2022 FFPC Playoff Challenge Overview and Strategy

The FFPC Playoff Challenge is back again for 2022. 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.

Note: If you DO NOT have an FFPC account yet and want $25 off your first team, sign up with the link HERE.

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. 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)
  • Final Rosters must be submitted before kickoff of the first playoff game Saturday January 14th @ 4:25 PM EST

Similar to 2021, 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 twice as large 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) Footballguys Challenge (Low Stakes)
Entry Fee $200 $35
1st Place $500,000 (Same Last Year) $100,000 (Same Last Year)
2nd Place $100,000 (Same as last year) $50,000 (Same as last year)
Total Entries 7,800 (7,250 last year) 16,000 (15,000 last year)
Max Entries per person 150 150
Payout Depth Top 900 (850 last year) Top 2,000 (Same as last year) / Cash Prizes down to 350th place
Total Payouts $1,400,250 ($1,289,250 last year) $476,250 ($446,250 last year)
Rules and Scoring are the same in both versions

2) Historical Results – Go HERE

This will show player ownership and points scored for 2021 playoffs, as well as links to spreadsheets that show ALL of the rosters of the teams from 2021, 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 usually (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 fun outcome.
  • The Perfect 2021 Roster compared with the Winning 2021 Roster reinforces the theme of uniqueness, and it is a trend seen the past 4 years. Winning teams (and perfect ones) will roster players with low ownership percentages, but you need a fine balance of chalk top scorers to keep up with the pack in combination with a few sleepers that will separate you from the rest of the pack. To view the 2021 Perfect Roster and conclusions on how it should shape your roster construction, go HERE
  • The cash line in these contests stand at the top 11.5% in the $200 entry version and just the top 2.2% for the Footballguys version (there are league credits and Footballguys subscriptions beyond that, which put a “prize” line at 12.5% but credits and Footballguys subs < $$$). Take a multi entry, GPP mindset for this contest, and keep in mind that the $200 contest provides a better chance of returning a cash prize (versus credits/subscriptions).

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)How many entries do I need to succeed?

In either format ($35/$200 entry), the maximum number of entries is 150. Let’s look at some facts around entries from the 2021 competition, and let you decide.

$35 Entry

  • In the $35 Footballguys Tourney, only 1 team maxed out with 150 entries. (The next highest entrant had 52 entries). The max entry player WON the competition. It doesn’t really matter but we should note that only 3 of their 150 entries finished above the cash line. The other cashing entries finished in 9th ($4,000) and 156th ($150).
  • The team that finished 2nd in the Footballguys format (for $50,000) had 20 entries total. It’s next highest finishing team was at 1502 overall, but neither that or any other cashed.
  • The teams that finished in 3rd and 4th overall ($25,000 and $10,000) only entered 1 team each. “You can do it!!!”

$200 Entry

  • In the $200 FFPC Tourney, the team with the highest number of entries (100 of them) finished with just one single cashing team at 767th place for $200. That means $20,000 of entries netted $200 (#bruh) .
  • The team with the second highest number of entries (93), had 22 of them cash (finishing higher than 850th place). This is amazing. Still, though this team was broadly successful (hitting on 23% of entries), it still only netted $10,950 on the $18,600 entry fees.
  • The team that was the overall winner of the $500,000 (Chuck Root), entered only 4 teams. You can check out his interview HERE. It should be an inspiring watch in this day and age of “theses” and “models” as his approach was rather straightforward and shows that everyone has a chance in the contest. In his case, he didn’t need to flood the contest with entries. Similarly, the team that won 2nd place ($100,000) had 3 total entries.

To sum it up, you’re in this contest to win it. You’re going to have to hit the nuts to take it down. A philosophy of playing it safe to yield some lineups that finish simply above the cash line probably isn’t the greatest approach, so aim high.

4) A framework (and tool) for building your team for 2022 – 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 (to be released after all Playoff teams are finalized) 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. Note that the spreadsheet is a Windows (only) tool and requires a minimum of Excel 2007. You must enable macros within the spreadsheet once it has opened. Our tutorial video below walks through the usage of the 2019 tool but the process is the same with the exception of the optimized lineup including the additional 2 flex spots. The 2022 version of the tool will be released shortly after the teams for the playoffs are finalized. Target date Monday, January 9th.