The FPC and the Wide Receiver Position
By Jeff Pasquino
August 18th, 2012

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 for their third season, ready to knock it out of the park once again in 2012.

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
    295.0
    127
    31
    191.0
    23
    2
    252.5
    84
    32
    178.1
    10
    3
    248.4
    80
    33
    177.4
    9
    4
    247.0
    79
    34
    175.6
    7
    5
    239.9
    72
    35
    167.8
    0
    6
    235.6
    67
    36
    164.5
    -4
    7
    234.8
    67
    37
    161.7
    -7
    8
    228.5
    60
    38
    160.5
    -8
    9
    224.6
    56
    39
    157.5
    -11
    10
    221.0
    53
    40
    156.5
    -12
    11
    220.9
    53
    41
    151.9
    -16
    12
    218.5
    50
    42
    146.5
    -22
    13
    215.6
    47
    43
    146.4
    -22
    14
    215.3
    47
    44
    145.9
    -22
    15
    212.5
    44
    45
    140.5
    -28
    16
    211.4
    43
    46
    138.2
    -30
    17
    210.9
    43
    47
    132.4
    -36
    18
    209.8
    42
    48
    131.4
    -37
    19
    209.2
    41
    49
    129.3
    -39
    20
    209.2
    41
    50
    127.9
    -40
    21
    207.7
    39
    51
    127.8
    -40
    22
    207.2
    39
    52
    126.9
    -41
    23
    204.3
    36
    53
    125.5
    -43
    24
    203.7
    35
    54
    123.7
    -45
    25
    202.8
    35
    55
    121.4
    -47
    26
    198.9
    31
    56
    119.8
    -48
    27
    196.7
    28
    57
    118.2
    -50
    28
    193.4
    25
    58
    115.4
    -53
    29
    193.2
    25
    59
    115.0
    -53
    30
    192.6
    24
    60
    113.9
    -54

    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 41st 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
    295.0
    127
    4
    31
    191.0
    23
    70
    2
    252.5
    84
    17
    32
    178.1
    10
    75
    3
    248.4
    80
    18
    33
    177.4
    9
    78
    4
    247.0
    79
    21
    34
    175.6
    7
    80
    5
    239.9
    72
    25
    35
    167.8
    0
    95
    6
    235.6
    67
    26
    36
    164.5
    -4
    104
    7
    234.8
    67
    27
    37
    161.7
    -7
    109
    8
    228.5
    60
    31
    38
    160.5
    -8
    112
    9
    224.6
    56
    32
    39
    157.5
    -11
    120
    10
    221.0
    53
    34
    40
    156.5
    -12
    125
    11
    220.9
    53
    35
    41
    151.9
    -16
    139
    12
    218.5
    50
    36
    42
    146.5
    -22
    152
    13
    215.6
    47
    39
    43
    146.4
    -22
    153
    14
    215.3
    47
    40
    44
    145.9
    -22
    155
    15
    212.5
    44
    41
    45
    140.5
    -28
    163
    16
    211.4
    43
    42
    46
    138.2
    -30
    171
    17
    210.9
    43
    43
    47
    132.4
    -36
    187
    18
    209.8
    42
    46
    48
    131.4
    -37
    190
    19
    209.2
    41
    47
    49
    129.3
    -39
    193
    20
    209.2
    41
    48
    50
    127.9
    -40
    200
    21
    207.7
    39
    50
    51
    127.8
    -40
    201
    22
    207.2
    39
    51
    52
    126.9
    -41
    202
    23
    204.3
    36
    54
    53
    125.5
    -43
    206
    24
    203.7
    35
    56
    54
    123.7
    -45
    211
    25
    202.8
    35
    57
    55
    121.4
    -47
    213
    26
    198.9
    31
    61
    56
    119.8
    -48
    216
    27
    196.7
    28
    63
    57
    118.2
    -50
    218
    28
    193.4
    25
    66
    58
    115.4
    -53
    220
    29
    193.2
    25
    67
    59
    115.0
    -53
    222
    30
    192.6
    24
    68
    60
    113.9
    -54
    225

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

    Based on the results, only one wide receiver (usually Calvin Johnson) is projected to be a first rounder, whereas the next tier of 2-3 WRs should go by the end of Round 2. A big run on wideouts should come before the end of Round 3 and last through most of Round 4, with 20 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. Teams will slowly add wide receiver values throughout the next rounds as most teams will have their third WR by the end of Round 9.

    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 early FPC drafts and created 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
    82
    70
    -12
    2
    12
    17
    5
    32
    87
    75
    -12
    3
    16
    18
    2
    33
    91
    78
    -13
    4
    18
    21
    3
    34
    96
    80
    -16
    5
    20
    25
    5
    35
    100
    95
    -5
    6
    25
    26
    1
    36
    102
    104
    2
    7
    26
    27
    1
    37
    106
    109
    3
    8
    29
    31
    2
    38
    108
    112
    4
    9
    32
    32
    0
    39
    111
    120
    9
    10
    34
    34
    0
    40
    114
    125
    11
    11
    35
    35
    0
    41
    116
    139
    23
    12
    38
    36
    -2
    42
    120
    152
    32
    13
    40
    39
    -1
    43
    122
    153
    31
    14
    42
    40
    -2
    44
    123
    155
    32
    15
    44
    41
    -3
    45
    127
    163
    36
    16
    45
    42
    -3
    46
    129
    171
    42
    17
    48
    43
    -5
    47
    133
    187
    54
    18
    49
    46
    -3
    48
    136
    190
    54
    19
    50
    47
    -3
    49
    138
    193
    55
    20
    51
    48
    -3
    50
    140
    200
    60
    21
    53
    50
    -3
    51
    143
    201
    58
    22
    55
    51
    -4
    52
    145
    202
    57
    23
    58
    54
    -4
    53
    148
    206
    58
    24
    59
    56
    -3
    54
    151
    211
    60
    25
    61
    57
    -4
    55
    155
    213
    58
    26
    64
    61
    -3
    56
    156
    216
    60
    27
    66
    63
    -3
    57
    160
    218
    58
    28
    71
    66
    -5
    58
    164
    220
    56
    29
    76
    67
    -9
    59
    167
    222
    55
    30
    80
    68
    -12
    60
    170
    225
    55

    Table 3: Draft Dominator FPC Mock vs. 2012 FPC Data - Comparison of ADPs

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

  • The Top 11-12 wideouts are going in the first three rounds 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 2012 FPC Drafts has the run coming a little later, most likely in Rounds 3-5. Either way, wide receiver are going to fly off the board in Rounds 3-5 with 19-21 WRs selected in those three rounds.

  • In both formats, WR37 goes at nearly the same point (the end of Round 9). That means that just about every team will have three (or more) wideouts as of Pick 108. 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 after WR38. That shows the upside potential of some wide receivers for usage in Dual Flex spots and 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 WR11-20 will go quickly thereafter as in both studies all those guys are gone by the end of Round 4 or at the latest the early part 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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