Range-of-Outcome Rankings

PFN Proprietary Research

Fantasy football rankings are as commoditized as a national grocery store chain — it’s the same products located in mostly the same places. Why deviate from the norm when the norm makes us look as sharp as everyone else, even if a surprisingly large percentage of supposedly elite and near-elite players end up being busts?

Fantasy drafting is an art and a science. But industry rankings focus solely on the science. There’s no art to picking the next guy on the list. It’s a two-dimensional solution to a three-dimensional problem. There is a better way.

PFN’s Range-of-Outcome Rankings combine the art and science of predictive analytics. We need to incorporate hard truths based on sound research. But we also need customizations that correspond with how we prefer to draft.

Our “traditional” positional rankings represent the average of each player’s realistic range of outcomes. Meanwhile, our “optimal” rankings order players based on their highest realistic ceiling, while our “minimal” rankings order players based on their lowest realistic floor.

Taken together, you have a three-dimensional view of each player’s fantasy value. Each set of rankings includes columns highlighting each player’s age, unique positional role, and positional ADP. We also point out which players are the best bargains and the riskiest busts based on current market values.

Ranking Spreadsheets

Because the fantasy landscape changes nearly every day, we’ll continually tweak these rankings throughout the summer to ensure you have the most accurate information at your disposal. So, keep checking back for the latest updates. And be sure not to tell your friends — we want you to win, not them. 

Glossary of Terms

Here are definitions of the three main sub-products in PFN’s range-of-outcome rankings.

Median (Traditional) Rankings
We assign each player a likely range of ranking outcomes. By averaging the highest and lowest ends of that range, we arrive at a player’s median ranking.

Minimal Rankings
The lowest (worst) likely ranking of each player comprises our minimal rankings. A player with a great floor is ranked higher on the minimal rankings scale than a player with a lower floor, regardless of either player’s ceiling.

Optimal Rankings
The highest (best) likely ranking of each player comprises our optimal rankings. A player with a great ceiling is ranked higher on the optimal rankings scale than a player with a lower ceiling, regardless of either player’s floor.

Ranking Definitions

Here are definitions of terms used in PFN’s range-of-outcome products, specific to each position. You can also find them in the notes by clicking on any of the headers in the spreadsheets.

Quarterback

Starter (S)

Highlights which QB is expected to be named the Week 1 starter.

Possible Starter (PS)

If a team’s Week 1 starting QB remains uncertain, then the most likely candidates are listed as potential starters.

Average Draft Position (ADP)

Each QB’s current ADP.

Start-of-Season Age

The age of the QB on September 8, 2022.

Bargain

A QB whose ADP is 4-7 points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a bargain.

Big Bargain

A QB whose ADP is 8+ points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a big bargain.

Fade

A QB whose ADP is 4-7 points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a fade (e.g. overvalued).

Full Fade

A QB whose ADP is 8+ points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a full fade (e.g. very overvalued).

Running Back

Start-of-Season Age

The age of the RB on September 8, 2022.

Bell-Cow Starter (B)

Highlights which RB is expected to be a high-volume workhorse.

Starter (S)

Highlights which RB is expected to be the unquestioned starter beginning in Week 1, regardless of the anticipated size of their workload.

Running Back by Committee (RBBC)

If there is no unquestioned starter on a team, then two or more RBs are listed as part of an RBBC. These RBs are in line to split (roughly evenly) the workload to begin the season.

Glorified Handcuff (GH)

A No. 2 RB on a team’s depth chart is a glorified handcuff if he provides stand-alone fantasy value based on a fairly consistent, moderate workload.

Direct Handcuff (DH)

Any No. 2 RB who is not a glorified handcuff and who would take over as the starter if the No. 1 RB cannot play is a direct handcuff.

Partial Handcuff (PH)

If there is no clear No. 2 RB playing behind a starter, then two or more RB teammates are partial handcuffs. Additionally, even if there is a clear No. 2 RB, if he’s not expected to completely take over as the starter if the No. 1 RB cannot play, then he and at least one teammate are partial handcuffs.

Third-Down Specialist (TDS)

Third-down specialists frequently play on passing downs, usually giving them more value as pass catchers than as rushers. These specialists are unlikely to ever serve as a team’s starter. Their role on the depth chart often remains static, regardless of other RB depth chart shifts throughout the season.

Average Draft Position (ADP)

Each RB’s current ADP.

Bargain

An RB whose ADP is 6-11 points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a bargain.

Big Bargain

An RB whose ADP is 12+ points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a big bargain.

Fade

An RB whose ADP is 6-11 points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a fade (e.g. overvalued).

Full Fade

An RB whose ADP is 12+ points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a full fade (e.g. very overvalued).

Wide Receiver

Start-of-Season Age

The age of the WR on September 8, 2022.

Likely #1 (#1)

Highlights which WR is expected to be the team’s No. 1 WR beginning Week 1.

Likely #2 (#2)

Highlights which WR is expected to be the team’s No. 2 WR beginning Week 1.

Likely #3 (#3)

Highlights which WR is expected to be the team’s No. 3 WR beginning Week 1.

Toss-up #1 (T-1)

If a team’s No. 1 WR remains uncertain, then the most likely candidates are listed as potential No. 1s.

Toss-up #2 (T-2)

If a team’s No. 1 WR is clear, but the No. 2 WR is not, then the most likely candidates are listed as potential No. 2s.

Toss-up #3 (T-3)

If a team’s No. 3 WR remains uncertain, then the most likely candidates are listed as potential No. 3s.

Average Draft Position (ADP)

Each WR’s current ADP.

Bargain

A WR whose ADP is 6-11 points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a bargain.

Big Bargain

A WR whose ADP is 12+ points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a big bargain.

Fade

A WR whose ADP is 6-11 points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a fade (e.g. overvalued).

Full Fade

A WR whose ADP is 8+ points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a full fade (e.g. very overvalued).

Tight End

Start-of-Season Age

The age of the TE on September 8, 2022.

Likely #1 (#1)

Highlights which TE is expected to be the team’s No. 1 TE beginning Week 1.

Likely #2 (#2)

Highlights which TE is expected to be the team’s No. 2 TE beginning Week 1.

Toss-up #1 (T-1)

If a team’s No. 1 TE remains uncertain, then the most likely candidates are listed as potential No. 1s.

Toss-up #2 (T-2)

If a team’s No. 1 WR is clear, but the No. 2 TE is not, then the most likely candidates are listed as potential No. 2s.

Average Draft Position (ADP)

Each TE’s current ADP.

Bargain

A TE whose ADP is 3-7 points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a bargain.

Big Bargain

A TE whose ADP is 8+ points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a big bargain.

Fade

A TE whose ADP is 3-7 points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a fade (e.g. overvalued).

Full Fade

A TE whose ADP is 8+ points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a full fade (e.g. very overvalued).

Kicker

Start-of-Season Age

The age of the K on September 8, 2022.

Average Draft Position (ADP)

Each K's current ADP.

Bargain

A K whose ADP is 4-7 points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a bargain.

Big Bargain

A K whose ADP is 8+ points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a big bargain.

Fade

A K whose ADP is 4-7 points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a fade (e.g. overvalued).

Full Fade

A K whose ADP is 8+ points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a full fade (e.g. very overvalued).

Defense/Special Teams

Average Draft Position (ADP)

Each D/ST’s current ADP.

Bargain

A D/ST whose ADP is 4-7 points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a bargain.

Big Bargain

A D/ST whose ADP is 8+ points worse than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a big bargain.

Fade

A D/ST whose ADP is 4-7 points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a fade (e.g. overvalued).

Full Fade

A D/ST whose ADP is 8+ points better than PFN’s median ranking is tagged as a full fade (e.g. very overvalued).

Services and Info

Position Rankings

Proprietary Research

QB Variables

RB Variables

WR Variables

TE Variables

K/DEF Variables