You didn’t think your fantasy season was over, did you? The NFL regular season might be, but the fantasy year begins anew in the playoffs. There’s no better way to start 2016 than by squeezing another month of fun out of the fantasy football world for this season.
Your playoff fantasy rankings must begin and end with your real-life rankings of the 12 teams that have qualified for the postseason. You may love DeAndre Hopkins, but the Texans are underdogs against the Chiefs in the wild-card round. Meanwhile, Seattle is one of the favorites to make the Super Bowl. Would you rather have one game of Hopkins or multiple games, perhaps as many as four, out of Tyler Lockett? Do you want to load up on Cardinals or Panthers, knowing that they have a harder road to the Super Bowl than the top seeds in the AFC? These are the decisions you first have to make before you can craft your cheat sheet.
For my money, the best team to target is Arizona. We know they’ll start their postseason with a home game against Minnesota, Washington or Green Bay. They’ll be heavy favorites in that game, regardless of opponent. If they win, they’ll meet either Carolina or Seattle in the NFC Championship Game. That would, of course, be a significant challenge, but one this team is equipped to handle. The Panthers and Seahawks, meanwhile, have to get through each other just to get to the NFC title game. There’s no team that has a better chance to play three games than Arizona, and that’s the magic number for playoff fantasy football.