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Top 225 Big Board FFPC High-Stakes League: Ver. 2.0


Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 9/5/20 |

Football is simple at its very core but a very complex game to evaluate and analyze because 11 men are being 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 in this day and age - adds another element to the equation that is difficult to quantify.

Regardless, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Over the last month, I have evaluated the weekly matchups for 500-plus players. Analyzing matchups alone requires me to make 7,500 "decisions". This is not meant to be 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. I like to think that even if readers believe my logic is flawed for whatever reason, they can count on the fact that much thought has been put into that opinion.

Fantasy football is a stock market game, and our job as analysts is identifying when stocks may be poised for an increase or ready to tank. While last year's results help fantasy owners/analysts set the table for the following season, they are merely a starting point. Fantasy rankings and drafting need to be predictive, not reactive. This is the approach I have taken for 15 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 two weeks. As always, the matchups 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. 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: Players with a next to their name have some degree of injury/character/holdout concern. Also, I have added tiers for this final round of Big Boards. I decided to ditch the color-coded tiers I have used in previous years for a simpler and more straight-forward number-based system.

Last but not least, I will expand the Big Board to 225 players to account for the 20-round format.

Here is the scoring system that I used to rank the players in the FFPC format:

 FFPC Big Board - Top 225
Rk Tier Pos Player Tm SSI 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
1 1 RB1 Christian McCaffrey CAR 12.9
2 1 RB2 Saquon Barkley NYG 10.9
3 1 RB3 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 8.4
4 1 RB4 Alvin Kamara NO 8.3
5 1 TE1 Travis Kelce KC 7.1
6 1 TE2 George Kittle SF 6.8
7 1 WR1 Davante Adams GB 6.7
8 1 WR2 Michael Thomas NO 6.6
9 1 RB5 Dalvin Cook MIN 6.4
10 2 RB6 Derrick Henry TEN 5.3
11 2 RB7 Joe Mixon CIN 5.2
12 2 RB8 Miles Sanders PHI 5.1
13 2 RB9 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC 5.1
14 2 RB10 Kenyan Drake ARI 5.1
15 2 RB11 Josh Jacobs LV 4.9
16 2 QB1 Patrick Mahomes KC 4.8
17 2 WR3 Julio Jones ATL 4.7
18 2 RB12 Austin Ekeler LAC 4.4
19 2 TE3 Zach Ertz PHI 4.1
20 2 WR4 Chris Godwin TB 4.0
21 2 TE4 Mark Andrews BAL 3.7
22 2 QB2 Lamar Jackson BAL 3.6
23 2 RB13 Nick Chubb CLE 3.6
24 2 WR5 DeAndre Hopkins ARI 3.3
25 2 WR6 Tyreek Hill KC 3.3
26 2 TE5 Darren Waller LV 3.3
27 2 RB14 Aaron Jones GB 3.3
28 3 RB15 James Conner PIT 3.0
29 3 WR7 Odell Beckham Jr. CLE 2.9
30 3 WR8 D.J. Moore CAR 2.9
31 3 WR9 Mike Evans TB 2.8
32 3 WR10 Robert Woods LAR 2.5
33 3 WR11 Allen Robinson CHI 2.5
34 3 WR12 Calvin Ridley ATL 2.4
35 3 WR13 Adam Thielen MIN 2.4
36 3 WR14 A.J. Brown TEN 2.3
37 3 WR15 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 2.3
38 3 RB16 Chris Carson SEA 2.3
39 3 WR16 Tyler Lockett SEA 2.3
40 3 TE6 Hayden Hurst ATL 2.2
41 3 RB17 Todd Gurley ATL 2.1
42 3 QB3 Dak Prescott DAL 2.1
43 4 RB18 Jonathan Taylor IND 2.0
44 4 RB19 Melvin Gordon DEN 1.8
45 4 WR17 D.J. Chark JAC 1.7
46 4 TE7 Evan Engram NYG 1.6
47 4 RB20 Le'Veon Bell NYJ 1.4
48 4 WR18 Amari Cooper DAL 1.4
49 4 QB4 Kyler Murray ARI 1.4
50 4 QB5 Deshaun Watson HOU 1.4
51 4 WR19 Kenny Golladay DET 1.4
52 4 QB6 Russell Wilson SEA 1.3
53 4 WR20 DK Metcalf SEA 1.2
54 4 WR21 DeVante Parker MIA 1.2
55 4 WR22 Terry McLaurin WAS 1.1
56 5 RB21 Mark Ingram BAL 0.8
57 5 QB7 Carson Wentz PHI 0.8
58 5 RB22 David Johnson HOU 0.6
59 5 WR23 Jarvis Landry CLE 0.6
60 5 TE8 Tyler Higbee LAR 0.5
61 5 WR24 Cooper Kupp LAR 0.5
62 5 WR25 Courtland Sutton DEN 0.5
63 5 WR26 Tyler Boyd CIN 0.4
64 5 RB23 D'Andre Swift DET 0.2
65 5 TE9 Hunter Henry LAC 0.2
66 5 WR27 Keenan Allen LAC 0.2
67 5 QB8 Tom Brady TB 0.1
68 5 QB9 Matt Ryan ATL 0.0
69 6 WR28 T.Y. Hilton IND -0.1
70 6 WR29 A.J. Green CIN -0.1
71 6 QB10 Drew Brees NO -0.1
72 6 RB24 Leonard Fournette TB -0.2
73 6 WR30 Marquise Brown BAL -0.2
74 6 RB25 Kareem Hunt CLE -0.2
75 6 WR31 Michael Gallup DAL -0.4
76 6 RB26 Raheem Mostert SF -0.4
77 6 QB11 Josh Allen BUF -0.4
78 6 QB12 Matthew Stafford DET -0.6
79 6 WR32 Stefon Diggs BUF -0.7
80 6 TE10 T.J. Hockenson DET -0.8
81 6 RB27 Cam Akers LAR -0.8
82 6 QB13 Daniel Jones NYG -1.0
83 7 RB28 Tarik Cohen CHI -1.1
84 7 TE11 Chris Herndon NYJ -1.1
85 7 WR33 Marvin Jones DET -1.1
86 7 RB29 Zack Moss BUF -1.1
87 7 RB30 Phillip Lindsay DEN -1.2
88 7 RB31 J.K. Dobbins BAL -1.2
89 7 RB32 David Montgomery CHI -1.3
90 7 RB33 Antonio Gibson WAS -1.3
91 7 TE12 Mike Gesicki MIA -1.3
92 7 WR34 Deebo Samuel SF -1.4
93 7 WR35 Brandin Cooks HOU -1.4
94 7 RB34 James White NE -1.4
95 7 TE13 Noah Fant DEN -1.4
96 7 WR36 Will Fuller HOU -1.5
97 7 WR37 Jamison Crowder NYJ -1.5
98 7 QB14 Joe Burrow CIN -1.5
99 7 RB35 Ronald Jones TB -1.5
100 7 QB15 Ben Roethlisberger PIT -1.5
101 7 QB16 Jared Goff LAR -1.5
102 8 WR38 Julian Edelman NE -1.6
103 8 TE14 Jonnu Smith TEN -1.6
104 8 TE15 Irv Smith MIN -1.6
105 8 QB17 Cam Newton NE -1.7
106 8 WR39 Diontae Johnson PIT -1.7
107 8 QB18 Baker Mayfield CLE -1.7
108 8 WR40 CeeDee Lamb DAL -1.7
109 8 TE16 Jared Cook NO -1.7
110 8 WR41 Anthony Miller CHI -1.8
111 8 WR42 Preston Williams MIA -1.8
112 8 RB36 Marlon Mack IND -1.9
113 8 RB37 Devin Singletary BUF -1.9
114 8 WR43 Henry Ruggs III LV -1.9
115 8 WR44 Golden Tate NYG -2.0
116 8 TE17 Dallas Goedert PHI -2.0
117 8 WR45 Christian Kirk ARI -2.1
118 9 RB38 Latavius Murray NO -2.1
119 9 WR46 Michael Pittman Jr. IND -2.1
120 9 QB19 Ryan Tannehill TEN -2.1
121 9 TE18 Eric Ebron PIT -2.2
122 9 RB39 Chris Thompson JAC -2.2
123 9 TE19 Rob Gronkowski TB -2.2
124 9 QB20 Aaron Rodgers GB -2.2
125 9 WR47 Emmanuel Sanders NO -2.3
126 9 RB40 Matt Breida MIA -2.4
127 9 WR48 Parris Campbell IND -2.5
128 9 WR49 Sterling Shepard NYG -2.5
129 10 TE20 Blake Jarwin DAL -2.6
130 10 TE21 Greg Olsen SEA -2.7
131 10 WR50 Jerry Jeudy DEN -2.9
132 10 QB21 Jimmy Garoppolo SF -3.0
133 10 WR51 Bryan Edwards LV -3.0
134 10 TE22 O.J. Howard TB -3.1
135 10 QB22 Gardner Minshew JAC -3.1
136 10 TE23 Austin Hooper CLE -3.2
137 10 RB41 Jordan Howard MIA -3.2
138 10 RB42 Boston Scott PHI -3.2
139 10 WR52 DeSean Jackson PHI -3.3
140 10 WR53 Curtis Samuel CAR -3.4
141 10 WR54 Darius Slayton NYG -3.4
142 10 QB23 Philip Rivers IND -3.4
143 10 WR55 Jalen Reagor PHI -3.4
144 11 RB43 Alexander Mattison MIN -3.4
145 11 QB24 Teddy Bridgewater CAR -3.5
146 11 WR56 John Brown BUF -3.5
147 11 TE24 Tyler Eifert JAC -3.5
148 11 WR57 Justin Jefferson MIN -3.5
149 11 RB44 Duke Johnson HOU -3.6
150 11 QB25 Kirk Cousins MIN -3.6
151 11 RB45 Kerryon Johnson DET -3.6
152 11 WR58 Randall Cobb HOU -3.6
153 11 TE25 Ian Thomas CAR -3.7
154 11 QB26 Drew Lock DEN -3.7
155 11 WR59 Robby Anderson CAR -3.7
156 11 QB27 Tyrod Taylor LAC -3.8
157 11 WR60 Allen Lazard GB -3.8
158 11 RB46 Damien Harris NE -3.8
159 11 QB28 Derek Carr LV -3.9
160 11 RB47 Bryce Love WAS -4.0
161 11 RB48 Joshua Kelley LAC -4.0
162 11 TE26 Jack Doyle IND -4.0
163 12 TE27 Gerald Everett LAR -4.1
164 12 WR61 Larry Fitzgerald ARI -4.1
165 12 WR62 Laviska Shenault JAC -4.2
166 12 WR63 Mecole Hardman KC -4.2
167 12 RB49 Jerick McKinnon SF -4.2
168 12 RB50 Chase Edmonds ARI -4.2
169 12 WR64 Steven Sims WAS -4.3
170 12 WR65 Brandon Aiyuk SF -4.6
171 12 WR66 Hunter Renfrow LV -4.6
172 12 WR67 Mike Williams LAC -4.7
173 12 RB51 Darrel Williams KC -4.7
174 13 QB29 Sam Darnold NYJ -4.8
175 13 RB52 J.D. McKissic WAS -4.8
176 13 RB53 Tevin Coleman SF -4.8
177 13 RB54 Nyheim Hines IND -5.1
178 13 RB55 Tony Pollard DAL -5.4
179 13 TE28 Jace Sternberger GB -5.4
180 13 RB56 AJ Dillon GB -5.6
181 13 WR68 Sammy Watkins KC -5.6
182 13 WR69 Dede Westbrook JAC -5.7
183 13 WR70 Cole Beasley BUF -5.7
184 13 RB57 Darrell Henderson LAR -6.0
185 13 RB58 Devine Ozigbo JAC -6.1
186 13 TE29 Dan Arnold ARI -6.2
187 13 TE30 Logan Thomas WAS -6.2
188 14 WR71 Trent Taylor SF -6.3
189 14 TE31 Dawson Knox BUF -6.3
190 14 WR72 James Washington PIT -6.3
191 14 WR73 N'Keal Harry NE -6.4
192 14 WR74 Corey Davis TEN -6.5
193 14 WR75 Breshad Perriman NYJ -6.5
194 14 WR76 Russell Gage ATL -6.7
195 14 WR77 John Ross CIN -6.8
196 14 WR78 Tee Higgins CIN -6.9
197 14 RB59 Darrynton Evans TEN -7.1
198 14 RB60 Ryquell Armstead JAC -7.2
199 14 TE32 David Njoku CLE -7.6
200 14 RB61 Justin Jackson LAC -7.7
201 15 WR79 Kendrick Bourne SF -7.7
202 15 TE33 Jordan Reed SF -7.7
203 15 WR80 Denzel Mims NYJ -8.0
204 15 WR81 Cordarrelle Patterson CHI -8.1
205 15 RB62 Jalen Richard LV -8.1
206 15 RB63 Sony Michel NE -8.2
207 15 WR82 Chase Claypool PIT -8.4
208 15 WR83 Alshon Jeffery PHI -8.5
209 15 WR84 Auden Tate CIN -8.8
210 15 WR85 Devin Duvernay BAL -8.9
211 15 RB64 Jamaal Williams GB -9.1
212 16 TE34 Robert Tonyan GB -9.2
213 16 WR86 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB -9.3
214 16 RB65 Giovani Bernard CIN -9.3
215 16 TE35 Nick Boyle BAL -9.4
216 16 TE36 Harrison Bryant CLE -9.7
217 16 WR87 Scotty Miller TB -9.8
218 16 WR88 Van Jefferson LAR -10.1
219 16 RB66 Brian Hill ATL -10.5
220 16 WR89 Andy Isabella ARI -10.6
221 16 RB67 Benny Snell PIT -10.6
222 16 RB68 Ty Montgomery NO -10.7
223 16 RB69 Frank Gore NYJ -10.8
224 16 RB70 Adrian Peterson FA
225 16 WR90 Mohamed Sanu FA



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.