Playoff leagues: Ranking the divisional round

Updated: January 19, 2010, 10:26 AM ET
By Eric Karabell
We love shootouts in the fantasy football world, and although I was heavy on the Green Bay Packers in my playoff rankings a week ago, at least they went down fighting. At least I'd call 45 points, the weekend's top quarterback performance and helpful numbers from many others pretty good. Now it's the Arizona Cardinals who take to the road to face another team not exactly known for playing strong defense. Could the Cardinals and New Orleans Saints put up 96 points and carry fantasy owners in our Gridiron Playoff Challenge? I certainly think that of all four games, this one could do it.

What's nice about the Gridiron Playoff Challenge is that even if you fielded a team full of Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots last week, you can pick all new players for this week. Both my quarterbacks are playing golf right about now, as are a running back, wide receiver and tight end. Yet my entry scored 147 points, good for the 90th percentile. Then again, my rank is 32,151. That puts things into harsher perspective!

I didn't rank Kurt Warner well last week, mainly because I thought the Packers would flash the defense they showed for much of the regular season and ultimately win the game. This week I'm also skeptical of the Cardinals' chances to win, but Warner ranks well on my list for statistical purposes because he should be able to make this game a shootout. Another reason he ranks well is the AFC games should be low-scoring. Look up Peyton Manning's numbers in the playoffs; those games generally are not shootouts.