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Top 175 Big Board, Superflex PPR: Version 1.0

Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 8/22/20 |
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 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.

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 PPR format:

 Superflex 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 13.0
2 RB Saquon Barkley NYG 10.6
3 RB Alvin Kamara NO 9.1
4 RB Ezekiel Elliott DAL 8.2
5 RB Dalvin Cook MIN 7.3
6 QB Patrick Mahomes KC 6.7
7 WR Davante Adams GB 6.7
8 WR Michael Thomas NO 6.6
9 RB Miles Sanders PHI 6.2
10 QB Lamar Jackson BAL 6.1
11 RB Joe Mixon CIN 5.3
12 RB Josh Jacobs LV 5.3
13 RB Kenyan Drake ARI 5.3
14 RB Derrick Henry TEN 5.1
15 RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC 4.8
16 WR Julio Jones ATL 4.7
17 QB Dak Prescott DAL 4.5
18 RB Austin Ekeler LAC 4.3
19 TE Travis Kelce KC 4.2
20 QB Kyler Murray ARI 3.7
21 TE George Kittle SF 3.7
22 QB Russell Wilson SEA 3.7
23 WR Tyreek Hill KC 3.7
24 QB Carson Wentz PHI 3.7
25 WR Chris Godwin TB 3.6
26 QB Deshaun Watson HOU 3.6
27 RB Aaron Jones GB 3.4
28 WR DeAndre Hopkins ARI 3.3
29 QB Tom Brady TB 2.9
30 WR Odell Beckham Jr. CLE 2.8
31 RB Nick Chubb CLE 2.8
32 WR Mike Evans TB 2.8
33 QB Drew Brees NO 2.7
34 RB James Conner PIT 2.7
35 WR Adam Thielen MIN 2.5
36 WR Calvin Ridley ATL 2.4
37 WR D.J. Moore CAR 2.3
38 WR Allen Robinson CHI 2.3
39 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 2.3
40 RB Chris Carson SEA 2.2
41 RB Le'Veon Bell NYJ 2.2
42 WR Kenny Golladay DET 2.2
43 WR Tyler Lockett SEA 2.2
44 WR Robert Woods LAR 2.1
45 RB Jonathan Taylor IND 2.1
46 RB Todd Gurley ATL 2.0
47 RB Leonard Fournette JAC 2.0
48 WR A.J. Brown TEN 1.9
49 QB Matt Ryan ATL 1.8
50 QB Matthew Stafford DET 1.7
51 WR DeVante Parker MIA 1.6
52 WR Amari Cooper DAL 1.4
53 RB Melvin Gordon DEN 1.4
54 TE Zach Ertz PHI 1.4
55 TE Mark Andrews BAL 1.3
56 QB Josh Allen BUF 1.2
57 QB Daniel Jones NYG 1.2
58 RB David Johnson HOU 1.1
59 QB Ben Roethlisberger PIT 1.0
60 TE Darren Waller LV 0.9
61 QB Aaron Rodgers GB 0.9
62 WR DK Metcalf SEA 0.7
63 WR Cooper Kupp LAR 0.5
64 WR Courtland Sutton DEN 0.5
65 WR D.J. Chark JAC 0.4
66 WR Tyler Boyd CIN 0.4
67 RB Mark Ingram BAL 0.4
68 WR Terry McLaurin WAS 0.3
69 RB Ronald Jones TB 0.3
70 QB Cam Newton NE 0.3
71 WR A.J. Green CIN 0.3
72 WR Keenan Allen LAC 0.2
73 QB Baker Mayfield CLE 0.1
74 RB David Montgomery CHI 0.0
75 TE Hayden Hurst ATL 0.0
76 QB Ryan Tannehill TEN 0.0
77 WR Jarvis Landry CLE -0.1
78 RB Kareem Hunt CLE -0.2
79 WR Michael Gallup DAL -0.4
80 QB Joe Burrow CIN -0.5
81 WR Marquise Brown BAL -0.5
82 QB Jared Goff LAR -0.5
83 QB Jimmy Garoppolo SF -0.6
84 RB Raheem Mostert SF -0.6
85 RB D'Andre Swift DET -0.6
86 TE Evan Engram NYG -0.6
87 WR Stefon Diggs BUF -0.7
88 RB J.K. Dobbins BAL -0.8
89 QB Derek Carr LV -1.0
90 WR Marvin Jones DET -1.2
91 RB Cam Akers LAR -1.2
92 RB Tarik Cohen CHI -1.2
93 QB Kirk Cousins MIN -1.3
94 QB Philip Rivers IND -1.3
95 WR Brandin Cooks HOU -1.4
96 WR T.Y. Hilton IND -1.5
97 RB Phillip Lindsay DEN -1.5
98 QB Gardner Minshew JAC -1.5
99 TE Tyler Higbee LAR -1.6
100 WR Julian Edelman NE -1.6
101 QB Teddy Bridgewater CAR -1.7
102 WR Jamison Crowder NYJ -1.7
103 WR Diontae Johnson PIT -1.7
104 WR CeeDee Lamb DAL -1.7
105 RB Zack Moss BUF -1.7
106 TE Hunter Henry LAC -1.8
107 RB James White NE -1.8
108 WR Anthony Miller CHI -1.8
109 RB Devin Singletary BUF -1.9
110 WR Christian Kirk ARI -2.1
111 WR Curtis Samuel CAR -2.1
112 WR Will Fuller HOU -2.1
113 WR Emmanuel Sanders NO -2.3
114 RB Matt Breida MIA -2.3
115 QB Sam Darnold NYJ -2.3
116 WR Michael Pittman Jr. IND -2.3
117 TE Jared Cook NO -2.3
118 WR Golden Tate NYG -2.5
119 TE T.J. Hockenson DET -2.6
120 WR Jalen Reagor PHI -2.8
121 WR Parris Campbell IND -2.8
122 TE Chris Herndon NYJ -2.8
123 WR Jerry Jeudy DEN -2.9
124 RB Marlon Mack IND -3.0
125 TE Mike Gesicki MIA -3.0
126 RB Duke Johnson HOU -3.1
127 RB Jordan Howard MIA -3.1
128 TE Noah Fant DEN -3.1
129 RB Boston Scott PHI -3.1
130 TE Jonnu Smith TEN -3.2
131 WR Henry Ruggs III LV -3.3
132 WR Sterling Shepard NYG -3.5
133 WR Deebo Samuel SF -3.5
134 TE Rob Gronkowski TB -3.5
135 WR John Brown BUF -3.5
136 WR Justin Jefferson MIN -3.5
137 WR Randall Cobb HOU -3.6
138 WR Hunter Renfrow LV -3.7
139 TE Irv Smith MIN -3.7
140 TE Dallas Goedert PHI -3.7
141 TE O.J. Howard TB -3.9
142 TE Eric Ebron PIT -3.9
143 RB Kerryon Johnson DET -3.9
144 WR DeSean Jackson PHI -4.0
145 RB Latavius Murray NO -4.0
146 WR Larry Fitzgerald ARI -4.1
147 WR Allen Lazard GB -4.2
148 WR Mecole Hardman KC -4.2
149 TE Blake Jarwin DAL -4.2
150 TE Greg Olsen SEA -4.3
151 WR Darius Slayton NYG -4.3
152 WR Steven Sims WAS -4.4
153 WR Preston Williams MIA -4.4
154 RB Tevin Coleman SF -4.5
155 WR Robby Anderson CAR -4.6
156 WR Mike Williams LAC -4.7
157 RB Sony Michel NE -4.7
158 TE Austin Hooper CLE -4.7
159 RB Alexander Mattison MIN -4.8
160 RB Adrian Peterson WAS -4.9
161 TE Jace Sternberger GB -4.9
162 RB AJ Dillon GB -5.0
163 TE Gerald Everett LAR -5.0
164 RB Jerick McKinnon SF -5.1
165 TE Tyler Eifert JAC -5.2
166 RB Bryce Love WAS -5.2
167 TE Ian Thomas CAR -5.2
168 RB Tony Pollard DAL -5.2
169 WR Bryan Edwards LV -5.3
170 TE Jack Doyle IND -5.4
171 WR Dede Westbrook JAC -5.5
172 WR Sammy Watkins KC -5.6
173 RB Darrell Henderson LAR -5.9
174 RB Chase Edmonds ARI -5.9
175 WR Brandon Aiyuk SF -6.1

PPR Big Board | Half-Pt 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.