2022 Footballguys Players Championship Primer and 2021 Retrospective

2022 Preview

The FFPC Footballguys Players Championship is one of the most popular national tournaments in fantasy football today. It is the flagship “mid-stakes” competition at the FFPC with an entry fee of $350 per team. Both slow and live 20 round drafts begin on May 1st for 2022, right after the NFL draft has completed. Prizes are awarded for winning your individual league ( 1st Place  $1,500 cash or free entry into a 2023 FFPC Main Event,  2nd place wins $500), but the goal, obviously, is to make it to the Championship Round of the competition and take down the $500,000 overall prize. In addition to the overall grand prize in 2022, the six figure second place prize has been raised from $100,000 to $150,000. The number of leagues has been raised from 1100 to 1250 to enable this bump. In addition to the massive 2nd place bump, some other notable payout changes include cash prizes paid down to 200th place (vs 125 in 2021), and upping the number of free entries into the 2023 competition from 275 to 500. Teams finishing in 201st – 700th will receive this free 2023 Footballguys contest entry.

Here is a side by side comparison of the top 2021 prizes vs what is new for 2022:

The competition schedule is broken into 3 segments, the same as 2021:

  • Regular Season – The 2022 regular season WILL BE 12 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). Newer players should keep in mind that there will be players on bye weeks during this championship period. Week 13 byes include ARI and CAR. Week 14 is a heavier bye week with 6 teams off including ATL, CHI, GB, IND, NO, and WAS. If you make it to the league championships and lose week 13, there is no league prize money. Making it to the Week 14 championship game has a 1st place prize of $1500 and 2nd place prize of $500. Carrying week 13/14 bye players strengthens your team to win the league (as you won’t have to fill in for them during regular season byes), but you may stumble in the league championships. Advancing to the Championship Round should be the focus however. Regardless of your league championship outcome, the top two (2) seeds (highest points and best record) of each League in the regular season earn an automatic berth into the Championship Round, where the big money prize is. The League Champion also earns a berth into the Championship Round, so you if you win the league as a 3/4 seed coming into them, you also advance to the Championship Round.
  • 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. In 2021, the Championship Round had 2,684 teams competing against one another in this 3 week sprint. It’s not JUST about week 17, but a cumulative performance across 3 weeks. This year, that number should be closer to 3,000 with the addition of 150 more leagues to the tournament.

For complete rules and prizes, visit the OFFICIAL overview of the competition HERE.

Early drafters in the tournament often consist of the most hard core players of the FFPC. They will hop in early and often during the early months of the draft season. Some of these players will end up with over 100 teams, in the hope of obtaining as many “bullets” as possible to fire in the Championship Round. The player pool tends to widen as the summer months kick in, and the volume of drafts increase day by day. Additionally, draft results tend to vary more as the draft season progresses in lock step with the widening of the players who participate in the drafts. The chart below shows how many drafts were started on a given day during the 2021 draft season. After an initial launch of slow teams (14 on the first day of 2021), roughly 3 – 5 drafts per day fire off until August, when the volume begins to spike and around 30 drafts per day are running in early September during the “Draft-A-Thon” that the FFPC holds where drafts go early morning until late at night.

 2021 Retrospective

In 2021, the contest was comprised of 1100 individual leagues of 12 teams. The drafts for these leagues were conducted over the course of the preseason, beginning right after the NFL draft in May, and running right up until the Sunday Week 1 kickoff on September 10th. 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.

If you are a new player, the data contained in these reports should help provide you with a framework for drafting in 2022. 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, and you may find reviewing the 2021 waiver wire pickups to help provide some guidance there, in terms of 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 (15-17) sprint which can be unpredictable. In 2021, there were 2200 teams in the Championship Round. There is a lot of player overlap among the teams obviously. Having the top performers during weeks 15-17 (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.

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 $7,500 (5th).

The master chart that we compile will show:

• Every player rostered on every top 5 finisher during the championship rounds (weeks 14-16)
• Where each player’s performance ranked within their position during the championship rounds
• Which players were acquired via waivers
• A link to the draft board of every team’s draft
• Indicate the draft position of the team
• Show the date of the team’s draft
• Show if the team drafted LIVE or in a SLOW draft



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 Championship Round in 2020.


Player Advance Rates To The Championship Round

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 Championship Round Team

This analysis looks at the drafts of the teams that made it to the Championship Round and counts the number of rookies drafted by those teams to determine if there is an optimal number of rookies to draft.


Championship Round Finish For Teams By Month Drafted

This analysis takes a very close look at the overall finish of teams within the Championship round based on where they finished and what month they drafted their team. There is a lot of speculation regarding when the best time is to draft your Footballguys team. Is it better to draft them early in the preseason and land players BEFORE their ADP might rise? Or is it better to play it safe, and wait until closer to the season to avoid any potential landmines around player injuries?


Player Stacking

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 Joe Burrow / Ja’Marr Chase 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).

2021 Footballguys Tournament Final Standings Stack Explorer