Understanding Player Pricing and Value in DFS

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: December 7, 2023
Understanding Player Pricing and Value in DFS

DFS is a game of skill where participants build virtual teams of real-life athletes and earn points based on their performance in the actual game. One of the key aspects of DFS is player pricing and value.

Understanding how player prices and values are determined is crucial for building a winning lineup.

We've got the tips and strategies for making the most of your bankroll so you can dominate in DFS.

What is player pricing in DFS?

Player pricing refers to the cost of individual athletes in a DFS contest.

Different contests may have different price ranges, but overall, pricing is determined by the expected performance of the athlete, the strength of the opponent, and the projected ownership percentage.

It's somewhat like odds when it comes to sports betting.

Generally, higher-priced athletes are expected to perform better, but this is not always the case.

Sometimes, a lower-priced athlete may outperform expectations and provide unexpected value.

To get an idea of how the pricing works, take a look at this chart. This shows what FanDuel is pricing NFL players for week 14 of the 2023 season.

PlayerPositionSalaryExpected FP
McCaffrey, ChristianRB$10,50023.0
Jefferson, JustinWR$9,00012.8
Kamara, AlvinRB$9,00021.8
Allen, JoshQB$9,00018.5
Allen, KeenanWR$8,80013.0
Williams, KyrenRB$8,80016.2
Diggs, StefonWR$8,70012.6

These, of course, are the most expensive players for the week. However, you should have a decent understanding of what you're looking for.

How to determine player value in DFS?

Determining player value involves comparing the player's price to his expected performance and the opportunity cost of not selecting another player in his place.

In other words, if an athlete has a high price and is not expected to perform significantly better than a similar athlete with a lower price, his value is low.

On the other hand, if an athlete has a low price and is expected to outperform his price tag, his value is high.

Savvy DFS players often seek undervalued players who can provide high value.

Looking at the FanDuel chart above, Christian McCaffrey is a much better value than Stefon Diggs.

Think about it.

Yeah, McCaffrey is $10,500, but he's expected to score 23.0 fantasy points this week. That comes to around $456 per FP. Diggs will cost you $8,700 and is expecting 12.6 FP which comes to $690 per FP.

Based on the numbers alone, you get more bang for your buck with McCaffrey.

Of course, there's more to it than just some simple math. You have to consider positions, matchups, and other factors. On top of that, McCaffrey is highly sought after so every other DFS player will be playing him.

But this example gives you an idea of how to compare player values.

Tips for analyzing player pricing and value

We're always trying to gain an edge on daily fantasy, so we've curated a few tips from our DFS experts to help you out.

  • Use a projection system. Develop a projection system that takes into account various factors such as past performance, opponent strength, and other relevant metrics to assign a statistical projection to each athlete. This projection can serve as a baseline for evaluating a player's potential value.
  • Compare projection to price. Once you have the projected performance for a player, compare it to their price in the DFS contest. If the projection suggests the player will outperform their price, they may be considered a good value play. On the other hand, if the projection indicates that the player may underperform their price, they might not be worth rostering.
  • Stay updated with news and updates. Keep track of the latest news and updates related to the athletes you are considering. Factors like injuries, lineup changes, or other developments can significantly impact a player's projected performance and value. By staying informed, you can identify opportunities where the market may have undervalued or overvalued a player.
  • Look for value plays. Pay attention to situations where recent news or updates have caused a player's value to decrease temporarily. For example, if a player is returning from an injury and their price has not fully adjusted to reflect their potential impact, they could represent a value play. Identifying and capitalizing on these value plays can give you an edge against the competition.
  • Differentiate your lineup. Avoiding highly owned players, also known as "chalk" players, can be a strategy to differentiate your lineup and gain an advantage in DFS contests. Chalk players tend to have high ownership due to their popularity or perceived favorable matchup, which can result in less differentiation among lineups. By strategically selecting lower-owned players who still offer value, you can increase your chances of standing out from the crowd and potentially earn higher returns if those players perform well.

Ultimately, to get an edge you should be analyzing player pricing and value using a combination of data-driven analysis, keeping up with the latest news, and making informed decisions based on your strategy and risk tolerance.

Importance of Bankroll Management

Even the most successful DFS players can experience losing streaks and downswings, making it important to practice proper bankroll management.

This involves budgeting and limiting the amount of money you spend per contest, avoiding chasing losses, and not playing with more than you can afford.

Proper bankroll management can help you sustain your gameplay over the long term and avoid the pitfalls of irresponsible gambling.

We always recommend never putting more than 5% of your total bankroll toward any single game. You should hedge your bets and spread your risk across multiple contests to minimize the impact of any potential losses.

If anything, even if you're on a tough losing streak, managing your funds will keep you in the game longer.

It's All About Getting Value

In the end, to dominate your opponents or even the tournament, you have to get value out of your lineup. It's a fine balance between picking the most expensive players to rack up some points while also getting some solid sleepers.

By using effective analysis and projection systems, making informed decisions, and practicing proper bankroll management, you can improve your chances of building a winning lineup and achieving long-term profitability.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.