How we're taking on the Fantasy Football Playoof Challenge

Thursday, 07 January 2021 17:30 EST

You want to play a wacky fantasy football contest during the NFL playoffs? Check out the Fantasy Football Playoff Challenge; single entries cost either $35 to $200, with a $200,000 grand prize.

The FFPC format calls for players to fill out a 12-spot roster composed of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 4 flex (RB/WR/TE), a kicker and a defense. The final submitted 12-man team is set throughout the postseason – no adds or drops – and points are cumulative through the Super Bowl. For the Super Bowl, all fantasy points are doubled. Remember that when a player’s team is eliminated, he takes a zero for that roster spot from then on.

The point system goes as follows:

•  4 pts for passing TDs
•  6 pts for non-passing TDs scored in any way by an individual player
•  1 pt for every 20 yards passing
•  -1 point for every interception thrown
•  1 point for every 10 yards rushing or receiving
•  1 pt per reception for RBs and WRs (or QB)
•  1.5 pt per reception for TEs
•  2 points for 2-pt conversion
•  1 point for PAT conversion
•  3 points for every FG of 1 - 30 yards plus .1 point for every yard thereafter
•  1 pt for D/ST sack, 2 pts for all turnovers
•  6 pts for all D/ST touchdowns
•  2 points for every return after a blocked/failed extra point or failed two-point try (i.e. on an interception or fumble)
•  5 pts for every safety
•  12 points for every shutout
•  8 points for allowing between 1-6 points
•  5 points for allowing between 7- 10 points

This format has been run for a few years now and, like most other gambling considerations, has been thrown an extra wrinkle with those newly added no. 7 seeds. For example, with 12 spots open but 14 teams represented, more fantasy owners have a decent chance of suiting up the maximum possible 8 players for the divisional rounds. (Not to mention that Covid and AFC tiebreakers have conspired to create at least four serious longshots in the wildcard round: Cleveland, Indianapolis, Washington and Chicago.)

After way too much deliberation and flipflopping, NFLbets has our FFPC roster card filled out thusly.

QB – Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills. The way NFLbets figures things, because of the top seeds’ bye week, the greatest potential number of points in FFPC fantasy will be earned by any Super Bowl quarterback that is not Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers. Therefore, we’re going with the quarterback we’ve got to win the AFC anyway here. 

RB ­-- Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints. You know who enjoyed the Arizona Cardinals’ late-season collapse and eventual playoff elimination? Bears fans and FFPC fantasy players. Thanks to Chicago squeaking in, the Saints most likely will survive this first week of play. As the dominant force in the New Orleans offense, Kamara would probably get this spot regardless of the Saints’ chances to advance – it’s just to guess he’ll be around for at least two games…

RB – Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

WR – Marquese Brown, Baltimore Ravens. As of Thursday, NFLbets is still mulling over Baltimore Ravens -3½ at Tennessee, so we’re devoting one space to the leader in all-purpose yards for each of two very high-scoring offenses right now. Even in just a single game, either one of these guys could go for two TDs.

WR – Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. An apparent knee injury taken in week 17 by Evans has been diagnosed as a hyperextension only. As such, Evnas is participating in practice leading up to the game and is a no-brainer on the level of Derrick Henry.

TE – Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs. Because, really, who else are you running with here? With Kelce aboard, this essentially becomes a third WR slot.

F1RB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers. Packers backs have run for at least 120 yards in five of the past six games and as the leading RB, Jones should see plenty of opportunities if/when Green Bay plays with an early lead. Plus, Jones is second-high on the team in targets; combine this with the likelihood that the Packers get to the NFC championship and this is a no brainer.

F2 – WR Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams. On one hand, the choice of Kupp carries some risk in that he’s playing with John Wolford for the first time ever in the QB’s second career NFL start. On the other hand, Kupp has made Jared Goff look good for two seasons now and, representing virtually the only deep threat among the Rams WR corps, garnered a crazy 124 targets (crazy because Robert Woods was good for 129). Can Wolford throw the long ball? If he can, he’ll be finding Kupp downfield.

F3 – RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns. NFLbets dithered between Chubb and Kareem Hunt for well too long: Chubb racked up 1,217 all-purpose yards, Hunt went for 1,145. Chubb scored 12 times versus Hunt’s 6, but at 51 to 18, Hunt had nearly three times the receptions. Eventually, we landed on Chubb based primarily on Hunt’s recent statistical downturn and two games of below 60 yards against the Steelers thus far this year. Plus, we’re figuring on ground touchdowns in a grind-it-out first rounder.

F3 – .D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks. Metcalf cooled off in the season’s second half, just once topping either 8 targets and 80 yards in a game just once after week 9. Worse yet, he’ll be going up against All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey and a Rams defense which has kept QBs under 240 passing yards for 10 games straight. Yet all it might take for the Seahawks in this first game is a late TD (to Metcalf!) to advance and face a more pass-friendly defnse.  

K – Cairo Santos, Chicago Bears. At least Chicago has one advantageous player for playoff fantasy football: Santos was a league-best 30-of-32 on field goal attempts in 2020, and he’s 11 of 13 on kicks of 40 or more yards. Now we have only to hope the Bears can put up a few points against New Orleans…

DEF – Pittsburgh Steelers. Not necessarily the best choice here, particularly as the Browns are coming in with a substitute head coach and will be mostly practice-free, but what other Pittsburgh “skill players” are worth the spot here? NFLbets has never hoped for a Cleveland Browns upset so mightily…

–written by Os Davis