%0.67
Justin Jefferson$7,90013.51.718.518.719.8%0.61
Mike Williams$8,00013.21.657.719.222.0%0.61
DeAndre Hopkins$7,70013.01.688.617.213.8%0.46
CeeDee Lamb$7,00012.91.858.916.910.8%0.41
Keenan Allen$7,10012.51.758.216.610.8%0.38
Robert Woods$6,90012.21.779.016.18.5%0.31
Amari Cooper$6,80012.21.798.416.510.2%0.36
Tee Higgins$6,40012.01.877.216.612.7%0.36
Courtland Sutton$6,60011.91.806.917.213.3%0.42
Marquise Brown$7,00011.71.687.616.49.8%0.32
Brandin Cooks$6,50011.71.806.616.715.2%0.38
Michael Pittman Jr.$5,80011.21.937.215.46.1%0.22
Jakobi Meyers$5,80010.81.876.515.27.0%0.24
Adam Thielen$7,20010.61.486.714.76.5%0.18
Allen Robinson$5,90010.51.786.214.35.9%0.18
Kadarius Toney$6,00010.21.705.814.34.9%0.16
Tyler Boyd$6,3009.71.546.413.22.0%0.08
Darnell Mooney$5,6009.61.725.013.54.7%0.15
Sterling Shepard$6,2009.11.465.512.82.8%0.09
Robby Anderson$5,5008.91.614.313.22.5%0.10
Hunter Renfrow$5,7008.81.545.412.11.8%0.05
Rondale Moore$5,7008.71.534.812.41.9%0.06
Mecole Hardman$5,5008.71.585.312.01.5%0.06
Odell Beckham$6,0008.51.424.513.14.8%0.12
Amon-Ra St. Brown$5,2008.21.574.511.91.5%0.06
Nelson Agholor$5,4008.01.494.612.02.3%0.06
Tim Patrick$6,1008.01.314.512.53.2%0.09
Van Jefferson$5,4007.51.394.011.00.7%0.02
A.J. Green$5,4007.51.393.611.52.7%0.06
Christian Kirk$5,9007.51.273.611.01.2%0.04
Zach Pascal$5,3007.11.343.711.00.9%0.03
Kalif Raymond$5,1007.11.393.810.81.0%0.02
Adam Humphries$5,0007.01.403.69.90.0%0.01
Henry Ruggs$5,5006.91.252.510.60.7%0.03
Darius Slayton$5,5006.91.252.810.81.1%0.03
Randall Cobb$5,3006.

Very few outliers typically exist at receiver, as volume is earned and not granted due to a single injury, and that's what we're facing yet again for Week 6. The elite ceilings belong to Davante Adams ($8,500) and Tyreek Hill ($8,700). Cooper Kupp ($8,200) is in his own tier in terms of boom/bust ratio.

Behind them is a loaded $7,000 tier, as usual, within the position.

Standout value plays at the position look to be Michael Pittman Jr. ($5,800), Jakobi Meyers ($5,800), and Kadarius Toney ($6,000). I'm higher than the sims on Amon-Ra St. Brown, who has eight targets in each of the past two games, though it's important to keep ceiling expectations in check.

Tight End

Simulation Results

Player FanDuel
Value 25th
Travis Kelce$8,50014.71.7310.119.548.5%0.83
Mark Andrews$6,30012.11.927.516.633.8%0.38
Darren Waller$7,00012.01.727.316.733.4%0.38
T.J. Hockenson$6,4009.11.434.813.017.2%0.09
Dalton Schultz$6,5008.71.345.312.311.5%0.06
Noah Fant$5,8008.71.494.812.211.7%0.06
Ricky Seals-Jones$5,0007.51.493.511.19.0%0.04
Tyler Higbee$5,5007.21.303.810.76.0%0.02
Hunter Henry$5,6006.
Jared Cook$5,4006.
Robert Tonyan$5,2006.51.262.910.04.1%0.02
Evan Engram$5,0006.31.252.610.14.6%0.01
Jonnu Smith$4,8006.
Cole Kmet$4,7005.
Tyler Conklin$5,1005.
Austin Hooper$4,7005.
David Njoku$5,1005.
Mo Alie-Cox$5,0004.90.981.97.60.8%0.00
C.J. Uzomah$5,3004.50.851.67.51.0%0.00
Jack Doyle$4,5004.20.931.37.71.2%0.01

As always, it's Travis Kelce at the top of the position, followed by Mark Andrews and Darren Waller.

The value from Ricky Seals-Jones could lead to a chalky play within a fun game against the Kansas City Chiefs. It's a typical tight end week with few certainties and projectable ceilings belonging only to the superstars.