Analytics, Football

Distribution Analysis: Week 9 NFL DFS Score+ Value+

See Week 9 NFL Daily Fantasy Sports Projections first.

     The college football games are underway, and there’s still a few hours until the Gators game vs Arkansas kicks off.  So this is the perfect time to dive a little deeper into our DFS Value and Score Projections for the week, and run you guys through my line of thinking.  Shown below are the distributions of Score+ and Value+ for the top 25 at each position.  Remember Score+ is a raw value of how a player will do, and Value+ is Score+ / Salary.  Both metrics are also designed to show how much better a player is compared to the rest of their position.  So naturally, spread of Value and Score is reflected in Value+ and Score+.
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First Impressions

     As expected, this is a top-loaded distribution for essentially every position.  Score+ seems to have a stronger skew than Value+, confirming that the elite in each position are in a tier above everyone else.  In Value+, the immediate slope changes a little bit.  What is notable here is comparing the distribution of each position group.  QB’s (Red) Value+ and Score+ line lines below every other position indicating that the spread is not as great as other positions.  This indicates that there isn’t as much reason to reach for a top QB as there is elsewhere.  TE’s (Blue) continue to follow the theme that they have all year.  This is a position where it makes the most sense to reach for the top guy in terms of both Score and Value.  The top few will get you points, and then there’s a sharp decline.  RB’s (Orange) start off at the highest Value and Score under TE’s.  This makes sense as traditionally Running Backs are the big point getters, and early draft picks in season long leagues.  We know the drop off that comes after the top few guys, but this shows it even more extreme.  After the top 1-2 RB’s, the Value and Score of the position drops below WR all the way through, devaluing RBs #3-25.  This tells me that I need to either grab the top 2 RBs, or 1 top RB, and a lower level RB or injury replacement.  WR is an interesting one, because you can read the distribution so many ways.  For both Score+ and Value+ the WR line is much flatter than other positions.  This means that incrementally, you really don’t lose much.  So you can read this as either “WRs are so consistent, so I should spend my $ there” or “All WRs are so similar, so I’ll spend little $ there”.  Both are valid arguments.  I read it as not making WRs the center point of my daily drafting strategy.  Get my Score and Value fills at other positions, and then see what I have left to work with when I get to WR.  Another big takeaway is that cheap WRs could make great Sneaky FLEX picks.

The Value+ #1-25 ranking graph here is nice, but it also doesn’t tell the whole story.  We’ll take it a step further.

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The top charts here are the same Score+ as before, pure ranks #1-25.  What’s different here, is our Value+ graphs, aren’t showing the top #1-25, they’re showing the values that correspond to the #1-25 ranked Score+ players.  So, Value+ #3 shows the Value+ for they player who is Score+ #3 rather than the 3rd highest Value+ score.  So now these Value+ charts get a little messy.  They show similar trajectories and patters as the pure Value+ projections, but the noise in the middle is notable.  The DraftKings chart is much more volatile than FanDuel, which has a higher minimum salary.  Let’s key in on a few local maximums (or upticks) noted in the charts below.

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FanDuel

QB:
#2 – Drew Brees (NO)

RB:
#2 – DeMarco Murray (TEN)
#6 – Terron Ward (ATL)
#11 – Jacquizz Rodgers (ATL)
#21 – Andy Janovich (OAK)

WR:
#7 – Corey Coleman (CLE)
#9 – Emmanuel Sanders (DEN)
#11 – Stefon Diggs (MIN)
#21 – Kenny Britt (LA)

TE:
#3 – Dennis Pitta (BAL)
#9 – Lance Kendricks (LA)

DraftKings

QB:
#8 – Sam Bradford (MIN)

RB:
#7 – Terron Ward (ATL)
#12 – Bilal Powell (NYJ)

WR:
#6 – Corey Coleman (CLE)
#15 – Michael Thomas (NO)
#22 – Kenny Britt (LA)

TE:
#3 – Dennis Pitta (BAL)
#5 – Eric Ebron (DET)
#9 – Coby Fleener (NO)
#11 – Lance Kendricks (LA)

The players picked out with this method represent an interesting group.  You mainly see some players from under-preforming/bad teams, as well as backups, or players who’ve had their moments when thrown in due to injury.  The RB position shows this to an extreme.  All of the players highlighted can be seen as reaches to play, but it’s worth consideration if any of them seem to be poised for a large workload.  For this week though, I’d lean against the group.  It’s intriguing to look at  the distributions when deciding where to spend big, and where to save some $.

Again, check my original post Week 9 NFL Daily Fantasy Sports Projections for a complete listing and data to look into.  Good luck to all this week, connect with me on Twitter at @MSilbAnalytics to talk DFS and Fantasy Football!

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