I’ve said it all year - the FFPC weekly fantasy football contests are quickly becoming my top weekend slate format. And that’s because there’s no salary, no draft, and, my favorite aspect, no stacking. A key rule is that you can only pick one player from each team so no more getting steamrolled by whoever stacks Joe Flacco with Amari Cooper. And since that’s the only big lineup constraint, you can create MONSTER teams with tons of flexibility. Don’t worry about picking the chalk - you can go ALL chalk!

Yes, the weekly challenge is excellent but it isn’t even the best contest that FFPC offers in this format. The FFPC Playoff Challenge is. You won’t find a better fantasy football playoff league or contest out there. So today we are going to break down how it works and get into some strategy. And, to help you first-time players get set up, you can use promo code COOP right now at www.MyFFPC.com and they will give you $25 in bonus credits when you deposit $35 or more with your first deposit!

If the weekly contest at FFPC is checkers then the Playoff Challenge is chess. Because you not only need to consider what players are great and which to use from each team but you only draft your team once for the ENTIRE playoffs. So you also need to factor in what teams you think make it far. And you need to pay extra attention to what teams you think make the Super Bowl because points in the Super Bowl are DOUBLED. That is a major aspect. Let’s look at the basic format.

EDIT - Guess what? We are also doing a giveaway exclusive to Fantasy Alarm Members only where someone will get a free entry into the $200 FFPC Playoff Challenge! Just go to this link and type in your name and the email address tied to your Fantasy Alarm subscription and you are entered! We will be announcing the winner on Friday on the Fantasy Alarm YouTube channel on my show at 1 PM ET so make sure to subscribe over there. Good luck!

FFPC Playoff Challenge Contests

There are two major contests. The flagship event with a $200 entry fee. And then a secondary event for $35. With one there is a higher entry fee but fewer opponents and the other has a lower fee but a lot more teams in it. With both, it’s important that you sign up early because they WILL sell out. You register in advance now and reserve your spot so I suggest you do that. And I suggest you use that promo code COOP we mentioned earlier when you sign up at MyFFPC.com to get the $25 bonus for first-time depositors who put in $35 or more. And, as we mentioned above, Fantasy Alarm Members have a chance to win a free spot in the $200 challenge with this link!


Each contest obviously has different prices. The full prize list for the $200 contest can be found here and the full price list for the $35 contest can be found here. You’ll want to check that out to see what percentage you need to finish in to get your money back, double up etc. but here’s what everyone really cares about. The $35 contest had $476,500 in total prizes and the winner gets a cool $100K. The $200 contest has $1,400,250 in total prizes and the winner takes home half a million dollars. Whew, lad.

Roster Settings

We already mentioned the main rule which is that you can select any player you want with the exception that you can’t pick two players from the same team. So no stacking Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes. Here is what you need to field for a team. It’s pretty simple.

  • 1 QB
  • 2 RB
  • 2 WR
  • 1 TE
  • 4 FLEX (RB, WR, TE)
  • 1 K
  • 1 D

That’s 12 roster spots. And 14 teams make the NFL playoffs. So you will have two teams that you don’t have any player on but you’ll need at least someone from the other teams. And obviously, not every team will advance so you have to be careful with how you allocate those players.

Scoring Settings

The scoring settings are actually pretty straightforward for most fantasy leagues with one big exception: it is “tight end premium”. That means that it’s one point per reception for running backs and wide receivers but tight ends get 1.5 points per reception. More on that later. Everything else is fairly typical and the full rules can be found here but it’s also worth pointing out that turnovers (fumbles and interceptions) are only -1 and it’s four points for passing TDs and six for rushing TDs.

General Advice

When the playoff teams are all set in a couple of weeks, I’m going to do another article with specific players that I like (maybe that one will be exclusive to Fantasy Alarm members - we’ll see). But for now, let’s talk about some general advice that should help you out.

The Myth of the "Playoff Map"

Obviously, you need to plan ahead to some degree. Later on we will talk about allocating your positions and to what teams. But trying to map out the entire playoffs is INCREDIBLY difficult. If you could do that, then you’d just bet on the games instead. So this whole idea of planning out exactly how each matchup will go is not where I start and you don’t have to either. The important thing is picking the RIGHT players from each team.

Patrick Mahomes is a great player and he went to the Super Bowl last year so you’d think those teams did well. But no team with Mahomes finished in the top 2,000 in the $35 challenge last year. Why? Two reasons. One, it’s tight end premium scoring and Travis Kelce did really well. You can only have one Chief. The other? Mahomes had three passing TDs in the Super Bowl but Jalen Hurts had one passing and three rushing. The scoring favors rushing TDs. And you can only pick one quarterback. The scoring is crucial in those decisions.

Lean Into the Scoring

Three scoring quirks are unique for some folks:

  • Tight end premium
  • Four-point passing
  • Minus one for turnovers.

It’s pretty obvious how the QB scoring helps - gunslingers who run are valuable. Jalen Hurts was on the VAST majority of winning teams last year and, in 2021, it was Josh Allen. As for the tight end premium, you don’t necessarily need to go crazy. But the winner of the $35 contest last year had FOUR tight ends (Travis Kelce, T.J. Hockenson, Evan Engram, and T.J. Hockenson). In fact, the top four teams all had at least two with Kelce and Hock. The winner of the $200 challenge only had Kelce but three of the top four had at least two tight ends. That’s definitely something to consider, especially when it comes to this next point.

Unique Builds

Here’s the thing - there will be some lineups that are obvious. And those lineups probably won’t win. Not only will they not win, but any prize level they do finish at, they will be splitting with others. If they DO win, then you could be chopping up that prize with a bunch of other people. You don’t want that. As we mentioned, the team that won the $35 challenge had four tight ends and only two wide receivers. That’s pretty wild. And since he was the only team that started those exact players, he kept the $100K himself. So don’t be afraid to get a little crazy - especially if you are putting in multiple entries.

Number of Entries

This is up to you. The max is 150. And in 2021 at least, the one person that did 150 entries did with the $35 contest. But a lot of folks have walked away with big prizes in this contest with just one entry. I’m personally going to do a couple because I’ve got some wacky ideas and I want to try a few of them out. The golden rule for any sort of gambling or fantasy sports is always going to be the same though - NEVER bet more than you can afford to lose. This is a fun contest that makes the playoffs even more interesting which, for me, is enough. If I win a little money doing it, even better.

Allocating Your Positions

This is the last general tip we are going to give here and it might be obvious to some but we need to get it out there. Some positions are simply better bets to score more than others. Like quarterback. Now, with that said, I do want to point out that you don’t NEED your quarterback to make the Super Bowl. Last year with Jalen Hurts you did. But in 2021 most of the top teams had Josh Allen at quarterback who lost in AFC Championship. Because Cooper Kupp went crazy in the Super Bowl so he was the play over Stafford for the Rams. See what I mean? The Super Bowl points are worth DOUBLE so having a star in that game is huge but it doesn’t need to be a QB or RB.

Now, we do have to do some strategic allocating. Unless it’s the most boring Super Bowl ever, the kicker is probably not going to be the high scorer. Six teams will lose in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Two of them you won’t have a player on but the other four you will. It’s going to increase your chances GREATLY if A. your quarterback doesn’t get eliminated and B. your kicker and defense do. It’s not the end of the world if your kicker makes the next round of course - a team with Riley Patterson came in third last year in the $200 challenge and won $50,000. But you don’t want those teams going deep because that means your more valuable positions are losing. For your four losing players in round one you want your kicker, defense, and then some valiant efforts from RB/WR/TE in a loss. That tight end premium can go a long way for one game only. Remember how many teams had T.J. Hockenson? He only played one game and lost. But he had 10 catches for 129 yards which is the equivalent of a WR having 15 catches.

And the last note I want to make is on the bye weeks. And, personally, I ignore them. The Super Bowl is worth double and the two one seeds made the Super Bowl. If you avoided Jalen Hurts last year because his team had a bye week, you didn’t win. Focus on figuring out the best configuration of star players from good teams that you can. Period.

Good Luck

Good luck to everyone out there who took the time to read this - hopefully one of you will take down a big prize! Definitely tag me on Twitter @CoopAFiasco if you do. And make sure to use promo code COOP when you sign up at MyFFPC.com and they will give you $25 in bonus credits if your first deposit is $35 of more!