Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Take the FFPC Playoff Challenge!


Most of you are undoubtedly familiar with the Fantasy Football Players Championship by now. It is known throughout the industry as one of the most competitive high-stakes sites for season-long fantasy football. It only stands to reason therefore that it would be the best place to compete in an NFL Playoff Challenge. If you want to get in on some postseason fantasy action, whether it be the FFPC Playoff Challenge or the FootballGuys Playoff Challenge, then we're here to help you.

If there is a big-industry fantasy football event, RotoBaller is there. The NFL playoffs are no different. Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano, hosts of the Fantasy Bomb podcast and weekly Start/Sit shows on Youtube, are competing in this year's FFPC Playoff Challenge. Check out our full video podcast detailing how they built their team and thought processes behind their strategies right here. For those who prefer the written word, continue below to find out how this competition works, what strategies you should keep in mind, and how to build the optimal lineup for success.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Always Read the Manual

As always, you have to know the ground rules before you play the game. Entering a high-stakes fantasy contest like this without knowing every detail of the scoring system would be like trying to put together a furniture set from IKEA without the instruction manual. Actually, that might be easier. Bad example. You get the idea though.

The playoff challenge is unique first and foremost because, unlike DFS lineups, you can only pick one player per NFL team. That means no stacking Chiefs, no Drew Brees to Michael Thomas connection, no dodging an entire conference because you have no idea how the bracket will play out. You must pick 10 players from the 12 playoff teams, which means two will be omitted but all others must be represented.

In terms of scoring, the FFPC Playoff Challenge isn't far off from the typical full PPR format, with a couple of exceptions. Full details are listed below for your convenience.

First, you may notice there is a tight end premium of 1.5 points per reception. Obviously, this makes it wise to target one of the big three tight ends such as Travis Kelce, George Kittle, or Zach Ertz since all three will be competing in this year's postseason. With two flex spots available, you could even consider playing two of these studs, although that ignores the wealth of talented RB/WR options.

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 single position to prioritize, it would be QB. There is no dearth of options as far as franchise quarterbacks go. The question then becomes, who do you trust to lead their team to victory? Between Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and others, you must pick the one that you feel will put up the best numbers. The other consideration is how many games each team will play, which leads to the next key point.

 

Play the Long Game

You may want to consider filling out an NFL playoff bracket, NCAA basketball tournament-style, before creating your lineups. If you can't decide whether to trust Mahomes or Jackson, ask yourself which team is more likely to win and advance to the Conference Championship and possibly the Super Bowl. If your gut tells you the Chiefs are destined to take the next step this year, go with Mahomes. If you feel the Ravens are too balanced and that home-field advantage will make a difference, go with Jackson. Of course, you could opt to go with Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill instead of Mahomes as your Kansas City player but the point remains that your decision-making at each position should hinge on how successful the teams could be throughout the postseason.

While stacking teams is not possible, you could attempt to build around matchups. If you predict that New Orleans and San Francisco will meet again in the NFC Championship game and combine to put up 90+ points again, it makes sense to pick one of Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, or Michael Thomas and to avoid San Fran's highly-ranked defense while opting for Kittle or possibly someone like Raheem Mostert or Emmanuel Sanders if you picked Kelce at tight end. There are many possibilities but you have to project upside because this is a tournament and only the highest-scoring rosters will cash in.

Of course, every team except two will lose before reaching the Super Bowl and four teams will be eliminated in the first round. There will be two teams you don't need to select from but that still leaves a minimum of two teams that will have players giving you exactly one game worth of production. In this instance, it would make sense to choose lower-priority positions such as kicker or defense. You could also take a chance on a high-upside flex play on one of those teams.

For example, if you foresee Minnesota, Tennessee, Seattle, and Buffalo losing in the Wild Card round, you may want to choose Seattle Defense because they're unlikely to give up a high point total to the Eagles, and Dan Bailey because he'll be playing in a dome and could still put up several points in what could be a high-scoring game. The other thought process behind this is that you don't want to waste your QB position on Russell Wilson if he might lose in the first round, nor do you want to use up a spot on an offense like New Orleans or KC for your kicker, even if they were the top scorers at their position.

When picking a player on a team that is projected to lose, such as Minnesota, you should play it as safe as possible by going K/DST or picking the player who is most likely to have an impact in a losing effort. Dalvin Cook is their best player but if the Vikings are losing, potentially by multiple scores, that means he isn't likely to get as many touches or has been ineffective. Therefore, a flex option like Stefon Diggs could be a smarter choice. In super-deep leagues, going with a riskier player could be a strategy worth pursuing. This also gives you a player that is likely to be lower-owned and differentiates you a bit from the competition, which brings us to the final point.

 

Differentiation Matters (Sort Of)

If you've ever played DFS, you're familiar with this concept. If everyone owns the same player, his point totals effectively mean nothing in terms of winning or losing. You want to build the best team possible but you also want to do your best to seek out players that separate you from the competition. The trick is to do so but in a limited fashion so as not to pick an all boom/bust team that is prone to letting you down. With such a shallow player pool, you should be able to effectively start a stud at every position so your differentiation play should be at the flex spot, not in place of a top-five QB, RB, or WR.

In 2018, selecting a surprise player like Damien Williams gave you a big boost and C.J. Anderson turned out to be a better pick than Todd Gurley. Keke Coutee scored 28 fantasy points even though Houston lost 21-7 to Indianapolis. Meanwhile, a WR1 like Alshon Jeffery scored 25 points over two games, which turned out to be fewer than Coutee in just one. Your sleeper pick doesn't have to be from a winning team, they just need to have a high ceiling.

Bet on a young running back likely to get significant touches such as Devin Singletary or Travis Homer. Buffalo's opponent, Houston, allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs this year, while the Seahawks ran the second-most rushing plays and will utilize Homer as a receiver as well (not Marshawn Lynch). You could also choose a slot receiver with a favorable individual matchup such as Cole Beasley or Greg Ward, who will square off with Vernon Hargreaves and Ugo Amadi respectively. Boston Scott, Ted Ginn, Kenny Stills, and Dawson Knox could each be worth a roll of the dice this year too. Just make sure you don't include multiple players like this in any one lineup you submit.

 

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 or build your own league 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!

More Fantasy Football Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – Aaron Civale

With Mike Clevinger sidelined to start the year and Corey Kluber off to Texas, the Indians will rely on the emergence of Aaron Civale to bolster their typically-formidable rotation. Civale impressed in his rookie season with 10 starts, 57.2 innings pitched (IP), a 3-4 win-loss record, 2.34 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 46 Ks. Due to the... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Didi Gregorius

The Philadelphia Phillies finished 2019 with a record of 81-81, which was only good enough for a fourth-place finish in the NL East. They have since added the likes of Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius to improve their chances of a division title in 2020. They have also brought in highly-touted manager Joe Girardi to... Read More


2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Shortstop

If you're keeping up with the Keeper Value Rankings, you know we've already covered First Base, Second Base, and Third Base. Today, we will address Shortstop. These rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based... Read More


ADP Showdown: Anthony Rendon vs. Rafael Devers

The first two rounds in your fantasy draft can be challenging because each available player is tremendously skilled with significant upside. Every pick looks desirable, so it’s important to try to determine which player has a greater likelihood of producing superior fantasy production. This can be accomplished by examining overall production and team context.  This... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More


MLB Closers and Saves: Fantasy Baseball Depth Charts

Saves are an important component for many fantasy baseball leagues. Closers are one of the most volatile positions in fantasy baseball, and one of the highest turnover positions in MLB. Each year, closers drop like flies and many MLB teams make in-season changes due to injuries or poor performance. Stay on top of all closer depth... Read More


Industry Expert Mock: ADP Surprises

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut break down the recent RotoBaller Friends & Family industry mock draft to see how the experts fared and look at some of the most surprising picks, for better or worse. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and... Read More


Fantasy Insider Angles - Thor, Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis and More

Success in baseball isn’t always just about pure numbers. For those who play the game and are inside the clubhouse, it’s also about creating the right chemistry and environment. As the New York Mets opened spring training this season, there was a fresh air of optimism around the team. It also seemed to extend to... Read More


Points League Ranker Tool - NFBC

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Brought to you by RotoBaller's Nicklaus Gaut (@Nt_BurtReynolds), this Points Rankings tool uses RotoBaller's 2020 MLB projections to build out custom rankings for NFBC Points Leagues. The tool uses the default NFBC scoring settings. All fantasy baseball platforms have different scoring settings for their points leagues.... Read More


Points League Ranker Tool - CBS

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Brought to you by RotoBaller's Nicklaus Gaut (@Nt_BurtReynolds), this Points Rankings tool uses RotoBaller's 2020 MLB projections to build out custom rankings for CBS Points Leagues. The tool uses the default CBS scoring settings. All fantasy baseball platforms have different scoring settings for their points leagues.... Read More


Points League Ranker Tool - Fantrax

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Brought to you by RotoBaller's Nicklaus Gaut (@Nt_BurtReynolds), this Points Rankings tool uses RotoBaller's 2020 MLB projections to build out custom rankings for Fantrax Points Leagues. The tool uses the default Fantrax scoring settings. All fantasy baseball platforms have different scoring settings for their points leagues.... Read More


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Expected Stats

Statcast is a valuable tool for fantasy analysis, and it can be easy to look at a stat called "Expected Batting Average" and blindly use it as your projection moving forward. Of course, proper use of these metrics is a little bit more nuanced than that. First, a disclaimer: This article is about the "Expected... Read More


ADP Cost Analysis – Kris Bryant vs Josh Donaldson

Spring training is officially underway, which means baseball season is finally upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already started dealing with tough draft position decisions. Third base is a fairly deep position... Read More


Platoon Watch: Part-Time Infielders Worth Rostering

It seems that platooning in major league baseball has become increasingly popular every year. This strategy benefits teams by protecting aging veterans from injury and by getting the most advantageous lineup versus a specifically-handed pitcher. While platooning is smart for major league clubs, it gives us fantasy managers headaches when our player rides the pine... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast: Happy TGFBI Day! - TGFBI Strategy & Day 1 ADP Data

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) isjoined by Sp Streamer and Zach Braff and they discuss all things happening in their TGFBI drafts. Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be... Read More