The FPC and the Wide Receiver Position
By Jeff Pasquino
July 31st, 2011

Footballguys continues to advance the world of fantasy football. With several additions to their offerings last year, the much heralded Best Online Content Site for 2009 joined the world of High Stakes Fantasy contests and made an instant splash. Joe Bryant and David Dodds teamed with David Gerczak and Alex Kaganovsky of the Fantasy Football Players Championship (myffpc.com) to create the first annual Footballguys Players Championship contest in 2010 and by all measures it was a huge success. Now the FPC and FFPC are back again, better than ever for 2011.

By studying the rules of both the FFPC and the FPC along with some of the history and previous performances by FPC players, insights can be found that will help many players to not only compete well in both contests but also to be in a position to win their league and be in the running for a top prize in the championship round.

As the summer rolls on, I will continue analyzing many aspects of the Footballguys Players Championship and the Fantasy Football Players Championship. Through these articles I hope to provide extra help with fully understanding how to best build a top notch fantasy team within the contest. As someone who has competed against the best players in the world and in several contests much like the FPC and the FFPC, I fully understand how every possible advantage and extra edge can make all the difference in the world.

The Wide Receiver Position

Under the microscope this time around is the position of wide receiver. According the rules of the Footballguys Players Championship, the rosters are as follows:

Starting Roster

  • 1 QB
  • 2 RBs
  • 2 WRs
  • 1 TE
  • 1 K
  • 1 D/ST
  • 2 flex players (RB/WR/TE)
  • With the following relevant scoring system in place:

  • 4 points for passing TDs, 6 points for all other TDs
  • 0.05 point for every 1 yard passing
  • 0.1 point for every 1 yard rushing or receiving
  • So how do you analyze the impact of this scoring system to the current crop of potential fantasy wide receivers? We need to dig into some numbers.

    First, let's take a look at both the projected scores for the Top 60 wide receivers this season and calculate some VBD numbers using the worst starter method (more on that in a minute). The results are in Table 1:

    Rank
    Points
    VBD
    Rank
    Points
    VBD
    1
    282.8
    127
    31
    161.5
    6
    2
    260.2
    104
    32
    160.6
    5
    3
    254.6
    99
    33
    159.4
    3
    4
    240.4
    84
    34
    159.1
    3
    5
    240.2
    84
    35
    158.4
    2
    6
    235.9
    80
    36
    157.5
    1
    7
    231.1
    75
    37
    157.5
    1
    8
    223.7
    68
    38
    157.3
    1
    9
    220.0
    64
    39
    155.6
    0
    10
    219.7
    64
    40
    154.8
    -1
    11
    219.6
    64
    41
    153.3
    -3
    12
    209.8
    54
    42
    149.8
    -6
    13
    208.2
    52
    43
    148.1
    -8
    14
    207.7
    52
    44
    147.6
    -8
    15
    205.7
    50
    45
    146.1
    -10
    16
    202.1
    46
    46
    143.7
    -12
    17
    200.9
    45
    47
    142.1
    -14
    18
    198.0
    42
    48
    141.1
    -15
    19
    195.6
    40
    49
    140.4
    -16
    20
    192.2
    36
    50
    137.7
    -18
    21
    192.0
    36
    51
    137.6
    -18
    22
    191.9
    36
    52
    133.2
    -23
    23
    190.1
    34
    53
    131.5
    -25
    24
    189.2
    33
    54
    129.0
    -27
    25
    181.4
    25
    55
    126.3
    -30
    26
    173.9
    18
    56
    125.6
    -30
    27
    170.8
    15
    57
    125.2
    -31
    28
    169.6
    14
    58
    125.1
    -31
    29
    169.5
    13
    59
    122.0
    -34
    30
    165.6
    10
    60
    119.1
    -37

    Table 1: FPC Projected Fantasy Points For Top 60 Wide Receivers

    First a comment on the worst starter method. Even though only 24 WRs are necessary as starters (the rules require 2 WRs per team), the Dual Flex rule put more of them into play. As a result, the 39th wide receiver is regarded as the last starter - meaning that most teams will be going with one WR as one of two flex players, and possibly even two most weeks.

    The VBD does not do much for a complete analysis without some context of other positions. Looking at the Draft Dominator, we can run a mock draft to get a feel for when the various wide receivers are slated to come off of the draft board. Table 2 gives some more insight as to when the mock draft says to take a wideout:

    Rank
    Points
    VBD
    DD ADP
    Rank
    Points
    VBD
    DD ADP
    1
    282.8
    127
    4
    31
    161.5
    6
    81
    2
    260.2
    104
    8
    32
    160.6
    5
    93
    3
    254.6
    99
    10
    33
    159.4
    3
    108
    4
    240.4
    84
    19
    34
    159.1
    3
    109
    5
    240.2
    84
    20
    35
    158.4
    2
    110
    6
    235.9
    80
    22
    36
    157.5
    1
    112
    7
    231.1
    75
    25
    37
    157.5
    1
    113
    8
    223.7
    68
    26
    38
    157.3
    1
    114
    9
    220.0
    64
    28
    39
    155.6
    0
    115
    10
    219.7
    64
    30
    40
    154.8
    -1
    116
    11
    219.6
    64
    31
    41
    153.3
    -3
    117
    12
    209.8
    54
    34
    42
    149.8
    -6
    118
    13
    208.2
    52
    35
    43
    148.1
    -8
    119
    14
    207.7
    52
    36
    44
    147.6
    -8
    122
    15
    205.7
    50
    37
    45
    146.1
    -10
    127
    16
    202.1
    46
    38
    46
    143.7
    -12
    128
    17
    200.9
    45
    39
    47
    142.1
    -14
    131
    18
    198.0
    42
    40
    48
    141.1
    -15
    133
    19
    195.6
    40
    41
    49
    140.4
    -16
    134
    20
    192.2
    36
    42
    50
    137.7
    -18
    136
    21
    192.0
    36
    43
    51
    137.6
    -18
    137
    22
    191.9
    36
    44
    52
    133.2
    -23
    138
    23
    190.1
    34
    46
    53
    131.5
    -25
    139
    24
    189.2
    33
    48
    54
    129.0
    -27
    147
    25
    181.4
    25
    58
    55
    126.3
    -30
    149
    26
    173.9
    18
    71
    56
    125.6
    -30
    151
    27
    170.8
    15
    72
    57
    125.2
    -31
    152
    28
    169.6
    14
    73
    58
    125.1
    -31
    153
    29
    169.5
    13
    74
    59
    122.0
    -34
    154
    30
    165.6
    10
    77
    60
    119.1
    -37
    168

    Table 2: Draft Dominator FPC Mock - ADP For Top 60 Wide Receivers

    Based on the results, only three wide receivers are projected to be first rounders, whereas the next tier of 7-8 WRs should go at the Round 2 / Round 3 turn. A big run on wideouts should come next from the end of Round 3 on through most of Round 4, with 24 WRs being selected in the Top 48 picks. Value will steer drafters towards other positions until late in Round 5 or in Round 6 when teams will start grabbing their third wide receiver. A bigger run should occur in Rounds 9 and 10 as the next tier of WRs (WR33-44) fly off of the draft board.

    This is great for a mock draft, but how about some real life comparisons? With the help of Clayton Gray here at Footballguys, he has pulled together some great ADP data based on last year's drafts and married that with the current ADP data for all of the top players. We can use this information to compare against the Draft Dominator mock results. Here are both ADPs compared side-by-side and their relative differences:

    Rank
    FFPC ADP
    DD ADP
    ADP Diff
    Rank
    FFPC ADP
    DD ADP
    ADP Diff
    1
    5
    4
    -1
    31
    85
    81
    -4
    2
    8
    8
    0
    32
    87
    93
    6
    3
    9
    10
    1
    33
    90
    108
    18
    4
    11
    19
    8
    34
    93
    109
    16
    5
    15
    20
    5
    35
    95
    110
    15
    6
    17
    22
    5
    36
    99
    112
    13
    7
    19
    25
    6
    37
    101
    113
    12
    8
    21
    26
    5
    38
    104
    114
    10
    9
    25
    28
    3
    39
    107
    115
    8
    10
    27
    30
    3
    40
    110
    116
    6
    11
    32
    31
    -1
    41
    113
    117
    4
    12
    36
    34
    -2
    42
    116
    118
    2
    13
    38
    35
    -3
    43
    118
    119
    1
    14
    41
    36
    -5
    44
    121
    122
    1
    15
    44
    37
    -7
    45
    123
    127
    4
    16
    46
    38
    -8
    46
    126
    128
    2
    17
    49
    39
    -10
    47
    128
    131
    3
    18
    51
    40
    -11
    48
    132
    133
    1
    19
    55
    41
    -14
    49
    133
    134
    1
    20
    58
    42
    -16
    50
    137
    136
    -1
    21
    60
    43
    -17
    51
    138
    137
    -1
    22
    63
    44
    -19
    52
    140
    138
    -2
    23
    65
    46
    -19
    53
    144
    139
    -5
    24
    68
    48
    -20
    54
    146
    147
    1
    25
    71
    58
    -13
    55
    148
    149
    1
    26
    72
    71
    -1
    56
    150
    151
    1
    27
    75
    72
    -3
    57
    154
    152
    -2
    28
    76
    73
    -3
    58
    156
    153
    -3
    29
    80
    74
    -6
    59
    159
    154
    -5
    30
    82
    77
    -5
    60
    162
    168
    6

    Table 3: Draft Dominator FPC Mock vs. 2010 FPC Data - Comparison of ADPs

    Several key facts can be pulled from Table 3 about wide receivers and FPC scoring:

  • The Top 10 wideouts are going much earlier than in the mock with consistency. The PPR scoring and the top-heavy perspective of the upper tiers combined with many FPC players wanting to secure 1-2 stud WRs makes the best of the best go early.
  • The Draft Dominator mock points towards an early wide receiver run at some point (it appears to be Rounds 3-4) but the ADP of the 2010 FPC Drafts has WRs spread out pretty evenly across the first eight rounds. So who is right? The answer is both - a WR run will happen in most drafts, but the point in time it occurs will vary. The resultant combined ADP will spread the runs across the board.
  • In both formats, WR43 goes at nearly the same point (the end of Round 10. That means that close to or about Pick 120 every team will have three or four wideouts. That meshes well with the "worst starter method" and the Dual Flex usage of 1-2 WRs per team.
  • Wideouts go a bit earlier than expected in the WR32-WR39 range. That shows the end of some tiers happening as the player pool gets much cloudier after that point.
  • Parting Thoughts

    Every fantasy league and its rulebook are a little different. For the FPC and the FFPC, the wide receiver position has reasons to both emphasize and de-emphasize the wideouts. On one hand, only two wide receivers are required to have a legal lineup. If a team has four stud running backs or three of them and two TE1s, a WR3 is way down on the priority list. The other side of the coin is that WR3s are far easier to collect than two stud tight ends or 3-4 feature running backs.

    So what is the right answer? Moderation with a splash of studliness. The Top 10 wideouts will go early, and WR11-21 will go quickly thereafter as in both studies all those guys are gone by the end of Round 5. The recommendation would be to snag two Top 20 wideouts as quickly as possible but not to overlook true feature running backs. It is not uncommon at all to have a start of 2 RB / 2 WR format or even those four spots plus either a TE or QB after five rounds. The key is to make sure not to fall behind at WR or RB and then worry about depth. Being able to see a WR3 with WR2 (or even WR1) upside also affords you to address other spots while waiting to grab a third receiver. The biggest three rules not to overlook are PPR scoring, only having to start two WRs, and also the ability to put three or four in a lineup with the Dual Flex. That flexibility allows many different directions to build a successful team.

    It takes a little time to get your mind wrapped around a new contest with a new set of rules, but the time spent is often well worth it if the goal is to field a competitive team. Giving a little bit of effort to get a greater understanding of the twists and turns to the rulebook can give turn a good fantasy player into a great one and a great player into a dominant force. Knowledge is power - so be as powerful as you can!

    Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com.

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