how to pick the best wide receivers in nfl dfs

How Many Points Should You Get From Your WR’s in DFS Based on Salary?

October 26, 2018

In DFS, there are three roster spots eligible for wide receivers, four if you include the flex position. That is almost half of your lineup.

Only a few people realize that receivers are the bulk of any DFS lineup.

Since receivers are the most dominant position in a DFS lineup, should they account for almost half of your points?  

How Important Are Wide Receivers in NFL DFS? 

Defense and tight end only take up one roster spot each, does that mean they should make up 1/9 of your points?

In a perfect world, yes that would make sense, but this is far from a perfect world, this is fantasy football!

Some weeks everything goes as planned while others all hell breaks loose and your players are running around like chicken with their heads cut off.

The matter of the fact is that there are more receivers on the field than any other position. Every team has multiple receivers on the field at the same time, you see it all the time in three wide receiver sets.

Most teams have two star receivers that handle most of the workload like the Steelers, while some quarterbacks like Tom Brady, spread the ball around the whole team.

Wide Receivers claim the most roster spots in DFS because there is much more Wide Receivers than any other position in fantasy football.

Since there are so many receivers in the NFL, it can be hard to pick the ones that will provide the most value for your DFS lineup.

That is what this article is all about, helping you get the most bang for your buck at the receiver position.

Wide Receiver DFS Breakdown

Now that we are halfway through the season, we have seen how teams play and how they utilize their weapons.

We have seen receivers that continue to dominate week in and week out, receivers that have not performed to the best of their ability, and some receivers who have exceeded all expectations coming into the season.

You want to know which guys to pick on a weekly basis that will give you the best chance of winning money.

At the end of the day that is all that matters, ending every Sunday with full pockets.

To find the best value at receiver, I broke down the average price and average points per week for 30 receivers to find the best price range to target.

Players who have missed a few games due to injuries were excluded from this study to provide more accurate results.

How Wide Receiver’s Salaries Are Related to Fantasy Performance 

Player Average Salary Average Points
Antonio Brown $8,750 21.63
Odell Beckham Jr. $8,030 21.14
Davante Adams $7,716 24.12
Tyreek Hill $7,615 23.00
Adam Thielen $7,585 28.60
Mike Evans $7,517 20.85
AJ Green $7,328 19.44
JuJu Smith-Schuster $6,917 20.68
Jarvis Landry $6,714 15.70
Brandin Cooks $6,685 15.60
Golden Tate $6,633 18.60
Emmanuel Sanders $6,457 21.38
Robert Woods $6,171 19.60
Amari Cooper $6,133 10.48
Allen Robinson $5,900 10.90
Kenny Golladay $5,683 16.08
Cooper Kupp $5,616 18.22
Demaryius Thomas $5,514 13.02
DeSean Jackson $5,400 18.35
Michael Crabtree $5,142 12.56
John Brown $5,085 16.31
Sterling Shepard $5,057 14.82
Devin Funchess $5,050 14.07
Tyler Lockett $5,033 15.13
Tyler Boyd $4,614 16.96
Chris Godwin $4,416 13.30
Taylor Gabriel $4,167 14.08
Paul Richardson $4,120 9.88
Willie Snead $3,929 10.55
Christian Kirk $3,857 10.29

As we have seen at the quarterback position and running back position, just because players cost the most does not mean they score the most.

Antonio Brown has been the most expensive receiver this year by almost $700 but is averaging the fourth highest amount of points.

Tyler Boyd however, has been extremely cheap so far this season and has provided a lot of value, scoring more than players that cost on average $2000 more than he does.

Each week there are going to be outliers, players who show up and ball out, outperforming there projections.

There are also players who should have just stayed home that Sunday because of the terrible performance they displayed.

It works both ways.

My goal is to help you find the most value at the receiver position so you do not overpay for players.

WR Salary Tiers

After analyzing these 30 players, I realized that there are nine common salaries for players to be priced at. When using these tiers as a reference understand they are rounded so round to the nearest tier for the most accurate results.

  1. $8,000+
  2. $7,500
  3. $7,000
  4. $6,500
  5. $6,000
  6. $5,500
  7. $5,000
  8. $4,500
  9. $4,000

I understand that there are players who are around $9,000 at times but on average, the highest costing players are around $8,000.

The WR position has the largest range of salaries compared to QB’s and RB’s, which makes sense given that they have the most players available to choose from.

Yes, it’s great to know the pricing tiers but how do you know which tier to target?

That brings us to our next segment.

How Many Points Should You Expect from a Wide Receiver at a Given Price?

As I have stated in several of our DFS articles, it is important to strategize with a certain amount of points you want your team to earn.

For cash games, I typically shoot for 160 points. I find that my odds of winning increase exponentially if I can reach this marker so it is my target every week.

Now that you have a point total in mind, you have to find the right priced players that will take you to the promised land.

Wide Receivers costing around $8,000 are averaging 22.00 points so far this season.

Wide Receivers costing around $7,500 are averaging 23.00 points so far this season.

Wide Receivers costing around $7,000 are averaging 18.19 points so far this season.

Wide Receivers costing around $6,500 are averaging 18.53 points so far this season.

Wide Receivers costing around $6,000 are averaging 13.66 points so far this season.

Wide Receivers costing around $5,500 are averaging 16.42 points so far this season.

Wide Receivers costing around $5,000 are averaging 15.17 points so far this season.

Wide Receivers costing around $4,500 are averaging 14.50 points so far this season.

Wide Receivers costing around $4,000 are averaging 11.20 points so far this season.

I was unable to find data on DraftKings for Michael Thomas, who is one of the top receivers this year because he is playing in Sunday Night Football which DraftKings does not partake in so the top numbers may be skewed.

One thing I found fascinating is that the top receivers do not score as much as the top running backs in DFS. The highest priced running backs are more expensive costing around $9,000 but they average 29 points a week.

Receivers are a lot different because:

  1. They rely on the quarterback to actually get them the ball unlike running backs
  2. There are a lot more receivers on a team than running backs
  3. Running backs catch the ball out of the backfield but receivers do not rush the ball (routinely).

One advantage receivers have is there depth. The lower costing players are still capable of scoring 15 or more points.

$4,000 receivers may not average a lot every week but you are much more likely to hit a home run with a receiver at this price range than a running back.

It may seem like there is little separation between the top tiers when it comes to averaged points with 5 points separating the top four tiers, but you have to remember you have 3 receivers.

If you take that 5 points and multiply it by 3 that is 15 points which is usually the difference in a matchup.

Beating your opponent in as little as 3 points at 3 positions can be the difference between you losing money or making money.

Let’s stay on the money making side of things.

Wide Receiver DFS Strategy – How to Pick the Best Wider Receiver in Daily Fantasy Sports

Now that we know that the top receivers do not score as much as the top running backs but the position is a lot deeper, I am going to pay up for my top 2 running backs.

As I have said in my article: How many points should you get from your RB’s in DFS? Spending $14,500 between two running backs should get you 2 top 5 running backs.

I typically spend $6,000 on a quarterback because I find it leaves me more salary for the rest of my roster (if you want to find QB value for your roster you can find it here)

This leaves me around $29,500 for the rest of my DFS lineup.

To maximize the amount of points that you get from the wide receiver position it is most efficient to have a stud on your team.

Paying up for one receiver at $7,500 should get you 23 points.

In order to save funds for the rest of the positions you will not be able to purchase a receiver over $6,000 but you do not need to.  

WR’s priced at $5,500 and $5,000 have been outscoring receivers who cost $6,000 on average this season.

Pairing a stud receiver and two receivers around the $5,500 – $5,000 range should get you 54 points from your receivers while the bulk of your scoring will come from your stud running backs.

Should I Start a Wide Reciever at Flex? 

Starting a receiver or running back in your flex is one of the hardest decisions in creating a DFS lineup.

Running backs have a higher floor because they get much more volume and can catch the ball out of the backfield while Receivers have a higher ceiling because of the big play ability.

It all depends on how much you have left over to spend at the flex position.

Like I stated earlier, receiver is a much deeper position, you can find value at lower cost.

Running backs cost more because there are less of them limiting the amount of solid running backs to choose from.

Coincidentally, running backs priced at $5,500 average the same amount of points as receivers who cost the same price, 16.

If you have this much money left than make your decision based on your teams needs.

If you need a solid player with a higher floor pick the running back. If you want the high upside to blow the roof off the stadium pick the receiver.  

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