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Top 225 Big Board, Half-PPR: Version 2.0


Preseason Matchup Analysis

By Doug Orth | 8/31/23 |
PPR | Half-PPR | Non-PPR | Superflex | FFPC


FAs I do every year, allow me to reluctantly engage in a bit of a humble brag before we get into the heart of what I believe is the best draft-day tool around. (Yes, I am biased.) I have been playing in money leagues for more than 20 years and in high-stakes leagues ($1,000-plus entry) for about 15 years. I have played in those high-stakes leagues during the leanest of times, and I did so in part because I knew I had an advantage over my competition. Does it always result in a championship? Of course not. However, I win roughly one of every six leagues I enter and have never had a season in which I lost money. Does that mean it cannot happen? Of course not. With that said, I will stack my success (and the success of many of my readers) against anyone else in the industry.

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Football is simple at its very core but a very complex game to evaluate and analyze because 11 men try to work in harmony roughly 60 times per game, while 11 other men make it their job 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 also 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 does not 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 more than 8,000 "decisions". 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 who does not consider it at all.

Fantasy football is a stock market game, and the job of an analyst is to identify when stocks are 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 15 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. 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. Each tier break is represented by the different colors in the "FPos" column.

New this year is a "Vol" column, which reflects the volatility of my ranking. In short, it reflects the confidence I have in the player to move into the next tier or two - be it up or down.

Here is the scoring system that I used to rank the players in the Half-PPR, 6-Point Pass TD format:

 Half-PPR Big Board (6 Pt pass TD) - Top 225
Rk Pos Player Vol Tm SSI 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1 WR1 Justin Jefferson MIN 5.7
2 RB1 Christian McCaffrey SF 5.0
3 RB2 Nick Chubb CLE 4.7
4 WR2 Ja'Marr Chase CIN 4.5
5 WR3 Tyreek Hill MIA 4.5
6 QB1 Josh Allen BUF 4.4
7 WR4 Cooper Kupp LAR 4.1
8 QB2 Jalen Hurts PHI 4.0
9 RB3 Austin Ekeler LAC 3.6
10 QB3 Patrick Mahomes KC 3.6
11 TE1 Travis Kelce KC 3.4
12 RB4 Bijan Robinson ATL 3.3
13 QB4 Lamar Jackson BAL 3.2
14 QB5 Justin Herbert LAC 3.1
15 QB6 Joe Burrow CIN 2.5
16 RB5 Tony Pollard DAL 2.5
17 WR5 CeeDee Lamb DAL 2.5
18 RB6 Derrick Henry TEN 1.9
19 WR6 Stefon Diggs BUF 1.5
20 RB7 Saquon Barkley NYG 1.5
21 WR7 A.J. Brown PHI 1.5
22 WR8 Davante Adams LV 1.4
23 WR9 Garrett Wilson NYJ 1.3
24 WR10 A.-Ra St. Brown DET 1.2
25 TE2 Mark Andrews BAL 1.0
26 WR11 Calvin Ridley JAC 0.9
27 WR12 Jaylen Waddle MIA 0.9
28 QB7 Trevor Lawrence JAC 0.8
29 QB8 Justin Fields CHI 0.6
30 RB8 Dameon Pierce HOU 0.5
31 WR13 Chris Olave NO 0.4
32 RB9 Joe Mixon CIN 0.4
33 TE3 Darren Waller NYG 0.4
34 QB9 Deshaun Watson CLE 0.3
35 QB10 Geno Smith SEA 0.3
36 RB10 Aaron Jones GB 0.2
37 RB11 R. Stevenson NE 0.2
38 RB12 J.K. Dobbins BAL 0.0
39 RB13 David Montgomery DET -0.1
40 RB14 Kenneth Walker SEA -0.1
41 RB15 Najee Harris PIT -0.1
42 RB16 Breece Hall NYJ -0.2
43 RB17 Jahmyr Gibbs DET -0.4
44 WR14 DK Metcalf SEA -0.6
45 WR15 Tee Higgins CIN -0.6
46 RB18 Josh Jacobs LV -0.7
47 WR16 Brandon Aiyuk SF -0.8
48 WR17 DeVonta Smith PHI -0.8
49 RB19 Travis Etienne JAC -0.9
50 WR18 D.J. Moore CHI -0.9
51 WR19 Keenan Allen LAC -1.0
52 WR20 Elijah Moore CLE -1.1
53 WR21 Deebo Samuel SF -1.1
54 QB11 Dak Prescott DAL -1.2
55 QB12 Kirk Cousins MIN -1.2
56 WR22 Christian Watson GB -1.2
57 WR23 Amari Cooper CLE -1.3
58 TE4 Dallas Goedert PHI -1.4
59 WR24 Tyler Lockett SEA -1.4
60 WR25 Terry McLaurin WAS -1.4
61 WR26 Gabriel Davis BUF -1.4
62 RB20 James Cook BUF -1.4
63 RB21 Miles Sanders CAR -1.4
64 WR27 Drake London ATL -1.5
65 RB22 Alvin Kamara NO -1.5
66 WR28 DeAndre Hopkins TEN -1.5
67 RB23 Alexander Mattison MIN -1.5
68 WR29 Diontae Johnson PIT -1.6
69 TE5 David Njoku CLE -1.7
70 WR30 Courtland Sutton DEN -1.7
71 TE6 Kyle Pitts ATL -1.8
72 TE7 George Kittle SF -1.8
73 WR31 Mike Evans TB -1.9
74 QB13 Aaron Rodgers NYJ -1.9
75 WR32 Mike Williams LAC -2.0
76 QB14 Russell Wilson DEN -2.0
77 TE8 Evan Engram JAC -2.0
78 TE9 T.J. Hockenson MIN -2.2
79 RB24 James Conner ARI -2.2
80 QB15 Tua Tagovailoa MIA -2.3
81 WR33 Chris Godwin TB -2.3
82 WR34 Christian Kirk JAC -2.3
83 RB25 Rachaad White TB -2.3
84 WR35 Jahan Dotson WAS -2.4
85 WR36 Michael Pittman Jr. IND -2.4
86 WR37 J. Smith-Njigba SEA -2.5
87 QB16 Daniel Jones NYG -2.5
88 WR38 George Pickens PIT -2.6
89 RB26 Cam Akers LAR -2.6
90 WR39 Zay Flowers BAL -2.6
91 WR40 Jordan Addison MIN -2.6
92 RB27 Brian Robinson Jr. WAS -2.7
93 RB28 Javonte Williams DEN -2.8
94 TE10 Pat Freiermuth PIT -2.8
95 WR41 Brandin Cooks DAL -2.8
96 TE11 Juwan Johnson NO -2.9
97 WR42 Kadarius Toney KC -2.9
98 TE12 Dalton Kincaid BUF -2.9
99 RB29 Dalvin Cook NYJ -3.0
100 WR43 Treylon Burks TEN -3.0
101 RB30 Jonathan Taylor IND -3.2
102 WR44 Marquise Brown ARI -3.2
103 WR45 Michael Thomas NO -3.3
104 WR46 JuJu Smith-Schuster NE -3.5
105 RB31 Samaje Perine DEN -3.5
106 WR47 Skyy Moore KC -3.5
107 RB32 Antonio Gibson WAS -3.5
108 WR48 Jerry Jeudy DEN -3.7
109 RB33 Zach Charbonnet SEA -3.8
110 WR49 Marvin Mims DEN -3.8
111 WR50 Adam Thielen CAR -3.9
112 WR51 Nico Collins HOU -3.9
113 WR52 Odell Beckham Jr. BAL -3.9
114 RB34 Isiah Pacheco KC -3.9
115 WR53 Jakobi Meyers LV -4.0
116 RB35 Devon Achane MIA -4.0
117 WR54 Romeo Doubs GB -4.1
118 WR55 Jameson Williams DET -4.1
119 RB36 D'Andre Swift PHI -4.1
120 WR56 Puka Nacua LAR -4.2
121 TE13 Jake Ferguson DAL -4.2
122 TE14 Gerald Everett LAC -4.2
123 QB17 Derek Carr NO -4.2
124 WR57 Jonathan Mingo CAR -4.2
125 QB18 Jared Goff DET -4.3
126 TE15 Dalton Schultz HOU -4.3
127 WR58 Allen Lazard NYJ -4.4
128 QB19 Kyler Murray ARI -4.4
129 TE16 Chigoziem Okonkwo TEN -4.5
130 WR59 Darnell Mooney CHI -4.5
131 TE17 Hunter Henry NE -4.5
132 TE18 Tyler Higbee LAR -4.6
133 WR60 Michael Gallup DAL -4.6
134 WR61 Isaiah Hodgins NYG -4.6
135 WR62 DeVante Parker NE -4.7
136 RB37 Jeff Wilson MIA -4.7
137 TE19 Greg Dulcich DEN -4.7
138 TE20 Luke Musgrave GB -4.8
139 WR63 Rashod Bateman BAL -4.8
140 TE21 Tyler Conklin NYJ -4.8
141 RB38 Tank Bigsby JAC -4.9
142 WR64 D.J. Chark CAR -5.0
143 WR65 Alec Pierce IND -5.0
144 RB39 Khalil Herbert CHI -5.0
145 WR66 Quentin Johnston LAC -5.0
146 WR67 Tyler Boyd CIN -5.0
147 QB20 Jordan Love GB -5.1
148 RB40 AJ Dillon GB -5.1
149 QB21 Brock Purdy SF -5.1
150 TE22 Cole Kmet CHI -5.2
151 RB41 Tyler Allgeier ATL -5.3
152 RB42 Jaylen Warren PIT -5.3
153 QB22 Matthew Stafford LAR -5.3
154 WR68 Zay Jones JAC -5.3
155 WR69 Hunter Renfrow LV -5.4
156 QB23 Sam Howell WAS -5.4
157 TE23 Sam LaPorta DET -5.4
158 RB43 Tyjae Spears TEN -5.4
159 QB24 Anthony Richardson IND -5.5
160 WR70 Van Jefferson LAR -5.6
161 WR71 Parris Campbell NYG -5.6
162 WR72 Curtis Samuel WAS -5.7
163 RB44 Jerome Ford CLE -5.7
164 RB45 C. Edwards-Helaire KC -5.7
165 WR73 Mecole Hardman NYJ -5.7
166 WR74 Robert Woods HOU -5.8
167 WR75 Jalin Hyatt NYG -5.9
168 TE24 Hayden Hurst CAR -5.9
169 RB46 Roschon Johnson CHI -5.9
170 RB47 Jamaal Williams NO -5.9
171 QB25 Kenny Pickett PIT -6.0
172 WR76 K.J. Osborn MIN -6.1
173 RB48 Damien Harris BUF -6.1
174 QB26 Ryan Tannehill TEN -6.1
175 QB27 Mac Jones NE -6.2
176 RB49 Devin Singletary HOU -6.2
177 WR77 Michael Wilson ARI -6.2
178 RB50 Rashaad Penny PHI -6.2
179 RB51 Ezekiel Elliott NE -6.2
180 WR78 Darius Slayton NYG -6.3
181 RB52 Rico Dowdle DAL -6.4
182 RB53 Raheem Mostert MIA -6.4
183 TE25 Irv Smith CIN -6.4
184 QB28 Bryce Young CAR -6.7
185 RB54 Kendre Miller NO -6.8
186 WR79 Jayden Reed GB -6.8
187 WR80 Rashee Rice KC -6.8
188 WR81 Josh Downs IND -6.9
189 RB55 Deuce Vaughn DAL -6.9
190 RB56 Elijah Mitchell SF -6.9
191 WR82 M. Valdes-Scantling KC -6.9
192 WR83 Chase Claypool CHI -7.0
193 WR84 Rashid Shaheed NO -7.0
194 WR85 D. Peoples-Jones CLE -7.0
195 WR86 Josh Palmer LAC -7.0
196 RB57 Joshua Kelley LAC -7.0
197 RB58 Chris Evans CIN -7.0
198 RB59 Sean Tucker TB -7.0
199 WR87 Richie James KC -7.1
200 RB60 Kenneth Gainwell PHI -7.2
201 WR88 Tank Dell HOU -7.3
202 RB61 Evan Hull IND -7.3
203 RB62 Chuba Hubbard CAR -7.4
204 WR89 Marvin Jones DET -7.4
205 WR90 Braxton Berrios MIA -7.5
206 RB63 Jordan Mason SF -7.5
207 RB64 Ty Chandler MIN -7.6
208 RB65 Zamir White LV -7.7
209 WR91 Trey Palmer TB -7.8
210 RB66 Jerick McKinnon KC -7.8
211 RB67 D'Onta Foreman CHI -8.1
212 RB68 Kyren Williams LAR -8.3
213 RB69 Raheem Blackshear CAR -8.4
214 QB29 Jimmy Garoppolo LV -8.5
215 RB70 Chase Edmonds TB -8.6
216 RB71 Latavius Murray BUF -8.7
217 RB72 Keaontay Ingram ARI -8.8
218 WR92 Rondale Moore ARI -8.9
219 RB73 C. Patterson ATL -9.5
220 WR93 Wan'Dale Robinson NYG -9.6
221 WR94 Randall Cobb NYJ -10.1
222 RB74 Pierre Strong Jr. CLE -11.2
223 RB75 Zack Moss IND -11.9
224 RB76 Deon Jackson IND -12.4
225 RB77 Tyrion Davis-Price SF -12.5


PPR | Half-PPR | Non-PPR | Superflex | FFPC


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.