Want to extend your fantasy football season? Looking to add some excitement to the 2023 NFL Playoffs? If you answered yes (and why wouldn’t you), then NFL Playoffs Fantasy Football is a must-try.
Thankfully, The Wolf’s fantasy addiction knows no bounds. He has tried numerous NFL Playoff fantasy football formats and host sites. Below, he tells you his favorite ways and places to play NFL Fantasy Football in 2023.
HOW & WHERE TO PLAY NFL PLAYOFF FANTASY FOOTBALL
Top Option: Underdog Fantasy– Playoff Best Ball Tournaments
No roster-management? A shot at $200K for just $25? Up to $100 Free if you’re a new user (& click here)? Am I dreaming?
Underdog Fantasy is best known for its season-long best ball contests, but they’ve also created an NFL Playoffs Best Ball structure where users draft live against five other people to create 10-player rosters to fill out a weekly starting five: 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR/TE, 1 FLEX.
If you’re new to Best Ball, let me warn you: it’s the most addicting, and simply the best way to play fantasy football. You draft your team & the computer automatically starts your highest-scoring players. All of the joys of drafting, none of the headaches and pain of roster management.
Right now, Underdog offers two playoff-long best ball tournaments: The Gauntlet 2, which has $1M in prizes ($200K to first!) for a $25 entry fee, The Mitten 4, featuring $250K in prizes ($35K to first!) for just $5, and The Big Mitten, which has $200K in prizes. The user-friendly fantasy site also offers best-ball tournaments for the Wild Card slate with prizes ranging from $30K to $200K.
We’ll dive into strategy and specific rules more in a separate post and on some live-drafting streams, but some key points:
- There are four rounds of competition that correlate to the rounds of the playoffs: Wildcard, Divisional, Conference, and Super Bowl. Each of the first two rounds consists of six-person groups (one team advances), the third round consists of eight-person groups (one team advances) and the final round consists of a single 157-person group. Payouts increase with each round you last, up to $200K in The Gauntlet 2 if you finish No. 1 of the final 157.
- Unlike many other playoff fantasy formats, points are NOT cumulative each round! Still, you’ll need active players from the long-lasting, ideally Super-Bowl-Bound teams if you hope to make a deep run where the big money is!
- This makes team stacking CRUCIAL. I typically have 7-8 of my 10 players from just two overall teams (one AFC, one NFC) in hopes they are the ones facing off in the Super Bowl. I round that out with 2-3 players with 20-30 point weekly upside who can help me advance, even if they are only live for 1-2 weeks (Saquon Barkley, Tyreek Hill, Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf)
Click the banner above, click here, or download & use promo code RSJ for up to a $100 first deposit match on Underdog Fantasy.
Other Top Option: Create & Host your Own “Total Points” NFL Playoff Fantasy League
If you prefer facing off with the people you know, setting up your own NFL Playoffs Fantasy League is incredibly easy and fun, too.
Just like regular fantasy football, you’ll draft actual NFL players and score points based on their performance.
Unlike regular fantasy football, you are NOT matched up with a weekly opponent. Instead, your goal is to score the “most total points” over the entire four-week course of the postseason.
This makes the quality of the team equally, if not more, important than that of the actual players for obvious reasons: the more games played, the more chances to rack up points. One-and-done players become roster dead weight.
Thus, the top picks are the highest point producers on teams with the highest likelihood of 3-4 games played.
Ideal NFL Playoff Fantasy League Settings:
League size: Six people
With only 14 NFL teams to select talent from, playoff fantasy rosters can thin out very fast with more than six owners. Fewer teams are acceptable, but, just like 12 versus 10 team leagues in regular fantasy, this doesn’t require as much skill and carries a JV Stigma.
Scoring: Keep it consistent with your regular season scoring. For me, I prefer 1/2 PPR & 4-point passing TDs.
Players accumulate total points for as long as they last. Some leagues do bonuses or multipliers based on how deep into the playoffs a player lasts. For example, Player Y’s points may be 1.5x for the Conference Championship Week and 2x for the Super Bowl. For what it’s worth, I don’t prefer multipliers.
Rosters: As mentioned, the drop to only 14 teams shallows out the player pool. Rosters should be adjusted, with our top recommendation being:
- 2 QBs
- 2 RBs
- 3 WR or TE
- 1 Flex (WR / RB / TE)
- 1 K
- 1 DEF
Where to play NFL Playoff Fantasy Football
For hosting and customizing your own NFL Playoff Fantasy Football League, we recommend MyFantasyLeague. They go step-by-step, and I had the RSJ Expert League up and running in 15 minutes.
Other Options for NFL Playoffs Fantasy Football and Best Ball
1. One-and-Done Leagues
You can pick any player, any week, from any team but you can only pick them once. You pick a new roster every week from whichever players you have not yet chosen. The winner is decided by the most total points at the end of the playoffs.
So, if you take, say, Stefon Diggs this week, you wouldn’t get to use him again, even if the Bills go the distance.
As such, picking talented fantasy players who are likely to get eliminated early is crucial. Justin Jefferson, Mike Evans, Saquon Barkley, Tyreek Hill, and Kenneth Walker/DK Metcalf/Tyler Lockett all fit the bill in 2023.
MyFantasyLeague hosts these style leagues under “Contest Style.”
2. One Player Per Team League
You pick one, and only one, player per team to fill out a 14-position roster (1 per playoff team), such as:
- 2 QB
- 2 RB
- 3 WR
- 1 TE
- 4 FLEX (W/R/T)
- 1 DEF
- 1 K
You get the player for as long as they last, with the most total points winning. If you see a team making an early exit, you should burn the DEF and K spots.
Note: The FFPC hosts a high-stakes variation of this format with the following 12-man roster: 1-QB, 2-RB, 2-WR, 1-TE, 4-Flex, 1-K, 1-D (Flex can be RB, WR or TE). This means you completely punt two teams. They also 2x all points for Super Bowl squads. Learn more here.
3. PrizePicks – Fantasy Player Props
If you’ve never played PrizePicks, it allows users to pick and combine two to six player props to win up to 25X on an entry. If you’re a player prop bettor who typically uses a sportsbook, sign up for PrizePicks using our link (or use promo code RSJ) to get up to a $100 first deposit match and take advantage of their very generous lines.
4. High Stakes Playoff Leagues
FFPC Playoff Challenge:
The FFPC is my preferred variation, as it’s a bit simpler and follows the aforementioned “One Player Per Team” set up.
The rules and scoring are clearly outlined here.
NFFC Post Season Hold’em:
I’ve never played this, but will likely dabble this season.
These settings are a mix of the above variations, described as follows:
The NFFC Post Season Hold ‘Em Tournament will begin with the first wild card games and continue through the final playoff game. Points will be accumulated throughout the playoffs and the team with the most total points wins the grand prize.
All other prizes will also be paid based on total points. Each week the number of points an NFL player earns for you will be multiplied by the number of consecutive weeks he has been on your roster, rewarding fantasy players who correctly can predict top players on this year’s teams that compete in the Championship game. Players who have first-round byes automatically earn two times their total points during Week 2 of the playoffs.
Like most playoff fantasy leagues, the incentive obviously lies in finding teams that could go on major streaks given the multipliers. However, unlike other leagues, you do get the chance to “reset” each week and start a new squad based on the remaining talent pool.
6. NFL DFS (DraftKings or FanDuel)
Pretty obvious. You already know how to play (salary cap) and what to do. Just like the regular season, the appeal is the one-week nature and huge prize pools.
Clearly, there are tons of NFL Playoff fantasy football options to keep that fantasy itch scratched all postseason. At minimum, we love setting up a six-man league with friends to keep all the things you love about fantasy alive: a draft, trash-talk, side bets. All the goods.
Still, plenty of other unique variations, such as best ball, and high-stakes action exist. Try a host of them, and squeeze every last fantasy football drop out of this year.