Just like in every other fantasy football league, each week is important.
Unlike most leagues, there is a $200,000 grand prize waiting for
the lucky owner who is able to mix regular-season success with postseason
dominance in The
Fantasy Championship. That means as important as matchups are
in the first 12 weeks (four-team playoffs start in Week 13), they
are exponentially more important in the run during "The Championship"
(Weeks 14-16) since each week is added to the average point total
for your team during the first 13 weeks. I had a team easily poised
for a top-10 overall finish and perhaps the $200,000 grand prize
through 14 weeks last year before back-to-back duds from Russell
Wilson and Jimmy Graham sunk a team led by Todd Gurley, Melvin Gordon,
Alvin Kamara, Adam Thielen and Josh Gordon. Ugh.
The point to be made here is December is critical not only for
collecting the $1,000 owners get for winning their league, but
also to make sure they stack 180- to 200-point weeks on top of
one another over the final three weeks in order to keep themselves
in the running for the big prize. In short, it is advantageous
for owners to line up as many favorable matchups as possible for
their best players. As such, I put a heavier emphasis on late-season
matchups in the TFC format than I do on my other Big Boards. The
uniqueness of the title run in The Fantasy Championship is what
separates it from most other PPR leagues and makes it necessary
to create another Big Board solely for it.
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 nature of "The Championship." 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 four games without corrupting the integrity
of my rankings.
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 TFC PPR 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.