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DFS Football 101: 2017 Season Review

Michael Rathburn

Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.

When the fantasy football season ends, I like to look back on things from a daily fantasy perspective. Because we are always focused on the current week and quickly moving on to the next, it is a good practice to reflect on the best and worst DFS players on a seasonal and weekly basis using FanDuel data.

There were many storylines to the 2017 season, but injuries was probably the biggest.

Here are some notable players who missed significant time:

QB – Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Carson Palmer, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, Josh McCown

RB – David Johnson, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott (suspension), Chris Thompson, Ty Montgomery, Danny Woodhead, Rob Kelley, Spencer Ware

WR – Odell Beckham Jr., Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Allen Robinson, Pierre Garcon, Terrelle Pryor, Brandon Marshall, Willie Snead

TE – Jordan Reed, Greg Olsen, Tyler Eifert

Many believe the impact of injuries is less in the DFS environment because you pick a new team every week, but that is not true. The trickle down effect on the skill position players on the teams that suffered key injuries is felt in a huge way. The backup QB effects the WR and TE most negatively because of the drop in talent.

Wide receivers really struggled in 2017 outside of Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins and Keenan Allen. It was a difficult season to project consistency at the position. Whether it is more teams using tight ends, throwing to running backs or defenses using more nickel, all factor into the shift in the results.

For next season, I'd like to see FanDuel make an adjustment with one roster position and take the third WR position and make it a flex. Or get rid of kickers finally and add a flex.

I decided to reflect on this season by creating "Teams." Some are for just the season, whereas others are both based on the season and weekly performances.

ALL-BUST TEAM – SEASON

POSPLAYERAVG SALARYPPGVALUE
QBMatt Ryan$7,95015.001.90
RBDoug Martin$6,3186.501.10
RBJay Ajayi$6,9508.791.27
WRTerrelle Pryor$6,4125.000.87
WRJordy Nelson$7,2077.901.03
WREmmanuel Sanders$6,5917.581.14
TEMartellus Bennett$5,4114.800.88
KGiorgio Tavecchio$4,6575.071.07
DSTJets$4,2124.501.20

ALL-BUST TEAM – WEEKLY

POSPLAYERSALARYPOINTSVALUEWEEK
QBDak Prescott$8,5001.80.211
RBLe'Veon Bell$9,3006.20.71
RBEzekiel Elliott$8,7004.20.52
WRAntonio Brown$9,2005.40.64
WROdell Beckham Jr$9,0005.60.62
WRMichael Thomas$8,5002.60.36
TERob Gronkowski$8,2005.10.611
DSTJaguars$5,6001.00.216

ALL-VALUE TEAM – SEASON

POSPLAYERAVG SALARYPPGVALUE
QBDeshaun Watson$7,27125.263.4
RBTodd Gurley$8,49323.422.7
RBAlvin Kamara$6,99317.522.5
WRJuJu Smith-Schuster$6,11814.002.3
WRDeAndre Hopkins$7,90617.452.2
WRAntonio Brown$9,15718.552.0
TERob Gronkowski$8,22314.831.8
DSTRavens$4,78112.062.9
KGreg Zuerlein$5,11413.002.5

ALL-PERFORMANCE TEAM – WEEKLY

POSPLAYERPOINTSWEEK
QBAlex Smith37.6413
RBTodd Gurley44.6016
RBTodd Gurley43.5015
WRJulio Jones44.8012
WRAmari Cooper38.507
WRAntonio Brown37.4011
TEMarcedes Lewis26.203
DSTRavens35.008
KGreg Zuerlein27.004

ALL-VALUE TEAM – WEEKLY

POSPLAYERSALARYPOINTSVALUEWEEK
QBAlex Smith$7,50037.645.013
RBKareem Hunt$6,40043.106.71
RBCorey Clement$4,50025.105.69
WRAmari Cooper$6,20038.506.27
WRKeelan Cole$4,50028.106.215
WRJulio Jones$7,80044.805.712
TEMarcedes Lewis$4,50026.205.83
DSTSaints$4,20033.007.96
KGreg Zuerlein$4,90027.005.54

ALL-HIGH PRICED TEAM - WEEKLY

POSPLAYERSALARYWEEK
QBTom Brady$9,50014
RBKareem Hunt$9,7007
RBLe'Veon Bell$9,7007
WRAntonio Brown$9,60012
WRJulio Jones$9,3003
WRDeAndre Hopkins$9,1009
TERob Gronkowski$8,5007
DSTJaguars$5,90015
KGreg Zuerlein$5,40010

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Michael Rathburn plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: burnnotice, DraftKings: burnnotice, Yahoo: burnnotice, Fantasy Aces: burnnotice, FantasyDraft: burnnotice.
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