Playing in a fantasy football playoff league in January? Take a look at these rankings before drafting your players.
By Bob Cervantes, the Jabronis’ Duke of Fantasy
With the addictive nature that many Americans have when it comes to football, fantasy football and gambling on football and fantasy football it was only a matter of time until we learned to maximize every possible moment we have to gamble on fantasy football. With many people now participating in playoff fantasy leagues that coincide with the NFL’s postseason schedule, that time is now. (That is until we get to the point where we’re actually playing preseason fantasy football. Yikes!)
Until then, follow these rankings for playoff fantasy football league success. The criteria I’ve used to compile these rankings are obviously talent first and foremost, but another important factor considered is how good each player’s respective teams are and how likely I believe they’re going to play in multiple games. The further they advance the more games they will play, hence the more fantasy points they will get you. Rankings are also based on standard scoring systems. And I left out defenses and kickers on purpose. You’re all on your own with that mess.
You’ll find detailed credentials for each player after the overall ranking list. Should you win your respective league with my help, I’m available on PayPal for commission payments. Good Luck!
1. Peyton Manning
2. LeSean McCoy
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Marshawn Lynch
5. Tom Brady
6. Jamaal Charles
7. Demaryius Thomas
8. Knowshon Moreno
9. Anquan Boldin
10. Drew Brees
11. Frank Gore
12. Jordy Nelson
13. Nick Foles
14. Eddie Lacy
15. Julian Edelman
16. Julius Thomas
17. Eric Decker
18. Jimmy Graham
19. Vernon Davis
20. A.J. Green
Manning is No. 1 on my list simply because of his 5,477 yards and 55 TDs (enough said). He had an incredible year and Denver is poised to make a long playoff run.
McCoy was the best back in the NFL this year and should get a lot of touches going forward in the playoffs. The only worry I have is how many games will he get? With the Eagles opening up at home against the Saints, a very good team but a totally different team away from the Superdome, it’s a tough draw to say the least. Will the Eagles do enough to win? If they do, Shady will pay off dividends and be worthy of the risk/reward selection. But even if he plays one game the potential for a huge day is still there.
Rodgers is baaaack! Aaron is back! I think he proved in that finale division-clinching game against the Bears that there is no rust to scrape off his collarbone or throwing arm. The Packers could be a very dangerous team in the NFC in these playoffs and Rodgers owners would reap those rewards.
Lynch is a beast and will get a lot of touches. Most likely if Pete Carroll is smart he will feed the beast and rely on his defense to win games. They should make a run in this year’s playoffs as well.
Brady had a nice year with more than 4,000 yards and 25 TDs. I have him in my Top 5 because I believe the AFC is a two-team race between the Patriots and the Broncos. Expect at least two games from him in which he will continue to air it out as the ground game remains unpredictable at best.
Charles had an incredible year as well. He finally stayed healthy and delivered for his fantasy owners over the duration. The only downfall with him in the playoffs is how many games will he play? The Chiefs have a tough draw having to start their run in Indy where Andrew Luck already has playoff experience under his belt.
Demaryius Thomas is probably the most talented wide receiver at Manning’s deep disposal. Even with other talented guys “stealing” plays from him he put up 92 receptions, 1,430 yards and 14 TDs. A stud who should play multiple games.
Moreno is another big talent who finally paid off for his fantasy owners. (“Defend your pick” … a little inside joke with Jabroni Joe.) If Denver stays balanced in these playoffs he can put up numbers just like he did in the regular season.
Boldin is old and slow, I know, I know. Don’t worry about that for the next few weeks. He is a beast and he turns it up a notch in the postseason. Just ask Joe Flacco. Hopefully he gave a little kickback to Anquan for that ridiculous contract.
Brees is a Top 3 regular season fantasy quarterback, but he falls to No. 10 overall on my playoff list just for the mere fact that this offence is different on the road and as the sixth seed the Saints have no chance of a home game no matter how long they last in the 2013 postseason.
Gore is another aging player for the 49ers. I know he looked it towards the end of this regular season, but I think he was holding back for the postseason. He is a beast for the Niners and he will be relied on heavily throughout these playoffs.
Nelson has his favorite friend back in Mr. Rodgers. Without his starting quarterback Nelson looked very average. The last game against the Bears with Rodgers back Nelson had 16 targets, 10 receptions and 161 yards. So, yeah, you’re safe with him.
Foles has pretty much surprised everyone this year. That being said, I did slip him behind four other quarterbacks (all future Hall of Famers). My only worry about him is a lack of experience in the playoffs and the possibility of McCoy getting more touches. Hopefully he won’t be too upset with me like he should be for that Pro Bowl snub by the NFL this year.
Lacy has been a battering ram this year for the Packers. He runs downhill and usually takes defenders with him. He is the No. 1 running back this year for the Packers, but my concerns are he’s a little banged up and with Rodgers back they could look to throw more.
Edelman … WHAT!?! Yes, kiddies I have Julian ranked 15th overall among playoff fantasy players. Here’s the breakdown: Brady doesn’t have Gronk to throw to anymore and needs to throw to someone reliable. With the rookie wide receivers not really panning out right now Edelman has become his favorite target. Still don’t believe me? How about this: he had 151 targets and 105 receptions this year and 44 of those receptions were in the month of December to go along with 446 yards. Bang!!! Draft him if you can.
Julius Thomas was another surprise performer this year. He is the first tight end on this list not because I think he is the best talent, but because he is on Denver with Manning and should get a lot of opportunities.
Decker, another Bronco. Starting to see a trend here? Decker has been solid all year and down the stretch arguably could have been considered Manning’s go-to guy. In December he piled up 491 yards and eight TDs (of 11 total).
Graham slips to my No. 2 tight end because of being on the road and being banged up. Although he put up good numbers this year, he has been battling a foot injury. This might be a risky pick because of the possibility of the Saints being “one and done.” Let someone else jump the gun on him.
Davis was also clutch for the 49ers during last year’s playoff run to the Super Bowl. He is basically like a wide receiver for them. I like him a lot, but his success relies on Colin Kaepernick, who took a little step back this year as a QB.
Green. I really struggled with this spot because I feel like the Bengals at most will play two games, maybe only one. He is such a talent I had to have him on this list, but if you must know the other player I thought about here was Ryan Matthews. He had a very good, albeit quiet year, but will have the same problem as A.J. with a max of two games.
My Snubs. There were only so many people I could fit into my Top 20 rankings (20, in fact). Here are some guys you may have been looking for who did not make this list: Wes Welker. Two concussions towards the end of the year kept him off the list. Matthews, Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen. See Green’s ranking. LeGarrette Blount, Shane Vereen, and Stevan Ridley. The backfield in New England is too crowded and with playing for Bill Belichick, all it takes is one bad play and you will find the bench. Marques Colston. Basically the same problem I have with all Saint players this playoffs, they’ll be on the road for the duration. DeSean Jackson. I feel like he dropped off a little at the end of the regular season. He relies on the big play to get his numbers and in the playoffs they are harder to come by. Cam Newton. No playoff experience and sometimes isn’t a great fantasy quarterback due to a lack of yardage totals. Golden Tate. Had a nice regular season, but I feel like the Seahawks will rely on the run more in the playoffs.
Sleepers: Newton. Hey he’s a snub and a sleeper? Yes. He is on a good team that is hot and if he uses his legs more he can put up points. Vereen. Also on the snub list. He is involved a lot in the passing game and if he can stay on the field he can get some points as well. Michael Crabtree. Was hurt most of the regular season, but probably is the 49ers’ most talented wide receiver. Zack Ertz. He is a deep sleeper at tight end, but he has been involved a lot in the red zone down the stretch. He has four TDs on the year and three came in December. T.Y. Hilton, I thought he was going to be the man once Reggie Wayne went down, but has really been inconsistent. He did end the regular season on a good note by catching 11 balls for 155 yards receiving in Week 17.