DFS Big Game Profiles: Wide Receiver

Aug 30, 2018
DFS Big Game Profiles: Wide Receiver

Having access to the entire player pool in DFS means that on any given day a player can theoretically pick a perfect lineup. In practice, though, that virtually never happens, even in massive field tournaments. The most likely scenario is that the top player in a large field might have one or two players that finished tops at their position, with a roster of other players that performed very well, but not number one overall.

Because it’s virtually impossible to peg the top player at each position in a given week, a useful exercise is to build a profile for top players at each position and look for commonalities among those top performers, hopefully giving us a better idea of which stats are really important to target and which ones might be common traps to avoid.

Other Big Game Profiles: QB | RB | TE

Defining A Top Daily Fantasy Wide Receiver

Over the last three seasons, rostering at least a pair of top-eight wide receivers has usually been sufficient to stay in contention in even the largest field tournaments on both FanDuel and DraftKings. For this study, I took the average weekly top-eight WR score from 2017 (22.1 FD points and 27.4 DK points), then went back three seasons and pulled all WRs who met those point thresholds. This threshold methodology provided a large sample (223 FD WRs, 248 DK WRs) and eliminated any players that might have scored as a top wide receiver on an unusually low scoring week.

Average Stat Line of Top-Eight FanDuel Wide Receiver

Top FanDuel Wide Receiver Averages, 2015–2017
Targets Receptions Yards TD Spread O/U Implied Pts
11.2 8.1 134.1 1.5 1.3 45.3 23.3

Home Team: 54.9% 100+ Rec Yards: 77.6%
Winning Team: 61.0% 125+ Rec yards: 60.5%
Vegas Favorite: 57.8% 7+ Receptions : 71.3%
O/U 46+: 40.8% 8+ Receptions: 53.8%
Implied Total 24+: 41.3% 2+ TD: 51.6%

Average Stat Line of Top-Eight DraftKings Wide Receiver

Top DraftKings Wide Receiver Averages, 2015–2017
Targets Receptions Yards TD Spread O/U Implied Pts
11.8 8.5 138.7 1.3 -1.2 45.2 23.2

Home Team: 54.8% 100+ Rec Yards: 89.5%
Winning Team: 56.9% 125+ Rec yards: 64.1%
Vegas Favorite: 56.5% 7+ Receptions : 79.8%
O/U 46+: 38.7% 8+ Receptions: 63.3%
Implied Total 24+: 41.1% 2+ TD: 37.9%

How to Choose a Big Game DFS Wide Receiver

Being able to identify a wide receiver on the winning team or home team has been somewhat significant when searching for big game players in recent years, but the percentages don't suggest that it's a must. Implied point total, which is often referenced when discussing possible big games, may actually be a stat that owners want to ignore altogether when targeting receivers, as the majority of big games came from WRs on teams projected to have a low team total (below 24 points).

Catches, yards, and touchdowns are obviously the drivers in big games for wide outs, but the subtle differences between hit rates for each stat highlight the scoring differences between FanDuel and DraftKings and illustrate why a slightly different approach should be taken on each site when rostering the position in large-field tournaments.

On DraftKings, the presence of the 100-yard bonus and full point-per-reception scoring somewhat mitigates the importance of multi-touchdown games, whereas getting into the end zone more than once carries more weight for top scoring receivers on FanDuel. Keep in mind that targeting volume is much more reliable than searching for the two-touchdown game.

Noting these subtle differences suggests that, when deciding between similarly valued players, owners should favor heavily-targeted, high volume plays on DK, while red zone usage is going to be especially important on FanDuel.

Recapping How to Identify Wide Receivers That Have Big Games in DFS

  • Finding a wide receiver on the winning team is important in large-field tournaments, but not to the extent of other skill positions.
  • High projected point totals have not proven to be predictive of top-scoring wide receivers. It might even be best to ignore point totals when looking for a big-game receiver.
  • In general, matchup shouldn't be an overwhelming factor in picking wide receivers in large-field DFS contests.
  • Volume is important on both FanDuel and DraftKings, but to varying degrees—DraftKings scoring lends itself to catch volume slightly more than FanDuel scoring, while we should consider touchdown upside more on FanDuel.

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