Chet Gresham

Post-Season Fantasy Football Guide

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Complete Playoff Ranks

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Welcome to the NFL Playoffs, Fantasy Rankings Division. Ranking NFL players for the playoffs is extremely difficult unless you have Biff’s Grays Sports Almanac to tell you exactly how many games each team will play, but that’s what makes it fun (or extremely frustrating). Unlike in normal leagues you can’t be sure that the team your draftee plays for will play more than one game. And if you’ve ever wagered on football you know that your chances of picking that right are fairly precarious. But that’s the added twist that makes playoff leagues more challenging. Below I’ll give you a little look into my thinking on strategy for playoff-long draft leagues and then get into the rankings. Good luck!


Picking the winners from Wildcard Weekend for NFL Playoff drafts will for sure give your players two games, but of course the odds of them having more than two games are less than a team like Seattle or Denver having more than two. So even though it would be nice to pick the bulk of your fantasy players from a wild card winner who will go to the Super Bowl, the odds are still in favor of Seattle and Denver being there in the end. So that will be my default position in the overall rankings, but it is still worth selecting a couple teams you feel are strong enough to go deep in the playoffs from each conference.  You’ll have trouble winning if you spread your picks out too much. To the bold goes the bounty.


Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for the Wild Card playoff weekend. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Saturday at 4:35pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.



NFL Playoff Rankings




1. Peyton Manning

2. Russell Wilson

3. Tom Brady

4. Colin Kaepernick

5. Nick Foles

6. Cam Newton

7. Aaron Rodgers

8. Andy Dalton

9. Drew Brees

10. Andrew Luck

11. Philip Rivers

12. Alex Smith


QB Notes: Peyton Manning’s consistently huge numbers easily makes him the first quarterback and first player taken in fantasy drafts because his odds of getting to the Super Bowl coupled with his upside in relation to the other quarterbacks is pretty wide. ... After Manning I’d want to go with Russell Wilson based on his team’s dominance at home and his play in last year’s playoff when he combined for 572 passing yards, 127 yards rushing and four all-purpose touchdowns in two games. ... Tom Brady has the coach and playoff experience to make the Patriots the third most likely team to win out. Brady’s numbers haven’t been elite of late, but ‘he’ll show up in a shootout and a win with middling stats’ is usually better than 'great stats with a loss’.  After these three it gets a lot muddier for me. Colin Kaepernick, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Nick Foles all have extremely high ceilings and a fairly equal shot at multiple games in my mind. If I miss out on the top three, I think I would wait on a quarterback. ... Drew Brees is a tough call, but it is very hard to look past his 3-5 road record and distinctive home/away statistical splits. At home he averages 354 yards passing per game with a total of 27 touchdowns to three interceptions and on the road he’s averaging 291 yards passing per game and a total of 12 touchdowns to nine interceptions. And outdoors the stats are even worse.



Running Backs


1. Marshawn Lynch

2. Knowshon Moreno

3. LeSean McCoy

4. Frank Gore

5. Jamaal Charles

6. Eddie Lacy

7. Shane Vereen

8. LeGarrette Blount

9. Giovani Bernard

10. Donald Brown

11. Stevan Ridley

12. Montee Ball

13. Ryan Mathews

14. DeAngelo Williams

15. Pierre Thomas

16. Mike Tolbert

17. BenJarvus Green-Ellis

18. Danny Woodhead

19. Darren Sproles

20. Trent Richardson

21. James Starks

22. Bryce Brown

23. Robert Turbin

24. Mark Ingram

25. Knile Davis

26. Kendall Hunter

27. Chris Polk

28. Jonathan Stewart

29. Ronnie Hillman

30. Christine Michael

31. Brandon Bolden

32. LaMichael James

33. John Kuhn

34. Khiry Robinson

35. Anthony Dixon

36. Jed Collins

37. James Develin

38. Ronnie Brown

39. C.J. Anderson

40. Stanley Havili


RB Notes: Marshawn Lynch would be my first non-QB pick. He will get his work and the Seahawks have the best odds to go all the way. ... Knowshon Moreno will continue to lose some work to Montee Ball, but is still the lead back on a great offense with home-field advantage throughout. ... LeSean McCoy has the ability to put up big numbers and I like the Eagles’ chance to beat the Saints at home which would take them to Carolina where I think they have a much better shot of winning than if they had to go to Seattle. ... After McCoy I’d be looking at wide receivers pretty closely. The Patriots' backfield has a good chance of moving on in the playoffs, but also are a little scary from game to game.  But each running back, including Stevan Ridley, has a bunch of potential during these playoffs. ... Giovani Bernard out-touched BenJarvus Green-Ellis 18 to 11 last Sunday and I like the Bengals’ chances to beat San Diego at home and they have the personnel to beat quite a few teams if Good Andy shows up. ... The Panthers are tough for me to gauge. They have the talent to go all the way, but I also feel like they are vulnerable if their offense doesn’t show up. So DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert could have some value if you can grab them later, but they don’t feel like strong plays. Johnathan Stewart also could play at some point and hurt their value as well.


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Chet Gresham writes Target Watch and The Morning After for and is the founder of The Fake Football. Chet can be found on Twitter .
Email :Chet Gresham

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