NFL playoff fantasy football rankings: Divisional round

If you’re playing NFL.com’s fantasy football challenge it’s almost time to set your lineup for the divisional round of the playoffs. Last week we saw big games from Aaron Rodgers, Thomas Rawls and Antonio Brown. If they were in your lineup in the Wild-Card round, you need to have them back in  your lineup this week as points double for players you start in consecutive games. You’ll likely be rooting for their teams to win as their points would triple during the conference championships if you start them again.

Quarterbacks

One strategy for the NFL playoff challenge was to start Tom Brady last week, even though he didn’t play, so his points this week would be doubled by virtue of you starting him twice in a row. Another great strategy would’ve been for you to start Aaron Rodgers who did play, very well, and whose points will double this week against the Cowboys. Rodgers, however, isn’t favored to advance. Ben Roethlisberger is another high prospect given that his Steelers have the best chance to advance.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and strong safety Jordan Richards (37) warm up during an NFL football practice, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and strong safety Jordan Richards (37) warm up during an NFL football practice, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

1. Tom Brady, Patriots
2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
3. Matt Ryan, Falcons
4. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
5. Dak Prescott, Cowboys
6. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
7. Alex Smith, Chiefs
8. Brock Osweiler, Texans

Running backs

Your best bet for scoring big points in the playoff challenge is to have multiple players hit those bonus points. Le’Veon Bell has a great chance to score triple points next week if he and the Steelers can get past the Chiefs in the divisional round. Even if they end up bowing out, Bell will still likely give you nice production this week, times two if you started him last week. The Patriots are heavily favored over the Texans and LeGarrette Blount should pay off when they get a lead and want to run the clock.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) carries the ball during the second half of an AFC wild-card NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) carries the ball during the second half of an AFC wild-card NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

1. Le’Veon Bell, Steelers
2. LeGarrette Blount, Patriots
3. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
4. Devonta Freeman, Falcons
5. Thomas Rawls, Seahawks
6. Dion Lewis, Patriots
7. Ty Montgomery, Packers
8. Tevin Coleman, Falcons
9. Spencer Ware, Chiefs
10. Lamar Miller, Texans
11. James White, Patriots
12. DeAngelo Williams, Steelers
13. Charcandrick West, Chiefs
14. Aaron Ripkowski, Packers
15. Darren McFadden, Cowboys
16. Alfred Blue, Texans
17. Alex Collins, Seahawks
18. Christine Michael, Packers

Wide receivers

You have to start Brown this week if you started him last week to get double points, especially since the Steelers have a real chance to beat the Chiefs. One guy you’ll have to keep an eye on is Jordy Nelson. If he has fractured ribs, as reported by NFL.com, he may not be able to play. Even if he can go, you’ve got to believe he would be limited. Look for Malcolm Mitchell to be pretty productive this week and in later rounds.

New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple (24) breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) during the first half of an NFC wild-card NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple (24) breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) during the first half of an NFC wild-card NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

1. Antonio Brown, Steelers
2. Julio Jones, Falcons
3. Davante Adams, Packers
4. Julian Edelman, Patriots
5. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
6. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
7. Malcolm Mitchell, Patriots
8. Randall Cobb, Packers
9. Jordy Nelson, Packers
10. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs
11. Mohamed Sanu, Falcons
12. Eli Rogers, Steelers
13. Cole Beasley, Cowboys
14. Michael Floyd, Patriots
15. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
16. Chris Hogan, Patriots
17. Taylor Gabriel, Falcons
18. Terrance Williams, Cowboys
19. Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs
20. Geronimo Allison, Packers
21. Jermaine Kearse, Seahawks
22. Paul Richardson, Seahawks
23. Cobi Hamilton, Steelers
24. Will Fuller, Texans

Tight ends

Travis Kelce has been a monster all year. Even if the Steelers pull off an upset, he’s the tight end most likely to be productive. Jimmy Graham and the Seahawks are slight underdogs, but he’s had a nice bounce back year this season. Don’t be surprised if he’s a big factor against a Falcons defense that isn’t good at defending the position.

1. Travis Kelce, Chiefs
2. Jimmy Graham, Seahawks
3. Martellus Bennett, Patriots
4. Jared Cook, Packers
5. Jason Witten, Cowboys
6. Austin Hooper, Falcons
7. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Texans
8. Jesse James, Steelers
9. Luke Willson, Seahawks
10. Ryan Griffin, Texans

Kickers

Sensing a Steelers upset of the Chiefs, I’m expecting Chris Boswell to be able to start multiple weeks for you. Same goes for Stephen Gostkowski, who tops this list.

1. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots
2. Chris Boswell, Steelers
3. Matt Bryant, Falcons
4. Dan Bailey, Cowboys
5. Mason Crosby, Packers
6. Cairo Santos, Chiefs
7. Steven Hauschka, Seahawks
8. Nick Novak, Texans

Defense/special teams

The Texans are ranked last because they have to face the Patriots. The Seahawks face the Falcons who have been a terrible matchup for defenses all year. Dallas is favored over the Packers, so their defense is ranked slightly higher. Plus, Green Bay may be without Nelson.

1. Patriots
2. Falcons
3. Steelers
4. Cowboys
5. Packers
6. Seahawks
7. Chiefs
8. Texans