2021 Main Event Preview and 2020 Retrospective
The Main Event is the FFPC’s flagship high stakes season long format competition with an entry fee of around $1,900 (less when leveraging discounts for multiple teams). Slow drafts begin 4th of July, and Live Drafts are scheduled to being August 20th. Prizes are awarded for finishing as 1 or 2 seeds within your league after the 12 week regular season ($2,000) and additional prize money for placing 1st ($4,000), 2nd ($1,500), or 3rd ($500) in the league playoffs. A total of $11,800 is allocated to league prize money among the top finishers in individual leagues. The true goal, obviously, is to make it to the Championship Round of the competition and take the $500,000 overall prize. Second place receives $100,000, and then lesser amounts scaling down to 125th place of $1,000. In 2021, there will be a maximum of 250 leagues (3,000 teams). In 2020 there were 210 leagues (2,520 total). Only 17 leagues were drafted live in 2020 due to Covid, yet the FFPC still held live events in Las Vegas.
The competition’s schedule is broken into 3 segments (Note Modifications for 2021):
- Regular Season – The 2021 regular season WILL BE 12 WEEKS. This is a change from previous years which were 11 weeks. The 12th week is being added due to the expanding of the NFL regular season from 17 to 18 weeks. Week 6 will be conducted as an “ALL-PLAY” week, where the 12 teams will be ranked according to points. The top 6 teams get a win, and the bottom 6 teams a loss.
- League Championships – Weeks 13 and 14 are a 2 week head to head elimination between the top 4 seeds coming out of the regular season (seeds based on overall record and win loss record).
- Championship Round – From each league, 2 to 3 teams will earn a berth to the Championship Round, which is a 3 week total points sprint in weeks 15 -17 for the overall title. The regular season overall points leader and win-loss leader from each league automatically win berths into the Championship Round. An additional third team can make it to the Championship Round if they win the league championship, but were not the league point / win-loss leader.
For complete rules and prizes, visit the OFFICIAL overview of the competition HERE.
In 2020, the contest was comprised of 210 individual leagues of 12 teams. The drafts for these leagues were conducted over the course of the preseason, beginning July 6th, and running right up until the Sunday Week 1 kickoff on September 13th, so players were drafting Main Event teams hours before kickoff on opening Sunday. True degenerates! Similar to our Best Ball Analysis, we have examined the drafts of the winning teams in this competition to identify trends on player selection and roster construction. Most of the analysis focuses specifically on what was done during online drafts because data from Live drafts held in Las Vegas is not available. Picks made on giant cardboard grids are not translated to digital format unfortunately. Even so, with so few drafts in Vegas, we have draft data from 92% of leagues to base analysis on.
If you are a new player, the data contained in these reports should help provide you with a framework for drafting in 2021. If you are an experienced player, a lot of what you see may seem like things you already know, but seeing the numbers crunched should confirm a lot of the best practices that you have been implementing when drafting these teams in the past. Also note that unlike best ball, the drafts for these season long contests are only a partial component of overall success. Waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup decisions also play a huge part in determining your success. You may find reviewing the 2020 waiver wire pickups helpfule to provide some guidance there. You can see how much FAAB is generally required to win players based on the particular week of the season. You can find that data HERE.
The analyses provided here are in the context of making it to the Championship Round. Success during the Championship Round is going to be based primarily on the production of players within that 3 week (14-16) sprint which can be unpredictable. In 2020, there were 510 teams in the Championship Round. There is a lot of player overlap among the teams obviously. Having the top performers during weeks 14-16 (and actually starting them) is the primary determination of your success there. When you review the “Deep Dive into the Top 5 Overall Winners”, we note a player’s statistical ranking specifically within that timeframe.
2021 was a challenging year for the Main Event, as COVID obviously made managing teams and setting lineups very challenging. We may not be completely out of the woods in 2021, but the moving of the second weekly waiver run to Sunday morning is going to continue this year. Also, because the NFL has extended the regular season by an additional week (from 17 weeks to 18 weeks), the regular season now extends 12 weeks (instead of 11). Week 6 will be an “All Play” week in leagues. If you are one of the top 6 scorers in your league that week, you get a win. League Championships are in weeks 13-14, and the Championship Round will happen during weeks 15-17.
If you want a thorough summary of how things went in 2020, we penned a guest article over at Footballguys.com which summarized the year (for the Footballguys tournament). That is HERE.
Enough of the chit chat, let’s look at the data! (FYI, the analyses themselves are premium subscriber material)
Roster Deep Dive of the Top 5 Winners Overall
An in depth look at the rosters of top 5 teams overall from 2020 with a master chart that breaks down the detail from each of those teams. These teams won between $500,000 (1st) and $15,000 (5th).
The master chart that we compile will show:
• Every player rostered on every top 5 finisher during the championship rounds (weeks 14-16)
Draft Slots of Winning Teams
This analysis examines the draft slots of the teams that made it into the Championship round
Winning Roster Construction of Drafted Teams
This analysis breaks down the number of players drafted at each position for every team, and compares those metrics with the number of players drafted at each position by every team that made it to the Main Event Championship Round in 2020.
Championship Round Teams Player Ownership Rate
This analysis looks at the drafts of the teams that made it to the championship round and looks at the percentage of players owned on those teams.
Rookies Drafted Per Main Event Championship Round Team
This analysis looks at the drafts of the teams that made it to the Main Event Championship Round and counts the number of rookies drafted by those teams to determine if there is an optimal number of rookies to draft.
We have created a few player “Stack Explorer” tools on the site. These have been very popular during the tournament draft season. We also created a stack explorer which lets you analyze player stacks for the teams that made it to the Championship Round. Based on a particular player stack, you can see which teams in the Championship Round had that stack, and also what their final standing was. The Josh Allen / Stefon Diggs stack was VERY successful, and as you will see in the explorer, was a stack many of the top finishers had. (Note that the teams in the Main Event Championship Round can also be analyzed using this tool).