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Top 175 Big Board, Non-PPR: Version 1.0


Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 8/14/21 |
PPR | Half-Point PPR | Non-PPR | Superflex

Football is simple at its very core but a very complex game to evaluate and analyze because 11 men are asked to work in harmony approximately 60 times per game, while 11 other men are being asked to disrupt that harmony. Pro football is not pro basketball in that a team can clear out one side of the court when things break down and the offense can still score. Pro football is not pro baseball in that one player can defeat a pitcher and eight fielders by timing his swing just right. Even as great as Barry Sanders was, he never beat a defense all by himself. In football, every player needs some help to accomplish his goal. That is part of what makes football so great and part of what makes it so highly unpredictable. The violence of the game - even by the tamer standards now - adds another element to the equation that is difficult to quantify.

Regardless, it doesn't mean we should not try. Over the last month, I have evaluated the weekly matchups for 500-plus players. Analyzing matchups alone requires me to make 8,000 "decisions". That is not a humble brag. Each year, my goal is to give those who put their faith in my evaluations the confidence they have the best draft-day tool at their disposal. Even if my grading process is only 70 percent accurate, that is still a significant advantage over any analyst that does not consider it at all. I like to believe that even if readers believe my process is flawed for whatever reason, they can appreciate how much thought has been put into that opinion.

How much thought, you ask?

For example, Allen Robinson lined up on the left side of the formation 409 times, on the right side 298 times and in the slot 245 times last year. Since the majority of defensive coordinators tend to have their cornerbacks stick to one side as opposed to following a particular receiver, Robinson's ability to match up and defeat each of the defensive backs in those spots should be considered. I do that for each player who projects to stand inside the top three of his team's depth chart, and all of that information is factored into my projections. While how often Robinson lines up in a certain spot will inevitably change from last year, it's unlikely the way he is deployed will change all that much in this fourth year under HC Matt Nagy.

Fantasy football is a stock market game, and the job of an analyst is identifying when stocks may be poised to skyrocket or ready to tank. While last year's results help fantasy managers/analysts set the table for the following season, they are merely a starting point. Fantasy rankings and drafting need to be predictive, not reactive. I have taken this approach for more than 10 years. While some of the processes have changed in that time, the main goal has not.

The Success Score Index (SSI) below is powered in large part by my target and carry predictions that have been featured in this space over the last few weeks. As always, the matchup grades are included in the algorithm. SSI allows me to compare apples to oranges across positions. Perhaps just as importantly, I have been able to eliminate most of the guesswork across different scoring systems (PPR, standard, etc.).

For all of those unfamiliar with my Big Boards, allow me to explain the color-coding system before we start:

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. 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: Players with a next to their name have some degree of injury/character/holdout concern.

Over the next two weeks, I will release my first Big Boards for Half-Point PPR leagues as well as Superflex and FFPC Big Boards. 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 Non-PPR format:

 Non-PPR Big Board - Top 175
Rk Pos Player Tm Age SSI 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1 RB Christian McCaffrey CAR 25 8.75
2 RB Derrick Henry TEN 27 7.03
3 RB Nick Chubb CLE 25 6.57
4 RB Ezekiel Elliott DAL 26 5.51
5 RB Dalvin Cook MIN 26 4.89
6 RB Jonathan Taylor IND 22 4.35
7 WR Tyreek Hill KC 27 4.16
8 RB Saquon Barkley NYG 24 4.06
9 RB Aaron Jones GB 26 3.92
10 RB Najee Harris PIT 23 3.44
11 TE Travis Kelce KC 31 3.29
12 WR Davante Adams GB 28 3.28
13 RB Joe Mixon CIN 25 3.28
14 RB Antonio Gibson WAS 23 3.16
15 RB Austin Ekeler LAC 26 2.91
16 RB Alvin Kamara NO 26 2.89
17 QB Patrick Mahomes KC 25 2.36
18 WR Calvin Ridley ATL 26 2.23
19 WR DeAndre Hopkins ARI 29 2.22
20 TE Darren Waller LV 28 2.20
21 RB J.K. Dobbins BAL 22 2.10
22 RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC 22 2.03
23 WR DK Metcalf SEA 23 1.91
24 TE George Kittle SF 27 1.90
25 RB Chris Carson SEA 26 1.73
26 RB David Montgomery CHI 24 1.68
27 QB Josh Allen BUF 25 1.64
28 WR A.J. Brown TEN 24 1.63
29 QB Kyler Murray ARI 24 1.61
30 WR Stefon Diggs BUF 27 1.32
31 WR Terry McLaurin WAS 25 1.07
32 WR Mike Evans TB 27 0.70
33 WR Justin Jefferson MIN 22 0.65
34 QB Dak Prescott DAL 28 0.64
35 QB Lamar Jackson BAL 24 0.28
36 WR CeeDee Lamb DAL 22 0.23
37 WR Allen Robinson CHI 27 0.19
38 QB Ryan Tannehill TEN 33 0.09
39 QB Aaron Rodgers GB 37 -0.09
40 WR Amari Cooper DAL 27 -0.21
41 WR Robert Woods LAR 29 -0.25
42 WR Keenan Allen LAC 29 -0.30
43 RB Josh Jacobs LV 23 -0.48
44 WR Cooper Kupp LAR 28 -0.55
45 WR Chris Godwin TB 25 -0.59
46 QB Russell Wilson SEA 32 -0.62
47 WR Julio Jones TEN 32 -0.67
48 WR D.J. Moore CAR 24 -0.79
49 WR Tyler Lockett SEA 28 -0.86
50 TE Mark Andrews BAL 25 -0.88
51 TE Kyle Pitts ATL 20 -0.92
52 WR Chase Claypool PIT 23 -0.94
53 WR Tee Higgins CIN 22 -1.01
54 WR Ja'Marr Chase CIN 33 -1.03
55 WR Adam Thielen MIN 30 -1.08
56 RB D'Andre Swift DET 22 -1.21
57 RB Damien Harris NE 24 -1.23
58 WR Courtland Sutton DEN 25 -1.26
59 RB Trey Sermon SF 22 -1.32
60 QB Tom Brady TB 44 -1.34
61 RB Darrell Henderson LAR 23 -1.38
62 RB Travis Etienne JAC 22 -1.40
63 WR Diontae Johnson PIT 25 -1.40
64 RB Myles Gaskin MIA 24 -1.45
65 RB Miles Sanders PHI 24 -1.54
66 RB Javonte Williams DEN 21 -1.54
67 WR Brandon Aiyuk SF 23 -1.64
68 RB James Robinson JAC 23 -2.08
69 TE T.J. Hockenson DET 24 -2.11
70 WR Jerry Jeudy DEN 22 -2.15
71 RB Kareem Hunt CLE 26 -2.17
72 WR Tyler Boyd CIN 26 -2.42
73 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 24 -2.43
74 QB Justin Herbert LAC 23 -2.43
75 WR Odell Beckham Jr. CLE 28 -2.47
76 WR D.J. Chark JAC 24 -2.48
77 QB Matthew Stafford LAR 33 -2.49
78 WR Michael Gallup DAL 25 -2.54
79 TE Noah Fant DEN 23 -2.59
80 WR Kenny Golladay NYG 27 -2.64
81 RB Chase Edmonds ARI 25 -2.64
82 TE Dallas Goedert PHI 27 -2.74
83 WR Robby Anderson CAR 28 -2.75
84 TE Robert Tonyan GB 27 -2.77
85 TE Jonnu Smith NE 25 -2.78
86 WR Antonio Brown TB 33 -2.80
87 WR Mike Williams LAC 26 -2.87
88 RB Gus Edwards BAL 26 -2.97
89 RB Raheem Mostert SF 29 -3.14
90 WR Elijah Moore NYJ 26 -3.19
91 WR Curtis Samuel WAS 25 -3.20
92 WR Darnell Mooney CHI 23 -3.26
93 RB Mike Davis ATL 28 -3.28
94 RB Michael Carter NYJ 22 -3.32
95 WR Laviska Shenault JAC 22 -3.32
96 TE Logan Thomas WAS 30 -3.32
97 WR Jarvis Landry CLE 28 -3.35
98 WR Terrace Marshall Jr. CAR 21 -3.36
99 TE Mike Gesicki MIA 25 -3.50
100 WR Deebo Samuel SF 25 -3.53
101 WR Marvin Jones JAC 31 -3.54
102 QB Joe Burrow CIN 24 -3.60
103 QB Trevor Lawrence JAC 21 -3.64
104 RB Ronald Jones TB 24 -3.68
105 RB Zack Moss BUF 23 -3.73
106 TE Irv Smith MIN 23 -3.74
107 QB Jalen Hurts PHI 23 -3.85
108 QB Carson Wentz IND 28 -3.95
109 QB Trey Lance SF 21 -3.99
110 WR DeVonta Smith PHI 22 -3.99
111 WR Michael Thomas NO 28 -4.09
112 RB Melvin Gordon DEN 28 -4.10
113 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS 38 -4.16
114 TE Tyler Higbee LAR 28 -4.24
115 WR Will Fuller MIA 27 -4.26
116 RB AJ Dillon GB 23 -4.35
117 TE Gerald Everett SEA 27 -4.37
118 TE Adam Trautman NO 24 -4.38
119 QB Matt Ryan ATL 36 -4.48
120 WR Brandin Cooks HOU 27 -4.51
121 RB Jamaal Williams DET 26 -4.53
122 TE Rob Gronkowski TB 32 -4.53
123 WR Rashod Bateman BAL 21 -4.54
124 WR Nelson Agholor NE 28 -4.57
125 WR Bryan Edwards LV 22 -4.58
126 WR Michael Pittman Jr. IND 23 -4.64
127 TE Jared Cook LAC 34 -4.71
128 QB Sam Darnold CAR 24 -4.73
129 TE Blake Jarwin DAL 27 -4.75
130 WR Cole Beasley BUF 32 -4.79
131 WR T.Y. Hilton IND 31 -4.79
132 RB Kenyan Drake LV 27 -4.84
133 RB James Conner ARI 26 -4.84
134 WR Jaylen Waddle MIA 22 -4.98
135 WR Marquise Brown BAL 24 -5.01
136 RB Latavius Murray NO 31 -5.04
137 WR Corey Davis NYJ 28 -5.05
138 TE Evan Engram NYG 26 -5.07
139 TE Anthony Firkser TEN 26 -5.08
140 WR Jakobi Meyers NE 24 -5.10
141 WR Russell Gage ATL 25 -5.11
142 WR Henry Ruggs III LV 22 -5.11
143 QB Tua Tagovailoa MIA 23 -5.12
144 TE Eric Ebron PIT 28 -5.16
145 WR Rondale Moore ARI 21 -5.17
146 TE Hunter Henry NE 26 -5.18
147 WR Gabriel Davis BUF 22 -5.21
148 TE Cole Kmet CHI 22 -5.24
149 WR DeVante Parker MIA 28 -5.25
150 WR Parris Campbell IND 24 -5.29
151 WR Randall Cobb GB 30 -5.29
152 WR Kadarius Toney NYG 22 -5.41
153 RB Devin Singletary BUF 23 -5.50
154 WR Marquez Callaway NO 23 -5.51
155 QB Kirk Cousins MIN 32 -5.51
156 TE O.J. Howard TB 26 -5.52
157 TE Jacob Harris LAR 24 -5.55
158 WR Mecole Hardman KC 23 -5.63
159 RB Leonard Fournette TB 26 -5.65
160 QB Justin Fields CHI 22 -5.68
161 QB Baker Mayfield CLE 26 -5.83
162 RB Giovani Bernard TB 29 -5.98
163 RB Tony Pollard DAL 24 -6.03
164 TE Jimmy Graham CHI 34 -6.06
165 WR Darius Slayton NYG 24 -6.15
166 WR Van Jefferson LAR 25 -6.22
167 WR A.J. Green ARI 33 -6.26
168 RB J.D. McKissic WAS 27 -6.33
169 RB David Johnson HOU 29 -6.37
170 WR Jalen Reagor PHI 22 -6.38
171 WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB 26 -6.51
172 QB Derek Carr LV 30 -6.56
173 RB Nyheim Hines IND 24 -6.57
174 WR Jamison Crowder NYJ 28 -6.61
175 TE C.J. Uzomah CIN 28 -6.69


PPR Big Board | Half-Pt PPR Big Board | Superflex





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.