Week 20 - Championship Round Player Rankings
Week 20 rankings and commentary
1) Peyton Manning - He's good and the one QB left not playing in a run-heavy or 50-50 attack. By the stats and somewhat by default, Manning is the clear No. 1 option.
2) Tom Brady - Went 34 of 50 for 344 yards and three touchdown passes in New England's Week 12 comeback victory over Denver. If the Golden Boy throws that often on Sunday then something went wrong. Expect a ground-heavy approach by the Patriots to keep the Broncos off the field, but Brady will still take his shots through the air.
3) Colin Kaepernick - Just 302 combined passing yards in two starts versus the Seahawks this season - both without Michael Crabtree - with one score and four interceptions. He did compile 118 total yards on the ground. Factor in Crabtree, the rushing and, the potential need for late game throwing on the road and that gives Kaepernick the slight edge over his QB counterpart.
4) Russell Wilson - He's become the clear counterpunch to Marshawn Lynch's Beast Mode ways over the last four weeks. In that stretch, Wilson hasn't thrown more than 18 passes in any game and just once over 15. In addition, he's tossed only one TDP in each game. Volume passer he is not, but that's been fine for the Seahawks.
1) Marshawn Lynch - The 49ers allowed a rushing score in nine of their 16 regular season games this season. Lynch found the end zone in both head-to-head games this season and had three overall. The one RB guaranteed to receive a heavy workload.
2) LeGarrette Blount - Still can't believe the ex-Buc has looked liked a future Pro Bowler in recent weeks. Going back to Week 12 against Denver, Blount had just two carries for 13 yards. Now he's coming off a four-TD performance. Trusting the Pats planners is never wise, but Blount is poised for many more than two carries in the rematch.
3) Knowshon Moreno - Don't forget Moreno rushed 37 times for 224 yards and a score back in Week 12. From the Patriots' perspective, that's way too many yards and yet they won the game. Don't be surprised if New England does all it can to have Moreno "beat them" rather than Manning.
4) Frank Gore - Went from 16 yards on nine carries at Seattle in Week 2 to 110 yards in Week 14 -- Gore's second highest total on the season. That's a wide variance for potential outcomes, but he'll be involved without question, especially since the scary part of the Seahawks defense lies in the secondary.
5) Shane Vereen - The third wheel out of the backfield against Indy, Vereen should receive more snaps as a pass catcher against Denver.
6) Stevan Ridley - Blount had 26 snaps to Ridley's 22 against the Colts. Clearly one runner was more productive than the other was, but both were involved. Sometimes that's all you can ask for out of a fantasy option.
7) Montee Ball - The rookie had 10 carries for 52 yards in last week's win over the Chargers and has at least 10 touches in six of the last eight games.
8) Kendall Hunter - Always a threat to break one as the speedier, change-of-pace option in the 49ers' backfield.
9) Robert Turbin - Rarely a factor this season, Turbin had three rushes for nine yards against New Orleans last week.
10) Brandon Bolden - Went for 13-58-1 in previous matchup against Denver
1) Julius Thomas - This could be the AFC championship game "x" factor seeing as Thomas missed the first matchup with the Patriots, who haven't allowed a TE to score in four straight games.
2) Vernon Davis - Just four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown in two games versus Seattle this season for Davis. That means he's due, right?
3) Zach Miller - Entering the playoffs, San Francisco had allowed a TE touchdown in four straight games, including one by Seattle's Luke Wilson in Week 14.
4) M. Hoomanawanui - There really is nothing to look at here...except that the Broncos ranked 27th versus TEs during the regular season.
5) Jacob Tamme - Went for 5-47-1 against the Pats in Week 12.