Rank Fantasy Sports

Using RFS Projected Points per $ (PP$) to Build a Winning DraftKings Lineup

Jul 1, 2020

A common number you are going to find when you are on the upcoming player projections for any particular sport in the Today’s Rankings section of the site is Projected Points per $ (PP$).

Projected points per $ is just a way of determining the value that we are projecting that player to provide you at their price. Since DFS is a salary based game, you can’t just make a lineup of the best players. If you are not building a lineup of just average priced players, you need to choose some less expensive players to balance out the expensive studs that you want in your lineup. For the purpose of this article, we are going to use our projections for the Golf Round 2 DraftKings Showdown at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Once you pull up the PGA Showdown projections, it will be sorted not by the highest projected points for the slate, but by the projected points per $ for the slate. A “good” points per $ projection in golf changes from week to week and sometimes even from round to round based off of things like the course they are playing that week and if it plays easier or harder than other courses. So, keep in mind that the specific PP$ examples used in this article were based off of the Rocket Mortgage which is a higher scoring course than the average on the PGA Tour. Another thing that can change what a “good” PP$ projection in golf is what round they are playing. In a Round 4 Showdown, the players that finish in the top 50 of the tournament receive a finishing placement bonus based off of where in that top 50 they place.

The way that I build a lineup based off of PP$ projections provided on the site is I first sort by the highest Projected DK Points on that slate. In this slate, Bryson DeChambeau is the highest projected player at 53.1 projected DraftKings points. At his salary of $10,400, he is a .0051 PP$. I then look at the rest of the top 10 or so projected point scorers on the slate and see how their projected points and PP$ relate to DeChambeau. I will not play anyone that does not at least match but preferably exceed Bryson’s .0051 because I would always rather play the highest projected player if his value is at least equal to the other player I am considering. There are only 4 players in the top 10 projected on the slate that match or exceed that .0051 PP$ projection. Those players are: Patrick Reed 48.7 Projected DKPts, $9400 salary, (.0052 PP$); Hideki Matsuyama 48.67 DK Pts, $9600 salary, (.0051 PP$); Doc Redman 45.35 DK Pts, $8400 salary, (.0054 PP$); J.T. Poston 44.95 DK Pts, $8200 salary, (.0055 PP$). So, out of the top tier my player pool for a lineup includes DeChambeau, Reed, Matsuyama, Redman, and Poston.

I then move to the next tier of 10-15 highest projected scorers and am looking for the top values in that tier. Since they are less expensive, I am definitely looking for players with higher projected PP$s than the top projected tier, because I value the most scored points the most, and at a tournament like the Rocket Mortgage where birdies are gettable by most of the field, I would rather build a lineup of as many of the highest projected players on the slate that I can! I want to build a “stars and value player” type lineup any time players at the less expensive prices have really high projected values! Less expensive players have higher values in tournaments where the average player in the field is going to score pretty well. The values of the less expensive players go down the harder that the course is.

In that next tier, Maverick McNealy is the highest projected player that has a value at least exceeding the highest value of the top tier. McNealy is projected for 43.71 DK points at a price of $7500 which is a .0058 projected PP$. The other players in that tier that have a PP$ meeting or exceeding McNealy are: Cameron Tringale projected for 43.4 DKPts, $7100 salary, (.0061 PP$); Brian Stuard 43.26 DKPts, $7500 salary, (.0058 PP$); Scott Stallings 42.77 DKPts, $7400, (.0058 PP$). McNealy and Tringale will definitely be in my player pool from this range. Stuard and Stallings will also get consideration because they are not a discount in price on Tringale. Stallings is only $100 cheaper than McNealy and is projected at 1 point less. However, since Stuard and Stallings are projected so close to the top 2, if I have a better feeling on one of them than the other two I will follow that feeling over a slight advantage in projection. Projections are great, but sometimes you have to trust your gut instinct.

After I have looked at the top 20-25 projected players on the slate and determined my player pool from the top, I will then sort the sheet back to the highest projected PP$ players. If there are some really inexpensive players at the top of the list, I am going to start building some lineups with as many of those top tier projected players as possible and see if I can fit 3-4 of them in with 2 or 3 of the inexpensive potential high value plays mixed in. If there are not great inexpensive values, I will start building a lineup with at least 5 of the bottom part of the top tier and second tier players. At a tournament like the Rocket Mortgage classic, the cheaper players are going to have higher potential values because of all the scoring, so it is most likely going to be the stars and value type build.

Due to COVID-19 related circumstances, Cameron Champ was a super late addition to this field, so he entered the Round 2 Showdown at the minimum, $6000 price. He tops the value list at 41.07 projected DK points for a .0068 projected PP$. The only player who is projected for more points than Champ before you get to Tringale, who is already in the player pool, is Johnson Wagner at 41.23 Projected DK Points, $6200 price, (.0066 PP$). Champ and Wagner are strongly in my player pool, and at their low prices I am going to see if I can fit them into some of my stars and value lineups! The more “less expensive value players” you use, the more stars with higher cost you can have in your lineup!

Sure enough, I was able to build the following lineup:


Player Projected DK Points Salary Points Per $
Bryson DeChambeau 53.1 $10,400 0.0051
Hideki Matsuyama 48.7 $9,600 0.0051
Patrick Reed 48.7 $9,400 0.0052
Doc Redman 45.4 $8,400 0.0054
Johnson Wagner 41.2 $6,200 0.0066
Cameron Champ 41.1 $6,000 0.0068
Total Lineup 278.2 $50,000 0.0056
Since this is a Round 2 Showdown, I can go back to yesterday and make sure that the 278.2 Projected DK Points would have finished in the $ in the contest I played yesterday. If so, I should be in great shape today in a similar contest. After looking I verified that 278.2 would have finished in the money of the GPP contest I played yesterday. I then decide if the lineup that I made has upside above their projected DK points. If it does, that is a lineup I want to play in my GPP.

Bryson DeChambeau scored 4.2 more DK Showdown points yesterday than I have him projected for today with 4 bogeys, and he’s been red hot. For me, DeChambeau has upside on his 53.1 projection.

Hideki Matsuyama is one of the best approach to the green players and overall ball strikers in the game. If his putter or driver is hot, he can go as low as just about anyone, as evidenced by his 0.63 birdie per round advantage on the fields he’s played. (Stats like these can be found on the site for members.). For me, Matsuyama definitely has upside on his 48.7 Projection.

Patrick Reed averages .55 more birdies per round than the fields that he’s played in our current data set. If his putter is rolling like it is quite often (based on of his 0.56 Strokes Gained Putting per round over the fields that he’s played) he can score a lot of DK points. For me, he has upside on his 48.7.

Doc Redman was tied for the overnight lead after shooting -7. He also has a solid advantage of 0.24 in birdies per round over the fields he’s played. Even if he doesn’t putt as well as he did yesterday when he shot -7, I still think he has a little upside but is a solid bet for a mid 40s score at this type of course with Showdown scoring.

Johnson Wagner scored 49.2 DK Points in Round 1 on his way to shooting -5. Wagner is an overall slightly below average to around average in most of the stats we have on him. We only have 9 measured tournaments for him that we are taking into account in our data set. So, we believe that even with the lower number of measured tourneys, the fact that he is above average in most of the stats that are a good fit for this this course that he’s worth considering with the right players that he allows us to afford. We think he is worth playing as a value player at his price based on what he did yesterday and can accept the risk that the low number of 9 tournaments worth of stats that are suggesting he is a good play because of the extremely low price that allows me to afford some of the best DraftKings scorers in the field.

Cameron Champ is a player with an extremely low price compared to his skill level and that is essentially a free space with the chance of him not being very highly owned. If people didn’t see he was a late add and don’t scroll all the way to the minimum price when they are building their lineup they will miss the opportunity to get him.

This is a lineup that I think has a solid floor with the 3 studs and the overnight leader. I am comfortable with the 2 very inexpensive value players, so I am playing this lineup!
I hope this article was helpful and will be a tool that you reference in building lineups in the future! Let’s win.

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