Fantasy Football Playoff Cheat Sheet

Here's your Pianow Playoff cheat sheet for 2011. Accept no imitations. (Okay, the fantasy playoffs aren't that big of a deal. If you can find a good imitation, go with it.)

Team potential is as important as the players themselves in this sort of exercise. A mediocre Patriot is likely to help you a lot more in a playoff draft than any Seahawk will. With that in mind, here's how I roughly rank the teams with respect to game potential:

1. Patriots
2. Saints
3. Falcons
4. Steelers
5. Eagles
6. Colts
7. Ravens
8. Packers
9. Bears
10. Chiefs
11. Jets
12. Seahawks

Another thought to consider as you assemble your playoff rosters – it's generally a good idea to get multiple players on the same teams. You want to bankroll a scenario as much as you're grabbing points where you can get them.

Consider a standard scoring system, no PPR.

1. Tom Brady(notes)
2. Drew Brees(notes)
3. Michael Vick(notes)
4. Ben Roethlisberger(notes)
5. Peyton Manning(notes)
6. Matt Ryan(notes)
7. Aaron Rodgers(notes)
8. Jay Cutler(notes)
9. Joe Flacco(notes)
10. Matt Cassel(notes)
11. Mark Sanchez(notes)
12. Charlie Whitehurst(notes)
13. Matt Hasselbeck(notes)

Vick's the trickiest player to call in this exercise. His long-game potential is off the charts and even if the Eagles play just once, he might get you a pretty score. But the Packers probably have a 40-45 percent chance to win this game, don't you think? … After watching Kansas City lay an egg in the season finale, I want no part of Cassel and the Chiefs passing game. … I don't think it matters who the Seahawks play at quarterback this weekend, they're going to struggle to score points. I have a gut feeling both Whitehurst and Hasselbeck will see action.

Running Backs
1. BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes)
2. Michael Turner(notes)
3. Rashard Mendenhall(notes)
4. LeSean McCoy(notes)
5. Ray Rice(notes)
6. Matt Forte(notes)
7. Danny Woodhead(notes)
8. Jamaal Charles(notes)
9. Reggie Bush(notes)
10. Joseph Addai(notes)
11. Shonn Greene(notes)
12. Brandon Jackson(notes)
14. John Kuhn(notes)
15. Thomas Jones(notes)
16. Julius Jones(notes)
17. LaDainian Tomlinson(notes)
18. Jason Snelling(notes)
19. Donald Brown(notes)
20. Willis McGahee(notes)
21. Marshawn Lynch(notes)
22. Dominic Rhodes(notes)
23. Chester Taylor(notes)
24. Jerome Harrison(notes)
25. James Starks(notes)
26. Justin Forsett(notes)
27. Isaac Redman(notes)
28. Mewelde Moore(notes)
29. Joe McKnight(notes)
30. Dimitri Nance(notes)
31. DeShawn Wynn(notes)

Chris Ivory went on injured reserve Tuesday and Pierre Thomas(notes) followed him there on Wednesday, so the Saints have some real questions in their backfield. As much as none of us trust Julius Jones, he's a great late-round gamble given how the dominoes have fallen. … It seems comical to have Charles this low, but again, it speaks to the game potential. If you like the Chiefs to hold serve against Baltimore, your sheet looks a lot different. … I wouldn't fault you if you preferred Kuhn (likely goal-line man) to Jackson in Green Bay. … I think it would be foolish for the Jets to feature Tomlinson over Greene this week, not that Brian Schottenheimer has asked for my opinion.

Wide Receivers
1. Roddy White(notes)
2. Mike Wallace(notes)
3. Deion Branch(notes)
4. Wes Welker(notes)
5. DeSean Jackson(notes)
6. Reggie Wayne(notes)
7. Greg Jennings(notes)
8. Pierre Garcon(notes)
9. Lance Moore(notes)
10. Jeremy Maclin(notes)
11. Marques Colston(notes)
12. Robert Meachem(notes)
13. Hines Ward(notes)
14. Derrick Mason(notes)
15. Dwayne Bowe(notes)
16. Johnny Knox(notes)
17. Blair White(notes)
18. Anquan Boldin(notes)
19. Santonio Holmes(notes)
20. Michael Jenkins(notes)
21. Braylon Edwards(notes)
22. Devery Henderson(notes)
23. Devin Hester(notes)
24. James Jones(notes)
25. Donald Driver(notes)
26. Earl Bennett(notes)
27. Emmanuel Sanders(notes)
28. Mike Williams
29. Jason Avant(notes)
30. Brandon Tate(notes)
31. Jordy Nelson(notes)
32. T.J. Houshmandzadeh(notes)
33. Jerricho Cotchery(notes)
34. Ruvell Martin(notes)
35. Antwaan Randle El(notes)
36. Ben Obomanu(notes)
37. Adrian Arrington(notes)
38. Dexter McCluster(notes)
39. Brad Smith(notes)

Mason and even Todd Heap(notes) are doing more with Joe Flacco these days than Boldin is. … Williams can hold his own against the New Orleans secondary, but will the spotty Seattle quarterbacks get him the ball? … Sanders of Pittsburgh is one of my favorite sleepers; he's come on nicely in the second half. … The New Orleans offense is a mess to project. I think we all see them beating Seattle and scoring well for at least two weeks, but how healthy is Colston after his knee scope? Every skill player here is a boom-bust candidate, capable of a big afternoon, or a bagel.

Tight Ends
1. Rob Gronkowski(notes)
2. Tony Gonzalez(notes)
3. Aaron Hernandez(notes)
4. Jacob Tamme(notes)
5. Jimmy Graham(notes)
6. Heath Miller(notes)
7. Brent Celek(notes)
8. Todd Heap
9. Greg Olsen(notes)
10. Jeremy Shockey(notes)
11. Dustin Keller(notes)
12. Tony Moeaki(notes)
13. Andrew Quarless(notes)
14. Matt Spaeth(notes)
15. John Carlson(notes)
16. Alge Crumpler(notes)
17. Donald Lee(notes)
18. Justin Peelle(notes)
19. Ed Dickson(notes)

We have to assume that Hernandez will be healthy when the Pats play next week. And we all know Brady loves throwing to his targets between the numbers. … I wouldn't draft Shockey on a bet right now. … Celek's rapport with Vick got a little better in the second half of the year.

1. Shayne Graham(notes)
2. Garrett Hartley(notes)
3. Matt Bryant(notes)
4. David Akers(notes)
5. Shaun Suisham(notes)
6. Adam Vinatieri(notes)
7. Mason Crosby(notes)
8. Robbie Gould(notes)
9. Billy Cundiff(notes)
10. Ryan Succop(notes)
11. Nick Folk(notes)
12. Olindo Mare(notes)

1. Patriots
2. Saints
3. Steelers
4. Falcons
5. Eagles
6. Packers
7. Colts
8. Ravens
9. Bears
10. Jets
11. Chiefs
12. Seahawks


Image courtesy Associated Press

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