Top 15 Players for the 2012 Fantasy Football Playoffs

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Top 15 Players for 2012 Fantasy Football Playoffs

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Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Like that reoccurring dream with you and that super model, the fantasy football season comes and goes so quickly. Savor the last precious weeks of it gang. Before you know it I’ll be writing my 2013 Sleepers column. As we approach Week 9, the playoffs are right around the corner, and if you haven’t started looking ahead to your player’s individual matchups, now’s the time.

For those of you with the honor of entering the prestigious fraternity that is the fantasy playoffs, be wary of a few potential post season pitfalls. Here area few:

1) Don’t get cute. What got you to the playoffs, for the most part, is what will give you the best chance at winning your playoffs. Case and point: Sure, Shonn Green has a cupcake matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars’ horrible run defense, but that doesn’t mean you are starting him over Adrian Peterson against a stingy Chicago Bearsrun defense. So what, Green had that amazing 1 week way back when, you are sticking with AP.

2) With that being said, matchups are huge. Ok, so the number 1 pitfall was for the obvious decisions like playing AP over Green. It’s when you scroll down your line up and see the choice between Reggie Bush V.S. San Francisco or C.J. Spiller V.S. St. Louis that you lean towards the more favorable matchup.

3) If your championship game lands on Week 17, keep your eye on teams resting their players for the real playoffs. Aaron Rodgers starting on your fantasy team and riding the pine in real life is not how you want your season to end. Hopefully your season championship be in Week 16 so you don’t have to deal with that problem.

With all of that in mind, here are the top 15 players that will make the biggest impact in the fantasy football playoffs this year. These projections are based on your playoffs starting in Week 14, ending in Week 16, and are in standard scoring leagues. If you are in a PPR league and your playoffs start a week earlier, these projections will still be useful based on favorable matchups. If you have these guys start em’, if you don’t, trade for em’ now.

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15) TE Rob Gronkowski

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Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots- Gronkowski leads all tight ends in receiving yards and is currently 12th with all other receivers. It’s not secret that Tom Brady loves this big target in the end zone, and I wouldn’t expect for that to change in the last couple weeks of the season. Gronk alrady has 7 touchdowns and is by far the number 1 producing tight end in fantasy. The Patriots will have tough matchups in Weeks 14 and 15 with Houston and San Francisco. That means they will be passing a lot down the stretch in tight games.

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14) WR Percy Harvin

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Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings- Harvin is 5th in receiving yards and 3rd in fantasy points for wide outs. He will see Chicago, St. Louis, and Houston in Weeks 14-16. All 3 of these defenses are out of the top 10 in pass defense. Don’t get cute everyone. Chicago and Houston may sound like intimidating plays, but Harvin is what got you to the playoffs, and will be leaned on heavily in those match ups.

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13) QB Eli Manning

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Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Eli Manning, New York Giants- Surprise, surprise, Eli Manning is top 3 in passing yards thus far. Even though he has just tossed 12 touchdowns, he will face a Week 14 matchup, at home against the New Orleans Saints, which will guarantee you a shot at the second round. After that he sees more favorable matchups against the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore RavensYour text to link....

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12) RB Marshawn Lynch

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Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks- In the first two weeks of playoffs, Lynch will face two horrible run defenses. Week 16 he will face the Arizona Cardinals who allow 113 yards a game, and next the Buffalo Bills. The porous Bills defense is a running back’s dream, as they allow an embarrassing 177 yards per game and 6 yards per carry. Lynch isn’t just a top 15 play during fantasy playoffs on matchups alone. He is second in rushing yards this year behind Adrian Peterson. Play the Beast.

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11) WR A.J. Green

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Rob Leifheit-US PRESSWIRE

A.J. Green, Houston Texans- Fantasy owners knew Green was talented, but little thought he would be leading fantasy in points for wide receivers. He already has 7 touchdowns this year, and Andy Dalton is going to keep feeding him the ball. His matchups aren’t ideal, but don’t get cute people. He is the man, and will remain so.

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10) WR Victor Cruz

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Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Victor Cruz, New York Giants- If anyone is going to out play Green in the playoffs, it’s the salsa dancing Cruz. He has connected with Eli Manning 7 times, and for more yards than the aforementioned peer. Cruz also has more favorable matchups, starting with New Orleans in Week 14. Eli and the Giants historically get hot near the end of the year. Expect a lot of salsa dancing and high fives with his mouth breathing quarterback.

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9) QB Tom Brady

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Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Tom Brady, New England Patriots- Brady has kept true to form this year, leading everyone is passing yards, and 5th in touchdowns with 16. The Patriots defense keeps opposing teams in games, making for big passing days for Brady. However, there has been a slip in production from Brady in the 4th quarter of games, which has been well documented. This coupled with a tough fantasy playoff post season schedule, including Houston and San Francisco, lands him at number 8.

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8) QB Matt Ryan

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Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons- Matty Ice has had a career year in 2012, and his Falcons are undefeated because of it. Look for him to keep connecting with Julio Jones and Roddy White for the remainder of the season. His schedule is cake as well. He faces off against the Panthers, Giants, and Lions. Ryan will be money for your fantasy team.

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7) RB LeSean McCoy

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Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles- McCoy has had a somewhat unspectacular 2012 campaign. He has only rushed for 2 touchdowns. Andy Reid is now in the hot seat, and he has to realize that McCoy needs the rock more frequently. Coming into the fantasy playoffs, Shady McCoy sees Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, and Washington. Get through a tough Buccaneers defense and McCoy will be playoff gold the rest of the way.

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6) QB Peyton Manning

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Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos- The man has only thrown 17 touchdowns to 4 interceptions for 2,113 yards. Denver has been made a Super Bowl contender with one free agent signing, and now your fantasy team is a fantasy championship contender. This is the Manning you want down the stretch.

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5) RB Adrian Peterson

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Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings- Like the man before him, he has put many doubts to rest coming off a huge injury. Peterson runs just as good, or better, than he did before his devastating knee injury. He leads the league in rushing yards, averaging almost 97 yards per game. As the Vikings will continue to lean on him heavily, Peterson could very well end up as the top producer in fantasy playoffs.

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4) QB Drew Brees

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Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints- Brees has somewhat come back down to reality this year off a historical 2011 season. With that being said, he is still tied for the most passing yards with Brady and thrown for 20 touchdowns. Much like Brady’s situation, his horrible defense will force him to throw all game long. Look for him to thrash the Giants, Buccaneers, and Cowboys in shootouts.

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3) QB Robert Griffin III

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William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins- He has followed in Cam Newton’s footsteps as the huge upside pick you took in the draft that ends up winning your league for you. Like Cam, RG3’s value is centered around his ability to run. Fortunately for fantasy owners, Griffin will play 3 defenses that haven’t been able to stop the run all year; The Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Philadelphia Eagles. Ride RG3 to the promise land fantasy owners.

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2) RB Arian Foster

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Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Arian Foster, Houston Texans- He has been hands down the best fantasy running back this year. He has rushed for more yards, touchdowns and had more carries than any other back in the league. That makes for huge numbers for fantasy owners. He’s the man, period.

16 of 16

1) QB Aaron Rodgers

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Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers- The Discount Double Check has been in full force this year. He may not be leading yards thrown, but he’s winning where it counts, touchdowns. 21 have been tossed through 8 weeks, and that is with his two favorite receivers missing significant time. Mike McCarthy runs a relentless passing attack, and look Rodgers to post huge numbers against Detroit, Chicago, and Tennessee. If you’ve got Rodgers on your team, you’ve got a great shot at taking home the hardware.

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Top 15 Players for 2012 Fantasy Football Playoffs

-
Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Like that reoccurring dream with you and that super model, the fantasy football season comes and goes so quickly. Savor the last precious weeks of it gang. Before you know it I’ll be writing my 2013 Sleepers column. As we approach Week 9, the playoffs are right around the corner, and if you haven’t started looking ahead to your player’s individual matchups, now’s the time.

For those of you with the honor of entering the prestigious fraternity that is the fantasy playoffs, be wary of a few potential post season pitfalls. Here area few:

1) Don’t get cute. What got you to the playoffs, for the most part, is what will give you the best chance at winning your playoffs. Case and point: Sure, Shonn Green has a cupcake matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars’ horrible run defense, but that doesn’t mean you are starting him over Adrian Peterson against a stingy Chicago Bearsrun defense. So what, Green had that amazing 1 week way back when, you are sticking with AP.

2) With that being said, matchups are huge. Ok, so the number 1 pitfall was for the obvious decisions like playing AP over Green. It’s when you scroll down your line up and see the choice between Reggie Bush V.S. San Francisco or C.J. Spiller V.S. St. Louis that you lean towards the more favorable matchup.

3) If your championship game lands on Week 17, keep your eye on teams resting their players for the real playoffs. Aaron Rodgers starting on your fantasy team and riding the pine in real life is not how you want your season to end. Hopefully your season championship be in Week 16 so you don’t have to deal with that problem.

With all of that in mind, here are the top 15 players that will make the biggest impact in the fantasy football playoffs this year. These projections are based on your playoffs starting in Week 14, ending in Week 16, and are in standard scoring leagues. If you are in a PPR league and your playoffs start a week earlier, these projections will still be useful based on favorable matchups. If you have these guys start em’, if you don’t, trade for em’ now.

2 of 16

15) TE Rob Gronkowski

-
Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots- Gronkowski leads all tight ends in receiving yards and is currently 12th with all other receivers. It’s not secret that Tom Brady loves this big target in the end zone, and I wouldn’t expect for that to change in the last couple weeks of the season. Gronk alrady has 7 touchdowns and is by far the number 1 producing tight end in fantasy. The Patriots will have tough matchups in Weeks 14 and 15 with Houston and San Francisco. That means they will be passing a lot down the stretch in tight games.

3 of 16

14) WR Percy Harvin

-
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings- Harvin is 5th in receiving yards and 3rd in fantasy points for wide outs. He will see Chicago, St. Louis, and Houston in Weeks 14-16. All 3 of these defenses are out of the top 10 in pass defense. Don’t get cute everyone. Chicago and Houston may sound like intimidating plays, but Harvin is what got you to the playoffs, and will be leaned on heavily in those match ups.

4 of 16

13) QB Eli Manning

-
Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Eli Manning, New York Giants- Surprise, surprise, Eli Manning is top 3 in passing yards thus far. Even though he has just tossed 12 touchdowns, he will face a Week 14 matchup, at home against the New Orleans Saints, which will guarantee you a shot at the second round. After that he sees more favorable matchups against the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore RavensYour text to link....

5 of 16

12) RB Marshawn Lynch

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Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks- In the first two weeks of playoffs, Lynch will face two horrible run defenses. Week 16 he will face the Arizona Cardinals who allow 113 yards a game, and next the Buffalo Bills. The porous Bills defense is a running back’s dream, as they allow an embarrassing 177 yards per game and 6 yards per carry. Lynch isn’t just a top 15 play during fantasy playoffs on matchups alone. He is second in rushing yards this year behind Adrian Peterson. Play the Beast.

6 of 16

11) WR A.J. Green

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Rob Leifheit-US PRESSWIRE

A.J. Green, Houston Texans- Fantasy owners knew Green was talented, but little thought he would be leading fantasy in points for wide receivers. He already has 7 touchdowns this year, and Andy Dalton is going to keep feeding him the ball. His matchups aren’t ideal, but don’t get cute people. He is the man, and will remain so.

7 of 16

10) WR Victor Cruz

-
Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Victor Cruz, New York Giants- If anyone is going to out play Green in the playoffs, it’s the salsa dancing Cruz. He has connected with Eli Manning 7 times, and for more yards than the aforementioned peer. Cruz also has more favorable matchups, starting with New Orleans in Week 14. Eli and the Giants historically get hot near the end of the year. Expect a lot of salsa dancing and high fives with his mouth breathing quarterback.

8 of 16

9) QB Tom Brady

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Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Tom Brady, New England Patriots- Brady has kept true to form this year, leading everyone is passing yards, and 5th in touchdowns with 16. The Patriots defense keeps opposing teams in games, making for big passing days for Brady. However, there has been a slip in production from Brady in the 4th quarter of games, which has been well documented. This coupled with a tough fantasy playoff post season schedule, including Houston and San Francisco, lands him at number 8.

9 of 16

8) QB Matt Ryan

-
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons- Matty Ice has had a career year in 2012, and his Falcons are undefeated because of it. Look for him to keep connecting with Julio Jones and Roddy White for the remainder of the season. His schedule is cake as well. He faces off against the Panthers, Giants, and Lions. Ryan will be money for your fantasy team.

10 of 16

7) RB LeSean McCoy

-
Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles- McCoy has had a somewhat unspectacular 2012 campaign. He has only rushed for 2 touchdowns. Andy Reid is now in the hot seat, and he has to realize that McCoy needs the rock more frequently. Coming into the fantasy playoffs, Shady McCoy sees Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, and Washington. Get through a tough Buccaneers defense and McCoy will be playoff gold the rest of the way.

11 of 16

6) QB Peyton Manning

-
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos- The man has only thrown 17 touchdowns to 4 interceptions for 2,113 yards. Denver has been made a Super Bowl contender with one free agent signing, and now your fantasy team is a fantasy championship contender. This is the Manning you want down the stretch.

12 of 16

5) RB Adrian Peterson

-
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings- Like the man before him, he has put many doubts to rest coming off a huge injury. Peterson runs just as good, or better, than he did before his devastating knee injury. He leads the league in rushing yards, averaging almost 97 yards per game. As the Vikings will continue to lean on him heavily, Peterson could very well end up as the top producer in fantasy playoffs.

13 of 16

4) QB Drew Brees

-
Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints- Brees has somewhat come back down to reality this year off a historical 2011 season. With that being said, he is still tied for the most passing yards with Brady and thrown for 20 touchdowns. Much like Brady’s situation, his horrible defense will force him to throw all game long. Look for him to thrash the Giants, Buccaneers, and Cowboys in shootouts.

14 of 16

3) QB Robert Griffin III

-
William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins- He has followed in Cam Newton’s footsteps as the huge upside pick you took in the draft that ends up winning your league for you. Like Cam, RG3’s value is centered around his ability to run. Fortunately for fantasy owners, Griffin will play 3 defenses that haven’t been able to stop the run all year; The Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Philadelphia Eagles. Ride RG3 to the promise land fantasy owners.

15 of 16

2) RB Arian Foster

-
Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Arian Foster, Houston Texans- He has been hands down the best fantasy running back this year. He has rushed for more yards, touchdowns and had more carries than any other back in the league. That makes for huge numbers for fantasy owners. He’s the man, period.

16 of 16

1) QB Aaron Rodgers

-
Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers- The Discount Double Check has been in full force this year. He may not be leading yards thrown, but he’s winning where it counts, touchdowns. 21 have been tossed through 8 weeks, and that is with his two favorite receivers missing significant time. Mike McCarthy runs a relentless passing attack, and look Rodgers to post huge numbers against Detroit, Chicago, and Tennessee. If you’ve got Rodgers on your team, you’ve got a great shot at taking home the hardware.


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