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DFS Data Dive: The highest fantasy football player ceilings in Week 7

Landover, Maryland, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) passes the ball under pressure form Washington Football Team defensive tackle Daron Payne (94) and Washington Football Team linebacker Jamin Davis (52) during the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Our series of analyses on the single-game DraftKings showdown slates uses 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.

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For each game on the DFS Sunday main slate, I looked through thousands of NFL matchups from 2014-2021 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 get the 75 most similar matchups for each upcoming game, I then 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 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 “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.


Pos Highest % Player Team DK Fpts DK Salary FD Fpts FD Salary
QB 11.12 Patrick Mahomes KC 26.6 8,400 24.5 8,800
QB 10.14 Tom Brady TB 25.7 7,700 23.7 8,000
QB 9.41 Matthew Stafford LA 24.6 7,100 22.8 8,100
QB 8.67 Lamar Jackson BLT 27.3 7,400 25.6 8,400
QB 8.14 Derek Carr LV 21.4 6,000 19.9 7,400
QB 8.03 Kyler Murray ARZ 26.1 8,500 24.8 8,700
QB 6.81 Aaron Rodgers GB 22.4 7,500 21.2 7,900
QB 6.50 Matt Ryan ATL 20.0 5,700 18.6 7,300
QB 6.43 Ryan Tannehill TEN 21.0 6,400 19.5 7,600
QB 3.34 Taylor Heinicke WAS 16.5 5,200 15.5 6,900
QB 3.31 Sam Darnold CAR 18.4 5,900 17.2 7,700
QB 3.17 Davis Mills HST 16.1 4,900 14.8 6,400
QB 2.74 Tua Tagovailoa MIA 18.6 5,500 17.3 7,100
QB 2.46 Justin Fields CHI 16.3 5,300 15.3 6,500
QB 2.40 Joe Burrow CIN 19.7 6,200 18.2 7,200
QB 2.19 Jalen Hurts PHI 19.4 6,900 18.1 8,300
QB 2.13 Jared Goff DET 13.4 5,000 12.4 6,700
QB 1.86 Zach Wilson NYJ 14.4 5,100 13.5 6,400
QB 1.63 Mac Jones NE 18.6 5,300 17.4 6,800
QB 1.37 Daniel Jones NYG 20.1 5,400 18.5 7,000


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