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The Enigma that is Player Salary

The Enigma that is Player Salary
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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, scratch that, the excitement is simply the buzz that comes with a seemingly mortal miscue by “DFS Titan” DraftKings, and the player salaries that have been published for Week 2’s NFL slate.

Week one gave some a reason to fist pump more than the cast of Jersey Shore, and prompted others to seemingly torch their David Wilson jerseys and start the basis of a petition to rid the player pool of Zach Sudfeld to avoid the temptations that be as the Pats charge on without Gronk.

Nevertheless, the most exciting event leading up to the weekend for LuDawgers and daily fantasy sports players alike is the release of the upcoming weeks games and player salaries.

The first glance through the player pool is a casual perusing in search of the biggest price jumps for the usual studs, and perhaps a drop in price for the past week’s duds. A second look keys in on some specific players, and match-ups you’re looking to exploit. By the third look, you’ve already begun to formulate the main core of players you’re building your team around, and are searching for players at salaries that fit accordingly.

So Tuesday morning, after a cherry pop-tart and your morning beverage of choice, you decide to fire up your Mac. After incorrectly typing your password a couple times, you’ve managed to make it to DraftKings and you plan to casually take that first peak at the newfound player salaries. However, much to your surprise, in that seemingly harmless first glance, something big has caught your eye. You’ve been taken back to that time as a kid when you received five chicken nuggets in your “Happy Meal” instead of the measly four that never filled you up. But this time, it’s not an extra chicken nugget, rather, it’s the fact that LeSean McCoy, after a 31 carry, 184 yard, 1 touchdown effort, has dropped $900 in salary.

Maybe the thought of a McCoy dropping $900 in salary doesn’t add up to a total enigma, as one piece doesn’t make up a whole puzzle.  Listed below are some of the other notable miscues in DraftKings pricing for week two, filling out some of the other pieces of the puzzle.

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

  • Week 1 Salary: $7,000
  • Week 1 Stats: 203 Yards Passing, 2 TDs. 54 Rushing Yards, 1 TD. 1 Fumble (26.52 DK Points)
  • Week 2 Salary: $5,700 

If playing well as a mid-priced QB constitutes salary drops, Vick might find himself at minimum price before we know it. It seems as if Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense may really behoove Vick and his sidekicks, although only time will tell. Either DraftKings has a really shiny crystal ball on this one, or it was simply a miscalculated lapse.

David Wilson, RB, New York Giants

  • Week 1 Salary: $5,800
  • Week 1 Stats: 19 Rushing Yards, 2 Fumbles (-0.1 DK Points)
  • Week 2 Salary: $6,500

Wilson’s performance in week one single-handedly dealt some crushing blows to a lot of players in last week’s contests. Yet, despite his terrible performance, and subsequent benching, his price hasn’t only gone up, it has managed to surpass the salary of LeSean McCoy, a proven All-Pro with an excellent week. I consider this salary change as one of the biggest pieces of this mind-boggling puzzle.

Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants

  • Week 1 Salary: $7,000
  • Week 1 Stats: 5 Receptions, 118 Receiving Yards, 3 TDs (37.8 DK Points)
  • Week 2 Salary: $5,600

Despite some question marks about how healthy he was, and a sluggish start to Sunday Night Football for Cruz, he ended up essentially saving any shot I had at making a profit in week one. Last year saw a meteoric rise in price for Cruz as the year went on, however, even after a monster week one, The “Salsa Pro” has found his price drop 20% from his original week one salary, merely adding to the conundrum.

Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans

  • Week 1 Salary: $7,500
  • Week 1 Stats: 12 Receptions, 146 Receiving Yards (29.6 DK Points)
  • Week 2 Salary: $6,400

When healthy, everyone is aware of the potential impact Andre Johnson has on a game and a fantasy matchup. With that being said, there should be no shock that Andre had such a monster week in primetime. However, the shock for me comes in the fact that Johnson’s price dropped so much. Given his consistency as an All-Pro, Johnson’s stock should never fluctuate this drastically, especially in the downward direction!

Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

  • Week 1 Salary: $8,200
  • Week 1 Stats: 7 Receptions, 76 Receiving Yards, 1TD, 1 Fumble (19.6 DK Points)
  • Week 2 Salary: $7,000

Once again, another pretty substantial drop in salary for a big time playmaker. With Roddy White banged up in Atlanta, Julio becomes even closer to fantasy gold. The Falcons have a pretty high-flying offense that underperformed in week one, despite a pretty good week from Julio. His price drop will probably find him in even more lineups come week two.

This isn’t my first time dealing with week-to-week transitions with player salary, but these are some of the more noticeable gaffes in recent memory.  I’ve come to understand the necessary fluctuations in price that come with past performance and upcoming opponent, despite not knowing much about the complex algorithms that help determine player salary. Over the weeks salaries will settle down, there will be less fluctuation, but as for this week, should I be excited about the ability to fit a bunch of studs into my lineup? Should I be displeased knowing that my opponents might take the same approach, potentially leaving us with a lot less variance, and a lot more luck? Where do you stand?

Discuss all of this and more in the NFL Daily Fantasy Football Forum, right here at LuDawgs!

1 Comment

  1. futureoffantasy

    September 12, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Very strange! It’s like they are suckering you into those players. It will be strange when Vick, Cruz, Johnson and JOnes all put up diddly squat this week while David Wilson rushes for 2 TDs and 100 yards.

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