Editor’s Note: This article is from a series of #FootClan guest posts highlighting what set Footballers rankings apart.
Fantasy football is far from a cut and dry game. Players can single-handedly win you a game one week, only to come up missing in action the next. Weekly fantasy football rankings can help you ease the burden of deciding who to start and who to sit. That is, if the rankings are done correctly.
Some fantasy “experts” may throw a random conglomerate of names at a board littered with obvious choices atop their charts. Then they’ll be sprinkling in enough head-scratching rankings to simply grasp headlines and plaster a title that reads “The Fantasy Football Rankings You Need to Dominate (INSERT WEEK HERE)” and call it a day. That’s if they don’t just wait for another site’s rankings to come out and nearly mirror it with their own slight twist. Unfortunately for them and their followers, fantasy football games and championships aren’t won off of headliners, but rather detailed analysis.
No fantasy specialist delivers quality and knowledge-backed fantasy football rankings like the guys at The Fantasy Footballers. When compiling their weekly player rankings, the Footballers take into consideration a number of different factors to deliver the best fantasy football rankings to guide you towards a victory. Below are just some of the many things that go into building the Fantasy Footballers’ award-winning player rankings.
How a Player is Viewed
Certain players become must-start options regardless of virtually any outlier. These players have been given the benefit of the doubt due to either years of stellar play, phenom type ability, or a combination of both. They will almost always rank near the top of fantasy football rankings.
You would be hard-pressed to remove a Julio Jones-type talent from your lineup. Opting to live and die by the sword, you would rather be burned by this player than have him drop a 50-burger on your bench. Some obvious factors such as matchup and injury go into slightly downgrading or upgrading the player’s value, but he still remains up there with the other elite talents at his position. For the most part, if a proven fantasy stud suits up and is active on game day, there is only so far he will fall in fantasy football rankings.
Upside Mixed with Signs of Growth
Not all players are locks for your lineup game-in and game-out. In fact, most positions on your roster are interchangeable on a weekly basis. When finding the second tier of players in their fantasy football rankings, the Footballers look for a mixture of obvious talent and on-field success.
These players may not be superstars at the moment, but they’ve showcased their skills enough. With solid skill and continued growth on the field, they become fantasy relevant on a consistent basis.
We’ve all seen it, that one outdated guy in your fantasy league who continuously drafts off of name recognition. He selects players who were at one point the bell of the ball in fantasy circles. Nowadays they have since operated more like a “6th man” on their team, rather than an integral part of their offense. At times it can be somewhat understandable to base things off of what you know and are used to, and what your mind perceives as the right move.
However, sometimes your opinion of a player can be clouded by that name recognition or the simple fact that they are labeled as a “starter” on their team’s depth chart. Just because a player is perceived as a team’s starter doesn’t automatically make them a fantasy stud. Hell, it may not even make them the most viable option at their position on their own team.
One great example of this is Marion Barber. Years ago, Dallas Cowboys running back Marion Barber ranked within the top six of the NFL in rushing touchdowns. This feat helped Barber punch a ticket to his one and only pro bowl appearance in his career. Barber was the clear-cut fantasy running back to own in Dallas, yet started a grand total of ZERO games that season.
When The Fantasy Footballers are creating their fresh weekly fantasy football rankings, they examine how much a player is truly used within their offense. Is a player just one of the guys, or is he an integral part of the offensive game plan? Does the offense feature this player readily? When they are on the field, is the quarterback looking their way? A 6.0+ ypc is a nice stat and all, but really doesn’t do much in fantasy when the player is averaging three carries a game.
Stats such as rushing attempts, passing attempts, receiving targets, and more are essential pieces of information that The Footballers factor into their fantasy football rankings.
Offensive Scheme & Player Fit
A player can have all the talent in the world, but if he doesn’t fit his offense’s scheme, he quickly becomes fantasy irrelevant. Or maybe he fits into the scheme soundly, but what the offense ask of him doesn’t equate to fantasy points on a consistent basis.
One prime example of this is Sammy Watkins in 2017. During his lone season with the Los Angeles Rams, coaches and players raved about what Watkins brought to the team. His long speed opened up the middle of the field for possession wideouts like Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp to do damage. Watkins essentially served as a glorified decoy during his Rams tenure. While Watkins may have contributed to his NFL team’s success, 39 receptions in a season does very little to benefit your fantasy team.
On the other side of the spectrum, an offensive scheme can be so good that no matter who is operating within the system, they become fantasy relevant. These “plug and play” players may not see their names in fantasy football rankings for weeks on end, only to become a bonafide option in the blink of an eye.
Sometimes it’s an offensive line paving holes that you can drive a truck through. Other times it’s a spread offense manufacturing receptions so easy that even you, the person currently sitting on your couch, could become a PPR stud. The Fantasy Footballers compile numerous stats and success rates from each offense and position to see which option is likely to keep churning out fantasy success, regardless of what player is being implemented.
Check out the recent top-10 WR rankings for 2019 podcast.
Four Points per Passing Touchdown vs. Six Points
Depending on your league’s scoring format, passing touchdowns likely either count as four or six points. The differential in these meager two points can prove to be exponential in terms of The Footballers’ fantasy football rankings.
When browsing the 4pt-QB fantasy football rankings, you may notice that you see plenty of quarterback names who may struggle to operate from the pocket at times. While these QBs may at times struggle to operate as a passer from the pocket, they can still be highly effective in terms of fantasy. The reason behind their high placement is that the value of a passing touchdown dissipates slightly in 4-pt QB leagues. Instead, quarterbacks who are a threat on the ground pose more of a threat to rack up fantasy points. This is because rushing yards count more than passing yards, and a rushing touchdown counts towards six points rather than four.
Editor’s Note: Check out some late-round QBs worth targeting at the end of your drafts.
In 6pt-QB leagues, you will likely see more of your typical, old school franchise QB. With the added two points per passing touchdown, the fantasy points begin to add up rapidly. This is especially true in a modern-day league where quarterbacks can toss between 30 and 40 touchdowns a year, sometimes even in the 50s.
Standard Scoring vs. PPR
In a league where bell-cow running backs are less featured and slot receivers reign supreme, PPR fantasy leagues have grown ever more popular. When operating on a standard scoring format, a 240-lb running back may be a viable starting option. As long as the back can compile a decent amount of yardage and plow into the end zone from a half foot out, it doesn’t matter that his hands are made out of brick. Running backs who touch the rock in the run game on a regular basis, and one-trick-pony deep-threats at wide receiver become more valuable in standard-scoring formats. This leads to these type of players’ fantasy football ranking being set higher than they would in other formats.
Find out more about the Ballers Preferred League Scoring Format.
PPR scoring puts more value on the present-day, do it all talent at the skill position. A running back can carry the ball seven times in a game, but if he brings in 6 receptions for 63 yards, he had a stellar game in PPR terms. PPR leagues also elevate slot receivers fantasy football rankings exponentially. While these receivers my do most of their damage in a five-yard radius, as long as they continue to rack up receptions, they will see their fantasy football rankings rise. In PPR scoring it doesn’t matter that these wideouts may struggle to stretch the field, or possess little threat as a red zone target, as long as they are consistently targeted past the line of scrimmage they will remain relevant.
Matchups become key for The Fantasy Footballers when setting their weekly fantasy football rankings. This is especially important when debating between non-elite talents. A horrid matchup and phenomenal matchup can be the difference between a QB being nonplayable, to the same QB being a top-10 start for the week.
When researching a player’s opponent, the Footballers don’t only look at a defense’s league-wide ranking, but also how they defend specific positions. A defense can be a stout, other-worldly unit that dominates in the standard total defensive rankings, yet struggle at defending running backs out of the backfield. Maybe a defense grades out as the best pass defense in football but has surrendered the second-most rushing touchdowns on the season. The Footballers dig deep to find true quality matchups when creating their fantasy football rankings.