Chris Wesseling

Post-Season Fantasy Football Guide

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Fantasy Playoff Rankings

Tuesday, January 04, 2011




Running Backs

1. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
2. Ray Rice
3. Rashard Mendenhall
4. Michael Turner
5. LeSean McCoy
6. Matt Forte

The Ravens finally have Rice humming just in time for the playoffs. Green-Ellis, Mendenhall, and Turner are easily the best bets for a multi-touchdown performance in any one game. McCoy and Forte both receive considerable upgrades in PPR formats.

7. Jamaal Charles
8. Pierre Thomas
9. Joseph Addai
10. Danny Woodhead
11. Shonn Greene

Charles is easily the best running back in the postseason, but I'm finding it hard to muster up confidence in the Chiefs this week. Thomas and Chris Ivory both have question marks on health and workload. Addai is the Colts' goal-line back, pushing him ahead of Dom Rhodes and Donald Brown. Woodhead is a sneaky pick on the Super Bowl favorite. The Jets are saddling Greene up for a heavy workload, just as they did last year.

Update: The Saints placed Chris Ivory (foot) on injured reserve Tuesday. Pierre Thomas' status for the Seattle game remains uncertain. He's expected to be listed as "questionable" on the team's official injury report. Julius Jones would pick up extra snaps if Thomas can't go.

12. LaDainian Tomlinson
13. Reggie Bush
14. Brandon Jackson
15. Thomas Jones
16. Marshawn Lynch

Starters with question marks or shaky matchups. Tomlinson could morph into a third-down back with the Jets planning on pounding Greene. Bush stepped up on the big stage in last year's playoffs, but he's had just one decent game since returning from a broken leg. The Packers can't run and the Seahawks will be forced to go away from Lynch once the Saints jump out to an early lead. Jones is running on fumes.

17. Willis McGahee
18. Dominic Rhodes
19. Donald Brown
20. John Kuhn
21. Jason Snelling
22. Chester Taylor
23. Julius Jones
24. Justin Forsett

The best of the backups, timeshare backs, and pass-catchers. Rhodes has outplayed Brown of late, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he ended up sharing equally with Addai. McGahee and Kuhn both receive a boost in TD-heavy formats. Snelling, Taylor, and Forsett are purely third-down backs.

25. Jerome Harrison
26. Isaac Redman
27. James Starks
28. Dimitri Nance
29. Mewelde Moore
30. Joe McKnight

The running back dregs. Harrison won't see more than 3-4 touches per game barring injury to McCoy. The same goes for Redman, Moore, and McKnight. Starks and Nance remain behind an underwhelming Brandon Jackson.

Wide Receivers

1. Mike Wallace
2. Roddy White
3. Wes Welker
4. DeSean Jackson
5. Greg Jennings
6. Pierre Garcon
7. Reggie Wayne
8. Jeremy Maclin
9. Deion Branch

The cream of the crop. Wallace is playing as well as any receiver in the NFL, and the Steelers have a legit chance at the Super Bowl. White is the safest bet for double-digit targets, but will he play two games? Jackson, Maclin, and Jennings are boom-or-bust picks. Wayne gets docked for the Revis Island factor, leaving Garcon as the top playmaker against the Jets. Welker and Branch get the extra credit that goes to Super Bowl favorites.

10. Hines Ward
11. Dwayne Bowe
12. Marques Colston
13. Santonio Holmes
14. Anquan Boldin
15. Derrick Mason
16. Johnny Knox
17. Braylon Edwards

Ward's legs are gone, but I wouldn't bet against the cagey veteran at playoff time. This is essentially a red-light grade for Colston. Let someone else gamble on him a week and half after arthroscopic knee surgery. Boldin is the Ravens' best receiver, but Mason remains Joe Flacco's security blanket. I just don't have the confidence that Holmes, Edwards, and Knox will play more than one game.

18. Donald Driver
19. Robert Meachem
20. Lance Moore
21. James Jones
22. Blair White
23. Mike Williams
24. Devery Henderson
25. Emmanuel Sanders
26. Devin Hester
27. Earl Bennett
28. Jordy Nelson
29. Michael Jenkins

The second, third, and fourth receivers on the Saints and Packers aren't reliable, but any one of them could strike for a 100-yard performance. White won't top 50 yards, but he's a decent bet for a score in any game. Give Hester a huge boost in return-yardage leagues.

30. Jerricho Cotchery
31. Jason Avant
32. Brandon Tate
33. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
34. Ben Obomanu
35. Dexter McCluster
36. Donte Stallworth
37. Harry Douglas
38. Chris Chambers
39. Ruvell Martin

The best of the rest. It's a hodge-podge of No. 3 and No. 4 receivers without steady offensive roles.

Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski
2. Jacob Tamme
3. Tony Gonzalez

Only Jason Witten scored more fantasy points over the final three weeks of the season than Gronkowski, who is coming off his first career 100-yard performance in the regular-season finale. Tamme and Gonzalez are close, with the former a better pick in yardage-heavy leagues and the latter more likely to find the end zone.

4. Todd Heap
5. Jimmy Graham
6. Aaron Hernandez
7. Heath Miller
8. Brent Celek
9. Dustin Keller

Heap looked healthy while leading the Ravens in receiving yards in Week 17. Superfreak Graham has emerged as Drew Brees' version of Gronk. Hernandez can break out for a monster game at any time, but there's downside, too, considering his fickle snap counts. Miller, Celek, and Keller are all top-10 talents lacking consistency.

10. Jeremy Shockey
11. Greg Olsen
12. Tony Moeaki
13. John Carlson
14. Andrew Quarless

With Graham emerging, Shockey hasn't topped 30 yards since Week 4. Olsen doesn't have a big enough role in Mike Martz's offense. Moeaki could be one and done. Carlson and Quarless are afterthoughts in the passing game.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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