Are High Priced QBs Better? Plus, Week 8 Sleepers for FanDuel and DraftKings
As a reminder, this is a study at using high priced QBs compared to saving with quarterbacks and improving your roster elsewhere. Through the first three weeks, we only had one set of scores where the cheaper quarterback lineup performed better. While it’s a small sample so far, the gaps have been pretty wide, and it’s pointing to high priced quarterbacks being better. If you want the intro piece as an overall breakdown on the plan for this study, click here.
Another pretty close week, but the lower priced quarterback team gets the win. Funny enough, Calvin Johnson actually scored less than DeAndre Hopkins, and then Jeremy Maclin didn’t come close to Allen Robinson. If we simply swapped Matthew Stafford for Tom Brady and Arian Foster for Frank Gore, the score would have reached the upper 170s. The Brady lineup forced us to go with a flier, and given the matchup and opportunity, Josh Huff was the call. However, Huff got banged up and wasn’t able to nab a big catch or touchdown. That was the real stinger to the lineup.
There is little variance with these teams so far. Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton outscored Ryan Tannehill and Jarvis Landry, even though it was a big day for the Dolphins. Thank you garbage time. However, the savings passed from Willie Snead to Larry Fitzgerald did nothing, as Fitz only scored 6.9 points. Overall, it was a solid two lineups, but team high priced QB wins this one… by about the same amount they lost the first.
This was the second biggest gap of the year on FanDuel, and it goes to team high priced quarterbacks again. The biggest advantage mid-priced QBs had came in Week 1 at 8.10 points. The big reason here was Sam Bradford and Jordan Matthews doing nothing… again. They combined for a mere 19.3 points. Tom Brady topped that himself. Jumping up to Larry Fitzgerald (over Matthews) also helped, even with Fitz only having 13.3 points. Overall, only a few changes equaled the biggest gap this year, but it’s still not a game-changer.
And we bounce back to mid priced QBs winning a matchup. Unlike DraftKings, the duo of Tannehill and Landry were close enough that swapping Willie Snead for Martavis Bryant and Jamison Crowder for Donte Moncrief boosted the lineup higher. Funny, as the last time Tanny+Landry was the cheaper choice, they lost by nearly the same amount (9.84 in Week 3). This time, a 9.26 win continues to show that there is no consistency on FanDuel for either method.
Year to Date
DraftKings has scored 64.02 more points with high priced quarterbacks, but that’s boosted by Week 1’s 46.44 dominance. If you take that out, it’s only 17.58 for the other six weeks. Even with Week 1’s score, it’s still only an average of 9.15 higher or just 6.0 percent. Plus, there have been two of the seven scores in favor of mid priced quarterbacks.
On FanDuel, it’s even closer. No score is more than 15.98 points apart with a total difference of 19.98 on the season for high priced quarterbacks. That’s just 2.85 points per week or 2.3 percent. There is no correlation on FanDuel through seven weeks.
Drew Brees, NO ($6,700) – Nestled below the big boys and even Cam Newton and Matt Ryan, we find good ol’ Drew Brees. He’s far from the Brees we knew, but the Giants secondary is extremely weak against the pass. But Jake… they only allow 15.33 FPPG to quarterbacks. Ah, but it’s because of the interceptions. Of course, you don’t want your quarterback throwing 2-3 picks, but Brees is a smart cookie, and the Giants have given up 2,078 passing yards and 10 touchdowns so far. I’d be surprised if Brees doesn’t have 300-plus and multiple scores this week. He’s also a huge blind spot contrarian play, as Philip Rivers, Russel Wilson and Andy Dalton are cheaper.
Justin Forsett, BAL ($6,100) – Can you call a RB1 a sleeper? Well, I guess so if DraftKings is going to price him this low! In case you haven’t noticed, the Chargers just can’t stop the run, having allowed at least 100 yards or a touchdown in every game so far. They’ve given up 20-plus points in five games with Latavius Murray going for 85 on only 15 carries last week. Imagine what Forsett can do with a likely 20 touches coming.
Dexter McCluster, TEN ($3,400) – The Texans defense blows. I don’t know what happened; I’m not sure anyone does. So why is this pick not Antonio Andrews? Well, the Texans defense rates dead last against pass-catching running backs (Football Outsiders) and McCluster was actually on the field for 72 percent of the snaps last week, as opposed to 31 for Andrews. Now watch Ken Whisenhunt screw with all of us and give Dex five snaps.
Keenan Allen, SD ($7,700) – Rightfully priced among some of the best, Allen has shown us the potential he brings to help win you a ton of money with three weeks of 30-plus points, including 40.3 in Week 3. The Ravens have allowed at least 10 receiver catches in every game, good for the third most of any team with 1,498 yards and 11 TDs given up as well. Rivers and Allen might be a semi-popular pairing this week, but it’s easy to see why.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB ($2,800) – Look at that price! In case you don’t remember, ASJ had 31.0 DK points in Week 1, and in case you haven’t heard, Vincent Jackson is out for a few weeks. The Falcons let Ben Watson go bananas two weeks ago and gave up 10 catches and 76 yards to Delanie Walker and Anthony Fasano last week.
Eli Manning, NYG ($7,300) – He’s actually a decent blind spot player on DraftKings too, but on FanDuel, he’s near the tail end of usable quarterbacks where players usually don’t look. They either go value of a hot pick (Carson Palmer, even Brees) or dig deep. The Saints are even worse than the Giants on defense, and Manning’s back-to-back quiet weeks – plus Odell Beckham’s hammy concerns – will have people looking elsewhere. This is the same quarterback who had four straight games of two-plus touchdowns and 19-plus FD points.
Doug Martin, TB ($7,500) – This could swing either way, so I’ll be checking the ownership percentages after TNF. I currently expect a modest ownership with more people trending to Todd Gurley at just $600 more, Forsett at $600 less, who I mentioned above or cheaper value picks. With no VJax, the Bucs should run more and no team has given up more rushing touchdowns than the Falcons (10), which are key on FanDuel.
Kendall Wright, TEN ($5,900) – McCluster is a good play on FanDuel too, but if you want the receiver play in Tennessee, it’s Wright. He’s down in the Stevie Johnson, Willie Snead, Torrey Smith range, which is the flier grouping, but he has a terrific ceiling. The Texans can’t stop the pass either, Wright doubled any other Titans receiver in targets last week and Zach Mettenberger found Wright for seven catches, 132 yards and score last year against the Texans.
Ben Watson, NO ($5,400) – You’ve seen the potential Watson has when he lit up the Falcons two weeks ago. Well, there are six teams worse than the Falcons at stopping tight ends, and the Giants are one of them. Even with Matt Cassel at quarterback, the Giants let Jason Witten lead the Cowboys in receiving with 73 yards on six catches. They also let Witten score twice in their first matchup and Charles Clay go for 111 on nine catches. Watson has plenty of potential this week.