Playoff Extra: Rankings for Super Bowl XLVII
The 49ers and Ravens made it to Super Bowl XLVII, and we hope many of you are still alive in the Playoff Challenge. Our Jamey Eisenberg shares his Super Bowl lineups and advice.
By the time we get to Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET all the talking will end. We won't have to hear any more about Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh, Ray Lewis and deer antler spray or Randy Moss saying he's the best receiver of all time (he's not). It will just be game time for Super Bowl XLVII.
For those of you still alive in any Playoff Challenge league, you'll have a strong interest in how the game unfolds and won't be watching for the commercials. With that in mind, here are some rankings for the Super Bowl.
My prediction: 49ers 24, Ravens 20
Editor's note: The units listed after each player's name is the value assigned to each player in the CBSSports.com Playoff Challenge.
Kaepernick only had 17 Fantasy points against the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, but prior to that he had at least 18 points in six of the first eight games he started since taking over for Alex Smith. He played in New Orleans in Week 12 against the Saints and had 21 Fantasy points, so he's used to this stadium. The Ravens have only allowed three quarterbacks to score at least 18 Fantasy points since Week 10, including the playoffs, who were Carson Palmer (22 points), Robert Griffin III (18) and Peyton Manning (23). Griffin got hurt in that game, otherwise he would have done better, and we expect Kaepernick to post similar stats (242 passing yards and one touchdown and seven carries for 34 yards). ... Flacco has been on fire with 853 passing yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions in three playoff victories. He has at least 18 Fantasy points in seven of his past 10 games. More importantly, he has 12 touchdowns, one interception and at least 240 passing yards in the five full games he has played with Jim Caldwell as the offensive coordinator (he didn't play much in a meaningless Week 17 game against Cincinnati). The 49ers have been torched in two playoff games by Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan for 51 Fantasy points, and four of the past five quarterbacks they've faced have scored at least 22 points. Flacco should perform at a high level, but both quarterbacks have the chance for a big game.
1. Frank Gore, 49ers -- 59 units
2. Ray Rice, Ravens -- 65 units
3. Bernard Pierce, Ravens -- 24 units
4. LaMichael James, 49ers -- 9 units
5. Vonta Leach, Ravens -- 4 units
6. Anthony Dixon, 49ers -- 3 units
7. Bruce Miller, 49ers -- 1 unit
It's hard to find a hotter running back than Gore right now. After he had 21 carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons, he now has double digits in Fantasy points in eight of his past nine games. The Ravens shut down Gore last year, holding him to 14 carries for 39 yards and one catch for 9 yards, but three running backs in the playoffs this season have already reached nine Fantasy points against Baltimore (Vick Ballard, Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman). Gore gets a slight nod over Rice for the top spot. … Rice is no slouch either of late with double digits in Fantasy points in six of his past eight full games. He has scored in consecutive games against Denver and New England, and last year against the 49ers he combined for 83 total yards. San Francisco allowed DuJuan Harris to score in the Divisional Round, but the 49ers locked down Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers in the NFC Championship Game to six Fantasy points combined. Rice is clearly the best running back San Francisco will face this postseason, and he should do well with his total yards even in a tough matchup. … After Gore and Rice, the backup running backs are a gamble based on workload. Pierce gets the edge over James because he should be more involved. Pierce has at least nine carries in two of the three playoff games, and he's averaging 6.3 yards per carry. James scored his first NFL touchdown against the Falcons, but he had just five carries for 34 yards and one catch for 4 yards.
1. Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- 37
2. Anquan Boldin, Ravens -- 29 units
3. Torrey Smith, Ravens -- 36 units
4. Randy Moss, 49ers -- 23 units
5. Jacoby Jones, Ravens -- 9 units
6. Tandon Doss, Ravens -- 1 unit
The way Crabtree has closed the season has been remarkable. He has 15 catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns in two playoff games, and he ended the season with at least nine Fantasy points in eight of his past 11 games, including the playoffs. He has double digits in targets in five of his past seven games, and the Ravens have allowed a receiver to score in six of their past seven outings. Over that span, 11 receivers have had at least six targets against Baltimore, and seven have reached double digits in Fantasy points. … Boldin gets the nod over Smith because he's been better in the playoffs. He has 16 catches for 276 yards and three touchdowns through three games compared to Smith who has nine catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns over that span. Both could play well in this game since the 49ers have allowed multiple receivers to score double digits in Fantasy points in each playoff game (James Jones and Greg Jennings for the Packers and Julio Jones and Roddy White for the Falcons). Combined in the playoffs, San Francisco has given up 41 catches for 524 yards and four touchdowns to opposing receivers. … Moss might consider himself better than Jerry Rice, but he would be better served being quiet and trying to play at a high level in this game. He hasn't done much in the playoffs with only five catches for 71 yards, but he only has eight targets in two games. He hasn't had more than six targets in a game all season, and he has just one touchdown since Week 8. This isn't the time to gamble on him unless you need to start him based on value.
Pitta has been the best tight end in the playoffs with 10 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. He has now scored in seven of his past 10 full games, and the 49ers have allowed a tight end to score in four of their past six games, including Tony Gonzalez in the NFC Championship Game. … Davis finally woke up against the Falcons with five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown in six targets. It was the first time he scored since Week 11, which was Kaepernick's first start, and that was the last time he had more than three targets. The Ravens have only allowed two touchdowns to tight ends all season, but last week Aaron Hernandez had nine catches for 83 yards on 14 targets. It's a tough matchup for Davis, but if he's involved, which he should be, he will perform at a high level. … Walker is now non-existent with two catches for 37 yards in two playoff games, and we hope the 49ers focus on Davis in an attempt to be Super Bowl champions.
1. 49ers -- 37 units
2. Ravens -- 30 units
My Championship lineup is as follows:
QB: Colin Kaepernick, 49ers -- 62
RB: Frank Gore, 49ers -- 59 units
RB: Shane Vereen, Patriots -- 24 units
WR: Wes Welker, Patriots -- 48 units
WR: Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- 37 units
TE: Delanie Walker, 49ers -- 16 units
K: Kai Forbath, Redskins -- 17 units
DST: Ravens -- 30 units
This is the lineup I used for the Championship Round, and I don't have any more transactions. I'm lucky to still have five starters in Kaepernick, Gore, Crabtree, Walker and the Ravens DST. If I could change one move I made from the Divisional Round it would be to use Davis over Walker since their value was similar. At the time, Walker was playing better than Davis, but Davis obviously had more upside based on his cost.
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