Fantasy Football Player Rankings
Editor’s Note: This article is from a series of #FootClan guest posts highlighting what sets Footballers rankings apart.
The intricacies of setting fantasy football player rankings can be a difficult job, yet it’s one that if done correctly can have a great outcome for users. Outdated, ill-informed player rankings can be detrimental to one’s fantasy team. However, fantasy football player rankings constructed by legitimate experts can help catapult your team to the top of your league’s standings.
The Fantasy Footballers are known for their widely popular self-named podcast, and they also know a little thing or two about setting fantasy football player rankings. So much so that their rankings have continuously finished within the top-5 accuracy of Fantasy Pros’ expert competition for years on end. So, what do the Footballers do that separates them from the plethora of other fantasy football player rankings available on the internet? Below we take a deep dive into what it takes for The Fantasy Footballers to build their award-winning player rankings.
Top of the Line Features
The Fantasy Footballers’ fantasy football player rankings come equipped with a number of useful tools to better get you ahead of your league-mates in terms of knowledge and projections. No tool may be more essential than the ability to accumulate player rankings based off of your preferred scoring method.
Specific Player Rankings for Each Format
In a world where fantasy football has reached unforeseeable heights, it’s odd that some of your player ranking providers only specialize on specific scoring formats. While these other self-proclaimed “experts” don’t find the point in providing consumers with rankings in scoring formats that they, themselves, don’t personally use, the Footballers choose to appeal to the masses.
Below are some of the different scoring formats available in the Fantasy Footballers’ fantasy football player rankings. Each ranking within the Footballer’s database is specifically molded to fit a different scoring format. This means you will never have to look at a standard league scoring player rankings and try to guess how it will transfer over to setting your PPR lineup ever again.
Standard, ½ PPR, and Full PPR Scoring
As the spread system swiftly takes over the NFL, the way teams churn out yards has changed dramatically. Very rarely do you see a QB take a seven-step drop numerous times within a game. Instead, offenses tend to operate on quick, manufactured completions to continuously move the chains and get the ball in their playmakers’ hands. This has made the positions of slot wide receiver and a receiving running back all the more prevalent in today’s NFL.
In standard league scoring, you can expect more of you old-school runners to continue to steal the shine amongst fantasy players. Yet when operating out of a ½ point, or full point PPR scoring setting, the number of viable player options available on a weekly basis increases tenfold. Running backs you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole in standard leagues all of a sudden pique your interest in PPR formats when you see they are now rewarded for each reception they bring in.
Editor’s Note: Find out who the Ballers have in their top-10 RB rankings.
Players like Chris Carson and Derrick Henry may rank highly on the Footballers’ standard fantasy football player rankings. However, they will likely be pushed down the rankings for players better versed in the passing game. In return, running backs in the Tarik Cohen mold, or slot-mavens such as Julian Edelman will climb exponentially in the rankings when looking at them through the lens of a player operating in PPR format.
4 Point TD vs. 6 Point TD
Mobile quarterbacks are, and will always remain, prevalent in the world of fantasy football. This is because their ability to use their feet can stack up fantasy points quicker than anything they can produce with their arm. Some leagues still operate on six points per passing touchdown, in which your typical pocket passer still reigns supreme. Yet most leagues have converted to the four points per passing touchdown system. In which case, the emphasis on what a QB can do through the air becomes not completely irrelevant, but less important to their fantasy success.
Specific talents such as Russell Wilson and Mike Vick in his prime are the outliers to these rules. Their ability to accumulate points through the air, while also posing as a true threat in the ground game, is a rare find from the position. These players are the best of both worlds and will fare favorably in fantasy football player rankings regardless of format.
Weighing Matchup vs Talent
When setting their fantasy football player rankings, The Footballers are met with a difficult task at times; matchup or talent? For the majority, talent always wins, but not just any kind of talent, elite talent. These players are must-starts on a weekly basis, and you will die on the sword knowing you didn’t lose a championship by having Ezekiel Elliott go off while on your bench.
For the next batch of players, and by next batch, we mean the majority, matchups weigh heavily in their placement within fantasy football player rankings. Of 32 NFL teams, most feature a capable quarterback, three to four legitimate receiving options, and two or three running backs, so the player pool to choose from within fantasy is larger than ever before. This is why matchups become so important when trying to differentiate projections between players of such similar stature.
If a low-end RB2-flex tailback is facing off against a defense that has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to running backs on the year, chances are that running back will struggle. This will likely lead to him being downgraded within the Footballers’ fantasy football player rankings.
Other factors The Footballers dig into is how defense does when defending a specific position, and a specific type of player when calculating their rankings. A defense can be stout against the run and limit any running back to come their way in the ground game, likely eliminating the one-trick, ground and pound tailback from fantasy relevance that week.
While most of your so-called experts may call it quits there, declaring the coming week as a terrible matchup for the running backs on the roster, The Footballers dig deeper. In a league that features so many specific situational players, The Footballers will examine how the defense defends running backs coming out of the backfield. While the defense may surrender the 5th fewest points on the ground to running backs in fantasy, they may rank far worse within PPR formats when observing the same position. This same defense can rank in the bottom ten in fantasy points surrendered to running backs in PPR leagues, due to their inability to cover the running back out of the backfield.
Check out some late-round RBs worth targeting at the end of your drafts.
The Fantasy Footballers leave no stone unturned when it comes to examining players’ matchups. This helps you make the most educated and well-rounded decision for your lineup on a regular basis.
Usage Outweighs Perceived Ability
Every year fantasy owners are in complete and utter shock as they close out their third consecutive below .500 season. These are the outdated guys in your league who draft Tom Brady in the first round and follow it up with the running back who brings literally nothing in the passing game.
The Footballers don’t base their fantasy football player rankings off of name recognition or even the fact that they are labeled a starter. The term starter is used too loosely within the NFL nowadays. While the number of starters available caps out at 11, more realistically most offenses have about 15 or 16 players that they view as “starters.” Their “starting” players change when you take into consideration role-specific players, certain formations, game-plan based schematics, and so on.
For example, Tarik Cohen was not listed as a starter in his beginning years in the NFL, yet he was arguably the Bears’ most valuable fantasy option. This is because whenever Cohen was on the field, he was a featured, go-to target. While other running backs on his team may have been in for more of the grunt work, carrying out faked handoffs, and picking up blitzes, Cohen racked up stats when inserted into the lineup.
Editor’s Note: Follow our Fantasy Court series as two writers share their FOR and AGAINST stances on Tarik Cohen.
The Fantasy Footballers integrate player usage rates for all players in the NFL when setting their rankings. They keep track of how a player is used within his offense, as well as how often he is used.
Factoring in Injuries
Injuries are a major part of the NFL, and in return become a major part of setting fantasy football player rankings. No one wants to get stuck having to play a game-time decision flex starter because you were ill-informed on the severity of his injury.
At times, The Footballers will have to juggle the seriousness of an injury with the talent of a player when setting their rankings. Chances are if Julio Jones’ availability was questioned throughout the week, you’re praying that he will play in the game, rather than being concerned about how he will play. However, a player under Jones’ level leaves less optimism when setting fantasy football player rankings.
If a player is a fringe flex starter at best and is dealing with a lingering injury on top of that, his rankings will suffer. Conversely, if a player can show the ability to perform week in and week out, while continuously missing practice time, they will be given more of the benefit of the doubt.
The Fantasy Footballers keep their ears to all things fantasy related, getting the latest scoop on injury alerts and updates. In return, the Fantasy Footballers’ fantasy football rankings will never be out of date and will be based on up to the minute projections, weighing out everything from to the latest news and injuries around the NFL.