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All-season Dynasty Rankings - RB updated week 8, 2014 in post #51 (1 Viewer)

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
Updates
Running back - 2014, week 8


I've noticed that dynasty rankings tend to typically go through a cycle. In the offseason just after the draft, they're all the rage. At the end of the season people really start shifting them around. But during the season it can be difficult to find a pair of rankings that are really moving things around on a week to week basis, so since I couldn't find that I set out to do my own set of rankings. Being such a generous bagel (free, in fact) I figured I would share and will hopefully not lead people down the path of too many bad dynasty decisions. The idea here is to be proactive and move things around as they happen, year round. We'll see if I can keep up with it.

The rankings below assume non-ppr because that's what the majority of the leagues I play in score with. It should be easy enough to move things around a little bit within each position to account for PPR driven leagues.

Scoring system is assumed pretty standard:
25 yards per point passing
4 points per pass TD
10 yards per point rush/rec
6 points per rush/rec TD

I'm still working on the WR rankings. Man there are a lot of WRs. Those should be up by next week. The number next to each player is their age as of the start of the 2013 season. This is my first stab at it, so I'm happy to discuss any of the rankings and may or may not be persuaded to change them. Either way, I'll probably be updating them shortly both as things sink in and as these guys keep playing.

To give a bit of perspective, I consider myself a kind of "in the middle" dynasty player. I try not to fixate on youth to the point where I'm constantly building a paper tiger of a team, and I try not to go all in for one year at the expense of the next one. A moderate, if you will. Again, adjust accordingly if you like to stay super young or if you like to go hard to the hole every year. We'll see if the rankings actually reflect that description, starting with....

 
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FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
Quarterback

My general philosphy on quarterbacks (given that we're talking about a start 1QB league) is that I want a difference maker. For that reason, I have little interest in middling QB2's with limited upside and will often rank them below guys that still have a shot at being a legit high-end QB1.

Tier 1

Aaron Rodgers - 29.7
Still the ultimate combination of proven production and youth. People are going to see that '30' flash up by his name soon and get worried, but he's still got as much fantasy shelf-life left as a 23 year old running back.

Tier 2

Andrew Luck - 23.9
Luck hasn't improved as much in his 2nd year as I think most people expected. His only real improvements have been in the turnover category, which is less important to fantasy owners. That said, he still looks like the next big thing. He has all the physical tools as well as the mental acumen to be the unprecented QB1 for almost a decade starting within a few years, and he has that Rodgers-like ability to chip in some handy points on the ground as well.

Cam Newton - 24.3
Cam just keeps doing what he's doing, putting up top 5 fantasy QB numbers in a "down" year. His ability to score on the ground is especially big in 4 point pass TD leagues, and his rushing ability caps his floor at the top 5-7 range. His upside, of course, is much higher and I still think he has one of those fantasy blowup seasons in front of him where he'll win people their championships on his back. His size also gives him a very rare ability, the ability to stay healthy despite being a running quarterback.

Tier 3

Drew Brees - 34.7
Brees has still probably got 2 good years ahead of him after this one, maybe 3. Outside of age, there are no question marks around him. As reliable as it gets. It's insane to think about, but 5000+ yards and 40+ TDs are almost a given for him until he falls off the cliff.

Matt Stafford - 25.5
Stafford is a bit of an accumulator, with YPA and TD/INT numbers that aren't really that great for the number of times he's throwing the ball. That said, the same could be said of Brett Favre and he had a long career doing it. Stafford is the modern day gunslinger. He'll sit back there and fling it around all day, accumulating big fantasy numbers all the while. It certainly doesn't hurt that he'll be throwing to Calvin for the foreseeable future. I believe last year's low TD numbers were an abberation given the number of attempts he had, and think we can expect 30+ most years going forward alongside his typical ~5,000 yard passing average.

Robert Griffin III - 23.5
RG3 is about as boom or bust as it gets at the QB position. He flashed out of this world potential in his rookie year, only to come screeching back down to earth this year. Is he just still getting over the injury, making this a perfect buy lowish opportunity, or is this a sign of an inconsistent guy that will struggle to stay healthy and put up good numbers without catching the league offguard with the read option? I'm inclined to think it will be somwehre in between. I expect him to improve on this year going forward, but I don't think he'll consistently be a top 3 guy, or at least be able to stay healthy enough while playing the way he has to do accomplish that.

Tony Romo - 33.3
I don't know of any fantasy scoring systems that deduct extra points for crucial interceptions, so there isn't any reason not to like Romo in fantasy. He continues to be an underrated fantasy asset, typically very cheap to acquire but reliable for ~4,500 yards and ~30 TDs year in and year out.

Tier 4

Peyton Manning - 37.5
Give me a year and a half of Peyton over the rest of the career of any of the guys below him at this point.

Matt Ryan - 28.3
The last couple of weeks have given us a good scare as to what the future might be like when Matty Ice loses all of his weapons, but I still believe he'll be a solid QB1 going forward with Julio back.

Colin Kaepernick - 25.8
Another running QB that has seen some struggles with the league's adjustment to the read option, Kaep stays fairly high in my rankings because his rushing ability make him a high upside play, which is what I'm looking for at the tail end of the QB1 range.

Russell Wilson - 24.8
Wilson's efficiency numbers are off the charts for an undersized guy that just came into the league a year ago, and he adds some rushing numbers to boot. The only thing he's lacking at this point is attempts. However, we have to consider how much his good efficiency numbers are correlated to his lack of attempts on a team that sets up the pass with the run. Looking at his numbers, he reminds me a bit of a souped up young Ben Roethlisberger.

Tier 5

Nick Foles - 24.5
I'll probably get slammed for this ranking, and accused of chasing points. However, I see little value in stable QB2's as they're always extremely cheap to acquire in a pinch. Give me Foles and give me upside baby. He has a lot of it.

Philip Rivers - 31.7
He's back!....ish. Unfortunately for Rivers, his upside is limited to low-QB1 territory and he's already slowed down from his hot start this year.

Tom Brady - 36.1
Is Tom Brady done? His upside in a return to form for a couple of years is worth taking a shot on at this point.

EJ Manuel - 23.6
Manuel showed just enough this year before his injury to pique my interest. I don't believe in him long term, but the dearth of upside from here on out forces me to put him here.

Case Keenum - 25.5
What the!??! I've seen enough of the guys below here to know that, unless I'm dealing with a major injury to my starter, I don't really have any interest in any of them. We're barely in to the Case Keenum experiment and it may be a longshot that he becomes the next Tony Romo, but I'd rather role those dice than sit on anyone listed below.

Terrelle Pryor - 24.3
Pryor is kind of like the new Tim Tebow, minus the hideous throwing motion and media circus that people can fixate on to hate him. If he can keep his passing numbers up enough to hold the job his rushing numbers alone will make him a QB1.

Tier Boring

Andy Dalton - 25.9

Ryan Tannehill - 25.2
Jake Locker - 25.2
Eli Manning - 32.6
Jay Cutler - 30.4
Joe Flacco - 28.6
Ben Roethlisberger - 31.4
Geno Smith - 22.9
Ryan Mallet - 25.2
Mike Vick - 33.2
Sam Bradford - 25.9

 
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FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
Running Back

Tier 1


LeSean McCoy - 25.2
There were a group of about 8 guys ranked similarly headed into this year, and Shady is the only guy that's among the top of that group in both production and age. He's been successful in several different regimes, and still has plenty of years left in front of him

Tier 2

Jamaal Charles - 26.9
Jamaal Charles per touch numbers are other worldly. Even with Todd Haley gone and Charles having closer to a workhorse role he still put up 5.3ypc coming off an ACL injury. The crazy part is that 5.3ypc was his career low. I'll probably take flak for this, but he reminds me of a modern day Barry Sanders. A guy with the speed and elusiveness to take it to the house at any point, but can still hold up to a full workload. Add in his receiving proficiency and his perfect fit in Andy Reid's system that should be around for the rest of his career, and the only worry around him is that his trade value will dip precipitously in a year or two due to his age.

Doug Martin - 24.8
Martin has some legitimate concerns, but in the current FF RB landscape everyone does from here on out. A big part of Martin's value is the way Schiano uses him, as his pro version of what he had in Ray Rice at Rutgers. With Schiano likely gone soon, there's no guarantee that the next guy will use him the same way. That said, he's a talented 3-down back that is under 25, can catch the ball, and is good in short yardage. That is a very rare commodity in the modern landscape.

Giovanni Bernard - 21.9
Bernard is the ultimate fantasy risk right now. He's young, has looked incredible with the touches he's had, and is in a spot in Cinci alongside AJ Green and Tyler Eifert that could turn into an exciting FF offense. BJGE won't be able to keep him off the field for long. The only question is whether or not his coaching staff will believe that he can carry the load, and whether or not he can actually handle it while staying healthy. The problem with Bernard is getting your greasy mits on him, because his current perceived value is basically already at his upside. If you trade for him, you're taking on all that risk on your side.

Tier 3

Adrian Peterson - 28.6
The only knock on Peterson is his age, and it's getting up there. However, at this point there aren't many guys left that you can count on to produce for even a year or two, so Peterson's guaranteed top end production is worth it even with a short shelf life. Some people expect Peterson to play well into his 30's a la some of the other great backs like Emmitt, but I don't think that's something that's likely enough to count on. It's a bonus, if it happens.

Eddie Lacy - 22.3
We always like to quote "talent over situation" in dynasty, but Lacy is in one of those rare situations that doesn't look to be changing any time soon. Lacy's absurdly young age in the modern landscape that lacks youth at RB comes alongside actively good production, and that doesn't look to be changing any time soon.

Le'Veon Bell - 21.5
A lot of people look at Bell and see an ordinary guy. I see a guy with great agility for his size, and a guy who has exceeded all our expectations with his usage in the passing game. Pittsburgh is a horrible spot for a RB right now, but the coaching staff clearly believes in him and he's an extremely young 3-down RB that can catch and gets goaline carries. Even with a terrible line on a terrible offense he's a productive fantasy player. You have to think the situation will improve at some point and, if it does, his value will rise exponentially.

CJ Spiller - 26.1
Spiller is in a large group of middle aged backs severely under performing this year. That said, I have Spiller at the top of that list as his situation has really been the worst of all of them (bad team, injuries, etc). I believe he's the most likely to turn it around and become a dynasty asset yet again.

Alfred Morris - 24.3
Alf's upside is limited by his lack of usage in the passing game, and there's always that fear of Shenanihanigans looming out there. But when the Shenanihanigans rumble, it's usually after year 1. Alf has cemented his hold on the job this year and while he's not flashy, he continues to produce at a great pace.

Tier 4

Marshawn Lynch - 27.5
We've gotten to a point where we've got a group of guys producing pretty well, but getting to that upper-mid tier of age where guys' value is going to start dipping quickly and where you're not going to get production outside of a 3-year window. Lynch heads that list as a talented workhorse on a team with a great run blocking unit.

Matt Forte - 27.9
Forte's pass catching ability keeps him as a solid fantasy option even in his down years. Michael Bush is no longer stealing all the goaline carries, and Forte is a guy with one of the highest floors out there right now.

Arian Foster - 27.1
I've always believed that Foster is just a pretty good running back in a great situation. That situation finally appears to be crumbling around him and Foster's production has suffered along with it, especially in the TD category. That said, injuries haven't helped and if he can get healthy Kubiak has always managed to put together a system that is very friendly for its lead running back. With Tate likely gone at the end of the year he could bounce back in a big way. Problem is, he'll be 28 by then and his perceived trade value will have taken a huge hit. His history of high workload and nagging injuries suggests that he's not going to be a guy that plays well beyond 30.

Tier 5

Trent Richardson - 22.2
In a way, Richardson is an example of the risk in a guy like Giovanni Bernard, as people had to pay for Richardson's upside when acquiring him this offseason much like they're doing for Bernard now. I'm not a guy that's going to try and come up with endless excuses for Richardson's struggle and pretends that he just has the worst luck in the history of the universe, in that every time he touches the ball everyone around him just falls apart. That said, Richardson's upside alone is worth taking a shot on at this point. I could foresee a scenario where he drops some weight in the offseason to regain some of the quickness that we thought he had, and where the pro game finally "clicks" for him and he's able to find those holes that he's missing. If it happens, he still has the physical size, prototypical NFL RB build, and youth to be a great fantasy asset.

Ray Rice - 26.8
I was immediately down on Rice once Cam left town. Cam has made every RB he's had into an FF star and every one of them saw an enormous dropoff when he left town. Rice isn't as bad as he's been this year, but his days of a 2000 yard ceiling are long gone. I would sell if I could find someone that still believes he has that in him.

Zac Stacy - 22.6
A lot of people look at Stacy and see just a guy. I look at him and see a guy with ideal size who has some good agility and vision. It's not like St Louis is an ideal spot for RBs, everyone else there has struggled. Stacy is earning a lot of those yards on his own and Jeff Fisher seems dedicated to him at this point, which is typically fantasy gold.

Christine Michael - 22.9
I'm a boom or bust kind of guy. Studs win championships, and all that. I still have my concerns with Michael. His lack of high end college production, the fear that his preseason production came behind an elite O-line that may or may not be there by the time he gets the job, etc. But man, did he look good and man, does he have the measurables. I think he could do even more than what Lynch is doing right now if he had the chance to get the carries back there.

Andre Ellington - 24.5
There are a lot of legitimate concerns about Ellington being a flash in the pan or never getting a featured role, but he answered a lot of questions with his shot as the starter. He looks better back there than a RB has looked in Arizona in a long, long time. Just because the current staff doesn't believe he's a feature back doesn't mean the next one won't, and regimes don't tend to stick around Arizona for long.

DeMarco Murray - 25.5
Murray is an interesting enigma. On the one hand, he's oft injured and I think we all just have this feeling that we wouldn't be the least bit surprised if Dallas has gone in another direction by this time next year. On the other hand, he's young and has been productive, and holds a lot of value if he can stay healthy and keep the job.

The Rest
At this point, we've reached a group of guys that will vary a lot in their placement depending on the makeup of your team. To some that are competing and are one piece away, the elderly guys that are producing now will be worth more than the young prospects. That said, here is what they would look like in a vaccuum for me. Adjust accordingly depending on the makeup of your team.

David Wilson - 22.3
Wilson is basically a lottery ticket at this point. Similar to Richardson, we're still holding out hope that he can be what we'd hoped and not what we saw this year. He's an electric player who needs to get quite a few things sorted out, but the upside is strong in this one.

Lamar Miller - 22.2
Miller has quietly put together a pretty good NFL season this year, even if his fantasy performances have underwhelmed a bit. He's still young, however, and continues to distance himself from Daniel Thomas on the field. If he can earn a larger share of the pie he can still eclipse his current low-end RB2 status.

Knowshon Moreno - 26.2
Moreno is surprisingly young, but he's treated a bit like an older guy due to his job security. We've seen this game with John Fox before, holding onto the veteran for a few years before moving the young guy in. Within two years Peyton will be gone and likely have taken the electric Broncos with it, and as an average RB talent with no more Peyton to protect, chances are high that Denver will have moved on from Knowshon as well.

Reggie Bush - 28.5
While Moreno is surprisingly young, Bush has quietly reached an age that many aren't aware of. By the time we kick off next year he'll be 29, and as a guy who's game relies on burst and speed he's not likely to play at a high level into his 30's.

Stevan Ridley - 24.4
Ridley has been a solid performer in his time in NE, but his lack of usage in the passing game and his coach's quick trigger make him a risky play both from week to week and year to year.

Marcus Lattimore - 21.9
Lattimore's value has risen almost by default since the start of the season, as Frank Gore is now that much older and Lattimore is that much healthier. I like his chances of being an every down back on a good running team by 2015.

Montee Ball - 21.8
Ball's perceived value has dropped a lot because something happened that we should have expected to happen in the first place (John Fox once again clings to a veteran RB). It might be a good time to buy Ball, who could still be a good fantasy asset when Denver moves on from Peyton Manning.

Ryan Matthews - 25.9
Matthews has played better this year, but the days where we dreamed of him being a 3 down workhorse getting goaline touches are long gone.

Jonathan Stewart - 26.5
Same old story for Jonathan Stewart. Lots of talent, but can't stay healthy and can't earn a big enough share of the pie. The good news is that DeAngelo is reaching his end. The bad news is that he'll still likely be sharing carries with two other guys. He's done nothing to show his coaches that he can handle a full load. In fact, he's done the exact opposite.

Ben Tate - 25.1
When Michael Turner put together a good career with the Falcons, he unknowingly increased the FF value of dozens of future backup RBs. Tate is the guy heading that list right now. I believe he's just a guy in a good system, so if he does land on a new team in the offseason I think that would be the perfect time to sell.

Shane Vereen - 24.7
Oddly, getting hurt might have been the best thing for Shane Vereen's long-term fantasy value. He had a good game. One good game. But people act like he had put together half a season of FF eliteness before he went down, and as soon as he comes back that's what he'll step right back into. Realistically, he'll probably step back into being another inconsistent FF RB on the Patriots who might put up 14 total yards in your lineup one week and then 138 the next week on your bench.

Darren McFadden - 26.1
Another year, another Darren McFadden injury. The guy just can't stay healthy, and it's unlikely that a team will ever attempt to lean on him again.

Frank Gore - 30.4

Chris Johnson - 28.1
Stevan Jackson - 30.2
Maurice Jones-Drew - 28.5
Bryce Brown - 22.4
Bernard Pierce - 23.4
Andre Brown - 26.8
Darren Sproles - 30.3
Danny Woodhead - 28.6

 
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FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
Wide Receiver

Tier 1

Calvin Johnson - 27.9

A lot of people have lumped Megatron into the tier with the next guys who are all a few years younger, and some have even moved him back in that tier. I've still got Calvin in a tier all to himself at the top. I actually might have him as my #1 overall dynasty player right now. He's set to coast into his third straight season finishing as the #1 WR even though he had a flukey low TD total in one of those years, and he's doing it by a large margin. People make the mistake of thinking he's scoring basically the same points as the next guys while being a couple years older. The point differential is actually significant. The difference between him and the #2 WR on a per game basis right now is the same as the difference between Jamaal Charles and Le'Veon Bell. The same as the difference between Adrian Peterson and DeMarco Murray. The same as the difference between Marshawn Lynch and Stevan Ridley. He's the ultimate difference maker.

Tier 2

Julio Jones - 24.5

Hard to differentiate this tier much, but I've got Julio clearly at the top. He was on a monster pace prior to his injury this year and I think he has the best combination of speed, size, and skill to be a true #1 WR target monster, which is good because it looks like that's what he'll be in a few years with Roddy White aging fast. The foot issue becoming a chronic thing is a risk, but I think Julio will outclass the rest of these guys when healthy, so it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Demaryius Thomas - 25.8

It's actually kind of frustrating to be a Thomas owner and watch his games. He just doesn't seem to get the looks that a lot of these other guys do. I'm not talking about targets, I'm talking about looks. It seems like every play he's the first read on he gets the target, but on all the rest of the plays Peyton never even looks to his side of the field. There's some risk there with Peyton's limited shelf-life but I think an increase in targets will balance out the quality of the targets going down, and his physical talent, ball skills, and ability to run after the catch are all off the charts.

AJ Green - 25.1

I like AJ Green a lot because he has managed to work his way into this tier with a bunch of guys that are much more physically talented than him on the merits of his incredible football skills. Green isn't as fast or big as any of these guys, but his ability to play the ball in the air is by far the best in the league. He reminds my of a young Larry FItzgerald in that way, but with better big play ability.

Dez Bryant - 24.8

What a talent, but what a headcase. Fortunately for Dez owners, we have plenty of examples of diva WRs having long, successful careers.

Tier 3

Randall Cobb - 23.1

I'm not sure why the opinion on Cobb's talent, compared to just being in a good situation, has soured so much in perception since his injury. Let's not forget that this is a guy that most Ffers were high on even before he landed in GB, and he's done nothing but produce since getting there.

Victor Cruz - 26.8

You've got to think that the Giants are going to get it together, and when they do Cruz is the #1 receiver for a QB that accumulates a lot of stats and doesn't like to throw to his TE/RBs. He's a great talent as well.

Percy Harvin - 25.3

There's a bit of risk with Harvin since he's such a unique player that was used in such a unique way in Minnesota. There's no guarantee that Seattle will use him the same way. Still, he's an elite talent with more natural receiver skills than people give him credit for and he's paired with a great young QB. If they do use him out of the backfield like Minnesota did he should get even more out of those carries as Seattle's line is an elite run blocking unit.

Josh Gordon - 22.4

The Blackmon suspension has to be scaring people off of Gordon a little bit, right or wrong. Gordon is an elite talent that has performed well in a brutal situation. You've got to like his future prospects if he stays "clean".

Brandon Marshall - 29.6

The oldest guy in any of the first four tiers, Marshall's production is just too much to ignore. Cutler could be moving on soon, but even if he does Marshall has been productive with bad QBs before.

Jordy Nelson - 28.3

Good old perennially underrated Jordy Nelson. Quicker than he looks, with great ball skills, and more importantly Rodgers really seems to lean on him when the Packers need a play. He's got Rodgers trust and that means a lot. His contract is up in 2015, but with the way Rodgers looks his way I think they'll make every effort to re-sign him. At 28 he's not young but he's still got a good number of years in front of him.

T.Y. Hilton - 22.8

I'm not sure I'm convinced that Hilton is the Colts WR1 solution going forward long term, but he's done a heck of a job showing the Colts that he can handle it if they decide to fix some of their many other holes in the draft over the next few years.

Reuben Randle - 22.4

I'm pretty high on Randle, as you can tell. He's another guy like Cobb that I think people have forgotten how much they liked even before he landed in a good spot. I think Nicks is probably gone at the end of the year and in that case Randle will almost certainly be stepping into WR1 numbers. I think he's a guy who's path to WR1 production is so obvious that, at this point next year when he's a 23 year old guy putting up WR1 numbers we'll all step back and wonder why we didn't "buy high" on him before his production really ramped up.

Tier 4

Alshon Jeffery - 23.4

I'm not sure I'm a believer, but now may be the last chance to buy. Culter may very well be on the outs in Chicago, and the Bears haven't exactly been great at finding QBs that can feed multiple fantasy WRs.

Justin Blackmon - 23.4

We know the drill here. Loads of talent, knucklehead of a brain. That knowledge that Blackmon's career could be over at any moment will always be in the back of our heads from here on out, and I wasn't as high on Blackmon as a player as most were to begin with.

Michael Crabtree - 26.1

We've seen recently that guys can come back from anything, even achilles injuries. Crabtree's stock was on the rise before the injury and this may end up just being a one year pause in that, rather than a turn in the other direction.

Cordarrelle Patterson - 22.6

This guy oozes talent. Is he the next Randy Moss or the next Matt Jones? Maybe somewhere in between? Either way, at this point I'll take his upside over any of the WR2s behind him. His slow start may make him a good buy candidate. We all knew he was raw and was going to take some time to get going, but his value seems to have dropped disproportionately to that.

Pierre Garcon - 27.1

Gracon just keeps quietly putting up good numbers in Washington. With RG3 around for the long haul and hopefully getting healthier, there doesn't seem to be an immediate end in sight. Both Garcon and RG3 get banged up a lot so that's a risk, but at the cost he comes with it's one worth taking.

Keenan Allen - 21.3

Rivers has a tendency to lock on to his WR1 when he's got one worth locking onto. There's no telling what kind of role Alexander/Floyd will play if they come back, but if Allen can stay healthy he looks to be a big part of a very fantasy relevant offense for a long time to come.

Desean Jackson - 26.7

Djax seems to be right in the perfect spot in Chip Kelly's offense. He gets on my nerves the same way that Steve Smith does, letting his passion to show people up get the best of him, but it rarely affects his game.

Torrey Smith - 24.4

After a hot start, Smith has cooled substantially. He's shown that he's more than just a deep threat but not that he's a full-bore reliable primary WR for his team. There's always the chance that the Ravens will bring that guy in, but in the meantime Smith is a solid young WR2.

Tier 5

DeAndre Hopkins - 21.2

It doesn't surprise me that Hopkins has stepped in and contributed right away. He's got a good game and good football skills, I'm just not sure he has the dominant talent to ever be a dominant fantasy receiver. He could still be a fantasy WR1, but I don't see the upside of some of the guys ahead of him.

Antonio Brown - 25.2

Brown has filled in the Pittsburgh WR1 role admirably since Wallace left town. He's young and putting up good numbers. I'm just not sure he's the kind of guy that they won't look to replace and move into a WR2 role at some point.

Andre Johnson - 32.2

With Case Keenum in town, Andre may finally have found someone that's willing to look his way in the redzone and take his fantasy game to the next level. It's just a shame that it had to happen at the twilight of his career.

Larry Fitzgerald - 30.1

I think it's about time that we start considering that Fitzgerald may not be the same receiver he once was. The situations haven't helped, but the Cardlinals have improved since they stopped trying to force the ball into him. He doesn't seem to come down with the ball in traffic nearly as much as he used to. If he ends up in Indy he could be a mega fantasy stud WR again. But outside of that, I'm not sure I see it happening.

Vincent Jackson - 30.4

Bad situation in Tampa, but Vjax just keeps producing solidly. Limited upside and future, but a solid WR2 going forward.

Hakeem Nicks - 25.4

Nicks has fallen a long ways in the last two years. Lots of talent, but lots of injuries and inconsistent play to go with it. History is not on the side of WRs changing teams and Nicks will likely be joining that crew soon, but he's got enough talent to pull it off and is still very young despite being in the league for a while now.

Cecil Shorts - 25.3

Shorts is young and keeps quietly putting up good numbers without anyone really taking notice. With Blackmon suspended again, his targets should only increase. He's a great buy candidate over some of the guys listed below with bigger names.

Tier 6

Wes Welker - 32.3

Obviousy, Welker's ranking is going to depend somewhat on the makeup of your team. He should have the rest of this year and all of next year as a fantasy WR1, at least.

Michael Floyd - 23.8

Floyd has been a slow starter, but he's got a long future ahead of him. If Fitz is shipped off this offseason he's ready to step into the WR1 role on Arizona. Not exactly a prized spot, but it's a start.

Terrance Williams - 23.9

Williams could be the new Miles Austin, even when Austin gets healthy, and there's some value, ableit limited, in that.

Aaron Dobson - 22.2

Dobson has really turned things around the last few weeks, getting better with the dropsies and balancing that out some via his big play ability. He's finally flashing the talent that led New England to take a shot on him.

Eric Decker - 26.5

Decker is a free agent at the end of the year and I'm not sure if he'll re-sign. If he doesn't, I have little interest in Decker without Peyton. He's never really impressed me, as kind of the opposite of the scouting reports on him. Instead of a possession receiver that struggles to get separation, he's actually decent at getting separation but is useless in traffic or near the sidelines.

Dwayne Bowe - 28.9

Bowe is one of the most inconsistent and frustrating WRs to own in fantasy. When he's on, man he's on. But most of the time, he's off./i]


Roddy White - 31.9


White's been gimpy all year, but he's still got a few good years in front of him. I think people are confusing bad performance due to injury with bad performance due to age, and you might be able to get a cheap season or two out of Roddy.

Tavon Austin - 22.5

I've never been very high on Austin, and I'm not going to totally flip around based on one game. I just don't think his game translates to the NFL. His moves haven't worked on NFL defenders, and up to this week his YPC has been awful.

Mike Wallace - 27.1

Wallace was in the perfect spot in Pittsburgh, with a QB that could throw the ball deep and that could buy time to let Wallace get open deep. As a traditional #1 WR in Miami he has failed and I don't see that changing. He has shaky hands, adjusts to the ball poorly, and has questionable effort at times. As a Dolphins fan, I hate that this guy is eating so much cap space.

Marques Colston - 30.3

I'm not really sure what happened to Colston this year, other than Brees sending the majority of his targets in Jimmy Graham's direction. Still, he's always been a consistent fantasy WR and there's still a decent chance he gets back to that.

Jeremy Maclin - 25.3

Maclin is a free agent at the end of the year, so he's a buy on unknown upside here. A change of scenery could be good, or if he stays in town he could be successful in a Chip Kelly offense that has revitalized Desean Jackson.

James Jones - 29.5

There's enough production for 3 WRs in Green Bay. That said, Jones is a free agent at the end of the year and it's 50/50 as to whether or not he'll stay around. If he doesn't, I don't see much value in him elsewhere. Too inconsistent for a team to rely on, and few other teams can support a whole group of guys.

Justin Hunter - 22.4

The physical goods are there, and he's starting to get a little more playing time.

Marvin Jones - 23.5

The Rest

Kenny Stills - 21.4

I still think he's just the next Devery Henderson, but at this point he's worth taking a look to see if he can be something more.

Stevie Johnson - 27.2

A good guy to get if you just want a WR3/Flex play with limited long-term upside, but I don't see anything more than 1100/7 every coming out of him.

Denarius Moore - 24.7]

He's had his chances to be a go-to guy and hasn't really stood out. He'll be replaced as Oakland's primary receiver sooner rather than later.

Kendall Wright - 23.9

Stephen Hill - 22.4

Markus Wheaton - 22.5

Robert Woods - 21.4

 
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FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
Tight End

Tier 1


Jimmy Graham - 26.8
I'm not sure that there's much that needs to be said here. Graham's fantasy value is off the charts right now. Remember when Colston was classified as a TE and you got to start a fantasy WR1 as a TE? This is like that, but legitimate. And better.

Rob Gronkowski - 24.3
Gronk gives in the #1 spot to Graham due to Gronk's elite QB being a few years older and Gronk having a, to put it mildly, shaky history of staying healthy. That said, when he's out there Gronking around, there may be no one better in fantasy. He's actually .surprisingly young for as much as he's accomplished as well. A full 2.5 years younger than Graham and even younger than Thomas/Cameron

Tier 2

Julius Thomas - 25.3
People worry about what will happen with Thomas when Peyton is gone. However, when Peyton is gone it likely means Welker/Decker will be as well and the Thomas duo will get lots of looks in Denver. Thomas has the skills to continue making the most of those targets.

Jordan Cameron - 25.1
Cameron has slowed down a bit with Jason Campbell behind the helm in Cleveland. Fortunately, Jason Campbell is not the long term solution and Cameron has been great with anyone else back there. He fits that perfect mold for a stud TE in the modern NFL, and unlike many others he's one of the few that has shown he has the football skills to make that natural talent worthwhile.

Tier 3

Tyler Eifert - 23.0
Eifert lacks only the production to be up there in tier 2, but as promising young tight ends go, he's right there in the mix. He's got that big Gronk like build but I think he's actually more athletic than Gronk.

Jordan Reed - 23.2
The comparison to Aaron Hernandez is an easy one, but it fits…..minus the brutal murdering. Reed didn't get to flash as much as Hernandez at Florida because he was stuck in some bad offenses with bad quarterbacks, but he has the same natural talent and it appears to be translating to the next level just as well.

Vernon Davis - 29.6
The problem with Vernon Davis is that you just never know what you're going to get out of him from year to year. He might be TE3 one year, and TE15 the next. He's having a great season this year, but I'm not convinced he won't be right back down there next year.

Jason Witten - 31.3
Old reliable. Old being the scary word there.

Tier 4

Dwayne Allen - 23.5
As a rookie it was Allen, not Fleener, that drew Andrew Luck's favor at TE. He won't help you this year, but there are a bajillion options similar to the guys you'll find below Allen to fill out the year. He has a shot to be the go-to TE on an Andrew Luck lead offense going forward.

Greg Olsen - 28.5
If you want 800/5 out of your TE on the cheap, Olsen is the guy to go to. What was once a top 3 fantasy season, however, now puts him in the low TE1 range with limited upside.

Kyle Rudolph - 23.8
Lots of potential, limited production. We can only hope that the horrible QB play he's had has held him back, as he has that dream TE frame that the top guys do.

Martellus Bennett - 26.5
Bennett was putting together some solid numbers before Culter's injury. He's always flashed the talent to be a top TE. While that may be a longshot at this point, he's got a good floor with some decent upside still ahead of him.

Tony Gonzalez - 37.5
He's probably got half a season left. But if you're in contention that's probably worth more than any of the guys below, who are all replaceable.

Owen Daniels - 30.9
Garrett Graham failed to do much in Daniels' absence, so the job should be Daniels' when he returns. There's still hope that Case Keenum can resurect TE1 numbers out of him.

Antonio Gates - 33.2
We can all see that Gates is a shadow of his former self. With his history of foot problems there is almost no chance that he ages nearly as gracefully as a guy like Tony Gonzalez. The end is near.

Tier 5 - The Replaceables

Heath Miller - 30.9
Could be a nice buy low candidate in the offseason, as he'll roll into 2014 much more healthy.

Jared Cook - 26.6
AKA Jared Tease.

Jermichael Finley - 26.5
Another year, another Jermichael Finley disappointment. He's a FA at the end of the year, and the injury may have made him affordable for Green Bay to resign.

Tim Wright - 23.4
In all honesty, the only thing he's got going for him over the guys listed below is that he hasn't already proven he's no better than mediocre from a fantasy standpoint.

Charles Clay - 24.4
Clay has cooled significantly after the fast start, and appears to have an upside that will limit him from ever being one of those top end Tes that make up the first few tiers.

Coby Fleener - 24.9
Fleener failed to seize the opportunity when Dwayne Allen went down this year. It's looking more and more that the Luck/Fleener dream will go the same way as the Cutler/Bennett one.

Jermaine Gresham - 25.4
Joseph Fauria - 23.6
Scott Chandler - 28.2
Brandon Myers - 28.0
Delanie Walker - 29.1

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
Nice work - should be an interesting topic at least.

I'd say Geno Smith and Jake Locker should be promoted upwards from the "Tier Boring" as both have room to improve as passers (Locker has already made a leap) and both add yards on the ground.

 

EBF

Footballguy
Looks pretty good to me. I know you're not a T-Rich fan, but I'd put him higher than that. The thought of trading him for LeVeon Bell is pretty :sick: to me. I''m gonna go down with the ship there. I still say he'll level off as a very good starter and FF RB1. If I'm wrong, so be it.

In another totally predictable gripe, I think you're a little too harsh on Stewart. I don't think it's fair to say he has proven that he can't carry the load. Could be more value there than people think with the biggest roadblocks to his production (injuries and D-Will) possibly clearing up.

I'd have a really tough time taking Ball (and to a lesser extent Wilson and Ellington) ahead of Pierce and Brown. I think the latter two have lost some of the their luster now that it's a year later and they're still mired in RBBC, but IMO they each showed strong signs that they have starter caliber talent last season. Ball can only hope to achieve the same and with CJ Anderson getting carries almost immediately after returning from injury, I'm not totally sold that Ball will be handed that opportunity on a plate if Denver moves away from Moreno. In other words, I think Pierce and Brown have proven more from a talent perspective and I don't know if their long term opportunity is really that much worse.

Since I think most of the instant producers are likely to be overrated, this list just drives home that most of the value in the dynasty RB picture right now is in highly talented backup/RBBC types who have no immediate weekly starter value (i.e. Michael, Stewart, Pierce, Bryce, Gerhart, Tate). I'd so much rather pay RB18 prices for Michael than RB6 prices for Lacy or RB7 prices for Bell. Maybe you can argue that those guys are worth more because of their immediate value, but it would not be the least bit surprising to see Michael have the better career or at least better peak seasons.

As for the other stuff, the only thing I disagree with is the high ranking of Julius Thomas. I can't fault you for it too much because you have to put somebody there and there aren't that many amazing candidates, but I'm taking Eifert ahead of him all day and the rookie Eric Ebron will be higher on my list as well once he's in the league. Just not sold that Thomas is anything more than a "good" talent on a great streak in an ideal situation, so if people value him like a "great" asset I would be selling all day. Efiert + value or Ebron + value would be a no-brainer accept for teams that don't need the instant help.

 
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thriftyrocker

Footballguy
The outliers in your rankings seem to be Romo, Stacy, and Allen. I see the logic in all 3 of them. I think the only real moves you can make based on those outliers are, for example, moving Wright or Clay for Allen (which I think is a great idea), moving a tier 4 QB for Romo+ (which I would never do in a million years), and buying high on Stacy (which I'm on the fence about).

 

EBF

Footballguy
One last note that's pertinent to guys like Lacy, Bell, Stacy, and Ellington. Young RBs with potential and opportunity are almost always overrated in dynasty after they show any signs of life on the field. When Ron Dayne was on the Texans during the late stages of his career, he rushed for 429 yards at 4.8 YPC over a 4 game span to close out the 2006 season. Nobody batted an eyelash. Why? Because everyone already knew that Ron Dayne sucked. He had proven it over several seasons, so we all understood that his flukey hot stretch in 2006 was just that. A fluke.

Now take a player like Ellington or Stacy. We don't really know who they are as an NFL players because they've played only a handful of games in their pro career. They haven't proven their true level over 3-4 years of performance, so we have to guess at how good they really are. When a player like this goes on a hot streak, people will almost inevitably overgeneralize those results to the rest of his career. In other words, Julius Jones plays well for 8 games as a rookie? Dynasty stud for the next 8 years. David Wilson shows signs of life in the last month of the season? Top 10 dynasty back. Steve Slaton has a good rookie year? He must be a top 7 dynasty back moving forward.

With rookies and prospects, people tend to get really excited when they play well over a small sample size. What gets lost in that excitement is that lots of NFL players play well over a small sample size. So while some of these guys could very well end up as legitimate stars like LeSean McCoy or Ray Rice, there's also a big chance that you're getting hyped on the next Kevin Jones, Julius Jones, Ladell Betts, or Steve Slaton. That applies to the entire cluster of unproven young NFL backs with potential. You look back on that Lacy/Bell/Ball/Michael/Bernard/Pierce/Bryce Brown/Tate/Ellington/Stacy group in a few years and you're going to see a huge variety in their career outcomes. Probably a couple will be monsters. A couple will be utter train wrecks. Others will be mediocrities ala Julius and Felix Jones.

I would not pay a huge premium for one of those guys unless I had total faith in him. I'm pretty confident in Gio, somewhat confident in Lacy, and not at all confident in Bell. It's probably a moot point because I wouldn't pay market value for any of them. If I'm going to spend on dicey proposition, I'd rather take one of the cheaper ones like Michael, Pierce, or Tate who has an obvious path to a huge value bump. The Julius Jones syndrome is actually a big part of the appeal of a guy like Christine Michael or Knile Davis because if he gets a starting job at any point and puts up literally 3-4 good games he will quite possibly be valued as a top 10 dynasty back (see Bell and Lacy here). At that point you've got the opportunity to either cash out or hold. When you buy these guys AFTER the hype has caught up, that's when you run the risk of a big crapout with a Barlow, Julius, Slaton, etc.

 
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jurb26

Footballguy
The outliers in your rankings seem to be Romo, Stacy, and Allen. I see the logic in all 3 of them. I think the only real moves you can make based on those outliers are, for example, moving Wright or Clay for Allen (which I think is a great idea), moving a tier 4 QB for Romo+ (which I would never do in a million years), and buying high on Stacy (which I'm on the fence about).
I'd say Bernard is an outlier as well. That's awful high.
 

thriftyrocker

Footballguy
The outliers in your rankings seem to be Romo, Stacy, and Allen. I see the logic in all 3 of them. I think the only real moves you can make based on those outliers are, for example, moving Wright or Clay for Allen (which I think is a great idea), moving a tier 4 QB for Romo+ (which I would never do in a million years), and buying high on Stacy (which I'm on the fence about).
I'd say Bernard is an outlier as well. That's awful high.
Top 5 RB is his market value IMO. Who is going to sell him for less?

Maybe the argument is the value gap in PPR between WR and RB is widening to the point where a top 5 RB isn't worth a top 10 WR. But I see Gio in the top 5 and say yeah that is what you'd have to pay.

Bell is closer to a strong stand at #7. I think that's much closer to a "buy" position than Gio's ranking. There are some people who own Bell in a league or two would would sell for that or straight up for one of the next 7 RBs listed, myself included.

I think you do have to rate Bell highly though just based on age + pedigree + expected workload. He may still be a fraud but he's a fraud who's going to score points. Forte principle.

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
Nice work - should be an interesting topic at least.

I'd say Geno Smith and Jake Locker should be promoted upwards from the "Tier Boring" as both have room to improve as passers (Locker has already made a leap) and both add yards on the ground.
I could see them being higher. Part of my problem with them is that I was never very high on either to begin with, and their early struggles haven't really dissuaded me at all (though Locker has strung together a few good games at times).

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
Looks pretty good to me. I know you're not a T-Rich fan, but I'd put him higher than that. The thought of trading him for LeVeon Bell is pretty :sick: to me. I''m gonna go down with the ship there. I still say he'll level off as a very good starter and FF RB1. If I'm wrong, so be it.

In another totally predictable gripe, I think you're a little too harsh on Stewart. I don't think it's fair to say he has proven that he can't carry the load. Could be more value there than people think with the biggest roadblocks to his production (injuries and D-Will) possibly clearing up.

I'd have a really tough time taking Ball (and to a lesser extent Wilson and Ellington) ahead of Pierce and Brown. I think the latter two have lost some of the their luster now that it's a year later and they're still mired in RBBC, but IMO they each showed strong signs that they have starter caliber talent last season. Ball can only hope to achieve the same and with CJ Anderson getting carries almost immediately after returning from injury, I'm not totally sold that Ball will be handed that opportunity on a plate if Denver moves away from Moreno. In other words, I think Pierce and Brown have proven more from a talent perspective and I don't know if their long term opportunity is really that much worse.

Since I think most of the instant producers are likely to be overrated, this list just drives home that most of the value in the dynasty RB picture right now is in highly talented backup/RBBC types who have no immediate weekly starter value (i.e. Michael, Stewart, Pierce, Bryce, Gerhart, Tate). I'd so much rather pay RB18 prices for Michael than RB6 prices for Lacy or RB7 prices for Bell. Maybe you can argue that those guys are worth more because of their immediate value, but it would not be the least bit surprising to see Michael have the better career or at least better peak seasons.
Richardson is an interesting case because I think he, more than any other player, is going to vary wildly in his rankings from person to person. Some people probably still think of him as a top 5 guy, and some probably don't even have him in their top 20. I expect my ranking at #13 is going to fall somewhere in the middle of most people's. The potential is still too enticing to ignore, but I think where we disagree with him are that I think his struggles are more his fault (and things he needs to fix on his end) rather than just extremely unlucky circumstance.

Stewart is a guy we've been talking about for years. Part of the issue is all those years we've been talking about it (his age is starting to creep up there some) and another part of it is that his potential seems capped from what it once was. With Cam and Tolbert in town his potential has gone from "once DeAngelo is gone he can be a top 3 guy" to "once DeAngelo is gone he could be a borderline RB1/RB2". A few more years of nagging lower leg injuries hasn't helped either, and I'm not sure those ankles are ever going to be right again.

Regarding Pierce/Brown vs a guy like Ball, I'd disagree that their long term opportunity is worse. I'm not too worried about CJ Anderson getting 4 touches recently as the Broncos have been using three running backs all year, and I don't foresee those as a sign that Anderson is a long term competitor for the starting job in Denver unless he really does something special. I mentioned in the Ben Tate section that MIchael Turner has made us fall in love with a lot of backup NFL running backs over the last few years, and few have followed the Turner-like career path we were hoping for. Pierce and Brown, for their part, have not only been stuck in a RBBC this year as you mentioned, but have also struggled. Brown I could more likely buy into, as he was a top end prospect out of high school who was held back by a worldwind of stuff not related to his play on the field. Pierce I don't like nearly as much. He's never impressed me that much from a talent perspective and putting up solid numbers in a Cam Cameron system doesn't really impress me (as evidenced by my Ray Rice ranking).

 

bucksoh

Footballguy
L. Green(TE) should at least be ranked, by this time next year he will be in Tier 2 category. Also Richardson is way too high.

 

thriftyrocker

Footballguy
I mentioned in the Ben Tate section that MIchael Turner has made us fall in love with a lot of backup NFL running backs over the last few years, and few have followed the Turner-like career path we were hoping for.
It's definitely a better career path to take over for the incumbent than wait for free agency (Charles, MJD, etc.). I don't think you always know which pie you're buying.

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
One last note that's pertinent to guys like Lacy, Bell, Stacy, and Ellington. Young RBs with potential and opportunity are almost always overrated in dynasty after they show any signs of life on the field. When Ron Dayne was on the Texans during the late stages of his career, he rushed for 429 yards at 4.8 YPC over a 4 game span to close out the 2006 season. Nobody batted an eyelash. Why? Because everyone already knew that Ron Dayne sucked. He had proven it over several seasons, so we all understood that his flukey hot stretch in 2006 was just that. A fluke.

Now take a player like Ellington or Stacy. We don't really know who they are as an NFL players because they've played only a handful of games in their pro career. They haven't proven their true level over 3-4 years of performance, so we have to guess at how good they really are. When a player like this goes on a hot streak, people will almost inevitably overgeneralize those results to the rest of his career. In other words, Julius Jones plays well for 8 games as a rookie? Dynasty stud for the next 8 years. David Wilson shows signs of life in the last month of the season? Top 10 dynasty back. Steve Slaton has a good rookie year? He must be a top 7 dynasty back moving forward.

With rookies and prospects, people tend to get really excited when they play well over a small sample size. What gets lost in that excitement is that lots of NFL players play well over a small sample size. So while some of these guys could very well end up as legitimate stars like LeSean McCoy or Ray Rice, there's also a big chance that you're getting hyped on the next Kevin Jones, Julius Jones, Ladell Betts, or Steve Slaton. That applies to the entire cluster of unproven young NFL backs with potential. You look back on that Lacy/Bell/Ball/Michael/Bernard/Pierce/Bryce Brown/Tate/Ellington/Stacy group in a few years and you're going to see a huge variety in their career outcomes. Probably a couple will be monsters. A couple will be utter train wrecks. Others will be mediocrities ala Julius and Felix Jones.

I would not pay a huge premium for one of those guys unless I had total faith in him. I'm pretty confident in Gio, somewhat confident in Lacy, and not at all confident in Bell. It's probably a moot point because I wouldn't pay market value for any of them. If I'm going to spend on dicey proposition, I'd rather take one of the cheaper ones like Michael, Pierce, or Tate who has an obvious path to a huge value bump. The Julius Jones syndrome is actually a big part of the appeal of a guy like Christine Michael or Knile Davis because if he gets a starting job at any point and puts up literally 3-4 good games he will quite possibly be valued as a top 10 dynasty back (see Bell and Lacy here). At that point you've got the opportunity to either cash out or hold. When you buy these guys AFTER the hype has caught up, that's when you run the risk of a big crapout with a Barlow, Julius, Slaton, etc.
That's a fair point. Most players get on a hot streak at some point in their careers. It's entirely possible that Stacy/Ellington are just middling players that happen to be getting their hot streak out of the way now rather than mid-way through year 4 as a part-timer on their second team.

On the flipside of that, people are generally really slow to adjust to dynasty changes, especially with later round guys, in the middle of the season. For whatever reason people's dynasty rankings change drastically from week 17 of the prior season and draft time for the next season. It takes that offseason of these guys festering for people to finally make their adjustments. When Domanick Davis started putting up good numbers for the Texans people just kind of shrugged at him the same way they do Stacy now. Then, an offseason went by, and all the sudden he was a top 5-10 pick in the next year's dynasty drafts. The same guy who, in week 16 of the year before, people were only mildly interested in.

You don't have to pay top 10 prices for Stacy or Ellington right now, but if they string together a couple more good games then this offseason you will, especially with Stacy.

Another piece that goes into this, and is something that you and I seem to differ on greatly, is how much we look at how guys perform compared to their teammates. Ellington to a lesser extent because he's still being used in some atypical ways for a RB, but with Stacy we had a team that was struggling to run the ball at all, yet as soon as they made the switch to Stacy things turned around 180 degrees on that front. To me that tells me he's not easily replaceable, which coming into the year was the biggest concern for a 5th round rookie pick.

I get your point about buying lower on the backup guys, but at some point current production does have to account for something. Even if you think it's 10% more likely that Pierce will be a solid fantasy contributor 4 years from now than Stacy will, how much do the next two years of having a starting RB weigh against that?

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
I mentioned in the Ben Tate section that MIchael Turner has made us fall in love with a lot of backup NFL running backs over the last few years, and few have followed the Turner-like career path we were hoping for.
It's definitely a better career path to take over for the incumbent than wait for free agency (Charles, MJD, etc.). I don't think you always know which pie you're buying.
Fair point, however Arian Foster is 27 and in the 2nd year of a 5 year deal. Tate is 25 and a free agent at the end of the year. In this case, I think we do know which side of the pie people are trying to buy.

 
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FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
The outliers in your rankings seem to be Romo, Stacy, and Allen. I see the logic in all 3 of them. I think the only real moves you can make based on those outliers are, for example, moving Wright or Clay for Allen (which I think is a great idea), moving a tier 4 QB for Romo+ (which I would never do in a million years), and buying high on Stacy (which I'm on the fence about).
Honestly, even if I kept Romo in the same order, the more I think about it I probably should have at least had him listed in tier 4. I think for most people he'd probably be at the bottom of that tier, and that whole group is somewhat interchangeable.

 

EBF

Footballguy
On the flipside of that, people are generally really slow to adjust to dynasty changes, especially with later round guys, in the middle of the season. For whatever reason people's dynasty rankings change drastically from week 17 of the prior season and draft time for the next season. It takes that offseason of these guys festering for people to finally make their adjustments. When Domanick Davis started putting up good numbers for the Texans people just kind of shrugged at him the same way they do Stacy now. Then, an offseason went by, and all the sudden he was a top 5-10 pick in the next year's dynasty drafts. The same guy who, in week 16 of the year before, people were only mildly interested in.
I think it depends on the player. Like I said, I think people actually move too quickly with highly touted players in a lot of cases. Lots of high picks who shows flashes as rookies will be treated like the real deal moving forward. Not just at RB, but also at the other positions. Hard as it is to believe now, there was a time when Vince Young, Matt Leinart, and Jay Cutler were all rated as top 10 dynasty QBs. Same with Julius Jones and Kevin Jones. After their rookie year they were thought to be gold. Ditto Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams. People are just way too quick to assume that strong statistical performance over a small number of games will generalize to the rest of a player's career.

The really weird thing is that a lot of owners are very bashful about drafting rookies in startup drafts, but when that guy has 3-4 good games (which pretty much any serviceable NFL player is capable of having), that pendulum swings wildly in the other direction and people start going crazy for that player.

I think it's a different story for players who come into the league with minimal fanfare. Look at how slow people have been to rate Cecil Shorts highly. If he had been a 2nd round pick out of Alabama, he'd probably be rated 10 spots higher on average. This season Marlon Brown is actually outscoring DeAndre Hopkins despite having missed a game with injury. Hopkins is probably considered a top 15 dynasty WR by a lot of people whereas Brown probably wouldn't crack the top 15 rookie picks for a lot of those same folks.

So I don't think you can say people are slow to react in general. With well-known mainstream prospects they actually jump the gun in a lot of cases. With players whose flashes of talent are more surprising, there's usually more inertia.

Another piece that goes into this, and is something that you and I seem to differ on greatly, is how much we look at how guys perform compared to their teammates. Ellington to a lesser extent because he's still being used in some atypical ways for a RB, but with Stacy we had a team that was struggling to run the ball at all, yet as soon as they made the switch to Stacy things turned around 180 degrees on that front. To me that tells me he's not easily replaceable, which coming into the year was the biggest concern for a 5th round rookie pick.
That's one way to look at it. The other way is that the guys he's competing with are garbage. Pead is a bust. Richardson has shown some flashes, but he was only a 7th round pick and he's been dinged at times this season since week 1. Beating out those guys is a "world's tallest midget" type of scenario. Put Stacy on the Seahawks with Lynch/Turbin/Michael/Ware and he might not have made it out of training camp. Maybe he will be a steal in the long run, but he might be more Steve Slaton than Domanick Davis. It can be hard to detach yourself from the excitement in the heat of the moment when the player is performing. I had Julius and Kevin Jones in the midst of their hot streaks in 2003 and it would've taken a mammoth offer to pry one of them away. In hindsight, I should've been selling the minute their value went nuts.

Not saying Stacy/Lacy/Bernard/Ellington are flukes necessarily. Rather trying to point out that this phenomenon of "rookie RB who looks good" has been going on for a long time and that the range of career outcomes for that type of player is all over the place.

 
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Spin

Footballguy
Solid. Just glancing because I don't have time to digest too much but not much that I see as glaringly out of place aside from personal preferences.

Good work :thumbup:

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
On the flipside of that, people are generally really slow to adjust to dynasty changes, especially with later round guys, in the middle of the season. For whatever reason people's dynasty rankings change drastically from week 17 of the prior season and draft time for the next season. It takes that offseason of these guys festering for people to finally make their adjustments. When Domanick Davis started putting up good numbers for the Texans people just kind of shrugged at him the same way they do Stacy now. Then, an offseason went by, and all the sudden he was a top 5-10 pick in the next year's dynasty drafts. The same guy who, in week 16 of the year before, people were only mildly interested in.
I think it depends on the player. Like I said, I think people actually move too quickly with highly touted players in a lot of cases. Lots of high picks who shows flashes as rookies will be treated like the real deal moving forward. Not just at RB, but also at the other positions. Hard as it is to believe now, there was a time when Vince Young, Matt Leinart, and Jay Cutler were all rated as top 10 dynasty QBs. Same with Julius Jones and Kevin Jones. After their rookie year they were thought to be gold. Ditto Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams. People are just way too quick to assume that strong statistical performance over a small number of games will generalize to the rest of a player's career.

The really weird thing is that a lot of owners are very bashful about drafting rookies in startup drafts, but when that guy has 3-4 good games (which pretty much any serviceable NFL player is capable of having), that pendulum swings wildly in the other direction and people start going crazy for that player.

I think it's a different story for players who come into the league with minimal fanfare. Look at how slow people have been to rate Cecil Shorts highly. If he had been a 2nd round pick out of Alabama, he'd probably be rated 10 spots higher on average. This season Marlon Brown is actually outscoring DeAndre Hopkins despite having missed a game with injury. Hopkins is probably considered a top 15 dynasty WR by a lot of people whereas Brown probably wouldn't crack the top 15 rookie picks for a lot of those same folks.

So I don't think you can say people are slow to react in general. With well-known mainstream prospects they actually jump the gun in a lot of cases. With players whose flashes of talent are more surprising, there's usually more inertia.

Another piece that goes into this, and is something that you and I seem to differ on greatly, is how much we look at how guys perform compared to their teammates. Ellington to a lesser extent because he's still being used in some atypical ways for a RB, but with Stacy we had a team that was struggling to run the ball at all, yet as soon as they made the switch to Stacy things turned around 180 degrees on that front. To me that tells me he's not easily replaceable, which coming into the year was the biggest concern for a 5th round rookie pick.
That's one way to look at it. The other way is that the guys he's competing with are garbage. Pead is a bust. Richardson has shown some flashes, but he was only a 7th round pick and he's been dinged at times this season since week 1. Beating out those guys is a "world's tallest midget" type of scenario. Put Stacy on the Seahawks with Lynch/Turbin/Michael/Ware and he might not have made it out of training camp. Maybe he will be a steal in the long run, but he might be more Steve Slaton than Domanick Davis. It can be hard to detach yourself from the excitement in the heat of the moment when the player is performing. I had Julius and Kevin Jones in the midst of their hot streaks in 2003 and it would've taken a mammoth offer to pry one of them away. In hindsight, I should've been selling the minute their value went nuts.

Not saying Stacy/Lacy/Bernard/Ellington are flukes necessarily. Rather trying to point out that this phenomenon of "rookie RB who looks good" has been going on for a long time and that the range of career outcomes for that type of player is all over the place.
I think that's a pretty good summation of it. People overreact to hyped up players doing well and under react to un-hyped ones doing the same.

What this thread has told me so far is that I should be looking to buy on Stacy. I've got him at RB15 and think he could very easily be a top 10 RB in next year's dynasty start-ups. People love youth in the offseason and when people start seeing all these 27's and 28's next to most of the other top 10 RBs names they're going to suddenly start moving those younger guys further and further up, and they're going to be that much harder to acquire. Most people seem to think RB15 is too high for Stacy, and have him probably somewhere at RB20-25. Sure, there's every chance that Stacy ends up fizzling out but at RB20-25 prices for a guy that I think could be considered a top 10 RB as soon as this offseason, it seems like a risk worth taking. I may lose some pieces if he doesn't work out but it's not like I'm crippling my team like I would be if I gave up what would be required to grab Gio and he fizzles out.

In a way, it's sort of a toned down version of your strategy of getting guys like Brown/Pierce on the cheap instead of going after a guy who's value is already at its peak. Only in Stacy/Ellington's case you're getting a little bonus of having a guy you can put into your lineup right now, at the cost of having to give up a little more to acquire them.

 
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thriftyrocker

Footballguy
I mentioned in the Ben Tate section that MIchael Turner has made us fall in love with a lot of backup NFL running backs over the last few years, and few have followed the Turner-like career path we were hoping for.
It's definitely a better career path to take over for the incumbent than wait for free agency (Charles, MJD, etc.). I don't think you always know which pie you're buying.
Fair point, however Arian Foster is 27 and in the 2nd year of a 5 year deal. Tate is 25 and a free agent at the end of the year. In this case, I think we do know which side of the pie people are trying to buy.
Yeah, Tate we know at this point. Pierce, Brown, Michael and throw in Lattimore, Ball we're just guessing when/if, what will FOs do about the guys ahead of them.

 

EBF

Footballguy
In a way, it's sort of a toned down version of your strategy of getting guys like Brown/Pierce on the cheap instead of going after a guy who's value is already at its peak. Only in Stacy/Ellington's case you're getting a little bonus of having a guy you can put into your lineup right now, at the cost of having to give up a little more to acquire them.
I'm just not a big fan of paying a premium for short-term opportunity in long-term formats. It makes sense from a certain standpoint because you can see how excited people get for a player like Ellington or Stacy who has a chance to produce immediately. But when you look around the marketplace and see players with equivalent or greater talent available for a fraction of the price, I think those guys look like more compelling buys.

The reasoning is pretty straightforward. If you think Christine Michael is as talented as Eddie Lacy, then the only thing preventing him from having the same perceived value is his opportunity. Since talented players almost inevitably get their chance to be the man eventually, that lack of opportunity is destined to fix itself. When that happens, your Christine Michael will become as valuable to everyone as the Eddie Lacy they spent twice as much to get a year earlier.

I think the current dynasty RB crop is short on legitimate stars who combine youth, security, and immediate opportunity. However, there's an abundance of interesting "maybes" floating around out there for discount prices because they have shoddy immediate prospects. That group includes a wide range of players like Michael, Pierce, Bryce Brown, Knile, Ingram :X , Ball, Stewart, and Gerhart. I like to mention Gerhart as an example because he's such an interesting case. Prolific college player. HIGH draft pick. Productive in his only season of regular work (2011). You can make a pretty good case that he's equivalent or superior to LeVeon Bell purely from a talent standpoint and yet here we are with Bell as a top 10 back and Gerhart as a total RB50-RB60 afterthought.

The reasons for that are pretty obvious. Bell is younger. More importantly, Bell is useful right this minute whereas we can't say for sure what type of utility Gerhart will ever have. Maybe he signs with the Eagles as a backup and never gets more than 150 carries in a season in his career. I'm not saying there should be no difference in perceived value with these two players. The question is...is the difference in perceived value out of step with the difference in actual value?

Maybe in this case the answer is no, but in other cases like Michael vs. Bell I think the answer is probably yes. You're basically paying a huge premium to get your points right this minute when if you trade back a few rounds and grab Michael, you'll probably be able to move him straight up for Bell (and maybe more than that) in 2 years. I get that people don't want to wait and that makes sense in some respects, but it's also really hard for me to stomach the idea of spending a top 25 startup pick on Lacy or Bell (who I like a lot less than Lacy) when I feel I can get the same or better type of player for much less.

Ellington is a trickier case because he's somewhat useful right now, but perhaps not as useful as he could be eventually. If his role expands and he maintains his production, he could be another Rice or Gore type of breakout. Those guys were frequently on the field as rookies, but it wasn't until year two that they really made the leap. The fact that Ellington is valued with more skepticism than a guy like Lacy or Bell makes him a little more interesting in that sense. I probably wouldn't buy him because I don't love love him as a player and I think his skill set is better suited to a part-time role, but at least there's some latent upside there.

 
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Concept Coop

Footballguy
I think that's a pretty good summation of it. People overreact to hyped up players doing well and under react to un-hyped ones doing the same.
What this thread has told me so far is that I should be looking to buy on Stacy.
There is value to be accumulated by doing this; it's just a matter of making the right call.

A lot of my biggest roster move "wins" have come from investing in players that the market needed to see more of before trusting: Cruz, Morris, Newton, and McCoy (on a different scale) come to mind, recently. Stacy is very much in that mold, potentially. I haven't seen enough to have a strong opinion of him, but I very much agree with your stance, assuming you have.

There is room to invest in Stacy and still have plenty of room for profit. A guy like Gio, however, you had better be 100% about, and hit on, as the market trusts him, so you're paying an arm and leg.

 
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voiceofunreason

Footballguy
In a way, it's sort of a toned down version of your strategy of getting guys like Brown/Pierce on the cheap instead of going after a guy who's value is already at its peak. Only in Stacy/Ellington's case you're getting a little bonus of having a guy you can put into your lineup right now, at the cost of having to give up a little more to acquire them.
I'm just not a big fan of paying a premium for short-term opportunity in long-term formats. It makes sense from a certain standpoint because you can see how excited people get for a player like Ellington or Stacy who has a chance to produce immediately. But when you look around the marketplace and see players with equivalent or greater talent available for a fraction of the price, I think those guys look like more compelling buys.

The reasoning is pretty straightforward. If you think Christine Michael is as talented as Eddie Lacy, then the only thing preventing him from having the same perceived value is his opportunity. Since talented players almost inevitably get their chance to be the man eventually, that lack of opportunity is destined to fix itself. When that happens, your Christine Michael will become as valuable to everyone as the Eddie Lacy they spent twice as much to get a year earlier.

I think the current dynasty RB crop is short on legitimate stars who combine youth, security, and immediate opportunity. However, there's an abundance of interesting "maybes" floating around out there for discount prices because they have shoddy immediate prospects. That group includes a wide range of players like Michael, Pierce, Bryce Brown, Knile, Ingram :X , Ball, Stewart, and Gerhart. I like to mention Gerhart as an example because he's such an interesting case. Prolific college player. HIGH draft pick. Productive in his only season of regular work (2011). You can make a pretty good case that he's equivalent or superior to LeVeon Bell purely from a talent standpoint and yet here we are with Bell as a top 10 back and Gerhart as a total RB50-RB60 afterthought.

The reasons for that are pretty obvious. Bell is younger. More importantly, Bell is useful right this minute whereas we can't say for sure what type of utility Gerhart will ever have. Maybe he signs with the Eagles as a backup and never gets more than 150 carries in a season in his career. I'm not saying there should be no difference in perceived value with these two players. The question is...is the difference in perceived value out of step with the difference in actual value?

Maybe in this case the answer is no, but in other cases like Michael vs. Bell I think the answer is probably yes. You're basically paying a huge premium to get your points right this minute when if you trade back a few rounds and grab Michael, you'll probably be able to move him straight up for Bell (and maybe more than that) in 2 years. I get that people don't want to wait and that makes sense in some respects, but it's also really hard for me to stomach the idea of spending a top 25 startup pick on Lacy or Bell (who I like a lot less than Lacy) when I feel I can get the same or better type of player for much less.

Ellington is a trickier case because he's somewhat useful right now, but perhaps not as useful as he could be eventually. If his role expands and he maintains his production, he could be another Rice or Gore type of breakout. Those guys were frequently on the field as rookies, but it wasn't until year two that they really made the leap. The fact that Ellington is valued with more skepticism than a guy like Lacy or Bell makes him a little more interesting in that sense. I probably wouldn't buy him because I don't love love him as a player and I think his skill set is better suited to a part-time role, but at least there's some latent upside there.
I'm convinced you haven't watched an NFL game in 10 years and go purely based on combine stats and draft position. You never give anyone any credit or knock someone down for how they play. Yes, it's subjective, but nothing replaces watching a guy play in the NFL. All that other stuff is completely irrelevant after that. It probably works great in track and field, or even college with a big disparity in talent, I have a hard time believing this is a successful strategy in the NFL.

 

EBF

Footballguy
voiceofunreason said:
I'm convinced you haven't watched an NFL game in 10 years and go purely based on combine stats and draft position. You never give anyone any credit or knock someone down for how they play.
I get this accusation a lot and there's never been much truth to it. I was actually an early adopter of guys like Cecil Shorts and Marlon Brown. I wouldn't have been rostering those guys if I only cared about workout numbers and draft position. I look at how the players perform and factor that into my analysis. Jon Baldwin is another good example. Sky high on him going into the 2012 season. By late season I had already sold him almost everywhere that I owned him. Actually managed to escape before the bottom really and truly fell out of his value. That was based entirely on what I was/wasn't seeing from him in the NFL and not at all on his draft slot or workout numbers.

I think the reason why this accusation comes up is because there are one or two really high profile players where I've been a lot more inert than the general FF public. Trent Richardson is a great example right now. The fact that I might cling to a positive or negative evaluation longer than most people in specific cases doesn't mean that I have a general problem of never moving the needle. If anything, I try to stay in front of these things.

I don't think what I'm saying about guys like Ellington, Lacy, Bell, Stacy, and Bernard is unfair. I've just been playing this game long enough to know that only a fraction of the "OMG next big thing" flavors of the month end up becoming the perennial contributors that dynasty drafters envision. It's not unfair to look at any one of these guys and wonder if he isn't just a mediocre talent becoming overrated because he has a good stretch of games while in the shop window.

 

Kitrick Taylor

Footballguy
May want to add Tannehill to that QB list too. He's put up better numbers than Kaep so far, and is playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league.

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
WR rankings are up. Top 50 on the first pass, will be extending it later on but I wanted to make sure I felt comfortable with those.

Will be adding those couple missing players and making some adjustments based on this past week next.

 

EBF

Footballguy
Good job. Quick thoughts:

- Gotta disagree with Hilton and Randle as second tier players. These guys are both good, but they each have some physical limitations that would seem to put a cap on their ceiling. I see Hilton as sort of a Randall Cobb/DeSean Jackson mix. Great FF WR2. Probably not a #1. I've been a Randle fan all along, but he's just not that dominant athletically to be ranked ahead of guys like Crabtree. I see him as more of a solid #2 than future star.

- With you on the (relatively) low DeAndre Hopkins rating. Nice player. Modest upside. Not a future perennial top 10-12 guy IMO. I've said elsewhere that I'd trade him for any of my top 3 incoming rookie WRs (Watkins, Lee, Robinson). Just don't see a big ceiling here. Maybe if he lucks out with his QB, but not on his own merit.

- I'm probably taking Kendall Wright over every WR in your 6th tier. He may not have wow potential, but he's already a weekly fixture in PPR.

- Some unranked guys that I like to varying degrees: Quinton Patton, Chris Givens, Santonio Holmes, Marlon Brown, Marquess Wilson, Andre Roberts, Rishard Matthews. Also still think Josh Boyce is likely to become some kind of contributor in the NFL, albeit maybe not enough to have any FF value.

- With you on the high Blackmon rating. WR3 types are dirt cheap and they don't do much to help you win games. At least with Blackmon you know that if he can stay clean and stay on the field, he has a chance to produce difference-maker stats. Rather have a 16-18 ppg scorer with a 50% chance to never play again than a 12-13 ppg scorer with a 100% chance to stay on the field. So you won't see me bumping him down very far despite his troubles. It just doesn't make much sense to dump him for garbage.

I didn't really realize how thin the dynasty WR landscape had become until your post. There are very few guys outside your top 5 tiers that I'd be excited to own. I think we'll see an infusion of talent with this upcoming draft class, as it looks very strong at WR. Far better than last year's crew IMO.

 

ConnSKINS26

Footballguy
I think I'd have Floyd higher, but then I think he's one of the best buy-lows out there right now.

And I'd have Randle lower. Hilton a little lower.

Will get more in depth later, great stuff and love the explanations, which are more important than the actual rankings for me--the reasoning.

 

Concept Coop

Footballguy
Wide Receiver
At first glance, here's what stood out to me:

HIgh: Hilton, Blackmon, Dobson, Ja.Jones, Ma.Jones

Low: Tavon, Fitz, T.Williams, Decker, Welker, K.Allen

If Hilton isn't an NFL WR1, I don't know that we can rank him that high. When you look at his numbers, age, and situation, I think it's a reasonable conclusion. But, when you look beyond that, I think there are valid questions. He's 5'9", 180 pounds and not the most well rounded. . When he's not getting 10 targets a game - when the colts address the position this off-season, and the one after that - where does Hilton land on the food chain?

Blackmon at 15 is too high for my tastes. At this point, we're betting on a guy turning his life around, completely. The number of chances this guy has had and blown, despite so much to lose, is serious.

---

Tavon's rookie season has been a bit of a mess, but is that so uncommon for slot guys? He's learning a new position, as what he's being asked to do now, and currently learning on the job, is not what he did at WVU. Even before last weekend, 2 of his biggest plays were called back, including a 60 yard TD, if I recall correctly. He's a scary own, due to lack of historical comps, but potential is clearly still there in a trending NFL. The slot position is quickly becoming a huge mismatch, and offenses are doing more to take advantage of that.

I think where you have Fitz now is a fair ranking, if there was no chance of him leaving. Based on the upside that a team change offers, I think he needs to be much higher. As a heavy Fitz owner, I share your fear that maybe he's not the same guy. I just have a hard time accepting that a newly 30 YO HOF talent has fallen off to this degree. I don't think he's 100%, and I think he's still in an awful situation.

It's no more than 50/50 that Decker walks, based on my browsing of a few Bronco message boards. I feel that your ranking (33) would be more accurate if the odds were 0%, and AZ, Minn, and KC were his only potential landing spots. He deserves this ranking, at least, based on talent, despite situation.

 
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FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
A few minor updates:

-Added Chris Johnson, Ryan Tannehill, and Mike Wallace who were all overlooked on the first pass.

-Moved Christine Michael and Andre Ellington up a tier. Michael because seeing him run again reminded me of how good he looked. Ellington had the biggest jump this week though despite not really blowing up this week, mainly because I watched him and was impressed with the way he handled normal RB duties outside of the more RB friendly plays (draws, end arounds, etc). Seeing him pick up 4 yards on a play where it looked like there was nowhere to go made me just as confident in him as his big runs. Then watching Mendenhall get a draw play with a huge hole and only pick up 4 yards showed that Ellington isn't just getting what's there on those plays, he's making things happen. He gets 5 yards when Mendenhall would get 2. He gets 12 yards when Mendenhall would get 5. He gets 60 yards when Mendenhall would get 12. Arians is being a stubborn mule but that can't keep up forever. Ellington will get his shot and I think he'll run with it.

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
Good job. Quick thoughts:

- Gotta disagree with Hilton and Randle as second tier players. These guys are both good, but they each have some physical limitations that would seem to put a cap on their ceiling. I see Hilton as sort of a Randall Cobb/DeSean Jackson mix. Great FF WR2. Probably not a #1. I've been a Randle fan all along, but he's just not that dominant athletically to be ranked ahead of guys like Crabtree. I see him as more of a solid #2 than future star.
Randle's combine numbers aren't far behind Cruz/Nicks other than their leaping ability, but Randle brings more size to get off the line. Those guys have been successful in New York when healthy and I think Randle will step right into that. I guess one way to think of it is what was the FF value of Cruz/Nicks, discounting injuries? I think Randle will step right into that next year. With Nicks gone I expect 1200/8 out of him easy, possibly on the high end of that, and when people see that out of a 23 year old receiver they'll freak. He has such an easy path to it that I think people will look back and think to themselves "we all knew this was going to happen this year, why didn't I just go get him beforehand"? Even if you don't like him as a player (I do), he makes for a good buy/flip because his value should rise substantially over the next year.

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
Concept Coop said:
At first glance, here's what stood out to me:

HIgh: Hilton, Blackmon, Dobson, Ja.Jones, Ma.Jones

Low: Tavon, Fitz, T.Williams, Decker, Welker, K.Allen

If Hilton isn't an NFL WR1, I don't know that we can rank him that high. When you look at his numbers, age, and situation, I think it's a reasonable conclusion. But, when you look beyond that, I think there are valid questions. He's 5'9", 180 pounds and not the most well rounded. . When he's not getting 10 targets a game - when the colts address the position this off-season, and the one after that - where does Hilton land on the food chain?

Blackmon at 15 is too high for my tastes. At this point, we're betting on a guy turning his life around, completely. The number of chances this guy has had and blown, despite so much to lose, is serious.

---

Tavon's rookie season has been a bit of a mess, but is that so uncommon for slot guys? He's learning a new position, as what he's being asked to do now, and currently learning on the job, is not what he did at WVU. Even before last weekend, 2 of his biggest plays were called back, including a 60 yard TD, if I recall correctly. He's a scary own, due to lack of historical comps, but potential is clearly still there in a trending NFL. The slot position is quickly becoming a huge mismatch, and offenses are doing more to take advantage of that.

I think where you have Fitz now is a fair ranking, if there was no chance of him leaving. Based on the upside that a team change offers, I think he needs to be much higher. As a heavy Fitz owner, I share your fear that maybe he's not the same guy. I just have a hard time accepting that a newly 30 YO HOF talent has fallen off to this degree. I don't think he's 100%, and I think he's still in an awful situation.

It's no more than 50/50 that Decker walks, based on my browsing of a few Bronco message boards. I feel that your ranking (33) would be more accurate if the odds were 0%, and AZ, Minn, and KC were his only potential landing spots. He deserves this ranking, at least, based on talent, despite situation.
Hilton is tricky, because I can certainly get on board with what you and EBF are saying about his size not making him a prototypical #1 WR. I may end up moving him down in the near future. However, he's performing as like a #1 WR and that team has a ton of holes. I don't see them going WR early in the draft any time soon. The longer they put that off the more time Hilton has with Luck to be his go-to guy.

I get what you're saying about Fitz and a huge dropoff on his end being unlikely, but I just don't see the same guy when I watch him anymore. It's not like he hasn't played with worse QBs than Carson Palmer on much worse Cardinals teams than this and performed. Those guys just forced it in to him and he made plays that he's just not making anymore. Other guys around the league are making those plays with mediocre QBs. In a way, he and Hilton are tied together because a move to Indy for Fitzgerald would drastically change the value of both guys.

I've never been a believer in Austin even before his struggles this year, so that plays a big part in me having him so low. He doesn't have any downfield receiving ability and his game was predicated on taking short passes and running a long ways past guys he was monstrously more athletic than. He's not monstrously more athletic than defenders in the NFL and with that advantage shrinking it leaves him without much to go on. He's got more top end speed than Dexter McCluster but I see them as similar types of players. Neither are very natural receivers and when you take away the gap in their athletic superiority you're not left with much.

 

EBF

Footballguy
FreeBaGeL said:
EBF said:
Good job. Quick thoughts:

- Gotta disagree with Hilton and Randle as second tier players. These guys are both good, but they each have some physical limitations that would seem to put a cap on their ceiling. I see Hilton as sort of a Randall Cobb/DeSean Jackson mix. Great FF WR2. Probably not a #1. I've been a Randle fan all along, but he's just not that dominant athletically to be ranked ahead of guys like Crabtree. I see him as more of a solid #2 than future star.
Randle's combine numbers aren't far behind Cruz/Nicks other than their leaping ability, but Randle brings more size to get off the line. Those guys have been successful in New York when healthy and I think Randle will step right into that. I guess one way to think of it is what was the FF value of Cruz/Nicks, discounting injuries? I think Randle will step right into that next year. With Nicks gone I expect 1200/8 out of him easy, possibly on the high end of that, and when people see that out of a 23 year old receiver they'll freak. He has such an easy path to it that I think people will look back and think to themselves "we all knew this was going to happen this year, why didn't I just go get him beforehand"? Even if you don't like him as a player (I do), he makes for a good buy/flip because his value should rise substantially over the next year.
I don't disagree with most of that. However, even if other people are likely to overrate him, I don't personally see him ever being a legitimate top 10 NFL WR, so I couldn't rank him quite that high. And bear in mind that I've been a Randle supporter since well before last season. I think he's a very good player. I don't think he's a great enough pure athlete to be a Pro Bowl type of guy.

Victor Cruz is a better athlete than people realize. Very strong for his height. Very explosive. 41.5" vertical compared to 31" for Randle. Randle also lags behind Nicks from a height/weight/speed/explosiveness standpoint. Is that a death sentence? No. I think he's obviously a player whose impact and athletic ability are greater than you'd expect just looking at the numbers. I actually made a whole thread on this topic last January and he was my poster boy. The numbers paint him as a pedestrian athlete, but he's very quick and fluid for his height. I think he has everything he needs to become a productive starter. However, unless you're fortunate enough to have the perfect QB and scheme, becoming a perennial STAR seems to hinge pretty heavily on having special height/weight/speed qualities. Randle doesn't really have those things. That's why I think he falls a little short of the elite dynasty tiers.

 

EBF

Footballguy
Hilton is tricky, because I can certainly get on board with what you and EBF are saying about his size not making him a prototypical #1 WR. I may end up moving him down in the near future. However, he's performing as like a #1 WR and that team has a ton of holes. I don't see them going WR early in the draft any time soon.
Why not? Their receivers are terrible besides Hilton. They have a totally empty cupboard. Wayne is ancient and he just ripped his ACL. Career might effectively be over. I'll actually be surprised if the Colts don't do something to bolster their WR situation this offseason. They don't have a first round pick, so they might be limited with what they can do in the draft, but based on need I'd say they're strong candidates to add new faces in the coming seasons.

I still like Hilton because I think he's very good and I think pairing a very good WR with a great QB is usually a recipe for solid FF numbers. But to me he's a lot like Cobb or Jennings. Not a WR1 based solely on his own merit, but more because he's lucky enough to play with a QB who can maximize his talent. I'm always going to rate those guys a little lower than players who put up similar stats and seem to have more individual talent.

 

Concept Coop

Footballguy
I get what you're saying about Fitz and a huge dropoff on his end being unlikely, but I just don't see the same guy when I watch him anymore. It's not like he hasn't played with worse QBs than Carson Palmer on much worse Cardinals teams than this and performed. Those guys just forced it in to him and he made plays that he's just not making anymore. Other guys around the league are making those plays with mediocre QBs. In a way, he and Hilton are tied together because a move to Indy for Fitzgerald would drastically change the value of both guys.

I've never been a believer in Austin even before his struggles this year, so that plays a big part in me having him so low. He doesn't have any downfield receiving ability and his game was predicated on taking short passes and running a long ways past guys he was monstrously more athletic than. He's not monstrously more athletic than defenders in the NFL and with that advantage shrinking it leaves him without much to go on. He's got more top end speed than Dexter McCluster but I see them as similar types of players. Neither are very natural receivers and when you take away the gap in their athletic superiority you're not left with much.
All reasonable. Just two quick, final points.

Fitz: How did he look before the injury, though? He was putting up big numbers prior to it?

Tavon: Down field ability is really all he's shown at this level, though, right? If that was your major concern, shouldn't that provide you some comfort? It's the short, possession stuff that he needs to work on - getting open and being where he needs to be at this level.

Turning the underneath stuff into big plays will come, as displayed by his recent punt return. He's showing that he can get behind NFL defenses and be a deep threat, per most of his TDs. The missing variable, which I feel has kept him from reaching the more optimistic projections, again, is learning how to get open at this level: finding holes in the zone, running the right routes, selling his routes, etc. That can take a little time. What was once the "three year rule", is quickly becoming the "two year rule" - as college is better preparing WRs - but I don't think we should change it to the one year rule, yet.

 

Kitrick Taylor

Footballguy
This may be more of a commentary on where QB play is currently in the league (and NFL rules).

Ryan Tannehill is in Tier boring. Yet, after 9 games he's on pace for 4,398 yards and 25 TDs.

-for a yardage comparison, Tom Brady threw for that same 4,398 yards in 2009. It stands as the 45th best yardage season by a QB in NFL history.

-Tannehill has 11 INTs on the season. That's bad. Outside of 5 more INTs however, his passing numbers are very similar to Andrew Luck.

I've watched a number of Dolphin games this year, and while I don't think Tannehill is by any means a finished product, he's certainly shown a lot of upper end tools. What I have seen is some incredibly suspect play by Mike Wallace in particular, and he's obviously not getting any help from a bottom of the league type of OLine.

I guess I just think he's kind of become the forgotten man after what happened in 2012. Luck, RGIII, Wilson and Kaep all burst onto the scene and took the spotlight. Now its a year later, and Tannehill has clearly taken a step forward, while some of those other guys, not so much.

Quality buy low IMO.

 

FreeBaGeL

Footballguy
This may be more of a commentary on where QB play is currently in the league (and NFL rules).

Ryan Tannehill is in Tier boring. Yet, after 9 games he's on pace for 4,398 yards and 25 TDs.

-for a yardage comparison, Tom Brady threw for that same 4,398 yards in 2009. It stands as the 45th best yardage season by a QB in NFL history.

-Tannehill has 11 INTs on the season. That's bad. Outside of 5 more INTs however, his passing numbers are very similar to Andrew Luck.

I've watched a number of Dolphin games this year, and while I don't think Tannehill is by any means a finished product, he's certainly shown a lot of upper end tools. What I have seen is some incredibly suspect play by Mike Wallace in particular, and he's obviously not getting any help from a bottom of the league type of OLine.

I guess I just think he's kind of become the forgotten man after what happened in 2012. Luck, RGIII, Wilson and Kaep all burst onto the scene and took the spotlight. Now its a year later, and Tannehill has clearly taken a step forward, while some of those other guys, not so much.

Quality buy low IMO.
I think you made an error with your calculations.

His pace right now is 3900 yards, 22 TDs, 19 INTs.

 

Kitrick Taylor

Footballguy
This may be more of a commentary on where QB play is currently in the league (and NFL rules).

Ryan Tannehill is in Tier boring. Yet, after 9 games he's on pace for 4,398 yards and 25 TDs.

-for a yardage comparison, Tom Brady threw for that same 4,398 yards in 2009. It stands as the 45th best yardage season by a QB in NFL history.

-Tannehill has 11 INTs on the season. That's bad. Outside of 5 more INTs however, his passing numbers are very similar to Andrew Luck.

I've watched a number of Dolphin games this year, and while I don't think Tannehill is by any means a finished product, he's certainly shown a lot of upper end tools. What I have seen is some incredibly suspect play by Mike Wallace in particular, and he's obviously not getting any help from a bottom of the league type of OLine.

I guess I just think he's kind of become the forgotten man after what happened in 2012. Luck, RGIII, Wilson and Kaep all burst onto the scene and took the spotlight. Now its a year later, and Tannehill has clearly taken a step forward, while some of those other guys, not so much.

Quality buy low IMO.
I think you made an error with your calculations.

His pace right now is 3900 yards, 22 TDs, 19 INTs.
I only triple checked my math. Guess I should have divided by 10 weeks, not 9. Doh!

Regardless, his numbers are still far better than Kaeps and very similar to Andrew Luck.

 

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