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How to win ESPN Gridiron Divisional Playoffs Weekend

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

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Wild Card weekend has come and gone and my first time with this ESPN pool was not horrible but I did miss the boat with a few picks. There were a few upsets and surprises last week with certain picks but none the less I was pretty happy with who I chose based on who was playing last weekend. I was surprised that Adrian Peterson didn't put up bigger numbers and even with Rodgers I was surprised the numbers weren't higher. But this week brings a whole new set of games and all new scenarios to go through. And as always if your ever interested and need fantasy advice and I'm not sleeping or working feel free to hit me up on Twitter @toughatthetop

Quarterback Position:

Aaron Rodgers (GNB) MKT: 6.8

I'm taking a gamble again this week. I think the San Francisco defense is one of the best but with the location of all the games this weekend I'm saying go with Rodgers based upon the weather and the fact that the running game still lacks in Green Bay especially against a defense that will stop you dead in your tracks even if your the best RB in the league. He still put up solid numbers last week and he can only go up from here on out.

Peyton Manning (DEN) MKT: 6.6

Ok I'll be the first to admit at the start of the fantasy season I totally overlooked this guy based upon what I heard and than formed a biased opinion because of his injury. I was wrong. Along with everyone else who didn't gamble on him. Manning put up huge numbers this year and it's only going to continue into the playoffs. He throws well under pressure and he's still got a healthy receiving core to throw to. I don't even think Ray Lewis has an answer for him. If anyone can put up higher numbers this week than Rodgers it'll be Manning.

  • Alternate QB:

    • Colin Kaepernick (SFO) MKT: 6.0
      • This guy was just a fantasy stud after coming off the bench when Alex Smith got injured. I had him in my regular season pool and as a backup to Stafford he proved to be great. I think he faces a decent Green Bay defense and I know he has no playoff experience but the same went with RG3 and Wilson and they put up decent numbers. Why not keep taking a chance with the first timers for playoffs?

Running Back Position:

Arian Foster (HOU) MKT: 6.1

Last week Foster put up very solid numbers against a better defense than New England. Now he gets to face them. He is the core of the Texans offense and will continue to see a major workload during these playoffs. I think it would be silly to not start him even against a team like New England. What's the worst that could happen? He could up huge fantasy numbers and the Texans might not even win but we don't need them to win, we just need him to put up numbers.

Frank Gore (SFO) MKT: 5.6

With the passing game in San Francisco somewhat better, you have to remember it's always in question. Gore is still going to be leaned on heavily especially since it's the playoffs. I expect him to put numbers both on the ground and in the air. He has the experience and he has the talent. As far as the running situation this week, I'd rather my other back be going against Green Bay than any other team playing this weekend.

  • Alternate RB:

    • Michael Turner (ATL) MKT: 5.3
      • He may be getting older but this old dog can still run the ball well. He'll be going up against the Seattle defense which I normally would say no too but I think they will be concentrating all day on Roddy White and Julio Jones. He will definitely put up some decent numbers for you this week and will still get quite the workload because it is the playoffs.

Wide Receiver Position:

Demaryius Thomas (DEN) MKT: 5.5

With Peyton Manning throwing the ball around like he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league it's hard not to choose this guy. He put up solid numbers this year and managed to stay healthy enough to do it. He was one of the reasons I won my pool. With the Bronco's in contention for the Superbowl this year I think I will definitely start him for the rest of the playoffs as long as he remains consistent and of course if the Bronco's continue to win.

Wes Welker (NWE) MKT: 5.4

So picking a second receiver this week was harder than I thought. Welker wasn't on my list for the regular season but this isn't the regular season anymore. With the playoffs here Brady is going to be going with what works. I think if anybody is going to put up numbers this week it's going to be this guy. Welker has the experience and he has the talent and Houston won't stop the passing game one bit. For the value it's a perfect choice.

  • Alternate WR:

    • Michael Crabtree (SFO) MKT: 5.2
      • Why not? He finished with I think his best season and with him and Kaepernick having some of the best chemistry I've seen it's hard not to choose him. Besides Gore, this will be the second threat in San Francisco this weekend. He will be busy all day and he will find a way to get into the end zone regardless of the defense he's up against.

Tight End Position:

Aaron Hernandez (NWE) MKT: 5.1

Only reason I'm avoiding Gronkowski this week is because he's coming back from injury and because I know it'll bite me in the ass if I choose him. Hernandez is just as good and he will receive the same workload as Gronk. Start him with confidence and you will reap the rewards.

  • Alternate TE:

    • Owen Daniels (HOU) MKT: 4.7
      • I'm giving you another TE this weekend because the pickings are far better than last week. Daniels saw a lot of action and he could of snagged more points if he found the end zone. Expect the same this week as he is playing a team that generally gives up a lot of points, and he might even find the end zone this week once or maybe twice...

Kicker Position:

Matt Prater (DEN) MKT: 3.9

So many choices this week but with this guy I think you'll be safe this week. Manning will put up points and he will kick he extra points. I expect a few drives to not convert for a touchdown so you'll see a couple field goals and Prater will be right there for you and won't disappoint.

  • Alternate K:

    • Matt Bryant (ATL) MKT: 4.0
      • Atlanta scares me a little because I think there will be a lot of drives where they won't find the end zone but will manage to get up field far enough to kick a field goal. Bryant has a huge chance to put up solid numbers this week so if your looking for a gamble, I think this guy is the choice.

Team Defense Position:

Denver Broncos MKT: 4.7

This is the logical choice. They've had a great year and their all still healthy. I expect Flacco to get sacked at least 3 times and you will see at least 2 pick sixes. It's a bold statement I know but I'm impressed with the way they've played all year and I'm not expecting it to stop now. I'm saying this is my definite lock as I can't see the Ravens going any further this year than they have. The Bronco's have just impressed me that much.

  • Alternate DEF:

    • Seattle Seahawks MKT: 4.8
      • Out of all the match ups I will say this is a shot in the dark. It'll be a high scoring weekend but if anything, this should be the lowest scoring game. Plus the Seahawks have dominated defensively all year, I don't think you would be wrong and going with them this week if your just not a fan of the Bronco's defense.

So there you have it folks, I think this is another solid round of picks that could help you win your group and or get you closer to the top. You can mix and match but all these choices will and should keep you under the cap ESPN has in place. Good luck and we'll see you next week!