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NFL Playoff Challenge - The Strategy That Worked

Right strategy, wrong teams.

When I started the NFL Playoff Challenge, my original strategy was this: there were so many pass-heavy offenses in the league that it would be more beneficial to capitalize on a week or two of the "top tier" running backs, negating the "x4 multiplier" for a guy like BenJarvus Green-Ellis down the road.

My original projection was for a Patriots vs. Packers faceoff in the Super Bowl (No. 1 seed vs. No 1 seed; I really took a leap of faith, didn't I?). I felt the best two running backs in the postseason were Arian Foster and Darren Sproles, and I thought both teams would make it to round two of the playoffs with better payoffs than if I had taken the Patriots' or Packers' backs from the beginning. I also took the Steelers defense, thinking I could score +20 points in the first week with them as they would "crush" Denver, and then jump to Green Bay or New England after that.

The only way you have a chance to win the NFL Playoff Challenge is if you follow the strategy of mostly picking players from the two teams who will meet in the Super Bowl. But, my strategy of choosing a different, high-powered running back ended up holding some merit when you take a look at the guy's roster (Dougtheslug) who finished in first place overall. He picked an all-Giants vs. Patriots Super Bowl, except for the fact that he went with Foster for the first two weeks. His other running back was Bradshaw. For all four weeks combined, Bradshaw netted 116 points, which wasn't too bad.

Now let's take a look at my brother's roster (Little Oscar). He finished in 1,100th place overall, which isn't half bad considering there were over 640,000 entrants, placing him in the top 0.15%. He also had Bradshaw, but his other running back was Brandon Jacobs. For the entire postseason, Jacobs had just 40 points. Dougtheslug got 71 points from Foster in two weeks; the other two weeks, he got 22 points from Green-Ellis. Combined, that is 93 points, 53 points off from what my brother had.

The other big difference was Wes Welker vs. Hakeem Nicks. Welker was a dud in the postseason, getting just 69 points compared to Nicks' 134 points. That is a difference of 65 points. If you swap kickers for my brother's team, he would've ended up in a tie with the guy and I might be headed to next year's Super Bowl with him. It wasn't meant to be.

In the DBN league, I personally finished in 11th place out of 14 entrants.