Fantasy Players You Need For Playoffs

Matt FleckContributor INovember 19, 2008

Every year in fantasy football, there comes a time when everything comes down to a single matchup for the season: playoffs. We all try our best to get there, and try to make it out with a championship. The following guide will provide clues about who to trade for, trade away, or pick up off of waivers to strengthen your team for that final playoff push.

Having the best players during the regular season doesn't necessarily translate into winning in playoffs. Teams often rest their stud players for NFL playoffs, with disastrous consequences to your fantasy squad.

Last year, I had Randy Moss and Tom Brady, who both had record setting seasons and lost in the playoffs. I was shell-shocked. Appalled. Afterward I suffered from PTSD (post-traumatic second-place disorder).

This year I will go into playoffs more wary of stud players on stud teams, and look for players with great matchups throughout the playoffs. You too can reap the benefits of my hard work.

After hours of research on matchups against defenses during fantasy playoffs (weeks 14-17 for ESPN standard leagues) I have compiled a few lists of players worth picking up or dropping for the playoff fracas.

Each list is derived from examining the rankings of run or pass defenses (whichever is relevant to each position) and singling out teams that play all of their last four games against teams in the bottom half or top half of the league in defense ranking.



Pick 'em up

Chad Pennington, Camarilla, Ginn Jr.  MIA

Brett Favre, Coles, Cotchery NYJ

Marc Bulger, Avery, Holt STL

These three QBs all face poor pass defenses and should put up lots of points. The receivers are ones that should also benefit.


Ditch 'Em

Tony Romo, Terrell Owens DAL

Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson, Braylon Edwards CLE

Cleveland and Dallas both face four tough defenses for the last four games of the season. Sell 'em high now.



Pick 'Em Up

Matt Forte, CHI. He's good and he is facing four poor run defenses during playoffs.

Others with favorable matchups in Weeks 14 & 15:

Tomlinson, SD faces OAK & KC

Rhodes and Addai, IND face CIN & DET

Ryan Grant, GB faces HOU & JAX

Whoever is playing for Denver faces KC & CAR


Drop 'Em

Thomas Jones, NYJ

Marion Barber, DAL    both of these guys face 4 top 16 run defenses.

Marshawn Lynch plays two tough defenses in MIA and NYJ in the first round of playoffs.



Pick 'Em Up

It looks as though tight ends could be critical for playoffs. Lots of them are playing against four teams that give up lots of fantasy points to TE's including:

Greg Olsen, CHI

Donald Lee, GB

Owen Daniels, HOU

Billy Miller, Jeremy Shockey NO

Alex Smith, TB

Also, Tony Gonzalez plays against the two worst TE-defenders in the first round in DEN & SD (two teams he has already scorched this season)


Drop 'Em

Dustin Keller, NYJ.  Toughest schedule of any TE in the league during playoffs.

These are not intended to be surefire predictions, just statistical analysis that you can use at your own discretion. Hopefully my analysis will prove fruitful and will help you win your fantasy league!