Rich Hribar

Postseason Rankings

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Wild Card Round Rankings

Thursday, January 4, 2018


For those of you that are trying to cram in every morsel of fantasy football that the 2017 season must offer, playoff pools and DFS for postseason games are kicking off to fulfill our final fantasy needs. I’m going to take some space each week to rank the positions from the remaining teams as a guide to maximizing those final efforts.

 

The NFL is already an inherently volatile game weekly when we have 16 matchups to dissect, so when we cut the weekly player pool down to eight teams in four games, we’re inviting variance to run amuck. In DFS games, we can swerve into that variance to a degree by maximizing player exposure to cover as many angles as clairvoyantly possible. I typically avoid cash games for the NFL Playoffs, but want to run out as many different tournament lineups as possible in multi-entry fields over trying to hit a bullseye in single entry contests. If you’re someone doing a playoff pool, that is much tougher to do. My best advice in those pools is to try and maximize player games as much as possible as suggested in our overall playoff rankings.

 

Quarterbacks


1. Alex Smith (vs TEN): Smith threw 18 of his 26 touchdown passes on the road this season, but he was just fine over his final two home games of the year, posting 18.5 fantasy points against the Chargers and 17.5 points versus the Dolphins in Weeks 15-16. Smith gets a Titans defense that ranked 26th in passing yardage allowed per game (256.3 yards) and 27th in passing points allowed per game (15.5) to opposing passers. Opposing teams threw 61.9 percent of the time against Tennessee this year, the fourth-highest rate in the league. The Titans also surrendered their share of big games, allowing four or more touchdown passes four times this season while no other team allowed more than two such games on the season.

 

2. Drew Brees (vs CAR): Brees is still playing productive football, but the fantasy points haven’t flowed because the Saints have rushed for so many touchdowns this season. Brees completed a career-high 72 percent of his passes with his highest yards per attempt (8.1) since 2011. The issue for Brees has been touchdown production as his 4.3 touchdown rate was his lowest in a season since 2007. The Saints rocked the Panthers 34-13 and 31-21 so far, this season and in his two games versus Carolina this season, Brees completed 74.6 percent of his passes for 220 and 269 yards (7.8 Y/A) with four touchdowns, including his only three or more passing touchdown game on the season back in that Week 3 contest.  Carolina has also struggled to defend the pass of late, allowing 305 yards per game to opposing passers over their six games since their Week 11 bye, the most in the league.

 

3. Cam Newton (@ NO): Newton has at least 50-yards rushing in nine of his past 11 games, but he has thrown for more than 200 yards in just two of his past nine games while averaging just 6.2 yards per pass attempt over that span. Over those past 11 games, he has two monster games with four passing touchdowns each at home against Miami and Green Bay, but then just six passing touchdowns in the surrounding nine games over that timeframe. In his two games versus the Saints, he threw for just 167 and 183 yards, with Marshon Lattimore absent for the Saints in both meetings. Newton is tricky because his scoring has been so one-sided for fantasy, but he has major upside compared to the field of passers this weekend if he hits his ceiling.

 

Editor's Note: Here are 6 DFS plays for your Wild Card lineups. Check out this FREE video and dominate this week!

 

4. Jared Goff (vs ATL): Goff had a strong back half of the season, throwing 19 touchdowns to just three interceptions in the final eight games of the year after the Rams bye week. Over that span, he posted at least 14.8 passing points in six of those eight games and has thrown multiple touchdowns passes in five straight games entering the postseason. The only thing keeping Goff in check for reasonable expectations over posting a high-ceiling week is that Atlanta isn’t a pushover as a pass defense as they ranked 11th in passing yardage allowed (232.8) per game to passers while ranking 11th in touchdown rate allowed (6.1 percent).

 

5. Blake Bortles (vs BUF): There’s a major drop off from the top four passers listed to the bottom half of the position. Bortles is the one home favorite from the bottom of the position and he closed the season strong fantasy purposes, but this game sets up for Jacksonville to play the type of game they truly want to play, which is to protect the game with their running attack and defense. Buffalo allowed just 14 passing touchdowns all season long (second) and 6.7 yards per attempt (ninth), while they just could not stop the run over the back half of the season.

 

6. Matt Ryan (@ LAR): For the first time since his rookie season, Ryan failed to have a game in which he threw more than two touchdown passes while he hasn’t thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game since Week 11. The Rams allowed 15 or more fantasy points to just five passers all season long and one of those came in Week 17, in a throw away game.

 

7. Marcus Mariota (@ KC): Mariota posted career-worst marks in touchdown rate (2.9 percent), interception rate (3.3 percent), yards per attempt (7.1) and yardage per game (215.5) this year while also rushing for a career-low 20.8 yards per game. He gets a tough draw heading to Arrowhead, where the Chiefs have played their best defense. Opposing passers averaged 240.1 yards and 14.1 fantasy points per game in Kansas City as opposed to 277.6 yards and 19.9 points per game at home while just two quarterbacks threw multiple touchdown passes against the Chiefs on the road this season.

 

8. Tyrod Taylor (@ JAC): I don’t need to run down a bunch of stats to explain how poor of a passing matchup this is for Taylor and the Bills, especially with their offensive compromised by a potentially hobbled LeSean McCoy. The one ray of sunshine for Taylor is that Jacksonville allowed the seventh-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks on the season and all of the mobile passers they faced had success tacking on some rushing points. They allowed 31 and 36 yards rushing to Jacoby Brissett, 24 and 60 yards to Marcus Mariota, 50 yards to Russell Wilson and another 22 yards to DeShone Kizer. Taylor is going to have to carry his fantasy line on the ground.

 


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Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.
Email :Rich Hribar



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