I'm not actually sure how long I've been projecting ownership for the FFPC Playoff Challenge. But I just found a tab in my spreadsheet labeled "2018 Projected %"... so it's been a while. And honestly, I have more fun doing this than almost anything else in fantasy.
If you're not familiar with the FFPC Playoff Challenge, it's not hard to get your head around it. In short, you select a play from every playoff team to fill out your roster, which looks like this:
The Super Bowl round comes with a 2x multiplier. And, as with all things FFPC, TE scoring is 1.5 PPR, with full PPR for WRs and RBs.
The "FADE" position doesn't actually exist on the FFPC site. You simply don't select anything from two of the 14 playoff teams. But I think it's important to realize that you are making a decision on these two teams.
Thoughtfully considering your fades is part of the strategy in this contest. For example, this year's field will consist of rosters with Browns DST... with no Texan selected. If your goal is to win the contest, this is not ideal. If "soft fading" the Browns by taking their defense, recognize that you're functionally betting on the Texans to win... and select a Texan.
And that's it. It's a very simple contest. But there's beauty in the simplicity.
This is a contest where this lineup is available to anyone who wants it.
- Lamar Jackson
- Christian McCaffrey
- Kyren Williams
- CeeDee Lamb
- Amon-Ra St. Brown
- Travis Kelce
- Tyreek Hill
- Stefon Diggs
- A.J. Brown
- Amari Cooper
- Chase McLaughlin
- Houston Defense
- Steelers FADE
- Packers FADE
But should you actually play this lineup?
Let's zoom out for a second. This tournament has 7,800 entries with a $200 entry fee. And here's the payout structure:
"Top-heavy" doesn't really do this payout structure justice. Finishing first is worth over 55x the 10th place prize. There's no point playing this contest if you're not shooting for first place—with a solo first-place finish.
Per Fantasy Mojo, last year's most popular roster was entered... 100 times.
The second most popular roster was entered... 99 times.
These 99 galaxy-brained individuals made just one pivot off the chalkiest roster, opting to play Chris Godwin and the Jaguars defense instead of Travis Etienne and the Buccaneers defense.
And these two lineups weren't the only major chalk. 32 different rosters were entered at least 10 times, with these rosters combining for an absurd 761 entries. Meaning... nearly 10% of last year's field was made up of rosters entered at least 10 times.
Simply landing on a unique roster dramatically increased your odds of a huge payday. And those who got different were rewarded.
Last year's top six prizes were paid out to six different unique rosters. And in 2021, the top 38 prizes all went to unique rosters. It pays to get unique here.
So yes, this contest is simple... but that simplicity is deceptive. If you play the best plays and log out, you're an absolute lock to chop the top prize, and you'll likely be chopping with an egregious number of other contests.
In order to avoid this... it's helpful to have good ownership projections.
I have you covered.
Below, you'll find a spreadsheet with my current projections for the field. This will be updated through Friday night as news shifts.
Ship Chasing Coverage
On Ship Chasing, we're also two nights into a four-night playoff week extravaganza. Check out the first two episodes here:
FFPC Playoff Challenge Primer & Boomer Opto Reveal
FFPC Playoff Challenge - Pat's Ownership Projections
We'll be back Thursday night with Sackreligious and Drico to further discuss the FFPC contest as well as dive into the playoff contests on NFC and Underdog.
Playoff Contest Prep w/ Stat Chasing - UD, FFPC & NFC
We're then closing out the week with Mike Leone and Drew Dinkmeyer in our final preparation before building rosters.
The Current Landscape
My current thoughts on the ownership landscape boil down to two crucial decision points:
- Lamar Jackson vs. Josh Allen
- Playing or fading A.J. Brown
When looking at Lamar Jackson's projection, your immediate reaction is likely to be... that's too low. But then you'll scroll down to Josh Allen's... and think the same thing. Currently, I think the weakness of Baltimore's other options and the Ravens' strong Super Bowl odds will keep Jackson as the primary chalk... but he won't have an overwhelming lead.
A.J. Brown's health is also crucial. If healthy, Eagles ownership will consolidate to Brown. But if contestants don't feel comfortable taking the leap – especially with the Eagles playing on Monday Night in a contest that locks on Saturday afternoon – it will shift the landscape. Without a healthy Brown, we'll see more fades of the Eagles and more Dallas Goedert. That will boost Buccaneers ownership and likely shift some contestants away from Travis Kelce, who projects at this year's chalk tight end, but only by default.
I'll continue to update things as I get a better sense of where the field is headed, but those are the two biggest spots to think through at the moment.
Here's the spreadsheet: