With just under a week to go before the NFL season opener a heavy
weekend of drafting ahead, the time to talk has passed. As such,
allow me to bypass the usual pleasantries this week and get to
the good stuff.
Because the goal is to win not only your league, but also put
yourself in position for the huge grand prize at the end ($200,000
in the TFC, $250,000 in the FFPC), these final two boards
will be set up even more with an eye toward the postseason.
The TFC and FFPC use scoring that is very similar to the PPR
scoring I used in last week’s
Big Boards. The main differences are as follows:
1) The TFC awards four points (instead of six) for passing touchdowns,
penalizes one point for interceptions (instead of two) and hands
out a point for every 20 yards passing (instead of 25).
2) The FFPC uses the same scoring as I just laid out for the
TFC, but awards tight ends 1.5 points for every catch, as opposed
to one point per reception for every other position.
Before I get to the boards, I would like to remind readers about
two key points:
1) I doubt you will find another draft board like this one and
further doubt you will find a similar set of rankings anywhere
else. The standard the industry uses to
measure accuracy among analysts is overall scoring, but I am more
concerned with projected consistency and matchups. Consistency
tends to lead to big fantasy numbers at the end of the season
and championships while inconsistency and bad matchups at the
wrong time usually lead to frustration.
2 ) Much like the past four seasons, I want to provide readers
with a clear risk sign. If a player is a moderate risk –
be it due to injury, off-field, etc. – you will see a
next his name. If I feel a player is a severe risk, you will see
next to his name. While I feel like I have accounted for each
player’s “risk” with their spot on the Big Board,
you may be more or less inclined to deal with that risk than I
am. This is just another way of helping you take a look at the
board and quickly identifying which players stand a good chance
to frustrate you at some point this season.
Let’s revisit the color-coding system before we start:
Red – A very difficult matchup.
For lower-level players, a red matchup means they should not be
used in fantasy that week. For a second- or third-tier player,
drop your expectations for them at least one grade that week (i.e.
from WR2 to WR3). For elite players, expect them to perform one
level lower than their usual status (i.e. RB1 performs like a
Yellow – Keep expectations
fairly low in this matchup. For lower-level players, a yellow
matchup is a borderline start at best. For a second- or third-tier
player, they can probably overcome the matchup if things fall
right. For the elite players, expect slightly better than average
White – Basically, this matchup
is one that could go either way. In some cases, I just don’t
feel like I have a good feel yet for this defense. Generally speaking,
these matchups are winnable matchups for all levels of players.
Green – It doesn’t
get much better than this. For non-elite players, the stage is
basically set for said player to exploit the matchup. For the
elite player, this matchup should produce special numbers.
OVR – Overall Rank
FPts - Total fantasy points
FPts/ G – Fantasy points/game (over first four weeks)
SSI – Although you will not see it featured
in the Big Boards this week or next, SSI is the sum of several position-specific
attributes that I feel are important to fantasy production, weighted
and scored. A perfect score is 1000, but it may help to move the
decimal point one spot to the left and think of each score as a
percentage. It may also help to think of the final score as the
likelihood that player will produce at the level I have projected
him if his current environment stays roughly the same as it is now.
Value - The Value over Replacement Player (VORP)
concept for a two-RB, two-WR league, which essentially allows me
to compare apples and oranges. At QB and TE, the value reflects
the standard deviation from the 12th-ranked player at the position
– the last starting-caliber player at the position.
At RB and WR, it gets a bit trickier. Because I wanted to remain
unbiased here, I took the standard deviation from the 24th-ranked
player at each position. All RBs and WRs who did not fit into the
first 24 at their positions were then put into a "flex pool"
and the standard deviation was taken from the 24th-ranked player
there, which explains why there are numbers in blue. (Using the
most simplistic explanation I can provide, black > blue >
Just so you know what you are getting yourself into, here are some
of the attributes I weighed and scored at each position:
Quarterback – Talent, aggressiveness
of the offensive scheme, durability, offensive line play and difficulty
Running back – Talent, job
security, durability, percentage of team's backfield touches and
Wide receiver – Talent, targets/game,
scheme fit and the quality of quarterback play.
Tight end – Talent, importance
to the team in the red zone, targets/game, scheme fit and the
quality of quarterback play.
1. This Big Board is designed for the aforementioned high-stakes
leagues which require owners to start one quarterback, two running
backs, two receivers, a tight end and two flexes.
2. "Value" and SSI are tools I use to help me set up
the Big Boards. I do not follow either one blindly, since there
has to be a human component in such endeavors in order to account
for certain "intangibles".
Here is the scoring
system that I used to rank the players in the PPR format:
Next: FFPC Doug Orth has written for FF
Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy
Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s
hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday
in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national
sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”.
Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.