The NFL schedule says that the postseason starts on January 9th, but the league isn’t fooling me. The playoffs started right around the time your fantasy league started it’s version of the playoffs. Teams are getting knocked out left and right and week 17 provides a win or go home scenario for a few teams.
We can call this the “Wild Weekend before Wild Card Weekend.”
1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-1)
The Chiefs have secured the number one seed in the AFC and will have a first round bye. Head coach Andy Reid has already said he will rest some of his players for week 17, but he wasn’t too willing to reveal who.
2. Green Bay Packers (12-3)
The Packers have won five straight games and are looking to lock up home field and a first round bye. Green Bay can clinch the number one seed with a win over Chicago or a Seattle loss.
3. Buffalo Bills (12-3)
A win over the Dolphins will give Buffalo the number two seed and home field advantage until the AFC title game.
4. New Orleans Saints (11-4)
After Alvin Kamara’s historic Christmas, New Orleans is looking to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Saints need a win and a Seattle win, coupled with a Green Bay loss to grab the number one seed in the NFC.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3)
Ben Roethlisberger will sit in week 17 and Mason Rudolph will get the start versus Cleveland.
6. Seattle Seahawks (11-4)
Seattle has a slim chance to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They need to defeat the 49ers and get losses from both New Orleans and Green Bay.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-5)
Tom Brady owns the month of December and moving to Tampa Bay didn’t stop that trend. The Buccaneers have won three straight games and finish the season with woeful Atlanta.
8. Baltimore Ravens (10-5)
Baltimore has won four straight games versus teams with that all have sub .500 records. The Ravens can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Bengals or a loss by Cleveland or Indianapolis.
9. Miami Dolphins(10-5)
The Raiders got dazzled by a little “Fitz-Magic” on Saturday and it’s left the Dolphins on the verge of the playoffs. Miami gets in with a win or a loss by either Cleveland, Baltimore, or Indianapolis.
10. Indianapolis Colts (10-5)
The Colts are currently on the outside looking in. They need a win and some help to make the playoffs. They could finish as high as the fourth seed and AFC South Champion.
11. Tennessee Titans (10-5)
Even after snapping a two game winning streak, Tennessee looks like a lock for the postseason. With a win over Houston or a Colts’ loss, Tennessee can clinch the AFC South title.
12. Cleveland Browns (10-5)
Cleveland has a bunch of scenarios that could clinch their playoff spot. The easiest way is to beat Pittsburgh or Indianapolis losing. There’s a few more combinations of instances that could push the Browns into the postseason.
13. Los Angeles Rams (9-6)
The Rams can clinch a playoff spot with a win or a Bears’ loss. They’ll have to do it with backup quarterback John Wolford after Jared Goff received surgery for his thumb.
14. Arizona Cardinals (8-7)
If Arizona can defeat the Rams they’d put themselves into the playoffs. There’s some questions surrounding Kyler Murray’s health for that game.
15. Chicago Bears (8-7)
Mitchell Trubisky can become the Bears’ savior after being benched earlier in the season. All Chicago needs to do is beat division rival Green Bay and they’re in the playoffs.
16. Las Vegas Raiders (7-8)
The Raiders slim playoff hopes were dashed by the loss to the Dolphins. There’s some minor rumblings about the job Jon Gruden is doing, but there’s no change coming anytime soon.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (6-9)
The Chargers have been on a hot streak for the last three weeks. The team may have saved head coach Anthony Lynn’s job after a few bad losses earlier in the season put him in jeopardy.
18. Washington Football Team (6-9)
Washington can punch their ticket to the postseason by defeating the Eagles and winning the division.
19. Dallas Cowboys (6-9)
Dallas has won three straight games to put themselves in a decent position to grab the NFC East. If Washington loses their game, Dallas can secure the division title with a win.
20. San Francisco 49ers (6-9)
The 49ers’ Super Bowl hangover season has finally come to the end. Kyke Shanahan will no doubt get back to the drawing board and see where he can improve the team.
21. Minnesota Vikings (6-9)
At one point Minnesota was 6-6 with a shot at a playoff spot. Three losses later and we’re talking about a team that could make major changes in the offseason.
22. New England Patriots (6-9)
The Patriots got their helmets handed to them by division champ Buffalo on Monday night. Bill Belichick will play the (suddenly hot) Jets in week 17 and then become a spectator for the playoffs.
23. Denver Broncos (5-10)
Denver has lost four out of five games and they finish their season with a pretty ticked off Raiders squad.
24. New York Giants (5-10)
The Giants need a Washington loss and a win over Dallas to secure the NFC East title. This is their only course into the playoffs.
25. Carolina Panthers (5-10)
Carolina has forced 22 turnovers this season, ranking them fifth in the NFL. The four they forced against Washington matched a season high.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (4-10-1)
Cincinnati has won two games in a row, scoring a total of 64 points. They can play spoiler by putting a major monkey wrench in the Ravens’ playoff chances.
27. Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1)
The Eagles can play spoiler by defeating Washington and knocking them out of playoff contention. They’ll need to play better defense then their last two games, where they’ve given up 70 total points.
28. Detroit Lions (5-10)
Detroit has one of the worst defenses in the NFL and have now given up the most points in the league. Will long time quarterback Matthew Stafford remain in Detroit for another season?
29. Atlanta Falcons (4-11)
The Falcons will finish up their season versus the Buccaneers and then there will be a bunch of stuff to sort through.
30. Houston Texans (4-11)
Houston will have to get aggressive in the offseason to add talent to this team. It will start with a talented head coach and then a plethora of positions that need to be filled.
31. New York Jets (2-13)
The Jets have suddenly become hot, winning two games in a row. They have forced three turnovers on defense and the offense has zero turnovers during the streak.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-14)
The Jacksonville losing streak has been pushed to 14 games with no daylight in sight. The Jaguars have secured the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.