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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quote of the Day | September 30, 2008: A Shallow Understanding

From Daniel Ellsberg's 2002 Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers:

It was easy to reassure ourselves -- I suspect this is true for every administration -- that whatever our limitations and errors, we were doing our very best and that no other team in the running to replace us was likely to deal with all these challenges much better than we could.

The image that often came to my mind as I watched John [McNaughton] or (occasionally) a master operator like McGeorge Bundy move from one caller to another on the phone, one crisis to another, was that of the juggler in a circus who keeps a dozen plates spinning in the air at once on the ends of long, flexible poles, moving from one to another deftly as a plate begins to wobble and threatens to fall, giving another spin to the pole, just enough to set the plate whirling while he moves down the line to another that is going out of control. It was an art form, it was amazing, it took unusual talent and energy and discipline to do as well as they did, with as few mistakes (often managing to catch the plate, when it fell, before it shattered), but . . . I asked myself more than once: Can they really get away with the decision making like this? With all these simultaneous problems (whose range reflected America's postwar sense of it's "responsibilities," its power, its entitlements), or even for any one of them, can they this way devise or choose adequate policies without setting up disastrous failures? Can men even as brilliant and adroit as these- and for sheer brainpower and energy, the Kennedy crew that Johnson inherited could not easily be bettered- manage safely and wisely so many challenges at once, with so little time to acquire more than a shallow understanding of any one? Can you really run the world this way?

Within a few years Vietnam would provide the answer.

Tags: Daniel Ellsberg, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Quote of the Day | September 29, 2008: Nobody Buys Hot Tips from Losers

Originally from a 2003 ESPN.com column and later reprinted in Hunter S. Thompson's Hey Rube:

On days like this I feel like Lord Byron and Shelley and Keats all rolled into one, as they like to say in New Orleans, and everything is possible.

Which is not true, alas. I am a Romantic by nature and a gambler by instinct -- and I can tell you for sure, little Xania, that Losing goes with the territory in my business. All gamblers lose regularly, but they rarely discuss it in public. Losing is bad for the image, dude. Nobody buys hot tips from Losers. Remember that.

Tags: Hunter S. Thompson, Hey Rube

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Waiver Wired | Week 5 -- An Early Look

Matt Schaub? - Nah -- he's owned in 72% of all sportsline leagues
Kyle Orton - Owned in 17%
Damon Huard
Joe Flacco
Matt Flynn
Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Rudi Johnson - 76%
LeRon McClain
Michael Bush - Owned in 45%
Deuce McAllister - 45%
Mewelde Moore
Kenny Watson - 25%
Fred Jackson? - 24%

Bobby Engram [39%]/Deion Branch [37%] /Kevin Curtis [41%]
Lance Moore -12%
Justin Gage? - 35%
Arnaz Battle - 3%
Muhsin Muhammad? - 48%
Kevin Walter? - 36%
Jerry Porter? - 41%
Donnie Avery - 4%
Robert Meachem - 58% (ineligible)
Antwaan Randle-El - 40%
Jordy Nelson - 3%
Brandon Stokley - 10%
Bobby Wade - 1%
Miles Austin - 15% (Cowboys hype?)
Steve Breaston - 2%
Josh Reed - 11%
Mike Walker? - 0%
(Wow, a lot of owners sleeping on the job: Matt Jones owned in just 41% of leagues. Robert Meachem is owned in 58%.)

Zach Miller - 25%
Dustin Keller -37%

Buccaneers? - 82% (ineligible)
Bills? - 94% (ineligible)
Falcons vs. Packers backup QB?

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Mr. Mojo Risin' | Week 5

Early look at Dynasty players gaining value:

Matt Schaub
Jason Campbell
David Garrard
Brett Favre
Jake Delhomme
JaMarcus Russell

Chris Johnson
Steven Jackson
Larry Johnson
Deuce McAllister
Rudi Johnson
Michael Bush

Laveranues Coles
Santana Moss
Lance Moore
Matt Jones
DeSean Jackson
Greg Jennings?
Eddie Royal?
Kevin Walter
Muhsin Muhammad

Owen Daniels
Zach Miller
Greg Olsen

Josh Scobee
Nate Kaeding

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I'll Tumble for You | Week 5

Early look at Dynasty players losing value:

J.T. O'Sullivan?
Carson Palmer
Matt Leinart?
Sage Rosenfels

Rashard Mendenhall
Kevin Smith
Chris Perry
Pierre Thomas
Thomas Jones
LenDale White
Jalen Parmele

Donald Driver
Braylon Edwards?
Plaxico Burress?
Torry Holt
Bryant Johnson
Ronald Curry
James Jones

Vernon Davis
Alge Crumpler
Marcedes Lewis

Shayne Graham
Josh Brown

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Quote of the Day | September 28, 2008: A Football Team Is Not an Open Society

From Roy Blount Jr.'s 1974 chronicle of the Pittsburgh Steelers, About Three Bricks Shy . . .

Anybody who has played pro football can appreciate, I suppose, an openness to be jolted at an insane level of force. But there are strict channels for such things in the NFL. A football team is not an open society. It is a society at war. And whereas, on most of the scenes of Rolling Stone covers, the writer's instincts may well be to loose all the demons and let oppressors and anal compulsives worry about the consequences, in pro football the consequences are likely to discommode not management but the visceral, flavorful types -- the players.

The clubs control the players' schedules, pay, job assignments, and even medical care (consider the paranoia-inducing possibilities of that last factor). Labor organizer Tom Keating had had trouble enough with Raider management to know the risks of stirring things up uncontrollably. I was careful all year not to appear to be interfering with the Steelers' advance toward the Super Bowl. Noll's stance impressed the necessity of this upon me.

"If it hurts the football team . . . "

Tags: Roy Blount Jr., About Three Bricks Shy

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Game Notes | Week 4: Houston @ Jacksonville

Jags 1st round pick Derrick Harvey is getting the start today at defensive end.

Jags punt returner Brian Witherspoon almost broke one right there. He's a dynamite returner.

What? Montell Owens quick snap fake punt 41-yard TD out of the single wing? That's crazy. Talk about a copy cat league.

Jerry Porter's first catch of his Jaguars career. He almost dropped it.

Jags D attacking Matt Schaub. I don't think they believe Schaub can make them pay.

Chris Taylor is a much bigger back than Steve Slaton. Nice one-cut run there, but he almost lost the ball at the end of the run.

Beautiful pass from Schaub to Owen Daniels. Schaub put it right on his hands. Can they punch it in from 10-yards out? That's been their bugaboo under Schaub? Not a great red zone QB. 2nd & long draw play to Chris Taylor . . . and it goes nowhwere. Who's calling these plays? Kris Brown 27-yard field goal.

Matt Schaub looks fine in this game. He's been held to short passes because nothing is open deep, but Schaub has been plenty accurate.

Wow, Schaub pump fake and finds Steve Slaton streaking down the sideline for a 30-yard TD. Nice play, and the Texans take the lead.

Demeco Ryans down on one knee with his helmet off, and the trainers are looking at him. No word on the injury as they break for commercial. Looks like a twisted right ankle. He's getting taped up, and it looks like he'll re-enter soon.

Jags haven't been able to run on the Texans. They need to feed Mo-jo. Meanwhile, the Texans are succeeding by using a ball control, time of possession offense.

Garrard looking Reggie Williams' way quite a bit early in this game. Mario Williams is getting double teamed on every passing play, and no one else on the Texans can rush the passer. Josh Scobee ties it at 10 with a 46-yard field goal right before the half. Texans are taking away the run and forcing the Jags to beat them with the pass. Can they do it?

The Jags love running "The Jones" route to their big receivers. Matt Jones slants from the outside to the middle, and it's a hard play to stop with such a big target. Nice catch later by Mike Walker. He's had a couple of targets today and may have passed Troy Williamson on the depth chart by now.

Maurice Jones-Drew big play for 19 yards. I know I sound like a broken record, but the Jags need to use him more to get their offense working on all cylinders. Garrard finds Matt Jones for a TD. I think Jones is a mainstay in this offense for 2008. He's a physical mismatch against the Texans corners this game . . . and I gotta tell ya, he's rockin' a pretty sweet mustache right now.

Schaub hasn't been able to get the ball to Andre Johnson yet. Pressure from rookies Groves & Harvey, plus the coverage of Rashean Mathis hasn't allowed for the Schaub-to-Johnson connection. And there's a pass interference against William James of the Jags on cue. He went through the receiver to knock the ball away.

Texans haven't had any O-Line problems today, but Slaton just got run over on a block attempt and got his QB hit on the play. Schaub play action fake and a 5-yard TD pass to Kevin Walter.

There's the Jones slant again for the Jags. That's becoming bread-n-butter in their offense. Marcedes Lewis has a pass bounce off his chest. Two targets today and two drops. Key first down pickup on the pass to MJD. Now they're using the Jones slant to Mike Walker. Garrard is throwing the ball a lot today. Another drop by Lewis although that was a bit tougher. He still should have caught it. Scobee nails it from 40 yards.

Schaub has been too willing to tuck and run in this game. He had plenty of time on that play but couldn't find anybody open. He ended up fumbling on the play after grabbing a few yards.

Chris Taylor just grabbed his leg after getting hit, and it's a quick wave to the sideline for the trainers. Owen Daniels with a big gainer. Dick Enberg has lost it: "Slater on the sidelines with the knee injury." First of all, it's Chris Taylor not Slaton. Secondly, it's not the pot head in Dazed & Confused. It's Slaton, not Slater. Next time, just use George Jetson's boss' name. At least that's closer.

Kevin Walter is having a big game, targeted heavily while Andre Johnson disappears. Owen Daniels with one of the most impressive 2-yard catches you'll ever see. And there's another TD to Walter. Big, big game today.

Rashean Mathis out with a bruised shin.

Marcedes Lewis with another dropped pass, his 4th of the day -- but we can probably chalk that one up to a nice play by Demeco Ryans.

4th & 8 inside the 20, and the Jags are going to go for it down 4 points. Garrard scrambles and makes the first down. First and goal at the 9. Nice play. Jags are an awesome 4th down team, and that's been a major factor in their success over the past 20 games or so. Another delayed scramble for Garrard, and then a planned QB draw for a TD. The Jags let Garrard take over that drive, and he delivered on the ground and in the air. Three point lead with 1:48 left in the game.

Schaub brings the Texans down to field goal territory, and it's going to be about a 46 yard attempt for Kris Brown with 6 seconds left. Brown drills it for the tie, and we're going to overtime. Free football!

Jags win the toss. I don't think the Texans can stop them on defense. Garrard scrambles on the first play. That's four straight running attempts for Garrard. Matt Jones with another key third-down conversion on a nice backside throw by Garrard. Greg Jones for 22 yards, and the Jags are going to kick for the win here on 2nd down. Scobee right down the middle, and the Jags win it. Good quarterbacking on both sides today.

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Game Notes | Week 4: Falcons @ Panthers

Is that a Brian Finneran sighting? I read this week that he hasn't caught a pass since 2005. Amazing. Three and out for the Falcons, which I expect to see a lot today against a real NFL opponent (as opposed to the Lions and Chiefs).

Steve Smith -- so underrated. He can't be stopped.

Panthers tackle Jordan Gross just got knocked out after taking a blow to the head. He was already on the ground after getting chop blocked, and a Falcons defender kicked or kneed him in the head.

Beautiful fade pass from Delhomme to Muhsin Muhammad. Timed perfectly, nice touch, and Muhammad laid out for the grab. Lawyer Milloy down and looks injured. No update on his status yet.

Jonathan Stewart 8-yard TD run. He's a touchdown machine.

Falcons in the red zone after a nice catch & run from Roddy White down the sideline. Michael Turner with a shot at a first down, but he slips on the turf. They're going to have to settle for an Elam field goal.

Muhsin Muhammad doesn't look like an old, slow WR. I don't see D.J. Hackett taking the starting job from him.

Delayed draw to Jonathan Stewart, and that play went nowhere. John Abraham blew it up in the backfield. Three yard loss.

Falcons get the ball deep in Panthers territory, but once again they can't move the ball in the red zone. They'll settle for another field goal.

Falcons rolling the coverage to Steve Smith, and Muhammad is making them pay against Brent Grimes. That's going to lead to good news for Smith owners down the road b/c he's not used to having a legit 2nd receiver who can draw some attention.

Jonathan Stewart nice 16-yard run showing quickness and explosiveness. He's going to keep getting a bigger share of the load. He's averaging a full yard per carry more than DeAngelo Williams.

Steve Smith showing his trademark playmaking ability with a 56-yard TD catch and run. He broke a couple of tackles and basically waltzed into the endzone. He's lethal after the catch.

Jerious Norwood 40-yard gain on a draw play. That dude is fast. He seems to make a big play every week, and he adds an element of quickness that Michael Turner lacks. The two complement each other well.

Julius Peppers just destroyed a throwback screen attempt by Matt Ryan. He didn't buy the fake screen at all. Elam 49 yards wide right. Ouch, too many men on the field for the Panthers . . . which gives color man Tony Boselli a chance to do the "let's count the defenders -- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12" schtick. As Bill Simmons would say, nothing puts a bounce in an announcer's step quite like a too many men on the field demonstration. Elam nails a 44-yarder with his second chance.

Matt Ryan has played pretty well and shown poise. The Falcons have even gone no huddle at times.

Thomas Davis just exploded into the backfield and stopped Michael Turner cold in the backfield for a 6-yard loss. How many 6-yard losses to you see on a non-draw run play? Turner isn't finding any running room this game.

Like most young QBs, Matt Ryan needs to concentrate on setting his feet more. He's had a few balls sail on him when he doesn't plant.

Muhsin Muhammad just caught his 6th pass for 93 yards, and Tony Boselli says it's a "career game" for Moose. Really? Come on. Why even say something that wrong? That's not even hyperbole. It's just a waste of air time. Moose has had much bigger games than today's. Much bigger.

Jake Delhomme just floated a ball to Steve Smith on an improv play, and he almost got Smith killed. Bad idea.

Muhsin Muhammad wide open, and Delhomme hits him for a 36-yard TD. Muhammad passes Wesley Walls for the alltime franchise lead in TD catches. OK, he's making Boselli look a bit better, but it's sill not a career game for a guy with 10,000 receiving yards.

Jonathan Stewart is running hard. He doesn't ever go down on the first hit.

Falcons get in the red zone but turn it over on downs. Ryan just telegraphed a slant pass and was lucky it didn't turn into a pick-6.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Quote of the Day | September 27, 2008: The Spirit of His Age and Country

From Alexis de Tocqueville's 1835 French classic, Democracy in America:

No man can struggle with advantage against the spirit of his age and country, and however powerful a man may be, it is hard for him to make his contemporaries share feelings and ideas which run counter to the general run of their hopes and desires.

Tags: Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Waiver Wired | Week 4: The Mighty Quinn

My weekly "Waiver Wired" column is up at Rotoworld for Week 4. Summary is below, but click here for the full article. Keep in mind this article is through Rotoworld and is intended for more shallow redraft leagues as opposed to a deeper roster Dynasty league.


According to the 1967 Bob Dylan song, the Mighty Quinn was an Eskimo whose arrival on the scene "changes despair into joy and chaos into rest." Quinn is a virtual messiah delivering salvation in a hopeless world.

If that sounds like a lot of pressure, try saving the freefalling Cleveland Browns from a lost season in the AFC North. Starting quarterback Derek Anderson is staggering like a punch-drunk boxer. His confidence is shot, his accuracy is waning, and he's hearing the resounding footsteps of the mighty Brady Quinn.

This week will see Quinn increasing his practice reps with the first-team offense while Anderson is left to deal with threats of quick hooks and short leashes. In other words, Derek Anderson is dead man walking. He's being set up for failure while Quinn is being set up as the hero, arriving on the scene just in time to deliver hope in a lost season.

On to the waiver wire, where we'll try to emphasize a new batch of names this week. Here's how I rank the likely targets at each position this week. Full writeups of each player are below.

1. Brady Quinn
2. Trent Edwards
3. Brian Griese
4. Kerry Collins
5. Sage Rosenfels
6. Drew Stanton

1. Rashard Mendenhall
2. LeRon McClain
3. Rudi Johnson
4. Correll Buckhalter
5. Kenny Watson
6. Ryan Torain
7. T.J. Duckett
8. Lorenzo Booker

1. Bobby Engram
2. Antonio Bryant
3. Kevin Curtis
4. Brandon Lloyd
5. Amani Toomer
6. Greg Camarillo
7. Chris Henry

1. Jerramy Stevens
2. Billy Miller

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Quote of the Day | September 26, 2008: A Radical Break with Everything Known in Human History

From Daniel Goldhagen's 1996 book Hitler's Willing Executioners:

The Holocaust was a radical break with everything known in human history, with all previous forms of political practice. It constituted a set of actions, and an imaginative orientation that was completely at odds with the intellectual foundations of modern western civilization, the Enlightenment, as well as the Christian and secular ethical and behavioral norms that had governed modern western societies.

Tags: Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quarterback Rankings | September 25, 2008



1. Peyton Manning, IND | Age: 32.5 | Value Score: 99
With Clark re-signed and Gonzalez ready to step up if Marvin doesn't snap back, Manning's consistency trumps Brady's career year.

2. Jay Cutler, DEN | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 97
Impressive YPA & completion numbers bode very well for future; additions of Clady plus D-Jax and 2nd rounder Eddie Royal help to steady value. Marshall's offseason shenanigans and obvious high knucklehead potential are slightly worrisome.

3. Tony Romo, DAL | Age: 28.4 | Value Score: 96
T.O.'s contract extension steadies value and maintains 30 TD expectations.

4. Drew Brees, NO | Age: 29.6 | Value Score: 96
Should be good for a consistent 4,000 yards and 25-30 TDs every year for the next few years; Shockey addition adds a nice red zone weapon and improves the overall explosiveness of the offense.

5. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT | Age: 26.5 | Value Score: 93
Taking too many hits. . .


6. [#]Tom Brady, NE | Age: 31.1 | Value Score: 87
You can't use him for a full season, and there's legit concern that it may take him until 2010 to get back to dominant form. Of course, it's entirely possible he throws for 30+ TDs again in '09. How much are the next 16 weeks worth to you?

7. Donovan McNabb, PHI | Age: 31.7 | Value Score: 86
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.

8. #Aaron Rodgers, GB | Age: 24.8 | Value Score: 79
Favre's trade leaves Rodgers as the unquestioned starter, but that's going to be some spotlight he's occupying.

9. Philip Rivers, SD | Age: 26.8 | Value Score: 78
It's unheard of to be playing the best football of your career fresh off of ACL surgery. Kudos to Rivers and his offseason backers.

10. #Carson Palmer, CIN | Age: 28.7 | Value Score: 75
Can he bounce all the way back from an extremely disappointing season? Chad is back after bickering with his QB, but Henry is gone and Housh could be on his way out in '09.

11. Eli Manning, NYG | Age: 27.6 | Value Score: 69
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.

12. Kurt Warner, ARI | Age: 37.3 | Value Score: 66
Time to start the handcuffing strategy with Arizona QBs? 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.


13. Matt Schaub, HOU | Age: 27.2 | Value Score: 58
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.

14. David Garrard, JAX | Age: 30.5 | Value Score: 57
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?

15. Brady Quinn, CLE | Age: 23.9 | Value Score: 55
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.

16. Matt Hasselbeck, SEA | Age: 33.0 | Value Score: 50
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.

17. Trent Edwards, BUF | Age: 24.9 | Value Score: 49
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; addition of rookie Hardy should help put the ball in the end zone more often.

18. Jason Campbell, WAS | Age: 26.7 | Value Score: 48
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.

19. Matt Ryan, ATL | Age: 23.3 | Value Score: 44
Early signing could be an indication the team wants him to start early in the season, but he'll be doing it behind a woeful offensive line.


20. Brett Favre, NYJ | Age: 38.9 | Value Score: 36
Jay Glazier reports Favre to the Jets for a conditional pick. That's gotta be a two-year commitment for Favre, right? He could still climb a bit once details start to roll in.

21. Jake Delhomme, CAR | Age: 33.6 | Value Score: 35
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.

22. Marc Bulger, STL | Age: 31.4 | Value Score: 34
Very likely to get his job back again at some point in '08.

23. #Vince Young, TEN | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 32
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.

24. #Drew Stanton, DET | Age: 24.4 | Value Score: 31
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.

25. J.T. O'Sullivan, SF | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 30
A legit chance to line up behind center in Week 1? The competition has been less than impressive. On the other hand, even with the starting job in a Martz offense, his crappy play will likely have the team looking for alternatives sooner rather than later.


26. Derek Anderson, CLE | Age: 25.2 | Value Score: 23
Dead man walking, but where does he end up in '09?

27. Matt Leinart, ARI | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 22
He'll get another chance to start for the Cardinals, but when will it happen?

28. JaMarcus Russell, OAK | Age: 23.1 | Value Score: 22
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.

29. Chad Henne, MIA | Age: 23.2 | Value Score: 21
Will take over for Pennington at some point this season.

30. Joe Flacco, BAL | Age: 23.7 | Value Score: 19

31. Kevin Kolb, PHI | Age: 24.0 | Value Score: 18
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.

32. Jon Kitna, DET | Age: 36.0 | Value Score: 17
Big trouble soon come.


33. Sage Rosenfels, HOU | Age: 30.5 | Value Score: 7
The Practically Perfect Backup QB hits the free agent market in 2010.

34. Brian Brohm, GB | Age: 22.9 | Value Score: 7

35. Colt Brennan, WAS | Age: 25.0 | Value Score: 7

36. Tarvaris Jackson, MIN | Age: 25.4 | Value Score: 5
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.

37. Kerry Collins, TEN | Age: 35.7 | Value Score: 4

38. Kyle Orton, CHI | Age: 25.8 | Value Score: 4
Plucky. That's it. That's the list. OK, neckbeard. That's on the list too. Woe are the Bears.

39. Gus Frerotte, MIN | Age: 37.2 | Value Score: 4

40. J.P. Losman, BUF | Age: 27.5 | Value Score: 4
Free agent after 2008 season.


41. Josh Johnson, TB | Age: 22.4 | Value Score: 3

42. Dennis Dixon, PIT | Age: 23.7 | Value Score: 3

43. Kevin O'Connell, NE | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 3

44. #Troy Smith, BAL | Age: 24.2 | Value Score: 3
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.

45. Byron Leftwich, PIT | Age: 28.6 | Value Score: 3
When asked why he thought Leftwich was out of football, Tomlin said, “Your guess is as good as mine, based on what I saw today.”

46. Chad Pennington, MIA | Age: 32.2 | Value Score: 3

47. Brian Griese, TB | Age: 33.5 | Value Score: 3
Will battle Luke McCown to see who starts once Garcia gets injured.

48. Jeff Garcia, TB | Age: 38.5 | Value Score: 3
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.

49. Kellen Clemens, NYJ | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 3
Likely to drop even further . . . the initial reaction is: why carry him ?

50. #Brodie Croyle, KC | Age: 25.5 | Value Score: 3
If Grossman is odious, then Croyle is, of course, appallingly bad. The Chiefs are seriously deluded if he starts week one.


51. Trent Green, STL | Age: 38.2 | Value Score: 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.

52. Damon Huard, KC | Age: 35.2 | Value Score: 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.

53. Matt Cassel, NE | Age: 26.3 | Value Score: 2

54. Luke McCown, TB | Age: 27.2 | Value Score: 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.

55. Chris Simms, TEN | Age: 28.0 | Value Score: 2

56. *Michael Vick, ATL | Age: 28.2 | Value Score: 2
How large is your roster?

57. #Seneca Wallace, SEA | Age: 28.1 | Value Score: 2
Could put up interesting fantasy numbers if ever given a shot at regular playing time

58. #Matt Moore, CAR | Age: 24.1 | Value Score: 2
Awful preseason lowers expectations about taking over for Delhomme anytime soon.

59. Shaun Hill, SF | Age: 28.7 | Value Score: 2

60. [#]Alex Smith, SF | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 2
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.

61. Rex Grossman, CHI | Age: 28.0 | Value Score: 2
Come on. He's simply odious. Before last season, I called him a "turnover prone, inconsistent, inaccurate headcase." I was feeling nice that day.

62. Billy Volek, SD | Age: 32.4 | Value Score: 2
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?


63. Brett Ratliff, NYJ | Age: 23.1 | Value Score: 1

64. John David Booty, MIN | Age: 24.2 | Value Score: 1
Was seen as one of the most NFL-ready QBs in the draft and may get a chance earlier than expected if Tarvaris Jackson can't put it together.

65. Charlie Whitehurst, SD | Age: 26.1 | Value Score: 1

66. Andre Woodson, NYG | Age: 24.4 | Value Score: 1

67. John Beck, MIA | Age: 27.1 | Value Score: 1
Captain Checkdown currently sandwiched between journeyman Josh McCown and Parcells/Sparano future starter Chad Henne.

68. Chris Redman, ATL | Age: 31.2 | Value Score: 1
Upside is band-aid for a year, but Ryan's quick signing could signal the team's willingness to throw him into the fire right from the get-go.

69. Cleo Lemon, JAX | Age: 29.1 | Value Score: 1

70. Patrick Ramsey, DEN | Age: 29.5 | Value Score: 1

71. Josh McCown, CAR | Age: 29.2 | Value Score: 1

72. Andrew Walter, OAK | Age: 26.3 | Value Score: 1

73. Dan Orlovsky, DET | Age: 25.1 | Value Score: 1

74. D.J. Shockley, ATL | Age: 25.5 | Value Score: 1

75. David Carr, NYG | Age: 29.1 | Value Score: 1

76. Joey Harrington, UFA | Age: 29.9 | Value Score: 1

77. Caleb Hanie, CHI | Age: 23.0 | Value Score: 1

78. Quinn Gray, UFA | Age: 29.3 | Value Score: 1

79. Jared Lorenzen, UFA | Age: 26.3 | Value Score: 1

80. [#]Kyle Boller, BAL | Age: 27.3 | Value Score: 1

81. Tyler Thigpen, KC | Age: 24.4 | Value Score: 1
Polish up that resume for the Iowa Barnstormers

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Running Back Rankings | September 25, 2008



1. Adrian Peterson, MIN | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 100
Simply the most talented player on the field [click here].

2. Steven Jackson, STL | Age: 25.1 | Value Score: 97
I won't start worrying about the holdout until mid-August at the earliest.

3. LaDainian Tomlinson, SD | Age: 29.2 | Value Score: 96
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.

4. Frank Gore, SF | Age: 25.2 | Value Score: 95
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.

5. #Brian Westbrook, PHI | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 94
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?


6. Marion Barber III, DAL | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 87
New contract gives him much-needed security, but he's still going to be sharing the load with Felix Jones. Expect the high TD, lower yardage totals to continue.

7. Marshawn Lynch, BUF | Age: 22.4 | Value Score: 87
Hit-and-run incident shouldn't affect his '08 value.

8. Chris Johnson, TEN | Age: 22.9 | Value Score: 86
See here for explanation of high ranking.

9. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX | Age: 23.4 | Value Score: 86
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.

10. Joseph Addai, IND | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 85
Safe call in the Colts offense, but is 300 touches per year his limit?

11. Jonathan Stewart, CAR | Age: 21.5 | Value Score: 84
Hey, Adrian Peterson starting out returning kickoffs too. Stewart's draft spot and running style leave him as the obvious feature back, but it remains to be seen how annoying D-Willy's presence will be. Pro Football Prospectus believes Williams will be the starter, but the Panthers didn't draft Stewart twelfth overall and change to a smash-mouth attack just to leave him on the bench.


12. Reggie Bush, NO | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 74
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.

13. #Darren McFadden, OAK | Age: 21.0 | Value Score: 74
On one hand, you've got a RB with laughably skinny chicken legs to go with a worrisome BMI, a checkered off the field college history, and what Pro Football Prospectus calls questionable pass-catching ability. On the other hand, you have a tremendous athlete with a truly versatile skill-set, a prodigious college career, and a playmaker's explosiveness and blazing speed. He's not Adrian Peterson, but he certainly makes for an intriguing roll of the dice.

14. Clinton Portis, WAS | Age: 27.0 | Value Score: 73
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. Where is the burst?

15. Ronnie Brown, MIA | Age: 26.7 | Value Score: 72
Crazy kids with their harmless ACL surgeries.

16. Matt Forte, CHI | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 71
Are you really worried about Cedric Benson? Well then, stop that. Forte has a plum opportunity with only Cedric to beat out.

17. Ryan Grant, GB | Age: 25.7 | Value Score: 70
The Packers love his game, so there's no worry about job security any time soon; how will Favre's exit affect the production of the running game?


18. Michael Turner, ATL | Age: 26.5 | Value Score: 61
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?

19. Larry Johnson, KC | Age: 28.8 | Value Score: 61
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.

20. #Willie Parker, PIT | Age: 27.8 | Value Score: 58
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. Mendenhall's addition may leaves him virtually unstartable and certainly unreliable.

21. Brandon Jacobs, NYG | Age: 26.2 | Value Score: 56
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. Would a contract extension really clear anything up about his value?

22. Felix Jones, DAL | Age: 21.3 | Value Score: 54
Barber's contract extension and Jones' skill-set combine to leave him as a part-time back for the foreseeable future. He's going to have to catch a lot of passes and break quite a few big plays to have startable value any time soon.

23. Jamal Lewis, CLE | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 52
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. Hamstring scare has early '08 value in peril.

24. #Willis McGahee, BAL | Age: 26.9 | Value Score: 52
Drafting of Ray Rice could be more troublesome than McGahee owners want to admit. An awful O-Line and injury questions give further reason for concern.

25. Laurence Maroney, NE | Age: 23.5 | Value Score: 50
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.


26. Ray Rice, BAL | Age: 21.7 | Value Score: 40
Willis McGahee better stay healthy if he knows what's good for him. In the meantime, Rice will try to carve out a poor man's MJD role for himself in the Ravens offense.

27. Tim Hightower, ARI | Age: 22.3 | Value Score: 39
It remains to be seen how talented he is, but he's landed in a great spot for instant opportunity. Hightower must impress this season, or the Cards will address the position with a higher pick or free agent next offseason.

28. Julius Jones, SEA | Age: 27.0 | Value Score: 38
Seahawks announce intention to use a committee attack in the backfield; but Jones will have a chance to run with the job if he impresses early in the season.

29. Steve Slaton, HOU | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 37
Lo0oks like a third down back to me. He may be interesting as a Leon Washington type, but I don't see him ever taking the job in Houston and making it valuable.

30. Rashard Mendenhall, PIT | Age: 21.2 | Value Score: 36
Goes to a rock-solid organization with an increasingly explosive offense, but how long until he takes a full load? How long until he's a confident weekly play in your fantasy lineup?

31. DeAngelo Williams, CAR | Age: 25.4 | Value Score: 35
A former first-round pick himself, he's obviously not ready to just hand the job to Jonathan Stewart.


32. Michael Bush, OAK | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 25
Now that he's healthy, can he stay healthy? If so, carving out a role as the thunder to McFadden's lightning is a possibility.

33. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG | Age: 22.5 | Value Score: 24
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.

34. Earnest Graham, TB | Age: 28.7 | Value Score: 24
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 . . . as evidenced by his meager contract extension.

35. #Ryan Torain, DEN | Age: 22.1 | Value Score: 23
RB with an injury-history is out 2-3 months with a fractured elbow and could be a candidate for I.R.

36. Thomas Jones, NYJ | Age: 30.0 | Value Score: 23
Aging mediocrity could have a nice bounceback season with Favre on board and an improved O-Line, but don't go overboard paying for him.

37. Kevin Smith, DET | Age: 21.7 | Value Score: 22
arly favorite to nail down the starting job despite what you may hear about Brian Calhoun or Tatum Bell.

38. Chris Perry, CIN | Age: 26.7 | Value Score: 21
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.

39. Rudi Johnson, DET | Age: 28.9 | Value Score: 20
Looking more and more like he'll have his job back full-time to open the season, but this could be more of a committee approach than previous seasons. Nagging hamstring is cause for concern.


40. Selvin Young, DEN | Age: 24.9 | Value Score: 13
Talented, explosive, and well-liked by his head coach, but how consistent will the carries be? Looks like the obvious starter in Denver now that Henry has been released.

41. Jamaal Charles, KC | Age: 21.7 | Value Score: 12
A kick returner and role player for as long as LJ stays healthy and productive.

42. LenDale White, TEN | Age: 23.7 | Value Score: 12
Let's quit jerking around here: the seeping leak in LenDale's value this offseason has been gashed open by Chris Johnson since training camp started.

43. Pierre Thomas, NO | Age: 23.7 | Value Score: 11
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.

44. Edgerrin James, ARI | Age: 30.1 | Value Score: 10
The cliff is approaching fast; his goal-line & passing game production have already been taken away while his workload and injury work against him.

45. Kevin Jones, CHI | Age: 26.0 | Value Score: 9
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.

46. Derrick Ward, NYG | Age: 28.1 | Value Score: 9
Looks like injury history scared off potential suitors, so he re-signs with Giants which dampens his value.

47. Ricky Williams, MIA | Age: 31.3 | Value Score: 8
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.

48. Chester Taylor, MIN | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 8
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.

49. Jerious Norwood, ATL | Age: 25.1 | Value Score: 8
As expected, Norwood won't be given an opportunity to shoulder the load in ATL; how valuable can be with limited touches?

50. Darren Sproles, SD | Age: 25.3 | Value Score: 8
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.

51. Brandon Jackson, GB | Age: 22.9 | Value Score: 7
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.

52. Sammy Morris, NE | Age: 31.5 | Value Score: 7
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?

53. Fred Jackson, BUF | Age: 27.6 | Value Score: 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.

54. LaMont Jordan, NE | Age: 29.8 | Value Score: 6
Mike Lombardi says go get LaMont Jordan because the Patriots are going to use him.

55. Leon Washington, NYJ | Age: 26.0 | Value Score: 6
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.

56. #Justin Fargas, OAK | Age: 28.6 | Value Score: 5
No longer startable except as a flex, and it only gets worse from there.

57. Andre Hall, DEN | Age: 26.1 | Value Score: 5
Short-yardage back and No. 2 to Selvin Young.

58. Fred Taylor, JAX | Age: 32.6 | Value Score: 5
Has as much value as a 32-year-old, part-timer without goal-line and passing game opportunities can possibly have.

59. Kenny Watson, CIN | Age: 30.6 | Value Score: 5
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.

60. Ladell Betts, WAS | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 5
Now more insurance for Portis as opposed to a backfield complement; startable in the event of a Portis injury but valueless in the meantime.

61. Deuce McAllister, NO | Age: 29.7 | Value Score: 5
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.


62. Mike Hart, IND | Age: 22.4 | Value Score: 4
Major sleeper if he can get past Dominic Rhodes. Well-rounded runner could be one injury away from the Colts starting job.

63. Lorenzo Booker, PHI | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 4
Only hope for value is as a flex player in PPR leagues. Can he catch enough passes to make himself relevant?

64. Jerome Harrison, CLE | Age: 25.5 | Value Score: 4

65. #Maurice Morris, SEA | Age: 28.8 | Value Score: 3

66. Tashard Choice, DAL | Age: 23.8 | Value Score: 3
Barber's new long-term deal renders Choice to roster fodder for a couple of years.

67. Kregg Lumpkin, GB | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 3

68. Chris Taylor, HOU | Age: 24.8 | Value Score: 3
Longshot, but the coaching staff seems high on him.

69. #Ahman Green, HOU | Age: 31.5 | Value Score: 3
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.

70. [#]Cadillac Williams, TB | Age: 26.4 | Value Score: 3
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.

71. Mewelde Moore, PIT | Age: 26.1 | Value Score: 3
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.

72. Gary Russell, PIT | Age: 22.0 | Value Score: 3

73. Dominic Rhodes, IND | Age: 29.6 | Value Score: 3
Back in Indy, but will he get the benefit of the doubt over rookie Hart?

74. Correll Buckhalter, PHI | Age: 29.9 | Value Score: 3

75. Michael Pittman, DEN | Age: 33.1 | Value Score: 3


76. Jalen Parmele, MIA | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 2
Talented rookie has only an injury-prone starter and flaky backup in front him.

77. Cedric Benson, UFA | Age: 25.7 | Value Score: 2
Benson will be expensive to cut, but his latest drunk driving charge gives GM Angelo a convenient out that allows him to save face on Benson's missing talent.

78. Jacob Hester, SD | Age: 23.3 | Value Score: 2

79. Xavier Omon, BUF | Age: 23.6 | Value Score: 2

80. #Antonio Pittman, STL | Age: 22.7 | Value Score: 2
More of a pure backup than Brian Leonard at this point.

81. Kolby Smith, KC | Age: 23.8 | Value Score: 2
Was decent in a 5-game trial at the end of the season, but he's limited to backup duty going forward.

82. Warrick Dunn, TB | Age: 33.7 | Value Score: 2
Ill-suited to 3rd down work at this point in his career, but that's where he's going to play.

83. *Jesse Chatman, NYJ | Age: 29.0 | Value Score: 2

84. DeShaun Foster, SF | Age: 28.7 | Value Score: 2
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.

85. Justin Forsett, IND | Age: 22.8 | Value Score: 2


86. Adrian Peterson, CHI | Age: 29.2 | Value Score: 1
ight 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.

87. Michael Bennett, TB | Age: 30.0 | Value Score: 1

88. Marcus Thomas, DET | Age: 24.3 | Value Score: 1

89. Michael Robinson, SF | Age: 25.5 | Value Score: 1

90. Aaron Stecker, NO | Age: 32.8 | Value Score: 1

91. Chauncy Washington, JAX | Age: 23.4 | Value Score: 1

92. [#]Chris Brown, HOU | Age: 27.4 | Value Score: 1

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