NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Rankings

Jan 5, 2018

For those who don’t want fantasy football to end, there’s another way to extend your season (other than DFS). It’s called NFL Playoff Fantasy Football.

Simply join four, or five, other owners and re-draft based on the players available among playoff teams.

Lineups and rosters are all customizable, but here is a template I use…

Starting lineup – QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE), 1 K, and 1 D/ST

Roster (20 spots) – 2 QBs, 6 RBs, 6 WRs, 2 TEs, 2 Ks, and 2 D/STs

Also, set-up your scoring settings before the draft. I use a PPR-format.

NFL Playoff Seeding

AFC

  1. Patriots
  2. Steelers
  3. Jaguars
  4. Chiefs
  5. Titans
  6. Bills

NFC

  1. Eagles
  2. Vikings
  3. Rams
  4. Saints
  5. Panthers
  6. Falcons

Now, on to the rankings…

Quarterbacks

  1. Tom Brady, NE
  2. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
  3. Jared Goff, LAR
  4. Blake Bortles, JAC
  5. Drew Brees, NO
  6. Case Keenum, MIN
  7. Alex Smith, KC
  8. Cam Newton, CAR
  9. Nick Foles, PHI
  10. Matt Ryan, ATL
  11. Tyrod Taylor, BUF
  12. Marcus Mariota, TEN

The goal for these leagues is to have the players playing in the most games. Every team is guaranteed one game. Which ones will advance? In the past, you could easily assume that one team would play two, or even three, games. However, in my opinion, this is the toughest playoff to predict in recent history. So, I put experience at the top of my rankings.

Tom Brady is the most decorated quarterback in NFL playoff history. He knows how to get into the postseason and, most importantly, he knows how to advance in the playoffs. Brady has won 25 playoff games. The second-most, among quarterbacks, is Joe Montana with 16 wins.

The same could be said for Ben Roethlisberger. His 13 playoff wins is tied with Brett Favre at sixth among QBs.

After those two, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will advance. I’m predicting that either New England or Pittsburgh will face Los Angeles, so I tend to rank the Rams higher. When setting your rankings, be sure to adjust based on your Super Bowl matchup prediction.

Running Backs

  1. Le’Veon Bell, PIT
  2. Todd Gurley II, LAR
  3. Leonard Fournette, JAC
  4. Alvin Kamara, NO
  5. Mark Ingram, NO
  6. Kareem Hunt, KC
  7. Dion Lewis, NE
  8. Latavius Murray, MIN
  9. Derrick Henry, TEN
  10. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
  11. Jay Ajayi, PHI
  12. Devonta Freeman, ATL
  13. Tevin Coleman, ATL
  14. Jerick McKinnon, MIN
  15. Rex Burkhead, NE
  16. James White, NE
  17. LeSean McCoy, BUF
  18. Mike Tolbert, BUF
  19. Marcus Murphy, BUF
  20. Jonathan Stewart, CAR
  21. T.J. Yeldon, JAC
  22. Corey Clement, PHI
  23. Charcandrick West, KC
  24. Roosevelt Nix, PIT
  25. LeGarrette Blount, PHI
  26. Mike Gillislee, NE
  27. Stevan Ridley, PIT
  28. Anthony Sherman, KC
  29. Malcolm Brown, LAR
  30. DeMarco Murray, TEN (out)

As I mentioned in the quarterback writeup, Steelers/Patriots vs. Rams are my favorites. Le’Veon Bell and Todd Gurley II reflect that in my running back rankings.

A darkhorse prediction from the NFC is New Orleans. With the Saints playing in the first round, I bumped up Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. They have the potential to play in four playoff games. Obviously, more games equals more opportunities for points.

Towards the end of your draft, don’t forget about backups who could earn points deeper in the playoffs. One prime example is Roosevelt Nix for Pittsburgh. Sure, he’s notched three carries all season, but they came in the final two weeks. One rush was for a touchdown. If the Steelers advance to the AFC Championship, or even the Super Bowl, Nix is worth the risk. Something is better than nothing when your roster starts to dwindle down.

Wide Receivers

  1. Antonio Brown, PIT
  2. Adam Thielen, MIN
  3. Michael Thomas, NO
  4. Tyreek Hill, KC
  5. Brandin Cooks, NE
  6. Chris Hogan, NE
  7. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
  8. Julio Jones, ATL
  9. Alshon Jeffery, PHI
  10. Stefon Diggs, MIN
  11. Devin Funchess, CAR
  12. Keelan Cole, JAC
  13. Nelson Agholor, PHI
  14. Cooper Kupp, LAR
  15. Marqise Lee, JAC
  16. Martavis Bryant, PIT
  17. Sammy Watkins, LAR
  18. Danny Amendola, NE
  19. Mohamed Sanu, ATL
  20. Robert Woods, LAR
  21. Eric Decker, TEN
  22. Rishard Matthews, TEN
  23. Dede Westbrook, JAC
  24. Corey Davis, TEN
  25. Torrey Smith, PHI
  26. Kelvin Benjamin, BUF
  27. Albert Wilson, KC
  28. Ted Ginn Jr., NO
  29. Deonte Thompson, BUF
  30. Taylor Gabriel, ATL

Before his injury, you could’ve made an argument that Antonio Brown was the MVP of the league. He’s certainly one of the most consistent. Brown has tallied at least 100 catches and nine touchdowns in four-consecutive seasons. When he’s on the field, Pittsburgh will always have a shot. For these reasons, Brown is worth the risk of being the first wide receiver off the board.

It’s all about getting the maximum number of points from your roster. If you select players who have a bye higher in your draft, be sure to toss in some first-round receivers towards the end. Having a full lineup in the Wild Card round is just as important as having players who are in the final game.

The Falcons are five-point underdogs against the Rams, but their game has one of the highest over/unders of the Wild Card slate (48.5). Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and even Taylor Gabriel could be steals while every one else is aiming for first-round favorites who might underperform, and potentially lose, in their first game (see Eagles).

Tight Ends

  1. Rob Gronkowski, NE
  2. Travis Kelce, KC
  3. Zach Ertz, PHI
  4. Greg Olsen, CAR
  5. Kyle Rudolph, MIN
  6. Delanie Walker, TEN
  7. Jesse James, PIT
  8. Charles Clay, BUF
  9. Trey Burton, PHI
  10. Marcedes Lewis, JAC
  11. Austin Hooper, ATL
  12. Gerald Everett, LAR
  13. Dwayne Allen, NE
  14. Josh Hill, NO
  15. Demetrius Harris, KC
  16. Ed Dickson, CAR

With the limit of two TEs in this league, make sure you backup your stud with a player who will record some minutes in the Wild Card round. Rob Gronkowski and Zach Ertz will be the obvious favorites, but you’ll need someone to start in their place until the Divisional round.

Charles Clay is my favorite choice in the first weekend of the playoffs. He’s received at least eight targets in three-straight weeks. In Week 17, when LeSean McCoy was hurt, Clay caught six passes for 64 yards. He is Tyrod Taylor‘s favorite option and could be heavily-relied upon against the Jaguars.

Kickers

  1. Stephen Gostkowski, NE
  2. Chris Boswell, PIT
  3. Kai Forbath, MIN
  4. Josh Lambo, JAC
  5. Harrison Butker, KC
  6. Matt Bryant, ATL
  7. Jake Elliott, PHI
  8. Will Lutz, NO
  9. Graham Gano, CAR
  10. Sam Ficken, LAR
  11. Stephen Hauschka, BUF
  12. Ryan Succop, TEN

D/STs

  1. Vikings
  2. Steelers
  3. Patriots
  4. Jaguars
  5. Rams
  6. Chiefs
  7. Saints
  8. Eagles
  9. Falcons
  10. Panthers
  11. Titans
  12. Bills

There are two different approaches when selecting a kicker and defense:

  • You continue to pick from teams you believe will play in the Super Bowl
  • You hedge your bet and choose from teams different from your positional players

Either way works for me.

Also, remember where these teams are playing. Weather will be a factor for the kicking game in New England, and other cold venues that are outdoors.

Adam Meyer is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Adam, check out his archive and follow him @CharlieSideHstl.

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1Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
2Dion Lewis (NE)RB
3Jay Ajayi (PHI)RB
4Jerick McKinnon (MIN)RB
5Latavius Murray (MIN)RB
6Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
7James White (NE)RB
8Stefon Diggs (MIN)WR
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16Nelson Agholor (PHI)WR
17Danny Amendola (NE)WR
18Chris Hogan (NE)WR
19Marqise Lee (JAC)WR
20Dede Westbrook (JAC)WR
21Allen Hurns (JAC)WR
22Zach Ertz (PHI)TE
23Torrey Smith (PHI)WR
24Kyle Rudolph (MIN)TE
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28Laquon Treadwell (MIN)WR
29Kenny Britt (NE)WR
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18Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
19Myles Turner (IND)PF,C
20Paul George (OKC)SG,SF
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