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How to Win ESPN Gridiron Playoff Wild Card Weekend

It's time to welcome @toughatthetop to the We Talk Fantasy Sports team!

Pat has advice on this weekends AFC and NFC Championship games, but don't forget that the rosters lock through the Super Bowl!

So it's finally 2013. That for some mean the start of a new year and going back to work after a long deserved holiday, and for others it means the start of the NFL post season! That's right playoff time is here. No doubt were sad to see the regular season come to an end but were also excited that the playoffs are here as the action will be bumped up a few notches. ESPN has a great fantasy playoff game called the Gridiron Playoff Challenge and most of you are here because you maybe want to get a leg up with your choices this year or maybe your just interested in getting some good advice on some of the players you've already chosen for the Wild Card Weekend. Either way let's take a look a look at building that perfect team fantasy wise this weekend.


Since this is the Wild Card weekend let's have a look and see what options I like best. I've also added an alternate choice for each position to give you an added choice if your on the fence on your decisions.

Quarterback Position:

Aaron Rodgers (GNB) MKT: 6.8

Out of the QB's available this weekend Rodgers is a must start in my opinion. He had 4 TD's and 365 yards last week in a loss to the Vikings. The Viking's defense gave up major points to him so he'll get another chance to put up similar numbers again this weekend.

Andrew Luck (IND) MKT: 6.5

If you would of asked me if the Colts would of made it to the playoffs at the beginning of this year you would of heard the answer no. But this is one QB I still would of picked up in a fantasy pool because his value was lower and you could of drafted him later. He put up 2 TD's and 191 yards last week and the team has so much trust in him it's almost like he has been on that team for more than one season.

  • Alternate QB:

    • Andy Dalton (CIN) MKT: 6.2

      • I haven't seen too many people pick this guy but he's facing a Texan's team which over the last 2 weeks put up 2 losses and also gave up double digit fantasy points in most league formats. It can't hurt having A.J. Green and Gresham to throw to either right?

Running Back Position:

Adrian Peterson (MIN) MKT: 6.1

Here's a guy who had such a bounce back year I am sure most fantasy drafters are cursing not drafting him. AP put up major points this year and has only gotten better over the last part of the season. He ran for 199 yards and a TD plus he had a TD reception against the Packers last week. Start him.

Arian Foster (HOU) MKT: 6.1

Same value as AP and same story as AP. Start him. In the loss to the Colts last week he still put up 96 yards and a TD which was not his best outing but really, this will be a high scoring game and you can expect his workload to be high as it's playoff time and he'll be putting up bigger numbers.

  • Alternate RB:

    • Ray Rice (BAL) MKT: 5.8

      • Ray Rice was dominant all year for the Raven's even though they he put up lower numbers based on his career numbers. His workload is still heavy at times with the passing game in Baltimore still being at best most weeks not a top pick in my books. He'll get plenty of chances and opportunity to run the ball and put up fantasy numbers for you this week.

Wide Receiver Position:

A.J. Green (CIN) MKT: 5.6
How can you not play this fantasy beast? Even under double coverage this guy can still make big plays and put up numbers. With the potential of what he can do in any situation he is a must start with his fantasy upside this week.

Reggie Wayne (IND) MKT: 5.3

Wayne didn't have a good fantasy week last week but his numbers all year helped prove he is still an elite receiver. With the Colts looking to push further in the playoffs his workload will be increased and with his experience he will put up solid numbers for you fantasy wise. You can pick this guy with confidence.

  • Alternate WR(s):

    • It's a toss up actually. With the way Aaron Rodgers will be playing and with the price being lower with James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings you could probably say they would all be safe bets and will still put up decent numbers for you in this fantasy pool with a QB like Rodgers.

Tight End Position:

Dennis Pitta (BAL) MKT: 4.6

This is probably the hardest position to pick this week. The top ranked TE's this week are on bye and the other games aren't as favorable. Pitta put up the most points this year out of all available TE's for the weekend so this one is mainly just a crap shoot.

Kicker Position:

Mason Crosby (GNB) MKT: 3.8

In this format points are awarded for extra points kicked right? Well if the Packers put up a lot of points this will be the guy kicking those extra points. He's the safest bet and will most likely finish with the highest point total for this position.

  • Alternate Kicker:
    • Shayne Graham (HOU) MKT: 4.0
      • I don't really like the match up but I think if this one is high scoring than of course he will still put up bigger points for you. Can't go wrong if Foster runs wild this week.

Team Defense Position:

Seattle Seahawks MKT: 4.8

Truly a huge year for this team defensively. In most formats they put up the highest point total and didn't turn around to look back. The match up should be low scoring and the secondary and special teams will be busy all day. You can start them with confidence.

  • Alternate Team Defense:
    • Houston Texans MKT: 5.0

      • Again I think this match up can go either way but if my gut tells me anything it's that the Texans can still play a very solid defensive game which in turn will result in a decent amount of fantasy points for you.

With those choices and alternates you will still be under the salary cap and also still have a great chance at putting up some big numbers.

Good luck to everyone this weekend!