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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
Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall not sure if he'll be ready for camp
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:47 pm ET) Redskins veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall hopes he has recovered enough from a torn Achilles tendon to be 100 percent for the starting of training camp. But he's making no guarantees.

"I know they're going to monitor me," he told 106.7 The Fan. "I know they are not going to just throw me out there and [have me] take all the reps with the [first team].

"I'm just going to get out there and see how the body feels ... I'm at the mercy of the trainers and coaching staff. They're going to kind of wean me back in slowly."

Hall, who lost all but three games last season to the injury, also missed OTAs and minicamp, but has recently begun ramping up his workouts.


Saints WR Nick Toon seeks to seize best opportunity of career
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:32 pm ET) The path is clear for Saints wide receiver Nick Toon to earn more playing time than ever. But he realizes that he must get on that path and stay on it through superior performance.

The offseason losses of Kenny Stills, Jimmy Graham and Robert Meacham should result in more reps for Toon, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He has been buried on the depth chart, though he did catch a career-high 17 passes last year.

He believes that now is the time for him to step up and break out.

"Pressure is not something that I've every worried about or thought about," he told the New Orleans Advocate. "I just try to be consistent. Anything outside of that is out of my control, so do what you've got to do to put yourself in the best position for things to work out."

Toon has a shot at the third receiver role behind Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston.


Giants WR Victor Cruz believes he'll be back in action for camp
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:22 pm ET) Giants standout receiver Victor Cruz believes he can avoid starting the season on the PUP list despite continuing to deal with his recovery from a patellar tendon tear.

"The plan is to be ready for training camp and I feel good," he told SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Placing Cruz on the PUP list would give the Giants roster flexibility if he is not ready by training camp. If he lands on the regular-season PUP list, he would be forced to miss the first six games.

Cruz has experienced weakened production every year since his breakout season of 2011. But he was limited to just six games in 2014.


Report: Packers have no plan to release TE Andrew Quarless
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:28 am ET) The Packers have no intention of releasing tight end Andrew Quarless despite his arrest on July 4 for allegedly shooting off his gun in public, sources have told ESPN.

Quarless was charged with a misdemeanor after firing two shots into the air outside a parking garage in Miami Beach, per police reports. He was seen arguing with two women before the incident.


Report: Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul can forget long-term deal
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:25 am ET) The Giants will not take back their one-year franchise tag offer of $14.813 million to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in the wake of a fireworks accident that resulted in a hand injury and hospitalization, a source has told the New York Daily News.

But the source added that there is "no chance" the Giants will now work on a long-term contract for Pierre-Paul. 

Giants officials made the trek to South Florida on Tuesday to see how he is recovering, sources have told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Pierre-Paul is coming off his best season since 2011. He contributed to 77 tackles and racked up 12 1/2 sacks.


Eagles LB Brandon Graham could be on verge of breakout year
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:29 am ET) Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham feels the optimism of a guy coming off his best season.

"I'm feeling the best I've ever felt," he told the team website.

It's no wonder. He recorded career-highs in tackles (36), tackles for losses (13 1/2), assists (11) and sacks (5.5) in 2014. He earned significant playing time in a rotation at that position. And with Trent Cole off to Indianapolis, those reps could increase this year.

Graham has toiled feverishly to improve his game and adapt to a new defensive system. The result was a new four-year contract with the team.

"I understand the game and the league and what it takes to get it done here," he said. "I think I've grown up. I'm serious about being a great player. I want to be the best."


Giants pulling long-term contract offer to Jason Pierre-Paul
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/6/2015) In the wake of a Fourth of July fireworks mishap, the Giants on Monday pulled their long-term contract offer to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who remains hospitalized in Miami, per NFL.com insider Ian Rapaport. 

The Giants had applied the franchise tag to Pierre-Paul this offseason, but the player has not yet signed it, technically leaving him not under contract with the team. The Giants move to yank the longer deal is a bit of gamesmanship, since according to Rapoport, Pierre-Paul was not going to sign the $60 million deal anyway. 


Bills sign veteran tackle Wayne Hunter
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/6/2015) The Bills took another step to shore up their offensive line, signing veteran tackle Wayne Hunter to a one-year deal Monday, per the National Football Post. 

Hunter, who has not played in the NFL since 2012, did spend three years with the Jets under new Bills coach Rex Ryan from 2009-2011. 

Hunter's deal is reportedly worth $870,000.


RB Khiry Robinson could be odd man out in Saints backfield
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/6/2015) Running back Khiry Robinson is a fan favorite with the Saints, but the third-year pro, who once was viewed as a breakout candidate for the team, may find his role squeezed by the presence of Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller, per ESPN.com. 

Robinson dealt with a broken arm last season, which limited him to 12 carries and 32 yards over the final 10 weeks of the year. The Saints then re-upped with Ingram and brought in Spiller to replace Pierre Thomas, meaning Robinson will have to fight hard in training camp to establish a role. 

"I just gotta keep working," Robinson said. "It's all love in the backfield. We all work together, try to help each other. So I think it's a good thing we've got a full backfield again. So if anybody goes down, we've got another player right up there to do the same thing."


Report: Giants Jason Pierre-Paul hurt in fireworks accident
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/5/2015) Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly hurt his hand in a Fourth of July fireworks accident in Miami, according to the Daily News

The paper reports that the injury is not considered career-threatening, but that varying accounts of what happened have been reported. The Giants have not confirmed nor denied the incident. 

The Giants applied the franchise tag to Pierre-Paul this offseason, but the 26-year-old has not yet signed it as he seeks a long-term deal, meaning that he technically is not under contract. 

Pierre-Paul had 53 tackles and 12 1/2 sacks last year for New York. 


 
 
 
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