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Top 225 Big Board, Half-Point PPR: Version 2.0


Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 8/31/21 |
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.

Over the next week, I will release my final Big Boards for standard leagues as well as Superflex and FFPC leagues. I will also 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 225
Rk Pos Player Tm Age SSI 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1 RB1 Christian McCaffrey CAR 25 10.35
2 RB2 Derrick Henry TEN 27 6.49
3 RB3 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 26 6.22
4 RB4 Nick Chubb CLE 25 6.21
5 RB5 Aaron Jones GB 26 5.36
6 RB6 Dalvin Cook MIN 26 5.32
7 RB7 Jonathan Taylor IND 22 5.05
8 TE1 Travis Kelce KC 31 4.63
9 WR1 Tyreek Hill KC 27 4.56
10 WR2 Davante Adams GB 28 4.56
11 RB8 Saquon Barkley NYG 24 4.53
12 RB9 Alvin Kamara NO 26 4.50
13 RB10 Austin Ekeler LAC 26 4.14
14 RB11 Antonio Gibson WAS 23 4.08
15 RB12 Najee Harris PIT 23 3.99
16 WR3 Calvin Ridley ATL 26 3.68
17 RB13 Clyde Edwards-Helaire KC 22 3.38
18 RB14 Joe Mixon CIN 25 3.04
19 TE2 Darren Waller LV 28 2.99
20 WR4 DeAndre Hopkins ARI 29 2.89
21 TE3 George Kittle SF 27 2.48
22 WR5 Stefon Diggs BUF 27 2.28
23 WR6 DK Metcalf SEA 23 2.08
24 RB15 Chris Carson SEA 26 1.65
25 RB16 David Montgomery CHI 24 1.55
26 WR7 A.J. Brown TEN 24 1.54
27 QB1 Patrick Mahomes KC 25 1.54
28 RB17 James Robinson JAC 23 1.47
29 WR8 Justin Jefferson MIN 22 1.37
30 QB2 Josh Allen BUF 25 1.10
31 WR9 Allen Robinson CHI 28 1.00
32 WR10 Terry McLaurin WAS 25 0.87
33 QB3 Kyler Murray ARI 24 0.82
34 WR11 CeeDee Lamb DAL 22 0.68
35 WR12 Keenan Allen LAC 29 0.66
36 WR13 Mike Evans TB 28 0.19
37 RB18 Gus Edwards BAL 26 0.11
38 WR14 Robert Woods LAR 29 0.09
39 WR15 Chris Godwin TB 25 -0.01
40 WR16 Amari Cooper DAL 27 -0.05
41 WR17 Cooper Kupp LAR 28 -0.33
42 QB4 Aaron Rodgers GB 37 -0.44
43 QB5 Dak Prescott DAL 28 -0.44
44 WR18 Tee Higgins CIN 22 -0.52
45 RB19 D'Andre Swift DET 22 -0.54
46 WR19 Julio Jones TEN 32 -0.63
47 WR20 Tyler Lockett SEA 28 -0.64
48 TE4 Mark Andrews BAL 25 -0.77
49 QB6 Lamar Jackson BAL 24 -0.82
50 RB20 Josh Jacobs LV 23 -0.90
51 WR21 Adam Thielen MIN 31 -1.01
52 RB21 Myles Gaskin MIA 24 -1.02
53 WR22 D.J. Moore CAR 24 -1.05
54 TE5 Kyle Pitts ATL 20 -1.17
55 RB22 Javonte Williams DEN 21 -1.21
56 QB7 Russell Wilson SEA 32 -1.33
57 QB8 Ryan Tannehill TEN 33 -1.37
58 WR23 Diontae Johnson PIT 25 -1.42
59 RB23 Miles Sanders PHI 24 -1.45
60 TE6 T.J. Hockenson DET 24 -1.50
61 WR24 Jerry Jeudy DEN 22 -1.57
62 WR25 Ja'Marr Chase CIN 21 -1.63
63 WR26 Chase Claypool PIT 23 -1.65
64 RB24 Trey Sermon SF 22 -1.75
65 QB9 Tom Brady TB 44 -1.86
66 RB25 Chase Edmonds ARI 25 -1.91
67 WR27 Brandon Aiyuk SF 23 -1.92
68 RB26 Damien Harris NE 24 -1.98
69 WR28 Courtland Sutton DEN 25 -2.03
70 RB27 Kareem Hunt CLE 26 -2.05
71 RB28 Mike Davis ATL 28 -2.24
72 WR29 Tyler Boyd CIN 26 -2.39
73 WR30 Robby Anderson CAR 28 -2.45
74 WR31 Odell Beckham Jr. CLE 28 -2.51
75 QB10 Justin Herbert LAC 23 -2.60
76 TE7 Noah Fant DEN 23 -2.61
77 WR32 Marvin Jones JAC 31 -2.61
78 QB11 Jalen Hurts PHI 23 -2.63
79 TE8 Robert Tonyan GB 27 -2.70
80 RB29 Raheem Mostert SF 29 -2.71
81 WR33 Antonio Brown TB 33 -2.87
82 WR34 Mike Williams LAC 26 -2.89
83 TE9 Dallas Goedert PHI 27 -2.96
84 RB30 Darrell Henderson LAR 24 -2.97
85 TE10 Logan Thomas WAS 30 -2.98
86 WR35 Darnell Mooney CHI 23 -2.98
87 WR36 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 24 -3.15
88 WR37 Corey Davis NYJ 28 -3.16
89 WR38 Michael Gallup DAL 25 -3.16
90 QB12 Matthew Stafford LAR 33 -3.18
91 TE11 Jonnu Smith NE 26 -3.18
92 WR39 Kenny Golladay NYG 27 -3.28
93 WR40 D.J. Chark JAC 24 -3.41
94 WR41 Curtis Samuel WAS 25 -3.76
95 WR42 Deebo Samuel SF 25 -3.77
96 WR43 Jarvis Landry CLE 28 -3.77
97 RB31 Ronald Jones TB 24 -3.84
98 WR44 Elijah Moore NYJ 26 -3.89
99 TE12 Mike Gesicki MIA 25 -4.10
100 RB32 AJ Dillon GB 23 -4.12
101 RB33 Michael Carter NYJ 22 -4.12
102 RB34 Ty'Son Williams BAL 23 -4.15
103 RB35 Melvin Gordon DEN 28 -4.22
104 RB36 Kenyan Drake LV 27 -4.22
105 RB37 Zack Moss BUF 23 -4.23
106 WR45 Michael Pittman Jr. IND 23 -4.25
107 QB13 Joe Burrow CIN 24 -4.28
108 WR46 Brandin Cooks HOU 27 -4.35
109 RB38 Sony Michel LAR 26 -4.47
110 WR47 Jaylen Waddle MIA 22 -4.50
111 WR48 DeVonta Smith PHI 22 -4.58
112 WR49 Bryan Edwards LV 22 -4.61
113 QB14 Trevor Lawrence JAC 21 -4.64
114 TE13 Gerald Everett SEA 27 -4.66
115 RB39 Jamaal Williams DET 26 -4.71
116 WR50 Terrace Marshall Jr. CAR 21 -4.72
117 WR51 Laviska Shenault JAC 22 -4.73
118 QB15 Trey Lance SF 21 -4.76
119 WR52 Marquez Callaway NO 23 -4.77
120 WR53 Michael Thomas NO 28 -4.79
121 RB40 Giovani Bernard TB 29 -4.80
122 QB16 Justin Fields CHI 22 -4.83
123 WR54 Jakobi Meyers NE 24 -4.85
124 WR55 Cole Beasley BUF 32 -5.11
125 TE14 Tyler Higbee LAR 28 -5.11
126 WR56 Rondale Moore ARI 21 -5.13
127 TE15 Evan Engram NYG 26 -5.22
128 QB17 Kirk Cousins MIN 33 -5.22
129 QB18 Matt Ryan ATL 36 -5.29
130 RB41 Devin Singletary BUF 23 -5.36
131 WR57 Will Fuller MIA 27 -5.38
132 QB19 Tua Tagovailoa MIA 23 -5.39
133 RB42 Tony Jones NO 23 -5.45
134 WR58 Russell Gage ATL 25 -5.57
135 RB43 James Conner ARI 26 -5.58
136 QB21 Carson Wentz IND 28 -5.65
137 TE16 Jared Cook LAC 34 -5.66
138 QB20 Sam Darnold CAR 24 -5.67
139 WR59 Parris Campbell IND 24 -5.68
140 WR60 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB 26 -5.68
141 TE17 Blake Jarwin DAL 27 -5.80
142 WR61 Nelson Agholor NE 28 -5.83
143 TE18 Rob Gronkowski TB 32 -5.84
144 WR62 Mecole Hardman KC 23 -5.84
145 RB44 Ty Johnson NYJ 23 -5.88
146 WR63 DeVante Parker MIA 28 -5.88
147 TE19 Hunter Henry NE 26 -5.89
148 TE20 Austin Hooper CLE 26 -5.92
149 RB45 Nyheim Hines IND 24 -5.94
150 WR64 Emmanuel Sanders BUF 34 -5.99
151 TE21 Cole Kmet CHI 22 -6.03
152 TE22 Anthony Firkser TEN 26 -6.16
153 TE23 Irv Smith MIN 23 -6.18
154 RB46 J.D. McKissic WAS 28 -6.22
155 WR65 Henry Ruggs III LV 22 -6.23
156 RB47 Leonard Fournette TB 26 -6.28
157 TE24 Eric Ebron PIT 28 -6.30
158 RB48 Tony Pollard DAL 24 -6.35
159 WR66 Jalen Reagor PHI 22 -6.41
160 WR67 Gabriel Davis BUF 22 -6.46
161 WR68 Van Jefferson LAR 25 -6.50
162 WR69 Randall Cobb GB 31 -6.53
163 RB49 James White NE 29 -6.66
164 RB50 Rhamondre Stevenson NE 23 -6.67
165 WR70 A.J. Green ARI 33 -6.67
166 RB51 Boston Scott PHI 26 -6.69
167 QB22 Baker Mayfield CLE 26 -6.71
168 QB23 Ryan Fitzpatrick WAS 38 -6.83
169 WR71 Nico Collins HOU 22 -6.90
170 TE25 Adam Trautman NO 24 -6.92
171 WR72 T.Y. Hilton IND 31 -6.99
172 QB24 Zach Wilson NYJ 22 -7.06
173 TE26 Juwan Johnson NO 24 -7.13
174 WR73 Sterling Shepard NYG 28 -7.13
175 QB25 Daniel Jones NYG 24 -7.17
176 RB52 Tevin Coleman NYJ 28 -7.21
177 QB26 Derek Carr LV 30 -7.24
178 RB53 Darrynton Evans TEN 23 -7.25
179 WR74 Kadarius Toney NYG 22 -7.28
180 TE27 Jimmy Graham CHI 34 -7.28
181 TE28 Brevin Jordan HOU 21 -7.32
182 QB27 Jameis Winston NO 27 -7.32
183 WR75 D'Wayne Eskridge SEA 24 -7.32
184 TE29 Jacob Harris LAR 24 -7.39
185 TE30 Tyler Conklin MIN 26 -7.42
186 TE31 C.J. Uzomah CIN 28 -7.48
187 RB54 Qadree Ollison ATL 24 -7.50
188 WR76 Tyrell Williams DET 29 -7.53
189 TE32 O.J. Howard TB 26 -7.54
190 WR77 Rashod Bateman BAL 21 -7.55
191 WR78 Christian Kirk ARI 24 -7.64
192 WR79 Amon-Ra St. Brown DET 21 -7.67
193 TE33 Kylen Granson IND 23 -7.76
194 WR80 Darius Slayton NYG 24 -7.78
195 RB55 Mark Ingram HOU 31 -7.90
196 WR81 Quez Watkins PHI 23 -7.93
197 TE34 Zach Ertz PHI 30 -7.95
198 QB28 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 39 -7.95
199 WR82 Jamison Crowder NYJ 28 -7.98
200 RB56 Phillip Lindsay HOU 27 -8.19
201 WR83 Tre'Quan Smith NO 25 -8.33
202 RB57 Alexander Mattison MIN 23 -8.34
203 RB58 Chuba Hubbard CAR 22 -8.38
204 RB59 Devontae Booker NYG 29 -8.48
205 RB60 Justin Jackson LAC 26 -8.50
206 WR84 Marquise Brown BAL 24 -8.65
207 RB61 Larry Rountree III LAC 22 -8.67
208 RB62 Kenneth Gainwell PHI 22 -8.83
209 RB63 Darrel Williams KC 26 -8.91
210 RB64 Tarik Cohen CHI 26 -8.94
211 RB65 Rashaad Penny SEA 25 -8.94
212 RB66 David Johnson HOU 29 -9.11
213 RB67 Carlos Hyde JAC 30 -9.24
214 QB29 Teddy Bridgewater DEN 28 -9.25
215 WR85 Josh Palmer LAC 21 -9.26
216 WR86 Quintez Cephus DET 23 -9.43
217 WR87 KJ Hamler DEN 22 -9.44
218 RB68 Salvon Ahmed MIA 22 -9.78
219 QB30 Mac Jones NE 22 -10.48
220 RB69 Marlon Mack IND 25 -10.93
221 RB70 Eno Benjamin ARI 22 -11.18
222 WR88 Sammy Watkins BAL 28 -11.55
223 RB71 J.J. Taylor NE 23 -12.06
224 RB72 Justice Hill BAL 23 -12.79
225 QB31 Deshaun Watson HOU 25


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.