ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Imagining one draft for the entire postseason, who should be the top pick in a playoff fantasy league?
You sometimes get the wild card team that will run the table and those guys are golden, but generally speaking you want guys who have a first-round bye (especially since Week 1 players are plentiful ultimately). My other general advice is running backs are far more valuable than wide receivers when drafting -- you’ll notice how quickly the running back pool will dry up while wide receivers are plentiful (especially in Week 1). When I create my playoff draft calculations I give all running backs a 15 percent boost to move them up in my rankings. All that said, Patrick Mahomes will be my pick if I get the first pick. He has the highest per game average and it’s all about total points in playoff ball and I think Kansas City will make it to the Super Bowl. Alvin Kamara is a close second for me.
Satterlee is the Fantasy Football Insider for the Charlotte Observer and is syndicated in a few other newspapers in the southeast. Satterlee first started playing fantasy football in 1990.
I generally back into the answer here: if Team X is going to win the Super Bowl, which player will be most responsible for that? There are only a handful of teams with really solid chances of winning, and the number of those teams that would also play the maximum number of games along the way is probably one: Chicago. So you could make a case for someone on that offense, I suppose, but the postseason MVP there might be Tarik Cohen, who’s a much better Round 2/3 pick — and then you’d look back to the AFC for your top guy, and that would be Patrick Mahomes. My personal favorites for the Super Bowl are Kansas City and the Rams or Saints, so I’m fine with any of Mahomes, Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara at the top. But since I’d really like Gurley to be healthier, and Kamara’s offense doesn’t lean on him in the same way, I actually think the Mahomes-Cohen exacta in Rounds 1 and 2 — or even in Rounds 1 and 3, with Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce in Round 2 — is as good a bet as any.
Eleff hosts the Fantasy Index Podcast, available in the iTunes Store now. He has worked for Fantasy Index off and on all century.
I like quarterbacks first in this kind of a format and Drew Brees is the best on the board. I also have the Super Bowl to be New Orleans vs. Baltimore so that means 4 games for Lamar Jackson and just three games for Brees and Patrick Mahomes. Brees edges out both by a few points.
Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 25-year fantasy football veteran who participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013. Follow him at his web site, www.ffguidebook.com.
The knee-jerk answer might be Todd Gurley, but I wouldn't go that route. I'm very concerned about Gurley likely facing the Bears in his first playoff game, which might wind up being the only playoff game the Rams get (even if they win, Gurley shouldn't have a big game, and I think they'd lose in New Orleans). I would be looking at top performers from teams I think have a good shot to go to the Super Bowl, which leaves me with two choices. Patrick Mahomes looks promising, since I believe the Colts will win Sunday, sending them to Kansas City. Mahomes could get a Colts, Patriots and -- if they win, obviously -- Saints schedule in January. The other strong choice is Alvin Kamara (or maybe even Michael Thomas). The Saints won four of their last five meaningful home games by double digits; very tough to imagine anyone beating them there this postseason.
Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.