2023-24 FFPC Playoff Challenge 2 Strategy


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2023-24 FFPC Playoff Challenge 2 Strategy

We are back for more FFPC Playoff Challenge fun! The FFPC Playoff Challenge 2 is similar to the first FFPC Playoff Challenge, except it starts in the divisional round. If you want more playoff fantasy to play or your teams from the first playoff challenge don’t look too great, this is a great tournament to get in on.

First, I will go over the rules to help explain what the tournament is and how to play if you have not heard of the tournament before.

All of the information can be found on the FFPC site here (use code POINTS at checkout).

FFPC offers both a $200 and $35 tournament. Both have the same rules, but the $35 tournament has about double the number of entries, so it will be slightly harder to win it all.

This time around, your roster only needs 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, and 2 FLEX. There is no kicker or defense and you no longer have to fade two teams entirely. This means you are picking a player from every team remaining in the playoffs.

The scoring is the same as any FFPC leagues: 4 points per passing TD, 6 for all other TDs, 1 point per 20 passing yards, 1 point per 10 rushing/receiving yards, and 1 point per reception — except tight ends, who get 1.5 points per reception (TE premium scoring). All points are doubled for players in the Super Bowl.

Below I will run through my player pool for each position and how I would think about using players in certain lineups.


Tier 1: Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson

There are two obvious options at QB — Lamar and Allen made up nearly 75% of the QB ownership in the first FFPC Playoff Challenge, and expect their ownership to be even higher in this tournament. They both have elite rushing upside and if either of them make the Super Bowl it will be hard for them to not be the optimal QB and the optimal player from their team. If you are only making a few lineups I would be using either of these QBs.

Tier 2: Patrick Mahomes

Barring a surprise Super Bowl run from teams like the Texans or Packers, I really don’t think another of QBs will be viable in this tournament besides Patrick Mahomes. Jordan Love and C.J. Stroud could be the optimal player from their teams, but they have slim chances to get to the Super Bowl and will likely be outscored heavily by other QBs. It will be hard for Jared Goff and Brock Purdy to be the optimal players from their teams, given the high-value skill players on their teams.

Unless you are building a ton of teams the only other QB I would consider is Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs are very live to make a Super Bowl run, and with matchups versus the Bills and likely Ravens, Mahomes will have to be at the top of his game to get his team there. The Chiefs spread the ball around enough for Mahomes to be the highest scorer on his team by a wide margin making him an interesting leverage play at QB.

Running Backs

Tier 1: Christian McCaffrey

McCaffrey is possibly the only “lock” in this entire tournament. He likely will be 80+% owned, and rightfully so. The running back options are not particularly strong, so being able to fill one with him will be extremely popular. If you think the 49ers lose to the Packers or Lions, you can get a lot of leverage from players like Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, or George Kittle. I would not recommend that though, unless you are playing a lot of lineups.

Tier 2: Aaron Jones, Jahmyr Gibbs, James Cook, Devin Singletary

These are my next favorite group of running backs, headlined by Aaron Jones. We saw the ceiling Jones has right now in this offense against the Cowboys. Even if the Packers are trailing, he will still be involved in the game catching passes. My guess is he will be the 2nd most popular running back, though, because entrants will be afraid of picking a Green Bay WR.

Both Gibbs and Cook are stuck in a bit of a timeshare, but they both are still heavily involved in their team’s offenses regardless of game script. Both also are teams that are currently projected to win. Cook will make a ton of sense as the natural leverage spot off of Josh Allen if you go with another QB, and ideally, the Bills lose to the Chiefs in that scenario. I think the Lions will want to attack the 49ers on the ground if they win this week. In that scenario, you just want to hope he can match the other Lions’ skill player scores this week.

Singletary is a bit interesting as leverage off of Nico Collins. If the Texans struggle as a whole, you just need Singletary to fall into the endzone once to fill an RB spot and open up WR spots for other players. He is getting all of the volume for the Texans.

Tier 3: Isiah Pacheco, Gus Edwards, Rachaad White

I heavily debated putting Pacheco in Tier 2, but the game we saw from Rashee Rice last week pushed me to put him in Tier 3. Pacheco has a great workload, but with Rashee getting a consolidation of targets and the Chiefs likely having to pass their way to victories moving forward, I find it hard to believe he can be the optimal Kansas City player. The more games the Chiefs win, the more I’d prefer using Mahomes over Pacheco.

Gus Edwards is interesting as leverage off of Lamar Jackson, but you have to hope they lose. Edwards absolutely could outscore Lamar in a single game. Doing that over multiple games and if they are trailing makes that a tough needle to thread. Rachaad White just has a horrible matchup against the Lions, and I don’t believe they can win that game, so I will not be using him.

Wide Receivers

Tier 1: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Mike Evans, Nico Collins, Rashee Rice

There honestly are a lot of great wide receiver options, and I had a tough time nailing down the top tier. Nico Collins will be extremely popular, and rightfully so. CJ Stroud is on fire right now, and you get almost all of Stroud’s points through Collins. Evans just missed on having a huge night for the Bucs with some drops. I do wonder if people will be scared off him a bit in another great matchup versus a struggling Lions secondary.

Amon-Ra St. Brown didn’t have a huge game, and that is great for him in this tournament. I actually think he won’t be as popular with seeing LaPorta play a normal role last week. He will still be the most popular Lions player, but probably not 75% owned again. Rashee Rice is one of my favorite plays at WR. His ownership will come down to how people feel about using Kelce at TE. People will still use Kelce, though, so Rice is going to be lower owned than he likely should be in a Patrick Mahomes offense and the true WR1 for the team.

Tier 2: Chris Godwin, Jayden Reed, Zay Flowers, Stefon Diggs, Deebo Samuel

Godwin is awesome leverage over Evans again but both are good options. If I felt like I needed the leverage, I would go Godwin, but if I am already getting different elsewhere, I would use Evans. Jayden Reed having a terrible game last week is awesome for using him in this tournament. I still think he is very involved in this offense and people are likely going to be scared off of him because of last week.

Zay Flowers is the best pivot off of Lamar, but I still don’t feel great about it. With Mark Andrews potentially coming back, it could mean less volume for Flowers than we are used to. You need the Ravens to lose before the Super Bowl. Similar to Flowers, Diggs is the best pivot off of Josh Allen, but you also need them to lose before the Super Bowl.

Deebo Samuel is my favorite leverage off of Christian McCaffrey due to Deebo getting occasional handoffs near the goal line.

Tier 3: Christian Watson, Brandon Aiyuk, Romeo Doubs, Dontayvion Wicks, Odell Beckham Jr.

This group of wide receivers is likely out of my player pool unless I was making a ton lineups. All have the possibility of being their team’s high scorer in a single game.

Tight Ends

Tier 1: Dalton Schultz, Mark Andrwes, Travis Kelce, Sam LaPorta

TIght end is tricky this year. There is no standout option, and I think you can make good arguments for many of them. Because of that, I think Dalton Schultz might be my favorite. The Texans are projected to lose, and in a single game, he could absolutely outscore Nico Collins. Schultz will be low-owned and allows you to go with stud receivers from other teams.

Andrews has an elite ceiling, but the injury is terrifying. You can’t afford to take a zero if he does not play this week or is even limited. That leads me to want to fade him and let other people take the risk, but there is no denying the ceiling.

Sam LaPorta is very interesting, considering he played a full number of snaps this week. I do think I like Amon-Ra St. Brown much more, though.

I think many people will be scared off of Kelce at this point. Everyone has seen him struggle in multiple games this season, but he still has an elite ceiling and likely is the only tight end on this list who could be the optimal player for his team if his team went to the Super Bowl. My lineups will either have Kelce or Rashee Rice from the Chiefs unless I have Mahomes.

Tier 2: George Kittle, Dalton Kincaid

I don’t really love Kittle as a play, but he has to be mentioned. I just don’t see him being the optimal 49ers’ player over multiple games. If you use Kittle, you probably need them to lose to the Packers.

Kincaid is more interesting for sure because his usage seems to have gone up, and is staying there with Gabe Davis out. On the flip side, we have seen Dawson Knox get more involved, particularly in the red zone. That is enough for me to put him in Tier 2. I prefer using Allen, Cook, and Diggs from the Bills instead.

Chris graduated as an engineer from the University of Delaware, and since graduating he was always interested in combining his programming and coding skills along with his love of football to find a career in sports