Postseason Rankings
by Sigmund Bloom
January 1st, 2012

Before we begin the rankings, the most important strategy tip is to take strong positions on a group of 1-2 teams on each side of the bracket. Spreading your picks out on 6-7 teams is a losing strategy. At the end of your playoff fantasy draft, you want to see two or three potential matchups in the Super Bowl that should equal a high chance of winning for you. You might not be able to pick the exact teams that you want, but it is important to roll with the flow of the draft. If you wanted Brady, but had to settle for Peyton, then you are going to favor Broncos over Patriots for the rest of your draft.

Quarterbacks

1. Tom Brady, NE
2. Peyton Manning, DEN
3. Aaron Rodgers, GB

4. Matt Ryan, ATL
5. Russell Wilson, SEA
6. Colin Kaepernick, SF
7. Joe Flacco, BAL
8. Matt Schaub, HOU
9. Robert Griffin III, WAS

10. Andy Dalton, CIN
11. Andrew Luck, IND
12. Christian Ponder, MIN

Notes: The first three picks in every draft should be the top three QBs on this list. Taking your second quarterback should be put off as long as possible, with your QB1 being your best bet on who will make it to the Super Bowl that is available at the time. If you are forced to take Russell Wilson as your QB1, attempt to pair him with Griffin to insure a quarterback in the second round. That also goes for Schaub/Dalton and Flacco/Luck.

Running Backs

1. Stevan Ridley, NE
2. Knowshon Moreno, DEN
3. Ray Rice, BAL
4. Arian Foster, HOU
5. Marshawn Lynch, SEA

6. Adrian Peterson, MIN
7. Frank Gore, SF
8. Alfred Morris, WAS
9. Danny Woodhead, NE
10. DuJuan Harris, GB

11. Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL
12. Michael Turner, ATL

13. Vick Ballard, IND
14. Benjarvus Green-Ellis, CIN (monitor injury status)
15. Ben Tate, HOU
16. Robert Turbin, SEA
17. Brandon Bolden, NE
18. Shane Vereen, NE
19. Bernard Pierce, BAL
20. Jason Snelling, ATL
21. John Kuhn, GB
22. LaMichael James, SF
23. Brian Leonard, CIN (monitor Green-Ellis injury status)
24. Ryan Grant, GB
25. Alex Green, GB
26. Michael Robinson, SEA
27. Jacob Hester, DEN
28. Lance Ball, DEN
29. Toby Gerhart, MIN
30. Evan Royster, WAS

Notes: Running back is a very thin position in the playoff pool. It isn't as important to get picks that reflect your beliefs about who will advance as it is to get at least one top 8 back in the first three rounds of your draft. Points at the running back position are going to be scarce, so you'll want to pocket some good scores early. Going Ridley-NE WR/TE or Moreno-DEN WR at the 6/7 turn is a terrific strategy if you get stuck there.

Wide Receivers

1. Wes Welker, NE
2. Demaryius Thomas, DEN
3. Eric Decker, DEN
4. Jordy Nelson, GB
5. Greg Jennings, GB

6. Andre Johnson, HOU
7. Michael Crabtree, SF
8. Julio Jones, ATL
9. Roddy White, ATL
10. James Jones, GB
11. Pierre Garcon, WAS
12. Brandon Lloyd, NE
13. Randall Cobb, GB (monitor injury)
14. Torrey Smith, BAL
15. Anquan Boldin, BAL
16. Golden Tate, SEA
17. Sidney Rice, SEA

18. AJ Green, CIN
19. Reggie Wayne, IND
20. TY Hilton, IND

21. Doug Baldwin, SEA
22. Deion Branch, NE
23. Brandon Stokley, DEN

24. Jacoby Jones, BAL
25. Randy Moss, SF
26. Santana Moss, WAS
27. Harry Douglas, ATL
28. Josh Morgan, WAS
29. Kevin Walter, HOU
30. Marvin Jones, CIN
31. Andrew Hawkins, CIN
32. Donnie Avery, IND
33. Jarius Wright, MIN
34. Michael Jenkins, MIN
35. Leonard Hankerson, WAS
36. Lestar Jean, HOU
37. Jerome Simpson, MIN
38. Donald Driver, GB
39. Matt Willis, DEN
40. Brandon Tate, CIN

Notes: Wide receiver is very deep. You probably don't want to take more than one in your first three picks unless it is to execute a strategy to corner the DEN, NE, or GB wide receiver corps (or Atlanta if you like them to advance to the Super Bowl. You can cobble together a solid wild card weekend lineup of wide receivers even if you wait at the position, so don't worry if your first two wide receiver picks don't play this weekend.

Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, NE
2. Aaron Hernandez, NE

3. Jermichael Finley, GB
4. Tony Gonzalez, ATL
5. Dennis Pitta, BAL
6. Owen Daniels, HOU
7. Jacob Tamme, DEN
8. Joel Dreessen, DEN

9. Jermaine Gresham, CIN
10. Vernon Davis, SF
11. Delanie Walker, SF
12. Anthony McCoy, SEA
13. Zach Miller, SEA
14. Kyle Rudolph, MIN
15. Coby Fleener, IND
16. Dwayne Allen, IND
17. Garrett Graham, HOU
18. James Casey, HOU (#20 RB if listed as RB)
19. Logan Paulsen, WAS
20. Ed Dickson, BAL

Notes: Tight end is brutal. If you don't land Gronkowski or Hernandez, you can put off taking a tight end for a while. Try to align your second-tier tight end with an earlier pick, like pairing Ryan with Gonzalez or Foster with Daniels to give you a power combo for a team that will mean good things if they make the big game.

Kickers

1. Stephen Gostkowski, WAS
2. Matt Prater, DEN
3. Mason Crosby, GB

4. Steven Hauschka, SEA
5. David Akers, SF
6. Matt Bryant, ATL
7. Justin Tucker, BAL

8. Shayne Graham, HOU
9. Kai Forbath, WAS

10. Josh Brown, CIN
11. Adam Vinatieri, IND
12. Blair Walsh, MIN

Defenses

1. New England Patriots
2. Denver Broncos
3. Green Bay Packers

4. Seattle Seahawks
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. Baltimore Ravens
7. Houston Texans
8. Atlanta Falcons

9. Washington Redskins
10. Cincinnati Bengals
11. Minnesota Vikings
12. Indianapolis Colts

Notes: Getting the NE, DEN, or GB K/D combination if you missed out on the key offensive pieces early is a terrific way to give yourself a fighting chance of beating a team that has a strong position on those offenses. Likewise, getting the K or D that matches with your cornerstone players can increase your chances of winning. Think of it like building hotels in Monopoly - you need to have a large segment of the representation of a team in your lineup to have a chance to build that winning hotel on your position in what will hopefully be a Super Bowl team. Good luck!

As always, thanks for reading. Questions, comments and suggestions are always welcome to bloom@footballguys.com.

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