If I can bore you with a trip down memory lane, it was the fall of 2004 as I rolled out of my egg-shell layered dorm bed scrambling to slip on my hockey sweats, stumble over empty Beast Light cans and book it across campus to my Economics 101 class. The fall air helped shake the cobwebs, I was young enough to not know how crippling hangovers would eventually become to my 30-year old self, and I managed to slide into my seat just in time to hear my professor saying “Price sensitivity is the degree to which the price of a product impacts a consumer’s willingness to pay for it.” Little did I know at the time my professor was informing my future self on how to handle Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown in week 2 of the NFL season. If you asked me to describe the traits of the best DFS players one of them would certainly be price sensitive and value oriented, yet once the NFL season launches it is so easy for us to focus instead on matchups and lessons learned from past DFS seasons such as “pay up at WR” and “use a WR in the FLEX position.” This leads into our next DFS lesson in Season 3 of the Wire, when Cutty exclaimed “the game done changed!” only for Slim Charles to retort “the game’s the same just got more fierce.”
As DFS players playing a game and employing game theory, it is important for us to be price sensitive and also understand when the game done changed, so we can consider what past lessons to ignore or carry forward. While ownership trends seem the same, I anecdotally felt like DK was pricing up the WR position and creating value at RB that didn’t exist last season, so I wanted to take a look leveraging DailyRoto’s historical pricing tools to compare Weeks 1+2 of 2015 to the same sample from 2016. The following are my conclusions.