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.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Waiver Wired | 2008 Waiver Awards

My weekly "Waiver Wired" column is up at Rotoworld for Week 17. As it's the last article of the season, I thought I'd have a little fun with the 2008 Waiver Awards. Enjoy.


Last year's Waiver Wire maven, Patrick Dahl, has moved on to bigger and better things in the sports world, but he's left a lasting legacy: The end of the season Waiver Awards. In order to prep for the 2009 season we have to take a look back at what happened during 2008. For example, we now know that it's a better career move to get caught on the side of the road cutting up a line of cocaine with a credit card than it is to bring a loaded gun into a crowded club. It's with that spirit that we look back on the season's waiver wire adds in the second annual Rotoworld Waiver Wire awards! To quote Patrick's column last season:

"If you want actual Waiver adds for this week, scroll to the bottom of the article for an extremely abbreviated list. Also, join a league where you don't play in Week 17."

Did your fantasy season end Sunday? Check out Rotoworld's new weekly fantasy football game, with cash prizes: Snapdraft. Draft today, find out your league winner next Tuesday.


The "Hoisted with His Own Petard" Award

Goes to … Kurt Warner! After taking a flier on Warner in all of my August drafts, I had my heart set on bringing all the Waiver Wired readers on-board with me prior to Week 1. Many of us rode the fragile 38-year-old all the way to our finals before we were hoisted on our own petards by Warner's 6-of-18 for 30 yards performance in the snow. It was a fun ride while it lasted, but "mailing it in" wasn't exactly what I had in mind for Fantasy Finals week. It's going to be awhile before I put that one behind me.

The "Season Savior After All" Award

Goes to ... Matt Cassel! When Tom Brady took a lot of owners down with him in Week 1, I tried to curb the Cassel enthusiasm in fantasy circles and suggested trading for Warner or Matt Schaub instead. And I was right – for about one month. Cassel struggled mightily in his first four weeks on the job, but he ended up saving quite a few fantasy owners along with the Patriots' playoff chances by mid-season. His late-season point fests against the Jets, Dolphins, Raiders, and Cardinals put quite a few trophies on the mantle this past weekend.

The "Merciful End to the Brodie Croyle Era" Award

Goes to ... Tyler Thigpen! For nearly two seasons the Chiefs were deluded enough to line up Croyle against defenses like a junior high kid wondering onto a field full of varsity lettermen. When Herm Edwards had nowhere else to turn after a string of mid-season injuries, he installed Thigpen along with a college-style spread offense. With a better view of the pass rush and extra time to locate receivers, Thigpen began playing like his hair was on fire. His caution-to-the-wind style may not be a recipe for NFL success, but you won't find fantasy owners complaining after he made the Chiefs relevant in fantasy circles once again.


The "Successful Hype Train" Award

Goes to … Chris Johnson! After revving up the hype train in early August, I developed a reputation in the hallowed halls of Rotoworld for grabbing strangers by the shirt and making wild-eyed proclamations that the explosive rookie was going to take the league by storm. Since I made it a habit to slip his name into every conversation at draft time, I opened the first Waiver Wired of the season with a plea to all readers to grab him if he went undrafted. Mission accomplished. Even with a consistent eight-to-nine defenders in the box and LenDale White vulturing goal-line scores, Johnson led all rookies in rushing and still found the end zone 10 times. Just wait until they start to make him a priority in the passing game.

The "Where Was His Hype Train?" Award

Goes to … Steve Slaton! You'd be hard-pressed to find a rookie running back that wasn't getting hyped by one outlet or another at draft time, but Slaton was unowned in more than half of all leagues by Week 1. It was widely assumed Ahman Green would get early-down work (as long as he remained healthy) with Chris Taylor taking on short-yardage duties – which left Steve Slaton in the traditional third-down role. Wrong. Slaton blew Taylor away in early season action while Green was in and out of the lineup with injuries. Along the way, Slaton turned into an every week stud … and stayed there.

The "Tale of Two Seasons" Award

Goes to … Pierre Thomas! Along with a healthy skepticism regarding Deuce McAllister's surgically repaired knees, Thomas' impressive 2007 Week 17 performance conspired to make him a pre-season Rotoworld favorite. After a few performances as a fine flex option, Thomas was back to the waiver wire by mid-season with Deuce's feel-good re-emergence. When Reggie Bush went down, however, Thomas began working his way back in to the point where he turned into waiver wire gold by fantasy playoff time.

The "Saboteur Has Struck" Award

Goes to: Tim Hightower! The rookie managed to sabotage not just fantasy owners but also his own NFL team. Hightower had value in TD-heavy leagues early in the season as Edgerrin James' goal-line legs. Once it became obvious that Edge couldn't lead a consistent ground attack, Hightower was inserted into the starting lineup with high hopes. Following his 100-yard performance against the Rams in his first start, quite a few owners flipped their high-round running back for help at another position and put their eggs in Officer Hightower's basket instead. The rookie rewarded that faith by going the rest of the way without a rushing performance over 35 yards. Saboteur!


The "Billy Volek" Award

Goes to … Antonio Bryant! Give Rotoworld football guru Gregg Rosenthal the credit here. Bryant headlined our pre-season sleeper lists at wide receiver, and Gregg stuck by him even when he put up a stinker or two early on. Though Bryant made quite a few waiver list appearances along the way, I confess that I wasn't smitten to the level of Gregg's loyalty. On the heels of the white hot receiver's 435 yards and four touchdowns the past three weeks, Gregg rightly bestowed the Billy Volek of 2008 status upon Bryant.

The "Slot Machine" Award

Goes to … Lance Moore! Another Rosenthal find, Lance joined with Mewelde to provide the most reader feedback of the season after the "It's Moores, Not Moops" headline back in Week 5 sent giddy Seinfeld fans to my inbox. As it turned out, the Saints slot receiver was real … and he was spectacular!

The "Rookies Can Catch, Too" Award

Goes to … Eddie Royal & DeSean Jackson! Rotoworld doesn't generally believe in pushing rookie wide receivers, but both diminutive second-rounders were pimped here as last minute roster gems, and neither disappointed in Week 1. Royal exploded on the national scene with a 9/146/1 performance in the first Monday night game of the season, and he remained a valuable WR2 all season. Jackson tortured Tye Hill in Week 1 for 106 yards on six catches and maintained WR3 value up until a drop-filled Week 16 performance that likely torpedoed the Eagles' playoff chances.

The "Like It Was 1980" Award

Goes to … Matt Jones! Just like the Dirt Nasty youtube video, Jones was caught hitting a "snow bomb" in July like it was 1980. In the perverted world of the NFL, that served to finally give the obscenely talented first-round bust a wakeup call. Hunter S. Thompson's favorite player provided excellent WR2/WR3 value at the low, low price of a waiver wire pick until his three-week suspension finally kicked in. And who says athletes aren't role models?


The "I Even made Russell Look Good" Award

Goes to … Zach Miller! Amazingly, Miller sat unowned for much of the season thanks to performing his weekly feats in the sinkhole known as the Raiders passing offense. The sophomore tight end has an outside shot at 800 yards this season while no other Oakland receiver tops 350 yards. Next year, we'll work on finding the end zone.

The "I Got Myself Paid" Award

Goes to… Bo Scaife! Though he slowed down the stretch, Scaife did post five games over 40 yards in the first 10 weeks. The free-agent-to-be was supposed to be glued to the bench following the offseason addition of Alge Crumpler, but Scaife figures to supplement his bank account after setting career highs across the board.

The "Week 16 Is Bizarro World" Award

Goes to … Visanthe Shiancoe! Let's just say the loin-cloth wonder won't be invited to the Wesseling household for Christmas dinner. My season met its Waterloo in every league I was in thanks to a molotov cocktail of Kurt Warner on my squad and Visanthe Shiancoe standing in for the opponent. In what world does Visanthe freakin' Shiancoe blow up for 136 yards and two touchdowns! That's half-way to his career high yardage total in one #$#%& game! Week 16 is a load of bollocks.

I have admittedly suffered more than a few misses along the way as well, but hopefully we served you well with Waiver Wired this season -- if not with one of the award winners above, then with the honorably mentioned Shaun Hill, Mewelde Moore, Dustin Keller, and John Carlson. Seasons greetings, and we'll see you here at Waiver Wired next September. For a Reader's Digest version of waiver options for this week, see below.


Seneca Wallace, who faces the Cardinals fantasy friendly secondary.
Tarvaris Jackson, now starting and facing a Giants team with nothing left to play for.

Running Backs

Cedric Benson, who has averaged 166 total yards per game the past two weeks and faces Kansas City this Sunday.
Fred Jackson, who could be filling in for an injured Marshawn Lynch.
Maurice Morris, who toted the ball 29 times against the Jets.
LaMont Jordan, who played more snaps than Sammy Morris or Kevin Faulk in Week 16.
Tatum Bell, now unquestionably the leader in the Broncos committee attack.
Ahmad Bradshaw, who could be carrying the load against the Vikings in Week 17.

Wide Receivers

Dennis Northcutt, who has racked up back-to-back 100-yard performances following Matt Jones' suspension.
Mark Bradley, who is now healthy and facing the Bengals.
Bobby Engram, who led the Seahawks in receiving in Week 16.

Tight Ends

L.J. Smith, who has 15 receptions the past three weeks.


Packers, who face the Lions.
Bengals, who face the Chiefs and vice versa.

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