The playoffs are here! The best time of the year has arrived — playoff fantasy football! That means I’ve been set to the task of ranking the fantasy players in this year’s Super Bowl hunt. Unfortunately, this is a difficult task and the more I do it, the more difficult I realize it actually is.
There are multiple types of fantasy playoff games, but for these rankings we’ll look at one of the more popular formats, best ball. In best ball fantasy leagues, you draft a team and then you don’t mess with it again. That means you need to get it right the first time, because there is no second time for that particular team. There are other leagues that will allow you to move on each round and give you a chance to draft another team each week. These are not rankings for that type of league.
In best ball rankings you need to predict the outcome of games as much as or more than you need to pick the players that score the most fantasy points. If by the Super Bowl you have the lead in fantasy points, but no players playing in the actual Super Bowl, well, you’re probably up a creek without a paddle.
And tell me, how often do you predict the Super Bowl matchup correctly each season? Don’t lie! This year the two No. 1 seeds are the Ravens and 49ers and they are the favorites to meet in the big game. At this point, it’s going to be tough to convince me those aren’t the teams to make it, but we know either team could get knocked out in the Division Round and it would just be another day in the NFL.
For these rankings, I am leaning toward the 49ers and Ravens playing in the final matchup. That means I’ll want to draft players from those teams and that those players will score no points during the Wild Card round and if they happen to lose before the Super Bowl, your team is going to be in trouble. So, you still need to spread things out enough to get points in the wild card round and give you backup players if your Super Bowl picks don’t pan out.
So much depends on being right with your picks, as I wouldn’t rank Brock Purdy as high as I have in normal rankings, but the fact that I believe he gets three games, including the Super Bowl, he is elevated. If you believe any of the Wild Card teams make the Super Bowl, those are the teams to focus on, as they can get you four games. My pick outside the Ravens and the 49ers are the Bills, so that means Bills players get a nice boost in these rankings.