Fantasy Football Playoff Player Rankings

Bryan FontaineFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 03:  (R-L) Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 and Ryan Grant #25 of the Green Bay Packers walk through the tunnel before taking on the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Packers defeated the Cardinals 33-7.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL regular season is over, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop playing fantasy football this season.  Playoff leagues are forming everywhere, even good friend of the site and contributor John Gustafson from is running his own challenge.  The format I’ve chosen for these player rankings is for a survivor style, with the players I expect to play more games ranked higher than some of their counterparts.  One name that will appear lower than his regular season finish is Saints quarterback Drew Brees.  I don’t like New Orleans' chances of advancing to the NFC Championship Game; therefore, there are other quarterbacks I’d rather have that will present more value for your playoff squad.  Without further adieu, here are the rankings:


  1. Aaron Rodgers – Packers
  2. Tom Brady – Patriots
  3. Peyton Manning – Colts
  4. Philip Rivers – Chargers
  5. Brett Favre – Vikings
  6. Tony Romo – Cowboys
  7. Drew Brees – Saints
  8. Joe Flacco – Ravens
  9. Kurt Warner – Cardinals
  10. Donovan McNabb – Eagles
  11. Carson Palmer – Bengals
  12. Mark Sanchez – Jets

You really can’t go wrong with any of the top quarterbacks on this list.  The Packers are a dark horse team that is poised to make a Super Bowl appearance, but even in just two games Rodgers might give you enough production to warrant selecting him.  It’s likely the AFC team in the Super Bowl will be one of the top three seeds and even without Welker, I love Brady to put the team on his back and make another run at a title.  I don’t like Drew Brees’s chances versus either the Cowboys or Packers.  Both are physical teams that will give their offense fits.  Palmer and Sanchez should be avoided all together.

Running Back

  1. Ryan Grant – Packers
  2. Ray Rice – Ravens
  3. Marion Barber – Cowboys
  4. Adrian Peterson – Vikings
  5. Joseph Addai – Colts
  6. Pierre Thomas – Saints
  7. Willis McGahee – Ravens
  8. Felix Jones – Cowboys
  9. Thomas Jones – Jets
  10. Laurence Maroney – Patriots
  11. Cedric Benson – Bengals
  12. Shonn Greene – Jets
  13. Chris Wells – Cardinals
  14. Mike Bell – Saints
  15. LeSean McCoy – Eagles
  16. LaDainian Tomlinson – Chargers
  17. Larry Johnson – Bengals
  18. Kevin Faulk – Patriots
  19. Reggie Bush – Saints
  20. Fred Taylor – Patriots
  21. Tim Hightower – Cardinals
  22. Le’Ron McClain – Ravens
  23. Mike Tolbert – Chargers
  24. Brian Westbrook – Eagles
  25. Ahman Green – Packers
  26. Sammy Morris – Patriots
  27. Bernard Scott – Bengals
  28. Brandon Jackson – Packers
  29. Donald Brown – Colts
  30. Darren Sproles – Chargers
  31. Chester Taylor – Vikings

The pool of available playoff running backs is very underwhelming.  Ryan Grant quietly had an excellent season for the Packers.  Top 5 picks in 2010 in Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson should do damage in just two games, and it might be enough to make them the top running backs in the postseason.  Marion Barber and Joseph Addai make interesting selections as the goal line option for teams that like to punch it in from short yardage on the ground.  Otherwise, there aren’t many appealing options and I would steer clear from Tomlinson and Westbrook.

Wide Receiver

  1. Sidney Rice – Vikings
  2. Vincent Jackson – Chargers
  3. Miles Austin – Cowboys
  4. Randy Moss – Patriots
  5. Reggie Wayne – Colts
  6. Greg Jennings – Packers
  7. Marques Colston – Saints
  8. Donald Driver – Packers
  9. Malcolm Floyd – Chargers
  10. Austin Collie – Colts
  11. Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals
  12. Robert Meachem – Saints
  13. Percy Harvin – Vikings
  14. Jerricho Cotchery – Jets
  15. DeSean Jackson – Eagles
  16. Derrick Mason – Ravens
  17. Patrick Crayton – Cowboys
  18. Chad Ochocinco – Bengals
  19. Jason Avant – Eagles
  20. Devery Henderson – Saints
  21. Jeremy Maclin – Eagles
  22. Bernard Berrian- Vikings
  23. Pierre Garcon – Colts
  24. Steve Breaston – Cardinals
  25. Anquan Boldin – Cardinals
  26. Julian Edelman – Patriots
  27. Roy Williams – Cowboys
  28. Mark Clayton – Ravens

If you didn’t know better, you think you might be looking at the Pro Bowl rosters with the available playoff wide receivers.  This is by far the deepest available position for your squad.  It was painful to rank Fitzgerald and DeSean Jackson so low, but I don’t think they have a good chance to get out of the Wildcard Round this weekend.  Sidney Rice, Vincent Jackson and Miles Austin offer the home run threat while the next tier of Moss, Wayne and Jennings could be more reliable.  If you have a deep roster with PPR scoring, you might want to get Julian Edelman on your team.

Tight End

  1. Antonio Gates – Chargers
  2. Jermichael Finley – Packers
  3. Dallas Clark – Colts
  4. Visanthe Shiancoe – Vikings
  5. Jason Witten – Cowboys
  6. Todd Heap – Ravens
  7. Ben Watson – Patriots
  8. Brent Celek – Eagles
  9. David Thomas – Saints
  10. Dustin Keller – Jets
  11. JP Foschi – Bengals
  12. Martellus Bennett – Cowboys

Antonio Gates just logged one of the best seasons ever by a tight end in the NFL, and he is the clear-cut top option at the position.  Finley has developed into a matchup nightmare and has been Aaron Rodger’s 2nd favorite target the last part of the season behind Greg Jennings.  Clark and Witten are solid options and help move the chains and Shiancoe has been a red zone favorite of Favre all season.  Brent Celek would be ranked higher, but isn’t likely to play more than two games for the Eagles.

Team Defense

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

If you play in a format where you can only select one player from each playoff team, the Jets defense makes an excellent pick because other than Thomas Jones, the cupboard is bare.  The Ravens could be a dark horse in the AFC and they have played better in 2009 than their 9-7 record would indicate.  If you get much lower on this list, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel. wishes you the best of luck in your NFL Playoff Fantasy Football League!

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