DraftKings Week 1 DFS Pricing: 3 Stud Picks That Stand Out

Aug 09, 2017
DraftKings Week 1 DFS Pricing: 3 Stud Picks That Stand Out

Which NFL stars are being underpriced by DraftKings in Week 1? One way to look at it is by comparing Week 1 salary to last season's DraftKings points per game, which I've done for every player priced $6,000+ (full table appears at the end).

Note: DraftKings and FanDuel Week 1 projections are up in the Lineup Generator! Sign up for a 4for4 DFS Subscription to gain access now.

Most Underpriced QB: Matt Ryan $6,900 @ CHI

Note: Ryan was actually the No. 2 QB using the above methodology, but I already wrote up No. 1 Aaron Rodgers in the FD version of this column.

Ryan is polarizing: He's underpriced relative to his most recent level of production, but is a strong negative-regression candidate after posting career-highs in every relevant statistical category last season.

A surface-level analysis of Ryan's Week 1 prospects doesn’t swing the pendulum. We have Ryan ranked fourth among QBs—but he's the fourth-most expensive. Our positional matchup strength projections rate the opposing Bears 15th against quarterbacks—a decidedly average matchup.

It’s not until looking at more advanced metrics that you start to see how to treat Ryan: He's the top value relative to salary in our floor projections, but the fourth-worst value relative to salary in our ceiling projections. Ryan’s case illustrates exactly why 4for4 provides DFS subscribers with this type of advanced data analysis. Whether you believe Ryan will continue dominating or begin regressing, or you’re unsure, knowing Ryan is undervalued as a cash game play but overvalued as a tournament play is exactly the type of information you need to make an informed decision.

Most Underpriced RB: David Johnson $9,400 @ DET

A $9,400 player as “most underpriced” may be surprising, but if you use our DFS Points Browser to remove Week 17 when Johnson got hurt, you’ll see he averaged almost the same exact amount of DraftKings points per game (27.8) as LeVeon Bell (27.9).

In Week 1, Johnson is essentially a Bell arbitrage: While Bell owns our highest RB ceiling projection, Johnson is second. I’ll be curious as to how Johnson compares to Bell in terms of GPP Leverage Score, a new metric I created that quantifies a player's tournament viability based on value relative to salary and projected ownership.

Note: Draftkings' pricing is such that QBs average more points per dollar than non-QBs, causing overall (multi-positional) projected points per $1,000 "Value" rankings to look askew at times. For example, while Johnson is projected as an 85th percentile RB in points-per-$1,000 "Value", he falls behind a cluster of QBs in the overall rankings. As a solution, I have created a new value metric which adjusts for positional expectation. This new value metric also adjusts for salary-based expectation, i.e., low-salaried players need to score more points per $1,000 to "hit value" than high-salaried players. Using the new metric, Johnson would shoot up to No. 2, both among RBs and overall, which is more appropriate. Essentially, this new value metric reflects the logic the Lineup Generator has always used to generate the most optimal lineups, and will allow for a quick and seamless manual comparison of players at different positions that previously could only be done using the power of the Lineup Generator. Starting in 2017, this new value metric will replace the traditional points per $1,000 "Value" metric, although the latter will still be displayed and accessible. The new value metric will go live sometime during the preseason.

Most Underpriced WR: T.Y. Hilton $6,900 @ LAR

Hilton's salary takes into account the questions surrounding Andrew Luck. In Hilton's career without Luck, Hilton's touchdown-per-game average gets cut in half, and his yards-per-game average drops by nearly 14.

Hilton will face a Rams defense that our preseason aFPA rates as the second-best matchup for WRs. Via our new partnership with PlayerProfiler, we have data showing that Hilton will be able to avoid the Rams' top cornerback, Trumaine Johnson: Hilton lines up in the slot on 43.1 percent of his snaps in 3/4-wide sets, while Johnson travels to the slot on just 4.2 percent of 3/4-wide snaps snaps. Assuming Luck plays, Hilton will be another player with an interesting GPP Leverage Score—his ownership will likely be capped by uncertainty surrounding Luck's heath.

If Luck sits, I’d have my reservations about deploying Hilton against a Wade Phillips defense.

Related: FanDuel Week 1 DFS Pricing: 3 Stud Picks That Stand Out

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2017 DraftKings Week 1 Salary vs. 2016 Points/Game, All Players $7,000+
Pos Player Salary $ Game Dk Pts/G Pts/$1,000
QB Aaron Rodgers 7000 SEA@GB 26.1 3.72
QB Matt Ryan 6900 ATL@CHI 24.8 3.59
QB Andrew Luck 6500 IND@LAR 22.7 3.49
QB Kirk Cousins 6400 PHI@WAS 21.0 3.28
QB Carson Palmer 6000 ARI@DET 18.6 3.10
QB Dak Prescott 6300 NYG@DAL 19.4 3.08
QB Tyrod Taylor 6200 NYJ@BUF 18.8 3.03
QB Matthew Stafford 6100 ARI@DET 18.4 3.02
QB Derek Carr 6700 OAK@TEN 19.3 2.88
RB David Johnson 9400 ARI@DET 26.6 2.83
RB Ezekiel Elliott 8100 NYG@DAL 22.7 2.81
QB Jameis Winston 6600 TB@MIA 18.1 2.74
QB Marcus Mariota 6800 OAK@TEN 18.5 2.72
RB LeVeon Bell 9800 PIT@CLE 26.3 2.68
RB Jordan Howard 6300 ATL@CHI 16.8 2.67
QB Russell Wilson 6900 SEA@GB 18.3 2.65
WR T.Y. Hilton 6900 IND@LAR 18.2 2.64
RB Devonta Freeman 7000 ATL@CHI 18.4 2.63
QB Cam Newton 7100 CAR@SF 18.6 2.62
RB DeMarco Murray 7400 OAK@TEN 19.4 2.62
QB Ben Roethlisberger 7300 PIT@CLE 19.0 2.60
RB LeSean McCoy 8200 NYJ@BUF 21.3 2.60
WR Doug Baldwin 6700 SEA@GB 17.4 2.59
WR Mike Evans 7800 TB@MIA 19.8 2.53
WR Jordy Nelson 7600 SEA@GB 19.0 2.50
WR Michael Crabtree 6000 OAK@TEN 14.9 2.49
WR A.J. Green 8000 BAL@CIN 19.8 2.48
WR Antonio Brown 8800 PIT@CLE 21.5 2.44
WR Julio Jones 8500 ATL@CHI 20.1 2.36
WR Terrelle Pryor 6100 PHI@WAS 13.9 2.28
RB Jay Ajayi 6500 TB@MIA 14.7 2.27
WR Odell Beckham 8300 NYG@DAL 18.6 2.24
WR Dez Bryant 7500 NYG@DAL 16.2 2.16
WR Golden Tate 6500 ARI@DET 14.0 2.16
TE Greg Olsen 6200 CAR@SF 13.3 2.15
RB Todd Gurley 6000 IND@LAR 12.5 2.08
WR Amari Cooper 7200 OAK@TEN 14.5 2.02
WR Sammy Watkins 6200 NYJ@BUF 10.8 1.73
RB Darren McFadden 6100 NYG@DAL 3.4 0.55
WR Martavis Bryant 6000 PIT@CLE 0.0 0.00

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