Submitted for your derision: Fantasy ranks for NFL playoff leagues

Perhaps the dumbest thing a fantasy manager can possibly do is publish player ranks on a mainstream sports site on the morning of a draft. Definitely not recommended. Poor strategy, requiring a special combination of stupidity and hubris. Far from ideal.

Nonetheless, I'm doing it today. My first fantasy playoff draft is coming up in just a few short hours, and I'm publishing ranks in advance. (Again: Unwise). Obviously I'd prefer to post this thing much later in the afternoon, after the draft, but my schedule is pretty jammed. I've blocked off eight-and-a-half hours to watch the Big Ten scuffle through five bowl games. The conference requires my full attention. So let's just rank the NFL playoff field right now.

[Repeat: The ranks here are strictly for PLAYOFF fantasy leagues. These are *not* 2013 regular season ranks. If you're looking for a preview of next year's fantasy draft, go here. We've done it. But today, we're only considering players involved in the current NFL postseason.]

First, a few details about league settings...

This upcoming draft is a six-team setup in which we start the following positions: 2 QBs, 2 TEs, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 4 flexes (non-QBs), 2 Ks, 2 DEFs. It's a point-per-reception league with length-of-TD bonuses. All six participants are accredited fantasy professionals: Brandon Funston, Chris Liss, Dalton Del Don, Scott Pianowski, Brad Evans, me. I'll publish the full draft results later in the day, for your review and ridicule.

Our lineups won't change week-to-week, so the priority is clearly to select elite skill guys likely to play multiple games. Thus, my ranks should give you at least a murky picture of how I expect the playoffs to go. The trickiest calls, of course, are players like Adrian Peterson and AJ Green — guys who may only play a single game, yet who can still deliver a big number.

That's all the analysis you get for now. THE TAXSLAYER.COM GATOR BOWL IS CALLING! Let's rank this postseason mess...


1. Peyton Manning, Denver
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
3. Tom Brady, New England
4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta
5. Russell Wilson, Seattle
6. Matt Schaub, Houston
7. Robert Griffin III, Washington
8. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco
9. Joe Flacco, Baltimore
10. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
11. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati
12. Christian Ponder, Minnesota


1. Arian Foster, Houston
2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver
3. Stevan Ridley, New England
4. Ray Rice, Baltimore
5. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle
6. Frank Gore, San Francisco
7. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota
8. Alfred Morris, Washington
9. Michael Turner, Atlanta
10. DuJuan Harris, Green Bay
11. Danny Woodhead, New England
12. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati
13. Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta
14. Vick Ballard, Indianapolis
15. Ben Tate, Houston
16. LaMichael James, San Francisco
17. Bernard Pierce, Baltimore
18. Brandon Bolden, New England


1. Demaryius Thomas, Denver
2. Eric Decker, Denver
3. Wes Welker, New England
4. Julio Jones, Atlanta
5. Andre Johnson, Houston
6. Roddy White, Atlanta
7. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay
8. Randall Cobb, Green Bay
9. Greg Jennings, Green Bay
10. AJ Green, Cincinnati
11. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco
12. James Jones, Green Bay
13. Brandon Lloyd, New England
14. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
15. Pierre Garcon, Washington
16. Torrey Smith, Baltimore
17. Sidney Rice, Seattle
18. Anquan Boldin, Baltimore
19. Santana Moss, Washington
20. TY Hilton, Indianapolis
21. Golden Tate, Seattle
22. Andrew Hawkins, Cincinnati
23. Donnie Avery, Indianapolis
24. Randy Moss, San Francisco


1. Rob Gronkowski, New England
2. Aaron Hernandez, New England
3. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta
4. Owen Daniels, Houston
5. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay
6. Jacob Tamme, Denver
7. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore
8. Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati
9. Vernon Davis, San Francisco
10. Joel Dreessen, Denver
11. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota
12. Delanie Walker, San Francisco
13. Anthony McCoy, Seattle
14. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis


1. Matt Prater, Denver
2. Stephen Gostkowski, New England
3. Mason Crosby, Green Bay
4. Matt Bryant, Atlanta
5. Shayne Graham, Houston
6. Justin Tucker, Baltimore
7. David Akers, San Francisco
8. Blair Walsh, Minnesota
9. Steven Hauschka, Seattle
10. Kai Forbath, Washington
11. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis
12. Josh Brown, Cincinnati


1. Denver Broncos
2. Houston Texans
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. New England Patriots
5. Seattle Seahawks
6. Green Bay Packers
7. Atlanta Falcons
8. Baltimore Ravens
9. Washington Redskins
10. Cincinnati Bengals
11. Indianapolis Colts
12. Minnesota Vikings


There it is, the full cheat sheet. Just in case it wasn't already clear, I'm expecting a deep playoff run from Denver. (I'd snag Matt Prater and the Broncos' defense before taking dudes like BJGE or Pierre Garcon). The possibility of getting four games from the Pack is plenty appealing, too.

You're free to pick apart my ranks now, or wait a few hours until I've posted draft results from the Yahoo! playoff league. Either way, here's hoping you have a happy, healthy new year. Let's have a profitable 2013, gamers. Many thanks for joining us in 2012.



As threatened, here are the full results of the six-team Yahoo! experts playoff draft...

I didn't veer too far away from my ranks, you'll note. I'm heavily invested in each conference's top seed — no one was fighting me for Falcons, just for the record — and I cornered the market on non-scoring Packers. So we'll see how that goes.

Do your worst, commenters...