DraftKings Quarterback Pricing & Performance Review

DraftKings Quarterback Pricing & Performance Review

By Chris Raybon (Senior Daily Fantasy Expert), last updated Sep 3, 2015

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Chris Raybon is the Senior Daily Fantasy Editor at 4for4 Fantasy Football.

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisRaybon.

The salary cap influences every decision you make in daily fantasy, yet there hasn't been much big-picture research done that analyzes player performance relative to the cap. For every cap dollar you spend, what is the return on investment? Do returns vary based on position, price point, or even individual player?

I compiled data on how every player performed relative to their salary in 2014. In the coming weeks, I will be taking a position-by-position look at player performance relative to the FanDuel and DraftKings salary caps. Links to each report can be found below as they become available.

FanDuel Pricing & Performance Reviews: QBRBWRTE, K, D/ST

DraftKings Pricing & Performance Reviews: QBRBWR, TE, D/ST

Editors Note: If you open a new account with FanDuel with a minimum $10 deposit, you’ll receive a free one-year subscription to 4for4! Details here.

 

DraftKings Quarterback Value vs. Other Positions

DraftKings quarterbacks are next up. Table 1 below shows the average value1 returned in 2014 by quarterbacks compared to other positions2

Table 1: Average DraftKings Value Per Game Returned by Salary Range & Position, 2014
Salary QB Avg RB Avg WR Avg TE Avg D/ST Avg
$10,000 + 2.65 1.87      
$9,500-$9,900 2.46 2.26 3.16    
$9,000-$9,400 2.67 2.21 2.93    
$8,500-$8,900 2.20 2.65 2.26    
$8,000-$8,400 2.38 2.77 2.39 2.13  
$7,500-$7,900 2.47 2.44 2.53 2.25  
$7,000-$7,400 2.49 2.55 2.60 2.24  
$6,500-$6,900 2.64 2.77 2.24 2.06  
$6,000-$6,400 2.80 2.24 2.25 1.48  
$5,500-$5,900 2.56 2.03 2.44 2.25  
$5,000-$5,400 2.85 2.41 2.34 2.40  
$4,500-$4,900   2.43 2.61 2.43  
$4,000-$4,400   2.10 2.40 1.98 1.64
$3,500-$3,900   2.04 2.37 2.41 2.00
$3,000-$3,400   1.61 1.98 1.84 2.87
$2,500-$2,900         2.48
$2,000-$2,400         3.05
<= $1,900         2.43

Quarterbacks on DraftKings returned the most value when they costed more than $9,000 or less than $7,000 last season. Similarly to FanDuel, DraftKings quarterbacks priced in the middle tiers struggled to return value relative to those close to the upper and lower extremes. Particularly striking is the massive advantage quarterbacks priced under $6,500 had in average value over other positions, which also mirrored FanDuel. 

Unlike FanDuel, quarterbacks don't have the edge over every position when priced above $7,000. In fact, quarterbacks failed to best wide receivers in average value per game at every pricing tier above $7,000. All the signs point to favoring low-cost quarterbacks in lineup construction, but there's more data to digest. Value per game is merely a piece of the puzzle; how consistently a player can return value is also critical to fully understanding the level of risk involved with a roster selection.

 

DraftKings Quarterback Cash Game Value

The percentage of time a player "hit value" is a good way to measure player consistency versus the salary cap. Since you generally need to score around 150 points on DraftKings to win cash games, I calculated the percentage of time players hit 3x value. The results are shown in Table 2 below. 

Table 2: % of Time Reaching 3x Value on DraftKings by Salary & Position, 2014
  QB 3x % RB 3x % WR 3x % TE 3x % D/ST 3x %
$10,000 33% 0%      
$9,500-$9,900 25% 14% 67%    
$9,000-$9,400 45% 25% 50%    
$8,500-$8,900 13% 28% 19%    
$8,000-$8,400 29% 36% 33% 0%  
$7,500-$7,900 29% 42% 36% 14%  
$7,000-$7,400 34% 31% 39% 29%  
$6,500-$6,900 39% 41% 24% 36%  
$6,000-$6,400 39% 25% 29% 9%  
$5,500-$5,900 37% 21% 33% 24%  
$5,000-$5,400 44% 26% 28% 31%  
$4,500-$4,900   35% 35% 39%  
$4,000-$4,400   22% 31% 19% 25%
$3,500-$3,900   26% 32% 32% 23%
$3,000-$3,400   16% 23% 19% 44%
$2,500-$2,900         36%
$2,000-$2,400         49%
<= $1,900         33%

The figures above agree with those from Table 1: inexpensive options are returning the most value at quarterback. Between $5,000-$6,900, the 309 quarterbacks in that price range hit 3x value 40 percent of the time, which was over 10 percent higher than the 373 wide receivers (29 percent), the 229 running backs (27 percent), and the 77 tight ends (26 percent) in that price range.

There's no shortage of quarterbacks priced under $7,000 -- there were 309 of them last year, good for 60 percent of the entire quarterback population. Identifying value among the lower rungs of quarterback pricing -- which this article can help you with -- looks to be a key to success on DraftKings.

 

DraftKings Quarterback Tournament Value

Table 3 below displays how often players hit 4x value on DraftKings in 2014.

Table 3: % of Time Reaching 4x Value on DraftKings by Salary & Position, 2014
  QB 4x % RB 4x % WR 4x % TE 4x % D/ST 4x %
$10,000 + 0% 0%      
$9,500-$9,900 0% 0% 33%    
$9,000-$9,400 5% 13% 17%    
$8,500-$8,900 0% 17% 14%    
$8,000-$8,400 0% 9% 17% 0%  
$7,500-$7,900 10% 4% 14% 0%  
$7,000-$7,400 11% 19% 24% 14%  
$6,500-$6,900 7% 26% 11% 0%  
$6,000-$6,400 17% 8% 17% 0%  
$5,500-$5,900 11% 10% 16% 14%  
$5,000-$5,400 18% 12% 14% 27%  
$4,500-$4,900   18% 20% 22%  
$4,000-$4,400   12% 19% 9% 0%
$3,500-$3,900   12% 14% 21% 16%
$3,000-$3,400   8% 13% 9% 25%
$2,500-$2,900         24%
$2,000-$2,400         30%
<= $1,900         33%

The consistent theme so far has been the lower tier of quarterbacks returning more value than higher-priced options, which holds true when it comes to hitting 4x value. What's more, the high-priced quarterbacks fared significantly worse at hitting 4x value than running backs or receivers. Of the 18 players who hit 4x value at a price of $8,000 or higher, only one was a quarterback, while 12 were wide receivers and five were running backs.

While 4x value will usually leave you in the money in a tournament, it took an average score of around 250 to take down a Millionaire Maker. Table 4 below shows how often players hit 5x value.

Table 4: % of Time Reaching 5x Value on DraftKings by Salary & Position, 2014
  QB 5x % RB 5x % WR 5x % TE 5x % D/ST 5x %
$10,000 + 0% 0%      
$9,500-$9,900 0% 0% 0%    
$9,000-$9,400 0% 13% 0%    
$8,500-$8,900 0% 0% 0%    
$8,000-$8,400 0% 9% 10% 0%  
$7,500-$7,900 2% 0% 2% 0%  
$7,000-$7,400 6% 0% 8% 14%  
$6,500-$6,900 6% 9% 4% 0%  
$6,000-$6,400 6% 6% 7% 0%  
$5,500-$5,900 2% 3% 7% 7%  
$5,000-$5,400 7% 6% 7% 8%  
$4,500-$4,900   6% 11% 7%  
$4,000-$4,400   8% 10% 4% 0%
$3,500-$3,900   8% 8% 10% 6%
$3,000-$3,400   5% 7% 6% 15%
$2,500-$2,900         13%
$2,000-$2,400         19%
<= $1,900         33%

Reaching 5x value is a rare feat for players in the middle or upper salary tiers, and the data above shows us nothing we don't already know: the most expensive quarterbacks didn't have as much upside as players at other positions.

 

Individual Performance vs. DraftKings Salary Cap

Finally, table 5 below shows individual quarterback performance versus the cap.

Table 5: DraftKings QB Stats, 2014 (Min. 6 Starts)
QB Avg. Value Avg. DKP Avg. Salary Starts
Roethlisberger, Ben 3.08 21.70 $7,163 16
Sanchez, Mark 3.03 18.86 $6,313 8
Wilson, Russell 2.97 21.91 $7,506 16
Fitzpatrick, Ryan 2.94 16.01 $5,508 12
Bridgewater, Teddy 2.92 16.00 $5,542 12
Orton, Kyle 2.87 16.51 $5,800 12
Manning, Eli 2.86 18.91 $6,750 16
Tannehill, Ryan 2.85 18.76 $6,669 16
Ryan, Matt 2.80 19.89 $7,206 16
Newton, Cam 2.78 19.43 $7,150 14
Flacco, Joe 2.74 18.09 $6,656 16
Luck, Andrew 2.73 25.17 $9,213 16
Palmer, Carson 2.70 18.92 $7,100 6
Rodgers, Aaron 2.69 24.07 $9,000 16
Rivers, Philip 2.68 18.62 $7,144 16
Davis, Austin 2.63 14.86 $5,700 8
Romo, Tony 2.62 18.75 $7,193 15
Smith, Alex 2.61 15.59 $6,007 15
Mettenberger, Zach 2.60 13.87 $5,450 6
Cutler, Jay 2.56 19.49 $7,640 15
Brees, Drew 2.56 21.75 $8,563 16
Dalton, Andy 2.54 15.85 $6,344 16
Kaepernick, Colin 2.53 16.99 $6,819 16
Brady, Tom 2.53 19.07 $7,681 16
Carr, Derek 2.51 13.16 $5,313 16
Bortles, Blake 2.42 13.17 $5,438 13
McCown, Josh 2.40 13.72 $5,791 11
Hoyer, Brian 2.39 13.04 $5,508 13
Manning, Peyton 2.37 21.92 $9,231 16
Hill, Shaun 2.36 12.29 $5,213 8
Foles, Nick 2.35 18.04 $7,800 8
Stafford, Matthew 2.29 17.39 $7,669 16
Stanton, Drew 2.29 11.88 $5,200 8
Smith, Geno 2.19 12.34 $5,729 14
Griffin III, Robert 2.01 12.38 $6,425 8

Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kyle Orton found themselves among the quarterbacks with the highest average value, supporting the usefulness of inexpensive quarterbacks. It's also worth noting that three of the top six quarterbacks on the list did not begin the season as a starter, meaning their salary usually started at or near minimum price, further reinforcing the success relatively inexpensive quarterbacks are able to have on DraftKings.


Footnotes

1Value = Fantasy points per one thousand salary dollars, or [fantasy points/ [salary / 1,000].

2. The sample size is in Appendix 1 below. For quarterbacks, only starts were used. For other positions, the challenge was eliminating minimum-priced players from the sample who wouldn't have been considered as fantasy starters, such as fullbacks or wide receivers who played only on special teams. Ultimately, I settled on removing all players at the minimum price who registered zero points. This method isn't perfect, as some players who wouldn't have been considered viable at minimum price remain if they registered any stats, but it was the most consistent way to eliminate many of the irrelevant data points at minimum salary while keeping the research process sane.

Appendix 1: Sample Size
  QB  RB  WR  TE  D/ST 
$10,000 + 3 2      
$9,500-$9,900 12 7 3    
$9,000-$9,400 20 8 6    
$8,500-$8,900 24 18 21    
$8,000-$8,400 42 11 42 2  
$7,500-$7,900 49 24 44 7  
$7,000-$7,400 53 32 38 7  
$6,500-$6,900 69 34 45 11  
$6,000-$6,400 69 48 84 11  
$5,500-$5,900 82 63 117 29  
$5,000-$5,400 89 84 127 126  
$4,500-$4,900   113 172 41  
$4,000-$4,400   111 172 54 8
$3,500-$3,900   98 170 77 31
$3,000-$3,400   764 799 606 209
$2,500-$2,900         214
$2,000-$2,400         47
<= $1,900         3
Filed Under: Preseason, 2015

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