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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
Report: Rams among teams interested in trade for Eagles' Foles
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:02 am ET) Teams are beginning to show interest in Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, as reports are surfacing Philadelphia is unsure of what to do with the third-year quarterback, per NJ.com. A source said the Rams have interest in Foles should the Eagles choose to trade him this offseason. 

The Titans and Texans have also been mentioned as teams that would have interest in Foles, if he hits the trade market.

It's still unclear if the Eagles would be willing to move Foles. NJ.com reported last week the Eagles, who have the 20th pick in the NFL Draft, are considering making a run at Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in the draft. 

"From No. 20, it's certainly not going to be easy,'' a source said. "It's probably going to take moving up twice to do it. There's going to be some wheeling and dealing involved.

"Can it happen? I don't know. But they're going to try."

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly recruited Mariota to Oregon and coached him for two years.

"Obviously, [with] my relationship with coach Kelly, it'd be a lot of fun to be a part of that offense and be a part of that team," Mariota said when asked about a potential reunion with Kelly.

Foles is 15-9 as a starter in the NFL, but he has yet to play a full season. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 6,753 yards, 46 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.


Colts' Luck on new contract: 'There's nothing there right now'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:01 am ET) An ESPN report surfaced last week stating the Colts were working on making quarterback Andrew Luck the highest-paid player in the NFL. When asked about the subject at the Pro Bowl, Luck seemed surprise when he heard the news.

"There's nothing there right now," Luck said, per The Indianapolis Star. "I didn't think about it all during the season and it's only been a few days since it ended. I haven't thought about it. I will have conversations with my agent just because you have to prepare, but I'm not sure where that report came from."

Luck has two years remaining on the $22 million deal he signed as a rookie in 2012. It includes a team option for 2016, which must be exercised later this year.

Luck just completed his third season in the NFL. He has been to the Pro Bowl every year he's been in the NFL. He's gone 11-5 in every season as an NFL starter. He threw for a career-best 40 touchdowns in 2014 and led Indianapolis to the AFC title game this season.


Seahawks' Sherman disappointed he won't receive gifts from Pro Bowl
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:48 am ET) In case you missed Sunday's Pro Bowl, Team Irvin knocked off Team Carter, 32-28, thanks to a second-half rally, which included touchdown catches by Emmanuel Sanders and Jimmy Graham.

While many Pro Bowl players that made the original roster were absent from the game due to injuries, Pro Bowl players from the Patriots and Seahawks also did not play due to preparations for next Sunday's Super Bowl.

One player who seemed upset about missing the Pro Bowl was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. However, it was for a reason you probably wouldn't suspect.

“Only thing I’m disappointed in is they won’t give us our gifts from the Pro Bowl, which is kind of dumb,” Sherman said, per The Boston Globe. “The NFL is the only league that punishes the players who actually make the All-Star game by not giving them their gifts. It’s supposed to be watches and some other stuff, but we don’t get them so I couldn’t tell you.”


Patriots' Tom Brady on Deflategate: 'My feelings got hurt'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:33 am ET) If you have been out of the loop for the last week, then you might be unaware the Patriots have been under a lot of scrutiny since the AFC title game due to improperly inflated footballs used against the Colts. The media hoopla has transformed the controversy into what we know as Deflategate.

If you haven't been out of the loop, then you are well aware of the nonstop coverage it has received the last week and despite the Patriots pleas for it to go away, it just won't.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had to deal with the backlash from Deflategate, and he found himself talking about the subject again Monday morning during an interview with WEEI.

“It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that. Honestly, I’m not interested in trying to find out right now, because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”

One topic Brady didn't have a problem addressing was the speculation coach Bill Belichick threw him under the bus during a press conference on Thursday. But Brady came to the defense of Belichick, who has won three Super Bowls as the Patriots coach.

“I’ve never once felt that we’re not on the same page,” Brady said. “He’s a great coach. He’s the only coach I’ve ever played for; he’s the only coach I’d ever want to play for. There’s a lot of people over the years that have criticized him, but I’d say there’s not one player who’s ever played for him who’s not had an unbelievable amount of respect for him and how he prepares and his diligence and his preparation."


Giants' Odell Beckham says he played with hamstring tears
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:24 am ET) Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham said he played all season with two tears in his hamstrings, according to the New York Daily News.

Beckham took part in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, but admitted he's still not fully healed. Beckham said the injuries prevented him from getting to that "last gear that I wanted to have." He added that the injuries really bothered him against the Eagles and Colts. Beckham said he was "stumbling" and falling over during those games. He added that he's not sure whether he'll ever be 100 percent again.

The rookie had a tremendous season, hauling in 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


Patriots' Tom Brady meeting with NFL after Super Bowl 49
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn't expect to meet with the NFL until after Super Bowl XLIX, according to NFL.com.

The Patriots have been in the headlines all week due to Deflategate, and it appears the situation won't be resolved until after the season. "I believe they're going to do [a meeting] after the season," Brady said. "So we'll deal with it after this game. I think everybody is locked in, ready to go for the Super Bowl." Both Brady and coach Bill Belichick have held separate press conferences during the week to deny the team's involvement in deflating their footballs. 

The Patriots are subject to punishment from the NFL if the league finds any wrongdoing during the investigation. 


Earl Thomas on bad shoulder: 'I'll still play fearless'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, who dislocated his shoulder in the NFC Championship Game, could remain limited in practice this week ahead of the Super Bowl, reports the Seattle Times. But he said he won't be thinking about the injury against the Patriots.

"When I come alive nothing is limited,’’ he said. “I’ll still play fearless, throw my body around, and let whatever happens, happens.’’

Thomas did allow that he might have to rely more on his teammates.

“My mindset is I have an opportunity to really trust my teammates,’’ he said. “This is the first game I’m going to have to trust them because of my injury. So I really, really, really trust my teammates, and that’s what I’m banking on, my teammates doing what they need to do and I need to come through myself.’’

It's unclear if Thomas will need offseason surgery.

The Seahawks are 1-point underdogs after opening as 2.5-point favorites.


Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck pondering retirement
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told ESPN.com he's not sure if he'll retire or return for a 17th season. Hasselbeck, 39, appeared in four games this season and played well, posting a 102.6 passer rating.

He's set to hit unrestricted free agency.


Colts expected to part ways with center A.Q. Shipley
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Colts center A.Q. Shipley is headed for unrestricted free agency, and the team is expected to let him go, reports ESPN.com. 

"Shipley went from starting in Week 1 to losing his starting job, to being inactive, to being the third-string center," the report said. "All without any explanation from coach Chuck Pagano or anybody in the front office."

Shipley, 28, has played in 45 career games, starting 19.


Report: Dolphins aim to re-sign TE Charles Clay
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) The Dolphins have privately indicated they want to re-sign impending free agent tight end Charles Clay and will make him an offer in coming weeks, reports the Miami Herald. Clay caught 58 passes for 605 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games this season.

Miami also is high on Clay's backup, Dion Sims, who's signed through 2016, the paper said.


 
 
 
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