Daily Fantasy Football Floor and Ceiling Projections: Week 7
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.
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.
Unsurprisingly, it's Patrick Mahomes ($8,800) leading the slate in boom/bust ratio while positioned in the game of the week on the main slate against the Tennessee Titans. This will be Mahomes' second game of the season against a pass defense outside the top 20 by numberFire's metrics. And the first one came last week. In it, he threw for 397 yards and 2 touchdowns.
There's a wide tier behind Mahomes that includes Lamar Jackson ($8,400), Kyler Murray ($8,700), Matthew Stafford ($8,100), Jalen Hurts ($8,300), and Tom Brady ($8,000). It's hard to separate any of them from the rest, though Stafford and Brady are pass-only quarterbacks in games with heavy spreads. The other three have more rushing, though Murray and the Arizona Cardinals are also big favorites. If picking between the five, it's Hurts -- who gets star tackle Lane Johnson back.
The main value quarterback of the week is Ryan Tannehill ($7,600) against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are bottom five against the pass after adjusting for opponent, according to numberFire's metrics. And in two games against similar defenses with receiver A.J. Brown ($7,000) healthy, Tannehill has doubled the NFL average in per-drop back efficiency at numberFire. We can make an easy case for him this week.
Derrick Henry's ($11,000) salary is an eye-opener and no mistake. Yes, the salary is nearly exorbitant, but that word suggests it's unreasonable. It isn't. His workload -- based on weighted carries and targets -- is easily best on the main slate, and nobody else is close to him. I understand the case for being a smidge wary of the salary, yet his 20-point odds are unmatched within the position.
Aaron Jones ($8,500) seems over-salaried based on his majority-split backfield with A.J. Dillon ($5,400). Not that Dillon is in the main slate conversation. The same can be said for Cordarrelle Patterson ($8,000), who remains top-five in fantasy points per snap among all flex-position players since 2016. The regression seems like a lock. Also in the $8,000 range, we have Darrell Henderson ($8,000), whose floor is high but whose ceiling is a little trickier to meet, given the trends involved in games with huge spreads.
I'll be playing a lot of Leonard Fournette ($7,000).
|Amon-Ra St. Brown||$5,400||7.0||1.30||3.7||10.9||0.8%||0.45|
Honestly, for as high-variance as receiver is, it's a boring position to analyze because the checklist always comes down to volume, leverage, and game environment. That puts Tyreek Hill ($8,500) near the top in 75th-percentile outcome, but Davante Adams ($9,000) and Cooper Kupp ($8,800) are nearby.
The sims like Robert Woods ($6,800) for a solid floor despite the heavy spread, and the same applies to Chris Godwin ($6,700). I prefer A.J. Brown ($7,000) to them given the more ideal game script, one that should lead to a competitive game more often than the other two, but Godwin is someone I want to roster plenty.
DeVonta Smith ($5,800) sets up for a safe workload of targets with the Philadelphia Eagles' trade of Zach Ertz, but that will always mean high-risk targets for Smith, who profiles as a downfield threat against a Raiders team that has done well to limit downfield work thus far.
Jaylen Waddle ($5,900) and DeVante Parker ($5,600) both rank as viable plays, more so Waddle, against an Atlanta Falcons team that ranks 32nd in adjusted fantasy points allowed to receivers.
The best air-yards-per-salary-dollar values under $7,000 include Brandin Cooks ($6,500), DeVonta Smith ($5,800), Henry Ruggs ($5,700), Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($5,300), Robby Anderson ($5,500), and Corey Davis ($5,900).
Tight end is also always tedious to examine from a range of outcomes standpoint but for different reasons: few guys have noteworthy ceilings.
Travis Kelce ($8,200) is on the slate and owns the only 75th-percentile outcome over 20 points on the slate at tight end. Unsurprisingly, it's Mark Andrews ($7,500) and Darren Waller ($6,800) next up.