Fantasy Football Maniaxs

January 14, 2010 12:41 PM

Fantasy in the NFL Playoffs

By Derek Lofland, fantasy analyst at Fantasy Football Maniaxs

adrian peterson TD.jpgNow that the regular season is over, many of the big websites are having fantasy football contests for the playoffs.

Some websites allow you to pick any player you want for each round. Some assign a salary value to the player and make you pick a team that is under a salary cap.

Others make you pick a roster to start the playoffs and stick to it until the Super Bowl, rewarding owners that pick the players that end up playing the most games.

QB - Divisional Round

1. Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints) - You saw what Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers did against the Cardinals. If they play that bad again on defense, Brees is going to have a career day.

2. Kurt Warner (Arizona Cardinals) - I would not be surprised if we saw another shootout and the top two quarterbacks playing in the same game for the second straight week.

3. Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts) - He is the four-time MVP, and the Colts have had a week off. The only worry is the Baltimore Ravens made New England Patriots QB Tom Brady look like a rookie playoff QB. They can make the best quarterbacks look bad in the playoffs.

4. Brett Favre (Minnesota Vikings) - The 40-year-old is going to benefit from the two-week rest and was red-hot to close the season, throwing six touchdowns in his last two games.  

5. Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers)
- I cannot believe I have him at No. 5, but there are so many good QBs in the playoffs, and he plays the top-ranked New York Jets pass defense.  

6. Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys) - The Cowboys have been playing well, but it has been with defense and the running game, not Romo putting up 350 yards passing and four touchdown passes. He is going to have to put up numbers against the second-ranked Vikings run defense, but it can be hard to play in the noise of that dome.    

7. Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) - He had only 10 passes last week for 34 yards. Expect more this week, but the Ravens are using him as a game manager in every sense of the word.    

8. Mark Sanchez (New York Jets) -
He has 12 touchdowns and 20 picks this season, and while he played well last week, he had only 15 pass attempts. The Chargers are going to make things tough on him.  


RB - Divisional Round

1. Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens) - Rice is becoming a star before our very eyes. He scored two touchdowns and had 159 yards rushing last week.

2. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) - Don't give up on him quite yet; something tells me we have not heard the last of this Minnesota Vikings star this season. His "disappointing season" resulted in 1,383 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.

3. Thomas Jones (New York Jets) - I would be a little concerned about starting him. He has a knee brace, and even though he did start last week and is expected to this week, the Jets have shown they will go with the hot hand of Shonn Greene.     

4. Felix Jones (Dallas Cowboys) - RBs Marion Barber and Tashard Choice are both banged up, so I expect Jones to see the majority of the carries. Last week he posted 148 yards and a touchdown.  

5. Pierre Thomas (New Orleans Saints) - He is supposed to be healthy and has had some rest. If the Saints are going to advance, they will need to run the ball.    

6. Joseph Addai (Indianapolis Colts)
- He had 19 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown last time against the Ravens. He should be able to put up some nice numbers, even against the Ravens defense.  

7. Chris Wells (Arizona Cardinals) - He rushed well against the Packers' No. 1-ranked rush defense and has a much better matchup against the Saints' struggling run defense this week.  

8. LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego Chargers)
- He had only 730 rushing yards this season but had 12 rushing touchdowns.  Don't expect a lot against the Jets' strong run defense, but he could score a touchdown and gain some tough yards.     

9. Shonn Greene (New York Jets) - The Chargers struggle to stop the run, so if Jones is not effective, this young rookie is going to have plenty of touches and could have the bigger day.   

10. Willis McGahee (Baltimore Ravens) - Who would have thought he would have 14 touchdowns this season? He had 62 yards rushing and a touchdown last week and remains a good backup option.  

11. Tim Hightower (Arizona Cardinals)
- The matchup was terrible last week, and he should play better this week against the Saints, who are not nearly the run defense the Packers had this year.  

12. Reggie Bush (New Orleans Saints) - If the Saints and Cardinals have a shootout, I like Bush's chances to break a long run or take a short pass to the house.  

NR: Marion Barber (Dallas Cowboys) (injury)

WR - Divisional Round

1. Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) - If you have been watching the playoffs since 2008, you will know why he is ranked No. 1. Two more touchdown catches last week.   

2. Miles Austin (Dallas Cowboys) - He has 11 touchdowns and 1,320 yards this season and continues to be Romo's favorite target.  Minnesota struggled covering the pass at the end of the year, so I think he is a great play.

3. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts)
- The Ravens are a tough defense, but you have to play Peyton Manning's favorite target.  

4. Sidney Rice (Minnesota Vikings) - The suspect part of the Cowboys defense is their secondary, in particular their safety position, so Rice could have a big day.  

5. Marques Colston (New Orleans Saints) - After that display by the Cardinals secondary and the 45 points the defense gave up, you have to feel good about the Saints receivers.  

6. Vincent Jackson (San Diego Chargers)
- The Jets are not going to lock CB Darrelle Revis on Jackson to take him out of the offense. The Chargers have too many other weapons, so he should not have the problems Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco had last week. The challenge will be for the Chargers to move him around the field.

7. Steve Breaston (Arizona Cardinals)
- If WR Anquan Boldin is still injured, Breaston has great value, as demonstrated by his 125 yards receiving and a touchdown last week.  

8. Derrick Mason (Baltimore Ravens) -
He is the Ravens' best receiver, and I expect the veteran to come up big in the playoffs yet again. He had nine catches for 142 yards in the first meeting with the Colts; expect more production than he had in the Patriots game.

9. Robert Meachem (New Orleans Saints)
- With the Cardinals' suspect secondary, the Saints will probably have two big receivers deliver this week, and Meachem was a beast in the second half of the season and finished with nine receiving touchdowns.   

10. Percy Harvin (Minnesota Vikings) - He is a special teams ace and a dangerous receiver that Favre loves on third downs. The secondary of the Cowboys gives up big plays; if Favre has time to throw, Harvin could have a big day.  

11. Jerricho Cotchery (New York Jets) -
I am sick of watching WR Braylon Edwards drop touchdowns. Cotchery has been producing at a higher level, and I would go with him over Edwards this week.  

12. Pierre Garcon (Indianapolis Colts) -
He had 109 yards receiving in the first Ravens game. He might be able to duplicate some of that success in the rematch.

NR: Anquan Boldin
(Arizona Cardinals) (injury)

TE - Divisional Round

1. Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys) -
Best tight end in this round meets one of the worst tight end defenses a second week in a row. If the Cowboys are going to win, he is going to have to have a big game.   

2. Dallas Clark (Indianapolis Colts)
- Witten and Clark are neck and neck for the top spot. Witten receives the edge because the Ravens guard the tight end better.  

3. Antonio Gates (San Diego Chargers)
- He is a force week in and week out. Expect a good game, even against the Jets solid pass defense.  

4. Visanthe Shiancoe (Minnesota Vikings) - The Cowboys are going to concentrate on Peterson, just like every other team that played the Vikings this year. Shiancoe had 11 touchdown receptions this season as a result of that. I expect a touchdown this weekend.  

5. Jeremy Shockey (New Orleans Saints)
- He has not been as effective in recent weeks, but he had a week to get healthy and could figure into the Saints' playoff plans if he is healthy.  

6. Ben Patrick (Arizona Cardinals) -
The Cardinals do not use their tight end much, but he had three catches for 42 yards and no touchdowns. With Boldin likely not in the lineup again, he could see some looks.  

7. Todd Heap (Baltimore Ravens) -
He is dealing with some back spasms but should start against the Colts this weekend. He needs his team to throw more than 10 passes to be effective.  

8. Dustin Keller (New York Jets) - A talented player playing in a run-first offense, he still had 45 catches for 522 yards but only two touchdowns in the regular season. Same as Heap, Keller needs more than 15 pass attempts from his QB to be effective.

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