Chris Wesseling

Post-Season Fantasy Football Guide

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Updated Fantasy Playoff Ranks

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Wide Receivers

1. Greg Jennings, Packers
2. Jordy Nelson, Packers
3. Marques Colston, Saints
4. Wes Welker, Patriots

Expected to be back to 100 percent in two weeks, Jennings will return to his perch as Aaron Rodgers’ go-to receiver. … Per @fboutsiders, Nelson’s 2011 season marks the highest DVOA score by a wide receiver in the last 20 years. … In a virtual tie with Jennings, Colston finished seventh in fantasy points per game. … The Patriots racked up a franchise-record 6,848 yards this season while tying an NFL record by posting 30 points in 12 games this season. Welker has big-game potential whenever he takes the field. 

5. Mike Wallace, Steelers
6. Calvin Johnson, Lions
7. Julio Jones, Falcons
8. Roddy White, Falcons
9. Victor Cruz, Giants
10. Hakeem Nicks, Giants
11. Antonio Brown, Steelers
12. Andre Johnson, Texans
13. Anquan Boldin, Ravens
14. Michael Crabtree, 49ers
15. A.J. Green, Bengals

16. Robert Meachem, Saints
17. Torrey Smith, Ravens

While Brown proved to be a better bet for targets and yards in the second half of the season, Wallace remains the primary touchdown threat for the Steelers. … Per @fboutsiders, Calvin Johnson finished with the second-best DYAR among wide receivers from 1992-2011. … White bounced back with a dominant final seven games, but it was playmaker Jones who finished as fantasy’s No. 1 receiver for the final four weeks. … Cruz’s five touchdowns of 65+ yards were the most in a single season since Crazy Legs Hirsch's six for the L.A. Rams in 1951. … Nicks is a more dominant talent facing tougher coverage.

Andre Johnson carries plenty of value if you believe the Texans will squeak past the Bengals. … Crabtree is playing the best ball of his career. … Boldin (knee) is expected to be healthy in two weeks, though he’s far from a sure bet to outproduce rookie deep threat Smith. … Green was held to a relatively quiet five catches and 59 yards in his first matchup with Texans shutdown corner Johnathan Joseph. 

18. James Jones, Packers

19. Devery Henderson, Saints

20. Deion Branch, Patriots

21. Lance Moore, Saints
22. Donald Driver, Packers
23. Nate Burleson, Lions

24. Mario Manningham, Giants
25. Titus Young, Lions
26. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
27. Eric Decker, Broncos
28. Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers
29. Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers
30. Hines Ward, Steelers
31. Jerome Simpson, Bengals
32. Chad Ochocinco, Patriots
33. Randall Cobb, Packers

34. Kevin Walter, Texans

35. Ted Ginn, 49ers
36. Kyle Williams, 49ers
37. Harry Douglas, Falcons
38. Jacoby Jones, Texans
39. Lee Evans, Ravens
40. Eddie Royal, Broncos

Meachem gets a healthy bump if Moore misses practice time this week. … Moore may disappear at times, but he has eight or more touchdowns in three of the past four seasons. The big game can come at any time -- just be sure to check practice reports on his hamstring. … Jones, Branch, Driver, Burleson, Manningham, and Young are hit-or-miss options. … The talent of Thomas and Decker figures to go to waste against the Steelers’ shut-down defense. … Cotchery, Sanders, and Ward may cancel each other out while vying for snaps as the third receiver. … Ochocinco has been an afterthought on offense. … Ginn and Williams are expected to be healthy for next week’s game. 


Friday Update: Lance Moore (hamstring) is unlikely to play against the Lions after missing mid-week practices. I've dropped Moore from 13th to 21st and given healthy bumps to Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson. Also moved Kevin Walter up a few spots.


Tight Ends

1. Jimmy Graham, Saints
2. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
3. Jermichael Finley, Packers
4. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots

Although Gronk turned in the best tight-end season in history, Graham wasn’t far behind. I like the latter’s chances of playing more games. … His season may have frustrated fantasy owners, but Finley still finished as a top-five tight end. … Despite missing 2 games, Aaron Hernandez was only outscored by Gronk and Jimmy Graham among fantasy TEs. Still one of the youngest players in the league, Hernandez’s 79/910/7 line was overshadowed by Gronkowski’s historic run.

5. Vernon Davis, 49ers
6. Heath Miller, Steelers
7. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons
8. Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
9. Owen Daniels, Texans

Davis closed out the season with a flourish, averaging 81 yards over the final three games. … Miller may be asked to concentrate on blocking against Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. … Gonzalez’s 1,149 catches are second in NFL history, but he’s winless in four playoff games. … Pettigrew tied with Jared Cook for the most tight-end receptions over the final three games. … Daniels has been losing red-zone looks to backup Dreessen.

10. Dennis Pitta, Ravens
11. Ed Dickson, Ravens
12. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
13. Jake Ballard, Giants
14. Joel Dreessen, Texans
15. Tony Scheffler, Lions
16. Daniel Fells, Broncos

 

Pitta and Dickson have canceled each other out, though the former has more catches and yards over the past three weeks. … Gresham has a tough matchup in a possible one-and-out scenario. … Ballard’s knee is question mark for the playoff opener. … Dreessen and Scheffler are worth a look in touchdown-heavy leagues. … Fells and Pascoe are purely desperation plays. 

Kickers

1. Mason Crosby, Packers
2. John Kasay, Saints

Crosby and Kasay not only kick for the league’s top two offenses, but also have the best chance of lasting three games. 

3. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots
4. Billy Cundiff, Ravens
5. Shaun Suisham, Steelers

The three AFC favorites are in coin-flip territory. Suisham is the least reliable of the trio.

6. David Akers, 49ers

7. Neil Rackers, Texans
8. Matt Bryant, Falcons
9. Lawrence Tynes, Giants
10. Jason Hanson, Lions
11. Mike Nugent, Bengals
12. Matt Prater, Broncos

The 49ers’ special teams dominance cannot be overstated. Akers set an NFL record for points (166), field goals (44), and attempts (52) while Andy Lee led the league in punting average (50.9 yards) and net yards (44.0). Not to be overlooked in the field-position battle, burner Ted Ginn is fourth in kickoff returns (27.6) and punt returns (12.3). … Bryant and Tynes are a toss-up. … Hanson could end up outscoring Rackers and/or Nugent in just one game. 


Friday Update: Bumped Rackers.


Defense/Special Teams

1. Packers
2. Saints

See above. Green Bay and New Orleans have the best shot at playing three games. 

3. Steelers
4. Ravens
5. Patriots
6. 49ers

The Steelers have the benefit of playing a slumping one-dimensional offense in the opener. … The Ravens could answer with a big game should T.J. Yates prevail over Cincinnati. … Although the Niners fielded one of the NFL’s elite defenses over the Patriots’ generous secondary, the two were dead even in fantasy points in many formats. 


7. Texans
8. Giants
9. Falcons
10. Bengals
11. Broncos
12. Lions

The Giants get the edge over the Falcons due to Jason Pierre-Paul’s emergence as perhaps the most lethal pass rusher in the game. … Houston will get Wade Phillips back for the Bulls on Parade defense. … The Lions can’t be trusted against the league’s most high-powered offense.

 

Friday Update: Bumped Texans.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter.



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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