FanDuel Tight End Pricing & Performance Review

FanDuel Tight End 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 FanDuel salary in 2014. Over the past few weeks, I have been 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.

 

FanDuel Tight End Value vs. Other Positions

Let's take a look at tight ends on FanDuel. Table 1 below shows the average value1 returned in 2014 by tight ends compared to other positions2:

Table 1: Average FanDuel Value Per Game Returned by Salary Range & Position, 2014
Salary QB Avg RB Avg WR Avg TE Avg K Avg D/ST Avg
$10,000 + 2.13          
$9,500-$9,900 2.08 1.73        
$9,000-$9,400 2.28 2.00 1.83      
$8,500-$8,900 1.89 1.90 1.80 0.93    
$8,000-$8,400 2.17 1.75 1.82 1.91    
$7,500-$7,900 2.31 1.61 1.64 1.41    
$7,000-$7,400 1.99 1.40 1.34 2.03    
$6,500-$6,900 2.02 1.45 1.45 1.38    
$6,000-$6,400 2.27 1.50 1.53 1.26    
$5,500-$5,900 2.80 1.21 1.44 1.42 1.42 1.29
$5,000-$5,400 2.61 1.19 1.23 1.05 1.66 1.66
$4,500-$4,900   0.82 1.02 0.77 1.63 1.46

There was no clear trend with tight end average value per dollar. The $8,000-$8,400 tier provided good value, but the sample size was only 10 (Jimmy Graham four times, Julius Thomas four times, and Rob Gronkowski twice) -- far too small to draw any conclusions. Similarly, the $7,000-$7,400 tier provided good value in a small sample as well.

At first glance, it looked like there was a sweet spot in the $5,500-$5,900 tier. The 79 tight ends in that tier provided a better return than running backs and were also on par with wide receivers. But as you'll see in the next couple of sections, tight end value in this tier was actually inflated by a bunch of big games; they provided significantly less cash game value than wide receivers -- although they did still provide more than running backs.

Once tight ends hit the $6,000-$6,400 tier -- presumably after having big games in the $5,500-$5,900 tier -- they returned 13 percent less value than the tight ends one tier below, and also lagged behind running backs and wide receivers. Tight ends in the $6,000-$6,400 tier provided relatively poor tournament value, but were solid in cash games, which I'll discuss in the next section.

One thing that did remain consistent was that tight ends who weren't able to crack a price point of $5,500 -- instead falling in the $5,000-$5,400 tier -- provided a poor return on investment.

 

FanDuel Tight End Cash Game Value

As you can tell from the discussion above, looking at average value per game is a solid starting point, but doesn't necessarily paint a clear picture of the risk/reward involved with a roster selection. Instead, it's helpful to know what percentage of the time a player "hit value". First, lets take a look at what percentage of the time tight ends returned at least 2x (cash game) value:

Table 2: % of Time Reaching 2x Value on FanDuel by Salary & Position, 2014
  QB 2x % RB 2x % WR 2x % TE 2x % K 2x % D/ST 2x %
$10,000 + 67%          
$9,500-$9,900 55% 43%        
$9,000-$9,400 67% 53% 32%      
$8,500-$8,900 38% 44% 40% 0%    
$8,000-$8,400 58% 35% 37% 40%    
$7,500-$7,900 57% 29% 30% 29%    
$7,000-$7,400 51% 24% 22% 54%    
$6,500-$6,900 58% 29% 30% 29%    
$6,000-$6,400 63% 25% 30% 26%    
$5,500-$5,900 76% 17% 28% 23% 9% 28%
$5,000-$5,400 63% 19% 20% 17% 32% 37%
$4,500-$4,900   10% 15% 9% 32% 29%

Surprisingly, tight ends were able to keep pace with running backs and wide receivers in terms of cash game value at every price point from $6,500-$8,900. This can be explained by the fact that there were only 60 tight ends in the aforementioned range, compared to 328 running backs and 484 receivers. In other words, only the top tight ends even made it to a price point of $6,500 and higher. Still, it's reassuring to know that FanDuel is pricing the top tight ends fairly, allowing them to be viable options in cash games.

As I mentioned, the $6,000-$6,400 tier had a lower average value per game than the $5,500-$5,900 tier, but returned value in a higher percentage of cash games, 26-23 percent. Daily fantasy is a week-to-week game, and players either hit value or they don't, so again, it's important to look not just as average value, but at how often players hit value.

 

FanDuel Tight End Tournament Value

Table 3 below shows how often tight ends hit 3x (tournament) value compared to the other positions:

Table 3: % of Time Reaching 3x Value on FanDuel by Salary & Position, 2014
  QB 3x% RB 3x% WR 3x% TE 3x% K 3x% D/ST 3x%
$10,000 + 13%          
$9,500-$9,900 17% 0%        
$9,000-$9,400 25% 13% 18%      
$8,500-$8,900 11% 12% 15% 0%    
$8,000-$8,400 30% 16% 16% 10%    
$7,500-$7,900 19% 14% 11% 5%    
$7,000-$7,400 16% 7% 6% 15%    
$6,500-$6,900 14% 6% 9% 7%    
$6,000-$6,400 22% 12% 11% 7%    
$5,500-$5,900 53% 5% 8% 9% 0% 10%
$5,000-$5,400 32% 8% 6% 6% 9% 15%
$4,500-$4,900   4% 6% 4% 10% 12%

As I mentioned before, tight ends in the $5,500-$5,900 range provided good tournament value relative to both running backs and wide receivers at the same price point. It was better to target the aforementioned tier or pay up for an option above $7,000, because tight ends in the $6,000-$6,900 tier hit 3x value 7.0 percent of the time, which was less than wide receivers (9.5 percent) and running backs (8.8 percent).

 

Individual Tight End Performance vs. FanDuel Salary Cap

Finally, here is a list of the average value returned of all tight ends in 2014 (minimum six games played, 5 FDP/Game):

Table 4. FanDuel TE Stats (Min 6 Games, 5 FDP/Game)
Rk TE Avg. Value Avg. FDP Avg. Salary Games
1 Gates, Antonio 1.99 11.79 $6,063 16
2 Gronkowski, Rob 1.96 15.03 $7,720 15
3 Bennett, Martellus 1.84 11.04 $6,131 16
4 Kelce, Travis 1.78 9.36 $5,369 16
5 Walker, Delanie 1.77 9.63 $5,573 15
6 Fleener, Coby 1.73 9.43 $5,531 16
7 Olsen, Greg 1.71 11.18 $6,675 16
8 Graham, Jimmy 1.56 11.71 $7,538 16
9 Miller, Heath 1.54 7.94 $5,238 16
10 Donnell, Larry 1.52 7.61 $5,238 16
11 Clay, Charles 1.47 7.68 $5,264 14
12 Witten, Jason 1.45 8.27 $5,794 16
13 Allen, Dwayne 1.43 7.85 $5,554 13
14 Thomas, Julius 1.43 10.95 $7,515 13
15 Ertz, Zach 1.41 7.20 $5,206 16
16 Gresham, Jermaine 1.40 7.13 $5,007 15
17 Cook, Jared 1.31 6.71 $5,169 16
18 Daniels, Owen 1.31 6.71 $5,200 15
19 Rivera, Mychal 1.26 6.53 $5,100 16
20 Lewis, Marcedes 1.26 5.94 $4,829 7
21 Reed, Jordan 1.25 6.32 $5,209 11
22 Cameron, Jordan 1.21 6.64 $5,640 10
23 Chandler, Scott 1.20 6.08 $5,113 15
24 Willson, Luke 1.16 5.43 $4,808 12
25 Rudolph, Kyle 1.12 5.89 $5,250 8
26 Wright, Tim 1.07 5.34 $5,014 14
27 Amaro, Jace 1.06 5.04 $4,785 13

There are two takeaways from this list:

  1. Performance-enhancing drugs work.
  2. Yes, you should pay up for Rob Gronkowski.

Editors Note: Liked this article? You can also check out the Daily Fantasy Playbook 2015 series here (Links will be updated as they become available): QBRB, WR, TE, K, D/ST  


Footnotes 

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

2The sample size is in Appendix 1 below. For quarterbacks, only starts were used. For running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, 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
Salary QB  RB  WR  TE  D/ST 
$10,000 + 24          
$9,500-$9,900 29 7        
$9,000-$9,400 24 40 34      
$8,500-$8,900 47 50 78 2    
$8,000-$8,400 79 37 73 10    
$7,500-$7,900 81 49 61 21    
$7,000-$7,400 67 71 97 13    
$6,500-$6,900 80 121 175 14    
$6,000-$6,400 46 130 236 43    
$5,500-$5,900 17 133 172 79 11 29
$5,000-$5,400 19 162 287 223 205 207
$4,500-$4,900   532 623 575 291 276

 

Filed Under: Preseason, 2015

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