2020 FFPC Playoff Challenge Overview and Strategy

The FFPC Playoff Challenge is back again for 2020. For those that are new to this competition, we would like to give an overview of the competition, and some historical data to look at.

1) Overview

You can go to the FFPC Playoff challenge overview HERE for complete rules, but here are the highlights:

  • Create a roster of 12 Players in the FFPC roster format. THIS IS A CHANGE FROM THE 2019 FORMAT.  As noted by the FFPC “The 2020/21 FFPC Playoff Challenge will have 12 starting roster spots rather than the 10 starting roster spots in a typical FFPC starting lineup. The two added starting roster spots will both be FLEX spots (Flex can be RB, WR or TE). “

There is no draft. Simply select your roster as described below. This will be your roster for the entire duration of the contest. Contest runs from the first week of the NFL playoffs thru the Super Bowl. Each week’s score will be added to your team’s total which will accumulate for the duration of the contest. Super Bowl points will count as DOUBLE the points toward each team’s total.

4-Flex (RB, WR or TE)

  •  ONLY ONE PLAYER PER NFL TEAM -> Your lineup will consist of 12 players from the 14 playoff teams. (Which two teams do you fade?) The software will enforce this when you create your lineups
  • Scoring is FFPC format (PPR w/ a 1.5 PPR TE premium)

Similar to 2019, there are two versions of this contest, distinguished by their entry fee.  The flagship “FFPC” Playoff Challenge version carries a $200 entry fee per team with a grand prize of $500,000. The “Footballguys” version of the contest  has a lower entry fee of $35 per team, and has a grand prize of $100,000. Note, however, the number of teams you will be competing against is about 50% larger in the $35 format than the $200 one. The table below compares the two versions of the contest side by side.

FFPC Challenge (High Stakes Pal) Footballguys Challenge (Low Stakes)
Entry Fee $200 $35
Top Prize $500,000 $100,000
Total Entries 6,250 (6,500 last year) 12,500 (10,000 last year)
Max Entries per person 150 150
Payout Depth Top 700 (600 last year) Top 1,800 (1,600 last year) / Cash Prizes down to 300th place
Total Payouts $1,092,250 $370,000
Rules and Scoring are the same in both versions

2) Historical Results – Go HERE

This will show player ownership and points scored for 2019 playoffs, as well as links to spreadsheets that show ALL of the rosters of the teams from 2019, ordered by their finish in the competition.


  • Roster players from teams you project to play many games and score the most points, duh.  Points from Super Bowl participants are DOUBLED. (Hint: This is important).
  • Roster uniqueness is paramount. The top winners (as you can see when reviewing rosters from last year, or the year before) have unique rosters.  Chopping the pot with a large group of your closest friends is not a winning strategy, and is highly unlikely regardless. The 2019 “Chalk Squad” (featuring the glam boys of Lamar Jackson, George Kittle, Travis Kelce) was repeated by 95 teams, and finished in 1500th place. While 73% of the field chased George Kittle from San Francisco, it was Raheem Mostert (11% owned) who took the top finishing teams to the promised land in the end.
  • The Perfect 2019 Roster compared with the Winning 2019 Roster reinforces that uniqueness is important, and that the TE position, is perhaps not as critical to your success as you might suspect in this TE Premium format.
  • The cash line in these contests stand at the top 11.2% in the $200 entry version and just the top 2.4%  for the Footballguys version (there are league credits and Footballguys subscriptions beyond that. NOT what you are playing for most likely). Take a multi entry, GPP mindset for this contest

Make no mistake, these contests WILL SELL OUT.  Here is what to expect, as it happens every year:

Initial signups will be slow. On the message boards, folks will ask if the event is near selling out, and will slow play entering themselves. “I’m gonna wait….”

A publicity blitz ensues, and signups accelerate rapidly

The contest sells out

People on the message boards express disappointment and displeasure that there are no spots left. Don’t be that guy.


3) A framework (and tool) for building your team for 2020 – Go HERE

Many players have their own process, but if you are new to this contest, you may want to consider the framework we outline which is based on tools we have used to identify players that you will want to roster, and a roster construction based on analysis of previous winners. Even if  you are a veteran of this contest, you will at least find these recommendations “interesting”. The spreadsheet optimizer we have created to assist you in putting together the lineups will also give you a jump start on building lineups, and easily doing “what if” analysis based on points projected per player, number of games played, and Superbowl participants. For some, it may be considered a gamechanger for this contest. We have updated our 2019 tool to account for the changes in 2020, specifically, two additional flex spots have been added to the tool. Note that the spreadhsheet requires a minimum of Excel 2007 and you must enable macros within the spreadsheet once it has opened. Our 2019 tutorial video below walks through the usage of the 2019 tool. The process will be the same for 2020, with the exception of the optimized lineup including the additional 2 flex spots.