There are several ways to assemble a daily fantasy roster.
The intent of this article is to focus on players who represent values and or will return on investment.
What is a Return on Investment score?
The Return on Investment (ROI) score is determined by dividing the first two numbers of a player’s price tag by their points scored in a given week.
The lower the ROI score is, the more a player has returned on your investment.
An example of a good return on investment, Tua Tagovailoa was priced at $5,600 on DraftKings and scored 43.86 fantasy points in Week 2 of last season.
56 / 43.86 = 1.28 ROI
An example of a poor return on investment, Russell Wilson was priced at $7,200 on DraftKings and scored 12.06 fantasy points in Week 2 of last season.
72 / 12.06 = 5.97 ROI
While you will not always need to use the ROI score to assemble your entire roster, utilizing it on certain players can help you be more cost-effective while assembling the final pieces of your roster.
The Top 10 average ROI among players that finished in the top 25 in scoring last season:
- QB: 3.46
- RB: 5.20
- WR: 5.25
- TE: 5.50
Another indicator of success is a player scoring three times his cost (3X). This is a method that has been used in a variety of daily fantasy circles and will be used here.
In Week 1 last season, Saquon Barkley was priced at $6,100.
- 6.1 x 3 = 18.3 (Goal to hit 3X cost)
- Points scored 36.4 – 18.3 = +18.10
- Average = Average points scored
- ROI = Average Return on Investment
- 3X = Average of how high a player scores three times their cost
- 30+ = Games with 30 points or more
- 20+ = Games with 20 points or more
- 10> = Games with fewer than 10 points scored
Quarterback DFS Values
Russell Wilson – $5,800
Broncos at Bears
After allowing 70 points to the Dolphins and being the only winless team in the conference, it is safe to say that things have not gone according to plan for the Broncos.
Despite that though, Russell Wilson has quietly produced for fantasy. The self-proclaimed ‘unlimited’ quarterback is seventh in scoring and is one of just six quarterbacks to record a 30+ point game this season.
In the first three games, Wilson has had back-to-back games with multiple touchdowns, first time as a member of the Broncos, and has already thrown 37.5% of the touchdowns he threw for last season.
Among quarterbacks who have started in the first three weeks, Wilson has the fourth-best return on investment score.
Of the three quarterbacks ahead of Wilson, the Broncos signal caller is $1,300 cheaper than the next affordable option.
With the Broncos taking on the Bears this week, that price drop is even more enticing.
The media focus has been on the Bears offensive struggles, but they are one of three defenses to allow 20+ fantasy points to the position in all three of their games. Their defense has allowed seven touchdown passes and is giving up an average of six yards per offensive play, the third-highest in the league.
Along with struggling to stop the quarterback, the Bears also have trouble pressuring the position. The defense currently has the fifth-lowest pressure rate (16.7%) and only has one sack.
All of these struggles are there for an offense that is averaging 34.7 pass attempts per game.
Wilson is not the most scintillating name at his position but he was one of the best bargains that no one is talking about.
Honorable Mention: Justin Fields ($6,600)
Running Back DFS Values
|Brian Robinson Jr.||3||16.5||4.61||0.4||0||1||1|
James Conner ($5,900)
Cardinals vs 49ers
For the first time this season, James Conner is priced under $6,000. While being priced above that over the first three weeks, the Cardinals back is ninth at his position with a 3.90 return on investment score.
Despite the 49ers being next up on the schedule, Conner will improve that score in Week 4.
Last week, Conner faced a tough defensive front, the Cowboys. Off of 14 rushing attempts, the Cardinals lead back totaled 98 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
Those numbers had Conner finishing with 19.6 points, sixth best in Week 3.
The Cardinals will look to keep the 49ers offense on the sidelines by running the ball and they are already sixth in the league with a rushing play percentage of 49.12%.
Controlling the game with the run is already evident with the Cardinals offense as they rank seventh in the league with a 38.60% rushing first down percentage.
Taking all of this into account and the fact that Conner is garnering 60.7% of the team’s rushing attempts, the volume is already baked in.
The perception of the 49ers defense against running backs is skewed. While most consider the defense elite, they are towards the middle of the league in points allowed to running backs.
What is interesting about that stat is that their defense is facing 14.3 rushing attempts on a per-game basis, the lowest in the league.
It might not seem like it at first glance but the Cardinals matchup against the 49ers is a game script that works in Conner’s favor.
Honorable Mention: Zack Moss ($6,000)
Wide Receiver DFS Values
|Marvin Mims Jr.||3||14.27||4.73||3.87||0||1||1|
Ronnie Bell – $3,400
49ers vs Cardinals
To put it bluntly, the selection of Ronnie Bell for this week’s column has almost everything to do with the injuries surrounding the 49ers wide receiver room. While it was encouraging to hear that Brandon Aiyuk was out of his non-contact jersey, Deebo Samuel was not present at Thursday’s practice.
While the 49ers have more than enough mouths to feed on offense, the injuries open the door for rookie Bell to make an impact this Sunday.
Thanks to a touchdown in Week 3, Bell scored 10.4 points on two targets, and if you are someone who plays daily fantasy in the preseason, you know that Bell was more than productive.
His points scored along with his Week 3 cost of $3,000 had the rookie wide receiver finishing with a return on investment score of 2.88, right near the top-25 average at his position.
Along with that, it is important to also note that Bell was involved in 31 of the 49ers offensive snaps, tied with Jauan Jennings.
Catching 10 of his 15 targets, Bell finished the preseason fourth at his position in points scored. The young pass catcher also fits the 49ers’ mold of hammering yards after the catch. During those three preseason games, Bell forced five missed tackles and averaged 17.2 yards per reception.
Despite being labeled as one of the worst teams in football, the Cardinals have played well in their first three games. Defensive-minded head coach Jonathan Gannon has the Cardinals towards the middle of the league in points allowed to the wide receiver position.
The value of playing someone as cheap as Bell is that it allows you to put higher-priced names on your daily roster. If Samuel is limited or unable to play, the value of Bell will grow even greater.
Honorable Mention: Adam Thielen ($4,500)
Tight End DFS Values
|Donald Parham Jr.||3||9.07||7.09||0.87||0||0||1|
Pat Freiermuth – $3,400
Steelers at Texans
In the first two weeks of the season, Pat Freiermuth had an average price of $3,900 and he managed to score less than ten total fantasy points.
While some would blame Kenny Pickett and Matt Canada, the blame should have gone to the opponents. Freiermuth took on defenses that ranked in the top 10 in the fewest points allowed to the position.
The schedule turned around for the Steelers tight end as he took on the Raiders 13.1 fantasy points on just four targets.
Week 4 presents a favorable opponent, a Texans defense that is allowing the 11th-most points to the position, including 17.8 allowed last week.
That performance produced the fourth-best return on investment score at his position.
Oddly enough, as the Steelers schedule has improved, Freiermuth’s cost has gone down. After being priced at $4,100 in Week 1, his price has dipped down to just $3,400.
At his lowest cost in this early season, Freiermuth is up against a Texans defense that is one of ten teams that has allowed 20+ tight end points in a game.
Eventually, DraftKings will properly adjust Freiermuth’s pricing, but until that time, feel free to take advantage of the opportunity.
Honorable Mention: Dalton Kincaid ($3,200)