Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings for Divisional Round of Playoffs

Going into the best (football) weekend of the year, there are a number of injuries among the top tier of fantasy positions. And although a couple of quarterbacks are dealing with injuries themselves, it appears that all of the team's normal starters will be ready to go on Saturday or Sunday.

Five of the quarterbacks playing this weekend finished among the top-seven fantasy quarterbacks in 2015. Two of the other three quarterbacks -- Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger -- missed multiple games.

Big Ben actually led the NFL in passing yards per game (328.2), but he may be without his best weapon and Manning is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns. Yet both are ranked in the bottom-half of my fantasy quarterback rankings for the weekend.

Here are my Divisional Round Quarterback rankings:

1. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (vs. GB)

Not only did he score the fifth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks in 2015, Palmer was remarkably consistent throughout the season. Excluding Week 17 when Palmer sat the second half, Palmer threw for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in 13 of 15 games including Week 16 against the Packers (265 yards and two touchdowns).

In addition, Palmer and the Cardinals are the biggest favorites of the weekend in the game with the highest over/under. Therefore, no team (obviously) is projected to score more points than the Cardinals (28.5) based on Vegas odds.

2. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (vs. SEA)

Not only did he score the most fantasy points in 2015, but Newton finished as the weekly top-scoring fantasy quarterback in five of the past nine weeks. In fact, he has finished as a top-six weekly fantasy quarterback nine times this season. Newton threw for 3,837 yards and a career-high 35 touchdowns while rushing for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns as well.

Only the Broncos have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Seahawks this season, but Newton had a solid fantasy outing (19.76 fantasy points, QB11) in his first matchup this year. In Week 6, he threw for 269 yards and a touchdown and ran for 30 yards and another score although he threw two interceptions.

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at CAR)

Over the final seven regular-season games, Wilson averaged 272.29 passing yards and 3.43 touchdowns per game, but he completed just 13-of-26 attempts for 142 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's Wild Card win over Minnesota. On a positive note, the weather should be much warmer in Carolina this weekend. That said, the Panthers have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (vs. KC)

Sustaining a high-ankle sprain in the regular-season finale, Brady is expected to be ready for Saturday's matchup against the Chiefs. In addition, the offensive line will certainly have their hands full with one of the top pass rushes in the NFL. On a positive note, however, Brady should have healthier offensive linemen this week in addition to getting back trusted target Julian Edelman. Before shutting out the Texans on Saturday, the Chiefs closed the regular season allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (at ARI)

It was only the second time this season that the Packers scored at least 35 points and Rodgers threw multiple touchdown passes for the first time since Week 14. That said, he threw for only 210 yards in a relatively favorable matchup against Washington, who had allowed 341.25 passing yards per game over their past four games.

Counting Sunday's win, Rodgers has averaged 220.13 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game over his past eight games. Only a couple of weeks ago, Rodgers and the Packers were blown out in Arizona as he threw for 151 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

6. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (vs. PIT)

It was a year to forget for Manning, but he had an opportunity to take over for Brock Osweiler in Week 17 and help lead the Broncos to a win. (That said, I don't think the problem was Osweiler.) Going forward, Manning begins the postseason as the starter and he gets the most favorable matchup on the board. Only the Giants and Saints allowed more passing yards than the Steelers this season.

While the way to exploit the Steelers defense is through the air, the Broncos should rely heavily on their rushing attack and defense this weekend. Despite missing much of the season, Manning threw 17 interceptions (second-most behind Blake Bortles, 18) and only nine touchdowns this season.

7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (at DEN)

First things first, it appears that Big Ben will be under center for the Steelers on Sunday. As virtually every player is fighting through some ailment this late in the season, an injury to a quarterback's throwing shoulder is obviously a big concern.

The matchup itself is challenging as the Broncos have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but Antonio Brown is currently in the concussion protocol as well. His absence would significantly damper Roethlisberger's outlook. On a positive note, however, Big Ben threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns against the Broncos in Week 15.

8. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (at NE)

In Saturday's 30-0 win over the Texans, Smith led the Chiefs to an 11th consecutive win. Smith extended another streak as he threw for less than 200 yards for the sixth consecutive week. During that six-game span, Smith has thrown 25 pass attempts or less each week.

Facing stiffer competition this week, the Chiefs are unlikely to play most of the game with the lead. So, perhaps that leads to more pass attempts. That said, Jeremy Maclin is dealing with a high-ankle sprain, which puts his status for Saturday's game in serious jeopardy. And if he is able to go, how effective will he be?

More Divisional Fantasy Football Rankings:

Divisional DFS Cheat Sheets:

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