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How to Create an NFL Playoff Pool

By Craig Berman

Playoff pools only increase the level of interest in the NFL postseason, and anyone wanting to organize one has several options to choose from. Asking participants to predict which teams will advance tests them on their ability to determine the squads best built for the postseason. Player pools take the excitement of a head-to-head fantasy football season and translates that to something that works well on the road to the Super Bowl.

Picking Winners

The NFL playoffs don’t lend themselves to bracket games, since the league reseeds the teams after every round. The lowest seed in each conference always faces the top-ranked team scheduled to play each week. You can still request that each entrant pick winners in advance of the playoffs kicking off, creating her own bracket to reflect her prediction. Another option is a survivor pool, where each player selects two teams during the wild-card round, and one team for every round after that. As long as a participant's team wins, she stays in the competition. The catch? A team can be picked just one time over the course of the playoffs. Anyone selecting the top-seeded team early in the playoffs could be out of luck by Super Bowl Sunday.

Fantasy Teams

Fantasy football entertains millions of fans throughout the regular season, and with some modifications it works for the playoffs as well. Everyone picks a lineup of players at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, kicker and defense, and scores points based on the stats that each puts up. Instead of having each week be a head-to-head battle, however, set the competition to run through the entire playoffs. That adds an additional amount of strategy, since owners have to consider how many games each possible pick will likely play to determine its value. A top-ranked running back on a lower-seeded team may not provide the overall points of a solid backup on the predicted Super Bowl champion.

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