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Top 200 Big Board, Superflex PPR: Version 2.0


Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 9/1/20 |
PPR | Half-Point PPR | Non-PPR | Superflex


Let's be clear about something right away: I'm not the biggest fan of Superflex leagues. For those of us who have been playing and/or writing about fantasy football since its boom in the mid-to-late 90s, there was a time when the Kurt Warner's and Jeff Garcia's of the world were drafted in the first round. That was before PPR scoring became the standard, which served its purpose by creating more fantasy scoring but also devalued the quarterback position to a large degree in fantasy. In other words, the unintended consequence of making every other position more important led to the most important position in the game becoming less important. The ability to start a second quarterback every week doesn't make the position more valuable nearly as much as it creates a demand for at least 10-15 players that wouldn't otherwise be on the majority of fantasy rosters.

Many folks believe fantasy football should reflect real football. I don't believe Superflex leagues accomplish that either. Among other things, a football team rarely ever plays two quarterbacks at the same time and most don't have three active on game day. Also, an injury or demotion of your fantasy QB2 in Superflex can severely alter your team's chances of winning a title. That also seems wrong from a real-world perspective. The notion there are 35 or so quarterbacks worthy of being rostered also seems a bit off.

With that said, I love the fact Superflex leagues offer fantasy owners the potential to build powerhouse teams, so they are starting to grow on me. Do you want the opportunity to land Chris Godwin in the fourth round? James Conner in the fifth? Mike Evans in the late fifth? Allen Robinson in the sixth? With the exception of Conner missing the fifth round by two picks, I participated in an industry Superflex draft in mid-August where all of these events occurred. Then again, fantasy cornerstones will slip when 16 quarterbacks are selected in the first 40 picks of a draft. In a year in which quarterback depth may be as good as it has ever been and there isn't likely to be much difference between the QB12 and the QB22, fantasy owners will panic, bypassing the likes of Godwin or Kenny Golladay for Baker Mayfield and Drew Lock. Sam Darnold has more value to some owners than D.K. Metcalf, as was the case in the aforementioned draft.

Especially with quarterback being as deep as it is this year, I'm comfortable taking my two quarterbacks in the first five to six rounds - the first usually in Round 3 - and ignoring the position after that. The odds are good that owners will be able to snag a capable replacement quarterback off waivers during the season to serve as temporary insurance if necessary. Put another way, there's significantly more value in drafting Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Tyler Boyd or even J.K. Dobbins than making sure I have a decent QB3 option. (When that QB3 is Darnold, Nick Foles or Mitchell Trubisky, aren't owners just burning a roster spot?)

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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 coming days, I will present my final rankings for kickers and defense/special teams as well as my final Top 200 Big Board for the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC).

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

 Superflex PPR Big Board - Top 200
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 12.97
2 1 RB2 Saquon Barkley NYG 10.61
3 1 RB3 Alvin Kamara NO 9.13
4 1 RB4 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 8.19
5 1 QB1 Patrick Mahomes KC 7.29
6 1 WR1 Davante Adams GB 6.68
7 1 WR2 Michael Thomas NO 6.61
8 1 RB5 Dalvin Cook MIN 6.55
9 1 QB2 Lamar Jackson BAL 5.81
10 1 RB6 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC 5.64
11 2 RB7 Miles Sanders PHI 5.56
12 2 RB8 Derrick Henry TEN 5.41
13 2 RB9 Kenyan Drake ARI 5.17
14 2 RB10 Josh Jacobs LV 4.96
15 2 RB11 Joe Mixon CIN 4.92
16 2 WR3 Julio Jones ATL 4.71
17 2 QB3 Dak Prescott DAL 4.47
18 2 TE1 Travis Kelce KC 4.22
19 2 RB12 Austin Ekeler LAC 4.07
20 2 WR4 Chris Godwin TB 4.02
21 2 TE2 George Kittle SF 3.97
22 2 RB13 Aaron Jones GB 3.79
23 3 QB4 Kyler Murray ARI 3.74
24 3 QB5 Russell Wilson SEA 3.72
25 3 RB14 Nick Chubb CLE 3.65
26 3 QB6 Deshaun Watson HOU 3.64
27 3 QB7 Carson Wentz PHI 3.58
28 3 WR5 DeAndre Hopkins ARI 3.31
29 3 WR6 Tyreek Hill KC 3.30
30 3 WR7 Odell Beckham Jr. CLE 2.92
31 3 RB15 James Conner PIT 2.90
32 4 QB8 Tom Brady TB 2.88
33 4 QB9 Drew Brees NO 2.71
34 4 WR8 D.J. Moore CAR 2.58
35 4 WR9 Robert Woods LAR 2.55
36 4 WR10 Allen Robinson CHI 2.48
37 4 WR11 Calvin Ridley ATL 2.42
38 4 WR12 Kenny Golladay DET 2.40
39 4 RB16 Chris Carson SEA 2.38
40 4 WR13 Adam Thielen MIN 2.37
41 4 WR14 Mike Evans TB 2.36
42 4 WR15 A.J. Brown TEN 2.33
43 4 WR16 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 2.31
44 4 RB17 Todd Gurley ATL 2.18
45 4 WR17 Tyler Lockett SEA 2.16
46 4 RB18 Jonathan Taylor IND 2.07
47 5 QB10 Josh Allen BUF 1.99
48 5 QB11 Matt Ryan ATL 1.85
49 5 QB12 Matthew Stafford DET 1.74
50 5 WR18 D.J. Chark JAC 1.65
51 5 TE3 Zach Ertz PHI 1.55
52 5 RB19 Le'Veon Bell NYJ 1.50
53 5 WR19 Terry McLaurin WAS 1.44
54 5 RB20 Melvin Gordon DEN 1.44
55 5 WR20 Amari Cooper DAL 1.39
56 5 TE4 Mark Andrews BAL 1.31
57 5 WR21 DeVante Parker MIA 1.18
58 5 QB13 Daniel Jones NYG 1.13
59 5 WR22 DK Metcalf SEA 1.09
60 5 TE5 Darren Waller LV 0.95
61 5 RB21 Mark Ingram BAL 0.94
62 5 RB22 David Johnson HOU 0.75
63 5 WR23 Jarvis Landry CLE 0.62
64 5 QB14 Cam Newton NE 0.62
65 6 QB15 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 0.60
66 6 WR24 Cooper Kupp LAR 0.54
67 6 QB16 Baker Mayfield CLE 0.51
68 6 QB17 Aaron Rodgers GB 0.49
69 6 WR25 Courtland Sutton DEN 0.46
70 6 WR26 Tyler Boyd CIN 0.38
71 6 RB23 Ronald Jones TB 0.31
72 6 RB24 D'Andre Swift DET 0.30
73 6 WR27 A.J. Green CIN 0.27
74 6 QB18 Joe Burrow CIN 0.19
75 6 WR28 Keenan Allen LAC 0.18
76 6 QB19 Ryan Tannehill TEN 0.18
77 6 TE6 Hayden Hurst ATL -0.02
78 6 RB25 Kareem Hunt CLE -0.11
79 6 RB26 Raheem Mostert SF -0.18
80 6 WR29 Michael Gallup DAL -0.36
81 7 QB20 Jared Goff LAR -0.49
82 7 WR30 T.Y. Hilton IND -0.52
83 7 TE7 Evan Engram NYG -0.53
84 7 WR31 Marquise Brown BAL -0.60
85 7 RB27 Cam Akers LAR -0.69
86 7 WR32 Stefon Diggs BUF -0.72
87 7 RB28 David Montgomery CHI -0.82
88 7 QB21 Gardner Minshew JAC -0.86
89 7 RB29 Tarik Cohen CHI -0.95
90 7 QB22 Jimmy Garoppolo SF -1.00
91 7 WR33 Will Fuller HOU -1.01
92 7 RB30 Zack Moss BUF -1.04
93 7 RB31 Phillip Lindsay DEN -1.08
94 7 WR34 Marvin Jones DET -1.12
95 7 RB32 Leonard Fournette FA
96 8 QB23 Kirk Cousins MIN -1.13
97 8 QB24 Philip Rivers IND -1.15
98 8 QB25 Teddy Bridgewater CAR -1.24
99 8 RB33 James White NE -1.30
100 8 QB26 Derek Carr LV -1.30
101 8 RB34 J.K. Dobbins BAL -1.34
102 8 RB35 Chris Thompson JAC -1.37
103 8 WR35 Brandin Cooks HOU -1.37
104 8 WR36 Jamison Crowder NYJ -1.47
105 8 TE8 Tyler Higbee LAR -1.51
106 8 QB27 Tyrod Taylor LAC -1.56
107 8 WR37 Julian Edelman NE -1.59
108 8 WR38 Curtis Samuel CAR -1.65
109 8 WR39 Diontae Johnson PIT -1.67
110 8 WR40 CeeDee Lamb DAL -1.70
111 8 RB36 Marlon Mack IND -1.75
112 8 RB37 Devin Singletary BUF -1.76
113 9 TE9 Hunter Henry LAC -1.77
114 9 WR41 Anthony Miller CHI -1.82
115 9 WR42 Golden Tate NYG -1.96
116 9 WR43 Christian Kirk ARI -2.06
117 9 WR44 Deebo Samuel SF -2.09
118 9 WR45 Michael Pittman Jr. IND -2.12
119 9 WR46 Emmanuel Sanders NO -2.25
120 9 WR47 Henry Ruggs III LV -2.29
121 9 RB38 Matt Breida MIA -2.29
122 9 WR48 Parris Campbell IND -2.49
123 9 TE10 T.J. Hockenson DET -2.49
124 9 WR49 Sterling Shepard NYG -2.53
125 9 QB28 Drew Lock DEN -2.68
126 9 TE11 Chris Herndon NYJ -2.83
127 9 WR50 Jerry Jeudy DEN -2.92
128 9 TE12 Mike Gesicki MIA -3.01
129 9 RB39 Jordan Howard MIA -3.08
130 9 WR51 Preston Williams MIA -3.09
131 10 TE13 Noah Fant DEN -3.14
132 10 RB40 Boston Scott PHI -3.14
133 10 TE14 Jared Cook NO -3.14
134 10 TE15 Jonnu Smith TEN -3.15
135 10 WR52 Bryan Edwards LV -3.27
136 10 RB41 Antonio Gibson WAS -3.28
137 10 RB42 Alexander Mattison MIN -3.30
138 10 TE16 Irv Smith MIN -3.34
139 10 WR53 Darius Slayton NYG -3.38
140 10 WR54 Jalen Reagor PHI -3.39
141 10 TE17 Rob Gronkowski TB -3.39
142 10 RB43 Duke Johnson HOU -3.45
143 10 RB44 Kerryon Johnson DET -3.47
144 10 WR55 John Brown BUF -3.47
145 11 WR56 Justin Jefferson MIN -3.52
146 11 TE18 Dallas Goedert PHI -3.55
147 11 WR57 DeSean Jackson PHI -3.58
148 11 RB45 Latavius Murray NO -3.62
149 11 WR58 Randall Cobb HOU -3.62
150 11 RB46 Damien Harris NE -3.73
151 11 WR59 Allen Lazard GB -3.78
152 11 TE19 O.J. Howard TB -3.79
153 11 TE20 Eric Ebron PIT -3.85
154 11 RB47 Adrian Peterson WAS -4.07
155 11 RB48 Jerick McKinnon SF -4.10
156 11 RB49 Chase Edmonds ARI -4.11
157 11 WR60 Larry Fitzgerald ARI -4.15
158 11 WR61 Mecole Hardman KC -4.19
159 11 TE21 Blake Jarwin DAL -4.20
160 11 TE22 Greg Olsen SEA -4.29
161 12 WR62 Steven Sims WAS -4.35
162 12 RB50 Darrel Williams KC -4.59
163 12 TE23 Austin Hooper CLE -4.62
164 12 WR63 Robby Anderson CAR -4.65
165 12 WR64 Mike Williams LAC -4.68
166 12 WR65 Brandon Aiyuk SF -4.74
167 12 RB51 Tevin Coleman SF -4.74
168 12 TE24 Gerald Everett LAR -4.93
169 12 WR66 Hunter Renfrow LV -4.96
170 12 RB52 Nyheim Hines IND -4.98
171 12 TE25 Tyler Eifert JAC -5.18
172 12 TE26 Ian Thomas CAR -5.20
173 13 RB53 Tony Pollard DAL -5.25
174 13 TE27 Jace Sternberger GB -5.33
175 13 RB54 Joshua Kelley LAC -5.44
176 13 RB55 AJ Dillon GB -5.48
177 13 TE28 Jack Doyle IND -5.50
178 13 WR67 Dede Westbrook JAC -5.51
179 13 WR68 Sammy Watkins KC -5.65
180 13 WR69 Laviska Shenault JAC -5.65
181 13 WR70 Cole Beasley BUF -5.73
182 13 RB56 Darrell Henderson LAR -5.87
183 13 RB57 Ryquell Armstead JAC -5.89
184 14 RB58 LeSean McCoy TB -6.00
185 14 WR71 Trent Taylor SF -6.17
186 14 WR72 Mohamed Sanu NE -6.29
187 14 WR73 James Washington PIT -6.31
188 14 WR74 N'Keal Harry NE -6.43
189 14 WR75 Corey Davis TEN -6.47
190 14 WR76 Breshad Perriman NYJ -6.51
191 14 WR77 Tee Higgins CIN -6.54
192 14 RB59 Bryce Love WAS -6.89
193 14 RB60 Darrynton Evans TEN -7.00
194 14 RB61 Justin Jackson LAC -7.56
195 14 WR78 Kendrick Bourne SF -7.97
196 14 WR79 Denzel Mims NYJ -7.99
197 14 RB62 Sony Michel NE -8.14
198 14 WR80 Alshon Jeffery PHI -8.45
199 14 RB63 Jamaal Williams GB -8.97
200 14 RB64 Benny Snell PIT -9.47


PPR Big Board | Half-Pt PPR Big Board | Non-PPR Big Board

Are some of the elite quarterback options worth the opportunity cost?

There's very little chance I will draft Lamar Jackson over the last 1 1/2 weeks, regardless of setup. Why? It's about his draft cost, positional scarcity and how he goes about scoring fantasy points. Jackson doesn't get enough credit for being a capable passer, but it's a safe bet one of the unspoken reasons Baltimore ended up selecting Dobbins - outside of the fact the Ohio State product was an incredible value pick late in the second round - was to reduce the number of times Jackson needs to run and the offense's reliance on him to create big plays. Dobbins offers the same kind of big-play potential and has a frame more conducive to taking punishment than Jackson. The other problem with investing heavily in Jackson is fantasy owners should try to avoid paying for a career year. Maybe Jackson has another 43-touchdown, 1,000-yard rushing season in his future, but history tells us it is unlikely. Yes, he can still offer his owners a significant positional advantage, but the draft capital it takes to secure his services hampers usually leaves owners out of the running back sweepstakes and largely negates that advantage. While Superflex makes it more likely a Chris Carson, James Conner or Todd Gurley lasts until the late third or early fourth round, it's far from a certainty.

I have no problem with people viewing Dak Prescott as the QB3 in drafts this year, but there's an issue with how fantasy owners are viewing his supporting cast. Do we expect him to attempt 596 passes or throw for nearly 5,000 yards again in an offense that is supposed to revolve around Ezekiel Elliott? Will the defense struggle to the same degree it did during the second half of last season all year? Amari Cooper is generally considered a top-15 fantasy receiver, Michael Gallup is generating a ton of buzz as a future stud, CeeDee Lamb is reportedly enjoying a camp unlike any rookie in recent memory and Blake Jarwin is supposedly on the verge of a breakout season. Is it even remotely possible for all of them to live up to their fantasy billing in 2020? I don't see how. Dallas should enjoy more favorable game scripts, so Prescott's volume should decrease, first and foremost. But let's consider from a broader perspective: what is the likelihood that all four pass-catchers will all meet expectations, especially in an offense featuring a top-five running back? The only offense I can think of in recent memory to do that (or come close) is the 2013 Broncos. In other words, the Cowboys are either on the verge of a historic offensive season or perhaps as many as two of the four pass-catchers will disappoint. Each of them will undoubtedly have their moment in the sun this year, but consistency figures to be lacking.


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.