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DFS Data Dive: The highest fantasy football player ceilings in Week 9

Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) signals to the sidelines against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-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.

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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.


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 13.01 Lamar Jackson BLT 28.0 7,300 26.1 8,300
QB 11.06 Josh Allen BUF 27.6 8,200 25.8 9,000
QB 10.08 Dak Prescott DAL 24.5 6,900 22.7 7,900
QB 6.45 Justin Herbert LAC 21.2 7,000 19.7 7,600
QB 6.45 Patrick Mahomes KC 23.9 7,800 22.0 8,500
QB 5.95 Taysom Hill NO 20.1 5,500 19.0 7,000
QB 5.72 Joe Burrow CIN 20.8 6,800 19.2 7,600
QB 4.73 Derek Carr LV 20.4 5,900 19.2 7,500
QB 4.60 Kyler Murray ARZ 20.5 7,900 19.4 8,200
QB 4.26 Jordan Love GB 21.5 4,400 20.0 6,000
QB 3.87 Tua Tagovailoa MIA 20.2 5,800 19.0 7,300
QB 3.56 Kirk Cousins MIN 17.5 6,200 16.3 7,400
QB 3.38 Trevor Lawrence JAX 16.1 5,400 15.0 6,400
QB 3.02 Jalen Hurts PHI 20.0 6,700 18.8 7,800
QB 2.95 Daniel Jones NYG 21.1 5,600 19.3 7,300
QB 2.66 Jimmy Garoppolo SF 14.0 5,700 13.1 7,200
QB 2.56 Tyrod Taylor HST 17.0 5,000 15.9 6,900
QB 1.94 Teddy Bridgewater DEN 19.3 5,300 18.0 7,100
QB 1.88 Matt Ryan ATL 19.5 5,600 18.1 6,700
QB 1.65 Sam Darnold CAR 16.8 5,500 15.7 7,000
QB 1.23 Baker Mayfield CLV 17.8 5,400 16.8 6,600
QB 0.83 Mac Jones NE 19.1 5,300 17.8 6,500

Related content for you: The Fantasy Football Utilization Report: Week 9 waiver, trade and drop candidates via Dwain McFarland


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