Playoff Fantasy Rankings and Strategy

Ranking the players on the 12 playoff teams for traditional playoff fantasy drafts

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 top 10 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 Roethlisberger, then you are going to favor Steelers over Patriots for the rest of your draft. Much more than a typical fantasy draft, your early picks should dictate the mid and late parts of your draft.

A Note on My Picks

Wild Card picks in order of confidence:

Pittsburgh over Miami because Pittsburgh won’t sleepwalk this time around
Seattle over Detroit because Seattle home field advantage
NY Giants over Green Bay because Eli in the playoffs and NYG balance
Houston over Oakland because Oakland’s quarterback situation

Divisional picks in order of confidence:

New England over Houston because come on
Pittsburgh over Kansas City because Steelers firepower on offense
Atlanta over Seattle because Seattle barely beat Falcons in Seattle
NY Giants over Dallas because rookie QB in the playoffs

Conference Championship picks in order of confidence:

New England over Pittsburgh because homefield and better defense
NY Giants over Atlanta because Eli in the playoffs history

Tiered team ranking by range of outcomes:

1. New England - Homefield advantage and a creampuff matchup in the divisional round

2. Pittsburgh - Real chance to play four games and potent offense

3. Seattle - Strong favorite Week 1 and lots of playoff experience
4. Atlanta - Could go to Super Bowl, could be one and done
5. New York Giants - Has to run table on road but Eli has done it before

6. Dallas - Homefield advantage, but rookie QB and poor defense
7. Green Bay - Chance to play 3 or 4 games, but lackluster playoff team since 2010 title
8. Kansas City - home divisional game, but lacking offensive punch

9. Houston - Real chance at two games
10. Oakland - Real chance at two games

11. Miami - Tough to see them winning at Pittsburgh
12. Detroit - Tough to see them winning at Seattle

A Note on Your Instincts

Of course, you should adjust these rankings based on your beliefs of the outcome of the playoffs. The art of balancing individual expected fantasy value per game and expected number of games is not well understood and you should rely on your own instincts when it comes to questions about weighing potential one-off studs against mid-level players with a good shot at a Super Bowl berth.

Quarterback

1. Tom Brady, NE
2. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
3. Russell Wilson, SEA
4. Matt Ryan, ATL
5. Aaron Rodgers, GB
6. Eli Manning, NYG
7. Dak Prescott, DAL
8. Alex Smith, KC
9. Matthew Stafford, DET
10. Matt Moore/Ryan Tannehill, MIA **Monitor Practice Reports**
11. Brock Osweiler, HOU
12. Connor Cook, OAK
13. Tony Romo, DAL
14. Jimmy Garoppolo, NE
15. Tom Savage, HOU
16. Matt Moore/Ryan Tannehill, MIA

Running Back

1. Le'Veon Bell, PIT
2. LeGarrette Blount, NE
3. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
4. Devonta Freeman, ATL
5. Tevin Coleman, ATL
6. Thomas Rawls, SEA
7. Rashad Jennings, NYG
8. Paul Perkins, NYG
9. Jay Ajayi, MIA
10. Ty Montgomery, GB **Top 12-15 if listed as WR**
11. Spencer Ware, KC
12. Lamar Miller, HOU
13. Dion Lewis, NE
14. James White, NE
15. Latavius Murray, OAK
16. Zach Zenner, DET
17. DeAngelo Williams, PIT
18. Aaron Ripkowski, GB
19. Darren McFadden, DAL
20. Christine Michael, GB
21. Alex Collins, SEA
22. Charcandrick West, KC
23. C.J. Prosise, SEA **Monitor Status**
24. DeAndre Washington, OAK
25. Alfred Blue, HOU
26. Jonathan Grimes, HOU
27. Marcel Reece, OAK
28. Lance Dunbar, DAL
29. Bobby Rainey, NYG
30. Terron Ward, ATL
31. Jalen Richard, OAK
32. Kenyan Drake, MIA
33. Patrick DiMarco, ATL
34. Alfred Morris, DAL
35. Brandon Bolden, NE
36. Fitzgerald Toussaint, PIT
37. Knile Davis, KC
38. Damien Williams, MIA
39. Dwayne Washington, DET
40. Joique Bell, DET
41. Jamize Olawale, OAK
42. Anthony Sherman, KC

Wide Receiver

1. Antonio Brown, PIT
2. Odell Beckham Jr Jr, NYG
3. Julio Jones, ATL
4. Julian Edelman, NE
5. Doug Baldwin, SEA
6. Jordy Nelson, GB
7. Dez Bryant, DAL
8. Chris Hogan, NE
9. Sterling Shepard, NYG
10. Eli Rogers, PIT
11. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
12. Davante Adams, GB
13. Cole Beasley, DAL
14. Malcolm Mitchell, NE
15. Michael Floyd, NE
16. Mohamed Sanu, ATL
17. Tyreek Hill, KC
18. Jermaine Kearse, SEA
19. Taylor Gabriel, ATL
20. Paul Richardson Jr, SEA
21. Danny Amendola, NE
22. Terrance Williams, DAL
23. Michael Crabtree, OAK
24. Amari Cooper, OAK
25. Golden Tate, DET
26. Jarvis Landry, MIA
27. Will Fuller V, HOU
28. Victor Cruz, NYG
29. Justin Hardy, ATL
30. Jeremy Maclin, KC
31. Brice Butler, DAL
32. Marvin Jones Jr, DET
33. Anquan Boldin, DET
34. Geronimo Allison, GB
35. Randall Cobb, GB
36. Sammie Coates Jr, PIT
37. DeVante Parker, MIA
38. Kenny Stills, MIA
39. Tanner McEvoy, SEA
40. Cobi Hamilton, PIT
41. Aldrick Robinson, ATL
42. Roger Lewis, NYG
43. Dwayne Harris, NYG
44. Jeff Janis, GB
45. Chris Conley, KC
46. Albert Wilson, KC
47. Seth Roberts, OAK
48. TJ Jones, DET
49. Andre Holmes, OAK
50. Johnny Holton, OAK
51. Keith Mumphrey, HOU
52. Wendell Williams, HOU

Tight End

1. Jimmy Graham, SEA
2. Martellus Bennett, NE
3. Travis Kelce, KC
4. Ladarius Green, PIT
5. Will Tye, NYG
6. Jason Witten, DAL
7. Jared Cook, GB
8. Jesse James, PIT
9. Eric Ebron, DET
10. Austin Hooper, ATL
11. C.J. Fiedorowicz, HOU
12. Ryan Griffin, HOU
13. Matt Lengel, NE
14. Luke Willson, SEA
15. Levine Toilolo, ATL
16. Richard Rodgers, GB
17. Dion Sims, MIA
18. Clive Walford, OAK
19. Mychal Rivera, OAK

Kicker

1. Stephen Gostkowski, NE
2. Chris Boswell, PIT
3. Steve Hauschka, SEA
4. Matt Bryant, ATL
5. Dan Bailey, DAL
6. Robbie Gould, NYG
7. Mason Crosby, GB
8. Cairo Santos, KC
9. Nick Novak, HOU
10. Sebastian Janikowski, OAK
11. Andrew Franks, MIA
12. Matt Prater, DET

D/ST

1. New England
2. Seattle
3. Pittsburgh
4. Kansas City
5. New York Giants
6. Atlanta
7. Houston
8. Dallas
9. Green Bay
10. Oakland
11. Miami
12. Detroit

Overall Top 20

1. Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT
2. Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
3. Tom Brady, QB, NE
4. Odell Beckham Jr Jr, WR, NYG
5. Julio Jones, WR, ATL
6. LeGarrette Blount, RB, NE
7. Jimmy Graham, TE, SEA
8. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL
9. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
10. Devonta Freeman, RB, ATL
11. Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
12. Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
13. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
14. Julian Edelman, WR, NE
15. Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA
16. Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
17. Eli Manning, QB, NYG
18. Martellus Bennett, TE, NE
19. Travis Kelce, TE, KC
20. Dez Bryant, WR, DAL