Fantasy Football

2021-22 NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Strategy

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It’s playoff time! It’s also time for the 2021-22 NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Strategy. I’ll give you recommendations for traditional, escalating multipliers, and “one and done” formats. Check out last season’s Fantasy Football Postseason Primer for more explanation.

Allow me to repeat one of the big takeaways from that primer. Nailing the success or failures of the various NFL teams is one of the most important elements no matter what format you play. If not, we need to at least identify what teams survive/get knocked out more accurately than your opponents.

Perhaps you have a particular vision of how the playoffs will play out. Maybe you like the chalk and see Conference Championships of 1-seeds vs 2-seeds? And then you have the Titans and the Packers, the top two seeds advancing? Or perhaps you see the two Pennsylvania teams making a surprise run?

I’ll say it right now: I don’t. For one, I think the Steelers are going to get shellacked by the Chiefs. But if you read that primer, you’ll know how rarely we see a Super Bowl of the top seeds versus one another. I’d take the field over the Titans beating the Chiefs and meeting the Packers after they down the Buccaneers.

Playing Chalk?

I’ve already placed wagers on the Chiefs, Bills, and Bengals to be the AFC representatives. Titans might make it to the Championship game. But I suspect they’ll get knocked out before the Super Bowl. On the NFC side, I’m going with the Packers to represent the NFC. I hate doing it. But I think we see a number of upsets before that.

And it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Packers get upset either. The Chiefs are my favorite choice of any team to play all four weeks. However, I would not be surprised if the 49ers make a surprise run to play four games as well.

Now that you know where my head sits, let’s break down some of my favorite options in each format.

2021-22 NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Strategy

Escalating Multipliers

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There are two ways to play this format. You can go conservative and play each week as it comes, or you can try to predict the Super Bowl and load upon the two teams you think will be there at the end. The latter is very risky and if you grab the chalk, you will have a lot of company. I prefer a bit of a hybrid strategy based upon the position.

I am definitely going to grab a few Packers in this format and none is more obvious than Davante Adams. Adams finished the year with 11 TDs, over 1500 receiving yards, and more than ten targets a game. He’s an absolute lock.

I will also lock in Tyreek Hill. He didn’t have quite the year that Adams had, but 111 catches for 1239 is far from scoff-worthy. Furthermore, unlike Adams who won’t play four games, Hill has the chance of doing so. And for similar reasons, I will be grabbing Travis Kelce as well.

RB strategy?

But my strategy for running backs in this format is going to be week to week. Between injuries, RBBCs, and all the other uncertainties at the position, it just feels like a smarter way to play. And I’m going to play Joe Mixon. If Cincinnati makes it deeper than most think, he will be a high-leverage play. I do think he will play at least two games as well.

Furthermore, he opens at home against the Raiders. Not only is Las Vegas coming off that emotionally draining late Sunday night game, but they also gave up nearly 28 PPR points per game to RBs this season. That is the worst of any team in the playoffs and it was the third-worst in the league.

One and Done

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It is tempting to play Mixon in this format as well. But I do think Cincinnati plays at least two games, so I’m going to holster him for now and look at teams that I think might depart early. Yes, I can see the Eagles springing an upset. But before the Steelers get embarrassed, I want to use some of their options. That starts with Najee Harris. Even when the Steelers have lost, Harris has managed to see plenty of carries. Harris got double-digit carries in 16 games this season. I will remind you that Harris has zero fumbles. Keep that in mind if your team penalizes for turnovers.

Also on the AFC side, if you don’t like the Bengals to advance, how can you not like rookie phenom Ja’Marr Chase? He broke all kinds of rookie records on his way to 13 TDs and 1455 receiving yards. On the NFC side, I will be starting at least one LAR WR. I suspect the Rams will make it to the next round. Yet I suspect we only get one match-up against the Arizona secondary. They have given up the 5th most TDs to WRs this year and the fourth-most fantasy points to WRs this year.



But Arizona is not even the best match-up for WRs in the playoffs. That dubious honor belongs to Tennessee. They gave up a whopping 41.5 PPR points per game to WRs this year. Only Minnesota gave up more. Keep this fact in mind for whoever might be playing the Titans in Round 2 or later.

TEs and QBs?

I would not get cute here at TE. There are a number of underdogs who have great fantasy TE options. Pat Friermuth, Dallas Goedert, George Kittle, and Zach Ertz are four quality options. Yet all four of their teams are not favored to advance to the next round. I got a feeling at least one of them makes it to the next round. But I advise choosing the one you think doesn’t and will have the best opening week.

At QB, I’m avoiding any of my top three choices to play in the Super Bowl. Even though I think he’ll make it to the next round, I’m leaning towards starting Joe Burrow. Burrow is coming in super hot and has a match-up against the Raiders, who gave up the 11th most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.

Traditional Draft League

Before I jump into this check out Joe’s NFL Playoff Rankings for this specific format.

What I always like about the traditional format is that it is that “happy middle” between the two other alternatives. In this format, I’ll be trying to get myself some Packers, but my focus will be even more on drafting from those teams with a chance of playing four games. That means plenty of Chiefs, Bills, and Buccaneers, and in particular, I’m selecting the QBs from each of those teams. But it’s going to take a first-round pick to do so, as a recent in-house draft here at F6P clearly shows:

Let’s start with my pick of Tom Brady, who has appeared in more Super Bowls than any other QB in history. Sure, I would rather have had any of the three QB options that went before me. However, none of them fell to me, yet I’m quite happy to roll with the QB who led the league in both passing yards and touchdowns. Had I had first pick, I would have grabbed Patrick Mahomes.

I did like the pick of Travis Kelce as he was my top non-QB option. He was not the top fantasy TE this year; he was edged out by Mark Andrews. However, the Ravens failed to make the playoffs. Plus, with Kelce a great bet to play four games, he is the clear top choice at TE.

This might come as a shock to many, especially those who haven’t played postseason fantasy football before. But depending on your format and how many people are in your league, you can probably wait on RBs. Joe Mixon was the first RB off the board at 13. I was the last one to grab a RB, with the 29th overall pick, and still ended up with a pretty good stable of RBs. Devin Singletary, Eli Mitchell, Josh Jacobs, and Jordan Howard are a pretty nice set to have. Nearly half the RB options will be gone going into Round 2. And I expect to have a nice lead at the RB position at that point.

You can see me playing my 49er hunch in this draft and the 49ers will need to advance for me to win. But you can see how popular the Chiefs and the Packers were. If the Chiefs and Packers meet in the Super Bowl, I’m toast. However, if neither does, I should be in a very advantageous position. It’s a risk, but given how rarely the top two popular picks make it, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

A word on Ks and DSTs

Also, while we are not playing this league with kickers or DST, plenty of leagues will.

The first kicker selected should be Harrison Butker. Green Bay is a popular DST choice. Yet given the Packers will play a maximum of three games, their value is slightly depreciated.

On defense, I expect Kansas City also to be a popular pick because they are a great bet to play four games and have one of the better Round 1 matchups. But I will likely wait and grab the Buccaneers, who were the seventh-best fantasy DST over the final three weeks of the season.

 

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That wraps it up. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg). I hope my 2021-22 NFL Playoff Fantasy Football Strategy recommendations help bring you a title. Good luck!


Check out more Fantasy Football content from the F6P Team.

About Mark Strausberg

Despite his youthful appearance, Mark has aged hundreds and hundreds of years due to soul-sucking and crushing near misses over his decades of both playing and writing fantasy sports.

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