Fantasy football playoff formats are not like your traditional regular season fantasy football leagues. With the exception of the weekly (daily) games available on sites such as Draftstreet and Fanduel.
First we will discuss the fantasy football playoff formats before looking at the weekly games.
In many playoff formats, there's not much that you can do. Some formats call for you to draft a starting lineup before the first playoff game and you can never change it.
In those cases, all you can do is hope.
The key to playoff formats is correctly selecting which NFL team you think will win. Or at least which team you think will play multiple games.
If your league has a defined number of moves that you can make, you're probably running out of moves at this point. In these cases, you're goin to be better off drafting players from the team(s) you think will win, even if you don't think that they will produce as well.
For instance (assume you think Denver will win), would you rather have one game of LeGarrette Blount or two games of Monte Ball? Sure, it would be tempting to take Blount after his epic performance in the Divisional Round. But if I think the Broncos are going to win, I'm going to go with the guy playing two games.
If your league awards bonus points for players in the Super Bowl, this is especially important. Some formats will award DOUBLE the normal points for the Super Bowl.
If you're in a salary cap format with limited moves, you're going to have to make some tough choices. I'm still looking for players I expect to be playing in the Super Bowl. But I'm going to focus on having elite players. That's going to mean that I have to sacrifice somewhere else to find the money for those elite players.
It's all in how you allot your money. If I had $200 to spend on two players, I'm focused on getting the best player possible. I would gladly spend $180 on Peyton Manning and $20 for say Jacob Tamme or Andre Caldwell. I wouldn't be wild about spending $120 on Russell Wilson and $80 on Golden Tate. That's my way of saying that I think Manning will score more points by himself than Wilson and Tate combined will score. If the other guy (Tamme or Caldwell) does ANYTHING, it's just a bonus.
There are a few leagues out there that do a new draft each week of the NFL playoffs. In those formats, I'm loading up on Patriots and Broncos. I just can't see a way that the 49ers and Seahawks engage some crazy shootout. There are much better odds of that happening in the Patriots and Broncos game.
That same logic will apply to my strategy in weekly games. I'm not sure how many players I will be using from the Seahawks and 49ers. It could even end up just being a kicker and/or D/ST. The weather in both games will be a factor, but especially in the AFC title game.
Both the Patriots and Broncos showed an almost eager willingness to run the ball last week. If bad weather (especially wind) pops up in the Championship game, we might not get the fireworks that we are hoping for.
That leads me to focusing in on the RB's this week. I don't know if I will want to pay sticker price for Marshawn Lynch, but if Knowshon Moreno and/or LeGarrette Blount are a bit cheaper, I will probably bite the bullet.
I can't get behind Vernon Davis against the Seahawks, so I'm probably going to go with Julius Thomas is most leagues. I think that Demaryius Thomas is far and away the best WR left in the playoffs. He's on my teams as well.
I'm going to have to save some money somewhere. That will lead to me skimping on my kicker and D/ST. The cheaper, the better. Given how much Peyton Manning costs on most sites, he won't be an option when constucting a lineup like this. Since I don't expect a ton of points to be scored in the NFC title game, I will probably lean on Tom Brady in most leagues.
That's probably not going to leave a ton of cash available for my RB2, WR2, WR3 and/or FLEX depending on the league. So here are a few "cheaper" players that I will be focusing on:
- Montee Ball (RB - DEN)
- Danny Amendola (WR - NE)
- Doug Baldwin (WR - SEA)
- Kendall Hunter (RB - SF)
- Stevan Ridley (RB - NE)
- Anquan Boldin (WR - SF)
This is really the last good week for the weekly NFL games. You really need at least three games to choose from in order to have enough diverse lineups. So enjoy this week, September is a long time away.
Thanks for reading and good luck to you this week.