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Top 175 Big Board, Half-Point PPR: Version 1.0

Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 8/22/20 |
PPR | Half-Point PPR | Non-PPR

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.

How much thought, you ask?

For example, Michael Gallup lined up on the left side of the formation 456 times, on the right side 292 times and in the slot 96 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, Gallup's ability to match up and defeat each of the defensive backs in those spots should/needs to 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 Gallup lines up in a certain spot will inevitably be different from last year, it's unlikely his role as Dallas' "X" receiver will change under second-year OC Kellen Moore.

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 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 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.

Over the next few days, I will release my first Big Boards for superflex and standard leagues as well as The Fantasy Championship (TFC) 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 Half-Point PPR format:

 Half-Point PPR Big Board - Top 175
Rank Pos Player Tm SSI 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
1 RB Christian McCaffrey CAR 10.5
2 RB Saquon Barkley NYG 9.2
3 RB Alvin Kamara NO 7.2
4 RB Ezekiel Elliott DAL 7.2
5 RB Dalvin Cook MIN 6.2
6 WR Davante Adams GB 5.8
7 RB Derrick Henry TEN 5.3
8 WR Michael Thomas NO 5.1
9 RB Miles Sanders PHI 5.1
10 RB Josh Jacobs LV 5.0
11 RB Joe Mixon CIN 4.9
12 TE Travis Kelce KC 4.5
13 TE George Kittle SF 4.1
14 WR Julio Jones ATL 4.0
15 RB Kenyan Drake ARI 3.9
16 WR Tyreek Hill KC 3.8
17 RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC 3.6
18 WR Chris Godwin TB 3.3
19 RB Austin Ekeler LAC 3.0
20 RB Nick Chubb CLE 2.9
21 WR DeAndre Hopkins ARI 2.8
22 RB Aaron Jones GB 2.8
23 WR Mike Evans TB 2.8
24 WR Odell Beckham Jr. CLE 2.7
25 QB Patrick Mahomes KC 2.5
26 WR Adam Thielen MIN 2.3
27 WR Calvin Ridley ATL 2.2
28 WR A.J. Brown TEN 2.1
29 RB James Conner PIT 2.1
30 QB Lamar Jackson BAL 2.1
31 TE Mark Andrews BAL 2.1
32 WR Allen Robinson CHI 2.1
33 RB Jonathan Taylor IND 2.1
34 WR Kenny Golladay DET 2.0
35 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 2.0
36 RB Chris Carson SEA 1.9
37 TE Zach Ertz PHI 1.9
38 WR D.J. Moore CAR 1.9
39 WR Tyler Lockett SEA 1.9
40 TE Darren Waller LV 1.7
41 WR DeVante Parker MIA 1.6
42 WR Robert Woods LAR 1.6
43 WR Amari Cooper DAL 1.3
44 RB Todd Gurley ATL 1.2
45 RB Leonard Fournette JAC 1.2
46 WR DK Metcalf SEA 1.0
47 RB Le'Veon Bell NYJ 0.9
48 TE Hayden Hurst ATL 0.9
49 RB Melvin Gordon DEN 0.8
50 WR Courtland Sutton DEN 0.6
51 RB David Johnson HOU 0.6
52 QB Dak Prescott DAL 0.5
53 WR Terry McLaurin WAS 0.4
54 WR D.J. Chark JAC 0.4
55 TE Evan Engram NYG 0.4
56 WR A.J. Green CIN 0.4
57 WR Cooper Kupp LAR 0.3
58 WR Tyler Boyd CIN 0.3
59 RB Mark Ingram BAL 0.2
60 WR Marquise Brown BAL 0.1
61 WR Jarvis Landry CLE 0.1
62 QB Carson Wentz PHI 0.0
63 WR Keenan Allen LAC 0.0
64 WR Michael Gallup DAL -0.1
65 RB David Montgomery CHI -0.1
66 RB Ronald Jones TB -0.2
67 RB Raheem Mostert SF -0.2
68 QB Kyler Murray ARI -0.3
69 QB Russell Wilson SEA -0.3
70 QB Deshaun Watson HOU -0.4
71 TE Tyler Higbee LAR -0.5
72 WR Stefon Diggs BUF -0.5
73 TE Hunter Henry LAC -0.6
74 TE Jared Cook NO -0.7
75 WR Marvin Jones DET -0.8
76 RB Kareem Hunt CLE -0.9
77 RB J.K. Dobbins BAL -0.9
78 WR Brandin Cooks HOU -0.9
79 WR T.Y. Hilton IND -1.0
80 WR CeeDee Lamb DAL -1.1
81 QB Drew Brees NO -1.2
82 TE T.J. Hockenson DET -1.2
83 RB D'Andre Swift DET -1.4
84 WR Diontae Johnson PIT -1.4
85 WR Will Fuller HOU -1.4
86 RB Cam Akers LAR -1.4
87 QB Tom Brady TB -1.4
88 WR Anthony Miller CHI -1.5
89 TE Chris Herndon NYJ -1.5
90 WR Michael Pittman Jr. IND -1.5
91 WR Emmanuel Sanders NO -1.5
92 WR Christian Kirk ARI -1.6
93 WR Jamison Crowder NYJ -1.6
94 WR Curtis Samuel CAR -1.6
95 WR Julian Edelman NE -1.6
96 TE Jonnu Smith TEN -1.6
97 TE Mike Gesicki MIA -1.6
98 RB Zack Moss BUF -1.7
99 TE Noah Fant DEN -1.7
100 RB Phillip Lindsay DEN -1.9
101 WR Jalen Reagor PHI -2.0
102 TE Rob Gronkowski TB -2.0
103 TE O.J. Howard TB -2.0
104 TE Eric Ebron PIT -2.1
105 WR Golden Tate NYG -2.1
106 TE Dallas Goedert PHI -2.1
107 QB Matt Ryan ATL -2.2
108 WR Parris Campbell IND -2.2
109 QB Matthew Stafford DET -2.3
110 RB Devin Singletary BUF -2.3
111 WR Jerry Jeudy DEN -2.3
112 TE Irv Smith MIN -2.3
113 RB Tarik Cohen CHI -2.5
114 WR Henry Ruggs III LV -2.6
115 RB Matt Breida MIA -2.6
116 RB Marlon Mack IND -2.7
117 TE Blake Jarwin DAL -2.7
118 RB Jordan Howard MIA -2.7
119 TE Greg Olsen SEA -2.8
120 WR John Brown BUF -2.8
121 QB Josh Allen BUF -2.8
122 QB Daniel Jones NYG -2.8
123 WR Deebo Samuel SF -2.9
124 RB James White NE -2.9
125 WR DeSean Jackson PHI -2.9
126 WR Justin Jefferson MIN -2.9
127 QB Aaron Rodgers GB -3.0
128 WR Randall Cobb HOU -3.0
129 TE Jace Sternberger GB -3.0
130 WR Mecole Hardman KC -3.0
131 QB Ben Roethlisberger PIT -3.0
132 WR Sterling Shepard NYG -3.1
133 TE Gerald Everett LAR -3.2
134 WR Hunter Renfrow LV -3.2
135 WR Darius Slayton NYG -3.4
136 TE Tyler Eifert JAC -3.5
137 RB Duke Johnson HOU -3.5
138 WR Allen Lazard GB -3.5
139 RB Boston Scott PHI -3.6
140 WR Preston Williams MIA -3.6
141 TE Austin Hooper CLE -3.6
142 WR Mike Williams LAC -3.6
143 RB Latavius Murray NO -3.6
144 TE Ian Thomas CAR -3.6
145 WR Larry Fitzgerald ARI -3.7
146 QB Cam Newton NE -3.7
147 WR Steven Sims WAS -3.7
148 TE Jack Doyle IND -3.8
149 WR Robby Anderson CAR -3.9
150 QB Baker Mayfield CLE -4.0
151 QB Ryan Tannehill TEN -4.0
152 RB Sony Michel NE -4.2
153 RB Tevin Coleman SF -4.2
154 RB Kerryon Johnson DET -4.2
155 WR Bryan Edwards LV -4.3
156 QB Joe Burrow CIN -4.5
157 RB Alexander Mattison MIN -4.5
158 QB Jared Goff LAR -4.5
159 QB Jimmy Garoppolo SF -4.6
160 RB Adrian Peterson WAS -4.6
161 WR Sammy Watkins KC -4.6
162 RB AJ Dillon GB -4.6
163 RB Bryce Love WAS -4.7
164 WR Dede Westbrook JAC -4.8
165 QB Derek Carr LV -5.0
166 WR Brandon Aiyuk SF -5.0
167 WR James Washington PIT -5.0
168 WR Cole Beasley BUF -5.0
169 TE Dawson Knox BUF -5.1
170 RB Jerick McKinnon SF -5.2
171 RB Tony Pollard DAL -5.2
172 WR Laviska Shenault Jr. JAC -5.3
173 QB Philip Rivers IND -5.3
174 QB Kirk Cousins MIN -5.3
175 WR Breshad Perriman NYJ -5.4

PPR Big Board | Non-PPR Big Board

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.