DraftKings NFL Week 1 Pricing Breakdown – RB and DST
NFL season is upon us, and it's time to start digging all the beautiful numbers and stats that will lead us to victory. In this article we will breakdown the DraftKings NFL Week 1 Pricing by focusing on the RB and DST positions.
When pricing drops for the players in the first week of games, it can be kind of an overwhelming thing for us to handle. There are a plethora of conclusions that we jump to without thinking about it, and just as many questions that we decide not to ask based on biases we have developed over the last year and off-season. Something that is really important in these first few weeks is really getting a handle on who is priced correctly, and who needs to be looked into deeper so we aren't overpaying for someone based on face value and group think.
What I'm going to do today is show the prices for the main guys in each game for week one. I'll give both the Draftkings and Fanduel prices, and try to show a distinction between the two and look for some opportunity within the pricing algorithms. If someone is priced very highly on one site, and is much cheaper on another, there may be something that one is taking into account that the other hasn't, and that is where we need to take advantage. While looking for these discrepancies, I added both the Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG) and the football outsiders ranking of the opponent in the applicable category (Historical DvP statistics can be found in our premium research tools) in an attempt to give a little more insight into mispriced players.
Finally, I'll be highlighting a couple plays that I believe are mispriced due to a couple different factors. I'll try to point out a couple different price points as well, since I think it's important to be open minded to all routes of roster construction, especially in the first week. This article is Part 2 of a 2 part series by James McCool you can check out Part 1 here.
Without further ramblings, let's take a look!
RB PRICING EVALUATION
Phew these prices are crazy high up top. Bell and Johnson are in a league completely of their own, in not only RBs but in pricing overall, with each being the only players in the pool above $9000. These are some gross premiums, but they offer a higher floor and fantastic ceiling each and every week completely regardless of match-up. After them, we are seeing a pretty significant drop off to Elliot and McCoy (Elliot suspended, so he doesn't matter), and then another drop to DeMarco Murray and Devonta Freeman. With those tiers out of the way, it seems like pricing is pretty good throughout the rest of the pool with a couple exceptions, and one very chalky exception in particular.
I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Darren McFadden is going to have 30%+ ownership in most large field GPPs, and that's pretty crazy, but understandable. Personally, I prefer the expensive guys just by looking at pricing. You could make the argument that someone like Jay Ajayi or Darren McFadden will be full on Bellcows for the week, but neither possesses the floor or ceiling that the two champs up top can offer. I will say that I like the price of Jonathan Stewart a lot against San Francisco, and there are certainly arguments to be made for some of the other high volume backs, but the most expensive ones are just so safe it's hard to fade, regardless of research done.
Other thoughts on RBs include:
Jay Ajayi (Overpriced)
- 7th most expensive RB on DK, 6th most expensive on FD, finished as the 11th and 12th most FPPG of RBs on each respective site.
- Plays at home against the Tampa Bay Bucs, a matchup that is very good against the 26th ranked rush defense in 2016. The Offensive line should be healthy as a unit and Jay Cutler will be hidden in this offense, allowing volume.
- Jay Ajayi has flashed elite upside on the ground, and will be fed the rock 20+ times a game, but Gase has other options he likes to use in the redzone and Ajayi is only the bellcow until Gase gets worried towards the end of games.
- Price is slightly over what he should be, but the upside is baked in. Interesting situation.
Darren McFadden (Huge price difference)
- 9th most expensive RB on DK, but 31st most expensive on FD. He sucked last year, but he is basically free on fanduel getting the Ezekiel Elliot treatment in Dallas.
- Plays at home against the New York Giants, who have a top 3 rush defense.
- Interesting situation with McFadden being obvious chalk in a very negative match-up. Will he be as effective behind that great line? Can Dak limit mistakes and keep the Cowboys in this one to fully utilize the run game?
- On Draftkings, he is an easy fade for me, but his price tag on fanduel makes him close to a must in cash games.
Tevin Coleman (Undervalued)
- 14th most expensive on DK, but 23rd most expensive on FD, while maintaining the 10th and 11th most FPPG for RB on DK and FD, respectively.
- Plays on the road against the Chicago Bears, a team ravaged by injuries last year that appears worse on paper than they probably are. Ranked 29th against the rush in 2016, probably something more like 11th or 12th.
- Splits work with Devonta Freeman, and is almost $2000 cheaper for only slightly less FPPG (18 for Freeman, 15 for Coleman). Price difference and ownership cost are enough to make Coleman a good option in GPPs.
- Should be about $1000 more expensive based on workload split and matchup alone, simply undervalued especially on fanduel.
DST PRICING EVALUATION
Defensive Pricing is almost irrelevant, as almost every decision that you make regarding the roster spot is going to come down to matchup and situation. If you have th Broncos against Blake Bortles, you just play them. If you have the Cardinals against the Bucs, it's a pretty easy play, regardless of price. With that being said, it's also pretty important to consider the realistic outcomes of a defense and the points they can give you. Spending $5000 for a defense is pretty close to pointless besides a couple extreme situations, because you might get 12 points out of a great performance and that hardly pays off value. Luckily for us in week one, there are no defenses available over $3900, giving us a little automatic salary relief.
Just by looking at these prices and the match-up involved, there are three obvious chalk spots in the pool. The Buffalo Bills, the Houston Texans, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The pricing is actually pretty bad here, with a lot of bad defenses priced way up based on a perceived good match-up coming out of an off-season with a lot of changes. For example, the Steelers finished with the 10th most FPPG in 2016 but are the 4th most expensive due to a match-up with the browns.
Let's go over a couple other weird prices to close things out:
Buffalo Bills (Overpriced)
- 1st most expensive DST on DK, 4th most expensive on FD, but only the 11th best in FPPG across sites in 2016.
- Matchup at home with the New York Jets is inflating price a lot, but the Jets may be slightly better than the public thinks and the Bills defense will be atrocious.
- The Bills have 1 notable player on their defense (a linebacker) and weren't even very good in 2016 as shown by historical stats, will be even worse and in a good position to be the first big upset of the year.
- The Jets are bad, but the Bills defense is a joke. This price is propped up by matchup and Vegas, prime for a let down.
Jacksonville Jaguars (Significant price differences)
- 3rd most expensive DST on DK, but 23rd most expensive on FD. 23rd in FPPG across sites last year, but added talent and experience and should be better.
- Play on the road against the Houston Texans, a team in flux at the most important position in football and anchored by a solid defense that keeps them in games.
- The Jags are one of the most exciting defenses on paper, but have yet to reach potential due to injuries and experience. Should be better this year, somewhere between prices.
- Houston iffy on offense, and Jags very undervalued on fanduel. Draftkings overpriced though.
Arizona Cardinals (Underpriced and undervalued)
- 13th most expensive on DK, 7th most expensive on FD, but the consensus #1 DST in FPPG in 2016 season. Obviously underpriced.
- Plays on the road at Detroit to take on the Lions, a team that plays slow but passes the ball often, leading to plenty of defensive opportunity for a low cost.
- The Cardinals will have Tyrann Mathieu back and kept the majority of their defense intact over the offseason, giving room to improve on the best defense per game in 2016. The Lions are a team that should regress and lose some close games this year, Stafford will be worse.
- Significant misprice here, has a better chance of being #1 DST on week than 4 of top 5 priced on draftkings.
NFL is back, and it's my favorite time of year. Getting to run through pricing was a blast, and I can't wait to really dive in and get into the best sport of all!
Thanks for reading, LET'S GET READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL.
As always you can find me on Twitter at Paydirt_DFS for all your DFS needs!
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