There may be a few of you doing a playoff draft or a salary cap league so I decided to put together a rankings/draft sheet.  It’s a tricky thing, playoff leagues.  You have to account for the chance that the team your player is on could lose quickly, no matter how good you think the team is.  I am ranking them with some thought to who might win, but more toward how I think they’ll play.

Don’t forget to join us in our two playoff leagues: you can join our Sporting News playoff league and/or our playoff challenge at

Here we have QB’s and RB’s.  Look for the WR’s, TE’s, K’s and D’s soon.


There are a ton of good QB’s in the playoffs this year.  I wonder what you need more to be a successful NFL team, a good QB or good RB?  Rhetorical question.  With all the talent here much depends on how many games you will get out of them.  For my money Aaron Rodgers has the best shot of playing the most games, but that is a guess.  If you get him and he loses in the wildcard round you better have a backup! It might be best to wait on a QB since they are so deep and grab a starting RB you think will contribute the longest?

1. Peyton Manning: Whatever the Colts’ “psyche” is, I could care less. Peyton is a machine and he runs a machine and unless the other team disrupts that machine’s mechanics they won’t lose.  Their state of mind when playing won’t change.  Of course you won’t be able to use him in the first round!

2. Philip Rivers: Is Rivers better than Drew Brees? Can’t say for sure, but I like Rivers’ team more and the Saints will have tough competition to get to the championship game.

3. Aaron Rodgers: ARodg ended up the #1 fantasy QB for 2009 and his team has been playing lights out. Rodgers looks like he has at least a slim chance of playing in every playoff game.  If you have faith in the Packers you can’t do much better.

4. Drew Brees: The Saints have lost three in a row and don’t play in the first round.  He has a ton of upside, but if he doesn’t get into the championship game he was a wasted pick.  Like every player you have to do a little Carnac work, if you like the Saints chance of going to Miami.  Grab him.

5. Brett Favre: If the Vikings hadn’t gotten home field I would have him lower, but I think they righted the ship enough and The Favres like the domes.

6. Tony Romo: He has a ton of risk attached to him.  The Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game since 1896.  But they have been looking too good to blindly say they will choke.  Romo would be the steal of the playoffs if he could lead his team to Miami.

7. Donovan McNabb: Not too long ago I had the Eagles going to the bowl, but oh how fickle fate can be according to Beth Orton and any team that doesn’t win the Super Bowl.  They could be sitting at how eating bean dip and Fritos, but they got spanked in Dallas and now have to go back there.  I think they have a good chance to win this game, but not if they play anywhere close to last weekends performance.

8. Tom Brady: He dropped pretty far in my rankings based solely on Wes Welker’s injury.  That could be a bit reactionary of me, but Welker leaves a pretty big hole in the offense.  If Edelman can come up big they could do something, but that is a lot to ask.

9. Kurt Warner: Could be the absolute steal of the playoffs (I know I said that about Romo already, sue me!), but I think his first game is too risky to put all my eggs in Warner’s Power Chair basket.

10. Joe Flacco: Flacco is a great backup choice if you are going with a QB with a first round bye.  He gets a poor Patriots secondary in the wildcard round and you could get lucky and the Ravens could go deep in the playoffs.

11. Mark Sanchez: I think the Jets will beat the Bengals so that is the only reason Sanchez is ahead of Palmer, that, and the Jets pass defense.

12. Carson Palmer: He’s starting.  That’s his biggest upside.

13. Matt Leinart: Warner is old.

14. Kevin Kolb: If you have a big roster he has a lot of upside if McNabb goes down.

15. Billy Volek: Same as above.

Running Backs:

There are very few stud running backs in the playoffs.  Would you rather have Joseph Addai or Ray Rice?  Well, next year’s draft will probably be a different answer than what you’ll get here.  The Ravens could beat the Pats, but it will be tough and then they’d get a very good team on the road.  The playoffs bring out strange game plans and sometimes backup RB’s get stats you wouldn’t expect.  It’s a very good idea to horde as many backup/RBBC type backs as you can.

1. Adrian Peterson: Elite back on a good team.  Bit of a no brainer.  Will they go all the way? I have no idea, but they have a decent chance.

2. Joseph Addai: Donald Brown doesn’t look like he’s going to take too much away from Addai and the guy knows how to get into the endzone. Not a sexy pick, but a reliable, William H. Macy kinda pick.

3. L.T.: Another TD machine on a good to great team. He’ll be rested for his goal line vulturing.

4. Ryan Grant: Again, the Packers are my, cross my fingers and give them a shot team.  I am not good at calling games.  If I was I’d bet on them and be able to keep Sallie Mae from stalking me, bitch, but I’m putting my fantasy bucks on them, with a lot of hedging.

5. Ray Rice: He’s unbelievable and if I thought the Ravens had a shot to go all the way he’d be in the top 2.  Yes, McGahee exploded on the Raiders, but Rice is still the guy in Baltimore.

6. Thomas Jones: His chances of playing more than 2 games are very slim, but I do think he’ll get those 2 games and will get his carries. And now that I don’t overlook him he’ll go for 10 yards and a loss.

7. Marion Barber: This is how shallow the running backs are this year.  I don’t love Marion Barber, well, he does have a nice smile, but the Cowboys have about as good a chance as most of the NFC teams and Barber is the goal line back.

8. Beanie Wells: I wish they didn’t start with the Packers, but like I said, anything can happen. If they move on they know what they need to do and Beanie will be a big part of that.

9. Cedric Benson: I don’t have much faith in the Bengals winning, and the Jets defense has been stout, so he has a shot at a razztastic game and also being done.

10. Pierre Thomas: This is a risky pick with his rib injury, but he will have time to rest it and like I said, there aren’t many starting RB’s worth their salt.  Not that PT is worth his salt, and it’s not like I have any idea what that means, but he’s on a good team and he should be the starter.

11. Brian Westbrook: He’s the starter again.  Not sure if that was the best idea, but it’s what is happening.

12. Felix Jones: He’s a home run kind of back and you have to get fairly lucky to win in playoff leagues.  A couple long runs from him can win a league for you.

13. Tim Hightower: He still sometimes vultures touchdowns from Beanie and even though his touches have gone down he is still getting work.

14. Darren Sproles: L.T. has kept Sproles from getting much work this season, but he is still a threat to go all the way at anytime and if you are in a league like Sporting News where return yardage counts he will give you some automatic points.

15. Sammy Morris: Who is the starter for New England? I’m giving Morris the nod, but my opinion, sadly, is irrelevant.

16. Donald Brown 17. Reggie Bush 18.Willis McGahee 19. Kevin Faulk 20. Shonn Greene 21. Chester Taylor 22. LeSean McCoy 23. Laurence Maroney 24. Mike Bell 25. Brandon Jackson 26. Leonard Weaver 27. Fred Taylor 28. Tashard Choice