Fantasy News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

DFS data dive: The highest fantasy football ceilings of Week 1

Dec 20, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) runs for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

One of the advantages of being a “data scientist” is that everyone assumes you know what you’re talking about. While that has its privileges, more important to the craft is the ability to leverage statistical programming packages, such as R and Python, and apply them to almost any question that can be answered through data.


Click here for more PFF tools:

Rankings & ProjectionsWR/CB Matchup ChartNFL & NCAA Betting DashboardsNFL Player Props toolNFL & NCAA Power Rankings


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.

METHODOLOGY

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 find 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 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 “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.

QUARTERBACKS

Pos Highest % Player Team DK Fpts DK Salary FD Fpts FD Salary
QB 9.86 Patrick Mahomes KC 26.3 8,100 24.5 8,800
QB 9.16 Ryan Tannehill TEN 22.2 6,500 20.7 7,700
QB 7.80 Russell Wilson SEA 22.9 7,000 21.5 7,800
QB 7.64 Aaron Rodgers GB 22.4 6,800 20.9 8,000
QB 7.35 Josh Allen BUF 23.9 7,400 22.3 8,100
QB 5.80 Kyler Murray ARZ 21.6 7,600 20.4 8,400
QB 5.64 Matt Ryan ATL 21.8 6,000 20.2 7,300
QB 5.28 Kirk Cousins MIN 17.1 6,300 16.0 7,200
QB 5.00 Baker Mayfield CLV 19.2 5,900 17.9 7,100
QB 4.55 Sam Darnold CAR 18.8 5,000 17.4 6,500
QB 3.84 Zach Wilson NYJ 17.3 5,000 16.2 6,500
QB 3.33 Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS 19.4 5,500 18.0 6,600
QB 2.95 Jalen Hurts PHI 19.4 6,400 18.2 7,600
QB 2.60 Tyrod Taylor HST 19.7 5,300 18.3 6,800
QB 2.48 Carson Wentz IND 16.3 5,600 15.3 6,500
QB 2.39 Justin Herbert LAC 19.3 6,700 18.0 7,600
QB 2.37 Jameis Winston NO 16.8 5,200 15.7 6,700
QB 2.32 Tua Tagovailoa MIA 19.1 5,400 17.9 6,600
QB 2.27 Jimmy Garoppolo SF 16.8 5,500 15.8 6,900
QB 1.95 Daniel Jones NYG 19.2 5,300 17.8 6,700
QB 1.72 Joe Burrow CIN 21.1 5,700 19.5 7,200
QB 1.67 Jared Goff DET 18.9 5,100 17.2 6,500
QB 1.47 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 15.7 6,100 14.6 7,100
QB 1.17 Trevor Lawrence JAX 20.4 6,200 19.1 6,800
QB 1.09 Teddy Bridgewater DEN 17.2 4,800 16.2 6,600
QB 0.55 Mac Jones NE 17.6 4,400 16.5 6,200

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

Fantasy Featured Tools

  • Sort projected player stats and fantasy points by position, week, and category.

    Available with

    Edge
  • Available with

    Edge
  • PFF's Fantasy Football Expected Points tool is primarily used for identifying potential over and undervalued players.

    Available with

    Elite
  • Research past fantasy performance with sortable player stats including PFF-exclusives like aDOT and fantasy points per opportunity.

    Available with

    Edge
  • PFF’s Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.

    Available with

    Edge
Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr