As the CFL season has worn on here at DailyRoto, I think Chris and I have come up with a lot of helpful ways to sort and quantify the little data available to help make good rosters, particularly when it comes to CFL DFS wide receiver strategy. We started with metrics like $/Target and later evolved that into our Target Efficiency Score (TES). While TES did a better job of giving receivers credit for what they did with their targets, it still falls a little short in being able to deal with the points accrued through receptions and touchdowns: both of which are pretty important in PPR scoring and GPP upside on DraftKings.
The CFL game still lacks most of the fancy metrics that make accurate projections possible on a weekly basis. So while I was rolling around in middle of the night quietly stewing over why Diontae Spencer is STILL priced over $8000 every week, despite being at best a $6000 receiver, it occurred to me that maybe what was missing still was already staring me in the face every time I go to put together lineups. Most players who have a little experience in DFS realize that simply looking at a player’s average fantasy points per game isn’t a formula for creating winning lineups. Players’ roles in their team’s offence change from week to week, as does their pace of play, and many other variables. Tack on the relatively small sample size that a football season offers, especially early on, and building lineups based on average fantasy points per week is a recipe to lose large chunks of your bankroll.
However, I think that if we break down that stat a little bit more, it can be helpful in creating poor man’s projections from what we’ve got to work with. I’ll admit right up front that fantasy points per game is a statistic that is descriptive of past performance, not a projection of future outcomes. I think basing any projections on average fantasy points per week in the first half of the season would have led to Jace Davis like foolishness, but now that we are three quarters of the way through the season, we have a decent idea of what these players are capable of. Given what we have to work with here, I think the numbers can be bent to suit our purposes.
If we break down average fantasy points per game into a more useful number like average fantasy points per target, we can start to make use of that number to make a very rough projection for a given week by looking at the games expected pace, extrapolating the expected passing plays from that, and then using that number to make a projection of how many targets a given receiver should expect in the coming week. If we multiply that projection for targets by a player’s average points per target, it may give us a decent expectation for what their performance may look like in their coming matchup. This allows us to take into account all their points for receptions, yards, and touchdowns based on previous performance. Making projections based on their expected targets in a week allows us to adjust for matchup, pace, and the evolving roles of players in their given offence due to changes from injuries or opportunities. I’ve also included a Projected Value column in terms of dollars per point x1000. I’m hoping this will give us a decent barometer of what to expect from players in cash games especially.
I’ll be posting the sheet to the CFL DFS Week 17 thread in the forum for you to make use of. All the player statistics and prices are included, so all you have to do is plug in your projections for each players targets for the coming week. The formulas in the sheet will then give you both their projected points from that and their projected value. I plan on using it to put together a few cash lineups this week and will report back to you on what worked and what didn’t. Be sure to give me your feedback as well as we work towards profitability with the CFL!