NFL Playoffs Fantasy Advice: Building the Perfect Roster

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The fantasy season isn't over yet! So for those of you looking for some playoff action, here's your key to assembling your chosen contest's winning roster.

You know when you get together with your friends to play poker, and you're each throwing in a quarter into the pot all night? Well, inevitably, someone's wife calls, and one of your buddies has to leave early. So everyone throws in $10 or $20 for one last hand--one last chance to make a big score.

That's the exact same methodology that goes into NFL Playoffs fantasy football. You stunk it up during the regular season? Pump in some cash to try and make the 2013 season worthwhile. Anyone can do it, and it's your last chance until August to play more fantasy football.

The best contest to play out there is the World Famous FFPC/Footballguys Playoff Challenge. For just a $200 entry fee, you can play for $500,000 in prizes, including a $150,000 grand prize. The top 450 teams will get paid as well, and I'm writing this article based on that contest's format.

You formulate a starting lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, two flexes, one kicker and one defense. Tight ends get 1.5 points per catch in this format, so you could start three of them if you wanted. The slant for this challenge is that you cannot modify your lineup for the entire duration of the playoffs, you can only pick one player per team and you get double points in the Super Bowl.

Got it? Then away we go!

QUARTERBACK

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

Yes, I know that a TON of other players will have Manning as their quarterback. (I would estimate 60 to 70 percent of teams in this contest will.) But the possibility of Manning putting up 60 fantasy points in the Super Bowl is too good to pass up. If you want to be different Andy Dalton would be a noble choice, but I am going with the big gun here.

RUNNING BACKS

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

Again, I'm going semi-obvious here, but these are the best running backs in the playoffs. If it wasn't for Manning, Charles may have been the league MVP this year, and McCoy's stats have not been all that dissimilar. Since I am projecting the Seahawks to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, Lynch is going to be a must for this team. I see Seattle riding him hard throughout the postseason, with him putting up 50 points in the final game.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

Here's where it gets a little funky. Green is the most talented receiver in the playoffs. And because I am using Manning as my Bronco, I can't take Demaryius Thomas anyway. However, if you nabbed Dalton, then I would go with Thomas here. Boldin and Edelman are interesting though. I chose Boldin over Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis because NFL Playoff football suits Boldin's game the best, and he really is coming on. Edelman seems to be Brady's target monster right now. You can be different and go with Shane Vereen or Danny Amendola, but I think Edelman is being different enough.

TIGHT END

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

I'm betting that a lot of players are going to try and load up with three tight ends to exploit the 1.5 PPR, so I am going to be different with just picking one. Those players that are rolling with Julius Thomas, Greg Olsen, Antonio Gates and Davis will be strong at that position, but at what cost? Picking Graham gives me one monster game (hopefully), and maybe another one if the Saints can pull the upset.

KICKER

Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts

This is sort of a "throw-away" position in this format, but Vinatieri has had one of his best seasons as a pro. That Andrew Luck offense really struggled this year without a great end zone target, and Vinatieri reaped the rewards. I'm betting on Indy beating the Chiefs and the Colts' kicker tallying two dozen points.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

Carolina Panthers

They have been underrated all season, and they make an excellent choice here. Cam Newton wouldn't be a bad choice here for your Panther, though. Then you could use Thomas or Moreno as a flex and pick up that dominant Chiefs defense instead of Charles in the sake of trying being different. But Carolina has a much better shot at two games than the Chiefs, so that's how I'm rolling.

NO PACKERS?

Correct. I don't see them winning this week, and I don't think their match-up is particularly tantalizing. However, if you believe the Pack is on a run to the Super Bowl, Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson would all be excellent choices instead of Lynch or Boldin.

Good luck in setting those lineups everyone! When you win the $150,000, remember who helped get you there.

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