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Playoff Extra: Wild Card Weekend Rankings

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We've already given you a strategy to help set your lineup for the Playoff Challenge. Now here are some playoff rankings with a look at who to start and sit for the Wild Card round, featuring Indianapolis at Baltimore, Cincinnati at Houston, Seattle at Washington and Minnesota at Green Bay.

The rankings are for the entire postseason, and we will update them each week throughout the playoffs.

Editor's note: The units listed after each player's name is the value assigned to each player in the CBSSports.com Playoff Challenge.

Quarterbacks

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1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers -- 82 units
2. Peyton Manning, Broncos -- 80 units
3. Tom Brady, Patriots -- 81 units
4. Matt Ryan, Falcons -- 74 units
5. Russell Wilson, Seahawks -- 66 units
6. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers -- 62 units
7. Joe Flacco, Ravens -- 61 units
8. Robert Griffin III, Redskins -- 71 units
9. Matt Schaub, Texans -- 64 units
10. Andy Dalton, Bengals -- 44 units
11. Andrew Luck, Colts -- 63 units
12. Christian Ponder, Vikings -- 38 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Rodgers, Wilson, Flacco
Sits: Griffin, Schaub, Dalton, Luck, Ponder
Rodgers is clearly the best quarterback this week. He is getting hot at the right time with 11 total touchdowns in his past three games with no interceptions and an average of 333 passing yards over that span. In Week 17 at Minnesota he had 365 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. ... Wilson was a Top 12 Fantasy passer in eight of his final nine games and scored at least 23 Fantasy points in three road games at Miami, Chicago and Buffalo. ... Flacco had at least 18 Fantasy points in three of his final four home games. ... Griffin is facing a Seahawks defense that has allowed just one quarterback to score more than 17 Fantasy points since Week 8, and Griffin has just two games with more than 19 Fantasy points since Week 7. ... Schaub has three games in his past four without a touchdown pass and has one game with more than 16 Fantasy points since Week 11. ... Since Mohammed Sanu (foot) got hurt in Week 12, Dalton hasn't had more than 16 Fantasy points. He's missing a third receiving option after A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham, and it shows. ... Like Griffin, Luck has struggled to close the season with just two games with more than 19 Fantasy points since Week 9. He's also facing a Ravens defense that has allowed just one quarterback to score more than 15 Fantasy points since Week 10, including matchups with both Manning brothers. ... Ponder just had 28 Fantasy points against the Packers in Week 17, but he had eight points at Green Bay in Week 13 and can't be trusted.

Running Backs

1. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos -- 60 units
2. Stevan Ridley, Patriots -- 63 units
3. Arian Foster, Texans -- 68 units
4. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks -- 67 units
5. Ray Rice, Ravens -- 65 units
6. Frank Gore, 49ers -- 59 units
7. Adrian Peterson, Vikings -- 69 units
8. Alfred Morris, Redskins -- 57 units
9. DuJuan Harris, Packers -- 7 units
10. Michael Turner, Falcons -- 54 units
11. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals -- 53 units
12. Danny Woodhead, Patriots -- 35 units
13. Vick Ballard, Colts -- 42 units
14. Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons -- 41 units
15. Bernard Pierce, Ravens -- 24 units
16. Ben Tate, Texans -- 23 units
17. Ryan Grant, Packers -- 19 units
18. LaMichael James, 49ers -- 9 units
19. Willis McGahee, Broncos -- 38 units
20. Alex Green, Packers -- 33 units
21. Shane Vereen, Patriots -- 24 units
22. Ronnie Hillman, Broncos -- 16 units
23. Jason Snelling, Falcons -- 10 units
24. James Starks, Packers -- 32 units
25. Brian Leonard, Bengals -- 2 units
26. Cedric Peerman, Bengals -- 16 units
27. Brandon Bolden, Patriots -- 24 units
28. Robert Turbin, Seahawks -- 23 units
29. Delone Carter, Colts -- 12 units
30. James Casey, Texans -- 14 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Peterson, Foster, Rice, Lynch, Morris, Harris, Green-Ellis
Sits: Ballard and all the backups
In two games against the Packers since Week 13, Peterson has 55 carries for 409 yards and two touchdowns and two catches for 12 yards and a touchdown. If the Vikings can pull off the upset and Peterson gets into the Divisional round of the playoffs then anyone who used him has a good chance of winning. ... Foster had double digits in Fantasy points in all but one game this year with 17 total touchdowns. Last year against the Bengals in the Wild Card round -- with T.J. Yates at quarterback -- he had 24 carries for 153 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 29 yards. ... Rice gets a Colts defense that has allowed 15 touchdowns to opposing running backs and 14 to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including one in each of the past three games. ... Lynch has five games in a row with double digits in Fantasy points and nine of his past 10, and the Redskins have allowed a running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points in six of their past seven outings. ... Morris has double digits in Fantasy points in each of his past six games and has at least 20 carries in each of his past seven outings. There were five running backs with at least 16 carries against the Seahawks this year and five reached double digits in Fantasy points. ... Harris is a sneaky sleeper since he has at least eight Fantasy points in three of his past four games, including 14 carries for 70 yards and two catches for 17 yards against the Vikings in Week 17. The Packers don't have a true running back, but he's worth the gamble based on his price. ... Green-Ellis is risky with his hamstring at less than 100 percent, but the Texans have allowed five touchdowns to running backs since Week 12 with five reaching double digits in Fantasy points. ... Ballard has double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five games, but he has just two touchdowns over that span. The Ravens also get Ray Lewis (triceps) back, which should help their leaky run defense.

Wide Receivers

1. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos -- 48 units
2. Eric Decker, Broncos -- 46 units
3. Wes Welker, Patriots -- 48 units
4. Greg Jennings, Packers -- 39 units
5. Roddy White, Falcons -- 46 units
6. Julio Jones, Falcons -- 45 units
7. Andre Johnson, Texans -- 45 units
8. Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- 37 units
9. James Jones, Packers -- 40 units
10. Randall Cobb, Packers -- 44 units
11. A.J. Green, Bengals -- 43 units
12. Jordy Nelson, Packers -- 41 units
13. Torrey Smith, Ravens -- 36 units
14. Pierre Garcon, Redskins -- 35 units
15. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots -- 39 units
16. Reggie Wayne, Colts -- 39 units
17. Anquan Boldin, Ravens -- 29 units
18. Golden Tate, Seahawks -- 32 units
19. Sidney Rice, Seahawks -- 34 units
20. T.Y. Hilton, Colts -- 26 units
21. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks -- 24 units
22. Randy Moss, 49ers -- 23 units
23. Santana Moss, Redskins -- 18 units
24. Brandon Stokley, Broncos -- 24 units
25. Donnie Avery, Colts -- 22 units
26. Jacoby Jones, Ravens -- 9 units
27. Marvin Jones, Bengals -- 10 units
28. Andrew Hawkins, Bengals -- 8 units
29. Kevin Walter, Texans -- 13 units
30. Jarius Wright, Vikings -- 11 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Jennings, Johnson, Jones, Cobb, Green, Nelson, Smith, Wayne
Sits: Garcon, Boldin, Tate, Rice, Hilton
I like all the Packers receivers this week, but Jennings just scored twice against Minnesota in Week 17. He was also targeted a team-high 12 times and now has seven touchdowns in his past five meetings with the Vikings. Cobb is expected to be fine for the playoffs despite missing Week 17 with ankle and knee injuries, and he finished the season with double digits in Fantasy points in seven of his final 11 games. Jones has six touchdowns in his final five games, including one in each game against the Vikings in Week 13 and 17. Nelson returned from a three-game absence with a hamstring injury against the Vikings in Week 17 and had three catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. ... Johnson had at least 95 receiving yards in seven of his final nine games. He had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown last year against the Bengals in the playoffs. ... Green faces a Texans defense that has allowed nine receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points since Week 10. He was held to five catches for 47 yards at Houston in the playoffs last year and should be looking for some revenge. ... Smith has seven touchdowns at home this year, and No. 1 receivers have done serious damage against the Colts with 12 reaching double digits in Fantasy points. ... Wayne is facing a Ravens defense that has allowed a receiver to score in five of their past six games, and he has double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past six games. ... Garcon has gone three games in a row with single digits in Fantasy points and is facing the best secondary in the NFL with Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, who is eligible to return from his four-game suspension this week. ... Boldin is dealing with a shoulder injury, which caused him to miss Week 17. He's risky because he had six games with double digits in Fantasy points in 2012 but also six games with four points or less. ... Hilton is better indoors than outdoors. On grass this year he has just one touchdown and is averaging 14.7 yards per catch compared to 17.5 yards indoors. ... Figuring out the Seattle receivers is like solving the fiscal cliff. There were only three times this year where Rice and Tate reached double digits in Fantasy points at the same time, and it happened just once on the road at Chicago in Week 13.

Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots -- 44 units
2. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots -- 37 units
3. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons -- 39 units
4. Dennis Pitta, Ravens -- 32 units
5. Jermichael Finley, Packers -- 22 units
6. Delanie Walker, 49ers -- 16 units
7. Joel Dreessen, Broncos -- 23 units
8. Jacob Tamme, Broncos -- 23 units
9. Owen Daniels, Texans -- 30 units
10. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals -- 82 units
11. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings -- 17 units
12. Vernon Davis, 49ers -- 15 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Pitta, Gresham, Finley, Rudolph
Sits: Daniels
Pitta has four games with double digits in Fantasy points at home this year and has scored three touchdowns in his past four home games. ... Gresham is facing a Texans defense that has allowed five touchdowns to tight ends in the past four games. ... Finley had two of his best games this season against the Vikings with six catches for 60 yards on seven targets in Week 13 and eight catches for 72 yards on nine targets in Week 17. ... Rudolph had a touchdown in Week 13 against Green Bay, and the key for Rudolph is targets. He has nine games this season with at least six targets, and he's scored in seven of those games. ... Daniels has more than four Fantasy points just once since Week 11, and the Bengals have not allowed a tight end to score since Week 9.

Kickers

1. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots -- 32 units
2. Matt Prater, Broncos -- 31 units
3. Matt Bryant, Falcons -- 30 units
4. Mason Crosby, Packers -- 28 units
5. David Akers/Billy Cundiff, 49ers -- 30 units
6. Shayne Graham, Texans -- 30 units
7. Justin Tucker, Ravens -- 27 units
8. Steven Hauschka, Seahawks -- 26 units
9. Kai Forbath, Redskins -- 17 units
10. Josh Brown, Bengals -- 15 units
11. Blair Walsh, Vikings -- 27 units
12. Adam Vinatieri, Colts -- 26 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Crosby, Graham, Tucker, Vinatieri, Walsh
Sits: Forbath, Hauschka, Brown

Defense/Special Teams

1. Broncos -- 36 units
2. Seahawks -- 32 units
3. 49ers -- 37 units
4. Patriots -- 35 units
5. Packers -- 82 units
6. Falcons -- 30 units
7. Texans -- 35 units
8. Ravens -- 30 units
9. Bengals -- 32 units
10. Colts -- 21 units
11. Redskins -- 21 units
12. Vikings -- 24 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Seahawks, Ravens, Packers
Sits: Texans, Bengals, Colts, Redskins, Vikings

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Report: Buccaneers bringing in Dan Connolly for a visit
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Former Patriots offensive guard Dan Connolly will visit the Buccaneers on Tuesday, per a report by Fox's Ross Jones, citing a source. 

Connolly has played in 87 games for the Patriots in the last seven years and hasn't played in fewer than 13 games in a season since 2008. 


Steelers RB DeAngelo WIlliams says signing was easy decision
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) After playing his first nine seasons with the Panthers, running back DeAngelo Williams signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the Steelers this offseason. Among his many thoughts on the signing, he called it an easy decision, according to the Sporting News.

“I didn’t know they wanted me. I had never been on a visit before,” Williams said. “I was with the same organization for nine years. When I got the call and they said, 'hey we want to bring you in for a visit' I took it as that. Had they said we wanted to bring you in for a signing I would have had a different mindset. I had no idea what was going to transpire when I got here.”

Williams added that he is willing to do whatever it takes to get the team to the next level.

“It’s the opportunity to take maybe one or two reps or whatever it takes to make this team better,” Williams said. “That is what I will do. I want to make it to a Super Bowl and win it. I know this team has that potential and they can do it.

“Coming here was an easy decision. This is a Super Bowl contending team. Every veteran out there, veteran or rookie, they want to go to the Super Bowl and win it and get the best opportunity. I think the best opportunity is here in Pittsburgh.”

Williams has rushed for 6,846 yards on 1,432 carries with 46 rushing touchdowns in his career.


Lions WR Golden Tate doesn't feel pressure due to loss of Suh
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Although Lions wide receiver Golden Tate feels the loss of Ndamukong Suh is a blow to the team, he doesn't believe it puts more pressure on the offense, reports ESPN. 

When asked specifically about the subject, Tate was clear about his thoughts.

"No, I don't think it adds any pressure," Tate said by phone Monday. "We just need to be who we are. We know that we have a lot of weapons all over the field. We just need to reach our potential each and every week.

"We just need to go out there and play fundamentally sound football and I have no doubt our defense is going to be really good again this year and we just got to do our jobs. There's no pressure on anyone but to be ourselves and to play good football."

Additionally, Tate recognizes that Suh was a game-changing player for the Lions, but he likes the addition of Haloti Ngata.

"Obviously, losing Suh is a big hit," Tate said. "I don't care what team you are, he's the guy that can change the game. Change an opposing offense's game plan. He affects the game so much. But with that being said, I'm thankful to have [had] the opportunity to play with him for a year and be a part of something special. But the show must go on.

"The guy we got, [Haloti] Ngata, is a heck of a player. I think it's a good pickup for us. I know he has a past with coach Caldwell so he knows the ins and outs of the system, probably. But we're ready to move forward. We can't live in the past and football season must still go on. We're preparing to have a great year and build from last year."

The 26-year-old stated that he plans on focusing on the intricacies of the offensive playbook heading into this season.

"One thing I really want to focus on is learning the playbook a little bit better," Tate said. "I felt like I knew it for the most part, but details, running the plays exactly how Joe Lombardi draws them up, could help us win more games and create more opportunities for myself and our team."

Tate finished his first season with the Lions catching 99 passes for 1,331 yards and four touchdowns.


Report: LB Rolando McClain ends Patriots' visit without contract
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) After visiting the Patriots on Monday, linebacker Rolando McClain and the team did not agree to terms on a contract, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The same report states that the visit was a positive one.

McClain played in 13 games last season for the Cowboys, collecting 81 total tackles and one sack. Over his four-year career, the 25-year-old has accumulated 327 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, 23 passes defensed, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.


Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu looks forward to being healthy
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu believes that he is regaining his health and he's ready to make an impact this season, according to the team's website.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been healthy,” Mathieu said Monday. “Last year I felt like I took a back seat. I played well my rookie year and then last year it was kind of, eh, I was there but I wasn’t there. This (year) is more important for me because I really want to let everyone know I’m back and I can still make some plays.”

Mathieu tore his ACL and LCL toward the end of the 2013 season. He recently said that the comeback was "way harder than I thought."

Head coach Bruce Arians talked about how Mathieu was not himself last season.

“You saw him fight through it last year,” Arians said. “He was not the player he was used to (being) and it was very frustrating for him.”

Mathieu was aware of the chatter from the outside world and he is using that as motivation going forward.

“You hear people talk and I had time to listen to them talk, so it’s like … I hear it,” Mathieu said. “Like I said, I didn’t feel like I made enough plays last year to help our team. I am looking forward to this year because I know I can do it.”

The 22-year-old has registered 106 total tackles, one sack, three interceptions and one forced fumble in 26 games played during his two-year career.


Saints plan to rework Jahri Evans, Cameron Jordan contracts
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Saints coach Sean Payton said that the team has a plan in place to rework guard Jahri Evans' contract to help create salary cap space, per ESPN's Mike Triplett

Evans is scheduled to make $6.8 million salary in 2015 and cost $11 million against the cap. 

The team might also extend defensive end Cameron Jordan's contract. Jordan is entering the last year of his contract and is scheduled to make $6.969 million this year.


Rams have agreed to terms with OL Tim Barnes
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) The Rams have agreed to terms with offensive lineman Tim Barnes, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The one-year deal has a maximum value of $1 million. 

Barnes recently visited had a visit with the Chiefs before signing with the Rams. The 26-year-old spent all three of his previous seasons with the Rams, starting four of the 45 games he appeared in.


Report: Brandon Tate visits Chiefs
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Free agent wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Tate visited the Chiefs on Monday, according to a report from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, citing a source.

Tate had 17 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown for the Bengals last year. He also had a combined 571 yards in kick and punt returns. 


Lions' Riley Reiff open to playing right tackle
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Lions coach Jim Caldwell said that Riley Reiff might start at right tackle next season. 

Reiff has started 32 games at left tackle over the last two seasons. The Lions aren't sure that last year's right tackle LaAdrian Waddle will be fully recovered from knee surgery, and backup tackle Cornelius Lucas is better on the left side. 

Reiff told the Daily Republic he doesn't care where he plays. 

 "I like playing, and wherever they want to put me, that's fine. I'll play," he said.


Broncos OL Michael Schofield looking to compete for starting job
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Broncos offensive lineman Michael Schofield is ready to come in and compete for a starting job this season, reports the Denver Post.

After not dressing for a single game as a rookie, Schofield added weight and he looks forward to fighting for a starting job.

"I am going in there with that mentality. In the NFL everybody is competing," Schofield said during a road trip to see family in Illinois. "They are looking for someone to step up and take over. I want to make that jump."

The third-round draft pick of the Broncos in 2014 struggled with weight issues, but he is now up to 305 pounds. He also recognized that his pass protection needs improvement.

"Personally, I felt there were reasons I wasn't out there (for games). I wasn't consistent enough in pass pro (protection). And my weight was really fluctuating," Schofield said.

Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak believes that the team's zone-blocking scheme can help Schofield elevate his game, and Schofield agrees.

"We like the Schofield kid, so we'll see. We think he's got some flexibility (in where he can play)," Kubiak said. "It will be very competitive."

"I feel like I am better suited for this," Schofield said. "You have to be able to reach block, and I feel the steps required fit me better."


 
 
 
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