I know I was not the only one who was excited when both FanDuel and DraftKings came out with the salaries for Week 1 of the NFL. I mean, that is the moment I realized football was almost here. I may be in the minority, but I have been glancing over these salaries for several weeks now. The more and more I dig into them, the more value spots I find. Sometimes a player is priced significantly cheaper or more expensive on one site than he is another and that could mean that he is mispriced on one of the sites. If you play on both sites, it is important to find these price differences and take advantage of them.
What I have done to make this simple is show the percentage of the salary cap that a player costs. On DraftKings you start off with $50,000 and on FanDuel you start off with $60,000 as your salary cap. Sometimes the salary will be the same on both sites, but it may hold more value on FanDuel since it is a smaller portion of your actual salary cap. Understanding the scoring settings is also a key in finding value as both sites have different scoring settings. That being said, let’s take a look at the quarterback and wide receiver salaries for Week 1 and how they compare to on each site.
Above are the top 20 quarterbacks for Week 1 (sorted by price). Right off the bat, it is safe to say that on DraftKings, the elite quarterbacks will eat up more of your salary than they do on FanDuel. When you look at the percentage of the salary the price will absorb, the amount is not significant, but every bit counts when you are trying to get the best bang for your buck.
One QB that stands out the most for me is Eli Manning. He is only $300 cheaper on FanDuel than he is on DraftKings, but due to FanDuel having a larger salary cap, the percent amount is interesting. It is only a three percent difference, but three percent of $60,000 is $1,800, and $1,800 can be very useful when building your lineups.
Throughout his career, Manning has fared well against Dallas. In 23 career games against the Cowboys, he is averaging 253.5 passing yards and nearly two touchdowns per game. He has tossed three or more passing touchdowns in three of his last six games versus them. Also, the Giants do not have a reliable run game, and their defense is mediocre, which could translate into more passing for Manning. He is priced reasonably on both sites but is a better bargain on FanDuel.
Other good bargains on both sites are Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, and Tyrod Taylor. All of them will take up less than 15 percent of your salary cap and are in favorable situations. It is worth noting that there is more merit in paying up for quarterbacks who are expected to throw for 300+ yards on DraftKings because there is a three-point bonus for any quarterback that throws 300+ yards in a game. This is why I lean towards Eli Manning more on FanDuel than I would on DraftKings.
Before we begin to talk about receivers, here on some things you should know. On FanDuel it is half point PPR, on DraftKings it is a full PPR. On DraftKings there is a three-point bonus for a 100+ receiving yard game, but FanDuel offers no bonuses. This time around I decided to display the top 30 at this position, after all, there are three WR slots that need to be filled on each site. Again we see that the elite tier of receivers takes up a higher percentage of your salary on DraftKings. Now something that stands out to me is that once you go below the top 25 receivers on DraftKings, there aren’t any players above $6,000. However, on FanDuel, the first receiver below $6,000 is Laquon Treadwell who is the 45th wide receiver (once again sorted by price). It is worth noting that FanDuel Salaries include the Monday night games, whereas, DraftKings only includes the Sunday games.
Receivers such as Sterling Shepard, Willie Snead, Marvin Jones, Michael Thomas, and Tajae Sharpe all have more value and are better priced on DraftKings. Being that this is PPR and the fact that the prices are reasonable, it will be much easier for these receivers to hit value on DraftKings. The chart below shows the price difference for these receivers on both sites.
There are receivers on FanDuel that hold value. For instance, if you look at the most expensive receivers, they chew up less of the salary cap on FanDuel. Since there are no bonuses for yardage, and it is half point PPR, touchdowns become more valuable. Granted, they are valuable on both sites, but you can make up points on DraftKings with the extra half point per reception and the bonuses. Of the top 10 most expensive receivers on FanDuel, here are the percentage of their team’s Red Zone targets they received last season: Antonio Brown 33.8%, Odell Beckham 38.5%, Julio Jones 34.9%, Allen Robinson 23.9%, Jordy Nelson did not play last season but in 2014 he received 29.2% of Packers Red Zone targets, DeAndre Hopkins 53.7%, A.J. Green 34.5%, Dez Bryant 17.6%, Mike Evans 28.3%, and Brandon Marshall 26.9%. Aside from Bryant, they all received over 25 percent of their team's red zone targets.
Of all the high-end receivers, the best value is DeAndre Hopkins. He is priced below $9,000 on both sites and offers the same amount of upside as all of those receivers priced above him. He is also in a prime spot against a funnel Bears defense as they should be able to stop the run, but may struggle against the pass. He takes up just 14 percent of your salary and is the sixth most expensive receiver on FanDuel.
I will be doing this for running backs and tight ends as well. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always find me on the Twitter: @Armando_Marsal or in the premium forums!
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