Fantasy Football Playoff QB Rankings (Divisional Round)
It's not surprising that the remaining eight times alive in their quest for the Lombardi Trophy all have franchise-type quarterbacks.
Here are my top eight fantasy quarterbacks for the Divisional Round of the playoffs:
1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (vs. SD)
In his record-setting campaign, Manning, a four-time league MVP, is likely to be a unanimous choice for the award. Not only did he set the single-season record for most passing touchdowns (55), he also broke the record for passing yards (5,477) as well.
Although one of Manning's nine games with at least four passing touchdowns came against the Chargers in their first matchup, the Bolts limited Manning to just 289 passing yards and two touchdowns in their second matchup in Week 15.
- Related: See my postseason award predictions
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (vs. IND)
After throwing for at least 344 yards and multiple touchdowns and scoring 20-plus fantasy points in five of six games, Brady closed the season with back-to-back games with less than 200 passing yards and a total of 18 fantasy points. After allowing 378 yards and four TDs through the air to Kansas City, the Colts may struggle to keep Brady from having a bounce-back game.
3. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at DEN)
The Chargers advanced to the Divisional Round by throwing the ball only 16 times. As you can imagine, that was a season low for Rivers. His second lowest of the season? Rivers threw just 20 passes, 12 of which were completed, for 166 yards and two touchdowns in their win over the Broncos in December.
Of course, (a significant) part of throwing less and running more can be dictated by the score, but I would expect the Chargers to try to control the clock as much as possible with Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead. But if the Chargers get behind early, certainly a strong possibility, the game situation could dictate more pass attempts by Rivers.
4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (at NE)
Luck and the Colts kicked off the postseason this year by overcoming a 28-point third-quarter deficit. Although he threw three interceptions, Luck threw for 433 yards and scored five touchdowns (four passing and one fluky, but heads up, fumble recovery touchdown).
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5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (at SEA)
Once again, Brees threw for 5,000-plus yards this year to give him a streak of three consecutive seasons reaching that milestone. In fact, Brees as many 5,000-yard seasons (four) as the rest of the NFL combined.
During the season, Brees scored double-digit fantasy points in all games but one. That game happened to be against the Seahawks in Week 13. Three of the four members of the Legion of Boom were either first or second team All-Pro in 2013 and no team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
6. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (vs. NO)
Wilson is the only quarterback to finish in the top 10 in the league in passing touchdowns (26) and rushing yards (539) at the position. Following a four-game stretch with an average of 22 fantasy points (and minimum of 18 points), Wilson barely averaged double-digit fantasy points (10.75 per game) over his four most recent games with more than 10 points in only one of those four.
The Saints have allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. That said, Wilson scored 28 fantasy points against the Saints at home in Week 13.
7. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (vs. SF)
Although he finished third in fantasy points among quarterbacks this season, Newton has thrown for less than 200 yards in consecutive games and three of his past four games. In addition, he has 18 fantasy points or less in all four of those games. Of course, his rushing ability (a position-high 585 yards and six TDs) means he doesn't need to throw for gaudy numbers to produce plenty of fantasy points.
8. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (at CAR)
With the return of Michael Crabtree, the "greatest catcher of all time," Kaepernick has been more productive than he was before he returned. That said, he had a season-low two fantasy points against them back in Week 10.
Only the Seahawks have allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Panthers. Not only have the Panthers held opposing quarterbacks to one touchdown or less in 14 of 16 games, they allowed only one quarterback (Brees) to score at least 20 fantasy points in a game this season.
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