Fantasy WAR, or ‘Wins above replacement’ is a fantasy metric that allows us to gauge how good players are in comparison to others, on the basis of a ‘replacement’ level player.
This concept is simple–WAR tells us how many more wins a given player would give you per season in fantasy in comparison to a replacement level player, say, any player you could pick up off of waivers (these players usually rank 30 or worse in their respective positions). This stat is generally based on fantasy points per game. It is important to note that WAR assumes the average–this means that to calculate this for each player, we assume they are on an average team, where all other players on the team are average and that the team they are going against is average as well. For example, a player on your team with a WAR of 8 would give you 8 more wins on average than a replacement level player would, assuming the rest of your fantasy squad is average and the team you are playing against is average. On the other hand, a player on your team with a WAR of -3 would lose you 3 games more than having a replacement level player would (this means they are worse than a replacement level player). We can assume the average because as things usually go in statistics, everything eventually regresses, or progresses to the mean. This allows us to make these assumptions, as in the general scheme of things, most fantasy teams will end up being average.
An example of fantasy QB WARs from 2021 (week 3) is shown in the table below.
Note that the replacement level player has a WAR of 0–in this case it is Tua Tagovailoa.