DraftKings Tight End Pricing & Performance Review

DraftKings Tight End Pricing & Performance Review

By Chris Raybon (Senior Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Sep 4, 2015

Chris Raybon's picture

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

Follow Chris Raybon 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 and DraftKings salaries in 2014. In 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: QBRBWR, TE, 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 Tight End Value vs. Other Positions

Let's take a look at DraftKings tight ends. Table 1 below shows the average value1 returned in 2014 by tight ends compared to other positions.2

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

At $6,000 and above, tight ends returned poor value relative to other positions, although there was a much smaller sample size of tight ends at those price points than at other positions. I recently wrote about how top tight ends struggle for volume relative to other positions, and this explains why the most expensive tight ends tended to not return good value on DraftKings -- the full point-per-reception really favors the positions that see more volume. 

 

DraftKings Tight End 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 best range to select tight ends instead of another position was in the $4,500-$5,400 price range. This intuitively makes sense, as this is where you'll find tight ends who saw enough volume to escape the pits of the minimum or near-minimum salary tier, but aren't priced high enough to where they'll have trouble competing with other positions that see much more volume.

The $3,500-$3,900 tier was also extremely fruitful last season, especially early on. Of the 77 instances where tight ends that were priced in this range throughout the season, 50 occurred in Weeks 1-8. DraftKings opened the season with tight ends priced very low, and as the season progressed, the better tight ends lifted themselves out of this tier. This again looks to be the case in 2015, as DraftKings even lowered their tight end minimum to $2,500.

The main takeaway is that you don't need to pay up for tight end in cash games on DraftKings, especially early in the season.

 

DraftKings Tight End 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 $4,500-$5,400 range also provided incredible tournament value as well. Tight ends are the most inconsistent fantasy position, and DraftKings had no problem lowering even the top tight ends' salaries after a bad game or two. For example, the tight ends that finished ranked 3-4-5-6 in fantasy scoring -- Greg Olsen, Antonio GatesMartellus Bennett, and Julius Thomas -- found themselves in this price range a combined 16 times in the second half of the season alone. 

I mentioned that you don't need to pay up for tight ends in cash games, and it turns out you didn't need to in tournaments, either. Tight ends were priced $6,000 and above 38 times last season, and only one of those hit 4x. One! 

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%

Hitting 5x value is a very rare feat regardless of the position, so not too much can be gleaned from the table above. The one thing that jumps out is the value that tight ends in the $3,500-$3,900 range provided, as they hit 5x more than any other position in that range. Remember, the expensive tight ends did not provide good tournament (or cash game) value, so if you're trying to take down the Millionaire Maker, it'd behoove you to take some shots with some of the near-minimum priced tight ends in this range.

 

Individual Tight End Performance vs. DraftKings Salary Cap

A list of the average value returned of all tight ends in 2014 is shown below in Table 5.

Table 5: DraftKings TE Stats, 2014 (Min. 6 games, 6 DKP/Game)
Rk TE Avg. Value Avg. DKP Avg. Salary Games
1 Gates, Antonio 3.23 13.94 $4,800 16
2 Walker, Delanie 2.98 12.13 $4,460 15
3 Kelce, Travis 2.94 11.45 $4,019 16
4 Clay, Charles 2.94 9.96 $3,457 14
5 Bennett, Martellus 2.85 14.23 $5,213 16
6 Gresham, Jermaine 2.85 9.20 $3,247 15
7 Fleener, Coby 2.83 11.40 $3,994 16
8 Rivera, Mychal 2.74 9.16 $3,380 15
9 Gronkowski, Rob 2.71 18.36 $6,873 15
10 Olsen, Greg 2.71 14.36 $5,450 16
11 Miller, Heath 2.71 10.26 $3,919 16
12 Cook, Jared 2.70 8.89 $3,373 15
13 Donnell, Larry 2.59 9.83 $3,950 16
14 Ertz, Zach 2.58 9.26 $3,719 16
15 Witten, Jason 2.57 10.27 $4,106 16
16 Daniels, Owen 2.53 8.31 $3,413 15
17 Reed, Jordan 2.47 8.95 $3,991 11
18 Allen, Dwayne 2.46 8.96 $3,808 13
19 Chandler, Scott 2.38 7.36 $3,194 16
20 Willson, Luke 2.35 7.20 $3,127 11
21 Lewis, Marcedes 2.26 7.16 $3,157 7
22 Wright, Tim 2.26 6.93 $3,267 12
23 Hill, Josh 2.25 6.84 $3,033 9
24 Graham, Jimmy 2.18 14.68 $6,831 16
25 Cameron, Jordan 2.17 8.14 $4,040 10
26 Thomas, Julius 2.14 12.84 $5,992 13
27 Cumberland, Jeff 2.13 6.57 $3,090 10
28 Amaro, Jace 2.09 6.50 $3,200 13
29 Harbor, Clay 2.03 6.76 $3,500 9
30 Celek, Brent 2.03 6.17 $3,067 12
31 Rodgers, Richard 2.02 6.06 $3,000 9
32 Ford, Chase 2.01 6.51 $3,163 8
33 Seferian-Jenkins, Austin 1.93 6.01 $3,178 9
34 Rudolph, Kyle 1.89 6.57 $3,544 9
35 Paul, Niles 1.79 6.31 $3,700 15

You know expensive tight ends aren't a good look when not even Rob Gronkowski can crack the top five. The top of this list is littered with tight ends under $5,000. The consensus top-3 tight ends coming into the season -- Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and Julius Thomas -- finished 9th, 24th, and 26th, respectively.

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): QBRBWRTE, 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
  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

We are your friend's secret weapon.

  • Get 4 FREE downloads
  • Receive breaking news alerts & analysis
  • BONUS: Learn how to play DFS.
  • Battle-Tested by 40,000+ fantasy football diehards since 1999.