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Postseason Rankings

Playoff-Only Top 60 Rankings

by John Daigle
Updated On: January 8, 2021, 7:33 pm ET

Unlike season-long lineup decisions, playoff-only leagues require projecting for the entire postseason prior to locking your roster ahead of Wild Card weekend. That includes weighing which players will go deeper into the playoffs, potentially jostling their overall ranking a full 10-15 spots higher because they capped the year off with a full game’s worth of snaps over their peers.

The Official FFPC Playoff Challenge — a format that’s invoked an equal amount of time, joy, and misery from myself over the last few seasons — homepage describes it best:

Each team will choose twelve (12) players from any of the 14 NFL playoff teams but ONLY ONE PLAYER PER TEAM. To be clear, if you choose Tom Brady as your QB, you may NOT have any more Buccaneers players on your roster, including Kicker & Defense. Each team will consist of twelve (12) NFL players in a FFPC starting roster format: 1-QB, 2-RB, 2-WR, 1-TE, 4-Flex, 1-K, 1-D (Flex can be RB, WR or TE).

The following Playoff-Only Top 60 is based on full PPR scoring (and 1.5 PPR for Tight End) and takes into account my personal estimation of injuries, role changes, and games played for every player throughout the postseason. Keep in mind that your own subjective adjustments are equally as important as this list; you’re likely sliding Nick Chubb over any of Pittsburgh’s wideouts, for example, if you believe the Browns sneak into the Divisional Round. On that same note, we should avoid game-stacking core players in the Wild Card since one of those selections is guaranteed just 60 minutes of action. Focus on using those one-and-done pieces at a lower scoring position like Tight End, Defense, and Kicker. And reminder that nailing your Super Bowl choices are critical since fantasy points are doubled for those who survive to that game.

Additional thoughts for optimal tournament strategy are included at the bottom.



Player (Estimated Games Played) -- Positional Rank

1. Josh Allen (4) -- QB1

2. Travis Kelce (2) -- TE1

3. Davante Adams (3) -- WR1

4. Patrick Mahomes (2) -- QB2

5. Aaron Rodgers (3) -- QB3

6. Michael Thomas (3) -- WR2

7. Alvin Kamara (3) -- RB1

8. Drew Brees (3) -- QB4

9. Tyreek Hill (2) -- WR3

10. Stefon Diggs (4) -- WR4

11. Tom Brady (2) -- QB5

12. Aaron Jones (3) -- RB2

13. Lamar Jackson (2) -- QB6

14. Ben Roethlisberger (2) -- QB7

15. Mike Evans (2) -- WR5

16. Ryan Tannehill (1) -- QB8

17. Russell Wilson (1) -- QB9

18. Derrick Henry (1) -- RB3

19. Ronald Jones (2) -- RB4

20. Tyler Lockett (1) -- WR6

21. DK Metcalf (1) -- WR7

22. Mark Andrews (2) -- TE2

23. Chris Carson (1) -- RB5

24. Robert Tonyan (3) -- TE3

25. John Brown (4) -- WR8

26. Diontae Johnson (2) -- WR9

27. Emmanuel Sanders (3) -- WR10

28. Cole Beasley (4) -- WR11

29. Chris Godwin (2) -- WR12

30. Chase Claypool (2) -- WR13

31. A.J. Brown (1) -- WR14

32. Marquise Brown (2) -- WR15

33. Cam Akers (2) -- RB6

34. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (2) -- RB7

35. JuJu Smith-Schuster (2) -- WR16

36. Antonio Brown (2) -- WR17

37. Sammy Watkins (2) -- WR18

38. J.K. Dobbins (2) -- RB8

39. Latavius Murray (3) -- RB9

40. Jared Cook (3) -- TE4

41. Robert Woods (2) -- WR19

42. Baker Mayfield (1) -- QB10

43. Devin Singletary (4) -- RB10

44. Allen Lazard (3) -- WR20

45. Corey Davis (1) -- WR21

46. Jonathan Taylor (1) -- RB11

47. Rob Gronkowski (2) -- TE5

48. Philip Rivers (1) -- QB11

49. Jarvis Landry (1) -- WR22

50. David Montgomery (1) -- RB12

51. Allen Robinson (1) -- WR23

52. James Conner (2) -- RB13

53. Mecole Hardman (2) -- WR24

54. Nick Chubb (1) -- RB14

55. Eric Ebron (2) -- TE6

56. Mitchell Trubisky (1) -- QB12

57. Terry McLaurin (1) -- WR25

58. Antonio Gibson (1) -- RB15

59. Nyheim Hines (1) -- RB16

60. Jared Goff (2) -- QB13


More Thoughts

  • Again, storytelling is crucial in lineups. If you agree that Josh Allen and the Bills win the Wild Card round, for example, it’s suboptimal to pair him with Jonathan Taylor, who’s not only checking in as the chalk among Indianapolis but doesn’t logically fit the game script we’re projecting for Allen. The same can be said for rostering the latter with Taylor since that would essentially be wasting one of only two onesie positions that could otherwise be filled with a number of heavy-hitters — Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers — projected with more games under their belts.
  • Alvin Kamara averaged a team-high 8.6 targets without Michael Thomas this year and 5.4 in the seven games Thomas played. With both fully expected to be available on Sunday (and throughout the postseason), what percentage of the time does Kamara out-score Thomas with Drew Brees under center? It’s a deciding question for tournaments since Kamara projects to come in at triple the roster percentage of Thomas in FFPC leagues.
  • Steelers coach Mike Tomlin even admitted to reducing Chase Claypool’s snaps down the stretch to help him avoid potentially hitting the rookie wall. There’s no denying Diontae Johnson, who accrued double-digit targets in seven of his last eight games from Ben Roethlisberger, has the higher floor between the two, but Claypool’s presumed (and under the radar) workload as the team’s clear-cut No. 3 option cements him as a tremendous pivot from Johnson, who will likely come in at double the roster percentage. Note that Cleveland has allowed the league’s second-most yards per play in the three games CB Denzel Ward (COVID) has missed this year.
  • Sure, the Titans won its last two matchups against the Ravens, but even in escaping with an overtime win in Week 11, Baltimore held Derrick Henry in check for 25/96 on the ground in regulation. With the Ravens firing on all cylinders in averaging at least 6.4 yards per play in every game since Lamar Jackson returned from the COVID list, it’s not farfetched to pivot from Henry to A.J. Brown (or even Corey Davis) if expecting the Titans to make a single appearance. Fading Henry is obviously a deathwish if Tennessee does make it out the first round.
  • Although we’re looking to allocate one-and-done players to less important positions, we can still be contrarian by avoiding higher-rostered defenses — Washington first comes to mind — and instead focusing on those which are going slightly overlooked and forecasted to face an increase in passing volume. That game script alone lends a higher floor for sacks and turnovers.
  • Bucs coach Bruce Arians said there’s a “chance” Mike Evans (knee) plays, but if he is available, he would be a full-go. That lends us a terrific buy-low opportunity (assuming he’s declared active) since a majority of the field could be scared off due to injury. Same goes for Stefon Diggs (oblique), who was downgraded on Wednesday but could very well play at full strength. John Brown, who returned for 30 snaps (47%) Sunday, would be a tremendous pivot if any tea leaves suggest Diggs is limited.
  • There’s mathematically only a 12.4% chance every higher seed moves on from Wild Card weekend. If the chalk always hit, it would never hit. Be intelligently creative.
John Daigle

John Daigle is an Emmy and FSWA award winner who has been covering the NFL and fantasy football for over a decade, working with NBC Sports EDGE for almost four years. He enjoys watching golf and Jon Moxley, not necessarily in that order. You can follow him on Twitter @notJDaigle.