2023 Playoff Challenge Team Building Strategy
Based on the data, it is evident that the top finishers typically own a mix of chalk players and outliers. Going all chalk or all outlier, is unlikely to end well. But it all starts with targeting players who are going to play in multiple games.
The process goes something like this:
1) Map out the playoff scenarios you expect to play out. Fill out some brackets with varying scenarios. Ideally mix in some upsets as well. Determine the number of games that you expect each team to play based on your projections.
2) Project the highest QB, RB, WR, TE point scorers based on your scenarios.
3) Fill out your FFPC rosters, based on the projections.
In optimizing for the highest score, you just can’t roster the player with the highest score from a team, which is usually the quarterback. You need to consider the drop offs in points within other skill positions from one player to the next.
Josh Allen will likely be considered a top option at QB. However we must consider that we only need to roster ONE quarterback vs 9 RB/WR/TE. If you choose to use your BUF slot on Allen, then you can’t use your WR slot on Stefon Diggs. The question becomes this: After adjusting player points for games played and Superbowl bonus, are the combined points of Allen + AJ Brown (for instance), greater than the combined points of Jalen Hurts + Stefon Diggs? Even though you may have Allen as the highest scoring QB through the playoffs, that does not matter when you optimize the lineup. Jalen Hurts may be the preferred option here if the point differential between Allen + AJ is less than Hurts + Diggs.
4) Ideally you will have multiple lineups and can mix in some contrarian plays. YOU SHOULD MIX IN SOME CONTRARIAN PLAYS. As seen in the top finishing teams from last year, the presence of low owned, high scoring outliers (ie. Chrisian Kirk, Dalton Schultz) was a key to success. This can be especially important with the teams that end up one and done. DK Metcalf is a prime example, as the optimal roster showed. He scored 35.6 points in the one game the Seahawks played, a 41-23 loss to San Francisco where he went 10/136/2. This can give you an edge over the rest of the field whose one and done players were much lower. If you’re just putting in a couple lineups, you may as well shoot for the stars and craft something with a minimum of 1 or 2 upside contrarian players if you are serious about taking down the top prize. Ask yourself if you want to cash or WIN. As mentioned elsewhere, the cash lines are pretty high, so you really need a GPP mindset to take the whole thing down. If you do have a large number of lineups, and are very confident about a particular one or two, consider entering duplicates of that lineup. This approach is not uncommon with the high volume players. The thought behind this is, “If it’s good enough to win, then why not take down 1st AND 2nd with that lineup?”
If you are comfortable using Microsoft Excel and have used our optimizer tool in the past, it can be found HERE