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Playoff Extra: Rankings for Super Bowl XLVII

Senior Fantasy Writer
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By the time we get to Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET all the talking will end. We won't have to hear any more about Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh, Ray Lewis and deer antler spray or Randy Moss saying he's the best receiver of all time (he's not). It will just be game time for Super Bowl XLVII.

For those of you still alive in any Playoff Challenge league, you'll have a strong interest in how the game unfolds and won't be watching for the commercials. With that in mind, here are some rankings for the Super Bowl.

My prediction: 49ers 24, Ravens 20

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

Quarterback

1. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers -- 62 units
2. Joe Flacco, Ravens -- 61 units

Kaepernick only had 17 Fantasy points against the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, but prior to that he had at least 18 points in six of the first eight games he started since taking over for Alex Smith. He played in New Orleans in Week 12 against the Saints and had 21 Fantasy points, so he's used to this stadium. The Ravens have only allowed three quarterbacks to score at least 18 Fantasy points since Week 10, including the playoffs, who were Carson Palmer (22 points), Robert Griffin III (18) and Peyton Manning (23). Griffin got hurt in that game, otherwise he would have done better, and we expect Kaepernick to post similar stats (242 passing yards and one touchdown and seven carries for 34 yards). ... Flacco has been on fire with 853 passing yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions in three playoff victories. He has at least 18 Fantasy points in seven of his past 10 games. More importantly, he has 12 touchdowns, one interception and at least 240 passing yards in the five full games he has played with Jim Caldwell as the offensive coordinator (he didn't play much in a meaningless Week 17 game against Cincinnati). The 49ers have been torched in two playoff games by Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan for 51 Fantasy points, and four of the past five quarterbacks they've faced have scored at least 22 points. Flacco should perform at a high level, but both quarterbacks have the chance for a big game.

Running back

1. Frank Gore, 49ers -- 59 units
2. Ray Rice, Ravens -- 65 units
3. Bernard Pierce, Ravens -- 24 units
4. LaMichael James, 49ers -- 9 units
5. Vonta Leach, Ravens -- 4 units
6. Anthony Dixon, 49ers -- 3 units
7. Bruce Miller, 49ers -- 1 unit

It's hard to find a hotter running back than Gore right now. After he had 21 carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons, he now has double digits in Fantasy points in eight of his past nine games. The Ravens shut down Gore last year, holding him to 14 carries for 39 yards and one catch for 9 yards, but three running backs in the playoffs this season have already reached nine Fantasy points against Baltimore (Vick Ballard, Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman). Gore gets a slight nod over Rice for the top spot. … Rice is no slouch either of late with double digits in Fantasy points in six of his past eight full games. He has scored in consecutive games against Denver and New England, and last year against the 49ers he combined for 83 total yards. San Francisco allowed DuJuan Harris to score in the Divisional Round, but the 49ers locked down Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers in the NFC Championship Game to six Fantasy points combined. Rice is clearly the best running back San Francisco will face this postseason, and he should do well with his total yards even in a tough matchup. … After Gore and Rice, the backup running backs are a gamble based on workload. Pierce gets the edge over James because he should be more involved. Pierce has at least nine carries in two of the three playoff games, and he's averaging 6.3 yards per carry. James scored his first NFL touchdown against the Falcons, but he had just five carries for 34 yards and one catch for 4 yards.

Wide receiver

1. Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- 37 units
2. Anquan Boldin, Ravens -- 29 units
3. Torrey Smith, Ravens -- 36 units
4. Randy Moss, 49ers -- 23 units
5. Jacoby Jones, Ravens -- 9 units
6. Tandon Doss, Ravens -- 1 unit

The way Crabtree has closed the season has been remarkable. He has 15 catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns in two playoff games, and he ended the season with at least nine Fantasy points in eight of his past 11 games, including the playoffs. He has double digits in targets in five of his past seven games, and the Ravens have allowed a receiver to score in six of their past seven outings. Over that span, 11 receivers have had at least six targets against Baltimore, and seven have reached double digits in Fantasy points. … Boldin gets the nod over Smith because he's been better in the playoffs. He has 16 catches for 276 yards and three touchdowns through three games compared to Smith who has nine catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns over that span. Both could play well in this game since the 49ers have allowed multiple receivers to score double digits in Fantasy points in each playoff game (James Jones and Greg Jennings for the Packers and Julio Jones and Roddy White for the Falcons). Combined in the playoffs, San Francisco has given up 41 catches for 524 yards and four touchdowns to opposing receivers. … Moss might consider himself better than Jerry Rice, but he would be better served being quiet and trying to play at a high level in this game. He hasn't done much in the playoffs with only five catches for 71 yards, but he only has eight targets in two games. He hasn't had more than six targets in a game all season, and he has just one touchdown since Week 8. This isn't the time to gamble on him unless you need to start him based on value.

Tight end

1. Dennis Pitta, Ravens -- 32 units
2. Vernon Davis, 49ers -- 15 units
3. Delanie Walker, 49ers -- 16 units
4. Ed Dickson, Ravens -- 4 units

Pitta has been the best tight end in the playoffs with 10 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. He has now scored in seven of his past 10 full games, and the 49ers have allowed a tight end to score in four of their past six games, including Tony Gonzalez in the NFC Championship Game. … Davis finally woke up against the Falcons with five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown in six targets. It was the first time he scored since Week 11, which was Kaepernick's first start, and that was the last time he had more than three targets. The Ravens have only allowed two touchdowns to tight ends all season, but last week Aaron Hernandez had nine catches for 83 yards on 14 targets. It's a tough matchup for Davis, but if he's involved, which he should be, he will perform at a high level. … Walker is now non-existent with two catches for 37 yards in two playoff games, and we hope the 49ers focus on Davis in an attempt to be Super Bowl champions.

Kicker

1. Justin Tucker, Ravens -- 27 units
2. David Akers, 49ers -- 30 units

DST

1. 49ers -- 37 units
2. Ravens -- 30 units

My Championship lineup is as follows:

QB: Colin Kaepernick, 49ers -- 62 units
RB: Frank Gore, 49ers -- 59 units
RB: Shane Vereen, Patriots -- 24 units
WR: Wes Welker, Patriots -- 48 units
WR: Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- 37 units
TE: Delanie Walker, 49ers -- 16 units
K: Kai Forbath, Redskins -- 17 units
DST: Ravens -- 30 units

This is the lineup I used for the Championship Round, and I don't have any more transactions. I'm lucky to still have five starters in Kaepernick, Gore, Crabtree, Walker and the Ravens DST. If I could change one move I made from the Divisional Round it would be to use Davis over Walker since their value was similar. At the time, Walker was playing better than Davis, but Davis obviously had more upside based on his cost.

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
Colts WR Reggie Wayne again absent from practice Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:51 pm ET) An elbow ailment again prevented Colts veteran wideout Reggie Wayne from practicing Thursday.

Though an MRI has revealed no significant damage, Wayne has yet to participate in any session this week. His availability for the Sunday clash with Pittsburgh remains cloudy.


Bucs' Vincent Jackson: 'I'm happy here in Tampa'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:50 pm ET) Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson said Thursday he is flattered by the trade speculation, but he has heard nothing from the front office about being dealt, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Jackson added, "I'm happy here in Tampa."

Jackson isn't a free agent until after the 2016 season. He has 25 catches for 344 yards and two touchdowns through six games in 2014.


Cowboys LB Bruce Carter back at practice Thursday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:43 pm ET) Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter returned to practice Thursday after missing the last three games due to a strained quadriceps. The Cowboys are preparing to face the Redskins in Week 8.

LB Darin Drakeford back with Chiefs
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:42 pm ET) The Chiefs have signed linebacker Darin Drakeford to their practice squad. He played briefly with that team in 2013.

Drakeford was cut by Atlanta before the regular season.


Browns QB Brian Hoyer: 'Maybe it's good we lost last week'
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:08 am ET) Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer has expressed both anger over his effort Sunday at Jacksonville and hopefulness that the dud of the team performance will prove to be a positive in the long run.

Hoyer had his worst game with Cleveland, completing just 16 of 41 passes for 215 yards. He also threw an interception, lost a fumble, had four tosses batted down and finished with a career-worst passer rating of 46.3.

"Of all the games I've every played, that's the worst I've ever felt after one, and it's something you have to deal with learning on the job," he told the Akron Beacon Journal. "...For the first time in my career in the NFL, I played a bad game, and it sucks. I take a lot [of blame] on myself, and that's why I probably wasn't too pleasant to be around the past two days."

Hoyer, however, claims that the team could benefit from the 24-6 defeat to a Jaguars team that had been winless entering play. After all, the Browns are preparing to play the 0-6 Raiders in Cleveland on Sunday.

"Maybe it's good we lost last week," he said. "I don't think we underestimated anyone. But I think now we see that no matter who we're playing, we have to be at our best, and there's no excuses and we have to go out and execute."


Jets WR Percy Harvin to media: Mum's the word
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:50 am ET) Newly acquired wideout Percy Harvin has told media members covering the Jets on Wednesday that he has been instructed not to conduct any interviews with them, per the New York Daily News.

It remains to be seen if Harvin fulfills media obligations by being allowed to speak on Friday, as the team promised.

With the Jets already having careened out out of the playoff race, the controversial acquisition of Harvin from Seattle has undergone great scrutiny. Harvin spoke on Monday about the circumstances involed in his departure from the Seahawks - including fights with fellow receivers Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate.


Falcons WR Harry Douglas back at practice, might play Week 8
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) After missing the last 10 practices, Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas finally returned to the practice field Thursday, coach Mike Smith announced. Smith added Douglas, who has missed the last four games, was limited in practice.

Smith hinted at a possibility of Douglas playing Week 8 against the Lions. Smith said the team will have to monitor Douglas' status over the next few days, per the team's official website.


Titans' Whisenhunt explains why Akeem Ayers was traded to Patriots
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:36 am ET) Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt expressed Wednesday part of the reason the team traded Akeem Ayers to the Patriots was that he didn't provide a big enough boost on special teams, according to The Tennessean. Ayers, who was inactive for five of the team's seven games, was a second-round pick in 2011.

"I think we had an opportunity, and I think it was good for both parties,'' Whisenhunt said. "It gave Akeem a chance to get a fresh start, and it gave us a chance to get something in exchange for that.

"I think really a big part of it was special teams. When you're in that role, you've got to be able to contribute special teams wise, and we needed that, and we just didn't feel like we were getting enough in that area."


Healthy Gerhart could put squeeze on Jaguars RB Robinson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:30 am ET) Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart appears on the verge of returning to game action after missing the last two weeks with a foot sprain. He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.

"He said he felt pretty good," Gus Bradley told the Florida Times-Union. "I think the last two weeks have been tough on him, but today he felt a lot better and felt like it was beneficial to have that time off."

Now it must be determined if he's still the featured back. He managed a 2.6 YPC average in 48 attempts before going down. Meanwhile, Denard Robinson emerged in Week 7 to rush for 127 yards on just 22 carries in the team's first victory of the season, a lopsided defeat of Cleveland.

"I think we'll continue to mix and match a little bit," said offensive coordinator Jeff Fisch. "I don't exactly how that will all play out yet."

The Jaguars host Miami on Sunday.


Seahawks coordinator 'disappointed' about Harvin's tenure with team
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:29 am ET) Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell expressed his disappointment wide receiver Percy Harvin wasn't able to have more personal success with the team prior to being traded to the Jets last week. Bevell, who was the Vikings offensive coordinator during Harvin's first two years in the NFL (2009-10), was hoping his history with Harvin would be a major factor during his tenure with Seattle.

"I was disappointed, you know. I was disappointed. I did have a history with him, and I thought it would be a different outcome. But I guess that’s just the way it went," Bevell said, per The News Tribune. "I think we have a phenomenal atmosphere here. It’s led by coach (Pete) Carroll. I think he gives the guys great freedom to be who they want to be. I think he sets the tone for the whole program. It’s an upbeat program. Obviously we are very positive here. It’s just disappointing."

Harvin recently expressed his disappointment with how he was used on offense in Seattle. Bevell said he called bubble screens and hitch routes for Harvin to keep teams from double-teaming him downfield.

"I had many conversations with him about it, just about his role and the things that we would ask him to do. He never articulated that to me," Bevell said. "I mean, he caught a deep ball in the Washington game (40 yards for what would have been a touchdown but for a personal foul on guard James Carpenter that negated the catch); unfortunately it got called back. But the thing was we wanted to make sure he was going to be involved in the game and get the touches. You know, you can just double team somebody and just take him out of the game (with deeper balls). He never did. But we’ve moved on past that. It’s left in the past."


 
 
 
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