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Wild Card Round, Playoff Challenge fantasy football rankings

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Did your fantasy football season end at the hands of Aaron Rodgers, Christian McCaffrey or Zach Ertz? Did you start Kenny Golladay over Robby Anderson in Week 16? Did you rest your championship hopes and dreams on Tom Brady? I feel for you my friends, but I'm here with a solution to ease the pain of defeat (at least somewhat) with a new challenge. The NFL Playoff Challenge! You can set up your own league with friends and family, or you can join my league and compete against me. You could win a trip to Super Bowl LIV scheduled for February 3, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia!

So what is the NFL Playoff Challenge?

Unlike daily fantasy leagues, a player's stock includes the value of his team and how far you project his squad to advance in the postseason. That's because the further a player advances, the more points he can score due to the "multiplier" scoring system. For example, if Mitchell Trubisky leads the Bears to the Super Bowl and you started him in the Wild Card Round and kept him active throughout the playoffs, he would receive double points in the Divisional Round, triple points in the Conference Championship Round and quadruple points during the Super Bowl Round.

This multiplier rule alters fantasy player values in the NFL Playoff Challenge. We all know Ertz is the best fantasy tight end in the NFC playoffs, but his real value depends on how far you think the Eagles will advance in the postseason. If you believe the Bears are a Super Bowl contender and will knock the defending champs out of the playoffs in the Wild Card Round, you'd get just one week of production from Ertz with no chance of a points multiplier. Is that enough to start him?

Before we get to the player rankings for both the Wild Card Round (DFS) and the entire playoffs (NFL PC), here are a few interesting notes that could affect your decision-making process:

  • A number one seed has won the Super Bowl in every season since 2013. That includes the Eagles, Patriots, Broncos, Patriots, and Seahawks. The top seed in the AFC has won three of the last five championships, while the No. 1 seed in the NFC has won twice, including last season. What's more, four of the last five Super Bowl contests have featured each conference's number one seed.
  • The last five Super Bowls have seen a single non-number one seed (2016 Falcons, No. 2 seed), and the last Wild Card team to reach the Super Bowl was the 2012 Ravens (No. 4 seed). That might make fantasy owners avoid potential "sleeper teams" when setting their Playoff Challenge lineup.
  • A total of five of the last 20 teams to play in the Conference Championship Round also played in the Wild Card Round, and not a single six seed has made it to the Conference Round in the last five seasons. Just one five seed (2013 49ers) has played in the Conference Round in that time, and just two number four seeds (2016 Patriots, 2014 Colts) have reached the final round of their conference.

Rankings


Quarterbacks -- Wild Card Round (DFS)


1. Andrew Luck, Colts
2. Deshaun Watson, Texans
3. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
4. Mitch Trubisky, Bears
5. Lamar Jackson, Ravens
6. Dak Prescott, Cowboys
7. Philip Rivers, Chargers
8. Nick Foles, Eagles

Quarterbacks -- NFL Playoff Challenge


1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (BYE)
2. Drew Brees, Saints (BYE)
3. Jared Goff, Rams (BYE)
4. Tom Brady, Patriots (BYE)
5. Mitch Trubisky, Bears
6. Andrew Luck, Colts
7. Deshaun Watson, Texans
8. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
9. Philip Rivers, Chargers
10. Lamar Jackson, Ravens
11. Dak Prescott, Cowboys
12. Nick Foles, Eagles

Running backs -- Wild Card Round (DFS)


1. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
2. Melvin Gordon, Chargers
3. Chris Carson, Seahawks
4. Tarik Cohen, Bears
5. Marlon Mack, Colts
6. Jordan Howard, Bears
7. Lamar Miller, Texans
8. Gus Edwards, Ravens
9. Kenneth Dixon, Ravens
10. Darren Sproles, Eagles
11. Wendell Smallwood, Eagles
12. Nyheim Hines, Colts
13. Austin Ekeler, Chargers
14. Josh Adams, Eagles
15. Alfred Blue, Texans
16. Mike Davis, Seahawks
17. Jordan Wilkins, Colts
18. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks
19. Rod Smith, Cowboys
20. Ty Montgomery, Ravens

Running backs -- NFL Playoff Challenge


1. Alvin Kamara, Saints (BYE)
2. Todd Gurley, Rams (BYE)
3. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
4. Melvin Gordon, Chargers
5. Damien Williams, Chiefs (BYE)
6. Mark Ingram, Saints (BYE)
7. James White, Patriots (BYE)
8. Tarik Cohen, Bears
9. Sony Michel, Patriots (BYE)
10. Jordan Howard, Bears
11. Chris Carson, Seahawks
12. Marlon Mack, Colts
13. Lamar Miller, Texans
14. Gus Edwards, Ravens
15. Spencer Ware, Chiefs (BYE)
16. Kenneth Dixon, Ravens
17. Austin Ekeler, Chargers
18. Nyheim Hines, Colts
19. Darren Sproles, Eagles
20. Alfred Blue, Texans

Wide receivers -- Wild Card Round (DFS)


1. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
2. T.Y. Hilton, Colts
3. Amari Cooper, Cowboys
4. Keenan Allen, Chargers
5. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
6. Alshon Jeffery, Eagles
7. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
8. Allen Robinson, Bears
9. Mike Williams, Chargers
10. Taylor Gabriel, Bears
11. Keke Coutee, Texans
12. Dontrelle Inman, Colts
13. DeAndre Carter, Texans
14. Nelson Agholor, Eagles
15. Willie Snead, Ravens
16. Chester Rogers, Colts
17. Cole Beasley, Cowboys
18. Tyrell Williams, Chargers
19. Michael Crabtree, Ravens
20. Michael Gallup, Cowboys

Wide receivers -- NFL Playoff Challenge


1. Michael Thomas, Saints (BYE)
2. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs (BYE)
3. Robert Woods, Rams (BYE)
4. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
5. Brandin Cooks, Rams (BYE)
6. Julian Edelman, Patriots (BYE)
7. Keenan Allen, Chargers
8. T.Y. Hilton, Colts
9. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
10. Amari Cooper, Cowboys
11. Allen Robinson, Bears
12. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
13. Alshon Jeffery, Eagles
14. Josh Reynolds, Rams (BYE)
15. Ted Ginn, Saints (BYE)
16. Chris Conley, Chiefs (BYE)
17. Mike Williams, Chargers
18. Taylor Gabriel, Bears
19. Tre'Quon Smith, Saints (BYE)
20. Chris Hogan, Patriots (BYE)

Tight ends -- Wild Card Round (DFS)


1. Zach Ertz, Eagles
2. Eric Ebron, Colts
3. Trey Burton, Bears
4. Blake Jarwin, Cowboys
5. Mark Andrews, Ravens
6. Hunter Henry, Chargers
7. Jordan Thomas, Texans
8. Ed Dickson, Seahawks

Tight ends -- NFL Playoff Challenge


1. Travis Kelce, Chiefs (BYE)
2. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (BYE)
3. Eric Ebron, Colts
4. Zach Ertz, Eagles
5. Gerald Everett, Rams (BYE)
6. Trey Burton, Bears
7. Ben Watson, Saints (BYE)
8. Mark Andrews, Ravens
9. Jordan Thomas, Texans
10. Hunter Henry, Chargers
11. Ed Dickson, Seahawks
12. Blake Jarwin, Cowboys

Kickers -- Wild Card Round (DFS)


1. Ka'imi Fairbairn, Texans
2. Justin Tucker, Ravens
3. Cody Parkey, Bears
4. Brett Maher, Cowboys
5. Adam Vinatieri, Colts
6. Sebastian Janikowski, Seahawks
7. Mike Badgley, Chargers
8. Jake Elliott, Eagles

Kickers -- NFL Playoff Challenge


1. Wil Lutz, Saints (BYE)
2. Greg Zuerlein, Rams (BYE)
3. Harrison Butker, Chiefs (BYE)
4. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots (BYE)
5. Cody Parker, Bears
6. Justin Tucker, Ravens
7. Adam Vinatieri, Colts
8. Ka'imi Fairbairn, Texans
9. Mike Badgley, Chargers
10. Sebastian Janikowski, Seahawks
11. Brett Maher, Cowboys
12. Jake Elliott, Eagles

Defense/special teams -- Wild Card Round (DFS)


1. Bears
2. Ravens
3. Colts
4. Texans
5. Seahawks
6. Chargers
7. Cowboys
8. Eagles

Defense/special teams -- NFL Playoff Challenge


1. Saints (BYE)
2. Bears
3. Rams (BYE)
4. Chiefs (BYE)
5. Patriots (BYE)
6. Ravens
7. Colts
8. Texans
9. Chargers
10. Seahawks
11. Cowboys
12. Eagles


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for all of the latest fantasy football news, notes and in-depth analysis!

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