Wild Card Playoff Rankings
Dose: Goal Line Gio?The NFL playoffs are here, but that doesn’t mean your Fantasy Football season is over. There are a variety of playoff contests available across the web, which is why we’re going to continue providing player rankings and analysis all the way through Superbowl Sunday.
During the week leading up to each round of this year’s playoffs, I’ll be supplying you with positional rankings and tiers at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, kicker, and defense. Playoff contests tend to vary greatly in terms of format, so I won’t be getting too into specifics. Instead, I’ll just be providing one-week, standard-scoring player rankings. Feel free to use them as needed.
Be sure to check out Chet Gresham’s Complete Playoff Rankings, which include positional rankings for the entire playoffs.
1. Drew Brees – NO (@ PHI)
2. Nick Foles – PHI (vs. NO)
Much will be made about the Saints road struggles and rightfully so. New Orleans is averaging an elite 4.4 offensive touchdowns per game at home this season, compared to a miserable 1.8 on the road. On the other hand, Eagles’ opponents are averaging 46 drop backs per game this season, which is the most in NFL history. The Saints already throw it a ton (No. 5 pass-heaviest team during regular season), which should easily allow Brees to eclipse 300 passing yards. He’s our top-rated Wild Card weekend quarterback.
Since Foles returned in Week 9 against Oakland, the Eagles are averaging an NFL-high 4.1 offensive touchdowns per game. The Broncos are averaging 3.9 during that span. The highly-productive Chip Kelly offense will allow Foles to produce at a level near that of Brees, but the Eagles do like to run the ball. That limits Foles’ ceiling against teams with respectable defenses. Foles does make up for a limited number of attempts with his legs; He’s averaging 4.3 designed runs per game since Week 9. Opponents of the Saints averaged an NFL-low 59 offensive plays per game this season. Additionally, offenses are averaging only 1.9 scores per game vs. New Orleans, which is sixth-lowest in the league.
3. Aaron Rodgers – GB (vs. SF)
4. Colin Kaepernick – SF (@ GB)
5. Andy Dalton – CIN (vs. SD)
The 49ers’ strong defense has allowed only 19 passing touchdowns this season, which helps limit Rodgers to our second tier of quarterbacks. The Packers are averaging 3.0 offensive touchdowns per game this season when Rodgers plays the entire game. That’s exactly where Green Bay was in 2012. Of course, the Packers – once a team that exclusively threw the ball with the end zone in range – now like to run the ball with Eddie Lacy near the goal line. This will limit Rodgers’ ceiling a bit.
The 49ers’ offense went on a dominant early-season tear that saw them score 19 touchdowns over a five-game stretch spanning from Weeks 4-to-8. Since their Week 9 bye, however, the Niners have totaled just 15 offensive scores in eight games. Although that’s concerning for Kaepernick, it’s worth noting that a majority of that drop-off came at the expense of the team’s running backs. Kaepernick has four two-plus touchdown games over his last seven appearances. Additionally, he’s the best bet to lead all quarterbacks in rushing yards this weekend. Headed to frigid Green Bay, Kaepernick is a solid, but unspectacular play.