The Deep Dive: Week 9

Deep Dive Tim Sevenhuysen

Finding Value in E1 Fantasy LoL

Winning at daily or weekly fantasy is all about finding the best way to distribute your available salary. You can’t just pick the highest-scoring players without any constraints; you need to balance price against reward. In a season-long weekly format like E1 Fantasy, that search for value becomes even more important than in “traditional” DFS, because the goal is to earn points consistently, not just give yourself the best chance of finishing atop the leaderboard in any given day or week.

Back-of-the-napkin methods for finding value for your salary dollars can work reasonably well, but with all of the actual Spring 2020 data at my fingertips, it’s time to tear up the napkins and do some real analysis. My core questions are:

  • What is a good return on investment for a value pick?
  • Who have been the best value picks so far this season?

In the tables and discussion below, I’ve listed out the relative average value of each player, measured as average points earned each week per $100k of salary. In other words, I’ve taken the total points earned by each player each week, divided that by their salary for the week (measured in units of $100,000 to make the numbers easier to compare), and then averaged across all eight weeks.

The tl;dr is that you should use a target of 14.4 points per $100,000 of salary (or 1.4 points per $10k) to make a comparison between your big-budget and low-budget picks and decide which will be more worthwhile to your lineup.

Standard Points-per-Salary Value

The following table shows some overall averages from Spring 2020 weeks 1 to 8 of the LCS and LEC.

Overall Averages


SalaryPts per GamePts per $100k
Average$227,71516.414.9

LCS and LEC Spring 2020 regular season, weeks 1 to 8

If the average salary has been $227,715, then a $400,000 salary is 1.76 times higher than average. In other words, we want a player/team with $400,000 salary to score 1.76 times more points than average, which is 28.8 points per game (or 57.6 points in a weekend).

If we’re basing our selections on points per $100k, then a player who scores the average (32.8 points for the weekend) at the league average salary is worth roughly 14.4 points per $100k. The $400k player who scored 57 points would also be worth 14.4 points per $100k.

The question then becomes: how likely is it that the $400k player will score fewer than 57 points, and how likely is it that the $228k player will score above 32.8 points? Your expected answer to that question will tell you which player to select.

(As a note, our actual average points per $100k has been 14.9, slightly higher than 14.4, due to minor adjustments in the salary system over the course of E1 Fantasy’s inaugural split. This is an imperfect science!)

Where to Find Value for Your Fantasy Dollar

A couple of trends to note throughout the following tables:

  • Money gets rewarded best in Bot (average 17.1 points per $100k) and Mid (average 16.2 points per $100k).
  • Budget picks can deliver great value! Schalke 04 and CLG players are consistently at or near the top of the value tables.

Top Lane

In the Top lane, there have been several players who consistently outperform the 14.4 target.

Odoamne leads the way, putting up respectable numbers while being consistently priced low due to his team’s weak performances. In week 8 he’s priced at $220k while playing against strong opponents in G2 and Rogue, which shows how much his value has climbed in recent weeks.

sOAZ and Cabochard sit fourth in points per $100k, largely due to having the lowest average salary of any Top laner. Their 10.9 and 10.1 points per week are very poor, but they have actually been some of the best bargains. If they have a chance of winning at least one game in the weekend, and drafting one of them allows you to go after a higher-priced target elsewhere, they are very much worth a look!

Best-Value Fantasy Top Laners, LCS/LEC Spring 2020

PlayerTeamRoleAvg. SalaryPts. per WeekPts. per $100k
OdoamneS04Top$165,00016.120.38
Dan DanMSFTop$218,75017.918.94
RuinCLGTop$198,75016.817.89
sOAZIMTTop$132,50010.916.46
CabochardVITTop$137,05910.116.39
Broken BladeTSMTop$253,75020.016.14
OromeMADTop$221,25016.715.06
KumoEGTop$230,00015.615.00
ExpectXLTop$226,25016.114.05
HauntzerGGTop$187,50012.513.84
BwipoFNCTop$310,00020.613.75
Ssumday100Top$235,00015.713.53
AlphariOGTop$315,29419.713.19
V1perFLYTop$240,00015.313.13
SacreSKTop$165,71410.013.05
WunderG2Top$350,00022.012.46
FinnRGETop$260,00015.511.99
LicoriceC9Top$320,00018.611.75
HuniDIGTop$213,75011.911.46
ImpactTLTop$256,25013.510.95

LCS and LEC Spring 2020 regular season, weeks 1 to 8

Jungle

In the jungle, Akaadian has come on strong as a value pick, putting up high points per week while being charged out at a below-average salary.

Shad0w is noteworthy as one of the few high-value choices with an above-average salary. Not only is he a good bargain, but he’s straight-up a good performer.

Shockingly, Jankos ranks 8th for value despite being consistently assigned very high salaries.

Best-Value Fantasy Junglers, LCS/LEC Spring 2020

PlayerTeamRoleAvg. SalaryPts. per WeekPts. per $100k
LuroxS04Jungle$150,00018.325.06
AkaadianDIGJungle$180,00021.724.10
SkeanzVITJungle$138,23510.417.61
Shad0wMADJungle$232,50018.416.81
WiggilyCLGJungle$181,25014.016.74
RazorkMSFJungle$217,50015.916.62
Meteos100Jungle$177,50013.715.61
JankosG2Jungle$371,25027.914.96
SantorinFLYJungle$237,50016.514.38
GrigDIGJungle$146,66710.313.83
DardochTSMJungle$236,25015.713.56
BlaberC9Jungle$353,75023.813.54
CaedrelXLJungle$241,25015.513.12
XerxeOGJungle$312,94118.612.88
ShernfireTLJungle$200,00012.512.67
SelfmadeFNCJungle$300,00018.412.44
GiliusS04Jungle$205,00012.312.04
InspiredRGEJungle$261,25015.311.86
TrickSKJungle$167,5009.211.62
XmithieIMTJungle$202,50011.611.54
SvenskerenEGJungle$256,25014.311.53
CloserGGJungle$213,75012.011.36
BroxahTLJungle$262,00012.89.99

LCS and LEC Spring 2020 regular season, weeks 1 to 8

Mid Lane

Pobelter’s numbers are slightly inflated by his first week re-entering the league, since he was given a $50,000 salary and set as a Jungler due to his arrangement with Team Liquid. He put up strong numbers playing Mid, so anyone who snagged him at that discounted substitute-Jungler salary was very well rewarded. That said, his 28.65 points per $100k is so much higher than anyone else’s that he still deserves to be at the top of the list.

It makes sense to see Febiven and PowerOfEvil high on the list, given the difference between their 2019 and 2020 performances.

On the other side of the coin, some high-salary players like Nemesis and Jensen have consistently underdelivered relative to their salary levels.

Best-Value Fantasy Mid Laners, LCS/LEC Spring 2020

PlayerTeamRoleAvg. SalaryPts. per WeekPts. per $100k
PobelterCLGMid$155,00020.128.65
AbbedaggeS04Mid$211,25022.522.25
EikaIMTMid$150,00015.721.39
FebivenMSFMid$231,25019.620.66
HumanoidMADMid$227,50021.118.93
PowerOfEvilFLYMid$252,50022.318.26
JiizukeEGMid$232,50020.517.52
CrownCLGMid$177,50013.917.39
Ryoma100Mid$225,00018.917.23
BjergsenTSMMid$275,00021.115.73
FroggenDIGMid$237,50018.015.46
LarssenRGEMid$292,50022.215.40
PerkzG2Mid$371,25028.515.31
MickeyXLMid$257,50019.115.01
NukeduckOGMid$267,64718.314.80
SakenVITMid$136,0009.114.58
NisqyC9Mid$342,50024.314.36
GoldenglueGGMid$198,75013.413.70
JensenTLMid$282,50018.413.32
JenaxSKMid$187,50010.712.43
NemesisFNCMid$321,25019.412.31
SelfieVITMid$130,0000.61.34

LCS and LEC Spring 2020 regular season, weeks 1 to 8

Bot Lane

Innaxe is another S04 player sitting atop the value charts. He’s been a big part of the team’s turnaround, performing well while drawing low salaries.

As elsewhere, the players who draw the highest salaries have not necessarily delivered the most value per dollar. Bot laners like Zven, Rekkles, and Caps have put up big numbers, but demanded high salaries in order to do it.

With Bot lane being the highest-scoring position, it makes sense to go after the big-budget choices here, but it’s still worth considering value if you can upgrade at Mid or Jungle by taking a less heralded Bot.

Best-Value Fantasy Bot Laners, LCS/LEC Spring 2020

PlayerTeamRoleAvg. SalaryPts. per WeekPts. per $100k
AltecIMTBot$168,00018.422.72
InnaxeS04Bot$222,50024.122.11
StixxayCLGBot$197,14319.121.06
BvoyMSFBot$238,75020.620.67
ApolloIMTBot$230,00022.019.61
CarzzyMADBot$260,00022.819.23
CompVITBot$172,35313.918.92
PatrikXLBot$233,75021.218.48
JohnsunDIGBot$211,25017.618.15
Cody Sun100Bot$217,50019.518.08
ZvenC9Bot$323,75028.217.87
WildTurtleFLYBot$237,50019.216.99
RekklesFNCBot$355,00029.316.67
BangEGBot$280,00022.716.19
CapsG2Bot$381,25030.716.04
CrownshotSKBot$202,50015.915.94
UpsetOGBot$344,11824.815.44
Hans SamaRGEBot$276,25021.315.43
KobbeTSMBot$290,00021.715.16
FBIGGBot$215,00014.714.09
FORG1VENS04Bot$206,66713.512.97
DoubleliftTLBot$300,76918.012.02
TacticalTLBot$230,00024.010.44

LCS and LEC Spring 2020 regular season, weeks 1 to 8

Support

Support is the most challenging value-drafting positioning. Supports average half as many points as Bot laners, but still require much more than half of the salary, so if you want to get your money’s worth you should rarely be looking near the top of the Support salary range.

It isn’t necessarily the smart play to just pay the lowest money and let the position go to waste. It’s difficult, but not impossible, to achieve the 14.4 points per $100k target at Support. There has been good value in players like Steeelback, Dreams, Smoothie, and Kaiser, with points per $100k that rival mid-tier Top laners or Junglers.

Best-Value Fantasy Supports, LCS/LEC Spring 2020

PlayerTeamRoleAvg. SalaryPts. per WeekPts. per $100k
SteeelbackVITSupport$90,0008.118.06
DreamsS04Support$141,2508.815.37
SmoothieCLGSupport$155,0009.714.26
KaiserMADSupport$217,50015.014.20
DenykMSFSupport$183,75011.913.82
MikyxG2Support$311,25020.713.43
AphromooDIGSupport$136,2507.713.23
VanderRGESupport$211,25012.012.31
VulcanC9Support$268,75016.412.24
BiofrostTSMSupport$231,25013.412.09
ZeyzalEGSupport$238,75013.512.00
HakuhoIMTSupport$153,7508.311.32
DestinyOGSupport$257,05912.911.25
KeithGGSupport$103,3334.810.78
Stunt100Support$171,2507.610.52
ToreXLSupport$192,50010.110.51
HylissangFNCSupport$261,25012.29.77
IgnarFLYSupport$246,25011.99.67
LiMiTSKSupport$116,2504.78.77
CoreJJTLSupport$232,5009.18.42
JactrollVITSupport$100,9093.16.90
HuhiGGSupport$70,0000.71.91

LCS and LEC Spring 2020 regular season, weeks 1 to 8

Teams

MAD Lions have been the best value for Team picks, putting up the second-most points per game (because of their long, close games, which allow them to secure more towers and dragons) while being charged out at a below-average salary.

Conversely, G2 Esports have delivered some of the worst value per dollar, because despite their high salaries, they don’t play a style that leads to as many fantasy points, either ending games too quickly or, at times, throwing away games that they should have won.

Best-Value Fantasy Teams, LCS/LEC Spring 2020

PlayerRoleAvg. SalaryPts. per WeekPts. per $100k
MAD LionsTeam$217,50022.020.62
Evil GeniusesTeam$233,75021.118.39
Golden GuardiansTeam$176,25014.317.76
DignitasTeam$178,75013.816.78
Cloud9Team$342,50027.516.29
SK GamingTeam$148,75011.115.23
OrigenTeam$290,58820.215.00
FlyQuestTeam$228,75016.314.97
Team SoloMidTeam$267,50018.914.24
Excel EsportsTeam$236,25016.613.93
G2 EsportsTeam$317,50021.713.67
Counter Logic GamingTeam$215,00013.413.48
Team VitalityTeam$120,0008.67.41
Team SoloMidTeam$267,50018.97.12
OrigenTeam$290,58820.27.02
Excel EsportsTeam$236,25016.66.96
G2 EsportsTeam$317,50021.76.83
Counter Logic GamingTeam$215,00013.46.74
FnaticTeam$326,25021.86.67
Team LiquidTeam$278,75016.46.00

LCS and LEC Spring 2020 regular season, weeks 1 to 8

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