Fantasy Football Playoff Rankings (2012)
From here on out I’m just going to list player rankings in each tier. For all pre-playoff analysis you can scroll down and you will see the break.
Tier 1- Safe Starts.
1. Aaron Rodgers vs. NYG- The Giants have stepped up their game to another level, but no level will be ready for the dynamic Green Bay Packer offense especially with Greg Jennings back at 100%. Aaron Rodgers should be in a shootout all game which could lead to huge fantasy value.
2. Tom Brady vs. Denver- The Patriots should handle the Broncos which are a terrible road pass defense. They gave up 344 Yards and 3 TD’s to Christian Ponder earlier this season. Touchdown Tom should have a field day.
3. Drew Bress @ SF- The Saints will not be successful running the ball against a defense that only gave up one rushing TD all season, which happened on the road in Seattle to Marshawn Lynch. Brees should eclipse the 300 Yard passing mark with ease in this one.
4. Eli Manning @ GB- The Packers are going to score points, so the only way to counter that is putting up points yourself. Eli should have fun playing against one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL in the regular season.
Tier 2- Not so Safe Starts.
5. Tim Tebow @ NE- We will start calling Tebow; “Touchdown Timmy” after this one. That is if the Broncos win this game, but that isn’t likely and the Broncos will be trailing a lot in this one. The Patriots defense does not oppose a threat and Tebow should be able to put up points against NE, especially in garbage time.
6. Alex Smith vs. NO- The Saints will force Alex Smith to beat them the best they can. He may not have a great game, but he can give you stats that can get you by.
7. Joe Flacco vs. Houston- The Texans pass defense is not as top notch as it was earlier in the season. This playoff run will be a big statement for Joe Flacco and his career with the Ravens. They need to win this game, and with Boldin coming back healthy Flacco has the weapons around him to get the job done.
Tier 3- Do not Start
8. T.J. Yates @ Baltimore- Baltimore will no doubt force Yates to beat them. Will that happen? Probably not, but this is his biggest showcase game to show what he can do as a franchise QB in the NFL.
Tier 1- Safe Starts.
1. Ray Rice vs. Texans- Ray Rice has had a MVP type season for the Ravens, and for him to continue his success he has to take over against the Texans. The Texans as a road team are not as threatening of a defense, but Ray Rice will be shadowed all game. He is usually good at breaking out for long runs in beginning of games.
2. Arian Foster @ Ravens- The Ravens are maybe the #1 run defense in the NFL, that does not mean the Texans will stop giving Arian the ball as often as they can. If the Texans win this game, it’s because Arian Foster was able to out dominate Ray Lewis and co.
3. Frank Gore vs. New Orleans- The 49ers only chance of winning this game is Frank Gore dominating the Saints and keeping control of the ball. He is capable of it, and he wants to be the all-time 49er greatest RB. The way he can do that is by beating the Saints in a playoff game where they finally have a chance of winning a superbowl again.
Tier 2- Not so Safe Starts.
4. Ahmad Bradshaw @ GB- The Packers will give up running room all day to Bradshaw who should be able to take advantage of it. The question is will Jacobs vulture the TDs? And will the Packers force Eli Manning to be in come back mode and force the Giants to throw all second half.
5. Willis McGahee @ New England- Willis should be able to dominate New England and their weak front 7. The only risk that comes with Willis, is the Patriots winning by so much that they have to turn to Lance Ball in comeback mode.
Tier 3- Risky Starts
6. Benjarvus Green-Ellis vs. Denver- His role is still unclear, but as of now you have to assume straight goal line RB. The Patriots should present him with opportunities in this one.
7. Stevan Ridley vs. Denver- Ridley could see a lot of garbage time in this one as the Patriots are favored to have this game locked up by the start of the 4th quarter. He is the best/most talented RB on the Patriots.
8. Darren Sproles @ SF- Lightning Bug, Bug in a bucket, whatever you want to call Sproles he now faces a SF defense that gave up zero 100 Yard performances all season. Good luck with a RB who doesn’t play every play with this defense. He is a HR threat for one monster play, and that will have to save your fantasy day.
9. Brandon Jacobs @ GB- If the Packers jump out to a big lead, or the Giants don’t set up Jacobs in the goal line situations, then you are looking at a bad/slow game. Either way Jacobs carry’s some risk, because he is not even a lock to be the goal line back.
10. Pierre Thomas @ SF- Read Darren Sproles and Drew Brees. The 49ers run D is top notch, and Thomas is not good enough to have a good game unless he somehow gets a TD.
11. Christopher Ivory– Read Pierre Thomas.
Tier 1- Safe Starts.
1. Victor Cruz @ GB- He had a bad game last week, that only means less attention will be brought on the superstar WR who has easily become the #2 Fantasy WR behind Megatron.
2. Wes Welker vs. Denver- Welker gets the lucky matchup of facing up against Champ Bailey. Welker should get plenty of receptions, but the yards will have to come on his own as the Broncos will make sure everything stays in front of them.
3. Hakeem Nicks @ GB- The Giants will need to score a lot of points and Eli Manning looks in the direction of his two stud WRs. Nicks at times is the #1 WR on the Giants and that usually results in monster fantasy games.
4. Marques Colston @ SF- The Saints will need to pass the ball in order to be successful against the 49ers, and Colston is easily the #1 WR on his team. He should be north of 100 Yards again, but the 49ers would be wise to put extra attention on him.
5. Jordy Nelson vs. NYG- Even though he might be considered the #2 WR with Jennings healthy, Jordy seems to be the one who comes up with the big catches and usually finds the end zone. He should get his oppurtunities this week as the Giants @ Packers game will be a high scoring one.
6. Greg Jennings vs. NYG- Jennings first game back will prove to people that he is 100%. He is excited to get back out there, and he is always a threat for a deep bomb pass as well as just being solid throughout the whole game.
7. Demarius Thomas @ NE- Thomas just barley makes the list of safe starts simply because the Broncos will need someone to make plays down field in order for them to have a chance, and with Erick Decker out, D-Thom will be the safety net for Tebow all day. The Patriots are also a very weak pass defense unit.
Tier 2- Not so Safe Starts.
8. Michael Crabtree @ Saints- Saints are going to ask Alex Smith to beat them this week, which only means the 49ers will need Michael Crabtree as their best downfield playmaker to make things happen. This is his biggest showcase game of his career as a #1 WR in the NFL.
9. Robert Meachem @ SF- It’s dejavu when I write about Meachem every week. With Lance Moore out, Meachem should be a good bet for at least 3 deep passes in this one.
10. Andre Johnson @ Baltimore- Johnson will have to do something if the Texans can get their passing game going. Problem is the Ravens know this, and they will be ready to make it tough on Yates and Johnson.
11. Deion Branch vs. Denver- Branch is a good sleeper for the end zone this week. The Broncos have so much to worry about, that Branch can slip under the radar and Tom Brady trusts his old veteran teammate from the past superbowl days.
12. Anquan Boldin vs. Texans- Anquan is healthy, and ready to go. Now he has to face Jonathan Joesph who is arguably the best CB in the NFL right now. Should be a tough matchup, but Anquan was a beast when he was healthy early in the season, and says he is 100%.
13. James Jones vs. NYG- James Jones is one of those players that can have a “Jordy Nelson” breakout in the post season type performance. He is one of the most talented #3 WR’s in the NFL and should showcase that this post season as Aaron Rodgers will look for him to make some big time plays.
14. Torrey Smith vs. Texans- If Jonathan Joesph locks up Boldin, which could happen. Then Torrey Smith is going to be asked to make big plays down the field as the Ravens will need to loosen up the Texans to give Ray Rice some running room.
15. Donald Driver vs. NYG- The old wise veteran usually comes up big in the post season. He is hungry and the whole reason he is back is so he can win it all again.
16. Mario Manningham @ GB- The #3 WR for the Giants, is still capable of making big plays like his TD last week. Targets are not coming as regularly as he would hope, but he is starting to take advantage of his situations.
17. Devery Henderson @ SF- He will either make one or two long catches, or nothing. With no Lance Moore the targets maybe be there.
Tier 1- Safe Starts.
1. Rob Gronkowski vs. Denver- Gronk is a TD machine, and last time these two teams played they made sure Gronk was on lockdown all game. The strategy did not work as Aaron Hernandez had a career game and the Broncos lost.
2. Jimmy Graham @ SF- Jimmy has not been as beastly as he has in the past, but against SF the Saints will do all they can for this guy to be a game changer over the middle and soften up that LB core.
3. Aaron Hernandez vs. Denver- The Broncos now know what he is capable of if they do not give him enough attention. Maybe the most athletic TE in the NFL, A-Hernz could have a monster game.
4. JerMichael Finley vs. NYG- Finley has been dropping passes all season, but now that he is healthy for the post season after missing the superbowl run from a season ago, he will be ready to take his game to the next level.
5. Vernon Davis @ New Orleans- The Saints are going to focus on stopping the run, which should allow Vernon Davis to build off of his MEGA week 17 game where he went for over 100+ yards. The 49ers will need Vernon Davis to be a game changer in order for them to get this W.
Tier 2- Not so Safe Starts.
6. Jake Ballard @ GB- Ballard is a good red zone option, outside of that he can not be counted on much.
7. Dennis Pitta vs. Houston- Pitta has become the best receiving option for the Ravens since Anquan Boldin left with his injury. You can bet Flacco will be looking for his big target with Anquan Boldin locked up with Joesph all game.
8. Owen Daniels/Joel Dreesen @ Baltimore- One of these guys will reach 50 yards, but that is all you can really hope for. Maybe the red zone TD, but they will give the ball to Arian every play down there.
Tier 1- Safe Starts.
1. Stephen Gostowski vs. Denver- New England should be in the red zone every drive in this game. That will set up a lot of FG’s for one of the most solid kickers in the NFL.
2. David Akers vs. New Orleans- The 49ers settle for FG’s more than any team in the NFL. The 49ers will need TD’s but Akers should still see his attempts.
3. Mason Crosby vs. NYG- Crosby has a big leg, and if the Packers don’t score TD’s on every drive, then Crosby will be a busy man come Sunday.
4. John Kasay @ SF- The 49ers defense should be tough in the red zone, which will allow the Saints to be kicking often.
Tier 2- Not so Safe Starts.
5. Lawrence Tynes @ GB- The Giants should get in the red zone, and they will have to kick FGs. Question is will Tynes deliever?
6. Neil Rackers @ Baltimore- You can bet every score for the Texans will be a FG. Question is how easily are they going to move the ball against the tough Ravens defense?
7. Billy Cundiff vs. Texans- He has been a choke artist all season and although the attempts come, the risk runs with him missing FGs. It has been a problem all season.
8. Matt Prater @ NE- You do not beat the Patriots by kicking FGs. If this game isn’t close, then Prater will not be kicking often.
Tier 1- Safe Starts.
1. Ravens vs. Texans- Ray Lewis and Co just have to slow down Arian Foster. It is hard to imagine Yates throwing for more than 200 Yards against a tough Baltimore Ravens D, in Baltimore.
Tier 2- Not so Safe Starts.
2. Texans @ Ravens- The Texans will need to win this game with their defense, if they can slow down Ray Rice then they should have a good game. Though playing on the road is completely different than playing at home.
3. 49ers vs. Saints- The Saints pass offense is so good, that they do not make the 49ers defense a lock to have a solid game. If they can somehow slow down or get pressure on Drew Brees then it will be interesting. I personally think the Saints have too many options.
4. Patriots vs. Denver- The wheels could fall off for Tebow and the Patriots are maybe the best bet for a late INT TD if the Broncos have to come back from too far behind.
5. Packers vs. Giants- The Giants offense is an upper tier offense, but the Packers have enough playmakers on their defense to put up a good fantasy game regardless of how awful they do throughout the course of 4 quarters, they can make the big play.
6. Saints @ SF- The 49ers do not have a great offense, but the Saints do not have a great defense and the 49ers will play this was as conservative as they can to burn clock. That typically leads to low scoring fantasy games for defenses.
Tier 3- Do not Start
7. Giants @ GB- It’s the Packers. No defense is good enough to slow these guys down, especially when the Packers are at home.
8. Broncos @ Patriots- No way the Broncos have enough to slow down Tom Brady at home. Their really is not a lot of hope for this defense this week, unless they somehow manage to get a lot of pressure on Brady and create the upset of the century.
Are you in a fantasy league for the playoffs. Here are the projected rankings and the breakdown of each game. Ask any lineup questions and an expert will get to you.
Detroit (21) @ New Orleans (42) = New Orleans
Atlanta (24) @ New York Giants (17)= Atlanta
Cincinnati (17) @ Houston (13)= Cincinnati
Pittsburgh (31) @ Denver (10)= Pittsburgh
New Orleans (35) @ San Francisco (17)= New Orleans
Atlanta (31) @ Green Bay (38)= Green Bay
Pittsburgh (24) @ Baltimore (17)= Pittsburgh
Cincinnati (21) @ New England (42)= New England
New Orleans (42) @ Green Bay (35)= New Orleans
Pittsburgh (28) @ New England (38)= New England
New England (48) vs. New Orleans (56)= New Orleans
This is going to be the highest scoring post season in the history of the NFL. Three quarterbacks (Rodgers, Brees, and Brady) all had career seasons, and lead offenses that are unstoppable. On top of that, they all play for defenses that are not top notch at all. This is going to result into fireworks all post season.
Two defenses that could improve:
New England’s defense could be the biggest surprise of the post season. They are coming off 0 allowed points in the last 30 minutes of the regular season. They will have home field advantage and will only need to make 2 to 3 stops a game to give the Patriots a chance to win it. Green Bay should also find a way to step up their game defensively. They are all now starting to get healthy, and playing in Lambeau in January is a scary thing for road opponents. Both of these defenses could improve..But they both rank in the bottom 3 of the league in total defense for 16 games. Is it really going to change now?
Players that have a chance to distinguish themselves (James Starks award):
1. Isaac Redman– No Rashard Mendenhall leaves the bulk of carries all to Redman.
2. Christopher Ivory- Running like a beast, Ivory will be auditioning for a larger role in the NFL.
3. Stevan Ridley- The rookie running sensation looks to be the best back in NE. What will he do with the opportunity?
4. James Starks- He didn’t take the next step after a dominate post season from a year ago. Will he be able to save his season by doing it again?
5. James Clay– If Redman fumbles away his opportunity James Clay will look for revenge after a senior year where he lost carries at Wisconsin.
Tier 1- The QBs that can win you the league.
1. Drew Brees– Brees is capable of the 400 Yard 4 TD game and is leading the hottest team in the NFL. Perfect post season run is capable starting from the Wildcard round.
2. Aaron Rodgers– Rodgers was the best QB all season, not playing week 17 let Brees jump him. Rodgers has so many weapons and the Packers running game is not good enough for them to ever lean on.
3. Tom Brady– Tom Brady in the playoffs. Clutch factor and playing in Foxboro until the Superbowl. He is ready, and he could easily be the fantasy MVP. Will the Patriots defense allow Tom to lead his team to the superbowl?
Tier 2- The second best chance you have.
4. Ben Roethlisberger– Big Ben has an easy 1st round matchup against a Denver, a team that is not very good at all on defense. He should then be able to have a good game against Baltimore as they will lean on him for that victory. If he reaches New England in the AFC Championship he was the steal of the draft. Anything more is MVP worthy.
5. Matt Stafford– Stafford could put up one big game against New Orleans and that could be it. The Lions had a tough time against the Saints last time they faced up, and the Saints were the first team to figure out a way to completely shut down Megatron. He is a little risky in playoff leagues, but when Stafford is on. He is unstoppable.
6. Matt Ryan– Huge 1st game for Matty Ice. If he can beat the Giants, a team that has been an average defense at best Ryan then travels to GB where he can put up another monster game. Anything more than that would be huge.
7. Eli Manning– Eli Manning and Matt Ryan face the same road ahead. If Eli can beat the Falcons, he gets a very easy game against Green Bay where he can completely dominate. Anything more than 2 games would make him a steal.
Tier 3- You better be stacked everywhere else.
8. Andy Dalton– Dalton needs to get past the Texans, a team that has struggled against the pass lately. If he wins that game, he will find a way to matchup against the poor New England Patriots defense. A game where he could easily get 300 Yards and 2 TDs.
9. Joe Flacco– Flacco is most likely looking at the Steelers defense. And he will have to beat them without his star WR Anquan Boldin. That is not going to be easy, and Flacco is a guy you cannot trust as this team is all about Ray Rice.
10. Alex Smith– The 49ers will most likely be in a shootout against the Saints. Problem is the 49ers don’t have a QB that can play in a shootout, and 250 Yards with 2 TD’s appears to be his ceiling.
11. TJ Yates– Check Yate. If you have to play TJ Yates, then it is because the Texans advanced to the second round to face the Ravents. Check Mate.
12. Tim Tebow– The Chosen one will have a tough game against Pittsburgh. If he cannot score a TD against Kansas City, then how is he going to score a TD against Pittsburgh. Both home games as well.
Tier 1- Guys that will have the best chance for TD’s or 100 Total Yard Games.
1. Isaac Redman– Two fumbles in his last game, but this is his chance to be the RB he has always wanted to be. No Rashard Mendenhall leaves it open to him doing his thing.
2. Arian Foster– Foster is the only chance the Texans have of winning in the post season. He should be a lock for at least 100 Total Yards or a TD against the Bengals. If they win that game, he then has to face a tough Raven defense.
3. Ray Rice– Ray Rice has a tough game against Pittsburgh steering him in the eyes. He can still perform against any defense, if the Ravens do find a way to win that game. He is looking for an easy dream matchup against the Patriots. He could blow up in that one.
4. Darren Sproles– Sproles is not on the field enough to be a consistent fantasy threat. But if the Saints make a run in the post season, it is because Sproles and his play maker ability will convert huge 3rd downs. The key is if he can steal the TDs away from Pierre Thomas and Christopher Ivory. There should be enough to go around.
5. Michael Turner– Turner has looked slow in every game since week 13. But in week 17 he dominated the worst defense in the NFL, with 2 TDs and 172 Yards rushing. He didn’t even play the full game. Now he plays a mediocre Giants run defense. If the Falcons win that game, he has an easy matchup against Green Bay.
Tier 2- Guys that are hit or miss. Maybe one game also for some of them.
6. Pierre Thomas– Pierre will look to clean up what Darren Sproles doesn’t get. He does have to worry about Christopher Ivory as a new threat to steal his oppurtunities.
7. Stevan Ridley– Ridley is the best RB the Patriots have to offer now. He is capable of the long runs, but he will be subsitutued for Woodhead and Green-Ellis throughout the game. Patriots should make a long playoff run giving Ridley a lot of games.
8. Ahmad Bradshaw– Bradshaw could have a big game and he is running hungry right now. The problem with Bradshaw is he will be substituted more than he should be and could be one and out. But he is capable of big games.
9. Kevin Smith– K Smitty could be one and out, but he could have a really nice game against a Saints team in which he dominated before getting injured. He will get his touches, and yards. But the question is will he get a TD and will the Lions advance?
10. Christopher Ivory– Ivory could be the deep sleeper of the playoffs. He should have plenty of running room whenever he is in. The Saints will go far which will lead to a lot of opportunities to pound the ball.
11. Cedric Benson– Benson could have a rough game against the Texans. But if he gets past that he has a downhill trip against New England which could be HUGE!
12. Frank Gore– The 49ers will need Frank to be their man, but he could be one and out. The week of rest should rejuvante him.
13. Ryan Grant– Grant is the closest thing to the Packers go-to-guy. Unfourtnalley the Packers will switch to the hot hand whenever they have the chance to.
14. Willis McGahee– Willis will get all the carries he can handle against Pittsburgh. Always a good chance for 100 Yards, he will be over 50% of the Broncos offense.
15. BenJarvus Green-Ellis– Goal Line TD, Goal Line TD. The Patriots will be looking to play multiple games and BJE will be looking for that goal line TD.
Tier 3- Last Chance for one of those random TDs.
16. Danny Woodhead– Woodhead will get a few drives and should get decent yardage. The Patriots will make a playoff push giving him plenty of games to do his thing.
17. James Starks– Starks was once the man for the Packers. He value has fallen, but he will look to rebound in the playoffs. He should be 100% by then as well.
18. John Clay– If someone is going to step up and have a huge post season for the Steelers, it has to be this man.
19. Ben Tate– Tate could be one and done, and he may not even get enough carries against a tough Bengals defense to do much. It is best to avoid Tate in this format.
20. Brandon Jacobs– Jacobs is a goal line TD or nothing type of player. He is a fraction of the player he once was. Could also be one and out.
21. Brandon Saine– Saine will look to lose his role, but he could get opportunities if Grant or Starks do not perform. The Packers do like Saine.
22. John Kuhn– Goal line TD or nothing. Packers will keep playing a lot of game.
23. Bernard Scott– Bernard will fill in for Benson if his fumble problems continue. The key is to win the first game to advance to New England which could be a sleeper game.
Tier 4- Gap Fillers for your roster.
24. Jaquizz Rodgers– Rodgers has to hope for 3rd down work, or replace Turner when he gets tired. You can’t expect much.
25. DJ Ware– Maybe he will get 5 touches in the first game, anything more would be lucky.
26. Maurice Morris– Morris is worthless, and only does anything if Kevin Smith goes down. The Lions may also be one and out as well. One or two drives is all you can expect.
27. Lance Ball– When the Broncos fall behind Ball will get some good garbage numbers. That’s all you can really expect when drafting him.
28. Ricky Williams– He will come on when Ray Rice gets tired. The Ravens could be one and out but he guarantees a player in the second week.
29. Kendall Hunter– He will only come on Frank Gore gets tired. The 49ers could be one and out but he guarantees a player in the second week.
30. Keiland Williams– Keiland Williams may get more than 5 touches, but he is a last case scenario at the position if you need someone.
Tier 1- Beasts.
1. Wes Welker– Wes is the man and Brady knows it. Welker will see targets, targets, targets.
2. Marques Colston– Colston is a big play WR who will be counted on to have a huge game.
3. Calvin Johnson– Megatron was doubled, tripled, basically not allowed to catch the ball against the Saints last time they played. Will that strategy work again, and will the Lions advance? These are high risk/high reward questions to ask.
4. Roddy White– Roddy has been playing like a top 5 WR in the NFL to end the season, and if they can get past the Giants (which should be a big game) he then gets to play the Packers would could be a HUGE game.
5. Victor Cruz– Cruz has Homerun potential and the Giants are going to take advantage of his skill set. If the Giants advance Cruz could have two historic playoff games. He is that talented.
6. Julio Jones– Julio has been a beast since his game against Jacksonville and will have to continue his success against the Giants. If the Falcons win that game he has a dream matchup against the Packers.
7. Hakeem Nicks– Hakeem the Dream will look to have a big game against the Falcons which should be a shootout, and then faces an easy matchup against the Packers.
8. AJ Green– The Bengals will need AJ and Dalton to connect often in order to carry them through the playoffs. It is amazing they were able to make it after a total rebounding season. If the Bengals find a way to win this game, they will face New England. Which would be a huge game for AJ Green.
9. Jordy Nelson– Jordy is the guy for Aaron Rodgers and he is a great bet for TDs. He will go later than he should and has top talent potential. The Packers will look to score often.
10. Greg Jennings– Jennings is back and he wants to perform for his team. Rodgers trusts him and he once upon a time a few weeks ago was the #1 WR for this team. Don’t forget about this guy in draft day as he can make a difference especially with how many games GB plans to play.
11. Mike Wallace– Wallace is a home run threat and can have a big game on a few targets. But he is a top target for Big Ben and should get plenty of targets. After beating Denver he should continue his success against the Ravens or Patriots.
12. Antonio Brown– Brown is the #1b WR on the Steelers and should be able to dominate vs. Denver. After that game they most likely head to Baltimore. Which could be a good game, if he goes to New England it will be a dream.
Tier 2- Guys that can get the job done.
13. Deion Branch– Branch is always a nice sleeper pick for the end zone. The Patriots will be scoring a lot and hopefully playing in a lot of games. Good value pick.
14. Torrey Smith– Torrey is not good enough to be a #1 WR, but he will continue to get targets and the Ravens usually run deep routes for Torrey. He could be one and done, but he could have a good one game.
15. James Jones– Jones can get some opportunities’ with all the options the Packers have. He is the type of player that only needs a couple targets to have a huge game.
16. Robert Meachem– Meachem is the player who has the chance to step up the most now that Lance Moore is out. Meachem will slide to the #2 spot and have single coverage against corners that cannot match his speed. Great value, Great steal pick.
17. Andre Johnson– Andre Johnson is the not same WR he was at the beginning of the season. On top of that he doesn’t have a QB that can get him the ball easily. Texans could be one and done, but a win means a matchup against Baltimore.
18. Lance Moore– Moore will not play in the first game, but if the Saints advance Moore has a lot of upside as he is the Wes Welker of his team.
19. Michael Crabtree– Crabtree had a nice season finale, and will most likely face a hot Saints team. It could be a big game for him, but there are times when Alex Smith really disappoints. Not a bad option if you want a guaranteed WR in the 2nd week of the post season.
Tier 3- They can have one good game, anything more would be amazing.
20. Jerome Simpson– Jerome will have to take advantage of AJ Green’s double team coverage for the Bengals to be an effective team. If they advance past the first game then you are getting a steal as he most likely goes to face New England.
21. Jacoby Jones– Jacoby will need to stretch the field as defenses will leave him single coverage every single play. All it takes is one big play for him to have a big game, it will be tough. But it is possible.
22. Titus Young– Titus is being counted on by Stafford more and more. He will need to have a big game against the Saints as they worry about Megatron. Anything more than one game would be great.
23. Nate Burleson– Nate the great should have lots of opportunities’ to be a play maker against the Saints as they worry about Calvin Johnson. If they make it past that game, he was a steal.
24. Devery Henderson– Henderson may only make two catches in the entire post season, but that can be enough for one huge game.
25. Donald Driver– Driver has stepped up to be a good red zone target for the Packers. Look for him to make some big plays as veterans like him thrive this time of the season. Packers look to play lots of games as well.
26. Chad Ochocinco– Ocho could be the weapon for the Patriots that makes the difference. He could also do nothing, but he will get a few games to show us if he has anything left.
27. Hines Ward– Ward is probably in his last season as a Steeler. Look for him to go out on a bang as he will wise to the occasion. This is the reason why he is in the NFL is for this time of the season.
28. Demariyus Thomas– The #1 WR will have a tough for Denver. One because Tebow will be lucky to get 100 yards, and two because the Steelers pass defense is one of the best in the NFL. Could be one and done.
29. Jerricho Cotchery– The Steelers get TDs by random WR’s all the time. Cotchery could make plays, he could do nothing, but the Steelers look to play a lot of games this postseason.
30. Mario Manningham– He use to be the man for the Giants, and now he his a hit or miss option in the Playoffs. Good week 1 play if you need one.
31. Harry Douglass– Douglass could have a little X-Factor as the Giants have enough to worry about. Douglass could be a sneaky play. He could also do nothing.
32. Eric Decker– Decker will have a tough time against Pittsburgh. What was once a great season, is now just a mirage.
Tier 1- Must Own Guys.
1. Jimmy Graham– Jimmy will be heavily involved in the Saints gameplan as Drew Brees looks to lead the hottest team in the NFL.
2. Rob Gronkowski– Gronk is a beast, and no matter how hard you try to double team him. He still finds ways to get open and get the TDs.
3. Aaron Hernandez– When Gronk is doubled, Aaron Hernandez is wide open and he can make people miss. He is basically their #2 WR behind Welker (Gronk is the #1 Target on the team). Not really a TE.
4. JerMichael Finley– JerMichael has been inconsistent this season, and with Jennings coming back Finley losses some value. However he could dominate games and the Packers will be happy to have him in the post season.
Tier 2- Guys that can still get it done.
5. Tony Gonzales– The Veteran will look to be a key part in the Falcons superbowl run. He is their big target down the middle and can take advantage if defenses worry about the WR pair.
6. Vernon Davis– Davis is the key to the 49ers success. He is their most game changer player the niners offer. He could be one and done, but he could be a nice steal come draft day.
7. Jermaine Gresham– If the Bengals win the first game against the Texans they go onto face New England. Gresham is the 2nd best option in the Bengal passing attack and looks to be a good guy to own I all playoff leagues. Very talented, very solid.
8. Brandon Pettigrew– If the Saints double team Calvin, then Brandon will be the #1 option over the middle. Stafford trusts him and Pettigrew makes big plays. He could be one and done, but it will be a good one.
9. Jake Ballard– Ballard is a wannabe Rob Gronkowski. The Giants will need his presence in the red zone, though there are games he disappears.
10. Heath Miller– Miller is the man for Pittsburgh in the playoffs. He should be open often as defenses have to worry about all the other WR’s Pittsburgh has.
11. Tony Scheffler– He is a great receiving TE and the Lions need him in the post season to step up. Great dark horse pick for a TD.
12. Dennis Pitta– Pitta is maybe the #1 target for Joe Flacco. He is big, athletic and can make plays that you wouldn’t expect a 2nd stringer to make. He is a nice value pick with good potential.
Tier 3- One TD and you would be lucky.
13. Ed Dickson– Dickson has fallen on this teams depth chart and is not worth trusting in a possible one and out scenario.
14. Daniel Fells– Tim Tebow will need this guy to make a big play at some point in this game. He may not, and he may not get any opportunities. He is a last resort in a one and out situation.
15. Joel Dreesen– If I were to trust one TE on the Texans it would be Dreesen. He is maybe their most athletic and Yates seems to trust him the most. They could be one and out.
Tier 1- Guys that will be kicking for multiple games.
1. John Kasay– Kasay could be playing all 4 rounds and the Saints will be scoring a lot of points in all of those games.
2. Mason Crosby– Green Bay is also a team that will be scoring lots of points and has a chance to make it to the superbowl. Crosby is clutch as well.
3. Stephen Gostowski– If Tom Brady doesn’t convert TDs on every red zone trip then Gostowski will be the money kicker to own. Patriots will score and could play in the superbowl.
4. Shaun Suisham– Suisham is far from the best kicker in the playoffs, but the Steelers will need Suisham often in the playoffs as the Steelers may lack a good red zone offense. Big Ben is not mobile, and Redman is very one dimensional. Suisham is the guy to own.
Tier 2- Serviceable options.
5. Matt Bryant– Bryant should have a big game against the Giants. If he can advance to the second round, then you got a good kicker for a short span. Bryant is maybe the best kicker in the NFL.
6. David Akers– Mr.FG set a NFL record for most FG’s in a season. The 49ers could be one and done, but Akers will look to make an impact with his leg in every game because Alex Smith is not a good red zone QB.
7. Billy Cundiff– Cundiff may miss every FG he takes, but Baltimore will keep giving him FG opportunities. Billy Cundiff could also be one and done if Pittsburgh comes into face them. The good thing about Cundiff is that he’s guaranteed to see a FG attempt or two.
8. Mike Nugent– Nugent could be a steal in drafts as the Bengals should be able to get in the red zone often. Nugent should cash in that game, and then he has a chance to be a busy man against the Patriots.
9. Lawrence Tynes– The Giants could count on Tynes a lot, but the problem is he is not a good kicker. If the Giants do beat Atlanta, he could have a very tough time at Lambeau. He is good because of the Giants ability to get down the field.
10. Neil Rackers– The Texans will most likely stall in the red zone leaving Rackers with a busy day. Neil is the guy to own for the Texans and if they advance to New England, then his potential as a steal is high.
11. Jason Hanson– The Lions figure to score a lot in week 1, but they are probably one and done. Anything more would be a steal and Hanson would be a great sleeper.
12. Matt Prater– The Broncos will be lucky to get any FG attempts going in the 1st round against Pittsburgh. Especially when the Broncos are so far behind that FG’s don’t make a difference.
Tier 1- Teams that will last in the playoffs.
1. Steelers– Steelers should be able to man handle Tim Tebow which could be the biggest fantasy performance of the post season from the D/ST position. After that they have a great game against Baltimore that is not a threat offensively.
2. Saints– The Saints defense is not good, but they will face potentially SF in the second round if they can get past the Lions. The advantage the Saints’ D is that teams have to be aggressive against them, which allows for big plays for their defense.
3. Packers– The Packers defense is not good, but they will be home all playoffs. The advantage the Packers’ D is that teams have to be aggressive against them, which allows for big plays for their defense.
4. Patriots– The Patriots defense is not good, but they will be home all playoffs. The advantage of New England’s D is that teams have to be aggressive against them, which allows for big plays for their defense.
Tier 2- Defenses that can give you one maybe two big performances. Or do nothing.
5. Ravens– Baltimore has what it takes to be a great defense. Problem is the Ravens offense. They do not do enough offensively to give Ray Lewis and co. the chance to be in good situations. They face Pittsburgh most likely in the first game, how many times have these two faced in the playoffs? The Steelers offense should be able to do enough to get the victory. But if they don’t then you have a great unit for two games.
6. 49ers– A great defense against the run, will now have to face Drew Brees. The 49ers pass D has no chance to stop Brees leaving them as a pretty risky option to draft in playoff leagues.
7. Bengals– Bengals should beat the Texans who have no offense. In fact they are a good option for the first week. After that the Bengals will head to New England and do nothing. But one game is all you need from them.
8. Falcons– If the Falcons can get pressure on Eli Manning, they have a chance of getting a nice game in the 1st round. After that game they will most likely head to Green Bay. Which will mean they will not get you a lot of production/
9. Texans– The Texans defense is not the same defense from earlier this season. The Bengals offense should be able to do enough to get the victory and even if the Texans win this game. They are looking at the New England Patriots. Not a good matchup for any defense.
10. Giants– The Giants defense is playing well after a big win to clinch a playoff spot. They are home, but the Falcons do not make many mistakes. Giants defense could be a one game and out.
Tier 3- Draft if you have to
11. Lions– Lions are looking at a possible shootout loss to Drew Brees and the high powered Saints. 0 Fantasy Points is possible. In New Orleans as well.
12. Broncos– The Broncos defense is weak, and there is no way they can stop the Steelers from doing what they want to do. One game, and that is all you will get.