We continue our playoff rankings with wide receivers, tight ends, defenses, and kickers. We went over quarterbacks and running backs yesterday. So if you slap this post together with that one you have a rankings sandwich that will satiate your playoff hunger.
Wide receivers are a crapshoot already, but add a receivers inherent sketchiness to the playoffs one and done-ness, and you have a recipe for some poor choices. And that tastes not nearly as good as a rankings sandwich.
1. Reggie Wayne: This is a bit of a shaky number one since there is always a chance that Peyton could use Reggie as a decoy, but I feel like he is the safest bet for overall production.
2. Randy Moss: His talent should put him at #1, but I worry about the Welker effect. It’s similar to the Revis effect, but hurts Moss every game, not just when they play the Jets. You could argue that Moss will see more passes his way, but he should have some trouble shedding double coverage without Welker around. He will get his no matter what, but will they get past Baltimore? If you think so he’s easily worth a top pick.
3. Miles Austin: I almost put him at number one, but he has a chance to be one and done. Romo knows that trying to placate Roy Williams doesn’t win games and that Miles Austin is the real deal.
4. Sidney Rice: One good thing about NFC receivers is that they won’t have to face Revis. In big games and situations Favre goes to Rice and Rice has delivered, just like Cozy Noodles.
6. Larry Fitzgerald: Anquan Boldin is looking like he may not play, or at least be less than 100%. With Breaston to fill in this should give Fitz enough help to still do well and Warner will feel more comfortable going Fitz’s way. If I wasn’t high on the Packers I’d have Larry in the top 2. If you like the Cards chances draft him high.
7. Marques Colston: I had high hopes for Colston this year, but he was pretty inconsistent. He still gets a lot of red zone looks and is on a high powered offense. Do that thing you do.
8. Greg Jennings: Do I like the slumptastic Jennings more than DJax? No, but after the way the Eagles shat the bed last weekend I worry about a repeat performance.
10. Donald Driver: Going with my Packer guesstihunch, I like him for a steady, reliable pick if they can get by Zona.
11. Robert Meachem: We get a chance to keep popping quarters into the TD machine.
12. Julian Edelman: If we can pry him away from his other job as a character in a Gothic romance, he should be good for 6-10 receptions with most of the attention going toward Moss.
14. Anquan Boldin: He is hurting and may not go on Sunday. Do you waste a pick on someone who may not see the field? If he is ruled out he should drop further down.
15. Percy Harvin: He finally looks like he’s back in the game plan and has the big play ability that can help your team in such a short season.
16. Derrick Mason: Old reliable gets a fairly easy Patriots pass D and his consistency is nice to have, especially if the can get past the Pats.
17. Jeremy Maclin: He is pretty hit and miss so I’m not high on him with Celek and DJax taking looks away, but all it takes is one big play to give you a good game.
18. Steve Breaston: If Boldin doesn’t play Breaston could go a little higher than this. The only problem I see is that Boldin will probably come back if they beat the Packers and Early Doucet could take some looks away from Breaston.
19. Malcolm Floyd: We’re getting to #3 receivers now and in the playoffs it’s very hard to tell who might grab a fluky touchdown, but Floyd has the size and red zone skill to be fluky.
20. Patrick Crayton: Romo has lost faith in Roy Williams as he should. Crayton is no Jerry Rice, but he might get more targets than Roy during the playoffs.
21. Jerricho Cotchery: Mark Sanchez limits Cotchery a ton, but I like him more than Edwards for his toughness and better hands.
22. Austin Collie: If you are looking for those sneaky touchdowns Collie is your man, or dog, depending on your ability to visualize words in different contexts.
23. Bernard Berrian: He has been a disappointment all season, but he’s on a good team. There’s that.
25. Braylon Edwards: He has the potential for big plays. That hasn’t meant much this year.
26. Jason Avant, 27. Brad Smith, 28. Lance Moore, 29. Devery Henderson, 30. Legeda Naanee, 31. Roy Williams, 32. Demetrius Williams, 33. James Jones, 34. Kevin Ogletree. 35. Early Doucet, 36. Mark Clayton, 37. Laveranues Coles, 38. Andre Caldwell
There are some good tight ends in the playoffs, but not enough to go around. Make sure you grab at least one of the top 6.
1. Dallas Clark: He seems like one of the few receivers that Peyton will throw to when he’s really covered, because it’s usually a linebacker with his back turned. It’s very difficult for teams to shut him down.
2. Antonio Gates: You could pretty much interchange these first two. Gates just continues to put up great numbers leading all TEs in yardage this year. You can’t put a linebacker on him and he is too tall, with too much body control, for a small cornerback to cover him. I think that makes him unstoppable.
3. Jason Witten: A few weeks ago Witten wouldn’t be this high, but he has reasserted himself as Romo’s 2nd favorite target. He comes with more risk than the first two, but could get more games if Dallas continues to play well.
4. Jermichael Finley: I almost put him above Witten and if you like the Pack a lot more than the Cowboys you have to grab him. The NFC is a huge mess and anything could happen, but I would be happy with Finley.
5. Brent Celek: Celek had a breakout year. The top 5 players on this list will be in the top 10 drafted tight ends next season.
6. Vincent Shiancoe: Shiancoe is a hit and miss player, but gets enough red zone looks to be in the top six. Just check out who comes next and you’ll agree! If you really like the Vikings’ chances I could see grabbing him ahead of a TE on a team you think will fall early.
7. Todd Heap: The guy has the agility of a box of rocks, but he has been getting his looks in the endzone.
8. Jeremy Shockey: He’ll probably slip on a big puddle of his own chew spit and be done for the playoffs, but he is on a high powered offense.
9. Ben Watson: I don’t like Watson because he’s good at dropping a deuce on your fantasy hopes and dreams, but he’s their starting TE and they lost Dubya Dubya.
10. Dustin Keller: Another big disappointment, but a starter.
11. Dave Thomas 12. Donald Lee 13. Chris Baker 14. Ben Patrick
Defenses in the playoffs are tough to figure, especially this year. The only matchup that looks like it should be a defensive battle is the Jets @ Bengals. Take a look at the quarterbacks in the playoffs. These teams didn’t get here by shutting down their opponents. Percy Harvin and Darren Sproles give the Vikings and Chargers a decent shot at a return TD, but otherwise
1. Minnesota Vikings
2. San Diego Chargers
3. Indianapolis Colts
4. New York Jets
5. Green Bay Packers
6. New Orleans Saints
7. Dallas Cowboys
8. Philadelphia Eagles
9. New England Patriots
10. Baltimore Ravens
11. Arizona Cardinals
12. Cincinnati Bengals
1. Nate Kaeding
2. Ryan Longwell
3. Adam Vinatieri
4. Garret Hartley
5. Shaun Suisham
6. Mason Crosby
7. Stephen Gostowski
8. Jay Feely
9. David Akers
10. Neil Rackers
11. Billy Cundiff
12. Shayne Graham