Playoff rankings: Wild card and beyond

Updated: January 5, 2011, 5:00 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Welcome to January, a time for new beginnings, a time to forget about the recently completed fantasy football season and prepare for ESPN's Gridiron Playoff Challenge, our playoff challenge game in which everyone can pick a pair of quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers plus a tight end, kicker and defense using standard fantasy scoring in a salary cap-style format. It's fun and it's free, and really, how many things can we say that about these days?

As per Januarys past, I have issued a pair of rankings below, the first for those drafting as though you cannot change players after the first few weekends, and the second for those that can. I will be competing in leagues of each type and, of course, following along and updating the rankings next week. Good luck to all, and Happy New Year!

Quarterbacks: Entire playoffs

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
3. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
5. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
8. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
9. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
10. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs
11. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
12. The Seattle Seahawks mess