Fantasy football playoff strategy:Jeb Gorhan's mock draft plans and final roster
The playoffs are always interesting and exciting. There will no doubt be surprises as going into a fantasy playoff draft can be tricky. My ultimate goals are to pick a team that can persist --meaning score consistent points from Wild Cards through the Super Bowl -- and pick guys that can score big points.
This playoff season I expect to see Denver in the Super Bowl. Despite having Jamal Charles, I think we will see Kansas City exit early vs. Indy. Cincinnati should pick off San Diego during Wild Card Weekend. I also think Green Bay will oust San Francisco in a tight Wild Card match-up.
If these predictions hold, then I like the odds of Cincinnati beating New England for the second time this year. I also think New Orleans will win over Philadelphia and put Green Bay in a position to play Carolina instead of Seattle. That leaves Denver playing Indianapolis.
In my best guess, this boils down to an AFC match-up of Denver vs. Cincinnati and an NFC bout between Seattle and Green Bay.
If this works out, my draft selections should lead to substantial points down the stretch with Moreno, Ball, Welker, Dalton, Green, Gresham, Eifert, Nugent, Rodgers, Jones, Boykin and Green Bay Defense still in the mix through Divisional Playoffs.
I went out on a limb and thought what if we see a Denver – Green Bay Super Bowl? If this is the case then I could still have seven players scoring.
Draft Round Player Analysis
1) Knowshon Moreno
Moreno scored the fifth most raw fantasy points for running backs this season and was an unlikely breakout superstar. The only backs left in the playoffs with better numbers are Jamal Charles, LeSean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch. Of this bunch, Lynch is the only other back in my opinion likely to make it as far as the Super Bowl. Moreno's 1,586 total yards this season with 13 TDs was impressive. With Peyton Manning at the helm, Moreno is a back I figured I could ride the distance.
2) A.J. Green
Green was the fourth highest fantasy scoring WR this season and is the second best option to Demaryius Thomas left in the playoff picture. Green caught 98 passes this season for 1,426 yards with 11 TDs. His playoff hopes are high with a tasty match-up against San Diego in the Wild Card. The second round vs. New England will be tough, but I think Cincinnati can pull off another win against Brady this year. Green is a guy that can put up big numbers this postseason and a no-brainer pick at WR.
3) Wes Welker
Welker has been cleared medically from his concussion and rested Week 17 to finish his regular season. I fully expect Welker (who caught a career-high 10 TDs this season) to jump right back into the Denver offense. With Denver Super Bowl bound in my opinion, Welker was a great pick.
4) Aaron Rodgers
In his return to competition, Rodgers had some early issues with INTs in Week 17, but he got back on track to lead his squad to clinch the NFC North. There is much skepticism out there regarding Green Bay's ability to push past their tough season and beat San Francisco during Wild Card Weekend, but we're talking about Aaron Rodgers. Despite his late season return to action and showing the cobwebs this past week, I think we are going to see a surging Green Bay offense and defense come the playoffs. Rodgers has his weapons and with an effective rushing and passing attack should outlast San Fran and move on to hopefully face Carolina. I like Rodgers for some big points and for the long haul here.
5) James Jones
Jones lost much of his fantasy relevance in the absence of Aaron Rodgers. Now with the return of Rodgers, Jones' big play capabilities could very well come back into play. I like Jones for some surprise playoff numbers this year.
6) Anquan Boldin
I am banking on Boldon to put up some big points in the Wild Card match-up vs. Green Bay. I think San Fran will lose this match-up, but Boldin's value will come with his yardage and high likelihood of scoring at least one in this game. Boldin is a playoff machine and should help with some early points, but unfortunately, I do not think his team will last past the Wild Cards.
7) Montee Ball
Montee Ball has value as a change-of-pace to Knowshon Moreno and in his short yardage touches. I like Ball for a few playoff TDs on short yardage carries. With Denver looking like they will move through the playoffs, Ball is a guy I thought of grabbing for a long run roster spot.
8) Jarrett Boykin
Boykin was a solid play-maker filling in for an injured Randall Cobb during the season. Now that Cobb is playing again, Boykin loses some value, but Aaron Rodgers should soon find that he can spread the ball around to all four of his key receivers and get results. If Green Bay makes the playoff push I expect, Boykin could be a surprise value.
9) Danny Woodhead
Woodhead was a PPR pick here. I do not expect to see San Diego make it past the Wild Card Weekend vs. Cincinnati, but in one game Woodhead should be able to put up some solid numbers in the short passing game.
10) Andy Dalton
Dalton at this pick was the steal of my draft. I fully think he will lead Cincinnati past San Diego and then past New England to an AFC Championship match-up against Denver. To pick up Dalton this late was solid. With the scoring in the league based upon best possible player at the position, a Dalton – Rodgers combination seemed safe for QBs. This season Dalton was the third best QB based on raw fantasy points. I think he will put up some big numbers this postseason.
11) Green Bay DEF
The Green Bay defense needs to step it up and I think they can do just that following the offensive lead of a returning Aaron Rodgers. Look for the defense to help their resurging QB make his playoff run.
12) Jermaine Gresham
Gresham's hamstring injury kept him sidelined in the regular season finale, but he should be good-to-go come Wild Card weekend. I waited a bit too long on my TE pick and Gresham seemed the best candidate at this stage of the draft.
13) Tyler Eifert
Eifert was sidelined in Week 17 with a shoulder injury. He has had a solid season and I like how he works with Dalton. I grabbed another TE here as I knew two TEs might be key in this league. My goof was that I grabbed Eifert – same team as Gresham. Hoepfully Cincy makes it as far as I hope.
14) Mike Nugent
You have to have a kicker. Why not Nugent, who kicks for a high-powered offense.
Moreno was my best pick. He is going to kill it this playoff season. Should lead the playoffs in RB yardage.
Andy Dalton in round ten was a steal. I think Cincinnati is going far this playoff season and Dalton could be a surprise point leader with the weapons he commands.
I should have grabbed more running backs. I think I have solid depth at WR, but not enough RB depth.
Picking Gresham and Eifert was a goof. I wanted two TEs and by the time I picked that position, not much was available.
From a big points per player standpoint I like "Boomerang" Ben's team.
From a long-term playoff success standpoint I like Tony the Tiger Casale's team based upon my own playoff expectations.