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NFL Daily Fantasy Sports Betting: Acquisitions and Injuries

In NFL daily fantasy sports betting on Draftkings and Fanduel, player pricing often does not adjust for recent injuries or team acquisitions. Injuries or offseason movement can make a big difference in fantasy production, both in giving players more playing time, as well as thrusting players into bigger roles. Since the season is just beginning, examples will focus on new team acquisitions, but this advice will also apply to mid-season injuries as well.

The Bigger The Fantasy Player, The Bigger The Impact

When a 3rd receiver or 2nd running back on a team is replaced, it often will not have too large of an impact since their replacement will still get only small playing time. But when someone like Chris Johnson leaves Tennessee or DeSean Jackson moves from Philadelphia to DC, there is going to be a large impact on the daily fantasy value of the players left on the team.

Johnson’s departure leaves a hole at RB, which will likely be filled by Shonn Greene. Greene’s salary is mostly based on his statistics from the previous year, where he was the 2nd string running back, so his Fanduel salary is only $5100, while his Draftkings salary is $4100, near minimum. Greene is certainly undervalued since he will get the touches of a number one running back now.

The Better The Offense, The More Production You Should Expect

Desean Jackson leaves the high powered Eagles offense and joins the struggling Redskins this year. His departure leaves a big hole at WR for the Eagles, as Jackson was the leading WR on the team. Guys like Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, who had little daily fantasy value last year, are now likely fantasy studs. On the flip side, Jackson should hurt the value of Redskins WRs like Pierre Garcon, because he is going to take some of his targets away from him. Jackson also likely will not be as good a fantasy receiver as last year, since he leaves a great offense for an average one.

The quality of an offense greatly impacts a players fantasy value. The reason is quite easy to understand. Points and fantasy points are very highly correlated; the higher a teams projected point output, the more fantasy points we should expect that team to have. Those fantasy points will be “distributed” to a teams individual players. A player can only have as many fantasy points as his team produces, and likely will only have a small piece of that pie.

The Eagles are projected to score 32 points against the Jaguars Week One, (53 O/U, favored by 10), the highest in the league. The Eagles passed for 4400 yards with 32 TDs last year, or an average of 275 yards and 2 TDs a game. Therefore, unless an extreme amount of passes go to TE or RB, some receiver on the Eagles, if not two of them, are going to do really well.  Cooper is the highest priced of the bunch at a lowly $5900, so there is tons of value in the Eagles receiving core.

On the other hand, the Washington Redskins only have a 22 point projection. They averaged 1.25 TDs and 250 yards a game passing. So unless Jackson greatly increases the share of fantasy points his team produces, his fantasy production should go down.  Since the Redskins are mostly potent in the running game, don’t expect Jackson to have a big year. Fantasy sites have accounted for this by lowering his salary, a mere 6700 and 5400 dollars on Fanduel and Draftkings respectively.

Position Makes A Big Difference

Running back acquisitions or departures have the most impact for the backup and low impact for the rest of the team. Even in bad offenses, a number one RB always has a good chance to get 20 carries and a TD, which is going to be very good value in daily fantasy for a low salary player. But a change in RB most likely will not have a big impact on the QB or WRs, unless the number one RB was a big pass catcher like Lesean McCoy. This is why guys like Greene or Ben Tate will be undervalued at the beginning of the year.

Quarterback changes have the most impact on the rest of the team. An acquisition of a great QB, such as Drew Brees for the Saints several years ago, can create a much more potent offense and therefore better fantasy production from the WRs and RB. Losing a great QB, such as Aaron Rodgers midseason last year, can negatively impact an offense a great deal. But it can occasionally benefit a RB, like we saw with Eddie Lacy last year, when a team takes a more conservative approach because of the inexperience at the QB position.

WR has the moderate impact for backups and the rest of the team. On an extremely good offense like the Broncos, the loss of Eric Decker will have an impact on guys such as Emmanuel Sanders, who will get a share of Peyton Manning’s 50 TD potential. But Decker’s departure shouldn’t be too big of an issue for Manning or RB Montee Ball, because Manning is too good of a passer. On a poor offense like the Browns, Josh Gordon’s suspension will certainly make the Browns even worse. Because the offense is so bad (The Browns have the lowest point projection of week one, only 17 points), guys like Miles Austin and Nate Burleson probably won’t be great value.

Summary

  • When a big fantasy player leaves/joins another team, we can expect the impact to be just as big.
  • With potent offenses, such as the Broncos, we should expect a replacement WR or RB to do very well, while with less potent offenses, such as the Browns, a replacement WR is not likely to be good value.
  • Backup RBs that are now staters are going to be fairly good value no matter what team they are on, because they are practically guaranteed to get a lot of touches. WR production is very much tied into how good the QB is throwing the ball. And replacement QBs are often never good value, unless the offensive scheme is superb (Nick Foles with the Eagles).

 

View all posts by Daniel Steinberg
Daniel Steinberg

About the Author

Daniel Steinberg Daniel Steinberg is a former bond trader at a multi-billion dollar proprietary trading firm in Chicago. He uses his knowledge of statistics and his creativity from his career as a poker professional to create the most advanced Daily Fantasy statistical analysis that you will find anywhere. Follow him on twitter @DanielSingerS

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