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The FPC and the Wide Receiver Position

The Footballguys Players Championship Analysis - Looking at the Wide Receiver Position

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 fourth season, ready to knock it out of the park once again in 2013.

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
1 316.4 158 31 184.1 26
2 270.9 113 32 181.1 23
3 268 110 33 178 20
4 267.9 110 34 177.9 20
5 266.3 108 35 177.9 20
6 263.6 105 36 176.6 19
7 254.2 96 37 174 16
8 251 93 38 173.3 15
9 249.8 92 39 171.8 14
10 247 89 40 170.4 12
11 244.2 86 41 167 9
12 235.2 77 42 165.1 7
13 234.7 77 43 162 4
14 214.1 56 44 159.8 2
15 213.7 56 45 158.1 0
16 212.6 55 46 157.1 -1
17 209.1 51 47 153.7 -4
18 205.9 48 48 149.1 -9
19 205.8 48 49 148.7 -9
20 203.3 45 50 143.9 -14
21 201.3 43 51 138.1 -20
22 200.7 43 52 132.3 -26
23 199.4 41 53 130.4 -28
24 198.6 41 54 128.5 -30
25 198.5 40 55 126.4 -32
26 198.3 40 56 126.3 -32
27 192.7 35 57 123.4 -35
28 191 33 58 121.4 -37
29 189.8 32 59 120.8 -37
30 189.3 31 60 118.8 -39

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 45th wide receiver is regarded as the last starter - meaning that most teams will be going with at least one WR as one of two flex players, and probably 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
1 316.4 158 1 31 184.1 26 74
2 270.9 113 5 32 181.1 23 76
3 268 110 6 33 178 20 83
4 267.9 110 7 34 177.9 20 87
5 266.3 108 8 35 177.9 20 88
6 263.6 105 9 36 176.6 19 92
7 254.2 96 12 37 174 16 93
8 251 93 18 38 173.3 15 94
9 249.8 92 19 39 171.8 14 95
10 247 89 21 40 170.4 12 100
11 244.2 86 22 41 167 9 105
12 235.2 77 24 42 165.1 7 106
13 234.7 77 25 43 162 4 107
14 214.1 56 31 44 159.8 2 109
15 213.7 56 32 45 158.1 0 110
16 212.6 55 34 46 157.1 -1 111
17 209.1 51 35 47 153.7 -4 112
18 205.9 48 41 48 149.1 -9 113
19 205.8 48 42 49 148.7 -9 114
20 203.3 45 43 50 143.9 -14 117
21 201.3 43 44 51 138.1 -20 118
22 200.7 43 46 52 132.3 -26 121
23 199.4 41 50 53 130.4 -28 132
24 198.6 41 59 54 128.5 -30 134
25 198.5 40 64 55 126.4 -32 144
26 198.3 40 65 56 126.3 -32 145
27 192.7 35 67 57 123.4 -35 147
28 191 33 68 58 121.4 -37 148
29 189.8 32 70 59 120.8 -37 151
30 189.3 31 71 60 118.8 -39 152

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

Based on the results, stud wide receiver Calvin Johnson should push for the first overall pick, while 5-6 more should be under consideration for a first round pick.  The next tier of 9-10 wide receivers should be exhausted by the end of Round 3, meaning almost 50% of teams will have more than one wideout  after three picks.  A big run on wide receivers is expected in the last 10 selections of the Top 50 as the rest of the teams will look to secure at least two wide receivers on their FPC roster.  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. Forty of the Top 100 picks look to be wide receivers, showing that several teams will already have at least four of them by the middle 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 FPC ADP DD ADP ADP Diff Rank FPC ADP DD ADP ADP Diff
1 4 1 -3 31 76 74 -2
2 10 5 -5 32 80 76 -4
3 14 6 -8 33 82 83 1
4 17 7 -10 34 88 87 -1
5 19 8 -11 35 91 88 -3
6 23 9 -14 36 94 92 -2
7 26 12 -14 37 96 93 -3
8 27 18 -9 38 100 94 -6
9 30 19 -11 39 102 95 -7
10 33 21 -12 40 106 100 -6
11 36 22 -14 41 107 105 -2
12 37 24 -13 42 110 106 -4
13 38 25 -13 43 113 107 -6
14 41 31 -10 44 117 109 -8
15 42 32 -10 45 119 110 -9
16 44 34 -10 46 121 111 -10
17 46 35 -11 47 123 112 -11
18 47 41 -6 48 127 113 -14
19 50 42 -8 49 131 114 -17
20 52 43 -9 50 133 117 -16
21 54 44 -10 51 136 118 -18
22 55 46 -9 52 139 121 -18
23 57 50 -7 53 142 132 -10
24 59 59 0 54 145 134 -11
25 60 64 4 55 149 144 -5
26 63 65 2 56 150 145 -5
27 65 67 2 57 154 147 -7
28 68 68 0 58 157 148 -9
29 71 70 -1 59 162 151 -11
30 75 71 -4 60 167 152 -15

Table 3: Draft Dominator FPC Mock vs. 2013 FPC Data - Comparison of ADPs

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

  • The Top 10-12 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 2013 FPC Drafts has the run coming a little later, most likely in Rounds 4-5. Either way, wide receiver are going to fly off the board in Rounds 3-5 with 12-19 WRs selected in those three rounds.
  • In both formats, WR42 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 (the worst starter is projected as WR45).

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.


More from Jeff Pasquino:

I Will Survive: Managing Survivor Leagues - August 25
WR3 By Committee - PPR: Update - August 22
WR3 By Committee: Update - August 22
Perfect Draft: 10 Teams - August 20
Perfect Draft: 12 Teams - August 20
Perfect Draft: 14 Teams - August 20
Perfect FPC Draft - August 20
Average Auction Values - August 19
RB2 By Committee - PPR: Update - August 18
RB2 By Committee: Update - August 18