Eleven Dart Throws: Your Fantasy Playoff Cheatsheet

This looks like the most wide-open NFL playoffs in recent memory; no one is favored by more than four points in the opening round, the NFC looks very evenly matched, and the Colts have all sorts of issues to sort out between now and their debut in two weeks. The sheet below is to be used for drafts that carry through the entire playoffs; game potential is the biggest thing to grab now, over pure talent and scoring potential. More than ever this list is about handicapping the 11 games to come.

To the rankage:

1. Peyton Manning(notes)
2. Philip Rivers(notes)
3. Drew Brees(notes)
4. Brett Favre(notes)
5. Tony Romo(notes)
6. Aaron Rodgers(notes)
7. Kurt Warner(notes)
8. Tom Brady(notes)
9. Donovan McNabb(notes)
10. Joe Flacco(notes)
11. Carson Palmer(notes)
12. Mark Sanchez(notes)

Comments: I'll be surprised if any AFC team gets past the Colts or Chargers in Round 2, but I can't decide on a definitive favorite after that. The Chargers look like the conference's best team on paper right now, but Indy's got home field and maybe the Colts can get their groove back by pasting someone in the Divisional Round.

I don't see Brees as much better a play than Favre or Romo; the Cowboys might be the most ticklish play on the board. Sure, they could lose to Philly this week, but this might be the league's deepest roster and I'd give them a shot at beating anyone, any venue. I think the Jets have an excellent shot at beating Cincinnati, but the easiest call of this entire exercise was burying Sanchez at the bottom of the list. The Jets will try to win in spite of Sanchez, playing hide-the-quarterback all the way.

Running Back
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Joseph Addai(notes)
3. Ryan Grant(notes)
4. Marion Barber(notes)
5. LaDainian Tomlinson(notes)
6. Thomas Jones(notes)
7. Pierre Thomas(notes)
8. Ray Rice(notes)
9. Cedric Benson(notes)
10. Darren Sproles(notes)
11. Beanie Wells(notes)
12. Reggie Bush(notes)
13. Felix Jones(notes)
14. Shonn Greene(notes)
15. Donald Brown(notes)
16. Brian Westbrook(notes)
17. Tim Hightower(notes)
18. Willis McGahee(notes)
19. Mike Bell(notes)
20. Kevin Faulk(notes)
21. Sammy Morris(notes)
22. LeSean McCoy(notes)
23. Chester Taylor(notes)
24. Fred Taylor(notes)
25. Leonard Weaver(notes)
26. Mike Tolbert(notes)
27. Brandon Jackson(notes)
28. Laurence Maroney
29. Larry Johnson(notes)
30. Tashard Choice(notes)
31. Jacob Hester(notes)
32. Le'Ron McClain(notes)
33. Brian Leonard(notes)

Comments: My faith in the Chargers pushes Sproles up the list, and don't overlook guys like Hester and Tolbert as REM-type sleepers if you see San Diego getting three games. Thomas says he'll play through three broken ribs, it hurts just to type that. McCoy was hardly used in Week 17 but that might have been a flow-of-the-game fluke, albeit he has to contend with Westbrook and the underrated Weaver for touches. I wouldn't pick Maroney on a dare.

Wide Receiver
1. Reggie Wayne(notes)
2. Vincent Jackson(notes)
3. Miles Austin(notes)
4. Sidney Rice(notes)
5. Marques Colston(notes)
6. Randy Moss(notes)
7. Donald Driver(notes)
8. Percy Harvin(notes)
9. Larry Fitzgerald(notes)
10. DeSean Jackson(notes)
11. Pierre Garcon(notes)
12. Greg Jennings(notes)
13. Anquan Boldin(notes)
14. Robert Meachem(notes)
15. Malcom Floyd(notes)
16. Julian Edelman(notes)
17. Austin Collie(notes)
18. Roy Williams
19. Jeremy Maclin(notes)
20. Patrick Crayton(notes)
21. Devery Henderson(notes)
22. Braylon Edwards(notes)
23. Derrick Mason(notes)
24. Jerricho Cotchery(notes)
25. Bernard Berrian(notes)
26. Chad Ochocinco(notes)
27. James Jones(notes)
28. Laveranues Coles(notes)
29. Jason Avant(notes)
30. Steve Breaston(notes)
31. Legedu Naanee(notes)
32. Mark Clayton(notes)
33. Sam Hurd(notes)
34. Brad Smith(notes)
35. Jordy Nelson(notes)
36. Sam Aiken(notes)
37. Early Doucet(notes)

Comments: Ochocinco is nicked up and facing the NFL's best shutdown corner, Darrelle Revis(notes). Avoid No. 85 at all costs. The Ravens will throw the kitchen sink at Moss but their secondary personnel is no longer a plus group. When you're filling out the bottom of your roster, a deeper pick off the Colts or Chargers might make more sense than a mediocre player off a team mildly favored this week. The two games with the lowest upset potential, as I see it, are the games at Indy and San Diego next week.

Tight End
1. Dallas Clark(notes)
2. Antonio Gates(notes)
3. Jason Witten(notes)
4. Jermichael Finley(notes)
5. Visanthe Shiancoe(notes)
6. Brent Celek(notes)
7. Benjamin Watson(notes)
8. Jeremy Shockey(notes)
9. Dustin Keller(notes)
10. Todd Heap(notes)
11. Martellus Bennett(notes)
12. David Thomas(notes)
13. Ben Patrick(notes)
14. J.P. Foschi(notes)
15. Donald Lee(notes)
16. Chris Baker
17. Spencer Havner(notes)

Comments: This list sort of ranked itself, a lot of the favored clubs have stud talents at this position. Finley, for what it's worth, will be a Top 5 tight end on most lists next summer.

1. Nate Kaeding(notes)
2. Ryan Longwell(notes)
3. Adam Vinatieri(notes)/Matt Stover
4. Garrett Hartley(notes)
5. Mason Crosby(notes)
6. Shaun Suisham(notes)
7. David Akers(notes)
8. Stephen Gostkowski(notes)
9. Neil Rackers(notes)
10. Jay Feely(notes)
11. Shayne Graham(notes)
12. Billy Cundiff(notes)

Comments: If there's one position to go strictly by game potential, it's the kicker spot. But if you draft early in the week, I'd be leery on taking a chance on the Indy guys, given the health concerns.

1. Colts
2. Cowboys
3. Chargers
4. Vikings
5. Packers
6. Saints
7. Jets
8. Eagles
9. Bengals
10. Ravens
11. Patriots
12. Cardinals

It's just about post time, amigos. Who do you like?


Images via Getty Images

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