PFF and ALL-22 Fantasy Football have come together to provide the most in-depth fantasy football platform out there. Make no doubt that this is the future of fantasy football.
PFF and All-22 Fantasy Football: Next Big Thing for Football Fans
Most people would tend to agree that one of the coolest jobs in the world is that of a General Manager for an NFL Franchise. Unfortunately, there are only 32 available positions in any given year. At that, the job is not a safe one either. General managers who do not perform well at roster building are replaced year after year. The 2022 NFL season will have seen the Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, and New York Giants all make sweeping changes to their front office staff.
Fantasy Football is the closest most fans will ever get to being a general manager. Using stats and a scoring system, fans can draft a team of their own favorite players and compete head-to-head against other owners. There are different kinds of leagues that include Standard, Keeper, Dynasty, and Salary; each with different rules and scoring systems. Now a new platform is available called All-22 that aims to overcome the shortcomings of other fantasy football platforms.
The biggest shortcoming is that fantasy football is heavily structured around the offensive side of the ball. The reason for this is that defensive statistics do not pair well with offensive statistics. Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues haven’t found a way to accurately reflect a defensive player’s value in relation to their offensive counterparts.
The Issue with Individual Defensive Player (IDP) Scoring
Typically, most fans who play fantasy football give up on IDP scoring altogether; opting for “Team Defense” instead. The reason for this is that defensive stats do not accurately reflect a player’s actual performance the way stats do on the offensive side of the ball. According to FantasyData.com, Cooper Kupp finished 2021 as WR1 in fantasy with 439.5 points in PPR formats. Jalen Ramsey, who is considered CB1 by many, finished with 113.5 fantasy points, far below that of Kupp. Is Kupp really worth nearly four times the number of points as Ramsey?
Ramsey primarily lines up outside, as far away from the football as possible, and follows the team’s top wide receiving threat. Cornerbacks are not known for racking up tackles unless they play primarily in the slot. Additionally, quarterbacks do not tend to throw into Ramsey’s direction often. Ramsey simply does not get the opportunities to make plays when he is essentially removing a player from the game. As a result, IDP fantasy owners do not have Ramsey high on their draft board, even with Ramsey being one of the league’s best at his position. There are far fewer stats to be gained by a player like Ramsey who won’t be tested much in relation to a rookie cornerback who will have many opportunities.
According to PFF’s Fantasy Draft Rankings+, Ramsey isn’t even one of PFF’s top-20 cornerbacks you should draft for IDP. The players on defense who gain the most points tend to be linebackers, yet even they do not score nearly as many fantasy points as their offensive counterparts. PFF’s top-ranked defenders for IDP scoring include Denzel Perryman, Darius Leonard, and Blake Martinez. None of them are expected to score over 250 fantasy points this season. Only Leonard can be considered one of the greats at his position; so why is he ranked next to Perryman and Martinez?
Point blank, IDP scoring is broken!
Along Came Pro Football Focus
Pro Football Focus (PFF) is not the end-all, be-all to grading the performances of players and teams on game day, but there is no other platform that does exactly what they do. There is definitely a subjective element to their grading system, but overall, they get a lot of what they score right. What originally started as a project by Neil Hornsby in 2004 has grown into an enormous tool used by all 32 NFL clubs, 102 NCAA FBS teams, 7 CFL teams, as well as the news, media outlets, and sports agencies. PFF is a credible source for NFL content.
PFF grades every player of every team on every play. This is the place where data can become somewhat subjective. This data collection helps to tell a story of a player in a game, throughout an entire season, and over the course of their career. Players are given a qualitative score on each game, admittedly with some level of bias, but it aims to say whether a player had a good game or not. This score is graded on a scale of 0-100, with a high score claiming a great game, a low score claiming a bad game, with the average sitting around 65.0.
Making The Grade
Other premium grades are tracked: Passing Grades, Receiving Grades, Rushing Grades, Blocking Grades, Defensive Grades, Run Defense Grades, Coverage Grades, and even Special Teams Grades. Inside these premium grades are other useful statistics. These statistics help an evaluator generate a grade, so each grade is backed by some level of statistics.
For instance, the Pass Rush Grade of an edge rusher is found through analysis of the total number of sacks, hits, hurries, pass-rush productivity, pass-rush win percentage, and balls batted at the line of scrimmage. This Pass Rush Grade would be a factor in the player’s overall grade for that game. By itself, it only tells the story of how he was able to disrupt the pass. It’s not perfect, but it is meant to be an indicator of the larger overall PFF grade. This also would likely include Run Defense and possibly Coverage Grade if he did so in the game. The overall grade is backed by some level of statistics, so the grade is not all biased.
Using PFF Grades to Play Fantasy Football
The guys at All-22 developed a PFF fantasy football platform that more accurately represents how fantasy football should be played. They decided to make PFF’s grades the basis of their scoring system. However, they also understood that certain positions are more valuable than others. How could they accurately represent the value a quarterback has over a linebacker? After all, quarterbacks make so much more money than linebackers for a reason.
Wait, that’s it!
Positional weights were added based on the average values of the top 5 salaries of each position group, similar to how the franchise tag works. The average of the top 5 salaries for the quarterback position was $40.4M in 2022. Linebackers’ top 5 salaries averaged amounted to $17.6M. They did this for every position group and added up the “Salary Cap” of those groups for a total of $413M. The portion of the pie for quarterbacks is worth about 9.78% ($40.4/$413), while linebackers were worth 4.26% ($17.7/$413). The fantasy point earned if both a quarterback and linebacker scored a 90.0 grade would look as follows:
QB Justin Herbert 90.0 PFF Grade x 9.78% weighted average = 8.802 fantasy points LB Darius Leonard 90.0 PFF Grade x 4.26% weighted average = 3.834 fantasy points
Ideally, NFL players are paid their worth. The most important positions in football tend to be the highest paid. That is why quarterbacks, edge rushers, and offensive tackles are paid much more than running backs, linebackers, and centers. The goal is to have these positional weights accurately reflect the value of your players each week.
Setting up Depth Charts, Formations, and Auto Substitutions for Injuries
All-22 has 53-man rosters with a set of 11 offensive starters and 11 defensive starters, hence its title, All-22. This leaves room for formations on both sides of the ball. All-22 supports offensive personal groups of 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR), 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR), and 21 personnel (2 RB, 1 TE, 2 WR). It also supports defensive formations of 3-4, 4-3, and Nickel formations. You’ll have to set up a depth chart based on your formation for that week.
Light on wide receivers due to injury and unable to run your normal 3-WR set? You might need to adjust your game plan and run a different formation that week. You can sign players off waivers. However, maybe you have a strong running back room that you can lean on that week. When a player is injured in a game, their replacement on the depth chart will fill in. There is a snap count minimum that will auto sub the next player on your depth chart in the game.
You will have roster minimums of 2 quarterbacks, 3 running backs, 5 wide receivers, 3 tight ends, 4 offensive tackles, 4 offensive guards, 2 centers, 1 kicker, 4 interior defensive linemen, 4 edge rushers, 4 linebackers, 4 cornerbacks, 4 safeties and 1 punter. That leaves you with eight additional players to add for depth and development.
Dynasty-Style Fantasy Football the Way it’s Meant to be Played
What makes All-22 fantasy football truly special is that football knowledge matters. Matchups are still important to monitor from week to week. You need to understand the floor and ceiling of a player. Film study truly matters here. In standard fantasy football platforms, you can take a chance on the fastest player for the big play threat. You may take an entirely different approach in your draft strategy knowing that there is a toolsy, raw prospect who you believe has pro bowl potential. You’re the talent evaluator. You’re the GM. It’s your team!
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