Postseason Fantasy Football Rankings and Draft Strategy


Just when you thought you were out of the fantasy football season, we’re going to pull you back in. It’s time for the NFL playoffs, which means another month of fantasy before the offseason. 

Postseason fantasy football is not a new idea, but it has been increasing in popularity over the last few years. At only a quarter of the length of the regular season, these leagues are great for those who are jonesing to get one more fantasy fix and offer a chance for redemption to rid that bad aftertaste of a losing season. 

There are a variety of formats you can use in the NFL playoffs, but the three most common ones are salary cap, one-and-done, and traditional draft and hold. Regardless of which your league uses, the idea remains the same – pick the players who are going to score the most points. 

In draft-style leagues, this task is much easier in the regular season. Barring any injuries or suspensions, all players play the same amount of games. But in the playoffs, as teams are eliminated, you lose their players. The key here is to draft not just quality players, but quality players on teams that have the best chance to play multiple games and hopefully advance to the Super Bowl.  



To determine which teams you think will advance, I suggest drawing up a bracket and making your picks just as you would for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. When mapping out your picks, remember that Vegas is your friend. Here are the current odds to win the Super Bowl at DraftKings Sportsbook:

  • Green Bay Packers +380
  • Kansas City Chiefs +450
  • Buffalo Bills +750
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +800
  • Tennessee Titans +850
  • Los Angeles Rams +1000
  • Dallas Cowboys +1200
  • Cincinnati Bengals +1600
  • San Francisco 49ers +2000
  • New England Patriots +2200
  • Arizona Cardinals +2500
  • Las Vegas Raiders +6000
  • Philadelphia Eagles +6000
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +9000

Two things should be quite obvious right away – 1) The Packers are the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl with Kansas City sitting just behind them as the clear No. 2 choice, and 2) The Raiders, Eagles, and Steelers are massive long shots. There are also a number of teams tightly bunched in the middle, and that makes this a challenging bracket to fill out.

It can be difficult to use the Super Bowl odds to our advantage here, but we can use the odds to win the AFC and NFC to help us out. Here’s the AFC:

  • Kansas City Chiefs +175
  • Tennessee Titans +330
  • Buffalo Bills +350
  • Cincinnati Bengals +700
  • New England Patriots +1000
  • Las Vegas Raiders +2000
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +3500

Despite not having the top seed, the Chiefs come in as the top pick. It’s hard to disagree after they’ve found their way to the big game in each of the last two years. But Tennessee will be tough as the No. 1 seed with Derrick Henry back. Likewise, the Bills have the firepower to go toe-to-toe with anyone. From there, the Bengals are a very appealing dark horse candidate given what Joe Burrow did down the stretch. New England has exceeded expectations this season, but it’s tough to envision them making a run in the postseason. It’s a great story that both the Raiders and Steelers managed to get in, but neither has much of a shot to get past the first weekend.

In the NFC, we have a similar distribution of odds:

  • Green Bay Packers +160
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +350
  • Los Angeles Rams +450
  • Dallas Cowboys +600
  • San Francisco 49ers +1000
  • Arizona Cardinals +1200
  • Philadelphia Eagles +3000

The top-seeded Packers are the odds-on favorites. At the other end of the spectrum, the Eagles are the biggest underdogs. Given the odds, the Buccaneers and Rams are the best bets to give you at least two games – with the potential to deliver four – of fantasy production. Getting four games from your players is one of the biggest factors in winning fantasy playoff leagues. If you’re looking for a dark horse in the NFC, both the 49ers and Cardinals are in play. 

With all of this information, you can now draw out your playoff brackets. Of course, the Vegas odds are typically very chalky, but you don’t need to follow them 100 percent of the time. Remember, it’s your draft, so draw up the brackets based on who you think will win. Here’s how I project the playoffs:

Wild Card Round

Cincinnati defeats Las Vegas

Las Vegas has endured so much this season and they deserve major credit for getting into the postseason, but they’re a bit overmatched against Joe Burrow and the high-powered Bengals offense.

Buffalo defeats New England

These two split the regular-season series. As well as New England has played this season, it’s tough not to give the edge to the team with Josh Allen under center.

Tampa Bay defeats Philadelphia

Tom Brady is undefeated in the playoffs as a Buccaneer. The odds are good that his streak continues against an Eagles squad that did not beat a team with a winning record in the regular season.

San Francisco defeats Dallas

You can’t go chalk on every game, so this is my upset special. Kyle Shanahan knows how to win in the postseason. He’s just two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance.

Kansas City defeats Pittsburgh

It’s cool that Ben Roethlisberger gets one more playoff appearance, but the Steelers have almost no shot in this one.

LA Rams defeat Arizona

This might be the toughest game to pick on the Wild Card Card slate. The Cards beat up on LA back in October (37-20), but the Rams managed a 30-23 victory in early December. But here’s the clincher: LA enters the playoffs as winners of five of their last six, while the Cards are just 2-4 over that span – including a shocking loss to Detroit.

Divisional Round

Tennessee defeats Cincinnati

Derrick Henry’s back in this one, giving the Titans a huge advantage. While Cincinnati will give them a game, having Henry back will be just too much to overcome.

Kansas City defeats Buffalo

The Bills crushed Kansas City back in Week 5, but that was a very different Chiefs team. Kansas City has since righted the ship on the defensive side of the ball. They enter the playoffs as winners of nine of their last 10 games.

Green Bay defeats San Francisco

Aaron Rodgers is coming off an MVP-caliber regular season and isn’t going to lose at home in the Division Round again. 

Tampa Bay defeats LA Rams

This is a pivotal game for playoff league drafts. The Rams won by 10 against Tampa back in Week 3, and are certainly an intriguing dark horse squad. However, Brady and company have just enough of an edge to make it back to the Conference Championship game.

Conference Championship

Green Bay defeats Tampa Bay

We have a rematch of last year’s Divisional Round, but the outcome is different in this one. Rodgers continues his inevitable march to the Super Bowl and gets his revenge on Tom Brady.

Kansas City defeats Tennessee

This was one of the toughest games to decide. Tennessee’s offensive potential with Henry back is very intriguing, but Patrick Mahomes on the other side is the deciding factor. 

Super Bowl

Green Bay defeats Kansas City

Sometimes the result of the Super Bowl impacts your fantasy draft decisions, but the losing team can still put up major fantasy points.

So these results give use the following amount of games for each team: Chiefs (4), Packers (3), Buccaneers (3) Titans (2) Bills (2), Bengals (2), 49ers (2), Rams (2), Cowboys (1), Cardinals (1), Patriots (1), Steelers (1), Eagles (1), Raiders (1)


While it’s very easy to simply leave things like this, I’d strongly advise against it. Using full games, we’ll end up with a set of rankings that is heavily weighted towards the three-game teams. And the reality is that the teams that we pick to lose don’t have a zero percent chance to win. 

Based on the projected spread for each game, we can calculate the team’s percentage chance of winning. If you’d like to calculate the chance of winning, here’s the formula: 0.0319*x+0.5001 where “x” is the spread. 

So given the numbers I ran in my model, these percentages can be converted to the following games played: Chiefs (3.04), Buccaneers (2.84), Packers (2.19), Bengals (2.11), Bills (2.08), Rams (2.00), Titans (1.97), 49ers (1.75), Cowboys (1.60), Patriots (1.39), Cardinals (1.37), Raiders (1.31), Eagles (1.23), Steelers (1.10). Using these game projections, we can now rank all of the players for the playoffs. We’ll be using the following roster requirements: 2QB, 8FLEX, 2DST, 2K.

1. Patrick Mahomes, KC QB1, 57.4 pts, 3 gms

2. Tom Brady, TB QB2, 54.8 pts, 2.8 gms

3. Leonard Fournette, TB RB1, 54.5 pts, 2.8 gms

4. Josh Allen, BUF QB3, 48.8 pts, 2.1 gms

5. Aaron Rodgers, GB QB4, 46.3 pts, 2.2 gms

6. Davante Adams, GB WR1, 45.4 pts, 2.2 gms

7. Travis Kelce, KC TE1, 43.4 pts, 3 gms

The top tier shows you just how important quarterbacks are in postseason fantasy football, with four of them in this group. The key to winning a postseason league is hitching your saddle to the right horse at quarterback and here we have the two best bets from both conferences. 

8. Cooper Kupp, LAR WR2, 43.2 pts, 2 gms

9. Joe Burrow, CIN QB5, 39.9 pts, 2.1 gms

10. Derrick Henry, TEN RB2, 38.5 pts, 2 gms

11. Tyreek Hill, KC WR3, 38 pts, 3 gms

12. Joe Mixon, CIN RB3, 37.8 pts, 2.1 gms

13. Matthew Stafford, LAR QB6, 36.8 pts, 2 gms

14. Mike Evans, TB WR4, 34.7 pts, 2.8 gms

15. Ryan Tannehill, TEN QB7, 34.2 pts, 2 gms

16. Ja’Marr Chase, CIN WR5, 32.8 pts, 2.1 gms

17. Deebo Samuel, SF WR6, 31.1 pts, 1.7 gms

18. Rob Gronkowski, TB TE2, 30.5 pts, 2.8 gms

19. Darrel Williams, KC RB4, 30.3 pts, 3 gms

20. A.J. Brown, TEN WR7, 30 pts, 2 gms

21. Stefon Diggs, BUF WR8, 28.9 pts, 2.1 gms

22. Sony Michel, LAR RB5, 28 pts, 2 gms

23. Dak Prescott, DAL QB8, 27.9 pts, 1.6 gms

24. Kyler Murray, ARI QB9, 27.6 pts, 1.4 gms

Try to get the most bang for your buck in this range. While it’s wise to attack quarterbacks in the first round, there’s still value to be had after that point. You can still end up with Burrow, Stafford, or Tannehill in Round 2. And don’t forget that games played aren’t everything in these drafts. Even if you don’t think a team will play more than one game, players like Samuel or Prescott still have the potential to out-score multigame players. And there’s always the chance you’re wrong on your game picks. 

25. Tee Higgins, CIN WR9, 27.3 pts, 2.1 gms

26. Devin Singletary, BUF RB6, 27.2 pts, 2.1 gms

27. Jimmy Garoppolo, SF QB10, 26.6 pts, 1.7 gms

28. Aaron Jones, GB RB7, 26.4 pts, 2.2 gms

29. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC RB8, 24.9 pts, 3 gms

30. Elijah Mitchell, SF RB9, 24.6 pts, 1.7 gms

31. A.J. Dillon, GB RB10, 23.9 pts, 2.2 gms

32. Jalen Hurts, PHI QB11, 21.8 pts, 1.2 gms

33. George Kittle, SF TE3, 21.3 pts, 1.7 gms

34. Harrison Butker, KC K1, 21.2 pts, 3 gms

35. Tyler Boyd, CIN WR10, 20.5 pts, 2.1 gms

36. Gabriel Davis, BUF WR11, 20.2 pts, 2.1 gms

37. Dawson Knox, BUF TE4, 20.2 pts, 2.1 gms

38. Kansas City Chiefs, KC DST1, 19.4 pts, 3 gms

39. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL RB11, 19.3 pts, 1.6 gms

40. Byron Pringle, KC WR12, 19 pts, 3 gms

41. CeeDee Lamb, DAL WR13, 19 pts, 1.6 gms

42. Josh Jacobs, LV RB12, 18.7 pts, 1.3 gms

If you didn’t grab your second quarterback earlier in the draft, this is essentially the point of no return. Garoppolo is the last of the options at the position with a good shot at playing two games, but you might also be able to get plenty of bang for your buck with Hurts even if the Eagles lose in the Wild Card round.

43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TB DST2, 18.1 pts, 2.8 gms

44. Ryan Succop, TB K2, 18.1 pts, 2.8 gms

45. Odell Beckham, LAR WR14, 18.1 pts, 2 gms

46. Brandon Aiyuk, SF WR15, 17.7 pts, 1.7 gms

47. Amari Cooper, DAL WR16, 17.4 pts, 1.6 gms

48. Damien Harris, NE RB13, 17.2 pts, 1.4 gms

49. Najee Harris, PIT RB14, 17.1 pts, 1.1 gms

50. Derek Carr, LV QB12, 16.8 pts, 1.3 gms

51. Van Jefferson, LAR WR17, 16.5 pts, 2 gms

52. Christian Kirk, ARI WR18, 16.4 pts, 1.4 gms

53. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT QB13, 16.4 pts, 1.1 gms

54. Mecole Hardman, KC WR19, 16.3 pts, 3 gms

55. Mac Jones, NE QB14, 16.2 pts, 1.4 gms

56. Hunter Renfrow, LV WR20, 16.1 pts, 1.3 gms

57. Allen Lazard, GB WR21, 15.9 pts, 2.2 gms

58. Diontae Johnson, PIT WR22, 15.8 pts, 1.1 gms

59. Julio Jones, TEN WR23, 15.6 pts, 2 gms

60. James Conner, ARI RB15, 15.5 pts, 1.4 gms

61. Dalton Schultz, DAL TE5, 15.3 pts, 1.6 gms

Depending on your roster requirements, you may have to prioritize tight ends early in your drafts. I don’t recommend going that route, and instead suggest having flex spots for your running backs, wideouts, and tight ends. This is also the section of the draft where you’ll start to see a lot of onesie players hanging on the board. Be careful to not draft too many of these guys. Instead, it’s wise to load up on the teams you’re prioritizing. That means you can certainly draft a player from one of those teams even if there are several other higher-ranked players still on the board.

62. Marquez Valdes-Scantling, GB WR24, 14.7 pts, 2.2 gms

63. Tony Pollard, DAL RB16, 14.6 pts, 1.6 gms

64. Cole Beasley, BUF WR25, 13.8 pts, 2.1 gms

65. Chase Edmonds, ARI RB17, 13.8 pts, 1.4 gms

66. Green Bay Packers, GB DST3, 13.6 pts, 2.2 gms

67. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB RB18, 13.6 pts, 2.8 gms

68. Mason Crosby, GB K3, 13.5 pts, 2.2 gms

69. Zach Ertz, ARI TE6, 13.5 pts, 1.4 gms

70. Randall Cobb, GB WR26, 13.3 pts, 2.2 gms

71. Breshad Perriman, TB WR27, 13.1 pts, 2.8 gms

72. Tyler Bass, BUF K4, 12.9 pts, 2.1 gms

73. Buffalo Bills, BUF DST4, 12.8 pts, 2.1 gms

74. Matt Gay, LAR K5, 12.7 pts, 2 gms

75. Evan McPherson, CIN K6, 12.6 pts, 2.1 gms

76. Cincinnati Bengals, CIN DST5, 12.4 pts, 2.1 gms

77. Cedrick Wilson, DAL WR28, 12.1 pts, 1.6 gms

78. Los Angeles Rams, LAR DST6, 12.1 pts, 2 gms

79. Cameron Brate, TB TE7, 12.1 pts, 2.8 gms

80. Darren Waller, LV TE8, 12.1 pts, 1.3 gms

81. Tennessee Titans, TEN DST7, 12 pts, 2 gms

82. Jakobi Meyers, NE WR29, 11.7 pts, 1.4 gms

83. Randy Bullock, TEN K7, 11.7 pts, 2 gms

84. Miles Sanders, PHI RB19, 11.6 pts, 1.2 gms

85. Dallas Goedert, PHI TE9, 11.6 pts, 1.2 gms

86. Tyler Higbee, LAR TE10, 11.4 pts, 2 gms

87. Kendrick Bourne, NE WR30, 11.4 pts, 1.4 gms

88. Dallas Cowboys, DAL DST8, 11.1 pts, 1.6 gms

89. DeVonta Smith, PHI WR31, 11 pts, 1.2 gms

90. C.J. Uzomah, CIN TE11, 10.9 pts, 2.1 gms

91. Isaiah McKenzie, BUF WR32, 10.8 pts, 2.1 gms

92. Rhamondre Stevenson, NE RB20, 10.6 pts, 1.4 gms

Unlike in regular season leagues, you don’t want to wait to grab your kicker and defense. Again, you’ll want to lean heavily on your bracket picks and draft the kickers and defenses you project play the most games. Harrison Butker and Ryan Succop will likely be the first kickers off the board with the Chiefs and Buccaneers defenses likely being picked in the same range. But there will still be plenty of defenses and kickers to choose from in this part of the draft.

From this point forward, continue to load up on the teams you think will go the furthest, and don’t be bashful. This means picking guys deep down the depth chart. Guys like Derrick Gore and Demarcus Robinson are very intriguing in the later rounds if you happened to load up on the Chiefs.

93. Greg Zuerlein, DAL K8, 10.5 pts, 1.6 gms

94. Samaje Perine, CIN RB21, 10.3 pts, 2.1 gms

95. Emmanuel Sanders, BUF WR33, 10.3 pts, 2.1 gms

96. Hunter Henry, NE TE12, 10.2 pts, 1.4 gms

97. A.J. Green, ARI WR34, 10.2 pts, 1.4 gms

98. Jordan Howard, PHI RB22, 10.1 pts, 1.2 gms

99. Chase Claypool, PIT WR35, 10 pts, 1.1 gms

100. Zay Jones, LV WR36, 9.9 pts, 1.3 gms

101. San Francisco 49ers, SF DST9, 9.8 pts, 1.7 gms

102. Jauan Jennings, SF WR37, 9.8 pts, 1.7 gms

103. Pat Freiermuth, PIT TE13, 9.3 pts, 1.1 gms

104. Robbie Gould, SF K9, 9.2 pts, 1.7 gms

105. Boston Scott, PHI RB23, 9.1 pts, 1.2 gms

106. New England Patriots, NE DST10, 8.6 pts, 1.4 gms

107. Zack Moss, BUF RB24, 8.5 pts, 2.1 gms

108. Nick Folk, NE K10, 8.4 pts, 1.4 gms

109. Josiah Deguara, GB TE14, 8.3 pts, 2.2 gms

110. Derrick Gore, KC RB25, 8.3 pts, 3 gms

111. Antoine Wesley, ARI WR38, 8.1 pts, 1.4 gms

112. Arizona Cardinals, ARI DST11, 7.8 pts, 1.4 gms

113. Nelson Agholor, NE WR39, 7.5 pts, 1.4 gms

114. Brandon Bolden, NE RB26, 7.4 pts, 1.4 gms

115. Tyler Johnson, TB WR40, 7.4 pts, 2.8 gms

116. Matt Prater, ARI K11, 7.3 pts, 1.4 gms

117. Daniel Carlson, LV K12, 7.3 pts, 1.3 gms

118. Las Vegas Raiders, LV DST12, 7.3 pts, 1.3 gms

119. Philadelphia Eagles, PHI DST13, 6.9 pts, 1.2 gms

120. Anthony Firkser, TEN TE15, 6.8 pts, 2 gms

121. Quez Watkins, PHI WR41, 6.7 pts, 1.2 gms

122. Kenneth Gainwell, PHI RB27, 6.6 pts, 1.2 gms

123. Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, TEN WR42, 6.6 pts, 2 gms

124. Geoff Swaim, TEN TE16, 6.6 pts, 2 gms

125. Jake Elliott, PHI K13, 6.3 pts, 1.2 gms

126. Marcedes Lewis, GB TE17, 6.2 pts, 2.2 gms

127. Rondale Moore, ARI WR43, 6.2 pts, 1.4 gms

128. Kyle Juszczyk, SF RB28, 6.2 pts, 1.7 gms

129. Bryan Edwards, LV WR44, 6.1 pts, 1.3 gms

130. DeSean Jackson, LV WR45, 6 pts, 1.3 gms

131. Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT DST14, 6 pts, 1.1 gms

132. Dontrell Hilliard, TEN RB29, 5.8 pts, 2 gms

133. Cyril Grayson, TB WR46, 5.7 pts, 2.8 gms

134. Demarcus Robinson, KC WR47, 5.4 pts, 3 gms

135. Noah Brown, DAL WR48, 5.4 pts, 1.6 gms

136. Chris Boswell, PIT K14, 5.4 pts, 1.1 gms

137. Le’Veon Bell, TB RB30, 5.2 pts, 2.8 gms

138. Josh Gordon, KC WR49, 5.1 pts, 3 gms

139. D’Onta Foreman, TEN RB31, 4.5 pts, 2 gms

140. Ben Skowronek, LAR WR50, 4.4 pts, 2 gms

141. Chester Rogers, TEN WR51, 4.3 pts, 2 gms

142. James Washington, PIT WR52, 4.2 pts, 1.1 gms

143. JaMycal Hasty, SF RB32, 3.7 pts, 1.7 gms

144. Eno Benjamin, ARI RB33, 3.7 pts, 1.4 gms

145. Jalen Reagor, PHI WR53, 3.7 pts, 1.2 gms

146. Jonnu Smith, NE TE18, 3.6 pts, 1.4 gms

147. MyCole Pruitt, TEN TE19, 3.3 pts, 2 gms

148. Ray-Ray McCloud, PIT WR54, 3.3 pts, 1.1 gms

149. O.J. Howard, TB TE20, 3.2 pts, 2.8 gms

150. Foster Moreau, LV TE21, 3 pts, 1.3 gms

151. Equanimeous St. Brown, GB WR55, 3 pts, 2.2 gms

152. Noah Gray, KC TE22, 2.8 pts, 3 gms

153. N’Keal Harry, NE WR56, 2.7 pts, 1.4 gms

154. Greg Ward, PHI WR57, 2.1 pts, 1.2 gms

155. Drew Sample, CIN TE23, 2.1 pts, 2.1 gms

156. Scott Miller, TB WR58, 2 pts, 2.8 gms

157. Marcus Mariota, LV QB15, 1.9 pts, 1.3 gms

158. Kendall Blanton, LAR TE24, 1.9 pts, 2 gms

159. Zach Gentry, PIT TE25, 1.9 pts, 1.1 gms

160. Blake Bell, KC TE26, 1.7 pts, 3 gms

161. Kalen Ballage, PIT RB34, 1.4 pts, 1.1 gms

162. Corey Clement, DAL RB35, 1.2 pts, 1.6 gms

163. Benny Snell Jr., PIT RB36, 1.2 pts, 1.1 gms

164. Cody White, PIT WR59, 1.2 pts, 1.1 gms

165. Jalen Richard, LV RB37, 1.2 pts, 1.3 gms

166. Jonathan Ward, ARI RB38, 1.2 pts, 1.4 gms

167. Mike Thomas, CIN WR60, 1.1 pts, 2.1 gms

168. Andy Isabella, ARI WR61, 1.1 pts, 1.4 gms

169. Trent Sherfield, SF WR62, 0.9 pts, 1.7 gms

170. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, PHI WR63, 0.8 pts, 1.2 gms

171. Peyton Barber, LV RB39, 0.5 pts, 1.3 gms

172. Jack Stoll, PHI TE27, 0.4 pts, 1.2 gms



Previous Loechner’s FFPC Playoff Challenge Plays Next Kup’s Closers: Fantasy Baseball Closer Strategy for 2022 (AL Central)