FanDuel Wide Receiver Pricing & Performance Review

FanDuel Wide Receiver Pricing & Performance Review

By Chris Raybon (Senior Daily Fantasy Expert), last update Sep 3, 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 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.

 

FanDuel Wide Receiver Value vs. Other Positions

Let's take a look at wide receivers on FanDuel. Table 1 below shows the average value1 returned in 2014 by wide receivers 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

Wide receivers returned less value per dollar than quarterbacks at every single price point on FanDuel, which highlights the relative inconsistency of wide receivers compared to quarterbacks.

Wide receivers also offered less of a return on investment than running backs at price points above $8,500. Throughout the middle tiers ($6,000-$8,400), however, returns on wide receivers closely mirrored that of running backs. Once salaries dipped under $6,000, wide receivers started to return more value than running backs because many receivers in these tiers are starters, while backs in these tiers tend to not see a full compliment of snaps.

 

FanDuel Wide Receiver Cash Game Value

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 wide receivers 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%

Wide receivers were the riskiest position to spend $9,000 or more on in FanDuel cash games last season. As I've discussed here, FanDuel's 0.5 point-per-reception format causes wide receivers to be more inconsistent than they would be on full point-per-reception formats. Receptions are the most consistent fantasy stat3 for wide receivers

Below $6,500, it can again be seen that a larger percentage of wide receivers hit 2x value than running backs, because the receivers tend to be starters who play more snaps than RBs, who are often part of a committee if they are in that price range. In the $5,000-$6,400 price range, 26 percent (178 of 695) of wide receivers hit 2x value, compared to only 17 percent (93 of 525) of running backs.

 

FanDuel Wide Receiver Tournament Value

Table 3 below shows how often wide receivers 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%

Because most of the cheap value plays get drowned out by the large overall sample, let's focus on the top tiers of pricing. When comparing wide receivers to running backs in the $8,500-plus pricing tiers, the data is consistent with previous research4 I've done which shows that stud wide receivers tend to have more upside than stud running backs. When priced $8,500 and above, 16 percent (18 of 112) of wide receivers hit 3x value, but only 11 percent (11 of 97) of running backs hit 3x value.

 

Individual Wide Receiver Performance vs. FanDuel Salary Cap

Finally, here is a list of the average value returned of all wide receivers in 2014 (minimum six games played, 6 FDP/Game):

Table 4: FanDuel WR Stats, 2014 (Min. 6 Games, 8 FDP/Game)
Rk WR Avg. Value Avg. FDP Avg. Salary Games
1 Beckham Jr., Odell 2.72 20.79 $7,442 12
2 Brown, Antonio 2.31 20.15 $8,775 16
3 LaFell, Brandon 2.19 12.40 $6,000 14
4 Evans, Mike 2.06 14.07 $6,960 15
5 Nelson, Jordy 2.04 17.43 $8,619 16
6 Bryant, Martavis 2.01 11.71 $6,230 10
7 Thomas, Demaryius 1.98 17.84 $9,031 16
8 Bryant, Dez 1.97 17.00 $8,681 16
9 Maclin, Jeremy 1.96 14.64 $7,750 16
10 Sanders, Emmanuel 1.96 15.71 $8,069 16
11 Tate, Golden 1.96 13.10 $6,856 16
12 Jones, Julio 1.93 16.36 $8,500 15
13 Hilton, T.Y. 1.91 14.50 $7,673 15
14 Edelman, Julian 1.89 13.04 $7,000 14
15 Floyd, Malcom 1.88 9.84 $5,333 15
16 Cobb, Randall 1.88 15.49 $8,294 16
17 Quick, Brian 1.81 9.71 $5,643 7
18 Cooks, Brandin 1.80 11.28 $6,350 10
19 Benjamin, Kelvin 1.79 11.83 $6,894 16
20 Hopkins, DeAndre 1.77 12.06 $6,900 16
21 Stills, Kenny 1.77 9.49 $5,453 15
22 Matthews, Jordan 1.76 10.54 $6,269 16
23 White, Roddy 1.76 12.29 $7,057 14
24 Decker, Eric 1.76 10.88 $6,253 15
25 Smith, Steve 1.76 11.25 $6,656 16
26 Smith, Torrey 1.74 10.45 $6,069 16
27 Jeffery, Alshon 1.73 13.69 $7,956 16
28 Boldin, Anquan 1.72 11.13 $6,538 16
29 Robinson, Allen 1.70 9.28 $5,450 10
30 Jackson, DeSean 1.70 12.11 $7,247 15
31 Wallace, Mike 1.67 11.21 $6,838 16
32 Royal, Eddie 1.66 9.39 $5,794 16
33 Hawkins, Andrew 1.64 9.11 $5,629 14
34 Landry, Jarvis 1.64 9.29 $5,707 15
35 Johnson, Calvin 1.64 14.71 $9,038 13
36 Jones, James 1.62 8.57 $5,394 16
37 Wright, Kendall 1.61 9.96 $6,271 14
38 Randle, Rueben 1.58 9.21 $5,963 16
39 Hurns, Allen 1.57 8.08 $5,375 16
40 Colston, Marques 1.55 9.23 $5,981 16
41 Baldwin, Doug 1.54 8.39 $5,588 16
42 Watkins, Sammy 1.54 10.34 $6,938 16
43 Green, A.J. 1.53 13.14 $8,577 13
44 Sanu, Mohamed 1.53 9.45 $6,438 16
45 Jennings, Greg 1.53 8.73 $5,725 16
46 Johnson, Andre 1.48 9.87 $6,720 15
47 Marshall, Brandon 1.48 11.43 $7,877 13
48 Woods, Robert 1.48 8.28 $5,613 16
49 Williams, Terrance 1.47 8.57 $6,007 15
50 Allen, Keenan 1.44 9.77 $6,879 14
51 Floyd, Michael 1.40 8.86 $6,438 16
52 Jackson, Vincent 1.34 9.08 $6,863 16
53 Fitzgerald, Larry 1.31 8.56 $6,550 14
54 Cruz, Victor 1.26 8.53 $6,850 6
55 Crabtree, Michael 1.24 8.01 $6,469 16
56 Harvin, Percy 1.19 8.00 $6,854 13

The first thing that jumps out is that strong quarterback play doesn't discriminate; there are four pairs of teammates in the top-16 in average value per game: Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant (Steelers), Brandon LaFell and Julian Edelman (Patriots), Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders (Broncos), and Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb (Packers).

Fifty percent of the top-16 wide receiver values came from only four teams, which is why I don't recommend avoiding stacks in cash games if the players involved independently fit the framework of good value plays. There's going to be a limited supply of good passing days by teams each week, and by avoiding one player just because you rostered another, you'll be unnecessarily limiting your exposure to those good passing days.

The correlation coefficient between average value and average salary was 0.33, indicating a a relationship exists: as salary increases, average value per game increases. All wide receivers who had an average salary of $8,000 or more finished in the top-16 in average value, except A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson, who, due to injury, were both used as decoys in multiple games.

It's also noteworthy that three rookies were in the top-six, and six rookies were in the top-22. FanDuel's pricing was relatively tight last season, but they still weren't able to adjust many rookie wide receiver prices up fast enough, allowing users to ride the same rookies for multiple weeks before prices caught up. Keep an eye out for similar opportunities in 2015.

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


Footnotes 

1. Value = 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

3. Out of receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, receptions are the most consistent stat on a weekly basis (consistency measured by coefficient of variation).

4. "Daily Fantasy Playbook 2015: Wide Receiver Strategy." Figure 2: Who Has a Higher Ceiling; WRs or RBs?

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.