Just like in every other fantasy football league, each week is important.
Unlike most leagues, there is a $250,000 grand prize waiting for
the lucky owner who is able to mix regular-season success with postseason
dominance with the Fantasy
Football Players Championship (FFPC). That means as important
as matchups are in the first 11 weeks (two-week, four-team playoffs
start in Week 12), they are exponentially more important in the
run during the Championship Round (Weeks 14-16).
The point to be made here is December is critical not only for
collecting the $1,500 owners get for winning their league, but
also to make sure they stack enough high-scoring weeks on top
of one another over the remainder of the season in order to keep
themselves in the running for the big prize. In short, it is advantageous
for owners to line up as many late favorable matchups as possible
for their best players. As such, I will put a heavier emphasis
on late-season matchups in this format than I do on my other Big
Boards. The uniqueness of the title run in the high-stakes leagues
I cover every August (TFC, FFPC) makes it necessary to create
Big Boards solely for them.
Unlike the first three Big Boards, I will move a player up or
down the board a bit within his SSI tier in an effort to account
for the unique playoff structure. I am willing to admit my shortcomings
- one of which being I am not so sophisticated to believe I can
create an algorithm that includes the potential impact of a player's
final five games without corrupting the integrity of my overall
There is one major scoring difference from the TFC
Big Board published earlier this week: the FFPC uses tight
end-premium scoring, which means tight ends receive 1.5 points
for every catch as opposed to the standard one point per reception
every other position gets.
Another nuance is one FFPC veterans are already quite familiar
with: some owners are going to have key players unavailable for
the first week of their playoffs since the FFPC postseason begins
in Week 12. As a result, I (and they) have to account for an important
absence in an important week. Those players' names will be highlighted
in red below.
For all of those unfamiliar with my Big Boards, allow me to explain
the SSI concept as well as the color-coding system before we start:
SSI (Success Score Index) - A single number
that reflects a score based on meticulously grading and assigning
certain weights to several attributes that I feel are critical
to fantasy success at a position. It is the number that allows
me to compare apples to oranges across the positions.
Red – For lower-level players, a red matchup
is the most difficult one a player can face. 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 an RB2).
Yellow – For lower-level players, he is
a borderline start at best. For a second- or third-tier player,
the slight edge goes to the defense in what is essentially a toss-up.
For the elite players, expect slightly better than average production.
White – This one can go either way, but
I favor the player over the matchup. In some cases, I just don’t
feel like I have a good feel yet for this matchup. Generally speaking,
these matchups are winnable for all levels of players.
Green – For non-elite players, the stage
is set for a player to have a productive day. For the elite player,
this matchup could produce special numbers.
Note: This week, I will release my first
Big Boards for The Fantasy Championship (TFC) and FFPC Big Boards.
In the final set of Big Boards over the following two weeks, I
will rank 200 players and present my final rankings for kickers
and defense/special teams.
Here is the scoring
system that I used to rank the players in the FFPC format:
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.