Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2012 Fantasy DST Rankings

1. 49ers (9)
2. Texans (8)
3. Eagles (7)
4. Bears (6)
5. Steelers (4)
6. Ravens (8)
7. Jets (9)
8. Giants (11)
9. Cowboys (5)
10. Seahawks (11)
11. Lions (5)
12. Packers (10)
13. Patriots (9)
14. Bills (8)
15. Falcons (7)
16. Chiefs (7)
17. Bengals (8)
18. Chargers (7)
19. Broncos (7)
20. Dolphins (7)
21. Rams (9)
22. Saints (6)
23. Cardinals (10)
24. Redskins (10)
25. Titans (11)
26. Jaguars (6)
27. Raiders (5)
28. Browns (10)
29. Vikings (11)
30. Buccaneers (5)
31. Panthers (6)
32. Colts (4)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2012 Fantasy Kicker Rankings

1. David Akers SF (9)
2. Sebastian Janikowski OAK (5)
3. Stephen Gostkowski NE (9)
4. Garrett Hartley NO (6)
5. Mason Crosby GB (10)
6. Alex Henery PHI (7)
7. Dan Bailey DAL (5)
8. Matt Prater DEN (7)
9. Rob Bironas TEN (11)
10. Matt Bryant ATL (7)
11. Nate Kaeding SD (7)
12. Jason Hanson DET (5)

13. Randy Bullock HOU (8)
14. Neil Rackers WAS (10)
15. Robbie Gould CHI (6)
16. Dan Carpenter MIA (7)
17. Lawrence Tynes NYG (11)
18. Olindo Mare CAR (6)
19. Billy Cundiff BAL (8)
20. Ryan Succop KC (7)
21. Mike Nugent CIN (8)
22. Shaun Suisham PIT (4)
23. Josh Brown NYJ (9)
24. Connor Barth TB (5)

25. Phil Dawson CLE (10)
26. Rian Lindell BUF (8)
27. Adam Vinatieri IND (4)
28. Josh Scobee JAC (6)
29. Steve Haushka SEA (11)
30. Jay Feely ARI (10)
31. Greg Zuerlein STL (9)
32. Blair Walsh MIN (11)

2012 Fantasy TE Rankings

1. Rob Gronkowski NE Bye 9 : Take away all 17 TD's that Gronk scored last season and he still would've finished as the #2 fantasy TE last season just based on yardage alone. If he were a WR he wouldv'e finished second to only Calvin Johnson in scoring.In 2011 he had only 2 games with under 50 yards receiving, 9 games with 6 plus receptions and 11 weeks of double digit scoring. In his past 36 games played he's also scored 31 TD's.

2. Jimmy Graham NO Bye 6 : Graham's 99 receptions ranked third in the NFL behind Wes Welker and Roddy White. He was also the 6th most targeted player last season at 149. In 13 weeks he was targeted 8 or more times and never had fewer than 4 catches in a game. 7 games with 7 or more grabs and 11 weeks with 100 yards or a touchdown.

3. Aaron Hernandez NE Bye 9 : The Patriots still had enough scraps left over for Hernandez who caught 79 passes for 910 yards and 7 scores in '11. He had 10 games with 7+ targets and 7 games of 6+ receptions. The downside is he only had 4 games of 80 or more yards.

4. Antonio Gates SD Bye 7 : Gates has missed 9 games the past 2 seasons with chronic foot injuries making him a risky selection even in the middle of the draft, but his 17 TD the past 2 years rank only behind Gronkowski. Gates averages 5 catches and 68 per game over that same time frame as well.

5. Jason Witten DAL Bye 5 : Witten is the Marques Colston of fantasy TE, you know exactly what you're going to get every year. In 2011 he had his 5th consecutive season with at least 70 catches and 900 yards. In 3 of the past 5 years he has at least 90 catches and 1,000 yards. The only buggaboo is over that same time he has 3 seasons of 5 or fewer scores.

6. Vernon Davis SF Bye 9 : Davis finished strong last season scoring in all 5 of his final games including the postseason where he caught 10 passes for 292 yards and 4 TD. While having 6 games in double digit scoring last year, he also had 6 games with 3 or fewer catches and only had 50+ yards in 5 games.

7. Jermichael Finley GB Bye 10 : Finley falls victim to being one of too many options in the Packer passing attack. Last season he had 9 games with 3 catches or fewer and 7 games with under 50 yards. He had only 4 double digit games with 87 yards being his highest total of the season.

8. Fred Davis WAS Bye 10 : Before missing the final 4 games of the season, Davis had his best season as pro with 59 receptions for 796 yards and 3 TD. In the 7 of the 12 games he played he had 5 or more catches and in 6 of those game he scored in double digits while having over 80+ yards in 6 different weeks.

9. Jacob Tamme DEN Bye 7 : This season Tamme is headed to Denver to be reunited with former QB Peyton Manning. In 10 games as the starting tight end with Indianapolis in 2010, he had 67/631 4 TD line with Manning. He's the most familiar target Manning will have in Denver and could be a sneaky top 5 TE in PPR leagues.

10. Tony Gonzalez ATL Bye 7 : Father time has yet to catch Gonzalez as he had his 9th consecutive season with 70 plus catches. He received 7+ targets in 11 games and had 10 weeks with 5 or more receptions. TG also has had 6 or more TD in 4 straight seasons.

11. Brandon Pettigrew DET Bye 5 : Last year Pettigrew had 9 games with 7+ targets and 8 games with 5+ receptions. He also totaled 4 weeks with 10 or more fantasy points. He also was held to under 30 yards receiving 4 times.

12. Brent Celek PHI Bye 7 : It's hard to ride the roller coaster that is Brent Celek but at the end of the season he's always right around the top 10. Celek has 17 TD over the past 3 seasons and in the final 3 weeks of last season he had 13-294-3 TD to finish the season. He also had 5 games with only 1 or 2 catches and 5 games he was held to 25 or fewer yards.

 13. Kevin Rudolph MIN (11)
14. Jermaine Gresham CIN (8)
15. Owen Daniels HOU (8)
16. Dustin Keller NYJ (9)
17. Greg Olsen CAR (6)
18. Jared Cook TEN (11)
19. Colby Fleener IND (4)
20. Kellen Winslow SEA (11)
21. Lance Kendricks STL (9)
22. Dallas Clark TB (5)
23. Rob Housler ARI (10)
24. Mercedes Lewis JAC (6)
25. Anthony Fasano MIA (7)
26. Scott Chandler BUF (8)
27. Ed Dickson BAL (8)
28. Tony Scheffler DET (5)
29. Kevin Boss KC (7)
30. Joel Dreesen HOU (8)
31. Martellus Bennett NYG (11)
32. Michael Egnew MIA (7)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

2012 Fantasy WR Rankings

1. Calvin Johnson DET Bye 5 : No surprises here as Megatron posted a 96/1681/16 line in 2011. He had 11 games with a score, 8 100 yard games, 9 games with 6 or more catches and 5 games with over 20 points in standard leagues. Need more numbers? He has 28 TD in his past 31 games played.

2. Larry Fitzgerald ARI Bye 10 :  In a season where the Cardinals had no stability at QB, Fitzgerald managed to tally 1,411 yards even though Arizona didn't have a QB throw for even 2,000. It was the highest yardage total he's had since 2008 even though he failed to catch 90 passes for the first time since 2006 (80 receptions).  Follow the QB battle in the offseason as John Skelton targeted Fitz 11 times per 65 snaps as opposed to Kevin Kolb's 7.9. With Skelton he scored 6 of his 8 TD's as well.

3. Roddy White ATL Bye 7 : Even if his production slips a bit due to the new offense expect White to give you nearly exactly what he's given owners yearly. The most targeted WR in football the past 2 seasons (2nd most targeted in '09) he had his second straight 100 reception season, 5th consecutive 80 catch with 1,000 yard season and 4th straight 7 TD season with the addition of Julio Jones. If they truly do open it up more don't think that he's not going to ge this fair share of work.

4. Julio Jones ATL Bye 7 : Count me in along with everyone else in expecting a huge season from Jones (and the entire ATL offense). Playing in only 13 games he scored 8 TD on 54 catches while averaging 17.8 yds per reception. In his partial rookie campaign he had 5 100 yd games and 7 games with 10+ fantasy points.

5. Greg Jennings GB Bye 10 : Before missing the final 3 games in '11 Jennings scored 10 + pts in 9/12 games with 9 TD. He has only one 80 reception season in 6 years but has 4 seasons of 9 or more touchdowns. 

6. Wes Welker NE Bye 9 : Welker posted career highs in receiving yards (1569) and TD (9) on his way to his 4th 100 plus catch (122) in 5 years. Welker was targeted over 10 times in 11 games and had 8 100 yard games in '11.

7. Brandon Marshall CHI Bye 6 : In 2 seasons with Miami, Marshall was able to post consecutive 80 catch 1K yardage seasons although scoring just 9 total TD. Now he is reunited with former Bronco QB Jay Cutler who made Marshall a top 10 WR in 2007 and 2008 when he totaled 206 catches 2590 yards and 13 TD.

8. Victor Cruz NYG Bye 11 : maybe the best slot WR outside of New England, Cruz had a 82-1536-9 line while being targeted 131 times. Cruz had 10 games with 6 or more catches and 90 yards, 4 games of 150 plus yardage and another 10 games of 9 or more targets.
9 .Andre Johnson HOU Bye 8 : Johnson has missed 12 games the past 2 seasons due to ankle and hamstring injuries. In his first games before the unjury last season he posted 7 catches 90 yards per game with 2 TD. Getting into the end zone is a concern as he has just 10 TD over his past 20 games and has never produced a 10 TD season. .

10. Jordy Nelson GB Bye 10 : Nelson was only one of two WR to be in the top 20 of scoring last season while failing to receive 100 targets (Laurent Robinson). He had 10+ looks in only 1 game last year and that was when Rodgers and Jennings sat out. he was able to showcase his ability though in that game catching 9 balls for 162 yds and 3 TD without his 2 best offensive team mates

11. Demaryius Thomas DEN Bye 7 : In the final 5 games with TimTebow as his QB, Thomas had 3 games of 10 + points, 3 TD, with 2 100 yard games. We already know what Peyton Mannning can make out of WR and he's never had a run after the catch guy with Thomas' ability.

12. Steve Smith CAR Bye 6 : After having 1536 receiving yards and 9 TD in '09-'10 combined, in his first year with Cam Newton he was able to turn back the clock with a 79-1394-7 season. Smith had 11 games with 5 or more catches and had  TD or 100 yards in 10 games.

13. Hakeem Nicks NYG Bye 11 : For the second year in a row Nicks was able to reach 75 receptions and 1,000 yards and has 24 career TD. He broke a bone in his foot in late May and is due to return to the team in mid August. Injuries are a concern as he has failed to play a complete season in 3 years.

14. Mike Wallace PIT Bye 4 : Wallace was able to have his second straight 1K season with 8 TD but also with under 75 receptions. Another red flag is over the final 9 games of '11 he topped 80 yds only once with 3 TD. Scoring over 10+ pts in only 2 of those weeks.

15. Percy Harvin MIN Bye 11 : Although he has yet to record a 1,000 yard receiving season, Harvin eclipsed over 1,300 total yards due to his 345 rushing yards last season. He also exploded in the second half of the season when he had 10+ points in 7 of his final 9 games. over that same stretch he had 6 TD and 6 games of six or more receptions (2 games with 10 catches).

16. Marques Colston NO Bye 6 : Colston is a model of WR2 consistency, in his 5 (started on 6 games in 2008) full seasons he at least 1,000 yards, 70 plus receptions and 7 TD every year. Playing in one of the most effecient offenses with one of the games best QB, its no secret what you'll have at the end of the season

17. AJ Green CIN Bye 8 : Green went 65-1057-7 in his rookie season while having 9 games of 10 plus points and 5 games of over 90 yards. However he caught only 56% of his targets (116) and was held under 50 yards receiving in 5 games. The consistency will need to be there weekly to move him into WR1 status.

18. Dwayne Bowe KC Bye 7 : Bowe goes as Matt Cassell goes. In 2010 both had career seasons together with Bowe finishing as a top 5 WR. In the first 5 game slast season he 10+ pts in 4 games with 4 of his 5 total TD. Bowe has also been a top 10 targeted WR the past 2 seasons. If Cassell plays up to his ability Bowe should find himself somewhere between his '10 and '11 seasons.

19 . Miles Austin DAL Bye 5 :Austin only played in 10 games last season after dealing with on/off hamstring issues. He still posted his 3rd straight season of at least 7 TD and will be back to assuming his regular spot with the departure of Laurent Robinson.

20. Jeremy Maclin PHI Bye 7 : Maclin never got his season off on the right foot, dealing with an illness in training camp and a few injuries mid season. Expected to break out last season, this year he may slip down to a few lucky owners as he could reach the potential he showed in his 10 TD 2010 season.

21. Dez Bryant DAL Bye 5 : Everyone loves a 3rd year wideout. For Bryant the physical ability is there as he has 15 TD in his first 2 seasons although he had only 4 games with 6 or more catches and 0 100 yard performances. Trouble learning the offense has lept Bryant from making the leap into WR1 area and hampered his production. If he does put it together he could a huge value as a low end WR2.

22. Brandon Lloyd NE Bye 9 : Lloyd has followed Josh McDaniels to New England where he's totaled 147 catches 2414 yards and 16 TD with over the past 2 seasons. Now sorrounded by playmakers and Tom Brady Lloyd may finally be able to break out in 2012.

23. Vincent Jackson TB Bye 5 :At some point fantasy circles will consider Jackson exactly what is and that is a wildly inconsistent player with huge play abililty. He will be making the transition to Josh Freeman and Tampa Bay now after leaving Philip Rivers when he had only 3 games over 5 catches and 6 games of scoring 4 or fewer points.

24. Eric Decker DEN (7)

25. Stevie Johnson BUF (8)
26. Denarius Moore OAK (5)
27. Desean Jackson PHI(7)
28. Antonio Brown PIT (4)
29. Pierre Garcon WAS(10)
30. Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK(5)
31. Torrey Smith BAL(8)
32. Reggie Wayne IND(4)
33. Santonio Holmes NYJ(9)
34. Robert Meachem  SD(7)
35. Lance Moore NO(6)
36. Anquan Boldin BAL(8)

37. Laurent Robinson JAC(6)
38. Malcolm Floyd SD(7)
39. Eddie Royal SD(7)
40. Santana Moss WAS(10)
41. Sidney Rice SEA(11)
42. Kenny Britt TEN (5)
43. Danny Amendola STL(9)
44. Titus Young DET(5)
45. Michael Crabtree SF (9)
46. Greg Little CLE(10)
47. Doug Baldwin SEA(11)
48. Nate Washington TEN(5)

49. Randy Moss SF(9)
50. David Gettis CAR(6)
51. Justin Blackmon JAC(6)
52. Nate Burleson DET (5)
53. Emmanuel Sanders  PIT(4)
54. Rueben Randle NYG (11)
55. David Nelson BUF (8)
56. Brian Quick STL (9)
57. James Jones GB (10)
58. Jonathan Baldwin KC (7)
59. Earl Bennett CHI (6)
60. Kendall Wright TEN (11)

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 Fantasy Running Back Rankings

As the NFL transitions itself to a passing league (2012 QB Ranks) the running back position has transformed itself as well. Less frequently are offenses featuring one runner but now a group of diversified guys who specialize in different abilities to contribute out of the backfield. More players than ever are touching the ball from the running back spot. In 2011 only 2 RB (Maurice Jones Drew and Michael Turner) carried the ball more than 300 times, the first season since 1993 that there has been fewer than 5 players to reach 300 carries.

**All leagues vary in scoring. These ranking will be based on standard format scoring but will include receiving notes for PPR players**

1. Arian Foster HOU Bye 8 :  Foster should and likely will be your leagues consensus no. 1 player selected overall and with good reason. In only 12 games he posted 1800 total yards and 12 TD averaging 141.6 total yards per start. He has 2 straight seasons of adding on 50 plus receptions and 600 plus receiving yards as well. Also, for good measure, he has a TD or 100+ rushing yards in 25 of his past 29 games.

2. Ray Rice BAL Bye 8: The 2011 season seen longtime touchdown vulture Willis McGahee move on to Denver and with it Rice took his fantasy stock to a new level seeing his TD increase from 6 to 15. Rice only scored in single digits twice during last season while posting his second 2,000 total yard season in the past 3 seasons. Rice also is the premier pass catcher for RB having 60+ receptions in each of the past 3 years while having over 70 in two.

3. LeSean McCoy PHI Bye 7:  McCoy scored double digit fantasy points in his first 15 games of the 2011 season while scoring a TD or rushing for 100 yards in 14 games. He seen his touchdowns increase from 9 to 20 (17 rushing) while catching 40 plus passes for the third straight year.

4. Matt Forte CHI Bye 6 : It's hard to knock a player with 4 staright 1,400 yard seasons in a row. The Bears have added Michael Bush (top 12 in '11) to share the spot with him. Chicago has also added playmakers at WR as well, which could cut into Forte's role in the passing game as he's had over 50 catches every season. He also only has one season of 10 TD (2008)

5. Chris Johnson TEN Bye 11 : After 2,509 total yards in 2009, Johnson has only managed 3,074 total yardage in the two seasons combined off of that amazing season. He also his rushing TD total plummet to only 4 scores after 3 straight 10 plus rushing TD seasons. Johnson was also held to under 60 yards rushing 10 times last year. As awful as all that is, that season is in the past. Johnson has no threat to his job and will have entire training camp this year. He also had a career high 57 catches in 2011.

6. Darren McFadden OAK Bye 5 : On pure talent McFadden would be an easy top 5 candidate on this list, but he's missed time in all four of his NFL seasons and 13 games is the most he's ever played. He played in only 7 games in 2011 due to a right lisfranc injury. He only has 1 200 carry season bu tin his past 20 games hes averaging 121 total yards per to go with 15 TD.

7. Jamaal Charles KC Bye 7 : If Charles proves healthy there's no reason he can't move up this list. His value was never tied into Touchdowns (7 TD in '09 8 in '10) so don't sweat the addition of Peyton Hillis. In 2010 he was the no. 2 overall fantasy RB in a season he started only 6 games and had only 190 carries. That season he totaled 1900 yards and 8 TD. No worries about a time share with him as you can count on 40 catches easily from him. if he's getting in the area of 240 touches he could be a top 5 pick. Keep tabs on how he's progressing from the torn ACL he suffered in week 2. .

8.  Steven Jackson STL Bye 9 : A model of consistency S Jax had his 8th consecutive 1,000 yard season in 2011 and has 1300 total yards in 6 of his 9 NFL seasons. The problem is he only has 1 double digit TD season (2006) and only has 16 total TD over the past 3 seasons. He's played 15 games in each of the past 3 seasons as well as having four 40+ catch seasons in a row.

9.Maurice Jones Drew JAX Bye 6 : Last seasons leading rusher (1606 yards) carried the ball a career high 343 times, his third straight 300 carry season on his way to his third consecutive 1300 rushing yard campaign. MJD also collected his 5th 40 plus catch season in 6 years. After scoring 10 or more times on the ground in 3 of his 4 years he falied for the second straight year to reach that number with only 8 in 2011.

10. Trent Richardson CLE Bye 10 : From Steven Jackson to what could be the new version of him. Richardson has an elite blend of stength and speed and the abiltity to be a 3 down NFL back. He's in an ideal situation with Cleveland as he will likely touch the ball 15-20 times weekly. A 1200 yd 8 TD season is not out of reach.

11. Demarco Murray DAL Bye 5 : Murray burst onto the scene in his first NFL start with 25 carries and 253 yards vs STL after the incumbent Felix Jones was injured. In his 7 starts, Murray had double digit fantasy pts. in 5, 20+ carries in 5, 4 plus receptions in 4 before missing the final 3 games with an ankle injury..

12. Michael Turner ATL Bye 7 :Turner poured in his third season of 1300 rush yards in his past four years. Also carrying the ball 300 times for the third season of the past four. Turning 30, he has 1200 of his career 1400 carries in the past 4 years. he does have four straight 10+ TD seasons under his belt but he also has never had a 20 catch season. Expect a decreased workload but the TD will still be there.

13.  Fred Jackson BUF Bye 8 : In only 10 games last season Jackson has 1,376 total yards and 6 TD. before missing the final 6 games due to injury. He rushed for 100 yards in 6 games and had 5 catches in five of of the 10 games. Already 31 years old, the Bills will tak enotice that he was injured after receiving his largest workload and work in CJ Spiller more this season. Spiller himself was valuable down the stretch scoring double digits 4 times without Jackson available.

14. Ahmad Bradshaw NYG Bye 11 : Coming off a 2010 where he had 276 carries 1235 rush yards and 47 catches with 8 TD, Bradshaw played in only 12 games last season with only 659 yards. Bu the managed still to have 9 TD and 34 catches. Gone now is Brandon Jacobs and rookie David Wilson will see less time than most are expecting. That is unless Bradshaw goes down again as he's had chronic foot issues in his career.

15. Ryan Mathews SD Bye 7 : Mathews tallied 1500 total yards and 6 TD last season with 50 receptions. His 5.7 yards per touch were second in the NFL for players with 200 + touches. The loss of Mike Tolbert has opened the door wide open for Mathews to post his best statistical season coming season. . *** Broken Collarbone expected to miss first 2 weeks of regular season***

16.  Marshawn Lynch SEA Bye 11 : In 2011 Lynch posted career highs in carries (285) and rush yards (1204). he had a stretch of 12 straight games with a TD and gave owners 14+ pts 8 times through a 8 game stretch weeks 9-16. All that and Lynch only had 6 100 yard games and is virtually useless in the passing game as he has only 2 career receiving TD and only one season (2008) of over 30 catches. In PPR leagues knock him down a few slots. ***Lynch is open for suspension - which could scare owners away***

17. Adrian Peterson MIN Bye 11 : On Christmas Eve Peterson suffered multiple torn ligaments in his knee and could force him to miss time to begin this season. Even if he clears camp he's still a big time risk. Befor einjury he managed to reach 12 rush TD for third year in a row, something hes done 4 of his 5 years. In his 12 games though pre-injury he only had 3 100 yard games and 5 times was held to under 60 yards rushing. The Vikings have steadily reduced Peterson's carries over the past 4 seasons (from 363, 314, 283 and was on pace for 278 in '11) but his average yards per carry has been consistent with no drop off.

18. Doug Martin TB Bye 5 : In the mold of Ray Rice, Martin can do everything even return kicks. The Boise St selection will likely take over 3 down duties from Legarrette Blount at some point this season as he totaled 1350 plus yards in each of his final 2 college seasons. Even if he doesn't work in short yardage expect Martin to compile close to 1200 total yards rushing and receiving.

19.  Darren Sproles NO Bye 6 : The versatile running back had over 1300 yards season (603 rush/710 recv.) while catching 86 passes on 111 targets. He also added 9 TD. Sproles value clearly comes in PPR formats as he had 13 games of 5+ catches but only 2 games with 10+ carries. Surprisingly he also only totaled 4 games with 100 total yards.

20. Reggie Bush MIA Bye 7 : Bush enjoyed his best season ever as a rusher eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark for the first time. In fact it was the first time he ever rushed for more than 600 yards in a season. Bush topped 100 yards 5 times and did so in each of Miami's final four games. His 216 carries were easily the most in his career as he had 7 scores. Miami will have Daniel Thomas returning as well as drafting speedster Lamar Miller as well to challenge him.

21.  Frank Gore SF Bye 9 : Gore is coming off his most carries (282) since 2006 and that workload showed late in the season. Through weeks 4-9 Gore ran for 100 plus yards in all 5 games but never reached that number again the rest of the season. He still managed 9 games of 10 pts or more but had only 17 receptions after totaling 40 or more for 5 seasons in a row.

22. Benjarvus Green-Ellis CIN Bye 8 : The Law Firm was underutilized in New England where he compiled 25 rushing scores and 1600 yards the past 2 seasons. Last season he scored double digits in 7 games but also having 7 games with fewer than 10 carries. Now in a run first offense expect Green Ellis to carry the ball much more but don't expect to see the field in passing situations as he's only had a 10 reception season once.

23. Beanie Wells ARI Bye 10 : Through 14 games Wells totaled 1,097 yards and 10 TD before missing the final 2 weeks and had offseason knee surgery. He managed only 2 100 yard games and has only 27 career catches in 43 games played. The Cardinals are anticipating the return of Ryan Williams to the fold to ease the work load.

24. Shonn Greene NYJ Bye 9 : Greene carried the ball 253 times for 1054 yards in 2011 with 6 scores, but he only had 5 games in double digit scoring and only two 100 yard games. He did have 30 receptions and with LaDainian Tomlinson retiring should see the entire work load. However the 6 rushing TD are exactly how many QB Mark Sanchez had rushing himself and the addition of Tim Tebow could leave Greene in the 4-6 TD range.

25. Donald Brown IND Bye 4 : Brown emerged as the best option in the Colts carousel of running backs last season notching career bests in carries (134) and yards (645) with 5 TD with only having 2 games of 80+ yards rushing. An interesting note on Brown as well is if you take away his 80 yd TD vs TEN in Week 15 his YPC drop from 4.8 to a pedestrian 4.2
26. Isaac Redman PIT Bye 4 : Redman got his chance the final week of the season when Rashard Mendehall suffered a torn ACL and he responded with 19 carries for 92 yards and TD in Week 17. he follwed that game up with a 17 carry 121 yard game in the Steelers first round loss at Denver. Redman is a more accomplished reciever than Mendenhall but may lose short yardage touches to Jonathan Dwyer.

27. Mikel LeShoure DET Bye 5 : Leshoure was expected to play a big role in the Lions offense last season but missed the entire campaign due to a torn achilles. With Best battling chronic concussion issues expect LeShoure to get back into the offense heavily. Owners will have to wait until week 3 though as he is suspended for the teams forst 2 games for a marijuana arrest.
28. Willis McGahee DEN Bye 7 : McGahee was able to slow down father time last season, rushing for over 1,000 yards (1,199) for the first time in 5 seasons with 4 TD. Now 30 years old and coming off his first 200 carry season since 2007 expect the carries to drop with McGahee but his TD total could spike back up to the 7-10 range with the change from Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning.

29. Peyton Hillis KC Bye 7 : After a 1,500 yard 13 TD season in 2010, Hillis struggled to stay healthy only reaching 800 total yards and 3 TD last season. Hillis has moved on to kansas City, reunitingwith offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and head coach Romeo Crennell to help share backfield duties with Jamaal Charles. The TD's may be there but it's worth noting that all 7 of Hillis' career 100 yard games came with him getting 20 or more carries, a number he's unlikely to reach in the time share.
30/31. Jonathan Stewart /DeAngelo Williams CAR Bye 6 :  Stewart (142 att for 761 yards) and Williams ( 155/836) posted nearly the same rushing totals in 2011 but Stewart managed to haul in 47 passes (after only 34 total in the 3 previous seasons combined) to Williams 16, giving him 200 more total yards in the season. Both average 5.4 YPC and the TD total was 7 to 5 in favor of Williams. Neither player had a game over 15 carries, but Williams totaled 10 or more pts in 5 of his final 8 games and had 6 of his 7 TD over that span.

32. CJ Spiller BUF Bye 8 : Spiller took over as the starter when Fred jackson was injured in week 11, gaining 10 + Fantasy points in 4 of his final 5 games,. He also added 21 catches over that time with 5 total TD. Expect Spiller to be worked in more frequently than last season as the Bills use his versatility.

33.Michael Bush CHI Bye 6 : In nine games with Darren McFadden hurt, Bush wound up totaling 740 rush yards, 307 receiving yards and five total touchdowns in those starts (he totaled 1,395 yards and eight touchdowns overall) possibly earning him a starting spot somewhere. Instead he signed with Chicago to split time with Matt Forte. Expect similar numbers to what Bush posted in 2010 in his time share with Oakland. 
34. Toby Gerhart MIN Bye 11 : If Peterson is slow to start the season than Gerhart could be a nice play to open the season as the Vikings begin 2012 with games vs Jacksonville and Indianapolis. Gerhart ran for 90 or more yards in 3 of his final 5 games while catching 16 passes over the same frame.
35. Stevan Ridley NE Bye 9 : Ridley will be a popular sleeper pick after rushing for 5.1 YPC in his 87 attempts last season. Beware though, because as usual the Patriots backfield is still crowded and ove rthe past 7 seasons New England has given a RB more than 200 carries only twice. The addition of Joseph Addai could also spell trouble for his goal line chances.
36.Roy Helu WAS Bye 10 : After starter Tim Hightower went down Helu notched 3 straight 100 yard games and 4 consecutive 20 plus carry games before being injured himself. The Nebraska rookie added 49 catches including a 14 catch game vs SF Week 9. The upside is high but Washington brought Hightower back in the fold and coach Mike Shanahan has a had a knack of pulling the rug out on fantasy owners when it comes to his backfield. 

Ranking the rest:

37. Ronnie Hillman DEN (7)
38. Mark Ingram NO (6)
39. Jahvid Best DET (5)
40. Ben Tate HOU (8)
41. Pierre Thomas NO (6)
42. Ryan Williams ARI (10)
43. James Starks GB (10)
44. Felix Jones DAL (5)
45. Legarrette Blount TB (5)
46. Daniel Thomas MIA (7)
47. David Wilson NYG (11)
48. Bernard Scott CIN (8)

49. Isaiah Pead STL (9)
50. Rashad Jennings JAC (6)
51. Delone Carter IND (4)
52. Kevin Smith DET (5)
53. Mike Tolbert CAR (6)
54. Jacquizz Rodgers ATL (7)
55. Joseph Addai NE (9)
56. Tim Hightower WAS (10)
57. Mike Goodson OAK (5)
58. Kendall Hunter SF (9)
59. Robert Turbin SEA (11)
60. Rashard Mendenhall PIT (4)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Red Carpet Special : Trout Season

Twenty games into the new baseball season the Angels were reaching for the panic button. Off to a 6-14 start with a struggling high priced free agent they were looking for anyone and anything to right the ship. That answer was found on April 28 when the club released disgruntled OF/DH Bobby Abreu and recalled the no. 2 prospect in the country Mike Trout.

Before infusing Trout into the starting lineup, Angel lead off hitters were posting a lowly .250 OBP, since then they are reaching base at a .325 clip while compiling a 33-19 record putting the Angels right back into the playoff picture.

Sports Illustrated Images
The soon to be 21 year old had his first taste of the big leagues last season, playing in 40 games. Only hitting .220 with a .281 OBP Trout was expected to begin this season in Triple A once again with the log jam the Angels had in both the OF and DH positions. Learning from that initial failure Trout is back to doing the things he has always shown he was capable of and the things he was doing before that brief call up.

Since 4/28 the Angels star is already the no. 1 ranked OF in 5x5 roto leagues, leading all of MLB in runs (42) and steals (20) over that time frame. He also has the 3rd most hits (68) tied with Joey Votto and Carlos Gonzalez since his return. Tacking on 7 HR and 29 RBI (the most amongst MLB lead off men in the same time frame) while adding a nifty .336/.399/.534 slash line.

Trout has never shown elite power but is still very young and has already shown he's capable of 15-20 HR, and in 90 big league games he's hit 12 HR. Trout is also making much better contact in his second stint, with a 24.5 % Line Drive rate of balls batted while hitting more ground balls 42.8% . With his batting average of balls in play (BABIP) current at .394 he's a touch lucky but his LD% and ground ball rate combined with his speed mean that even he's somewhere near a .350 BABIP he's a .300 plus hitter. Trout has a very solid walk rate (9.2%) as well, meaning he's going to be on base even when he slumps. That could also climb a bit as he's had a walk rate of over 10% at nearly every stop in his 2 minor league seasons.

Looking at the lofty company Trout already holds with his current production in fantasy, owners will be using a first round pick on him for years to come.

2012 Final Line prediction: .312 AVG 102 R 22 HR 81 RBI 43 SB

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2012 Fantasy QB Rankings

The NFL has always been a quarterback driven league and teams now more than ever are relying on their field generals to do more than just manage the game. The recent shift in offensive philosophy and league rules have provided the perfect storm for fantasy owners to get very reliable weekly scoring without having to use a top draft pick at the position.

The 2011 season had 10 QB's throw for 4,000 + yards (3 over 5K, Eli Manning just missing with 4,900) as opposed to 5 who threw for that much yardage in 2010. Three QB passed for 40 or more touchdowns while Tom Brady threw for 39, the first 40 TD seasons since 2007 when Brady threw 50 scores.

2012 could very well be the deepest quarterback season fantasy owners have seen in some time. Owners in regular draft formats not using a top 3 pick on one of the ultra elites will find the options left in the mid rounds far more useful than in years past.

**These early rankings are based on current value. Meaning guys in position battles that are not clear starters yet will have their ranking hurt as of now. Of course this list will be adjusted as things get closer to the season and jobs are won.**

1. Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay  Bye: 10 : MVP of the league coming off career highs in yards (4643) TD's (45) and a low INT (6). Also adding 16 Rush TD's over the past 4 seasons. No dicount double check with the numbers you'll get from fantasy's best QB.

2. Drew Brees -  New Orleans Bye 6 : Nobody expects Brees not to sign a new deal eventually. Once he does, owners can expect more of the same from last season where he set a new NFL record in passing yards (5,476) while tacking on a league leading 46 passing TD's. His 4th straight season of 30+ TD's passing.

3. Tom Brady - New England Bye 9 : Ho hum. Brady wouldv'e broken the passing yardage record if it weren't for Brees. His 5,235 yards and 39 TD's were his best season since 2007 when he set the record TD mark. Only 2 weeks in 2011 with fewer than 20+ fantasy points.

4. Matthew Stafford - Detroit Bye 5 : The third member of the 2011 5K passing club (5,038) Stafford connected for 41 TD while throwing for 3 + TD in 7 games. Accompanied by the best fantasy WR in the game and a running game that appears to have improved minimally expect another monster season from him.

5. Cam Newton - Carolina Bye 6 :  I've already broken down the Newton first or second round scenario. The rookie sensation shattered the rookie passing yardage record with his 4,051 yards while adding 21 passing TD's and also adding 14 rushing TD's. I expect his rush TD's to drop some but also improve on his 17 INT this season.Some leagues will see him taken as early as the no. 2 QB after Rodgers. Love the production, just not the cost to get him.

6. Matt Ryan - Atlanta Bye 7 : Another guy I will have ranked higher than most. Ryan will be this years Matt Stafford. You won't get the 5,000 yards and 40 TD but what I mean by that is a guy that is going to shatter where he will be taken in your draft. Atlanta has a new pass first offense for a QB that has been top 10 the past 2 seasons and Atlanta has the easiest pass schedule of 2012. See more here.

7. Michael Vick - Philadelphia Bye 7:  The first four QB are no brainers. Now let's stir the pot a bit. Vick gets the nod for me over Cam Newton due to the fact he already is a better passer than Newton, the skill position players around him are substantially better than in Carolina and he's on equal footing with rushing yardage.  Injury risk alert as he hasn't played a full 16 games since 2006.

8. Eli Manning - New York Giants Bye 11 : Eli's 4,933 yards and 29 TD were the third consecutive season he's ammased 4,000 + yards with 27+ TD. The run game still isn't elite and WR Hakeem Nicks should return to start the season.

9. Tony Romo - Dallas  Bye 5 : The Cowboys' real life punching bag has done nothing but provide consistently great numbers for fantasy owners. Romo has eclipsed 3,400 yards and 25 + TD in each of his past 4 full seasons (6 games in 2010) and has thrown for more than 30 TD in 2 of those seasons.

10. Philip Rivers - San Diego Bye 7: Rivers threw for 4624 yards and 27 TD's in what many percieve as a down season. It was the 4th straight season he passed for 4,000 yards and 25 TD. He also threw a career high 20 INT but we've seen elite QB throw a bunch INT (Brees - 2010 22 INT) and bounce back.

11. Peyton Manning - Denver Bye 7 : Hard to believe a player whose career lows are 3,700 yards and 26 TD will likely be drafted as a backup in 10 team leagues. 4 neck surgeries and lost season at age 36 will do that. Denver has the pieces in place for Manning to be successful and he will be the ultimate risk/reward pick for owners who select him to be their starter.

12. Matt Schaub - Houston Bye 8 :  Schaub's 2010 ended after 10 games with a Lisfranc injury to his right foot. He played 6 of those 10 games without Andre Johnson as well(3/6 of those games 20+ pts). But he leads an offense that runs the ball better than anyone in the league and will have a very soft schedule playing in the AFC South. Coming off of back to back 4,000 yard seasons before 2011 owners looking for a late bargain at QB could find him very useful.

13. Jay Cutler - Chicago Bye 6 : Reunited with ex-Broncos coach Jeremy Bates as well as former Bronco teammate Brandon Marshall paired with the retiring of Mike Martz could mean a return to the 4500+ yard thrower Cutler was in 2008. Add the fact that both of the Chicago RB are great in the passing game. 5 of his 10 games in 2011 scored 20+ fantasy points.

14. Carson Palmer - Oakland Bye 5 : After sitting out the first 6 weeks of the season Palmer was rushed right into playing time in hopes of keeping Oaklands playoff hopes alive. With limited practice and rush he totaled 20 + fantasy points in 5 of his starts. A full off season and some interesting weapons at his disposal Palmer will have a shot to pass for 3,500 yads and 25 TD. Oakland has great bye week matchups for Rodgers, Brady, Vick and Ryan owners.

15. Robert Griffin III- Washington Bye 10 : Likely will be selected much higher than he should be by an owner looking to catch the Cam Newton lightning in a bottle. Griffin passed for over 10,000 yards and 77 TD's in his final 2 college seasons while only throwing 17 INT. The opportunity will be there for him and he has a better WR corp and defense than Newton had to start off with. A 20 TD season with 500 rush yards could be achievable.

16. Ben Roethlisberger - Pittsburgh Bye 4 : Big Ben has proven to be a great real life quarterback but only a marginal fantasy option. Expected to throw more last season, Roethlisberger threw for 4,000 yards for the second time in his career but only totaled 21 TD while throwing 14 INT. He's only topped 25 + TD twice in his career and Pittsburgh has the 31st worst ranked passing schedule in 2012.
17. Josh Freeman - Tampa Bay Bye 5 : After a promising second season where he threw for 3451 yards and 25 TD and only 6 INT, Freeman and the Bucs dissapointed mightily in 2011. He had only two 300 yard passing games in 2011 and not one game did he pass for more than 2 TD's. Tampa has given him new weapons in Vincent Jackson and versatile RB Doug Martin from Boise St.  to give him more options in the passing game while signing Gaurd Carl Nicks to the Oline. If he can meet in the middle of his '10 and '11 seasons Freeman can be a value to owners once again.

18. Ryan Fitzpatrick - Buffalo Bye 8 : Fitzpatrick caught owners off guard last season starting with 3 straight games of 22+ points to open the season as well as a 9/3 TD/INT clip. After week 3 Fitzpatrick reverted back to a QB who forced too many throws into coverage (15 TD 20 INT final 13 games). He also threw 1 TD or 0 TD in 8 games in 2011.

19. Joe Flacco - Balitmore Bye 8 : Owners keep waiting on the breakout season from Flacco into a fantasy star and it simply is never going to happen. He is what he is and thats a 3,500 20 TD passer. Flacco threw for 7 TD in his first three games last season followed by 13 over the final 13 games.

20. Matt Cassell - Kansas City Bye 7 : Last season, owners were looking for Cassell to build off the 27 TD season he had in 2010. Instead he threw only 10 TD in 9 games while averaging a lowly 191 yards per contest. Kansas City does have offensive plamakers in Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hills and James Baldwin but Cassell has never averaged 7 yards per attempt in his 3 seasons in KC.

21. Matt Flynn - Seattle Bye 11: Believe what you want about the supposed comepetition between Flynn and Tavaris Jackson but the Seahawks didn't give Flynn $10 million guaranteed to be the backup. He gave everyone a glimpse of his ability throwing for 480 yards and 6 TD in the regular season finale vs Detroit but that was with the Packers offense.

22. Andy Dalton - Cincinnatti Bye 8: The Red Rocket proved himself as a solid NFL QB in his rookie season throwing for 3398 yards and 20 TD. Dalton is a case where his real NFL vaule and fantasy value don't add up. He had only 2 300 yard games and only 1 game with over 2 TD's. Also Dalton had 8 games with 15 or fewer pts. Add to those numbers that the Bengals face the worst schedule for passing games this season.

23. Sam Bradford - St. Louis Bye 9 : Bradford could be a nice value as a post hype sleeper this season. After a successful rookie season Bradford dealt with injuries all last season, only playing in 10 games while throwing only 6 TD. His completion percentage dropped way off (60% 2010 53% 2011) as a result of the rotation of inexperienced WR the Rams rotated as well. With security blanket Danny Amendola coming back expect Bradford to be a solid fantasy backup as the Rams have a very matchup freiendly schedule.

24. Mark Sanchez - New York Jets Bye 9 : Before trading for Tim Tebow the Jets gave Sanchez a new 3 yr - $40 million contract extension. Sanchez was usuable for fantasy owners last season as he posted 26 TDs as well as 6 rushing TD's. He scored 20 + points for owners in 7 weeks but also scored 13 or fewer in 4 weeks.

25. Alex Smith - San Francisco Bye 9 : The former 2005 #1 draft pick enjoyed his best season as pro last year throwing for 3,000 yards for the first time in his career. His 5 INT were also a league low but they came with only 17 TD. Smith had zero 300 yard games and 11 games with 1 or fewer TD. The additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham will help but the 49ers are run first club still.

26. Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Bye 4 : The Colts lost Peyton Manning and hope they replaced him with another 15 year starting QB. By now you know luck has all the ability and tools but to the fantasy circle he inherits one of leagues worst offenses. The Colts struggled last season and will now be without Pierre Garcon, Jacob Taame and Dallas Clark while only bringing aging WR Reggie Wayne back. The addition of draft choice and college teammate Colby Fleener helps only so much.

27.  Matt Hasselbeck - Tennessee Bye 11: 3500 yards and 18 TD in 2011. Locker looming but Hasselbeck gives them best chance for playoff run in a weak divison.

28.  Christian Ponder Minnesota Bye 11: 13 INT in 11 games as a rookie.  Possibly no Peterson to begin the season with Harvin his only option.

29.  Brandon Weeden Cleveland Bye 10 : Will be 29 in October. Has a few playmakers in Richardson, Cribbs and Little to give some value.

30. John Skelton Arizona Bye 10: 270 + yards the final 4 games of 2011. 14 INT in 8 games played. 2+ attempts more per game to Fitzgerald than Kolb

31. Ryan Tannehill - Miami Bye 7: Big arm, athletic but may be the best WR on his own team. Miami would be wise to see what happened to #32 on this list when forcing to play Tannehill.

32. Blaine Gabbert - Jacksonville Bye 6: Gabbert's career could be stunted due to him being forced to start so early. Unfortuanately in todays NFL there's no time to wait. Only 5 times in 15 games did Gabbert exceed 10 pts. The Jags did sink money into getting him more help than just MJD  by signing Laurent Robinson and drafting Justin Blackmon.

On the bubble: Tim Tebow, Jake Locker, Matt Moore, Tavaris Jackson, Kevin Kolb, Chad Henne