Welcome to the "Original" Dynasty Rankings Fantasy Football Blog

This blog was born out of a Dynasty Rankings thread originally begun in October, 2006 at the Footballguys.com message boards. The rankings in that thread and the ensuing wall-to-wall discussion of player values and dynasty league strategy took on a life of its own at over 275 pages and 700,000 page views. The result is what you see in the sidebar under "Updated Positional Rankings": a comprehensive ranking of dynasty league fantasy football players by position on a tiered, weighted scale. In the tradition of the original footballguys.com Dynasty Rankings thread, intelligent debate is welcome and encouraged.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Draft Weekend Dynasty Risers

A sad list this season with no Randy Moss impact types being dealt, and not much in the way of a dominant offensive influx overall.

1. Jason Campbell, QB, WAS - He's been a divisive dynasty entity over the past couple of years, with his supporters hailing him as the next great young QB and his detractors pointing out his lack of consistency and limited ceiling. Having to learn yet another system under another offensive coordinator may necessitate a period of adjustment, but adding three talented early round picks like Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, and Fred Davis helps stabilize his long-term value.

2. JaMarcus Russell, QB, OAK - The offensive cupboard looked awfully bare when Russell was chosen first overall last spring, but the Raiders have since upgraded the O-Line, brought in a talented young tight end in Zach Miller, two wild card wide receivers in Javon Walker and Drew Carter, and now an explosive running back in Darren McFadden. Russell still has a steep learning curve, but at least he has some firepower at his disposal.

3. Anthony Fasano, TE, MIA - A high round tight end hand-picked by Bill Parcells and then stuck behind Jason Witten for two years, Fasano is a what they call in Rotisserie baseball a "post-hype sleeper." New Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning emphasizes the tight end, and Fasano fits the combo pass catcher/run blocker that can flourish in his offense.

4. Thomas Jones, RB, NYJ - The Jets newly upgraded offensive line was ready to support a bounce-back season, but the McFadden question loomed over Jones owners' heads until the #4 pick in the draft. He will still be replaced by Leon Washington in the passing game -- and he still has just a one or two year window at best -- but Jones should see a natural uptick in touchdowns this season.

5. Lee Evans, WR, BUF - Which has been more problematic for Evans: the failure of his quarterbacks to get him the ball consistently, or the failure of the Bills to address the anemic options lining up at wide receiver and tight end to take some of the defensive attention away? Trent Edwards may not have the googly eyes for Evans the way Losman did, but the addition of Hardy should be a significant boon for Evans' production going forward.

6. Marvin Harrison, WR, IND - Amidst the conflicting reports about Harrison's nebulous knee injuries, the Colts gave a sizable hint about their star receiver's health when they neglected the position in the draft. If Indy is wholly unconcerned with Harrison's health, doesn't that make him a candidate for a comeback season in 2008? This is a player worth gambling on for the right price.

7. Rudi Johnson, RB, CIN / Edgerrin James, RB, ARI - Both running backs were in danger of being cut when the off-season began, and both teams were allegedly looking hard at addressing the position early in the draft. As it stands now both vets resume their role as starting running backs, but beware of the committee approach rearing its ugly head once the games begin.

8. Ahman Green / Chris Brown, RB, HOU - Houston Chronicle beat writer John McClain never wavered in his insistence that the Texans would overlook the stud running backs in this draft, but that didn't stop the mockers from pegging Houston as a landing spot for Stewart, Mendenhall, or one of the second tier backs. Instead, the Texans selected a third down, change of pace back in Slaton and fully intend to go forward with Ahman Green as the starter and Chris Brown as the fall-back option.

9. Trent Edwards, QB, BUF - Edwards stood to gain some value simply by sealing his role as the starter and enjoying new offensive coordinator Turk Schonert's vow to open the offense and allow more leeway at the line of scrimmage. Still, if ever there was an offense lacking in firepower, it was the Bills. Adding a playmaker like Hardy allows the offense to open up and gives Edwards a legit redzone threat.

10. Jay Cutler, QB, DEN - The pickins are getting slim for draft weekend risers, so I'll throw in a player who was going be desperate enough to have to rely on the Keary Colbert Rebirth as recently as a month ago. Since that time, the Broncos have added Samie Parker, Darrell Jackson, and now second round sleeper Eddie Royal. Jackson and Brandon Stokley join Brandon Marshall and Tony Scheffler for the 2008 mix while Royal helps to insure the future against another D-Jax flop or Stokley injury.

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Quote of the Day | April 30, 2008: Fools Believe in Oracles

A follow up to yesterday's Feet of Clay quote regarding false prophets. This one from Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris drama c. 414 BC:

The wisest men follow their own direction
And listen to no prophet guiding them.
None but the fools believe in oracles,
Forsaking their own judgment. Those who know,
Know that such men can only come to grief.

Tags: Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris, faith

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Quote of the Day | April 29, 2008: Theology to Justify a Craving

From British psychiatrist Anthony Storr's 1997 study of gurus, Feet of Clay: Saints, Sinners, and Madmen:

Koresh, like Jones, deteriorated mentally. He took a variety of vitamins and herbal remedies to cure what he called impotence, but drugs cannot be blamed for the development of his delusions as they can in the case of Jones. He was less obviously a confidence trickster than Jones; but when Breault was asked whether Koresh really believed what he was teaching or was just a con man, Breault replied: "I think a little of both. Vernon gets a craving. Then he finds the theology to justify that craving. When others buy into his doctrine, he starts believing it himself."

Tags: Storr, Koresh, Jim Jones, faith

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Draft Weekend Dynasty Tumblers


1. Willie Parker, RB, PIT - I had already soured on him when it became obvious mid-way through last season that the Steelers no longer considered him a workhorse running back of vintage Pittsburgh style. He had already lost third down and short yardage work, and now they go and draft one of the "Big 3" backs to take a major chunk out of his carries. By late Saturday afternoon, Parker went from my "stay far away" list to "basically unstartable". This year's Chester Taylor?

2. DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR - It appeared to be about 50/50 going into the weekend whether D-Willy would retain startable value for dynasty leaguers. If the Panthers bypassed a talented early round back, he had a window of opportunity to show his skill-set. As it stands now, Williams' career may come and go without ever having a chance to carry the load in a full-time capacity. With his short yardage bugaboos and trouble in pass protection, one wonders if Stewart's presence will remainder him to a more Leon Washington-like change of pace role.

3. Justin Fargas, RB, OAK - Fargas has been a sell high all off-season, but that was even before the Raiders grabbed McFadden. Turns out you should have sold for whatever scant value you could get your hands on. Fargas is likely to still have a role in the Raiders offfense, but the McFadden pick leaves him without a role on your dynasty roster.

4. Michael Bush, RB, OAK - His best hope before the draft was to knock Fargas out of the way this season and become the Raiders workhorse running back. His best hope now is to eventually end up as the thunder to McFadden's lightning, but how much is that worth in fantasy leagues?

5. LenDale White, RB, TEN - You could argue that Chris Johnson actually helps BakeSale by opening up the field and removing predictability from the Titans offense. I'm not buying it. The Titans are far from sold on White, and they realize he lacks explosiveness. He will continue to leak rushing attempt numbers, and Johnson could steal the lion's share of the backfield touches as soon as this season.

6. Cedric Benson, RB, CHI - By all rights he could be higher on this list if you believed he still had significant dynasty league value, but that "Benson Value" ship sailed for me early last season. Once you realized he had no future as a starting running back, Benson didn't have much at stake this weekend. Still, Forte will easily nudge him to the sidelines and eventually to the chopping block.

7. John Beck, QB, MIA - He never looked like a future starter to me, but Sparano said some nice things about him early this off-season. As soon as it looked like he may recoup some value, the new regime comes in and hand-picks Henne as their own man to lead the new Dolphins.

8. Marion Barber III, RB, DAL - I don't want to go overboard here. Barber is still eminently startable, but he's not going to be that workhorse back that many were hoping for. Instead, he's likely to continue seeing the same workload as years past. Grabbing both Jones and Choice may be a red flag about Barber's Dallas future if the two sides can't come to a compromise on a long-term deal.

9. Chris Henry, RB, TEN - That was quick. After reaching for Henry last draft, the Titans grabbed his replacement in this draft. It was thought that Henry might take over the third down role this season, but you're going to have squint pretty hard to see a sliver of dynasty value now.

10. Donald Driver, WR, GB - He just got old quickly. First he loses the only quarterback he's ever had, the one who consistently looked for old reliable Driver all over the field, now the team adds yet another talented young receiver to the fold. He may not be getting pushed out yet, but it's coming soon.

11. Willis McGahee, RB, BAL - Ray Rice is a pretty good football player, and he's going to see the field more than Musa Smith did. McGahee doesn't have to worry about Rice usurping his job anytime soon, but he's never been an ideal third down back while Rice has the skills to work his way in situationally. An in-season McGahee injury could open the door just enough for Rice to start earning a greater share of future playing time.

12. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB - It doesn't have to be as bad as it may appear. The Packers coaching staff and front office believe Rodgers is ready to take over and flourish with this team, and they've surrounded him with a plethora of weapons to help ensure success. If he hits the ground running and stays healthy, Brohm will be in for a Brady Quinn-like future of clipboard holding. But if Rodgers stumbles out of the gate or gets injured once again, Brohm is good enough to pull a Trent Edwards/J.P. Losman redux.

13. Martin Gramatica, K, NO - Never the most reliable kicker, but he was intriguing as a domer in a high octane offense. The drafting of Mehlhaff leaves Gramatica's future in doubt once again and will likely push him into the traveling tryout circuit with Vanderjagt and Carney.

14. Chris Baker, TE, NYJ - Baker wasn't anybody's idea of a star tight-end, but quite a few owners saw him as an improving player who was gradually working his way more and more into the Jets offense. Keller's presence leaves Baker as something less than a TE2, which means he's a worthless dynasty entity at his age.

15. Troy Smith, QB, BAL - It was conceivable that Smith's leadership and game-managing skills would give him an opportunity for a year to show the Ravens whether he could be the answer or not, but a first round quarterback kills that buzz.

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Quote of the Day | April 28, 2008: Shooting From Behind Bulletproof Glass

From Dave Eggers' 2000 bestseller A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius:

"Yes, but it's the way you'll tell her, the way you'll sort of shame her, mentioning that not only did your parents die of cancer, your father had lung cancer, but that you don't want the smoke around your little brother, blah blah, and it's the way you'll say it, you'll want to make this poor woman feel like a leper, particularly because she rolls her own cigarettes, which even I admit is kind of doubly sad, but see, you want her to feel like a pariah, like a lower form of life, because that's what, deep down, you feel she is, what you feel anyone tethered to any addiction is.

And now you feel that you have the moral authority to pass judgment on these people, that because of your recent experiences, you can expound on anything, you can play the conquering victim, a role that gives you power drawn from sympathy and disadvantage -- you can now play the dual role of product of privilege and disenfranchised Job. Because we get Social Security and live in a messy house with ants and holes in the floorboards you like to think of us as lower class, that now you know the struggles of the poor -- how dare you! -- but you like that stance, that underdog stance, because it increases your leverage with other people. You can shoot from behind bulletproof glass."

Tags: Eggers, AHWOSG

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Quote of the Day | April 27, 2008: The Human Understanding

Best known as an advocate and defender of the scientific revolution, British philosopher, statesman, and essayist Sir Francis Bacon produced this gem from his 1620 Novum Organum:

The human understanding is no dry light, but receives infusion from the will and affections; whence proceed sciences which may be called "sciences as one would." For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections color and infect the understanding.

Tags: Francis Bacon, science

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Quick Note on Draft Day Rankings

I brought the rankings pages back up to the top of the blog and updated them through the beginning of today's draft. I won't, however, be making changes all throughout the first and second rounds because I won't be around later this afternoon/evening. I'll try to update at the end of the night after the first couple of rounds are over, then I'll update again tomorrow night.

For those of you stopping by looking for immediate feedback, check out Rotoworld's Gregg Rosenthal's live draft blog today.

Sunday night update: All of the relevant draft picks have been slotted into the rankings. I didn't have time for comments on each player but at least they're in there. I hope to do a Draft Weekend Dynasty Risers/Fallers list if time permits this week.

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Quarterback Rankings: Draft Day 2008


[100] Peyton Manning IND 32.5 - With Clark re-signed and Gonzalez ready to step up if Marvin doesn't snap back, Manning's consistency trumps Brady's career year
[99] Tom Brady NE 31.1 - Remains the NFL's best QB; Moss' return guarantees another great season, but Brady is not going to hit 50 TDs again
[95] Ben Roethlisberger PIT 26.5 - Easily the 3rd best QB in the NFL and may bypass one of the Big Two in the next couple of years

[89] Tony Romo DAL 28.4 - Will move up if DAL brings in a talented WR; two straight disappointing playoff performances and an over-reliance on T.O. leave room for doubt about level of future dominance
[88] Drew Brees NO 29.6 - Should be good for a consistent 4,000 yards and 25-30 TDs every year for the next few years, but what's with the Saints re-signing their own dreck at WR & TE the past couple of weeks?
[88] Carson Palmer CIN 28.7 - Can he bounce all the way back from an extremely disappointing season? He and Chad are bickering while talented thug Chris Henry is banished.
[84] Donovan McNabb PHI 31.7 - I've seen guys like Eli Manning & Phil Rivers ranked ahead of him, in which case McNabb is the ideal buy low candidate for dynasty leaguers
[77] Jay Cutler DEN 25.3 - Impressive YPA & completion numbers bode very well for future; would have liked to have seen a better acquisition than Keary Colbert, but Scheffler & Marshall form a very nice duo

[63] Vince Young TEN 25.3 - Deserved a better fate last season after seeing a freakish number of TDs called back due to penalty, drops by a lousy receiving crew, or poor route running/miscommunication. Still has plenty of upside and the possibility of a true break-out season if the light flips on with improved weaponry
[63] Derek Anderson CLE 25.2 - A window to make his mark as the Browns' franchise QB with the addition of Stallworth as a #3 weapon behind Edwards & Winslow; slightly worrisome word out of the Columbus Dispatch is that Anderson's 2009 bonus could essentially make his new contract a one-year deal if he doesn't play up to expectations
[62] Matt Schaub HOU 27.2 - He's going to have to stay healthy for all 16 games to shake the injury concerns, but there's a lot to like here. The YPA & completion percentage were very promising, so he just needs to find Johnson & Daniels in the end zone more often to take the next step to reliable #1 as opposed to an aspiring Bulger
[62] Marc Bulger STL 31.4 - Al Saunders and an improved O-Line could bring production back in line with career norms, but don't expect many TDs; deteriorating receiving crew is worrisome.
[60] David Garrard JAX 30.5 - A much better QB than commonly believed, but he's not likely to surpass last year's passing quality. If the running game slips from true dominance, does Garrard's production see an uptick from the increased attempts or do the passing lanes start to close with the defense no longer selling out against the run?
[60] Eli Manning NYG 27.6 - The 64,000 Question: Did the epiphany occur in the last 6 weeks, or was it simply the flip-side of an inconsistent QB hitting a hot streak? I believe the latter, and I can't see how even a true believer can feel comfortable relying on a streaky, inconsistent Eli as a QB1 going forward
[57] #Philip Rivers SD 26.8 - Good news and bad news: The good news is that Rivers finally delivered consistently under pressure once the playoffs started. The bad news is that he showed flashes of David Carr happy feet and lack of arm strength during the season. Even worse, the ACL injury he suffered happened later in the season than Daunte Culpepper's, Carson Palmer's, and Donovan McNabb's . . . all of whom were much better QBs and struggled considerably in their first season back from injury. Why would we expect Rivers to do anything but disappoint in '08?
[56] Matt Leinart ARI 25.3 - High risk, high reward; after Warner's performance, there's going to be pressure to perform well right from the start. But if he does, he could easily see a 25 TD, 3700 yard season.
[55] Matt Hasselbeck SEA 33.0 - Who is he going to be throwing to this year? With the Seahawks making an effort to upgrade the running game, he can't count on abnormally high passing attempt numbers again; I'm staying far away from Hass this season.

[39] Aaron Rodgers GB 24.8 - Legit concern that he's been injury-prone in limited duty, but the pieces are already in place for him to succeed; just as importantly, he has both his coach and his GM glowing about his vast improvement over the past year
[38] Jason Campbell WAS 26.6 - It would be foolish not to count on an adjustment period to the West Coast Offense and a new coaching staff; I think we've all seen him look very poised at times and extremely underwhelming at other times, so it will be interesting to watch his growth throughout '08. Remember the Losman/Grossman Effect: young QBs don't always get better
[37] JaMarcus Russell OAK 23.1 - Top of the line arm, perfect size, prodigious talent, but the footwork was an absolute mess and questions persist about his decision making; his career could go either way, and unfortunately, Oakland isn't exactly the ideal proving ground for a developing QB right now
[31] Brady Quinn CLE 23.9 - Word out of the Columbus Dispatch is that Derek Anderson's $5M bonus before next season basically makes the 2-QB system a one year experiment. Quinn could definitely exploit an opening if Anderson doesn't show himself to be the Browns franchise QB in '08. The future is uncertain, but one of the two Browns QBs is likely to be starting elsewhere next season
[30] Matt Ryan ATL 23.3®
[29] #Jake Delhomme CAR 33.6 - Would make for the ideal throw-in on a larger deal if you believe he'll fully recover from Tommy John surgery; job security issues damage his long-term dynasty value, but he could recoup quite a bit of value in '08 with a more explosive offense featuring the always special Steve Smith plus the move to DeAngelo Williams at RB, and the additions of D.J. Hackett & Muhsin Muhammad
[27] Trent Edwards BUF 24.9 - Positive marks for poise, smarts, and an ability to lead an offense, but he needs to take a major step forward in playmaking and consistency; an upgrade in weapons would be nice as new OC Schonert plans to open up the passing game
[26] Drew Stanton DET 24.4 - Jon Kitna will be on a much shorter leash, so expect Stanton to get a chance at some point in '08; if Calvin Johnson & Roy Williams remain in DET, Stanton makes for a very intriguing high upside pet project

[16] Kellen Clemens NYJ 25.3 - Jets have nicely revamped a previously problematic offensive line and may be the favorites to land Darren McFadden. With an O-Line and a friendly running game, Clemens will be better able to get the ball to Coles & Cotchery.
[16] Tarvaris Jackson MIN 25.4 - If---big IF---Tarvaris can put it together, Berrian and a more experienced Sidney Rice offer some intriguing potential. I just can't get over the fact that he's the exact opposite of what the current Vikings franchise needs in a QB
[15] Brian Brohm GB 22.9®
[15] Kevin Kolb PHI 24.0 - The new Matt Schaub? The new Aaron Rodgers? Either way, his value likely depends substantially on your league's roster size. He's a very nice stash as long as you realize he's a roster ornament for at least another year. Hope for one of the following: in-season injury to McNabb, a post-2008 McNabb trade, or Kolb becomes the new Schaub-like savior for a QB desperate franchise
[14] Chad Henne MIA 23.2®
[13] #Alex Smith SF 24.3 - Two of his three NFL seasons have produced historically bad performances. I don't think he beats Shaun Hill in a fair competition, but the 49ers have a lot invested here
[12] Joe Flacco BAL 23.7®
[12] Shaun Hill SF 28.7 - More of a game-manager type than Martz' previous QBs, but he does offer athleticism, a quick release, and the ability to lead an offense. There's some upside here, and if he beats out Alex Smith for the starting job, the whole 49er offense should receive a boost in value
[11] Josh Johnson TB 22.4®
[10] Jon Kitna DET 36.0 - Still has a window on '08 value with playmakers Calvin Johnson & Roy Williams, but his margin for error is razor-thin with Stanton waiting in the wings . . . and Kitna is never a strong bet to defeat his margin of error

[8] Kurt Warner ARI 37.3 - Simply put, he needs Leinart to fall on his face in the pre-season. Warner threw up valuable fantasy numbers the last 12 games of '07 and can do it again if given the opportunity
[7] Chad Pennington NYJ [T] 32.2 - Due a hefty bonus and salary this season, so the onus is on the Jets to find a taker. It's simply not practical to have a backup QB making that kind of scratch
[6] John David Booty MIN 23.7®
[6] Brodie Croyle KC 25.5 - If Grossman is odious, then Croyle is, of course, appallingly bad. The Chiefs are seriously deluded if he starts week one
[5] Matt Moore CAR 24.1 - Looked decent in late season action . . . certainly better than any CAR backups of the past two seasons
[5] Daunte Culpepper UFA 31.6 - The opportunity isn't likely to be forthcoming (nor should it be), but Culpepper makes for a nice high-upside, albeit longshot, stash. Better to carry a longshot with high upside than a player you will never use even if he does get an opportunity to play
[5] Jeff Garcia TB 38.5 - He's a better NFL than fantasy QB at this stage of his career and a poor bet at age 38 to stay as healthy and productive as last season
[3] Luke McCown TB 27.2 - The better of the Passing McCown Brothers has flashed some interesting ability in small doses. Would have to beat out Griese to get on the field this season, but this McCown could conceivably have a future as a starter down the road
[3] Kyle Orton CHI 25.8 - Plucky. That's it. That's the list. OK, neckbeard. That's on the list too. Woe are the Bears
[3] Rex Grossman CHI 28.0 - Come on. He's simply odious. Before last season, I called him a "turnover prone, inconsistent, inaccurate headcase." I was feeling nice that day
[3] John Beck MIA 27.1 - Thoroughly unimpressive in a 4-game rookie trial. It remains to be seen if he'll be given the reigns to start '08, but either way there's not going to be much of a grace period

[2] J.P. Losman BUF [T] 27.5 - It's getting awfully late in the game for Losman to find a starting opportunity via trade. His best bet for value would be KC, ATL, MIN, or BAL
[2] Sage Rosenfels HOU [T] 30.5 - The Practically Perfect Backup QB could pick up some value if traded to MIN, but will certainly drop a tier if he remains in Houston
[2] Andre Woodson NYG 24.4®
[2] Seneca Wallace SEA 28.1 - Could put up interesting fantasy numbers if ever given a shot at regular playing time
[2] Kevin O'Connell NE 23.5®
[2] Dennis Dixon PIT 23.7®
[2] Byron Leftwich UFA 28.6 - I still say he can help several teams around the league as a starting QB. For all of the talk about the long windup, he's long been a low turnover QB without a sack problem
[2] Damon Huard KC 35.2 - He's no great shakes, but he's a hell of a lot better than Brodie Croyle; with the Chiefs far from contending mode, Huard is stuck in No Man's Land
[2] *Michael Vick ATL [x] 28.2 - How large is your roster?
[2] Colt Brennan WAS 25.0®
[2] Brian Griese TB 33.5 - Will battle Luke McCown to see who starts once Garcia gets injured
[2] Billy Volek SD 32.4 - Fantasy leaguers keep insisting that he must be passing up better opportunities elsewhere; but what are the chances NFL GMs are as fond of his game as fantasy owners are?
[2] Trent Green STL 38.2 - Decent shot at Kurt Warner-like startable value if Bulger goes down, but keep in mind any value would be of the fleeting variety
[2] Troy Smith BAL 24.2 - Not ready yet to help an offense put up consistent points, but he has shown impressive field general abilities. Still raw, but may get a shot to sink or swim with McNair retiring
[2] Chris Redman ATL 31.2 - Last man standing could be a band-aid for a year, but I don't think the Falcons are done shopping quite yet
[2] Kyle Boller BAL 27.3 - Has failed and failed again to generate offense. Poor man's Rex Grossman lacks the headcase nature but also the playmaking ability

[1] Tyler Thigpen KC 24.4
[1] Cleo Lemon JAX 29.1
[1] Todd Collins WAS 36.8
[1] Erik Ainge NYJ 22.3®
[1] Josh McCown MIA 29.2 - Seen as strictly a backup as opposed to Beck's competition
[1] Quinn Gray HOU 29.3 - Another long release guy, this one comes with major accuracy & consistency issues but possesses all the physical tools; could end up in GB as Rodgers' backup
[1] Gus Frerotte MIN 37.2
[1] #Chris Simms TB [x] 28.0
[1] Patrick Ramsey DEN 29.5
[1] Charlie Whitehurst SD 26.1
[1] Kerry Collins TEN 35.7
[1] A.J. Feeley PHI 31.3
[1] Charlie Frye SEA 27.0
[1] Matt Cassel NE 26.3
[1] Matt Flynn GB 23.3®
[1] Joey Harrington ATL 29.9
[1] #D.J. Shockley ATL 25.5
[1] Andrew Walter OAK 26.3
[1] Jim Sorgi IND 27.8
[1] Dan Orlovsky DET [R] 25.1
[1] Ryan Fitzpatrick CIN [R] 25.8
[1] Bruce Gradkowski TB 25.7
[1] J.T. O'Sullivan SF 29.0
[1] David Carr NYG 29.1

Draft Day Movers:
Moved JaMarcus Russell up
Moved Jason Campbell up
Moved Chris Redman down
Moved John Beck & Josh McCown down
Moved Troy Smith down
Moved Sage Rosenfels down
Moved Brodie Croyle up

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Running Back Rankings: Draft Day 2008


[100] Adrian Peterson MIN 23.5 - Simply the most talented player on the field
[98] Steven Jackson STL 25.1 - Rams & new offensive coordinator Al Saunders to build offense around multi-dimensional S-Jax
[98] LaDanian Tomlinson SD 29.2 - Have we seen the last of the truly dominant LT2? He may bounce back with a vengeance after all the flack he took for the Pats game, but it's tough to rank him higher at the crucial RB age of 29
[94] Brian Westbrook PHI 29.0 - Money in PPR leagues and still underrated, but injuries are a constant concern; is this offseason the time to flip him for a younger talent before it's too late?
[94] Frank Gore SF 25.2 - Talented, well-rounded, great job security, and in line to haul in a ton of receptions in Martz' offense which saw Marshall Faulk take his game to the next level
[90] Joseph Addai IND 25.3 - Safe call in the Colts offense, but is 300 touches per year his limit?
[89] Maurice Jones-Drew JAX 23.4 - One of the best players in the NFL and averages a TD per game even in limited touches; his time for Westbrook-like domination is coming like a freight train
[84] Marshawn Lynch BUF 22.4 - Should see his role expand on the heels of an impressive rookie season

[76] Clinton Portis WAS 27.0 - Something is askew here: his owners are constantly trying to deal him, but they also consider him an elite back. The problem is he's not quite the ideal RB1 that dynasty leaguers want to rely on, but it's increasingly difficult to trade him for an upgrade
[75] Darren McFadden OAK 21.0®
[74] Reggie Bush NO 23.5 - We have to accept the fact that he's not the dynamic homerun hitter he was hyped to be, but he's still gold in PPR leagues and was used at the goal-line while Deuce was injured
[73] Ryan Grant GB 25.7 - The Packers love his game, so there's no worry about job security any time soon; how will Favre's exit affect the value of the running game?
[71] Larry Johnson KC 28.8 - With the dwindling YPC, the 400+ carry season of '06, the foot injury, the perdition of what was once possibly the best O-Line in NFL history, and now a punchless Croyle-led offense, L.J. simply has too much going against him to return to '05-'06 form. Those days are gone
[69] Marion Barber III DAL 25.3 - He and Ronnie Brown have consistently given me the most trouble since I've started these rankings, and this offseason is no different. Barber's distinct strengths (runs hard, scores often, well-rounded) and weaknesses (runs too hard, likely to wear down with major increase in carries, could lead to short career, Cowboys likely to add a talented counterpart) make for a complex value judgment for dynasty leaguers
[69] #Ronnie Brown MIA 26.7 - Here's the crux of the problem: even with the advances of modern medical technology, no RB in history has returned as the same back immediately after ACL surgery. If Brown won't be truly himself again until '09, what's his dynasty value? Can he be counted on as a fantasy starter at all in '08? The answer to that last question is going to count for a lot in determining his value
[67] Willis McGahee BAL 26.9 - High marks in job security and consistent production, but the Ravens offense inspires so little faith
[67] Laurence Maroney NE 23.5 - It will be interesting to see if the Pats trust Maroney in short yardage after his success there late in the season; Maroney is a talented back in a great offense, but there are still legit concerns about his usage patterns in that offense

[60] Jonathan Stewart CAR 21.5®
[56] Rashard Mendenhall PIT 21.2®
[54] Jamal Lewis CLE 29.0 - Too many dynasty owners are writing off a talented back who is playing very well with fresh legs6 there aren't too many RBs around the league with this much job security and a guaranteed prominent role in a highly productive offense. Frankly, I probably have him too low as opposed to too high
[53] Michael Turner ATL 26.5 - Will be the Thunder to Norwood's Lightning in ATL, meaning Turner will get the early down and short-yardage work but will likely lose some value in the passing game. Will he find the end zone enough to make up for Norwood's production drain?
[47] Matt Forte CHI 22.7®
[46] Kevin Smith DET 21.7®
[45] Chris Johnson TEN 22.9®

[38] Brandon Jacobs NYG 26.2 - He will always face questions about staying healthy and being a bit of a novelty act, and now he has to contend with an Ahmad Bradshaw problem
[37] Felix Jones DAL 21.3®
[35] Ernest Graham TB 28.7 - Most of his value is going to be tied up in the 2008 season with the Bucs showing a definite interest in finding another reliable RB by hook or by crook; he can help you win now, but there's just not enough long-range value here
[33] Willie Parker PIT 27.8 - When you lose goal-line carries & 3rd down work, you lose a hefty portion of your fantasy value; I like FWP, but I've always sensed that the Steelers don't trust him to be a true workhorse
[31] Ahmad Bradshaw NYG 22.5 - I was eyeballing his game for weaknesses throughout the playoffs, but I didn't find any glaring ones; he may not be able to carry a full load, but the question is moot with Jacobs in front of him
[31] Pierre Thomas NO 23.7 - Like Willie Parker a couple of years ago, Thomas could capitalize on a huge Week 17 game to carve out a prominent role in his team's offense especially if Deuce's microfracture right knee and ACL left knee hold him back
[30] Ray Rice BAL 21.7®

[25] Julius Jones SEA 27.0 - 4/30/08 Update: Seahawks announce intention to use a committee attack in the backfield
[25] Thomas Jones NYJ 30.0 - With the Jets' re-vamped O-Line, he could move up a bit as long as the Jets don't draft a RB in the first couple of rounds; unfortunately, many suspect the Jets are the likely McFadden landing spot
[23] LenDale White TEN 23.7 - In addition to the dedication, weight, & maturity issues, BakeSale has picked up a couple more: (1) He's useless if the Titans are playing from behind and (2) The Titans are going to be continually on the lookout for a quality RB to pair with him and siphon production.
[23] Rudi Johnson CIN 28.9 - He looks like he's running on dead legs, but there's some chance his poor production was more the result of the hamstring injury than being washed up. Either way, he's reached the point where he could lose his job at a moment's notice . . . if he hasn't already
[22] DeAngelo Williams CAR 25.4 - Not likely to get regular goal-line work regardless, but if CAR stays with Toefield as his timeshare partner, Williams gets another spike in value. If they draft a talented back, the questions will linger
[20] Ryan Torain DEN 22.1®
[20] Edgerrin James ARI 30.1 - His goal-line & passing game production have already been taken away, and the Cardinals are now looking for his successor in the draft; still a possibility of being cut this spring/summer
[19] Jamaal Charles KC 21.7®
[18] Travis Henry DEN 29.8 - The definition of ethereal value; if stability is London, then Henry is Tokyo; Denver looks like a pure RBBC going into '08

[12] Chester Taylor MIN 29.0 - As valuable of a pure backup as any RB in the league, Taylor is still most valuable to Adrian Peterson owners; won't be a free agent until after the '09 season when he'll be almost 31-years-old
[10] Ricky Williams MIA 31.3 - Could be a good story here if Brown is slow to return to full health; after a couple of seasons away from football, Ricky should have fresh legs and is one of the few backups who can carry a full load if needed
[10] Selvin Young DEN 24.9 - Talented, explosive, and well-liked by his head coach, but he's never going to dominate the carries
[10] Jerious Norwood ATL 25.1 - As expected, Norwood won't be given an opportunity to shoulder the load in ATL; how valuable can be with limited touches?
[9] #Kenny Irons CIN 25.0 - There's definitely a window of opportunity in Cincinnati's backfield right now, but it's going to tough for Irons to exploit it at less than 100% in the year following ACL surgery
[9] #Kevin Jones UFA 26.0 - Won't be back by Week 1, will be less than 100% when he does play, will be injured quickly as soon as he does come back, and will likely be splitting carries wherever he winds up. What's the fantasy football equivalent of a "face for radio" or a "face only a mother could love"? A running back only an intractably twitterpated owner could love
[8] Fred Taylor JAX 32.6 - Has as much value as a 32-year-old, part-timer without goal-line and passing game opportunities can possibly have
[8] Ahman Green HOU 31.5 - Mistakenly regarded as washed up when he should more accurately be portrayed as a RB who can still play and play well but can't stay healthy under a full workload at this stage of his career
[8] Tatum Bell DET 27.5 - Currently the starting RB in Detroit, but that may change before long; didn't stop Tatum from predicting 1,300 yards & 15 TDs for himself this season
[8] Chris Brown HOU 27.4 - Picked a good situation with Texans' zone blocking scheme and no dominant RB in front of him, but Brown just can't be relied on as more than a committee back

[6] Leon Washington NYJ 26.0 - A homerun hitter, but just not physical enough to ever be more than a part-timer; his only hope for value is to catch enough passes to be useful in PPR leagues
[6] Mike Hart IND 22.4®
[6] Steve Slaton HOU 22.7®
[6] Derrick Ward NYG 28.1 - Looks like injury history scared off potential suitors, so he re-signs with Giants which dampens his value
[5] Justin Fargas OAK 28.6 - What are the chances he stays healthy and holds off all of the competition for his job throughout the whole season? Sell (relatively) high if it's not too late; McFadden to the Raiders at #4 is a concern, but for all of the talk about Al Davis' speed
[5] Michael Bush OAK 24.3 - Now that he's healthy, can he stay healthy? If so, he has a better chance to eat into Fargas' work than Rhodes or Jordan do; is he more of a time-share back or a guy who can carry the load in the future?
[5] Ladell Betts WAS 29.0 - Now more insurance for Portis as opposed to a backfield complement; startable in the event of a Portis injury but valueless in the meantime
[5] #Cedric Benson CHI [x] 25.7 - Injury prone, headcase RB lacking in explosiveness & receiving ability just lost a step he couldn't afford to lose and now likely to be splitting carries at best. Where do I sign up?
[5] [#]Cadillac Williams TB 26.4 - We've heard everything from "career's over" to "suiting up by week one." The most like scenario is that he'll start the season on the PUP list and will be a shadow of his former self once he does return . . . and truth be told his former self wasn't all that hot to begin with

[4] Sammy Morris NE 31.5 - Was a good fit in New England's offense, but Maroney stepped up when Morris was out with his sternum/clavicle injury; will he keep the short-yardage/goal-line work? Always a chance for an increased role with the whims of Belichick
fetish, he rarely takes skill position offensive players early in the first round.
[4] Tim Hightower ARI 22.3®
[4] Brandon Jackson GB 22.9 - Jackson owners who drafted him with a high rookie pick want to believe he could eventually win the job from Grant, but it's just not going to happen. Jackson is buried behind Grant, and he'll be lucky to get regular 3rd down duty
[4] Tashard Choice DAL 23.8®
[4] Kenny Watson CIN 30.6 - Too pedestrian to grab hold of the starting RB job and run with it, but a repeat of his effective '07 season is possible if no other RB steps up for the Bengals
[4] Chris Perry CIN 26.7 - As brittle as brittle can be, and likely lost more than a step by now, but there's a window of opportunity in Cincy's backfield
[4] Chris Taylor HOU 24.8 - Longshot, but the coaching staff seems high on him
[4] Jalen Parmele MIA 22.7®
[4] Xavier Omon BUF 23.6®
[3] #Deuce McAllister NO [x] 29.7 - Wait, ACL surgery on his left knee and microfracture surgery on his formerly reconstructed right knee? Now that's a horse of a different color for a 30-year-old RB. Why weren't we informed of this microfracture surgery? I can't envision a scenario where Deuce is not washed up at this point
[3] Lamont Jordan OAK [x] 29.8 - Just release him already! He turns 30 this season and the chronic back problems leave him as nothing more than a backup option, but he has a chance to be startable for a few games at a time if he gets the opportunity
[3] Lorenzo Booker PHI 24.3 - Only hope for value is as a flex player in PPR leagues. Can he catch enough passes to make himself relevant?
[3] Darren Sproles SD 25.3 - Explosive. Could find fantasy value as a receiving weapon out of the backfield if the Chargers made it a point to get the ball to him, but his slight build will likely keep him from handling the ball enough to make a sizable fantasy impact
[3] Shaun Alexander UFA 31.0 - Just a matter of time before he's cut by Seattle; could end up in the mix for his hometown Bengals. His days as a workhorse are long gone, and he's going to struggle to ever maintain fantasy relevance again
[3] Dominic Rhodes IND 29.6 - Back in Indy, but will he get the benefit of the doubt over rookie Hart?
[3] Kolby Smith KC 23.8 - Was decent in a 5-game trial at the end of the season, but he's limited to backup duty going forward
[3] DeShaun Foster SF 22.8 - Signed a meager contract to head West as Frank Gore's backup; don't look for a heavy role in the offense unless Gore gets injured
[3] Chris Henry TEN 23.3 - Titans continually on the lookout for a backfield upgrade, but Henry is the 3rd down back and White insurance for now

[2] Fred Jackson BUF 27.6 - Coaching staff is high on him, but he's more of a change of pace/pure backup as opposed to a guy with an opportunity
[2] Antonio Pittman STL 22.7 - More of a pure backup than Brian Leonard at this point
[2] Tony Hunt PHI 22.8 - Could become the short-yardage back in Philly, but not likely to ever be more than one half of a time share backfield
[2] Marcus Thomas SD 24.3®
[2] Chauncy Washington JAX 23.4®
[2] J.J. Arrington ARI 25.6 - Appears the Cardinals don't see him as anything more than a 3rd down back
[2] DeShawn Wynn GB 24.9 - Green Bay sees him as more of a pure backup than Jackson, but Wynn's injuries have put him solidly on the bench behind Ryan Grant
[2] Justin Forsett SEA 22.8®
[2] Thomas Brown ATL 22.3®
[2] Cory Boyd TB 23.1®
[2] Jacob Hester SD 23.3®
[2] Andre Hall DEN 26.1 - Any RB in DEN could get a shot, but he's definitely 3rd on the depth chart even before April's draft; didn't ingratiate himself to his coach by getting arrested last month
[2] Adrian Peterson CHI 29.2 - Right now he's the most effective RB in Chicago, but will likely go back to his former role when new talent is added in the draft
[2] Mewelde Moore PIT 26.1 - A weapon in the passing game and likely to take over punt-return duties; has a track record of impressive performance in small doses but gets nicked up easily
[2] Najeh Davenport PIT 29.6 - Likely to keep goal-line/short yardage duties as Parker's complement, but Moore could take over on 3rd downs; has startable value if Parker goes down with injury again
[2] Musa Smith BAL (U) 26.3 - Not without talent, but too unreliable due to injury history; would have to land in the ideal situation to merit a look beyond stash option
[2] Vernand Morency GB 28.6 - Ceiling is 3rd down back
[2] T.J. Duckett SEA 27.5 - Same old Duckett, should take over the short-yardage in Seattle
[2] Jesse Chatman NYJ 29.0 - Thomas Jones insurance
[2] Warrick Dunn TB 33.7 - Ill-suited to 3rd down work at this point in his career, but that's where he's going to play

[1] Maurice Morris SEA 28.8
[1] Michael Bennett TB 30.0
[1] Gary Russell PIT 22.0
[1] Jerome Harrison CLE 25.5
[1] Aaron Stecker NO 32.8
[1] Michael Robinson SF 25.5
[1] Ryan Moats PHI [x] 25.7
[1] Brian Leonard STL 24.6
[1] Cory Ross BAL 26.0
[1] Dwayne Wright BUF 25.3
[1] Brian Calhoun DET 24.4
[1] Garrett Wolfe CHI 24.1
[1] Jackie Battle KC 24.9
[1] Jason Snelling ATL 23.7
[1] Danny Ware NYG 23.6
[1] Kenton Keith IND 28.2 - Would have some nice value as a sidekick to Addai if the Colts weren't looking to upgrade at RB in this year's draft
[1] LaBrandon Toefield CAR 28.0 - Could be D-Willy's short-yardage legs in Carolina if they don't grab a high round RB in the draft
[1] Reuben Droughns NYG [x] 30.0
[1] Correll Buckhalter PHI [x] 29.9
[1] Kevin Faulk NE 32.3
[1] Mike Bell DEN [T] 25.4

Draft Day Movers:
Moved DeAngelo Williams down
Moved Justin Fargas, Michael Bush, & Dominic Rhodes down
Moved Willie Parker, Najeh Davenport, & Mewelde Moore down
Moved Cedric Benson & Adrian Peterson down
Moved LenDale White & Chris Henry down
Moved Thomas Jones up
Moved Marion Barber down
Moved Willis McGahee down
Removed Darius Walker, Michael Pittman, & Ron Dayne

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