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


Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 8/20/21 |
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 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 now - adds another element to the equation that is difficult to quantify.

Regardless, it doesn't mean we should not try. Over the last month, I have evaluated the weekly matchups for 500-plus players. Analyzing matchups alone requires me to make 8,000 "decisions". That is not 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. Even if my grading process is only 70 percent accurate, that is still a significant advantage over any analyst that does not consider it at all. I like to believe that even if readers believe my process is flawed for whatever reason, they can appreciate how much thought has been put into that opinion.

How much thought, you ask?

For example, Allen Robinson lined up on the left side of the formation 409 times, on the right side 298 times and in the slot 245 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, Robinson's ability to match up and defeat each of the defensive backs in those spots should 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 Robinson lines up in a certain spot will inevitably change from last year, it's unlikely the way he is deployed will change all that much in this fourth year under HC Matt Nagy.

Fantasy football is a stock market game, and the job of an analyst is identifying when stocks may be poised to skyrocket or ready to tank. While last year's results help fantasy managers/analysts set the table for the following season, they are merely a starting point. Fantasy rankings and drafting need to be predictive, not reactive. I have taken this approach 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 few weeks. As always, the matchup grades 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. 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.

Later this week, I will release my first Big Board for the FFPC. 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 Big Board - Top 175
Rk Pos Player Tm Age SSI 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1 RB Christian McCaffrey CAR 25 10.35
2 RB Derrick Henry TEN 27 6.49
3 RB Ezekiel Elliott DAL 26 6.22
4 RB Nick Chubb CLE 25 6.21
5 RB Aaron Jones GB 26 5.26
6 RB Dalvin Cook MIN 26 5.21
7 TE Travis Kelce KC 31 4.63
8 WR Tyreek Hill KC 27 4.56
9 WR Davante Adams GB 28 4.56
10 RB Jonathan Taylor IND 22 4.50
11 RB Alvin Kamara NO 26 4.22
12 RB Austin Ekeler LAC 26 4.11
13 RB Antonio Gibson WAS 23 4.08
14 RB Najee Harris PIT 23 3.83
15 WR Calvin Ridley ATL 26 3.68
16 RB Saquon Barkley NYG 24 3.48
17 RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC 22 3.38
18 RB Joe Mixon CIN 25 3.04
19 TE Darren Waller LV 28 2.99
20 WR DeAndre Hopkins ARI 29 2.89
21 TE George Kittle SF 27 2.48
22 WR Stefon Diggs BUF 27 2.28
23 WR DK Metcalf SEA 23 2.08
24 RB J.K. Dobbins BAL 22 1.89
25 RB David Montgomery CHI 24 1.73
26 RB Chris Carson SEA 26 1.65
27 WR A.J. Brown TEN 24 1.63
28 QB Patrick Mahomes KC 25 1.61
29 WR Justin Jefferson MIN 22 1.00
30 WR Allen Robinson CHI 27 1.00
31 QB Josh Allen BUF 25 0.89
32 WR Terry McLaurin WAS 25 0.87
33 QB Kyler Murray ARI 24 0.78
34 WR CeeDee Lamb DAL 22 0.68
35 WR Mike Evans TB 27 0.57
36 WR Keenan Allen LAC 29 0.28
37 WR Robert Woods LAR 29 0.17
38 QB Lamar Jackson BAL 24 0.00
39 WR Amari Cooper DAL 27 -0.05
40 WR Cooper Kupp LAR 28 -0.26
41 RB D'Andre Swift DET 22 -0.39
42 WR Chris Godwin TB 25 -0.46
43 WR Julio Jones TEN 32 -0.52
44 QB Dak Prescott DAL 28 -0.64
45 WR Tyler Lockett SEA 28 -0.64
46 QB Aaron Rodgers GB 37 -0.71
47 RB Josh Jacobs LV 23 -0.81
48 WR Tee Higgins CIN 22 -0.89
49 RB Travis Etienne JAC 22 -1.00
50 WR Adam Thielen MIN 30 -1.01
51 RB Darrell Henderson LAR 24 -1.01
52 RB Myles Gaskin MIA 24 -1.02
53 WR D.J. Moore CAR 24 -1.05
54 TE Mark Andrews BAL 25 -1.06
55 WR Ja'Marr Chase CIN 33 -1.11
56 TE Kyle Pitts ATL 20 -1.17
57 QB Ryan Tannehill TEN 33 -1.21
58 WR Chase Claypool PIT 23 -1.27
59 QB Russell Wilson SEA 32 -1.33
60 WR Diontae Johnson PIT 25 -1.42
61 RB Miles Sanders PHI 24 -1.45
62 WR Courtland Sutton DEN 25 -1.50
63 TE T.J. Hockenson DET 24 -1.72
64 QB Tom Brady TB 44 -1.90
65 WR Brandon Aiyuk SF 23 -1.92
66 RB James Robinson JAC 23 -1.94
67 RB Javonte Williams DEN 21 -1.96
68 RB Damien Harris NE 24 -1.98
69 RB Chase Edmonds ARI 25 -2.00
70 RB Kareem Hunt CLE 26 -2.05
71 RB Trey Sermon SF 22 -2.12
72 WR Tyler Boyd CIN 26 -2.39
73 WR Jerry Jeudy DEN 22 -2.39
74 RB Mike Davis ATL 28 -2.41
75 RB Michael Carter NYJ 22 -2.51
76 WR Robby Anderson CAR 28 -2.52
77 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 24 -2.53
78 TE Noah Fant DEN 23 -2.61
79 TE Robert Tonyan GB 27 -2.70
80 QB Jalen Hurts PHI 23 -2.73
81 RB Raheem Mostert SF 29 -2.80
82 WR Odell Beckham Jr. CLE 28 -2.84
83 WR Antonio Brown TB 33 -2.87
84 QB Justin Herbert LAC 23 -2.95
85 TE Dallas Goedert PHI 27 -2.96
86 WR Michael Gallup DAL 25 -2.96
87 WR D.J. Chark JAC 24 -3.04
88 QB Matthew Stafford LAR 33 -3.17
89 TE Jonnu Smith NE 25 -3.18
90 WR Darnell Mooney CHI 23 -3.25
91 WR Kenny Golladay NYG 27 -3.28
92 WR Mike Williams LAC 26 -3.29
93 WR Marvin Jones JAC 31 -3.65
94 WR Curtis Samuel WAS 25 -3.76
95 WR Deebo Samuel SF 25 -3.77
96 WR Jarvis Landry CLE 28 -3.77
97 RB Gus Edwards BAL 26 -3.79
98 WR Elijah Moore NYJ 26 -3.96
99 TE Logan Thomas WAS 30 -3.96
100 WR Laviska Shenault JAC 22 -3.97
101 TE Mike Gesicki MIA 25 -4.10
102 RB Melvin Gordon DEN 28 -4.22
103 RB Zack Moss BUF 23 -4.23
104 RB Ronald Jones TB 24 -4.24
105 QB Joe Burrow CIN 24 -4.28
106 TE Irv Smith MIN 23 -4.32
107 WR Terrace Marshall Jr. CAR 21 -4.34
108 QB Trevor Lawrence JAC 21 -4.39
109 RB Kenyan Drake LV 27 -4.55
110 WR Michael Thomas NO 28 -4.56
111 WR DeVonta Smith PHI 22 -4.58
112 TE Gerald Everett SEA 27 -4.66
113 RB Jamaal Williams DET 26 -4.76
114 QB Trey Lance SF 21 -4.76
115 RB Giovani Bernard TB 29 -4.80
116 TE Tyler Higbee LAR 28 -4.81
117 WR Bryan Edwards LV 22 -4.86
118 WR Jaylen Waddle MIA 22 -4.91
119 QB Justin Fields CHI 22 -4.94
120 RB AJ Dillon GB 23 -4.96
121 WR Will Fuller MIA 27 -4.99
122 QB Carson Wentz IND 28 -5.09
123 WR Brandin Cooks HOU 27 -5.10
124 WR Cole Beasley BUF 32 -5.11
125 TE Evan Engram NYG 26 -5.22
126 QB Matt Ryan ATL 36 -5.23
127 WR Michael Pittman Jr. IND 23 -5.30
128 RB Devin Singletary BUF 23 -5.36
129 QB Sam Darnold CAR 24 -5.41
130 WR Rashod Bateman BAL 21 -5.42
131 TE Blake Jarwin DAL 27 -5.43
132 WR Rondale Moore ARI 21 -5.56
133 WR Russell Gage ATL 25 -5.57
134 RB James Conner ARI 26 -5.58
135 WR Nelson Agholor NE 28 -5.61
136 WR T.Y. Hilton IND 31 -5.65
137 TE Jared Cook LAC 34 -5.66
138 WR Parris Campbell IND 24 -5.68
139 WR Corey Davis NYJ 28 -5.70
140 TE Anthony Firkser TEN 26 -5.78
141 WR DeVante Parker MIA 28 -5.81
142 TE Rob Gronkowski TB 32 -5.84
143 RB Latavius Murray NO 31 -5.87
144 QB Tua Tagovailoa MIA 23 -5.88
145 RB James White NE 29 -5.89
146 TE Hunter Henry NE 26 -5.89
147 TE Austin Hooper CLE 26 -5.92
148 WR Jakobi Meyers NE 24 -5.97
149 RB Nyheim Hines IND 24 -6.03
150 TE Cole Kmet CHI 22 -6.03
151 WR Marquez Callaway NO 23 -6.06
152 TE Eric Ebron PIT 28 -6.12
153 WR Randall Cobb GB 30 -6.16
154 QB Kirk Cousins MIN 33 -6.18
155 WR Marquise Brown BAL 24 -6.19
156 RB J.D. McKissic WAS 28 -6.22
157 WR Henry Ruggs III LV 22 -6.23
158 RB Leonard Fournette TB 26 -6.28
159 RB Tony Pollard DAL 24 -6.35
160 RB David Johnson HOU 29 -6.37
161 WR Gabriel Davis BUF 22 -6.46
162 RB Xavier Jones LAR 23 -6.64
163 WR A.J. Green ARI 33 -6.67
164 RB Boston Scott PHI 26 -6.69
165 RB Darrynton Evans TEN 23 -6.71
166 WR Mecole Hardman KC 23 -6.82
167 TE Adam Trautman NO 24 -6.86
168 WR Jalen Reagor PHI 22 -7.08
169 WR Sterling Shepard NYG 28 -7.13
170 QB Baker Mayfield CLE 26 -7.18
171 QB Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS 38 -7.20
172 WR D'Wayne Eskridge SEA 24 -7.32
173 WR Van Jefferson LAR 25 -7.34
174 WR Jamison Crowder NYJ 28 -7.36
175 WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB 26 -7.43


PPR Big Board | Non-PPR Big Board | Superflex


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.