DraftKings’ scoring structure favors the dark horse. While it’s important to be cognizant of those players who have high averages and therefore are more likely to earn a 3-point bonus, it also bears noting that more emphasis must be placed on sleepers and long shots as compared to non-yardage-threshold and half PPR (point per reception) count systems.
DraftKings offers a full point per reception, which in itself places more emphasis on receiving than rushing. Factor into that the extra points offered for hitting a certain yardage mark (the bonus threshold) and it becomes more likely to find even more relative value from a low salary player than with flat yardage scoring and less than PPR scoring formats.
The fact that the potential for higher relative value increases with DK’s structure, also means that high salary players (and those who have such players in their lineups) are more likely to be overtaken by a standout performance by a dark horse. Consider the following scenario:
Aaron Rodgers’ salary is $9400. Cam Newton’s salary is $6600. Rodgers throws for 275 and two TDs (19 pts). Newton throws for only 100 with one TD, but also runs for a hundred yards (21 pts). In standard scoring, Rodgers’ 19 points are the same, but without the 3-point bonus, Cam has only 18. With Rodgers’ salary he’s expected to throw for 300 yards; if he doesn’t, it has the potential to create more of a problem than with other scoring systems.
This is not a recommendation to draft scrubs; it’s an advocacy of keeping one foot on the gas with an eye in the rear-view while drafting. The differentiation of draft strategy between GPPs and cash games [from “Successful Drafting According to Contest Type”] becomes that much more significant when taking into account the probability of attaining a target yardage threshold. In large tournaments, the expensive superstar is more susceptible to a bad beat if he doesn’t deliver what his salary portends he should. Likewise, the sleeper’s relative value is increased by a wider margin when his ship comes in. In small leagues and 50/50s, the risk of the bad beat is further minimized by the proportional probability characteristics of the size and payout structures of those contests. An awareness of this scoring principle and its effects can be vital.
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