The Fantasy Index Open competition is back – your chance to show that you’re the most knowledgeable prognosticator in all the land. This is the contest where you submit a top 20 at each position. At the end of the season, we grade all of the selections and crown a champion.

This is a free contest, and it’s open to everyone (hence the contest name, “Open”). Many entries will be Fantasy Index readers. Some will be professionals from other sites. It’s open to anybody who wants to play.

The winner takes home a huge trophy from the team at Affordable Trophies. They’ve been partnering with us on this contest the last few years.

The top 2 finishers also win entries into the Experts Poll in next year’s magazine, where they’ll compete against industry experts in a similar style of competition.

Will a reader someday win the Fantasy Index Open and then come out on top in the 20-man field of the Experts Poll? In theory, that should happen. It’s harder to win the Open than the regular Experts Poll, so we’re getting two quality entries each year. But it hasn’t happened yet. Last year’s two qualifiers, Tom Deskovitz (South Lyon, Mich.) and runnerup Michael Livengood (Ward, Ark.) finished in 5th and 6th in Experts Poll.

In the Fantasy Index Open, you list your top 20 at each position – QB, RB, WR, TE, K and Def. We score those picks, using a complex scoring matrix. Basically, the higher you rank a player, the more his production is counted in your score. The exact scoring is spelled out in the official rules. There are no lineups, games or waiver moves in this contest. You simply list your top 20 at each position at the start of the preseason, then we check back in January and crown the champion.

Entries are due before the kickoff of the first game of the first full week of the preseason. That is, we’re not counting the Hall of Fame game, but entries must be completed and filled in before those initial exhibition games begin on Thursday, August 13.

I expect we’ll get 200-300 entries. If you’d like to participate, send an email to

—Ian Allan