Sunday, August 16, 2015

FanDuel Consistency Rankings: Quarterbacks

When building lineups for daily sports we have to retrain our process. Projections are invaluable and we'll always use them for guidance, but using projections alone creates an incomplete strategy. Without considering cost, i.e. salaries, we have no context for projections. That's where value comes in.

Value, and dollars-per-point, is the only way to normalize a player's performance. You have a $60,000 salary cap on FanDuel. If all of your players average 1x value you'll score approximately 60 points. If they average 2x you'll score 120 points, and so on.

So with value as context, Ryan Fitzpatrick's Week 13 outing of six touchdowns and 358 yards was much more valuable than Ben Roethlisberger's Week 8 outing of six touchdowns and 522 yards, despite scoring five fewer points, because Fitzpatrick was $2,500 cheaper. We'll sacrifice five points, assuming we hit value, to free up that much salary cap every time.

And that's the key phrase: hit value. Hitting value is how we build bankrolls. It is, of course, relative to the contest in which you are participating. In a guaranteed prize pool, or any large tournament, hitting value means at least 3x (180 points).

Kyle Orton, as an example, scored 26 fantasy points in Week 8. His salary was $7,200. Therefore, he hit exceptional tournament value of 3.6x.

Conversely, Aaron Rodgers also scored 26 points in Week 8. But his salary was $10,000. So he was much less valuable (2.6x) than Orton.

Of course, simple logic tells us that the more expensive a player is the less likely he is to achieve value. Ideally, you would normalize your value expectations by price, since nothing trumps points scored. But the only way we can pay up and invest in the high-floors offered by the top tier players, like Rodgers, and still cash is to hit 3x value with our budget options.

So who were the most valuable and budget friendly players in 2014? We've compiled a FanDuel 2014 Value Report for your viewing pleasure here. Feel free to click the sort function as you please. We'll cover all the skill positions in the weeks to come. For now, here are the top 36 quarterbacks.

The lessons here are blatant. The first is that there is serious value in low-priced players, particularly with backups. Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez and Kirk Cousins all returned favorable weeks. Fitzpatrick chipped in three 3x weeks to go along with his four 2x weeks. It should be noted, however, that if you removed Week 8 his average value drops to 2.11x.

But we're not in the business of punishing a player for outliers. In fact, where GPPs are concerned, we're in the business of hunting outliers. Outliers win tournaments. No question about it. The real puzzle is whether or not past value can predict future value. And what better way to solve for X than by wading into Week 1 and getting an early reading?

As you would expect, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning, in that order, are our most expensive quarterbacks. You can get an early look at our projections here but they are subject to change, of course. Weekly projections will be built into the Interactive Value Charts once we get closer to the season. For now, of the three quarterbacks that cost at least $9,100, Manning looks to be the best option. We know the running game is going to be a major factor but this matchup is already slated as the third highest over/under for Week 1.

Indeed, the optimum strategy early in the season is to latch onto a safe quarterback, like the $9k trio above, but the Value Report taught us the average salary of quarterbacks that achieved at least 3x value was $7,400.

Even better, the average salary of quarterbacks that achieved at least 3.5x value was $7,100. That number puts us between Matthew Stafford and Matt Cassel. In that price range, I’m leaning Carson Palmer or, forgive me for saying this out loud, Andy Dalton or Sam Bradford. One of those three quarterbacks is going to hit 3.5x or better. Vegas would prefer we go with Bradford.

Next up are running backs. In the meantime, check out the Daily Crusher App which will be available soon. And download the Cracking FanDuel eBook for more in depth analysis.

Extra Points:

No quarterback, or player, hit higher value than Ryan Fitzpatrick's Week 13 (7.9x).
The next closest quarterback was Ben Roethlisberger in Week 8 (5.97x).
Only 15 quarterbacks hit 4x or better, approximately 2.5%.  
Ryan Tannehill had five 3x games, more than every other quarterback except Andrew Luck.
Luck also had five 3x games. His average salary was $9,900 versus Tannehill's $7,700. 


  1. Bringing the house down with posts like that. Great stuff.

    1. Hope to get to every position over the next few weeks.

  2. Denver has the fifth highest o/u, not first. Great post otherwise!