2023 FFPC Playoff Challenge Overview and Strategy

The FFPC Playoff Challenge is back again for 2023. 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 13, at 4:30pm ET

Similar to 2022, 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 $35 version of the contest, with that lower entry fee, 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 as the $200 one. The table below compares the two versions of the contest side by side. Note that the contest size and prize structure is IDENTICAL to what it was in 2022.

FFPC $200 Challenge (High Stakes) FFPC $35 Challenge (Low Stakes)
Entry Fee $200 $35
1st Place $500,000 $100,000
2nd Place $100,000 $50,000
Total Entries 7,800 16,000
Max Entries per person 150 150
Payout Depth Top 900 Top 1,800 … Cash Prizes down to 300th place, then $35 team credits thru 1800th place
Total Payouts $1,400,250 $476,500
Rules and Scoring are the same in both versions

2) Historical Results – Go HERE

This will show player ownership and points scored for 2022 playoffs, as well as links to spreadsheets that show ALL of the rosters of the teams from 2022, ordered by their finish in the competition.


  • Roster players from teams you project to play many games and score the most points.  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 2022 Roster compared with the Winning 2022 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 2022 Perfect Roster and conclusions on how it may 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 1.8% for the $35 version. There are league credits beyond the cash prizes in the $35 version, which put the overall prize line at 11.25%. That is less than the 12.5% line from 2022, but website subscriptions as prizes have been eliminated from 600 spots in the prize structure. This should make people pretty happy and a nice tradeoff in our opinion, as you have playable assets over potentially multiple subscriptions to the same website. Take a multi entry, GPP mindset for this contest, and keep in mind that the $200 contest provides a better chance of returning an actual cash prize (versus credits) if that is important to you.

Make no mistake, these contests WILL SELL OUT. They sold out in 2022, and the contest size has NOT been expanded.  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. If you are going to play, grab your entries early and fill out the teams later. So many “sad sacks” on the boards who express grief that they missed out when they had weeks to simply reserve the entries. #bruh


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 2022 competition, and let you decide.

$35 Entry

  • In the $35 Tourney, only 1 team maxed out with 150 entries. (The next highest entrant had 121 entries). The max entry player’s best finish across the 150 teams was within a 32 way tie for 63rd place (doh). The best finish of the second highest entrant (with 121 teams), finished in a 4 way tie for 30th place.
  • The team that finished 1st overall for the $100,000 prize had 9 entries
  • The team that finished 2nd in the $35 format (for $50,000) had 6 entries total.
  • The team that finished 3rd in the $35 format (for $25,000) had 20 entries total.
  • Do you need multiple entries to be a big winner? It helps… but in 2021 the teams that finished in 3rd and 4th overall ($25,000 and $10,000) only entered 1 team each. “You can do it!!!”

Here is a breakdown showing the number of teams entered by players in 2022. As we can see, 78% of all players competing in the 2022 $35 challenge entered just 1 or 2 teams.

$200 Entry

  • In the $200 FFPC Tourney, the team with the highest number of entries (121 of them) finished with nine cashing entries inside the top 850 teams. The highest finisher among those 121 teams was a 3 way tie for 12th place (approx $5,833 for that spot) .
  • The team that was the overall winner of the $500,000 entered only 5 teams. You can check out “their” interview HERE. Good watch where the 4 team members go into their strategy and actually run the broadcast themselves (admirably) for 10 minutes while Balky was M.I.A. with internet issues (ha!) .

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 for building your team for 2023 – Go HERE

Many players have their own process, but if you are new to this contest, you may want to consider the process we have outlined.