Fantasy News & Analysis

DFS data dive: Highest fantasy football ceilings of NFL Week 9

Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (9) escapes a tackle attempt by New York Giants linebacker Jihad Ward (55) to rush for a touchdown during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

I publish analyses on the single-game DraftKings showdown slates that use the combination of current projections, historical game results and similarity algorithms to simulate an upcoming game by looking back at the most similar historical matchups. In this analysis, I’m taking the same outline and applying it instead to the DFS main slate by projecting the likelihood each individual quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and D/ST option will be the highest scorer of the slate. In doing this, we can find the unlikely tournament plays who may not have been on your radar.

QUARTERBACKS

Highest % Player Team Opponent DK Fpts DK Salary FD Fpts FD Salary
11.4 Josh Allen BUF NYJ 26.3 8,500 24.7 9,300
9.7 Aaron Rodgers GB DET 23.6 5,900 22.2 7,000
8.1 Kyler Murray ARZ SEA 22.8 7,400 21.5 8,200
8.0 Justin Herbert LAC ATL 22.6 7,200 21.2 7,800
7.2 Joe Burrow CIN CAR 22.8 6,600 21.3 8,500
6.3 Marcus Mariota ATL LAC 21.0 5,300 19.6 7,100
5.3 Derek Carr LV JAX 19.0 5,400 17.6 6,800
5.2 Tua Tagovailoa MIA CHI 21.8 6,700 20.3 8,000
5.2 Jared Goff DET GB 15.1 5,500 14.2 7,100
5.0 Trevor Lawrence JAX LV 17.9 5,200 16.6 6,800
4.4 Justin Fields CHI MIA 17.6 5,300 16.4 7,400
4.1 Geno Smith SEA ARZ 19.9 5,800 18.5 7,500
4.1 Tom Brady TB LA 22.0 6,000 20.2 6,900
3.8 P.J. Walker CAR CIN 15.4 5,200 14.3 6,500
3.6 Kirk Cousins MIN WAS 17.9 6,200 16.7 7,900
3.2 Matthew Stafford LA TB 18.2 5,600 16.9 6,700
2.8 Taylor Heinicke WAS MIN 16.9 5,400 15.9 7,200
2.5 Zach Wilson NYJ BUF 14.8 5,100 14.0 6,600
1.5 Sam Ehlinger IND NE 15.9 5,000 15.0 6,300
0.6 Mac Jones NE IND 17.1 5,100 16.1 6,400

RUNNING BACKS

Highest % Player Team Opponent DK Fpts DK Salary FD Fpts FD Salary
9.1 Austin Ekeler LAC ATL 18.5 8,800 15.6 9,400
7.9 Aaron Jones GB DET 16.0 7,400 14.0 7,800
7.6 D'Andre Swift DET GB 14.3 6,400 12.1 7,500
7.3 Kenneth Walker III SEA ARZ 16.4 6,200 14.4 8,300
6.5 Josh Jacobs LV JAX 16.4 7,300 14.4 8,800
6.4 Devin Singletary BUF NYJ 9.5 5,700 8.5 6,000
6.3 Leonard Fournette TB LA 12.7 6,600 11.1 7,100
6.2 James Conner ARZ SEA 11.1 5,800 9.8 6,600
5.3 Jonathan Taylor IND NE 16.7 7,700 14.5 6,800
5.2 Rhamondre Stevenson NE IND 14.0 6,200 12.4 8,000
4.9 Dalvin Cook MIN WAS 18.4 7,800 15.8 8,500
4.6 D'Onta Foreman CAR CIN 10.4 6,000 9.3 7,300
4.6 Tyler Allgeier ATL LAC 9.9 5,400 8.9 6,400
4.5 Raheem Mostert MIA CHI 14.4 6,100 12.6 6,500
3.4 Travis Etienne JAX LV 15.3 6,300 13.3 7,600
3.4 Antonio Gibson WAS MIN 10.7 5,500 9.3 6,100
2.6 James Robinson NYJ BUF 8.0 5,400 7.1 6,000
2.1 David Montgomery CHI MIA 10.1 6,000 9.0 7,000
2.1 Darrell Henderson LA TB 12.0 5,100 10.7 5,700
1.9 Joe Mixon CIN CAR 17.6 6,500 15.2 8,100

WIDE RECEIVERS

Highest % Player Team Opponent DK Fpts DK Salary FD Fpts FD Salary
9.3 Allen Lazard GB DET 13.6 6,000 11.1 6,500
7.7 Stefon Diggs BUF NYJ 17.8 8,400 14.0 8,900
7.2 Christian Kirk JAX LV 13.7 5,500 10.9 6,300
7.0 Josh Palmer LAC ATL 12.5 5,100 9.9 6,200
6.5 Cooper Kupp LA TB 21.1 8,900 16.3 9,000
6.3 Davante Adams LV JAX 17.9 8,100 14.0 8,100
6.1 Jakobi Meyers NE IND 13.2 5,400 10.3 6,800
5.8 Mike Evans TB LA 19.2 7,200 15.2 7,700
5.7 DeAndre Hopkins ARZ SEA 19.5 7,900 15.2 8,600
5.5 Drake London ATL LAC 15.9 4,900 12.5 5,600
5.4 Amon-Ra St. Brown DET GB 14.7 6,600 11.2 7,100
4.3 Justin Jefferson MIN WAS 18.8 8,600 14.8 9,000
4.2 Tee Higgins CIN CAR 19.7 7,300 15.7 8,000
4.0 D.K. Metcalf SEA ARZ 15.7 6,400 12.6 7,400
3.9 Darnell Mooney CHI MIA 11.2 4,700 8.9 6,100
3.7 Michael Pittman Jr. IND NE 12.6 6,800 9.8 6,400
3.1 D.J. Moore CAR CIN 18.1 5,800 14.0 7,000
2.5 Terry McLaurin WAS MIN 13.5 5,900 10.6 7,200
2.3 Garrett Wilson NYJ BUF 12.9 4,800 10.2 5,800
2.0 Tyreek Hill MIA CHI 23.2 8,500 18.1 8,700

TIGHT ENDS

Highest % Player Team Opponent DK Fpts DK Salary FD Fpts FD Salary
9.6 Zach Ertz ARZ SEA 10.6 5,100 8.3 6,600
9.2 Mike Gesicki MIA CHI 8.0 4,000 6.5 5,500
8.1 Dawson Knox BUF NYJ 10.2 3,500 8.2 5,100
7.9 T.J. Hockenson MIN WAS 9.5 5,000 7.6 6,200
7.3 Gerald Everett LAC ATL 12.4 4,800 9.8 5,800
6.8 Darren Waller LV JAX 10.0 4,900 7.9 6,000
5.7 Robert Tonyan GB DET 11.3 3,800 9.0 5,000
5.7 Hunter Henry NE IND 8.0 3,000 6.4 4,700
5.6 Hayden Hurst CIN CAR 9.6 3,600 7.6 5,300
5.2 Tommy Tremble CAR CIN 5.3 2,700 4.2 4,500
4.7 Cade Otton TB LA 7.5 3,100 6.0 4,800
4.4 Brock Wright DET GB 8.8 2,500 6.9 4,400
4.3 Tyler Higbee LA TB 11.3 3,700 8.7 6,100
3.8 Kyle Pitts ATL LAC 13.0 4,500 10.4 6,300
3.3 Logan Thomas WAS MIN 6.3 2,900 5.0 5,000
3.0 Tyler Conklin NYJ BUF 6.8 3,200 5.2 5,200
2.7 Evan Engram JAX LV 9.0 3,300 7.0 5,200
2.5 Noah Fant SEA ARZ 7.9 2,900 6.2 4,800
1.8 Cole Kmet CHI MIA 7.6 3,000 5.9 4,700
1.1 Kylen Granson IND NE 3.2 2,700 2.5 4,400

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

Highest % Player Team Opponent DK Fpts DK Salary FD Fpts FD Salary
8.9 Bengals CIN CAR 10.6 4,000 10.6 4,400
8.8 Chargers LAC ATL 6.5 3,400 6.5 3,900
8.4 Patriots NE IND 7.7 4,100 7.7 4,900
8.2 Bills BUF NYJ 8.8 4,300 8.8 5,000
8.0 Vikings MIN WAS 7.6 3,500 7.6 4,500
7.7 Dolphins MIA CHI 9.6 3,800 9.6 3,600
7.1 Buccaneers TB LA 6.8 3,000 6.8 4,700
7.0 Raiders LV JAX 6.7 3,200 6.7 3,500
5.9 Packers GB DET 7.1 3,700 7.1 4,100
5.9 Cardinals ARZ SEA 7.3 2,900 7.3 4,000
5.3 Falcons ATL LAC 5.4 2,800 5.4 3,100
4.9 Seahawks SEA ARZ 6.2 2,500 6.2 4,100
4.7 Jets NYJ BUF 5.2 2,000 5.2 3,400
4.2 Colts IND NE 6.7 2,700 6.7 4,200
3.9 Jaguars JAX LV 5.7 3,100 5.7 3,800
3.8 Rams LA TB 4.3 3,300 4.3 4,300
3.5 Lions DET GB 3.5 2,600 3.5 3,200
3.4 Panthers CAR CIN 5.4 2,300 5.4 3,300
3.3 Commanders WAS MIN 5.8 2,400 5.8 3,700
1.6 Bears CHI MIA 5.6 2,500 5.6 3,000

METHODOLOGY

For each game on the DFS Sunday main slate, I looked through thousands of NFL matchups from 2014-2022 and found the closest analogies according to the following parameters: betting spread, over/under and average fantasy points scoring for the top-ranked positional players of both rosters (QB1, RB1, WR1, TE1).

Once I find the 75 most similar matchups for each upcoming game, I simulate the main slate 10,000 times by randomly choosing one of the 75 matchups for each game. Then, I find the highest-scoring quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and D/ST on the entire slate.

The last step is totaling the number of times a particular team shows up as the top option for the slate at each position and dividing by the total simulations. That number is what I call the “highest-scoring %” in the team-labeled bar charts below. Below the charts, I join the highest-projected player on that team for the position, then list their projected fantasy points and salaries for DraftKings and FanDuel.

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