The regular season might be over, but you can still keep your Fantasy Football love alive during the NFL playoffs. Many of you know this already, but you can participate in Fantasy playoff leagues that run all the way through the Super Bowl.
I take part in several private playoff leagues, and NFL.com also runs a playoff challenge. Every league has its own rules, but we'll have you covered throughout the postseason with rankings that we'll update every Monday.
The key for most playoff challenges is to determine how far a team will advance. You want to back players from a team that will make it to the Super Bowl to accrue the most points. And a team that gets there from the wild-card round and plays four games is the best-case scenario.
For example, I like the 49ers to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVII in Arizona. I will be leaning a lot on players from San Francisco during the playoffs because of the potential of four games worth of production.
Staying in the NFC, you can see Philadelphia playing three games as the No. 1 seed, so the Eagles have plenty of appeal. After that, it wouldn't surprise me if the Vikings, Buccaneers, Cowboys or Giants play two games.
I can see Tampa Bay upsetting Dallas in the wild-card round, and the Giants could also upset the Vikings. I don't expect any of those four teams to advance to the NFC Championship Game. And I'm expecting the Seahawks to lose to the 49ers in the wild-card round.
In the AFC, I'm expecting the Chiefs to reach the Super Bowl, but the Bills and Bengals could also make it to Arizona. All three of those teams should play at least two games, with the Bills or Bengals having the potential for four outings.
You should map out the NFL playoffs yourself to determine which teams and players you want to support. Check the rules of your playoff challenge, but typically total points matters the most, so back players you expect to play as many games as possible. Rankings:
2. Josh Allen
3. Joe Burrow
4. Jalen Hurts
5. Brock Purdy
7. Tom Brady
8. Dak Prescott
9. Kirk Cousins
10. Trevor Lawrence
11. Daniel Jones
12. Geno Smith
13. Lamar Jackson
14. Tua Tagovailoa
In the wild-card round, I'm counting on Allen and Burrow to advance, setting up a fantastic showdown in the divisional round. It's too bad one of those quarterbacks will be eliminated, but whoever wins could represent the AFC in the Super Bowl and give you four games worth of standout production.
Mahomes loses a game with the Chiefs on a bye, but I like the Chiefs to beat the Chargers in the divisional round. I expect the Chiefs to then beat the winner of the Bills-Bengals game in the AFC Championship Game -- my pick is Buffalo -- and then Kansas City will get a third game in the Super Bowl.
I'm expecting Hurts and Purdy to meet in the NFC Championship Game, and if Hurts advances then he could be the No. 1 quarterback in your playoff challenge if he plays three games. It's easy to support Hurts based on his upside.
Purdy does carry some risk if Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) returns for the NFC Championship Game or the Super Bowl, but it would be disappointing if Purdy was replaced if he helped the 49ers get that far. Still, it's something to consider.
I hope Herbert has a healthy Mike Williams (back), and Herbert could be looking at two shootouts with Lawrence and Mahomes. The same goes for Lawrence if the Jaguars beat the Chargers in the wild-card round. Remember, Jacksonville upset the Chargers in Week 3, and Lawrence had 30 Fantasy points compared to just 13 for Herbert. But Herbert had injured ribs and no Keenan Allen in that game.
The Cowboys-Buccaneers game feels like a tossup in Tampa Bay, but I don't have much confidence in Dallas right now, so I'll give the edge to Brady over Prescott. I can also see the Giants pulling off an upset in Minnesota, but I'll give the Vikings an edge with the game at home, which is why Cousins is ranked ahead of Jones. Cousins scored 29 Fantasy points against the Giants in Week 16, while Jones had 22 points in that first meeting.
Smith should be out in the wild-card round, and we don't know if Jackson (knee) or Tagovailoa (concussion) are even healthy. It's easy to avoid Tyler Huntley or Skylar Thompson if they start any playoff games.
2. Joe Mixon
6. Dalvin Cook
8. Tony Pollard
10. Isiah Pacheco
11. Ezekiel Elliott
12. Travis Etienne
13. Devin Singletary
15. Jeff Wilson
16. J.K. Dobbins
17. James Cook
18. Rachaad White
19. Elijah Mitchell
20. Samaje Perine
21. Raheem Mostert
22. Joshua Kelley
23. DeeJay Dallas
24. Gus Edwards
McCaffrey feels like one of the easiest picks you can make in a playoff challenge. He's been amazing with the 49ers, he gets a fantastic wild-card matchup with Seattle and San Francisco could play four games. I hope the return of Mitchell doesn't hurt McCaffrey much, and Mitchell has some appeal even in a secondary role, but McCaffrey should be the best running back in the postseason.
Mixon feels like the best bet as the No. 2 running back in the playoffs. If the Bengals play four games, Mixon should produce at a high level. In his past three games, he has 17 catches on 20 targets, which is fantastic.
The Chiefs don't have a featured running back, but McKinnon and Pacheco have been productive enough to trust if you like Kansas City to make a significant playoff run. McKinnon has caught a touchdown in six games in a row, and Pacheco has run for a touchdown in consecutive games.
If Ekeler plays two games he could be better than anyone here aside from McCaffrey. Prior to Week 18, he scored at least 23 PPR points in three of his past four games.
Sanders has struggled down the stretch, scoring a combined 17 PPR points in his past four games, but three of those were played without Hurts. Sanders could play three playoff games, so I'll rank him in the top five based on that potential.
Cook should play two games, although he only had 10 PPR points against the Giants in Week 16. Still, I like that matchup, and we know Cook's upside if he gets multiple outings.
We've seen the Buccaneers use Fournette and White in tandem for much of the second half of the season, but now's the time for "Playoff Lenny." I like him better than White, and Fournette could be a solid playoff challenge running back if Tampa Bay gets two games.
The other side of that is Dallas, and Pollard gets the nod over Elliott. They don't have an easy matchup with the Buccaneers, but again there's the prospect of them playing two games if the Cowboys can advance past the wild-card round, which is a possibility.
I wouldn't mind seeing two more games of Barkley, and he had 26 PPR points at Minnesota in Week 16. If the Giants make it to the divisional round then I have Barkley ranked too low.
Etienne is also ranked too low if the Jaguars beat the Chargers in the wild-card round, and he only had 10 PPR points in their first meeting in Week 3. But that's because James Robinson was still in Jacksonville then and had 17 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 16 yards on three targets. Etienne could easily replicate that stat line this week.
The Bills running backs are tough to trust since Singletary and Cook haven't been consistent with their production, but I'll give Singletary the edge as the veteran in the playoffs. And if Buffalo can get four games then both running backs should provide value with their total points.
Walker and Dobbins should be eliminated in the wild-card round, and both have tough matchups. I also expect the Dolphins to be eliminated by Buffalo, and we'll see if Mostert (thumb) can play in the wild-card round after he was injured in Week 18 against the Jets. If Mostert is out then Wilson has some appeal as a one-week option.
1. Stefon Diggs
4. A.J. Brown
5. Tee Higgins
7. Chris Godwin
8. Keenan Allen
9. CeeDee Lamb
10. Mike Evans
11. Deebo Samuel
12. Brandon Aiyuk
13. Mike Williams
14. Kadarius Toney
16. Christian Kirk
17. Tyreek Hill
18. Tyler Lockett
19. Gabe Davis
20. Tyler Boyd
21. DK Metcalf
22. Zay Jones
23. Jaylen Waddle
24. Adam Thielen
25. Richie James
26. Isaiah Hodgins
27. Mecole Hardman
28. K.J. Osborn
29. Darius Slayton
30. Michael Gallup
31. Russell Gage
32. Joshua Palmer
34. Noah Brown
35. Marvin Jones
Diggs snapped out of his recent funk with 23 PPR points against the Patriots in Week 18, and hopefully he'll carry that momentum into the playoffs. Of the top-tier receivers, if he plays four games (I expect him to play three) then he should be the best one in the postseason. We'll see if Davis or any other Buffalo receiver can help him, but Davis has just two touchdowns in his past five games.
Chase and Higgins have immense upside, and both could play four postseason games. Chase just had 22 PPR points against Baltimore in Week 18, while Higgins struggled with one PPR point. However, both have the potential to be the best receiver in the playoffs, and both have dominated this year. And don't forget about Boyd, who is the best No. 3 receiver in the NFL.
Two games for Jefferson could make him the No. 1 receiver in the playoffs. His past two games have been disappointing with a combined nine PPR points against the Packers and Bears, but he had 31 PPR points against the Giants in Week 16. I don't have much faith in Thielen or Osborn because they have been inconsistent, but two games of potential production make both intriguing.
While the Bengals duo is the best in the playoffs, the Eagles pair of A.J. Brown and Smith isn't far behind. And both are hot right now, as Brown and Smith have each scored at least 13 PPR points in six games in a row. If Philadelphia plays three games then Brown and Smith will be stars.
I'm giving the Buccaneers the win over the Cowboys, so I'm counting on two games for Godwin and Evans. Godwin, who missed the playoffs last year with a torn ACL, has scored at least 14 PPR points in six of his past eight games. And Evans had a breakout game in Week 17 against Carolina with 48 PPR points.
We're going to have to wait for an update on Williams (back), and hopefully he's OK for the wild-card round against the Jaguars. If he's fine, I'd probably rank him inside the top 10. If he's out then move up Palmer, who excelled this season whenever Allen or Williams were out. Palmer had seven games with at least eight targets, and he scored at least 13 PPR points in six of them. Allen should be excellent, and he scored at least 15 PPR points in six of his final seven games.
If you believe the Cowboys will advance beyond wild-card weekend then move up Lamb, who has been awesome this year and comes into the playoffs having scored at least 16 PPR points in four games in a row. The other Dallas receivers are tough to trust, but I'll take Gallup second ahead of Noah Brown and T.Y. Hilton for the playoffs.
It will be interesting to see how the 49ers receivers do in the playoffs now that Samuel is healthy. I'll give him the slight edge over Aiyuk, and both have plenty of upside with the chance to play four games. But Purdy will likely favor McCaffrey and George Kittle over Samuel and Aiyuk, and that's why they are ranked lower despite the expectation of them accruing a lot of Fantasy points.
Is it too soon to consider Toney ahead of Smith-Schuster? Maybe. But in the past two games for the Chiefs, Toney has been the better Fantasy option and has more targets (6-5). We'll see if that continues in the playoffs, especially since Hardman should be active when the Chiefs play again in the divisional round.
If the Jaguars get past the Chargers then Kirk and Jones should both be ranked higher. Kirk, as expected, went off against Tennessee in Week 18 with 21 PPR points, and he scored 19 PPR points at the Chargers in Week 3. Jones had 24 PPR points at the Chargers in Week 3, but he's been quiet lately with a combined 13 PPR points in his past three games.
The Dolphins receivers will be tough to trust if Tagovailoa is out, which is why Hill and Waddle are ranked so low. I also expect them to lose at Buffalo, so they should be one-and-done in the playoffs. Against the Bills in Week 15 with Tagovailoa, Hill had 21 PPR points, and Waddle scored 20 PPR points, so hopefully Tagovailoa can return to action this week.
The Seahawks getting into the playoffs is fun because we get another game of Metcalf and Lockett. But they should get bounced in the wild-card round at San Francisco, which is why they are ranked so low. Lockett is averaging 16.0 PPR points in two games against the 49ers this year, while Metcalf is at 9.5 PPR points per game.
The Giants receivers could be great if they advance past the wild-card round. James had 17 PPR points at Minnesota in Week 16 and has scored at least 17 PPR points in three of his past four games. Hodgins has scored at least 14 PPR points in four of his past five games, including a 22-point outing at Minnesota in Week 16. And Slayton has struggled of late, with only one game above seven PPR points since Week 13, but it was at Minnesota in Week 16 when he scored 11 PPR points.
1. Travis Kelce
2. George Kittle
4. Dawson Knox
6. Evan Engram
8. Mark Andrews
10. Cade Otton
11. Hayden Hurst
12. Noah Fant
13. Daniel Bellinger
14. Mike Gesicki
Just like the regular season, finding a good tight end that you can trust is difficult in the NFL playoffs. Kelce and Kittle definitely feel like the safest bets, and Kittle has been exceptional since Purdy became the starter in San Francisco, scoring seven touchdowns in his past four games.
We'll see if Goedert can get hot in the playoffs, and I like that he had six catches on seven targets in Week 18 with Hurts. I also like the upside of Knox, who has scored a touchdown in four games in a row.
After those four, it comes down to how many games you expect Hockenson, Engram and Schultz to play. Hockenson seems the most likely to play two playoff games, so I'll give him the edge over Engram and Schultz. And Hockenson had 35 PPR points against the Giants in Week 16.
I wish the situation was better for Andrews, but the uncertainty of Jackson's health -- and the likelihood of Baltimore playing one game -- puts him lower in the rankings. And the rest of the tight ends have limited upside, so you should just count on games played to pick one that you want to support.
2. Tyler Bass
4. Robbie Gould
5. Jake Elliott
7. Greg Joseph
8. Ryan Succop
9. Brett Maher
10. Riley Patterson
11. Justin Tucker
12. Graham Gano
13. Jason Myers
14. Jason Sanders