Snow is starting to fall. Christmas music is playing. Finals are in full swing as schools start closing for winter vacation. Clearly, only one thing should be on your mind: fantasy football playoffs.
Win, and you’re one step closer to that glorious title. Lose, and you’re waiting over 250 days for your next shot. Lineups need to be 100% perfect if you want to avoid saying hello to the darkness for another week, check out The Wolf’s thoughts to make sure you’re fully stocked for a win.
Tier 1 – Quality QB1s
Quarterback matchups are unfortunately quite ugly to kick off the fantasy playoffs; consequently, a clear cut top dog is tough to pin. Instead, we’re left with 10+ guys who could be the top-scoring signal caller.
1) Drew Brees (NO) @ TB – If he was at home and not coming off a dreadful performance, Brees would be head and shoulders above the pack. He still is the best combination of generally elite + easy matchup, but last week has to create a little nausea in the stomach.
2) Tom Brady (NE) vs. BAL – The tougher matchup often plays to Brady’s favor, as the air will need to stay under the ball and no one rises to the occasion quite like The Reincarnate.
3) Andrew Luck (IND) vs. HOU
4) Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs. SEA – Slightly hampered with a hamstring, Rodgers only put up 17 after not dipping below 23 for six straight. Yet, the snow was rough, and with no Earl Thomas, Seattle isn’t quite the intimidating matchup as usual. This game has some serious shootout upside…
5) Russell Wilson (SEA) @ GB – …which brings us to The (former) Celibate. Against this horrendous secondary, Wilson has a 35 point ceiling, but the same was true against Tampa Bay. The single digit risk is real, but the offense as a whole seemed to be on a better track versus Carolina, and Rodgers should keep this close.
6) Derek Carr (OAK) @ KC – Seems like a stone cold lock for 20+
7) Philip Rivers (SD) @ CAR – Sneaky shoot out potential and a soft secondary make Rivers a very sexy play.
8) Kirk Cousins (WAS) @ PHI – Been on absolute fire, and the Eagles early season defensive success has inflated their reputation; lately, they’re poop.
9) Jameis Winston (TB) vs. NO – This defense gives it up pretty easy, and Jameis loves it that way.
Tier 2 – The lower-end QB1s
10) Matt Ryan (ATL) @ LA – He’s cooled off a bit, and the matchup isn’t exactly ripe.
11) Cam Newton (CAR) vs. SD – The sneaky stat here is San Diego’s pathetic rushing defense. Newton should face serious pressure, and some broken play scrambles for huge chunks of rushing yards wouldn’t be surprised.
12) Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) @ BUF – Away against a decent defense could bring out a very un-brave Big Ben.
13) Andy Dalton (CIN) @ CLE – Who’s playing Cleveland? Great, here’s 20+ points.
14) Carson Palmer (ARI) @ MIA – Has thrown over 300 yards and/or multiple TDs in six straight, and especially popped in weak matchups. A Dolphins defense whoring out the 5th most points to QBs certainly fits the bill.
15) Matthew Stafford (DET) vs. CHI – My “bum” of the week, especially compared to his ECR of #6.
Tier 3 – Quality QB2s
16) Dak Prescott (DAL) @ NYG – Against a Giants defense that ranks 30th against QBs, Dak could be in for his second clunker straight.
17) Marcus Mariota (TEN) vs. DEN – Don’t discount the rushing upside here.
18) Eli Manning (NYG) vs. DAL
19) Alex Smith (KC) vs. OAK
20) Tyrod Taylor (BUF) vs. PIT
21) Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs. NYJ
Tier 4 – “It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there”
22) Joe Flacco (BAL) @ NE
23) Trevor Siemian (DEN) @ TEN
24) Matt Barkley (CHI) @ DET
25) Robert Griffin (CLE) vs. CIN
26) Carson Wentz (PHI) vs. WAS
27) Jared Goff (LA) vs. ATL
28) Bryce Petty (NYJ) @ SF
29) Blake Bortles (JAC) vs. MIN
30) Ryan Tannehill (MIA) vs. ARI
31) Brock Osweiler (HOU) @ IND
32) Sam Bradford (MIN) @ JAC