Playoff Fantasy Football rankings 2021: Rankings for every position

Jan 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a touchdown pass against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a touchdown pass against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Playoff Fantasy Football rankings
Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Playoff fantasy football rankings for the 2021 NFL Playoffs to help win your contest.

Playoff fantasy football, like its regular season cousin, comes in many different flavors. Some, like, use multipliers that double the fantasy point totals for players who make it to the Divisional Round. In this format, fantasy point totals from the Conference Championship Round are tripled, while Super Bowl performers get their totals multiplied by four. allows fantasy football managers to swap players out after every round of the playoffs. Other platforms lock rosters for the duration of the playoffs when the first Saturday game of Wild Card Weekend kicks off.

BabyBowl 2020, a terrific charity tournament that benefits the March of Dimes, uses a “One And Done” style. This means any player can be used only once all season (or in this instance, once for the entire duration of the playoffs); we’ll choose quality players from teams that are likely to lose in the first round as our strategy in this style of tournament.

For the rankings which follow, we’ll assume a PPR scoring system in a more traditional format, with no round multipliers. Our preferred strategy for “set it and forget it” playoff fantasy football leagues is to load up on the best possible players from teams that are most likely to play at least two games. We weight players from teams with first-round byes a bit more heavily in multiplier leagues.

In conjunction with this strategy, we group the fourteen playoff teams into tiers in an effort to help us identify those most likely to play in two or more playoff games. The tiered list of teams that follows helps us target the most impactful fantasy football players in the upcoming playoffs.

2021 Playoff Fantasy Football: Teams To Target

Tier 1: Clear-Cut Super Bowl Favorites

1. Kansas City Chiefs – Last year, we listed both of last year’s conference champions, the Chiefs and 49ers, in our top three teams to target. With oddsmakers rightfully listing the Chiefs as favorites from the field to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the second consecutive year, we genuflect and leave the Chiefs atop our rankings in a class of their own.

Tier 2: Likely to Play Two Games

2. New Orleans Saints – Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are expected back this week in time for their Round 1 matchup against the Chicago Bears. That’s all we needed to hear; we expect the Saints to enjoy home-field advantage for two straight weeks; we make no promises about the Saints’ ability to take down the Seattle Seahawks in Round 2, however.

3. Seattle Seahawks – Despite 12-1 odds, we expect the Seahawks to make some noise in the playoffs and line up for at least two games. The defense has caught fire down the stretch, and Chris Carson’s improving health and performance should allow Russell Wilson to recapture the magic that made him the MVP frontrunner during the first half of the season.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – After an epic season at the age of 43, does anyone want to bet against Tom Brady’s chances of winning at least one playoff game? We don’t, either.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers – In terms of its effect on the Pittsburgh Steelers, the pandemic giveth, and it taketh away. After the NFL rescheduled and reshuffled the schedule in ways that adversely affected the Steelers, karma comes in the form of the Cleveland Browns, who are struggling to keep their players and coaches COVID-free.

Tier 3: Good Chance of Two Games

6. Green Bay Packers – This may seem surprisingly low for a team with the second-best odds to win the Super Bowl, but the Wild, Wild West nature of the NFC will likely require the Packers to get past Tom Brady in the playoffs before facing off against either Drew Brees or Russell Wilson. That’s quite a gauntlet for a number one seed, so a trip to the Conference Championship is far from a certainty.

7. Buffalo Bills – The Bills have won eight of their last nine games, and can certainly make some noise, thanks to MVP candidate Josh Allen. However, they also host an Indianapolis Colts team in Round 1 that matches up quite well with the Bills: Indy features a very solid defense and a veteran quarterback who’s in the Hall of Fame conversation, and the Bills’ defense will have its hands full shutting down rookie Jonathan Taylor, a true star-in-the making.

Tier 4: Respectable Chance of Two Games

8. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens and Titans are near 50-50 proposition in our estimation, but it’s hard to bet against Lamar Jackson. The Ravens enter the playoffs on a hot streak, and we think they’ll avenge last year’s 28-12 loss to this same Titans squad.

9. Tennessee Titans – The Titans enter the playoffs as winners of three of their last four, but those three wins came against the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15), Detroit Lions (5-11), and Houston Texans (4-12). In fact, the Titans haven’t beaten a playoff-bound team since November.

10. Indianapolis Colts – The Colts, likewise, haven’t posted an impressive win against a quality opponent since November, when they took down the Packers in overtime on November 22. However, they’ve won four of their last five, and we think there’s a realistic chance they’ll pull off an upset in Orchard Park with few fans around to smash tables, make noise, and offer a true home-field advantage.

Tier 5: Slim Chance of Two Games

11. Los Angeles Rams – By far, the Rams have the best chance of any teams in this group to pull off a Round 1 upset, even if Jared Goff is a no-go. The Rams have a top-shelf defense, and Jalen Ramsey is one of the few humans on Earth capable of effectively shadowing DK Metcalf.

12. Cleveland Brown –  If the COVID situation gets worse, and their game against the Steelers is played as scheduled, the Browns will drop even farther down our rankings. In a best-case scenario, the Browns will be a well-rested, out-of-practice team facing a superior Steelers squad that got a full week of practice in after resting key starters.

13. Washington Football Team – It’s a tall order to ask a (7-9) team to defeat a GOAT who just threw for 4,633 yards and 40 touchdowns this season, even at home. Can it happen? Sure. Would we bet money on it? Not our own.

14. Chicago Bears – The Bears are ten point underdogs to the Saints, and it’s not just because they won’t be able to stop Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas. The Bears won three of their last four against unimpressive foes, but went 1-6 against playoff teams this season, and we don’t see David Montgomery and the Bears matching up well against the Saints’ formidable run defense.