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FFPC Playoff Challenge - Fantasy Football Lineup Strategies for Playoff Leagues

Patrick Mahomes - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

With traditional fantasy leagues mostly wrapped up, there are surely plenty of people still itching to compete as the NFL Playoffs begin. That's where the FFPC comes in. The FFPC (Fantasy Football Players Championship) has long been an industry leader among competitive high-stakes sites for season-long fantasy football. If you are looking for playoff action, they have you covered. Once again, they are offering the FFPC Playoff Challenge with big prizes up for grabs.

We're talking serious cash here with the FFPC Challenge offering two contests -- one with a $500k prize, and the second contest winner taking home $100k. As always, if there is a big-industry fantasy football event, RotoBaller is there and the NFL playoffs are no different.

Find out how this competition works, what strategies you should keep in mind, and how to build the optimal lineup for success. RotoBaller will extensively provide analysis for playoff leagues over the next few weeks, so be sure to check back if you're seeking advice, tips, and sleeper picks.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


Let's Go Over the Playoff Challenge Rules

The first step in any fantasy football contest is knowing and fully understanding the rules. The rules of this contest are a little different than a regular-season league or DFS, but if you've played either, you'll have no trouble getting the hang of it.

The Playoff Challenge is unique first and foremost because, unlike DFS lineups, you can only pick one player per NFL playoff team. That means no stacking your favorite QB-WR combo or picking and choosing the prime matchup spots. This is one of the biggest adjustments compared to traditional fantasy and DFS formats.

For this contest, we'll be choosing exactly 12 players from the 14 playoff teams to comprise our rosters. Two postseason teams will be omitted but all others must be represented. The good news is we can pick any players we want with no draft or salary cap.

In terms of scoring, the FFPC Playoff Challenge isn't far off from the typical full PPR format, with a couple of exceptions. Most notably, like most FFPC contests, it features tight end premium scoring of 1.5 points per reception. Full details are listed below.


Ok, Let's Go Over the Rules...Again

Remember, no draft, no salary cap...we're just picking our players. Also remember...one player max per team, which means we'll have one player each from 12 playoff teams with two teams not represented on our FFPC roster.

Once a team is eliminated, a player from that team will accumulate no more points. Players on teams that advance? They'll accrue points for every game played with, get this, the Super Bowl counting as double points! As a result of this scoring system, we want to fill our rosters with players on teams that we believe are capable of making deep Super Bowl runs.


Defense and Kickers (Kind of) Don't Matter

While every roster spot carries some importance, not all roster spots are created equal. Yes, we must choose both a Kicker and a DST, but these positions will usually impact our team's results the least.

We also must be strategic in our thinking here. Remember, we can only roster one player from each team. So...while we might love the Dallas Cowboys defense, do we really want to pass on Dak Prescott or CeeDee Lamb in order to roster the Dallas DST? That's one example of a key decision you will have to make.


About That TE Premium...

With TEs gaining an additional 50% on each catch in comparison to other positions, the availability of four FLEX spots makes it tempting to add multiple tight ends to your lineup, which could pay off big. If you've ever played fantasy football, you know how brutal and scarce the tight end position can be. As a result, the masses will likely be a little scared to trust fringe tight ends like Jake Ferguson and Tyler Higbee. Instead, people will be chasing the likes of Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Sam LaPorta.

Just like in DFS, we can use contrarian thinking to gain an advantage in this contest. Thinking outside of the box with our utilization of tight ends is a realistic way to gain leverage on our opponents. If you set multiple lineups in FFPC Playoff or FootballGuys challenges, it might be smart to try one TE-heavy lineup by adding guys from a team that you don't expect much from at the other positions or pivoting to a TE on a team that will have a very popular player at another position. For example, rostering Dallas Goedert rather than A.J. Brown from the Philadelphia Eagles.


QBs Rule

Quarterbacks receive four points per TD and -1 per INT, so you will probably find that the top passers wind up as the leading scorers. If there is a position to prioritize for your Super Bowl favorites, it would be QB.

There is no shortage of options in this year's playoffs as far as franchise quarterbacks go. The question then becomes, who do you trust to lead their team to multiple victories?

The AFC is absolutely loaded at the QB position. Signal callers such as Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Tua Tagovailoa are all point-producing studs, but remember, only one team will emerge from the AFC, so we'll need to choose wisely.

We don't have crystal balls (unfortunately), but it would appear as though a player like Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers has a somewhat clearer path to advance to the Super Bowl, while also having the ability to produce points at an MVP-caliber level due to his supporting cast and efficient play in a weak NFC.

So while talented QBs like Trevor Lawrence or Matthew Stafford might pop on your radar as viable contrarian options, rostering them comes at a huge risk, as we do not want our QB bounced after just one game.


Be Contrarian, Not Stupid

Like DFS, the FFPC Playoff Challenge is a strategy-based game. This means we can gain leverage on our opponents by utilizing calculated contrarian thinking. Remember, we don't have to score the most points to win, we just have to score more points than all of our opponents.

While we want to make thoughtful pivots to gain leverage on the field, there's a difference between being contrarian and, well, stupid. For example, rostering Isaiah Likely instead of Lamar Jackson would be a contrarian type of play, while using our lone Ravens roster spot on Rashod Bateman would also be extremely contrarian... and extremely stupid.

We can also get contrarian by betting on a team and player to make a deeper run than others might expect. 2021 is a perfect example of a team like the Cincinnati Bengals making an unexpected trip to the Super Bowl thanks to amazing performances from a talented rookie in Ja'Marr Chase. This year, a team like the red-hot Cleveland Browns could make a real run, so David Njoku and Joe Flacco could have more value than perceived.

The bottom line...it's excellent to think outside of the box in a contest like this, just be sure that your pivots make sense in the grand scheme of things.


Some Final Thoughts

Remember, we want to pick high-scoring players from teams that will play multiple games. Trust me, it's easier said than done. The Super Bowl is of paramount importance, both to the actual teams in the NFL Playoffs and our FFPC Challenge squads. Championship rings for them, double fantasy points, and lots of cash for us.

Ideally, our roster will contain two explosive players who are squaring off against each other in the Super Bowl and rack up points to take our team over the top. Make sure and factor that scenario into your lineup construction by trying to project which teams and players will still be in action for the big game while giving yourself plenty of chances to nail that final showdown on your roster builds.


Take the Challenge

Now that you've got the lowdown on how the league is played and some pointers on building a championship team, it's up to you to take the next step. Sign up for the FFPC Playoff Challenge and try it out!

Playoff leagues provide a different twist on season-long fantasy football and offer a way to come up with unique strategies that will keep you invested in the NFL postseason even if your favorite team isn't involved. Good luck, RotoBallers!

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Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

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