Just like in every other fantasy
football league, each week is important. Unlike most leagues, there
is a $250,000 grand prize (up from $200,000 in previous seasons)
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.
The point to be made here is that 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.
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 rankings metric
that incorporates my fantasy-point projections and includes a
weight to my matchup analysis score. In other words, it allows
me to compare apples to oranges across 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.
Black – Player is either on a bye week
or is expected to miss due to injury or suspension.
Note:Players with a
next to their name have some degree of injury/character/holdout
concern. Players with a * next to their name
have a higher than normal chance of losing their job at some point
during the season.
In the second and final round of Big Boards near the end of the
preseason, I will rank at least 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 is also a high-stakes player who often appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, such as Sirius XM's "Fantasy Drive." Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.