There are several different versions of Fantasy Football playoff challenges, and unfortunately we can't address every scoring system. But the objective for most of these leagues is basically the same, which is picking the players you expect to play the most.

With that in mind, you should map out the playoffs with the teams you expect to reach Super Bowl LIV. That's what I've done here with these PPR rankings.

In the AFC, I expect the Patriots to beat the Titans in the wild-card round, and the Texans to beat the Bills. I have the Chiefs beating the Patriots in the divisional round, and the Ravens beating the Texans. I expect Baltimore to beat Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game and advance to the Super Bowl.

In the NFC, I like the Saints over the Vikings in the wild-card round, and the Eagles over the Seahawks. I expect the 49ers to beat the Eagles, and the Saints to upset the Packers. I then have the Saints beating the 49ers in an upset in the NFC Championship Game to reach the Super Bowl.

Now, all of these games can obviously end in a different result. For example, it wouldn't shock me if the Seahawks beat the Eagles or the Bills beat the Texans. I can see the Chiefs reaching the Super Bowl in the AFC and the 49ers or Packers getting there in the NFC.

These PPR rankings will be updated each week, but this is just how I expect it to unfold as of now. Like I said, sketch out your own playoff outline to determine the players you expect to advance, and that's how you should build a team for your playoff challenge.


  1. Lamar Jackson, BAL
  2. Drew Brees, NO
  3. Patrick Mahomes, KC
  4. Aaron Rodgers, GB
  5. Jimmy Garoppolo, SF
  6. Deshaun Watson, HOU
  7. Carson Wentz, PHI
  8. Tom Brady, NE
  9. Russell Wilson, SEA
  10. Josh Allen, BUF
  11. Ryan Tannehill, TEN
  12. Kirk Cousins, MIN

Jackson averaged 35.1 Fantasy points per game in 2019, so getting three games of production from him would be awesome if the Ravens make it to the Super Bowl. I like Baltimore's chances with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs in the AFC.

The other quarterbacks at the top were tougher to rank. Brees could be the No. 1 quarterback if the Saints play four games, but he could also be out in the divisional round at Green Bay or in the championship round at San Francisco. Mahomes could play three games if the Chiefs advance, but he also has to potentially face New England and Baltimore on the way to the Super Bowl, which isn't going to be easy.

I can see Rodgers or Garoppolo making it to the Super Bowl, but how much upside do they have on run-first teams? You also never want to count out Brady, but his production hasn't been great this season at 18.9 Fantasy points per game. And the Patriots don't have the best track record of advancing to the Super Bowl when they have to play on wild-card weekend.

The other quarterbacks in the playoffs could all be one-and-done in Watson, Wentz, Wilson, Allen, Tannehill and Cousins. I expect Watson and Wentz to play two games, but I wouldn't be shocked if Wilson and Allen win their games in the wild-card round and potentially make a deeper run.

Running backs

  1. Alvin Kamara, NO
  2. Aaron Jones, GB
  3. Raheem Mostert, SF
  4. Damien Williams, KC
  5. Mark Ingram, BAL
  6. Miles Sanders, PHI
  7. James White, NE
  8. Derrick Henry, TEN
  9. Dalvin Cook, MIN
  10. Devin Singletary, BUF
  11. Boston Scott, PHI
  12. Travis Homer, SEA
  13. Sony Michel, NE
  14. Carlos Hyde, HOU
  15. Gus Edwards, BAL
  16. Duke Johnson, HOU
  17. Alexander Mattison, MIN
  18. Jamaal Williams, GB
  19. Rex Burkhead, NE
  20. Marshawn Lynch, SEA
  21. Mike Boone, MIN
  22. Justice Hill, BAL
  23. Latavius Murray, NO
  24. Tevin Coleman, SF
  25. Darwin Thompson, KC
  26. Matt Breida, SF
  27. Frank Gore, BUF
  28. Dion Lewis, TEN
  29. Jordan Howard, PHI
  30. Robert Turbin, SEA

Since I expect the Saints to make it to the Super Bowl, I'll put Kamara at the top of the list, and it's nice that he's scored four touchdowns in his past two games prior to facing Minnesota. I'll take Jones at No. 2 because if the Packers can play three games then he should be awesome, especially if Jamaal Williams (shoulder) is still out after not playing in Week 17.

Mostert comes into the playoffs on a six-game scoring streak, with eight total touchdowns over that span, and he would be great if the 49ers can play three postseason games. The same goes for Damien Williams, who has scored 48 PPR points in his past two regular-season games.

I would have Ingram ranked higher if not for his injured calf, and hopefully he'll be fine after Baltimore's bye. If he's out then Edwards and Hill would be ranked higher, with Edwards a potential top-five option in all formats.

Sanders injured his ankle in Week 17, and hopefully he's ready to play against the Seahawks. If not, expect plenty of Scott again, and he just had 138 total yards and three touchdowns against the Giants in Week 17 after Sanders got hurt. Howard might also get some work against Seattle if Sanders can't go.

Henry, who led the NFL in rushing yards with 1,540, will be tough for the Patriots, but I don't expect the Titans to win in New England, which is why he is at No. 8. And I still like White the best for the Patriots backfield in PPR, even though Michel has either 100 total yards or a touchdown in three games in a row.

Cook is expected to play for the Vikings against the Saints after being out for the past two games with a shoulder injury. We'll see if Mattison is also able to return after being out for the past three games with an ankle injury. I don't expect Minnesota to beat New Orleans, so it could be one-and-done for Cook in the playoffs.

Wide receivers

  1. Michael Thomas, NO
  2. Davante Adams, GB
  3. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
  4. Tyreek Hill, KC
  5. Julian Edelman, NE
  6. Deebo Samuel, SF
  7. John Brown, BUF
  8. Tyler Lockett, SEA
  9. D.K. Metcalf, SEA
  10. Greg Ward, PHI
  11. Stefon Diggs, MIN
  12. A.J. Brown, TEN
  13. Emmanuel Sanders, SF
  14. Will Fuller, HOU
  15. Cole Beasley, BUF
  16. Marquise Brown, BAL
  17. Adam Thielen, MIN
  18. DeSean Jackson, PHI
  19. Allen Lazard, GB
  20. Kendrick Bourne, SF
  21. Sammy Watkins, KC
  22. N'Keal Harry, NE
  23. Tre'Quan Smith, NO
  24. Mohamed Sanu, NE
  25. Kenny Stills, HOU
  26. Phillip Dorsett, NE
  27. Corey Davis, TEN
  28. Mecole Hardman, KC
  29. Willie Snead, BAL
  30. Demarcus Robinson, KC
  31. Seth Roberts, BAL
  32. Tajae Sharpe, TEN
  33. Ted Ginn, NO
  34. DeAndre Carter, HOU
  35. Nelson Agholor, PHI

It's no surprise with the five guys at the top, although you can flip-flop Hopkins and Hill if you expect the Texans to lose to the Bills in the wild-card round. That should be a fun matchup for Hopkins with Buffalo cornerback Tre'Davious White.

Samuel comes into the playoffs with at least 13 PPR points in seven of his past eight games, and he's one of four rookie receivers who could make a big impact in the playoffs, including Metcalf, A.J. Brown and Marquise Brown. Metcalf could be awesome against the Eagles, who have allowed seven touchdowns to receivers in their past five games.

I'm nervous about A.J. Brown against Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, and I expect the Titans to lose in the wild-card round. It would be great if Marquise Brown had more consistent production — he has one touchdown in his past five games — but he could step up in the playoffs, especially if Baltimore plays three games.

Some injuries to keep an eye on include Fuller (groin), Jackson (core) and Agholor (knee), and Houston coach Bill O'Brien said Monday that Fuller is "progressing and headed in the right direction" after getting hurt in Week 16. Jackson can't return until the divisional round, but he could be an important player for the Eagles if they make a run.

Agholor has been out since Week 14, so we'll see what his status is for the playoffs. Without Agholor and Jackson, Ward has stepped up as the No. 1 receiver for Philadelphia, averaging 13.3 PPR points in his past three outings.

Tight ends

  1. George Kittle, SF
  2. Travis Kelce, KC
  3. Mark Andrews, BAL
  4. Jared Cook, NO
  5. Dallas Goedert, PHI
  6. Zach Ertz, PHI
  7. Jacob Hollister, SEA
  8. Jonnu Smith, TEN
  9. Jimmy Graham, GB
  10. Kyle Rudolph, MIN
  11. Dawson Knox, BUF
  12. Jordan Akins, HOU
  13. Darren Fells, HOU
  14. Nick Boyle, BAL
  15. Benjamin Watson, NE
  16. Hayden Hurst, BAL
  17. Matt LaCosse, NE
  18. Robert Tonyan, GB
  19. Josh Hill, NO
  20. Josh Perkins, PHI

Even though I don't expect the 49ers or Chiefs to make it to the Super Bowl, I still have Kittle and Kelce at the top of the list. Both should play two games and be awesome.

Andrews won't be far behind, especially if he plays three games. And I'll take my chances with Cook at No. 4 if the Saints are able to make it to the Super Bowl.

As of Monday, I have Goedert ranked ahead of Ertz, although Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Ertz could practice this week. Ertz missed Week 17 against the Giants with injured ribs and a lacerated kidney, and hopefully he can play against the Seahawks. If Ertz is active against Seattle then use Ertz over Goedert.


  1. Ravens
  2. Chiefs
  3. 49ers
  4. Packers
  5. Patriots
  6. Saints
  7. Eagles
  8. Seahawks
  9. Bills
  10. Texans
  11. Vikings
  12. Titans


  1. Justin Tucker, BAL
  2. Wil Lutz, NO
  3. Robbie Gould, SF
  4. Harrison Butker, KC
  5. Mason Crosby, GB
  6. Nick Folk, NE
  7. Jake Elliott, PHI
  8. Ka'imi Fairbairn, HOU
  9. Jason Myers, SEA
  10. Stephen Hauschka, BUF
  11. Greg Joseph, TEN
  12. Dan Bailey, MIN

So what is the optimal NFL Playoff Challenge tournament lineup for Wild Card Weekend? Visit SportsLine now to see the full optimal lineups, all from a professional DFS player who has almost $2 million in career winnings.