Ceiling/Floor Effect: How to talk about value


According to Merriam-Webster, a floor is “the level base of a room.

In the Fantasy Urban Dictionary, floor is

  • “The most pessimistic projected statistical finish a player will attain by the end of season, assuming player is healthy, not an idiot, didn’t get busted for DUI/weed, didn’t get Wally-pipped, or T-Rich’d (unexpected loss of talent), and plays out the season like most will expect.” It is scary, and you should probably avoid a player who will most likely hit his floor.
  • “Mike Wallace’s floor is probably 700-900 yards and 6-8 TDs”


According to Oxford English Dictionary, a ceiling is “An upper limit, typically one set on prices, wages, or expenditure.” This definition is actually pretty accurate … huh, but since this is my Fantasy Urban Dictionary, Ceiling is

  • “The most optimistic projected statistical finish a player can attain by the end of the season, given that the player has Aaron Rodgers throwing to him (if receiver), Dallas OL blocking for him (if RB), and Jerry-Randy-Megatron-Gronk monstrosity of a Franken-receiver catching passes (if QB). In short, the full expectation that the player will hit on all cylinders, that every match up will go the player’s way, and that defenders aren’t even trying to do their job.” You must do everything in your power to target high ceiling players.
  • “Odell Beckham Jr. can finish the season with a ceiling of shattering every single record that Moss/Rice/Megatron put together.”

By now, I hope you know that this is tongue-in-cheek. However, sometimes hyperbole is needed to make a point. When it comes to fantasy player valuing, it often comes down to projecting ceiling, then floor, and finally putting their projected numbers somewhere in between. Ceiling/floor effect conversation is both useful and useless. It is useful when owners are making an educated guess how much risk they are willing to take in acquiring certain players. It is useless when owners use it in trades. I’ll give a scenario for each.

  1. Useful – I engage in conversation with leaguemates/twitterverse to discuss when a player can hit his ceiling. Then I find the opposite camp of people to talk to me about the floor. Having both sides of the argument, I can calculate how much I am willing to pay for said player. This is, for example, what I did to trade for Golden Tate 2 years ago, before he broke out. The main argument of Tate’s floor, that year, was that he’s limited by the Seattle run-first system and that he’s an underachiever (probably fair, since he was a 1st round WR). The ceiling, though, was a positive upward trend in yards and reception. Tate was also a % target-converter, which makes him an ideal WR target for Russel Wilson. I reached out to the Tate owner, and gave 130 percent of WR3 value (arbitrary number, but should convey a slight overpay)
  2. Useless – It is well known that owners increase value of their own players by 150 percent, and decrease value of non-owned players by 50 percent. In terms of ceiling/floor conversation, I have encountered many owners who offers their player at their ceiling price, and views pieces they are receiving at their floor price. Naturally, neither trade partners will be happy about this way of pricing. Many times this really kills trade talks, and the result of this is two pissed owners who are likely crossing each other off their Christmas list.

Ceiling/Floor Effect has its place in dynasty fantasy football. It can help owners learn and consider factors they haven’t before. I’m not telling you that you should change your mind, but when you truly listen, these factors you can look back to at the end of the season to determine which factor was worth keeping and which are unimportant to pay attention to.

Sharpening your fantasy mind is what my ultimate goal is for you.


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