Freedman: 6 Fantasy Football Contests for the NFL Playoffs
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert
- Missing fantasy football? Matthew Freedman outlines six contests and formats to get you through the NFL playoffs.
The NFL regular season is over, but that doesn’t mean your fantasy fun has to end.
Postseason daily fantasy slates are great, and you can leverage our FantasyLabs Models for all your DFS action.
I also think of player props as a form of fantasy sports. At a minimum, they overlap with fantasy in that both focus on individual performance.
There are lots of reasons for fantasy players to bet player props, and in the postseason, sportsbooks tend to offer more props than they do during the season. You can even use our FantasyLabs Player Props Tool to find an edge.
And for people who want a longer format that extends from Wild Card Weekend to the Super Bowl, there are lots of options.
Some of them are larger contests available on various platforms. Some are small contests you can set up with friends.
Here are six of the many contest formats for postseason fantasy football and my take on each.
FFPC Playoff Challenge
The FFPC Playoff Challenge started in 2003 and is one of the great longstanding contests in the industry. This year’s grand prize is $500,000, so if you’re looking for a large payout, this might be the contest for you.
For your roster, you pick 10 players — one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, two flexes, one kicker and one defense — but you can use only one player per playoff team.
The 10 players you lock into your lineup at the beginning of the playoffs are the only players you can use for the entire postseason.
Whoever’s roster scores the most points from Wild Card Weekend to the Super Bowl wins the contest.
My Take: The buy-in is $200, so it’s not cheap. But if you’re up for competing in a high-stakes, large-field contest, this one is great.
Fantasy Postseason Contest
Fantasy Postseason has a free contest. Each week you set your lineup: One quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one RB/WR flex, one WR/TE flex, one kicker and one defense.
Here’s the catch: You can use each player only once. If you start a guy in your lineup, he’s ineligible for your team for the rest of the playoffs.
The team with the most total points wins.
My Take: If you are new to postseason fantasy and want to get some experience without risking any money, this is ideal.
The McClung Format
You pick 22 players (with a maximum of five quarterbacks), and each week during the playoffs you set your starting lineup: Two quarterbacks, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end and two flexes.
The team with the most cumulative points at the end of the postseason wins.
My Take: If you like the season-long process of figuring out each week which players on your roster to start, you might like this contest.
The BallBlast Format
The hosts of the BallBlast Fantasy Football Podcast — Kate and Michelle Magdziuk — have organized a $10-entry contest.
The format is pretty simple: Two quarterbacks, two running backs, two wide receivers, two tight ends, two flexes, two defenses. One player per playoff team. Each position must have one player from the NFC and one from the AFC.
The team with the most postseason fantasy points wins.
My Take: I like that this contest is balanced in conference and roster requirements.
The League Format
This one is of my own design. This is an eight-team tournament with staged eliminations.
Each week, there is a quick draft for the starting lineup: One quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers, one tight end and one flex.
If you want to add defense and kicker positions, fine.
Round 1 lasts two weeks: Wild Card Weekend and the Divisional Round. The point totals from both weeks are added to create a final score. The four teams with the fewest points are eliminated.
Round 2 is the Conference Championships. Of the four remaining teams, the two with the fewest points are eliminated.
Round 3 is the Super Bowl. The winner of this head-to-head matchup is the champ.
My Take: This contest seems ideal for family and friends and people who actually like the process of drafting.
The Flex Format
This is another one of mine. The format is simple. Each week, you have full access to the entire player pool, and you start five flexes: Any five players you want.
So this is very much a DFS-style contest, but there are no salary restrictions, almost no roster restrictions and no usage restrictions: If you want to, you can use a player throughout multiple rounds of the playoffs.
The team with the most total points wins.
My Take: This is probably my favorite. It’s simple. It can be a head-to-head contest for two people or a large-field contest for 1,000 people. As the name suggests, it’s flexible.