When looking at projections, you will want to know the scoring system and how they play into these projections. You might be wondering why James White is projected for 16 fantasy points on DraftKings compared to just 11 on FanDuel? One of the primary reasons for a big swing in projections is the PPR scoring on DraftKings. While .5 to 1 might not seem like a big difference, it can be. If White catches eight passes for 80 yards, he will have 16 DraftKings points and 12 on FanDuel. DraftKings also has bonuses for yardage marks. If a player has 100 yards or more rushing or receiving, they will get a bonus. If a quarterback throws for 300 yards or more, they will get a bonus as well. FanDuel does not offer up these bonuses.
Comparing Salaries Between Sites
One of the other significant things to look for between the two sites is salary differences. FanDuel has generally had a looser salary system compared to DraftKings, who has made lineup building a bit tighter. You can play both to see what your preference is. Sites usually put out their salaries on Sunday night for the next week. Each site will have its way of evaluating what a salary will be, and it can lead to some major differences. For example, Matt Ryan might be the 4th highest priced quarterback on DraftKings, but the 10th highest priced quarterback on FanDuel. With injuries occurring so frequently, one site might adjust quicker than the other to price up their back up compared to the other site. This means that backup will be a more substantial value on one site and not as strong of a play on the other. It is good to compare salaries between the sites and put it into your research prep for the week.
Dealing With Projection Changes
Once the current week is underway, projections will be put out to reflect whatever news is fresh from the weekend. However, we do not get injury updates until midway through the week, when you start to see the projections fine-tune themselves. Injuries are the main reason projections change throughout the week. As you can imagine, this is a game that will cause a majority of players to be banged up throughout the season. For example, if Dalvin Cook is listed as doubtful for the week, projections will reflect Alexander Mattison is getting an extra workload and a higher fantasy projection. Now, if Cook manages to get healthy, Mattison's projection numbers will go down, and Cook will bounce back up.
Injuries can also derail a whole team. We saw this last season with Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers offense crumbled without him. Some weeks, you might see a quarterback be listed as questionable or even doubtful, and the offense sees a drop off in fantasy projections. This also means the opposing defense might get a bump in their projections. Most weekly news will come out towards the end of the week, and projections will be updating more frequently as Friday hits before the Sunday slate. This is why it is best to give it some time before you build those lineups. You can also make some lineups early in the week and adjust on the fly as more news comes out.
Floor, Ceiling, & Consistency
A player's performance can be summed up in this area throughout a season. We dig back to last season during the early weeks as they will update as the 2020 season goes on. A player's floor is very telling of how safe they are. Michael Thomas is one of the highest floor receivers because he is still generating plenty of fantasy points, even on an average game for him. These guys are undoubtedly vital for building safer lineups to minimize risk. As far as a ceiling goes, this is where you see the potential outcome each player has for fantasy points. Some players are just not used enough to have a high ceiling or used in more minimal roles that don't create enough fantasy points. Players with high volume or are involved in more downfield plays have a higher ceiling. There will also be players who simply have a high floor and ceiling, making them great all-around plays.
Consistency will be the number of times that player has hit their projection over the last ten games. This is a way of showing how often a player hits what he is projected for the upcoming week. It gives you an idea of the type of player you are looking at. If a player is projected for 15 fantasy points and they have an 80% consistency rating for that mark, then they are a reliable option. If they are at a 30% consistency rating, then the odds are against them for hitting that mark for the week. This is a great number to look at when building lineups each week, and consistency ratings will update with the projections.
Building Cash Game Lineups
For those who do not know what a cash game is in DFS, it is a league where more than 40% of the field wins. The prizes are often doubling up your money, where all you need to do is just beat 50% of the field compared to a tournament where you are trying to beat out the entire field. Cash games generally mean you are going to be building a lineup with safer players. This is where finding that high floor and high consistency numbers come into play. Going back to Michael Thomas, he sees many targets, is very efficient, and checks all the boxes when it comes to his performance. You are going to want to minimize risk. That means not risking a player who only sees five targets per game, but has a strong vertical game to break one to the house. Those types of players are reserved for tournaments.
When looking at other areas of this page, the totals and spreads can come into play. If a game has an over/under 48+ points, you are looking at what Vegas projects to be a high scoring game. The spread is a projection of how the game script will be. If Vegas is projecting the Vikings to win by ten, it can be a positive game flow for the running backs to get more touches. If a team is projected to trail, that can mean more opportunities for the passing game. The matchup will also play a factor in your decision making as you want to target the easier defenses. For ownership purposes in tournaments, you might take more risks against more challenging opponents. Cash games are also going to be about building balanced lineups and not diving deep down into the scrubs for value.
Building Tournament (GPP) Lineups
In tournaments, you are competing against an entire field to try and finish in the top spot. This means taking more risk and differing from what might be popular that week. Now, this isn't to say go build a lineup of 2% owned players. It means to work in some contrarian plays or find ways to correlate for upside. Some great ways to do that is pairing players together from the same team, especially quarterbacks and wide receivers or tight ends. A pass from Drew Brees to Michael Thomas will now be ten points if you have the two of them together plus the yardage. You can also game stack and get the back and forth correlation of a high shootout game.
There are a few ways to find lower owned players to mix into a lineup, and that can be by targeting the less obvious matchups where a good defense will force a more casual fantasy player off someone. Julio Jones going up against a top-five defense is not quite the same as John Brown going up against a top-five defense, yet some will treat it that way, and Jones will go into the week being lower owned. There is good chalk and bad chalk as some weeks there will be a criminally underpriced player that will catch the public's attention. However, if they have a high range of outcomes but are going to be 40% owned, you might want to fade and hope for a bad week to get an edge on the field.
Why Do Projections Differ Between Sites?
Projections will be different between sites because each site has its own scoring system. DraftKings uses one point per reception and has added bonuses while FanDuel has no bonuses and uses .5 points per reception.
What Does Floor Mean?
When you hear the term floor, it is referring to what tends to be the average amount of fantasy points a player puts up each week. A player with a high floor means they are a safe fantasy player, compared to a riskier player who has a lower floor.
What Does Ceiling Mean?
A player's ceiling is the highest amount of fantasy points they can reach. We calculate this with historical data. A vertical threat wide receiver could have the potential for a total of 25 fantasy points, where another could have a ceiling of just 15.
What Is DvP?
DvP stands for defense vs. position. This is a rank that measures how well teams defend specific positions on the field. A defense can rank 4th against wide receivers, making it a tough matchup, but rank 27th against tight ends, making it an easier one.
Why Do Projections Change?
Projections can change for a number of reasons throughout the week, but the number one reason is injuries. It has an effect on the entire team, with who replaces them or how efficient the offense will be. Weather and roster moves can cause changes as well.