A police officer from Philadelphia is the winner of the Fantasy Index Open competition. Bill Copestick put together the best overall combination of players, outperforming 943 other entries.

For his efforts, Copestick wins a mega-sized trophy from the folks at Affordable-Trophies.com. They’ve been sponsoring this event for years.

The Fantasy Index Open is a free, all-comers competition, with each participant required to list a top 20 at each of the positions. Each entry receives credit for all 120 ranked players (with players ranked higher counting more towards the overall score).

A long-time Eagles fan, Copestick has been playing for years and says he typically places in the top third. His usual strategy is to play things conservatively, with his personal favorite choices pushed up on his lists. He put together a remarkably well-rounded entry this year, ranking between 23rd and 45th in all but one of the positions (his worst position was at tight end, where he still ranked 73rd).

Ken Holizna of Canton, Ga., finished in second. Holizna was the overall winner at the running back position and finished 30th at wide receiver, but ranked between 111th and 167th at the other four positions. A transplanted Steelers fan from the Pittsburgh area, Holizna has his own podcast, “Faith, Family, Fantasy Football” (he was interrupted at a bible study group when he was informed of his finish).

As the top two finishers, Copestick and Holizna earn berths in the Experts Poll in the 2023 edition of the magazine, competing against 18 professionals employed in the industry.

Jim DiLorenzo of Grand Rapids, Mich., is the bronze medalist. He doesn’t actually win anything, but 3rd place in competition of this size is nonetheless impressive. He finished 4th at quarterback and in the top 80 at three other positions.

There was a curveball thrown into this year’s competition when the Bengals-Bills game was abandoned. My initial thought was to proportionately inflate the stats for all players on those teams (to account for them playing in in one fewer game). For the 2020 version of this contest, with COVID looming, it was specifically written out that stats would be adjusted to level the playing field, should there be teams that played fewer games.

But when I looked over the printed rules for confirmation of that rule, I see it’s not only no longer in there. There’s also a rule that kind of indicates the opposite, “Statistics and points will accrue only for games that are ruled official by the NFL.” So I was leery of tinkering with the stats of the Bills and Bengals (even though I wanted to). Apologies to those who were high on players from those offenses. Your entries arguably should have finished a little higher. (And I will add that clause back into the official rules next year).

To see how your own entry fared, first sign in to the website, then click on the “Your Stuff” link at the top of the page. You’ll find a Fantasy Index Open 2022 link that shows your entry’s overall rank, and how you placed in each of the six positional categories.

—Ian Allan