The first NFL Super Wild-Card Weekend was amazing, and there are so many storylines to unpack. There were two huge upsets with the Browns beating the Steelers, and the Rams also won in Seattle. The Ravens and Buccaneers also won on the road, and the Bills and Saints had solid wins at home to advance.
It was awesome, and there are many Fantasy implications -- for the rest of the playoffs and the future. We'll break it all down for you right here, starting with an update to the overall PPR playoff rankings. We'll also look ahead to 2021 with the teams that were eliminated (Colts, Seahawks, Washington, Titans, Bears and Steelers).
Looking ahead to the divisional round, in the AFC, it's the Browns at Chiefs, as well as the Ravens at Bills. I'm still staying with a Bills-Chiefs AFC Championship Game as I predicted at the start of the playoffs, but I would not be shocked if Baltimore went into Buffalo and won.
In the NFC, it's the Rams at Packers, as well as the Buccaneers at Saints. Again, I'll stick with my original prediction of the Packers and Saints advancing, but Tampa Bay will definitely make things tough on New Orleans.
Here are the updated overall PPR playoff-challenge rankings for the rest of the postseason. At the end of the week, I'll provide rankings for the divisional round, as well as DFS suggestions for FanDuel and DraftKings.
1. Patrick Mahomes
2. Aaron Rodgers
3. Josh Allen
4. Lamar Jackson
5. Drew Brees
6. Tom Brady
7. Baker Mayfield
8. Jared Goff
Mahomes remains No. 1 with his matchup against the Browns, who allowed an average of 22.9 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the regular season. In five career playoff games, Mahomes has passed for 1,474 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions, and he also has three rushing touchdowns.
Rodgers doesn't have an easy matchup against the Rams, who allowed an average of just 14.6 Fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this year. Rodgers only had two games with fewer than 23 Fantasy points all season, so he should be OK. And I also expect him to play two more games as the Packers advance to Super Bowl LV.
Allen, who scored at least 21 Fantasy points in five games in a row to close the regular season, was historic against the Colts on Saturday. He became the first quarterback in a playoff game with 300-plus passing yards (324) and 50-plus rushing yards (54) while also completing at least 70 percent of his passes (74 percent). He also had three total touchdowns. Good luck to Baltimore in trying to stop him.
Jackson won his first ever playoff game against the Titans, and he did it with 136 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also added 179 passing yards and an interception. The Bills just allowed Philip Rivers to pass for 309 yards and two touchdowns, so hopefully Jackson can have some more success throwing the ball. Make sure you check out his 48-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, which was amazing.
Brees got Michael Thomas (ankle) back and had a solid game against the Bears with 265 passing yards and two touchdowns in the wild-card round. He's taking on the Buccaneers in the divisional round, and Brees is 2-0 against Tampa Bay with an average of 24.0 Fantasy points per game in those meetings.
Brady stayed hot against Washington in the wild-card round with 381 passing yards and two touchdowns, and he closed the regular season with at least 27 Fantasy points in three games in a row. Brady scored 23 Fantasy points at New Orleans in Week 1, but he only scored two Fantasy points against the Saints at home in Week 9. I would not be surprised if the Buccaneers won this weekend to advance, although I'm picking the Saints to win.
Mayfield threw three touchdowns against the Steelers and finally had more than 200 passing yards for the first time in six career meetings against Pittsburgh. We'll see how he does against the Chiefs, but he could be good chasing points on the road. That said, I don't think Cleveland wins this game, so the Browns surprising playoff run should end this week.
We'll see if the Rams stick with Jared Goff this week if John Wolford (neck) is healthy, but I would expect Goff to remain the starter despite playing through a thumb injury. He wasn't great against the Seahawks with 155 passing yards and one touchdown on 9-of-19 passing, but he should still be Sean McVay's choice to take on the Packers.
Recapping Super Wild Card weekend with a look towards 2021 values, and debating early 2021 rankings on the Fantasy Football Today podcast. Listen below and subscribe at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts:
1. Alvin Kamara
2. Cam Akers
3. Aaron Jones
4. Nick Chubb
5. J.K. Dobbins
6. Leonard Fournette
7. Clyde Edwards-Helaire
8. Kareem Hunt
9. Devin Singletary
10. Gus Edwards
11. Darrel Williams
12. Jamaal Williams
13. Latavius Murray
14. Le'Veon Bell
15. Ke'Shawn Vaughn
16. Malcolm Brown
17. A.J. Dillon
18. T.J. Yeldon
19. Aaron Williams
20. LeSean McCoy
Kamara only had two catches for 17 yards on two targets against the Bears, but he grinded out 99 rushing yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. That's now seven touchdowns in his past two games, and he had 38 combined PPR points in two meetings with Tampa Bay this year.
Akers was the offensive star for the Rams against the Seahawks with 28 carries for 131 yards and a touchdown, as well as two catches for 45 yards on two targets. He now has at least 22 total touches in four of his past five games, and he doesn't seem bothered by his injured ankle any more. If the Rams beat the Packers it will likely be because Akers has another dominant performance.
We still have to see how much the Packers will use Jamaal Williams and Dillon alongside Aaron Jones, and this isn't an easy matchup in the divisional round against the Rams, especially if Aaron Donald (ribs) is healthy. I'm still confident in Jones leading this backfield, and the Packers are still the favorite to reach the Super Bowl and represent the NFC. Jones has the chance for two more games, which makes him highly appealing.
The Browns pulled off a huge upset against the Steelers in the wild-card round behind a strong performance from Chubb and Hunt. They combined for 26 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns, along with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown on five targets. Chubb had 22 total touches (four catches) and remains the better Fantasy option, but Hunt scored twice on the ground. Both will have to be great if the Browns can upset the Chiefs.
Dobbins only had nine carries in Baltimore's victory against the Titans in the wild-card round, but he had 43 yards and a touchdown. He's now scored a touchdown in seven games in a row, with eight touchdowns scored over that span. He should again lead this backfield ahead of Gus Edwards, and the Bills just allowed the Colts to run for 163 yards and a touchdown and average 5.4 yards per carry. That bodes well for Dobbins and Jackson this week, and we'll see if the Ravens can upset the Bills and advance to the AFC title game.
Ronald Jones (quad) could be out for the divisional round against the Saints, which would put Fournette in a great spot. With Jones hurt against Washington in the wild-card round, Fournette was a star with 19 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown, along with four catches for 39 yards on four targets. Ke'Shawn Vaughn will share touches with Fournette, but Fournette has plenty of upside if Jones remains out, even in a tough matchup at New Orleans.
The Chiefs backfield remains a mystery because we don't know the health of Edwards-Helaire (ankle), who missed the final two weeks of the regular season. If he's out, Darrel Williams and Bell will likely share touches, but we hope to see Edwards-Helaire in the divisional round against the Browns -- and for the remainder of the playoffs if Kansas City advances.
The Bills likely won't have Zack Moss (ankle) this week against the Ravens, so Singletary will get the bulk of the work. It's hard to trust him even in that role since Buffalo's offense is dominated by Allen, and Singletary has to face a tough Baltimore defense this week. But the longer Moss is out the better it is for Singletary if the Bills can keep winning.
1. Davante Adams
2. Tyreek Hill
3. Stefon Diggs
4. Michael Thomas
5. Mike Evans
6. Chris Godwin
7. Marquise Brown
8. Jarvis Landry
9. Cole Beasley
10. Robert Woods
11. Antonio Brown
12. Cooper Kupp
13. John Brown
14. Allen Lazard
15. Sammy Watkins
16. Marquez Valdes-Scantling
17. Rashard Higgins
18. Gabriel Davis
19. Emmanuel Sanders
20. Mecole Hardman
21. Deonte Harris
22. Willie Snead
23. Scott Miller
24. Dez Bryant
25. Demarcus Robinson
26. Miles Boykin
27. Josh Reynolds
28. Donovan Peoples-Jones
29. Van Jefferson
30. Isaiah McKenzie
Adams will have to deal with Jalen Ramsey in the divisional round, but I'm not moving him from the No. 1 overall spot at receiver. As DK Metcalf showed you in the wild-card round, the No. 1 receiver against the Rams can still have success after Metcalf had five catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets. Adams also has the potential for two more games based on how far I expect the Packers to go. If you want to take a flier on Lazard or Valdes-Scantling, I would do it in that order.
I'm excited about Hill in the divisional round, and there could be an opportunity for Watkins and even Hardman and Robinson to make some plays, given how bad the Browns secondary has been for most of this season. In the wild-card round against Pittsburgh, Cleveland allowed the Steelers receivers of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington and Chase Claypool to catch 34 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns on 46 targets. The Chiefs passing game could be awesome this week -- and obviously throughout the rest of the playoffs.
Diggs had six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown on nine targets against the Colts, and he's now scored at least 14 PPR points in six games in a row. Beasley returned from his one-game absence with a knee injury and had seven catches for 57 yards on seven targets. They have a tough matchup in the divisional round against the Ravens, but both should still post quality stats. And I'll stick with John Brown again even though he had no catches on four targets against the Colts. I'd rather trust Brown than Davis, who had four catches for 85 yards on four targets.
Thomas returned from his three-game absence with an ankle injury and had five catches for 73 yards and a touchdown on seven targets against the Bears. It was his best performance with Brees this year, and Thomas has now scored at least 16 PPR points in three games in a row. He should once again be a solid Fantasy option against the Buccaneers. I wouldn't get over excited about Harris, who had seven catches for 83 yards on seven targets in the wild-card round, but it was a nice outing. Sanders was disappointing with two catches for 3 yards on three targets, and he struggled this season when Thomas was healthy.
It was great to see Evans back in the wild-card round at Washington after he injured his knee in Week 17 against Atlanta. He had six catches for 119 yards on 10 targets, and he's now scored at least 17 PPR points in his past three healthy games. He combined for only 17 PPR points in two games against New Orleans this year, but hopefully he'll improve on that this week.
Godwin and Antonio Brown kept their touchdown streaks alive in the wild-card round against Washington. Godwin had five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets against Washington and has now scored in four games in a row, with five total touchdowns over that span. Brown had two catches for 49 yards and a touchdown on three targets, and he also has scored in four games in a row, with five total touchdowns during that stretch. Brown only faced New Orleans once and had six PPR points, and Godwin had 20 PPR points combined in two meetings, with 13 PPR points at the Saints in Week 1.
Marquise Brown continued his strong play against the Titans with seven catches for 109 yards on nine targets, and he's now scored at least 12 PPR points in seven games in a row. Hopefully he can finish the season strong, and we get this kind of receiver heading into 2021. He should have another quality outing in the divisional round against Buffalo.
Landry had an excellent game against the Steelers with five catches for 92 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. He's now scored at least 16 PPR points in five of his past six games, and he could be in a good spot facing the Chiefs in the divisional round with the Browns likely chasing points. Higgins is also worth a look with Cleveland likely throwing a lot at Kansas City.
Woods should be considered the best Rams receiver with Kupp (knee) banged up, although he's expected to play. But both are tough to trust with Goff playing at less than 100 percent. Against Seattle, Woods had four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown on eight targets, while Kupp had four catches for 78 yards on nine targets.
1. Travis Kelce
2. Mark Andrews
3. Robert Tonyan
4. Jared Cook
5. Austin Hooper
6. Rob Gronkowski
7. Dawson Knox
8. Cameron Brate
9. Tyler Higbee
10. Gerald Everett
Kelce should have the chance for a big game against the Browns, who struggled with Eric Ebron in the wild-card round. Ebron had seven catches for 62 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets, and Kelce should be exceptional if he gets 11 targets in the divisional round.
Andrews didn't have a big game against the Titans in the wild-card round with four catches for 41 yards on six targets, but he should continue to be a focal point for the Ravens. And the Colts had success attacking Buffalo's defense with their tight ends as Jack Doyle, Trey Burton and Mo Alie-Cox combined for 14 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown on 16 targets. Maybe the Ravens do the same thing with Andrews in the divisional round.
Tonyan has scored a touchdown in six of his past seven games coming into the divisional round against the Rams. We'll see if he can score against Los Angeles, but I like his long-term appeal as well with the Packers as a strong Super Bowl contender.
Cook tied for the team lead in targets in the wild-card round against the Bears with seven, and he had four catches for 40 yards. In two games against Tampa Bay, Cook combined for seven catches for 110 yards on 10 targets.
Hooper stayed hot against the Steelers in the wild-card round with seven catches for 46 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets, and he's now scored at least 13 PPR points in four games in a row. He's become a standout tight end to close the season as the No. 2 option in the passing game behind Landry.
Gronkowski was outplayed by Brate in the wild-card round at Washington, but I'll still lean toward Gronkowski as the No. 1 tight end for the Buccaneers. However, against Washington, Brate had four catches for 80 yards on six targets, while Gronkowski had no catches on one target. In two games against the Saints, Gronkowski combined for four PPR points, and Brate had no points, so this won't be an easy matchup for either tight end.
Knox scored in the wild-card round against the Colts, and he's now scored a touchdown in four of his past seven games. But he only had two catches for 5 yards on three targets, and his upside is minimal, especially against Baltimore.
Higbee and Everett struggled in the wild-card round against Seattle with a combined one catch for 4 yards on four targets. There's limited upside for either guy with Goff at less than 100 percent, and the Rams could lose this week at Green Bay.
1. Harrison Butker
2. Mason Crosby
3. Wil Lutz
4. Tyler Bass
5. Justin Tucker
6. Ryan Succop
7. Matt Gay
8. Cody Parkey
Storyline: Are Philip Rivers and T.Y. Hilton coming back?
Both are free agents, and Rivers is clearly at the end of his career at 39. He played well in 2020 with 4,169 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, but he scored at least 20 Fantasy points just seven times. He would be a low-end No. 2 Fantasy quarterback if he returns in 2021. As for Hilton, he's 31, and he only had double digits in PPR just six times. We'll see where he plays in 2021, but he'll only be a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best in all leagues.
Players to target in 2021: Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman
Taylor is a borderline top-five pick in all leagues, and he scored at least 15 PPR points in each of his final six games in the regular season, including three games with at least 22 PPR points. If you project his stats over that span -- he averaged 23.8 PPR points per game -- for a full season then he would have been the No. 1 running back in total points with 381. Pittman could be the No. 1 receiver for the Colts if Hilton leaves, and he had five catches for 90 yards on 10 targets against Buffalo in the wild-card round. He could emerge as a borderline starter in all leagues if Hilton leaves the Colts.
Storyline: Will Russell Wilson cook in 2021?
It was a tale of two halves for Wilson in 2020. In the first eight games, Wilson passed for 2,541 yards, 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In the final eight games, he passed for 1,671 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. He averaged 37.1 pass attempts in the first eight games compared to 32.6 attempts to close the season, so we'll see what happens in 2021. More throwing is great for DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, and both of them remain starting caliber Fantasy receivers, with Metcalf a potential top-five option. As for Wilson, he should be drafted as a low-end starter in all leagues.
Offseason move to monitor: Chris Carson is a free agent
Carson and Carlos Hyde could both leave Seattle, so we'll see what happens with Seattle's backfield. Rashaad Penny or DeeJay Dallas could be sleepers in 2021 if both are allowed to compete for the starting job, or the Seahawks could address the position in free agency or the NFL Draft. If Carson returns he should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy running back in all leagues.
Storyline: Who's playing quarterback in 2021?
Alex Smith isn't sure if he's going to play again in 2021, and Taylor Heinicke is a free agent. Even if Smith is back, Washington should consider an upgrade, as well as a long-term solution. There are talented players in place for Washington with Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas, Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, and the right quarterback will hopefully enhance their values.
Players to target in 2021: Gibson and McLaurin
I like Thomas as a low-end starting tight end, but he's not someone to target. And McKissic will be a flex option in PPR, but he's also not someone you want to covet. I want Gibson and McLaurin on my Fantasy rosters in 2021. Gibson had a solid rookie campaign after playing running back for the first time on a full-time basis this year. He had 170 carries for 795 yards and 11 touchdowns, while catching 36 of his 44 targets for 247 yards. McLaurin should also be considered a borderline No. 1 receiver in his third year in the NFL, and hopefully a quarterback upgrade will make him a star.
Storyline: Will anything change for the Titans?
The Titans had three main starting Fantasy options in 2020 with Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown. Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith were borderline starters, and both are free agents this offseason. We could see offensive coordinator Arthur Smith leave since he's a potential head coaching candidate for several teams, but barring some dramatic change, Tannehill, Henry and Brown will likely be the only draftable Fantasy options again in most leagues. Tannehill is a low-end starter in all leagues, Henry is a first-round pick and Brown is a borderline No. 1 receiver in all formats.
Offseason move to monitor: Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith
Davis had a solid campaign in 2020 with career highs in yards (984) and touchdowns (five), and he tied his career best in receptions (65) on 92 targets. And Smith also had a career season with new highs in targets (65), catches (41), yards (448) and touchdowns (eight). We'll see where both end up, and Davis can still be a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in both leagues, with Smith a high-end No. 2 tight end.
Storyline: Who's playing quarterback in 2021?
The Bears could have a new quarterback and top receiver in 2021 with Mitchell Trubisky and Allen Robinson headed to free agency. I wouldn't mind Robinson leaving to end up with a better quarterback, and we'll see what happens there. As for Trubisky, the Bears might use the franchise tag on him, and it's something to monitor. He played well down the stretch with at least 24 Fantasy points in three of his final six games, but he would only be a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback at best in all leagues.
Sleepers for 2021: Tarik Cohen, Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet
Cohen will hopefully return at 100 percent from the torn ACL he suffered in Week 3, and he should be a quality complement to David Montgomery as a PPR flex. Mooney could be the No. 1 receiver for the Bears if Robinson doesn't return, but I would prefer him in the No. 2 role. We'll see what happens with Chicago's quarterback situation, but Mooney closed the season with at least 15 PPR points in two of his final three games. And Kmet will hopefully be the lead tight end in 2021 with Jimmy Graham potentially gone.
Storyline: Are James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster gone?
Conner and Smith-Schuster are headed to free agency, and we'll see what happens with both this offseason. Conner is likely gone, and where he ends up will determine his Fantasy value. Benny Snell and potentially Anthony McFarland could be considered sleepers if someone else isn't brought in via free agency or the NFL Draft, and I like Snell as a borderline starter/flex if he gets the starting job. The Steelers should be fine if Smith-Schuster leaves given their depth at receiver with Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and James Washington, and Johnson and Claypool are worth investing in next season. Smith-Schuster should remain a borderline starter no matter where he plays.
Storyline No. 2: Can you still trust Ben Roethlisberger?
Roethlisberger passed for 501 yards and four touchdowns in the wild-card loss to the Browns, but he also threw four interceptions. It was a tough ending for an overall positive season for Roethlisberger, who played 15 games after missing most of the 2019 campaign because of an elbow injury. At 38, he had the second-most touchdown passes of his career with 33, and he scored at least 20 Fantasy points nine times. While he completed 65.6 percent of his passes, he only averaged 6.3 yards per attempt, which was the lowest of his career. We'll see what happens with the Steelers this offseason, but Roethlisberger is just a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback in all leagues.