The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Fantasy Football: Week 9 Values and Daily Fantasy Hangout

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At 4for4, I posted a bunch of Week 9 values. First, some for FanDuel:

QB Robert Griffin III vs. SD $8200

I have a feeling that RGIII is quickly turning into the new Eli Manning for me. I had more exposure to Griffin than any other player in Week 8, hence the losses.

I’m betting that Week 8 was a fluke for Griffin, who seems to have his legs back under him. He should be able to pass and run his way to 20 points this week. RGIII was the fifth-priciest quarterback on FanDuel last week, but now he’s down to No. 9 with a matchup that’s about the same.

RB Eddie Lacy vs. CHI $6800

This is kind of a no-brainer pick. Lacy had at least 82 rushing yards in his past four games, including two touchdowns. He even has nine catches over the past two weeks, adding a little extra value (FanDuel is 0.5 PPR).

The matchup with the Bears will scare away some players, but Chicago actually ranks in the bottom half of the league in rushing yards allowed. With Jay Cutler out, there’s an even better chance that Green Bay will be handing off the ball to Lacy lots in the fourth quarter.

And for DraftKings:

WR Dez Bryant vs. MIN $8900

Terrance Williams might have the best head-to-head matchup in all of football this week against cornerback Josh Robinson, but that doesn’t mean that Bryant can’t go off. After last week’s episode, it seems like Tony Romo is going to do everything he can to get the ball in Bryant’s hands.

Bryant is the top-priced player in a week without a lot of elite options at wide receiver. For reference,Jordy Nelson is the second-priciest receiver, just $700 less than Bryant.

TE Rob Gronkowski vs. PIT $6800

If you’re paying up for a tight end, it has to be Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham. Gronk’s stock is down, but he costs $800 less than Graham and it’s not like Tom Brady isn’t throwing to him. Regardless of how or who they’re playing, the Brady-Gronkowski connection is always capable of a three-touchdown outing. Some lower-priced tight ends might make better heads-up plays, but Gronk is a quality tournament option.

I also posted some advice on bargain bin players:

I own wide receiver Eric Decker in quite a few season-long leagues, but I have no exposure to teammateWes Welker. The reason is that I believed the Broncos’ wide receiver situation to still be a little cloudy in the preseason. I wanted in on it, but without knowing how everything would shake it out, it was smartest to just go cheap, i.e. draft Decker because of his plummeting ADP.

Everyone likes a bargain. When you can acquire quality production from a low-priced player in daily fantasy, that’s incredibly valuable to your team. All other things the same, cheaper is better.

Not all points are created equally, though; a 15-point week from Zac Stacy is worth more to you than a 15-point week from Adrian Peterson because of the opportunity cost associated with each player. Namely, Stacy affords you more opportunities elsewhere.

But shopping in the bargain bin isn’t valuable for its own sake. One of the problems with low-priced players is that they don’t need to produce much to offer value in terms of $/point. That might seem like a positive, but we always need to analyze our lineups as a whole.

Low-priced players can offer value, but what is the effect on total points?

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2 Responses to Fantasy Football: Week 9 Values and Daily Fantasy Hangout

  1. Will says:

    Jonathan,

    I’ve read three of your books (HTDYD, FFSPHTC2, and FFSPWTE21), and I greatly appreciate your effort, analysis and detailed description on valuing fantasy football players and positions in each book, though a lot of the material is repeated. Also, it seems to leverage a lot of the theory and data analysis that Brian Burke started years ago on Advanced NFL Stats fantasy projections, which was where I first discovered applying regression analysis to fantasy football.

    Anyway, I have an issue with your approach, in that you do not attempt to provide information on how to project pass attempts, run attempts, or targets for a receiver. This is crucial because the YPC/YPA is statically insignificant (~0.12 correlation) when attempting to project fantasy points. Both passing and running attempts and wide receiver targets or receptions are ~0.75 correlated to predicting fantasy points. It seems that you’d have more success creating a model to accurately project attempts. Could you please respond with a few of your insights on how you project attempts for each position, QB/RB/WR/TE? Also, I think this would be a great topic of discussion on your next book.

    Thanks,

    Will

  2. Hey Will,

    Saw your tweet. Thanks for reading, and this is something I can definitely examine. Always great to have lots of feedback like this from smart people. If you have other topic ideas, let me know. I think an opportunity-based projection system would be difficult for various reasons, although I certainly think it’s workable for pass-catchers more so than backs.

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