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How to play playoff fantasy football

Sad that the fantasy football season is over? Have no fear. Fantasy playoffs are here!

Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills makes a pass against the Miami Dolphins in the first half at Bills Stadium on January 03, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs are set and that means it is time to set up your playoff fantasy football leagues. These kinds of leagues have gotten more popular Playoff fantasy technically works in the same way as fantasy for the regular season, but there are quite a few tweaks needed.

With a smaller playoff player pool, you will have fewer teams in a league so you can have big enough rosters to accommodate players who are eliminated with losses, but scoring will remain the same as your re-draft leagues. There are many iterations of fantasy playoff games on the internet, but if you are setting up your own, a traditional draft works fine.


A six team league with 14 player rosters is a good starting point. Roster construction can look like 2 QBs, 2 RBs, 4 WRs, 2 TEs, 2 Ks and 2 D/STs, but tweak to your preference. One major difference in setting up scoring will be to switch to a total points league with no lineup setting over a head-to-head league with weekly lineup changes. With such a short “season,” this way is fairer for all involved. We also don’t want to allow trading or waivers, as that defeats the purpose of drafting players we believe will last throughout the playoffs.


All active players on your team will accumulate points and whichever team has the most fantasy points at the end of the Super Bowl is the winner. That’s where playoff strategy kicks in when setting your draft rankings. Which teams have the best chance to play the most games? That question will drive your rankings, as a player on a one-and-done real-life team becomes dead weight on your fake team.


Another difference in playoff versus regular season fantasy is the importance of quarterbacks. In the regular season, you can often stream quarterbacks and find good matchups off the waiver wire, but in playoff fantasy you need to pick the best and most productive quarterbacks who also happen to be on teams you believe will make it deep into the playoffs. This year, we only have one bye week for each conference, so the Chiefs and Packers will be the only teams who miss a game. Of course, if they end up being the two teams in the Super Bowl, they get that game back.

We’ll have full playoff rankings for you this week with a few different strategies to look into for the playoffs. We’ll also have weekly rankings, as some games allow you to pick your teams for each week of the playoffs, but for my money, a full playoff league is the most interesting with some of those others thrown in for good measure.