Daily Fantasy Sports team optimizing - NFL Football Mathematics Part 2

In Daily Fantasy Strategy part 1, we described that when you have a choice, always pick players with the highest potential fantasy points per (salary - floor)  that you can afford.  Be aware of the salary floor and divide out what you think the points per effective salary return will be.


Above we have a table showing this calculation for NFL teams that have generated at least 8 fantasy points per game.  The Fantasy Salary is converted to a token to highlight what you have control over by subtracting the floor salary and dividing by 100.  The value calculation is then fantasy points per token.


Graphing Fantasy Points per Salary token demonstrates this point:


In this graph, we are showing on the vertical Y axis the average fantasy points created by NFL Defenses as of this writing.  The average is a good starting point, but a Fantasy pro will alter and adjust that based on study of the upcoming game.  In any fantasy sport, the first team or player to seriously consider selecting is one with the highest potential fantasy point generation.  From the graph and table, we can see that this is KC.  No other team has higher points (17.86).   Later, we will determine if we can afford this team.


Make the first selection for every position on your team using the method.  It is almost guaranteed that you will be over the salary cap when you are done.  Now, use the knowledge of value (fantasy points per (salary minus floor) to guide you in filling your team with lower cost options.  In the above graph and table, your second choice should be DAL (11.86 points and 3 Salary tokens).   You could be asking why not SF?  The answer is that SF costs a lot more ($1500 = 15 Tokens x $100) and the average points is lower (10.71 points).  The value of DAL is 3.952 Points per $100 while KC is just 0.714.


What if you still cant afford to spend another $300 ?  The fourth choice would be ARI at 9.71 points at just $100 with a value of 9.714.  No other team on the table or graph offers more points at this salary point.  This is the basis of value based drafting.


If for some reason, you cant afford any salary for this role and want to evaluate what you get for Free (= 0 Salary Tokens), then by the numbers the choice to make is BUF at 9.43 points at zero effective salary.  The value calculation would be infinite because of the divide by zero, but it is easier to think of this as a special case.  You will usually see a bunch of selections at the zero rate and they will be closely grouped.  In practice, you would want to evaluate BUF, WAS, MIN and CLE for other factors prior to making a selection.


See Daily Fantasy Sports team optimizing – Fanduel NFL Football Mathematics Part 3 - The Ladder Line for how to use this as the basis of forming your team.


See Why sites need a salary cap for more guidance on other factors that can impact player value.


If you have comments or suggestions on this, please ContactMe .  Good picking !