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Updated Fantasy Football Playoff Rankings: Position by Position

Week 15 was one of the wildest weeks of NFL action we have seen in quite some time. It featured the largest comeback in NFL history and also the greatest play in New England Patriots’ history. OK, that last part might only be my opinion. In any event, it was a wacky week for fantasy managers as well. Jerick McKinnon, Zay Jones, K.J. Osborn, Russell Gage, Juwan Johnson, and C.J. Uzomah all posted top-five weekly finishes at their respective positions. Fantasy managers may have started a couple of those players depending on their options. But for the most part, these performances came out of nowhere. There were also several injuries suffered that will affect my playoff rankings, as you will see below.

Once again I will go position by position, accounting for the next two weeks only. I am leaving out Week 18 since most leagues do not incorporate that week in their settings. I will also list where I ranked each player last week for easy reference. These playoff rankings are based on half-PPR scoring, so adjust as needed. If you have any questions, drop them below.

2022 Updated Fantasy Football Playoff Rankings

Quarterback Notes and Playoff Rankings

Somehow there are only two weeks left in the fantasy football playoffs and I ranked more quarterbacks this week than I did last week. There are just a lot of situations that are up in the air at the moment. Several quarterbacks have injury concerns which will have to be monitored in the coming days. Most NFL teams have a short week this week because of the Christmas holiday. Only 14 teams have a full seven days between their last game and this week’s contest. That may be something for fantasy managers to consider. The lack of a full week off may prohibit some players who are banged up from taking the field this week.

The big news coming out of Week 15 was the injury to MVP candidate Jalen Hurts. Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder in last week’s victory and is uncertain to play this weekend. The Eagles, who are two games in front of Minnesota for the NFC lead, may play it safe with Hurts. He sat out Tuesday’s practice as expected. Hurts is the top-scoring fantasy quarterback on the season, and that was again the case last week. Even in a tough matchup, I cannot envision a scenario in which you are benching Hurts if he plays. However, I would do everything I could to have a backup plan. Philadelphia plays in the late-afternoon slate on Saturday, so keep that in mind. If Gardner Minshew plays, he would be a dicey QB2 for me in 12-team leagues.

Lamar Jackson also has yet to practice this week. He has been out of action since going down early in Week 13. In the three games since Jackson’s injury, the Baltimore Ravens have scored just 29 points and two total touchdowns. As is the case with Hurts, I am hopeful that Jackson will return to the lineup this week. This is a very important game for Baltimore, who has fallen into second place in the AFC North. If Jackson cannot go, it will be another week of Tyler Huntley for Baltimore. Huntley is the overall QB22 over the past three weeks, finishing outside the top 25 in two of the three games. That includes Week 14 when only 26 NFL teams were in action. You do not want to be starting Tyler Huntley this week in standard fantasy football formats.

Some other signal callers whose status is a question mark as of this writing include Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, and Colt McCoy. Tannehill gutted his way through an ankle sprain on Sunday, and will likely do the same with Tennessee’s division lead shrinking by the week. The Titans play the Houston Texans, so this figures to be a Derrick Henry game regardless of who is behind center. Even if Tannehill plays, he is probably a low-end QB2. Backup Malik Willis is not a recommended play if he is forced into action, despite his rushing upside. Willis has completed just 44.7 percent of his passes and averages 4.7 yards per attempt. Denver and Arizona have little reason to rush back Wilson and McCoy from their respective concussions. Both teams have been eliminated from playoff competition and are simply playing out the string at this point.

1Josh AllenBUF1
2Patrick MahomesKC3
3Joe BurrowCIN4
4Justin FieldsCHI6
5Justin HerbertLAC5
6Lamar JacksonBAL18
7Jalen HurtsPHI2
8Tua TagovailoaMIA7
9Trevor LawrenceJAC10
10Geno SmithSEA8
11Tom BradyTB12
12Dak PrescottDAL13
13Kirk CousinsMIN9
14Jared GoffDET14
15Daniel JonesNYG16
16Derek CarrLV15
17Aaron RodgersGB17
18Deshaun WatsonCLE11
19Brock PurdySF25
20Ryan TannehillTEN19
21Russell WilsonDEN21
22Mac JonesNE20
23Matt RyanIND24
24Kenny PickettPIT22
25Andy DaltonNO26
26Taylor HeinickeWAS27
27Desmond RidderATL29
28Sam DarnoldCAR28
29Davis MillsHOU30
30Mike WhiteNYJ23
31Baker MayfieldLAR31
32Zach WilsonNYJN/A
33Colt McCoyARIN/A
34Trace McSorleyARIN/A
35Tyler HuntleyBAL32

Running Back Notes and Playoff Rankings

Jonathan Taylor suffered a high-ankle sprain on his only touch on Saturday. The injury was a death blow for many fantasy managers, as Taylor was in virtually all starting lineups. Unfortunately, the injury is season-ending for last year’s NFL leading rusher. With Taylor out of the picture, Deon Jackson and Zack Moss should share the Colts’ backfield duties moving forward. Moss out-touched Jackson 24-14 last week, but that game was a bit of an anomaly, to say the least. Indianapolis jumped out to a 33-0 halftime lead before essentially sitting on the ball in the second half, only to lose the game in overtime. When it comes to this running back pair, my playoff rankings are likely to differ from my upcoming Flex rankings, which will only incorporate Week 16.

Before last week, Tyler Allgeier had been the quintessential high-floor, low-ceiling fantasy running back. Allgeier had between 39 and 55 rushing yards in seven of nine games, with just two total touchdowns. In Week 15, however, Allgeier finally had his breakout game. He ran for 139 yards and a score in Atlanta’s loss to New Orleans. The Falcons started rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder in that game, and he struggled mightily. I expect Atlanta to continue to rely on their running game going forward. And they will now be without Caleb Huntley, who suffered an Achilles injury on Sunday. That means that both Allgeier and Patterson should get all the work they can handle going forward. I believe both Falcons’ backs are RB3s for the duration of the fantasy football playoffs.

1Christian McCaffreySF1
2Derrick HenryTEN2
3Josh JacobsLV4
4Austin EkelerLAC3
5Dalvin CookMIN6
6Saquon BarkleyNYG10
7Rhamondre StevensonNE12
8James ConnerARI8
9Nick ChubbCLE9
10Joe MixonCIN7
11Travis EtienneJAC14
12Aaron JonesGB15
13Tony PollardDAL13
14Kenneth Walker IIISEA18
15Alvin KamaraNO11
16Miles SandersPHI17
17David MontgomeryCHI19
18Najee HarrisPIT21
19Isiah PachecoKC16
20Raheem MostertMIA29
21Jerick McKinnonKC38
22Cam AkersLAR36
23Ezekiel ElliottDAL20
24Latavius MurrayDEN35
25D’Andre SwiftDET26
26Rachaad WhiteTB22
27Brian RobinsonWAS24
28Cordarrelle PattersonATL28
29Leonard FournetteTB33
30Jamaal WilliamsDET23
31Devin SingletaryBUF30
32Tyler AllgeierATL41
33Zonovan KnightNYJ25
34J.K. DobbinsBAL31
35A.J. DillonGB32
36Zack MossIND80
37Antonio GibsonWAS34
38D’Onta ForemanCAR27
39Deon JacksonIND60
40James CookBUF40
41Jeffery Wilson Jr.MIA37
42Chuba HubbardCAR42
43Gus EdwardsBAL44
44Samaje PerineCIN47
45Kareem HuntCLE43
46Michael CarterNYJ45
47Damien HarrisNE46
48Jaylen WarrenPIT50
49Jordan MasonSF54
50Royce FreemanHOUN/A
51Kenneth GainwellPHI49
52Khalil HerbertCHI73
53Alexander MattisonMIN51
54Joshua KelleyLAC52
55Kyren WilliamsLAR48
56Marlon MackDEN75
57Jamycal HastyJAC62
58Justin JacksonDET69
59Travis HomerSEA56
60Dare OgunbowaleHOU70
61Rex BurkheadHOU58
62Boston ScottPHI55
63Matt BreidaNYG61
64Nyheim HinesBUF66
65Ameer AbdullahLV59
66Kenyan DrakeBAL57
67Keaontay IngramARI63
68Justice HillBAL81
69Ty JohnsonNYJ71
70DeeJay DallasSEA65
71David JohnsonNON/A
72Pierre Strong Jr.NE84
73Hassan HaskinsTEN96
74Raheem BlackshearCAR67
75Kyle JuszczykSF76
76Chase EdmondsDEN82
77Zamir WhiteLV74
78Benny SnellPIT72
79Alec IngoldMIA89
80Gary BrightwellNYG78
81Darrynton EvansCHI77
82James RobinsonNYJ79
83Salvon AhmedMIAN/A
84Eno BenjaminNON/A
85Kevin HarrisNE97
86Isaiah SpillerLAC85
87Jakob JohnsonLVN/A
88Trestan EbnerCHI87
89Melvin Gordon IIIKC86
90Clyde Edwards-HelaireKC92
91D'Ernest JohnsonCLE94
92Tony JonesSEA98
93Darrel WilliamsARI103
94Sony MichelLAC88
95Chris EvansCIN95
96Malcolm BrownLAR100
97Ke'Shawn VaughnTBN/A
98Tyrion Davis-PriceSF83
99Craig ReynoldsDETN/A
100Myles GaskinMIA101
101Ronald Jones IIKCN/A
102Malik DavisDAL102
103Dwayne WashingtonNO99
104Brandon BoldenLV93
105Julius ChestnutTENN/A
106Snoop ConnerJAC91
107Tevin ColemanSFN/A
108Trayveon WilliamsCINN/A
109Trey SermonPHIN/A

Wide Receiver Notes and Playoff Rankings

Lest you think the names mentioned at the top of the piece were the only out-of-nowhere results last week among wide receivers, that was not the case. Others who posted WR1 value in 12-team leagues included Noah Brown, Jahan Dotson, and Rashid Shaheed. Dotson had never reached 60 yards in any of his first eight NFL games before last week’s 105-yard breakout performance. Brown had one career touchdown in 62 games before Sunday’s multi-score effort. And though Shaheed has now exceeded 50 yards in three straight tilts, he has been targeted just 19 times in nine games. I couldn’t imagine starting any of them in a must-win situation for fantasy managers this week. They would be little more than desperation dart throws in weekly formats.

Tyler Lockett is the biggest faller among high-end wide receivers in this week’s playoff rankings. That is because the Seattle star broke his finger last week. He has already had surgery to repair the fracture and is optimistic that he will play in Week 17. Because of that, I ranked him inside my top 50 going forward. Just keep in mind that he is not playing this upcoming week. If you need the roster spot for a more productive player in your playoff matchup this week, you can probably justify dropping Lockett. Even if he does return next week, he will have a less-than-ideal matchup against the New York Jets.

The Houston Texans managed to take the Kansas City Chiefs to overtime last week despite not having a top-40 fantasy running back or a top-50 fantasy wide receiver. Chris Moore led the way with nine targets but managed a pedestrian 4-42-0 line. Despite the disappointment, he could be in for another hefty workload this week. Much of that would depend on the status of fellow Texan wideouts Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins. Both have missed the last two weeks, leaving Moore and Amari Rodgers as Houston’s top two receiving threats. The Texans face the Tennessee Titans, who are an extreme pass funnel on defense. Whoever suits up for Houston this weekend could be in line for a fair share of targets against a vulnerable Titans secondary.

1Justin JeffersonMIN1
2Tyreek HillMIA2
3Davante AdamsLV3
4Ja'Marr ChaseCIN4
5Stefon DiggsBUF5
6A.J. BrownPHI9
7Amon-Ra St. BrownDET8
8CeeDee LambDAL6
9DeAndre HopkinsARI7
10DK MetcalfSEA11
11Jaylen WaddleMIA12
12Tee HigginsCIN13
13Garrett WilsonNYJ10
14Chris GodwinTB15
15Christian KirkJAC17
16Keenan AllenLAC19
17Mike EvansTB18
18DeVonta SmithPHI24
19Mike WilliamsLAC23
20Chris OlaveNO16
21Terry McLaurinWAS21
22Michael Pittman Jr.IND26
23Amari CooperCLE20
24JuJu Smith-SchusterKC25
25Christian WatsonGB22
26Zay JonesJAC34
27Jerry JeudyDEN28
28D.J. MooreCAR32
29Marquise BrownARI31
30Brandon AiyukSF27
31Drake LondonATL30
32Gabe DavisBUF29
33Diontae JohnsonPIT33
34Darius SlaytonNYG37
35Jakobi MeyersNE41
36Donovan Peoples-JonesCLE36
37Allen LazardGB35
38George PickensPIT38
39Tyler LockettSEA14
40Adam ThielenMIN40
41Courtland SuttonDEN42
42Treylon BurksTEN39
43Elijah MooreNYJ52
44D.J. Chark Jr.DET49
45Mack HollinsLV46
46Parris CampbellIND48
47Nico CollinsHOU45
48Van JeffersonLAR54
49Tyler BoydCIN61
50Curtis SamuelWAS47
51Joshua PalmerLAC44
52Michael GallupDAL43
53Chris MooreHOU76
54Isaiah McKenzieBUF50
55Demarcus RobinsonBAL65
56Alec PierceIND58
57Terrace Marshall Jr.CAR60
58Marquez Valdes-ScantlingKC53
59Jahan DotsonWAS64
60Corey DavisNYJ62
61Richie James Jr.NYG74
62Brandin CooksHOU55
63Romeo DoubsGB77
64Tutu AtwellLAR67
65Chase ClaypoolCHI56
66K.J. OsbornMIN72
67Julio JonesTB51
68Robert WoodsTEN59
69Russell GageTB93
70Rashid ShaheedNO95
71Noah BrownDAL82
72DeVante ParkerNE68
73Hunter RenfrowLV100
74Marvin Jones Jr.JAC69
75Kadarius ToneyKC66
76Jauan JenningsSF87
77Marquise GoodwinSEA91
78Olamide ZaccheausATL71
79Nick Westbrook-IkhineTEN73
80Jarvis LandryNO63
81Josh ReynoldsDET81
82Tyquan ThorntonNE84
83Nelson AgholorNE80
84Quez WatkinsPHI90
85Jameson WilliamsDET78
86Deebo SamuelSF79
87Randall CobbGB88
88Mecole HardmanKC106
89DeAndre CarterLAC86
90Byron PringleCHI110
91Phillip Dorsett IIHOU113
92Skyy MooreKC83
93Justin WatsonKC98
94Kendall HintonDEN96
95Jamal AgnewJAC107
96Laviska Shenault Jr.CAR85
97Trent SherfieldMIA92
98Robbie AndersonARI111
99Dante PettisCHI105
100Kalif RaymondDET102
101Equanimeous St. BrownCHI94
102Isaiah HodginsNYG99
103A.J. GreenARI116
104David BellCLE89
105Braxton BerriosNYJ103
106Greg DortchARI104
107Odell Beckham Jr.FA112
108Tre'Quan SmithNO101
109Brandon PowellLAR123
110Kendrick BourneNE97
111Amari RodgersHOU145
112Khalil ShakirBUF108
113Ashton DulinIND120
114Cedrick Wilson Jr.MIA121
115Keelan Cole Sr.LV117
116Velus Jones Jr.CHI128
117DeSean JacksonBAL114
118Ray-Ray McCloudSF122
119Zach PascalPHI127
120Shi SmithCAR124
121Steven Sims Jr.PIT115
122James WashingtonDAL136
123Marquez CallawayNO119
124James Proche IIBAL126
125Damiere ByrdATL118
126Dyami BrownWAS139
127Samori ToureGB134
128Scotty MillerTB133
129Sammy WatkinsBAL131
130KhaDarel HodgeATL130
131Kenny GolladayNYG129
132Danny GraySF135
133Jamison CrowderBUF157
134Chris ConleyTENN/A
135Jeff SmithNYJ149
136Breshad PerrimanTB141
137Denzel MimsNYJ125
138Kyle PhilipsTEN151
139David Sills VNYG148
140Mike StrachanIND147
141Jalen ReagorMIN142
142Gunner OlszewskiPIT137
143Jalen TolbertDAL140
144River CracraftMIA152
145Trent TaylorCIN138
146Miles BoykinPITN/A
147Trenton IrwinCIN132
148Bryan EdwardsKC156
149Cam SimsWAS144
150Dee EskridgeSEAN/A
151Ihmir Smith-MarsetteKCN/A
152Jake KumerowBUFN/A
153KaVontae TurpinDALN/A
154T.Y. HiltonDAL153
155Montrell WashingtonDEN150
156Penny HartSEAN/A
157Daylen BaldwinCLEN/A
158Tylan WallaceBALN/A
159Deonte HartyNON/A
160Brandon JohnsonDEN143
161Cole BeasleyBUFN/A
162Laquon TreadwellSEA146
163Quintez CephusDETN/A
164N'Keal HarryCHI158
165Andy IsabellaBALN/A
166Demetric Felton Jr.CLEN/A

Tight End Notes and Playoff Rankings

Another week, another handful of relative nobodies putting up fantasy numbers at the tight end position. In addition to Juwan Johnson and C.J. Uzomah posting top-five fantasy numbers, Brock Wright, Mitchell Wilcox, and Eric Tomlinson were among those who finished the week as TE1s in 12-team leagues. The three players were targeted a combined seven times, meaning there is not much to see here. Unless you count me seeing Brock Wright running free right in front of me like a gimpy horse in an open field in my nightmares.

Turning the page towards tight ends who are good at football, Darren Waller returned to action last week after missing over two months with a hamstring injury. He caught a touchdown and finished as a top-six tight end. He is a top-10 tight end for me for the remainder of the fantasy playoffs. The same goes for Dallas Goedert. Goedert is expected to make his return this weekend. Even if Gardner Minshew is Philadelphia’s quarterback this week, I would not shy away from Goedert. There is such a lack of consistency and volume among tight ends that I cannot envision many scenarios where I would bench Waller and/or Goedert.

1Travis KelceKC1
2T.J. HockensonMIN2
3George KittleSF6
4Mark AndrewsBAL3
5Dalton SchultzDAL4
6David NjokuCLE5
7Evan EngramJAC10
8Pat FreiermuthPIT7
9Dallas GoedertPHI12
10Darren WallerLV21
11Dawson KnoxBUF13
12Cole KmetCHI9
13Greg DulcichDEN8
14Gerald EverettLAC11
15Tyler HigbeeLAR19
16Juwan JohnsonNO23
17Taysom HillNO14
18Chigoziem OkonkwoTEN16
19Noah FantSEA18
20Daniel BellingerNYG20
21Hunter HenryNE15
22Tyler ConklinNYJ17
23Hayden HurstCIN22
24Austin HooperTEN24
25Robert TonyanGB25
26Jordan AkinsHOU31
27Cade OttonTB29
28Trey McBrideARI28
29Logan ThomasWAS27
30Isaiah LikelyBAL32
31Will DisslySEA33
32Mike GesickiMIA30
33Foster MoreauLV26
34Kylen GransonIND35
35Jonnu SmithNE37
36Jelani WoodsIND34
37Cameron BrateTB36
38Noah GrayKC39
39C.J. UzomahNYJ43
40Harrison BryantCLE40
41Mo Alie-CoxIND45
42Brock WrightDET42
43Tommy TrembleCAR44
44Adam TrautmanNO38
45Donald Parham Jr.LAC72
46Mitchell WilcoxCIN50
47Brevin JordanHOU41
48Zach GentryPIT51
49Durham SmytheMIA47
50Anthony FirkserATL53
51Teagan QuitorianoHOU59
52Ian ThomasCAR46
53John BatesWAS52
54Jack StollPHI48
55Jody FortsonKC61
56Dan ArnoldJAC58
57Colby ParkinsonSEA49
58Josh OliverBAL55
59Tre' McKittyLAC60
60Jake FergusonDAL54
61Geoff SwaimTEN62
62Shane ZylstraDET63
63Josiah DeguaraGB65
64Parker HesseATL57
65Eric SaubertDENN/A
66James MitchellDET56
67Kyle RudolphTB70
68Nick VannettNYGN/A
69Maxx WilliamsARIN/A
70Johnny MundtMIN64
71MyCole PruittATLN/A
72Andrew BeckDENN/A
73Quintin MorrisBUF69
74Albert OkwuegbunamDENN/A
75O.J. HowardHOU66
76Pharaoh BrownCLE68
77Brycen HopkinsLARN/A
78Irv Smith Jr.MINN/A

Defense/Special Teams Notes and Playoff Rankings

Fantasy football is a game of matchups. This often plays out when it comes to defensive and special teams units. We can usually safely target certain offenses and opposing quarterbacks. That means that rankings of D/ST units can change quite a bit from week to week. Such is the case with my playoff rankings. For example, I barely had the Los Angeles Chargers’ D/ST inside my top 20 a week ago. Now, they are a top-10 playoff outfit. The reason is that their next two matchups are against the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams. Both offenses are top-three in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing D/ST. I will gladly take my chances against Matt Ryan and Baker Mayfield if I am looking for a defense to score fantasy points against.

On the flip side, Denver and New Orleans are among those who I dropped quite a bit in my latest playoff rankings. The Broncos have been a top-eight fantasy defense on the season. And they do get the aforementioned Rams this coming week. However, they face the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17. I believe the negative outweighs the positive overall, though I would highly recommend playing Denver in Week 16. The Saints have been a solid real-life defense of late, but the fantasy points have simply not been there. With upcoming road matchups against Cleveland and Philadelphia, I am not sure how much that changes, especially concerning the Eagles matchup.

1Buffalo Bills1
2San Francisco 49ers2
3Tampa Bay Buccaneers5
4Kansas City Chiefs3
5Baltimore Ravens6
6Dallas Cowboys7
7Philadelphia Eagles4
8Los Angeles Chargers19
9New York Jets9
10Tennessee Titans14
11New England Patriots8
12Cleveland Browns15
13Washington Commanders12
14Minnesota Vikings17
15Green Bay Packers13
16Indianapolis Colts16
17Denver Broncos11
18New Orleans Saints10
19Los Angeles Rams22
20Arizona Cardinals21
21Miami Dolphins18
22Detroit Lions25
23Jacksonville Jaguars28
24Carolina Panthers23
25New York Giants27
26Las Vegas Raiders24
27Chicago Bears31
28Pittsburgh Steelers20
29Cincinnati Bengals26
30Atlanta Falcons30
31Seattle Seahawks29
32Houston Texans32

Kicker Notes and Playoff Rankings

One of the tricky issues for fantasy managers to navigate as it pertains to kickers can be the weather. Last week, I had Jason Sanders outside my top-12 fantasy kickers. Part of my logic was that Miami was facing a good Buffalo Bills defense. But part of it was also the expected bad weather. Of course, by the time the bad weather finally hit, Sanders had already nailed three field goals. So much for that. At the risk of repeating my mistake, there will be several games this week that will be played in frigid conditions. As far as kicking is concerned, pay attention to wind speeds. I cannot imagine kicking in the cold is fun, but it should not hamper most NFL kickers. Wind, however, can play a huge role in the kicking game.

1Justin TuckerBAL1
2Evan McPhersonCIN2
3Jake ElliottPHI9
4Harrison ButkerKC3
5Tyler BassBUF4
6Daniel CarlsonLV5
7Brett MaherDAL6
8Nick FolkNE8
9Jason SandersMIA14
10Chris BoswellPIT21
11Ryan SuccopTB7
12Cameron DickerLAC25
13Robbie GouldSF11
14Graham GanoNYG16
15Jason MyersSEA10
16Younghoe KooATL15
17Greg ZuerleinNYJ12
18Mason CrosbyGB24
19Greg JosephMIN13
20Matt GayLAR22
21Brandon McManusDEN18
22Michael BadgleyDET23
23Chase McLaughlinIND26
24Ka'imi FairbairnHOU31
25Cade YorkCLE19
26Riley PattersonJAC30
27Wil LutzNO17
28Matt PraterARI20
29Randy BullockTEN28
30Joey SlyeWAS27
31Eddy PineiroCAR29
32Cairo SantosCHI32

More Week 16 Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | Flex Rankings

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