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ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (TE updated March 2021)


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RB rankings. Assuming 0.5 PPR (unlike my previous RB rankings, which were no PPR), 24 starting RBs, about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/15. Prev shows my rankings from last October, and I also posted my (partially ordered) top 12 in January.

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev
1 1 LeVeon Bell PIT 23.5 (1)
2 2 Todd Gurley STL 21.1 unr
2 3 Eddie Lacy GB 25.2 (6)
3 4 DeMarco Murray PHI 27.5 (3)
3 5 Jamaal Charles KC 28.7 (4)
4 6 Jeremy Hill CIN 22.8 (27)
4 7 Melvin Gordon SD 22.4 unr
4 8 C.J. Anderson DEN 24.5 (61)
4 9 LeSean McCoy BUF 27.1 (2)
5 10 Marshawn Lynch SEA 29.4 (8)
5 11 Giovani Bernard CIN 23.8 (5)
5 12 Adrian Peterson MIN 30.4 (16)
5 13 Matt Forte CHI 29.7 (7)
5 14 Arian Foster HOU 29.0 (9)
5 15 Lamar Miller MIA 24.4 (34)
5 16 Carlos Hyde SF 23.9 (12)
5 17 Ameer Abdullah DET 22.2 unr
5 18 Mark Ingram NO 25.7 (17)
5 19 T.J. Yeldon JAX 21.9 unr
5 20 C.J. Spiller NO 28.1 (23)
6 21 Alfred Morris WAS 26.7 (11)
6 22 Andre Ellington ARI 26.6 (10)
6 23 Tevin Coleman ATL 22.4 unr
6 24 Jerick McKinnon MIN 23.3 (19)
6 25 Doug Martin TB 26.6 (13)
7 26 Christine Michael SEA 24.8 (14)
7 27 Bishop Sankey TEN 22.9 (15)
7 28 Duke Johnson CLE 21.9 unr
7 29 Latavius Murray OAK 24.5 (66)

7 30 Jonathan Stewart CAR 28.4 (49)
7 31 Charles Sims TB 24.9 (35)
7 32 Isaiah Crowell CLE 22.6 (37)
7 33 Justin Forsett BAL 29.9 (38)
7 34 David Johnson ARI 23.7 unr
7 35 Frank Gore IND 32.3 (42)
7 36 Rashad Jennings NYG 30.4 (29)
8 37 Tre Mason STL 22.1 (18)
8 38 LeGarrette Blount NE 28.7 (84)
8 39 Montee Ball DEN 24.7 (21)
8 40 Shane Vereen NYG 26.5 (24)
8 41 Jay Ajayi MIA 22.2 unr
8 42 Joseph Randle DAL 23.7 (79)
9 43 Ahmad Bradshaw FA 29.5 (30)
9 44 Terrance West CLE 24.6 (39)
9 45 Devonta Freeman ATL 23.4 (45)
9 46 Chris Ivory NYJ 27.4 (33)
9 47 Knowshon Moreno FA 28.1 (54)
9 48 Denard Robinson JAX 24.9 (31)
9 49 Joique Bell DET 29.1 (36)
10 50 Knile Davis KC 23.9 (40)
10 51 Roy Helu OAK 26.7 (75)
10 52 Ronnie Hillman DEN 24.0 (26)
10 53 Stevan Ridley NYJ 26.6 (51)
10 54 Khiry Robinson NO 25.7 (41)
10 55 Matt Jones WAS ??? unr
10 56 Jeremy Langford CHI 23.7 unr
10 57 Trent Richardson OAK 25.1 (25)
10 58 David Cobb TEN 22.2 unr
10 59 Andre Williams NYG 23.0 (44)
10 60 Darren McFadden DAL 28.0 (48)
10 61 Robert Turbin SEA 25.7 (74)
10 62 Mike Davis SF 22.5 unr
10 63 Travaris Cadet NE 26.6 (81)
10 64 James White NE 23.6 (87)
11 65 DeAngelo Williams PIT 32.4 (70)
11 66 Branden Oliver SD 24.3 unr
11 67 Lorenzo Taliaferro BAL 23.7 (65)
11 68 Ryan Mathews PHI 27.9 (20)
11 69 Cameron Artis-Payne CAR 23.2 unr
11 70 Zac Stacy NYJ 24.4 (28)
11 71 Karlos Williams BUF 22.3 unr
11 72 Javorius Allen BAL 24.0 unr
11 73 Reggie Bush SF 30.5 (43)

11 74 Dan Herron IND 26.4 unr
11 75 Steven Jackson FA 32.1 (57)
12 76 Darren Sproles PHI 32.2 (50)
12 77 Theo Riddick DET 24.3 unr
12 78 KaDeem Carey CHI 22.8 (77)
12 79 Ryan Williams DAL 25.4 unr
12 80 Josh Robinson IND 23 unr
12 81 Bobby Rainey TB 27.9 (71)
12 82 Bernard Pierce BAL 25.7 (53)
12 83 Chris Johnson FA 29.9 (58)
12 84 Chris Polk HOU 25.7 (85)
12 85 Lance Dunbar DAL 25.6 (72)
12 86 Jacquizz Rodgers CHI 25.6 unr
12 87 Jonas Gray NE 25.2 unr
12 88 Bryce Brown BUF 24.3 (56)
12 89 Vick Ballard IND 25.1 (86)
12 90 Juwan Thompson DEN 23.3 (63)

Lots of tier breaks near the top, because I think there are clear gaps between players. Le'Veon Bell is the clear #1. Tossup between Gurley & Lacy for #2 - the issues with Lacy's health coming into the league make me a bit concerned that he won't age well. Murray & Charles are old enough to be a tier down, but are clearly ahead of the rest in terms of production (or age).

LeSean McCoy had a terrible season according to PFF's grades, and then his team traded him away. That has me worried, especially because he's at around the same age where guys like MJD, Ray Rice, and Portis declined.

Tier 5 (RB10-20) has a weird mix of old studs, rookies, and pretty good young guys. I keep second-guessing myself on the order within this tier. Among the old guys, Peterson has extra risk because he's aged 2 years since we saw him last, Forte could be in for a large drop in receptions, and Foster is actually the least old of the bunch. Among the rookies, I was high on Abdullah before the draft and I think Detroit is a great landing spot which could turn him into a high volume receiver. (More of my pre-draft thoughts on rookies in this thread.)

C.J. Spiller has a ton of upside in New Orleans (especially in PPR). Given the state of their receiving corps, I wouldn't be shocked to see him catch 100 passes. He also could get a Pierre Thomas level workload as a runner rather than a Sproles level workload (150ish carries rather than 50ish).

Tre Mason is the latest warning that, just because a young RB has found his way to the top of the depth chart, that does not necessarily mean that he is locked in as the starter long-term. (Brag: I was relatively down on him in January for that reason, ranking him in the late teens.) Isaiah Crowell and Latavius Murray are at risk of repeating the pattern (Crowell had an unspectacular rookie year, and Murray has 82 career carries). Some people also seem to be overrating Carlos Hyde.

Duke Johnson is my favorite RB in Cleveland, especially if you get some points for receptions. He should step right into the receiving back role (which Cleveland was awful at last year - none of their RBs reached 100 receiving yards), and the competition for who will get the most carries seems pretty wide open.

If you need a starting RB to win now, then Forsett, Gore, and R Jennings look like nice options who could be available for a reasonable price (assuming you don't want to pay for Peterson, Lynch, Forte, Foster, or Spiller). Maybe Joique Bell, but I'm worried about how big a role he'll have by playoff time.

Ahmad Bradshaw has consistently performed well when he's been able to stay on the field. Darren McFadden, not so much. I'd count Randle as the current favorite to lead Dallas in rushing, although I expect them to bring someone else in. If I ran the Cowboys, I'd add Bradshaw, Moreno, or Steven Jackson (who had a surprisingly good season last year by DVOA).

I don't know what to think of Matt Jones, so I started a thread about him. If Darren McFadden can make this tier, then I guess it makes sense that he can too.

Ryan Mathews is in a terrible situation (for fantasy value), under contract through age 30 behind DeMarco Murray. Cameron Artis-Payne is in a nice situation, with a good chance to be the #2 behind Jonathan Stewart. That balances out the talent gap, and brings them next to each other in these rankings.

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Rookie RB madness

Normally I'd agree with you, but the RB landscape right now is probably the worst I've ever seen in almost 20 years of dynasty FF. After Bell and Lacy, who is left that you'd actually feel good about as a long term cornerstone player at RB?

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Ryan Mathews is in a terrible situation (for fantasy value), under contract through age 30 behind DeMarco Murray. Cameron Artis-Payne is in a nice situation, with a good chance to be the #2 behind Jonathan Stewart. That balances out the talent gap, and brings them next to each other in these rankings.

A high upside handcuff has more value than a low upside handcuff. There's reason to believe Murray will break down, both based on his usage last year and his history before last year; why are we ignoring his direct backup is capable of top 5 production? A lot of guys are capped at RB2, Artis-Payne included. I would go so far as to argue that a high upside handcuff has more value than a low upside starter. The only way Chris Ivory or Stevan Ridley wins you a title is as a hole-filler in a WR-heavy lineup with a strong RB1. A lot of the guys who won titles last year did it because of Forsett, CJ Anderson, Jeremy Hill. Situations that were RB-friendly and had talented (whether we knew it at the time) players who could take advantage of it. I think Mathews fits that mold much better than Artis-Payne.

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Ryan Mathews is in a terrible situation (for fantasy value), under contract through age 30 behind DeMarco Murray. Cameron Artis-Payne is in a nice situation, with a good chance to be the #2 behind Jonathan Stewart. That balances out the talent gap, and brings them next to each other in these rankings.

A high upside handcuff has more value than a low upside handcuff. There's reason to believe Murray will break down, both based on his usage last year and his history before last year; why are we ignoring his direct backup is capable of top 5 production? A lot of guys are capped at RB2, Artis-Payne included. I would go so far as to argue that a high upside handcuff has more value than a low upside starter. The only way Chris Ivory or Stevan Ridley wins you a title is as a hole-filler in a WR-heavy lineup with a strong RB1. A lot of the guys who won titles last year did it because of Forsett, CJ Anderson, Jeremy Hill. Situations that were RB-friendly and had talented (whether we knew it at the time) players who could take advantage of it. I think Mathews fits that mold much better than Artis-Payne.

Give me Mathews' handcuff for when he stubs his toe his first game replacing Murray.

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Ryan Mathews is in a terrible situation (for fantasy value), under contract through age 30 behind DeMarco Murray. Cameron Artis-Payne is in a nice situation, with a good chance to be the #2 behind Jonathan Stewart. That balances out the talent gap, and brings them next to each other in these rankings.

A high upside handcuff has more value than a low upside handcuff. There's reason to believe Murray will break down, both based on his usage last year and his history before last year; why are we ignoring his direct backup is capable of top 5 production? A lot of guys are capped at RB2, Artis-Payne included. I would go so far as to argue that a high upside handcuff has more value than a low upside starter. The only way Chris Ivory or Stevan Ridley wins you a title is as a hole-filler in a WR-heavy lineup with a strong RB1. A lot of the guys who won titles last year did it because of Forsett, CJ Anderson, Jeremy Hill. Situations that were RB-friendly and had talented (whether we knew it at the time) players who could take advantage of it. I think Mathews fits that mold much better than Artis-Payne.

Give me Mathews' handcuff for when he stubs his toe his first game replacing Murray.

Yuck Yuck Yuck. But no, that scenario speaks directly to my point. That person would not get the same usage as Mathews would as a starter. (They would pass more, Sproles would be on the field more, etc.) That person (Barner, Tucker) would be a low upside handcuff.

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Rookie RB madness

Normally I'd agree with you, but the RB landscape right now is probably the worst I've ever seen in almost 20 years of dynasty FF. After Bell and Lacy, who is left that you'd actually feel good about as a long term cornerstone player at RB?

Not saying I disagree, just crazy to see it.

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I really like these types of threads so I admit I am seriously nitpicking here but I just don't get a few things here:

The rankings are obviously heavily influenced by age and that's fine but if that's the case, and with other things being relatively equal, how do you justify ranking Foster under both Forte and Peterson and Lynch?

Of the group, he is the youngest (he literally will just have turned 29 on the first of September). Peterson hasn't been seen in two years basically and Forte is now going through a system change and the team has added RBs that can do specialty roles (and they lost a big help in their offense in Marshall).

I can totally see putting him behind Lynch, but then you have Gio who is CLEARLY in the short side of a time share. I know people think Foster is always hurt. He's not. He's missed a few games but a lot less than what people tend to think. If freaking CJ spiller can be ranked 20 despite everything he has had going on in his career and his age, certainly Foster can be viewed as one of the top dozen fantasy RBs. I mean, say it out loud: "Arian Foster is NOT one of the best top 12 options at RB in fantasy." Just doesn't stick for me.

Also, I think the gap between rookies Duke Johnson and Jay Ajayi should be basically non-existent. The Browns are no better an opportunity than Miami. They have a poorer team and have more RBBC potential. In Miami, Miller has had his own share of issues in the past and it seems to me the concerns about Ajayi's knee, which was born and grown into an adult during the span of about 5 days, is being overly reacted to. How come nobody talks about the fear of concussions for Duke, since he's had some already, as well as has been knicked up? I'm not saying they are both great OR both terrible investments, I just don't think there is much separating the two of them and we should probably be seeing them drafted fairly close together in rookie drafts.

I'll concede Lynch because they are similar in production and Lynch appears safer, despite the constant back talk but I would much rather have Foster for the next 1,2,3 years than Gio, Forte, or Peterson because when he plays, he is the clear bellcow back and he's money.

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I have no problem saying out loud that "Arian Foster is NOT one of the best top 12 options at RB in fantasy- for DYNASTY". He has missed 11 games in the last two seasons, the Texan's have talked about "managing" his workload, and he has considered retirement already. If it was very likely that he'd give you 3 more full seasons I would agree that he should be higher, but it's entirely possible that he only plays one more injury-riddled season and then hangs them up. IMO he should be ranked right around where he has him.

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, but then you have Gio who is CLEARLY in the short side of a time share.

Moment of dissension. I kinda disgree here. I'm looking forward to seeing how they both play when actually healthy. We haven't seen that yet.

Not vehemently disagreeing...just tap the breaks.

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, but then you have Gio who is CLEARLY in the short side of a time share.

Moment of dissension. I kinda disgree here. I'm looking forward to seeing how they both play when actually healthy. We haven't seen that yet.

Not vehemently disagreeing...just tap the breaks.

Also, even assuming Hill as the primary runner, Gio's receiving ability gives him a really nice high floor in PPR.

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Ryan Mathews is in a terrible situation (for fantasy value), under contract through age 30 behind DeMarco Murray. Cameron Artis-Payne is in a nice situation, with a good chance to be the #2 behind Jonathan Stewart. That balances out the talent gap, and brings them next to each other in these rankings.

A high upside handcuff has more value than a low upside handcuff. There's reason to believe Murray will break down, both based on his usage last year and his history before last year; why are we ignoring his direct backup is capable of top 5 production? A lot of guys are capped at RB2, Artis-Payne included. I would go so far as to argue that a high upside handcuff has more value than a low upside starter. The only way Chris Ivory or Stevan Ridley wins you a title is as a hole-filler in a WR-heavy lineup with a strong RB1. A lot of the guys who won titles last year did it because of Forsett, CJ Anderson, Jeremy Hill. Situations that were RB-friendly and had talented (whether we knew it at the time) players who could take advantage of it. I think Mathews fits that mold much better than Artis-Payne.

Forsett was considered a low upside handcuff himself going into the season.

I don't know that Artis-Payne is necessarily low upside, though I agree with your premise.

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Forsett was considered a low upside handcuff himself going into the season.

I don't know that Artis-Payne is necessarily low upside, though I agree with your premise.

Carolina isn't a good situation for RB TDs or receptions, and Artis-Payne is not a better than replacement-level TD scorer or receiver. I certainly respect if you view him as a better talent than I do.

I agree about Forsett but he was fourth on the depth chart this time last year, so I think most people just ignored the possibility. It's possible, in the Philly example, I'm wrong about someone like Barner. It's just with Sproles' presence I think it makes it tougher.

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Was Adrian Peterson himself even ranked #2 on dynasty lists when he entered the league as a rookie?

Wesseling had him 4th to start, and he was 1st by the end of the year. But that was in a world where Frank Gore and SJax were both 24, and we still thought LT would last forever.

http://dynastyrankings.blogspot.com/2007/12/original-fbg-dynasty-rankings-thread_2119.html

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Was Adrian Peterson himself even ranked #2 on dynasty lists when he entered the league as a rookie?

When Adrian Peterson entered the league as a rookie...

... Tomlinson was turning 28 and had just set the touchdown record.

... Larry Johnson was turning 28 and had put up over 4,000 yards and 40 TDs in the previous two seasons.

... Steven Jackson was turning 24 and coming off a season with 2300 YFS, 90 catches, and 16 TDs.

... Brian Westbrook was turning 28 and coming off a 3-year run where he basically averaged 115 ypg and 75 catches a year.

... Clinton Portis was turning 26 and, while coming off an injury in 2006, had four straight top-12 seasons prior.

... Frank Gore was turning 24 and coming off a pro bowl year with 2100+ yards from scrimmage and 60 catches.

... Maurice Jones-Drew was turning 22 and coming off of a top-10 fantasy finish as a rookie in an RBBC.

... Reggie Bush was turning 22 and coming off a season with a ridiculous 88 catches, and still had his hype train in full effect.

... Willie Parker was turning 27 and coming off a 1700/16 season after a strong 2005. (Don't laugh, he was really a thing in 2007.)

... Joseph Addai was turning 23, coming off a top-12 fantasy finish as a rookie, and locked in as Indy's bellcow.

... Laurence Maroney was turning 22 and was, for some reason or another, a highly-coveted asset. (Remember, Corey Dillon was still fresh in everyone's mind.)

Even guys like Willis McGahee, Shaun Alexander, and Ronnie Brown were getting some serious love at the time. And remember, too, in 2007 dynasty owners were far less concerned about age than they are today, so those 28s you see up there really were nothing. There wasn't really anything that could be called a "consensus" in dynasty then like there is today, but Peterson was absolutely considered part of that mix.

Had Gurley come out in 2007, he wouldn't have been ranked in the top 3. He probably wouldn't have been ranked in the top 5. Aggressive rankers probably would have put him in the RB6-10 range. When F&L did his post-draft rankings in 2007, he had Adrian Peterson ranked 4th. (And, amusingly, he took a ton of crap for it from people who question the idea of ranking unproven rookies over "proven studs" like Fast Willie Parker before they've ever played a down in the NFL. Hindsight is rarely kind in dynasty.)

Instead, Todd Gurley benefits greatly by entering the league in 2015. To illustrate the point, consider Jeremy Hill. Hill is a late 2nd round pick who is turning 23 and likely in a timeshare with a talented young back. He also put up 1339/9 with 5 fumbles and 5.1 ypc as a rookie. In 2007, MJD was a late-2nd round pick who was turning 22 and likely in a timeshare with a talented old back. He had also put up 1377/15 with 1 fumble and 5.7 ypc as a rookie. 2007 MJD blows 2015 Jeremy Hill out of the water as a dynasty asset. And yet Jeremy Hill is a slam-dunk top-5 dynasty back, while Maurice Jones-Drew didn't crack the top 10 in 2007. Steven Jackson was a more productive, more pedigreed Le'Veon Bell without the drug suspension, and yet he wasn't even the top back on the board in startups. Reggie Bush is basically Carlos Hyde, if Carlos Hyde was three years younger, hailed as one of the greatest RB prospects in history, coming off a 1300-yard season, playing in one of the top offenses in the league, and ending his season with a 100-yard receiving game in the playoffs.

Todd Gurley ranking as high as he does in 2015 says as much about 2015 as it does about Todd Gurley.

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Was Adrian Peterson himself even ranked #2 on dynasty lists when he entered the league as a rookie?

When Adrian Peterson entered the league as a rookie...

... Tomlinson was turning 28 and had just set the touchdown record.

... Larry Johnson was turning 28 and had put up over 4,000 yards and 40 TDs in the previous two seasons.

... Steven Jackson was turning 24 and coming off a season with 2300 YFS, 90 catches, and 16 TDs.

... Brian Westbrook was turning 28 and coming off a 3-year run where he basically averaged 115 ypg and 75 catches a year.

... Clinton Portis was turning 26 and, while coming off an injury in 2006, had four straight top-12 seasons prior.

... Frank Gore was turning 24 and coming off a pro bowl year with 2100+ yards from scrimmage and 60 catches.

... Maurice Jones-Drew was turning 22 and coming off of a top-10 fantasy finish as a rookie in an RBBC.

... Reggie Bush was turning 22 and coming off a season with a ridiculous 88 catches, and still had his hype train in full effect.

... Willie Parker was turning 27 and coming off a 1700/16 season after a strong 2005. (Don't laugh, he was really a thing in 2007.)

... Joseph Addai was turning 23, coming off a top-12 fantasy finish as a rookie, and locked in as Indy's bellcow.

... Laurence Maroney was turning 22 and was, for some reason or another, a highly-coveted asset. (Remember, Corey Dillon was still fresh in everyone's mind.)

Even guys like Willis McGahee, Shaun Alexander, and Ronnie Brown were getting some serious love at the time. And remember, too, in 2007 dynasty owners were far less concerned about age than they are today, so those 28s you see up there really were nothing. There wasn't really anything that could be called a "consensus" in dynasty then like there is today, but Peterson was absolutely considered part of that mix.

Had Gurley come out in 2007, he wouldn't have been ranked in the top 3. He probably wouldn't have been ranked in the top 5. Aggressive rankers probably would have put him in the RB6-10 range. When F&L did his post-draft rankings in 2007, he had Adrian Peterson ranked 4th. (And, amusingly, he took a ton of crap for it from people who question the idea of ranking unproven rookies over "proven studs" like Fast Willie Parker before they've ever played a down in the NFL. Hindsight is rarely kind in dynasty.)

Instead, Todd Gurley benefits greatly by entering the league in 2015. To illustrate the point, consider Jeremy Hill. Hill is a late 2nd round pick who is turning 23 and likely in a timeshare with a talented young back. He also put up 1339/9 with 5 fumbles and 5.1 ypc as a rookie. In 2007, MJD was a late-2nd round pick who was turning 22 and likely in a timeshare with a talented old back. He had also put up 1377/15 with 1 fumble and 5.7 ypc as a rookie. 2007 MJD blows 2015 Jeremy Hill out of the water as a dynasty asset. And yet Jeremy Hill is a slam-dunk top-5 dynasty back, while Maurice Jones-Drew didn't crack the top 10 in 2007. Steven Jackson was a more productive, more pedigreed Le'Veon Bell without the drug suspension, and yet he wasn't even the top back on the board in startups. Reggie Bush is basically Carlos Hyde, if Carlos Hyde was three years younger, hailed as one of the greatest RB prospects in history, coming off a 1300-yard season, playing in one of the top offenses in the league, and ending his season with a 100-yard receiving game in the playoffs.

Todd Gurley ranking as high as he does in 2015 says as much about 2015 as it does about Todd Gurley.

:goodposting:

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, but then you have Gio who is CLEARLY in the short side of a time share.

Moment of dissension. I kinda disgree here. I'm looking forward to seeing how they both play when actually healthy. We haven't seen that yet.

Not vehemently disagreeing...just tap the breaks.

Also, even assuming Hill as the primary runner, Gio's receiving ability gives him a really nice high floor in PPR.

He still has value, obviously, but top 10 Dynasty value...no way. That's the dividing line. In dynasty, there is almost no way he can fend off maintaining top 10 status with new players coming in and players emerging with Jeremy Hill there. The numbers might look good at the end of the year but we know the Bengals, there are going to be some sour weeks for Gio owners when the Bengals use Hill in that 20-25 carry range, lean on the defense, control the clock and you look up and you're like "8 carries and 2 catches for Gio..WTF".

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I have no problem saying out loud that "Arian Foster is NOT one of the best top 12 options at RB in fantasy- for DYNASTY". He has missed 11 games in the last two seasons, the Texan's have talked about "managing" his workload, and he has considered retirement already. If it was very likely that he'd give you 3 more full seasons I would agree that he should be higher, but it's entirely possible that he only plays one more injury-riddled season and then hangs them up. IMO he should be ranked right around where he has him.

I'm not going down this road with you again this year and all that jabber about how you wouldn't be surprised if he would retire last year. Whatever.

Stick to the facts:

-STUD RB.

-28 years old which indicates he can easily have 3 more years in dynasty. Dynasty football is not the Ming dynasty. In FF and with RBs, you tell me I get Arian Foster production for 2-3 years and you're stupid not to take it. There's not a significant RB out there right now that has played 3 years that hasn't missed time so don't expect your argument to be "only if they play all the time". Its a ridiculous expectation.

-Foster missed 3 games last year and was still comfortably the #5 Rb in ff last year.

That's all you need to know. Whatever your hatred is for him, be sure to check it in your trophy closet...probably be plenty of space in there for it.

I'm going to edit this to add that I really don't want a bunch of mouthy snarky remarks back and forth on this. I'm just basically tired of people telling me for three years that he was never going to be anybody(before yr1), was a fluke (after year 1), needed to see it again (after yr 2), haha! see (ever since then, although people shrug off that a RB in dynasty ff ripped off three of the most impressive years without basically missing a beat and then dogpiled him once he got dinged....they ALL get hurt at some time). And now here we are again, averaged 18ppg in fantasy playoffs last year, helping people win leagues, but all he ever gets anymore is how he died in 2011.

It's just an easy thing to get over when you enjoy the successes of a player and watch others around you hit their head into the wall trumpeting Monte Ball and Zac Stacy types.

Edited by Shutout
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, but then you have Gio who is CLEARLY in the short side of a time share.

Moment of dissension. I kinda disgree here. I'm looking forward to seeing how they both play when actually healthy. We haven't seen that yet.

Not vehemently disagreeing...just tap the breaks.

Also, even assuming Hill as the primary runner, Gio's receiving ability gives him a really nice high floor in PPR.

He still has value, obviously, but top 10 Dynasty value...no way. That's the dividing line. In dynasty, there is almost no way he can fend off maintaining top 10 status with new players coming in and players emerging with Jeremy Hill there. The numbers might look good at the end of the year but we know the Bengals, there are going to be some sour weeks for Gio owners when the Bengals use Hill in that 20-25 carry range, lean on the defense, control the clock and you look up and you're like "8 carries and 2 catches for Gio..WTF".

In terms of PPR startup value, I disagree -- I have him right at RB10 (similar to ZWK's list but I'm much lower on CJ Anderson personally) or so. I'm not a big fan of spending a high pick in a startup on 1-2 year players (Peterson, Lynch, Foster, Forte, etc). Obviously that might differ in an established league with a short window contender and need at RB. Granted, I'm a bigger fan of hitting singles at the top of a startup than most while swinging for the fences mid / late, so YMMV.

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I have no problem saying out loud that "Arian Foster is NOT one of the best top 12 options at RB in fantasy- for DYNASTY". He has missed 11 games in the last two seasons, the Texan's have talked about "managing" his workload, and he has considered retirement already. If it was very likely that he'd give you 3 more full seasons I would agree that he should be higher, but it's entirely possible that he only plays one more injury-riddled season and then hangs them up. IMO he should be ranked right around where he has him.

I'm not going down this road with you again this year and all that jabber about how you wouldn't be surprised if he would retire last year. Whatever.

Stick to the facts:

-STUD RB.

-28 years old which indicates he can easily have 3 more years in dynasty. Dynasty football is not the Ming dynasty. In FF and with RBs, you tell me I get Arian Foster production for 2-3 years and you're stupid not to take it. There's not a significant RB out there right now that has played 3 years that hasn't missed time so don't expect your argument to be "only if they play all the time". Its a ridiculous expectation.

-Foster missed 3 games last year and was still comfortably the #5 Rb in ff last year.

That's all you need to know. Whatever your hatred is for him, be sure to check it in your trophy closet...probably be plenty of space in there for it.

I agree with him on Foster, and Foster is a player I actually like and have argued the "pro" side for on this board for years. For Foster to have three strong years left, he'll need to remain productive through his age 32 season (he'll be 29 on opening day this year) -- productive 32 year old RBs are really rare. Could Foster do it? Sure. Is it likely? No. I'd say he most likely has one more year of RB1 in him, maybe another of "somewhat useful." No way he's a top 10 startup RB IMO.

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I have no problem saying out loud that "Arian Foster is NOT one of the best top 12 options at RB in fantasy- for DYNASTY". He has missed 11 games in the last two seasons, the Texan's have talked about "managing" his workload, and he has considered retirement already. If it was very likely that he'd give you 3 more full seasons I would agree that he should be higher, but it's entirely possible that he only plays one more injury-riddled season and then hangs them up. IMO he should be ranked right around where he has him.

I'm not going down this road with you again this year and all that jabber about how you wouldn't be surprised if he would retire last year. Whatever.

Stick to the facts:

-STUD RB.

-28 years old which indicates he can easily have 3 more years in dynasty. Dynasty football is not the Ming dynasty. In FF and with RBs, you tell me I get Arian Foster production for 2-3 years and you're stupid not to take it. There's not a significant RB out there right now that has played 3 years that hasn't missed time so don't expect your argument to be "only if they play all the time". Its a ridiculous expectation.

-Foster missed 3 games last year and was still comfortably the #5 Rb in ff last year.

That's all you need to know. Whatever your hatred is for him, be sure to check it in your trophy closet...probably be plenty of space in there for it.

I agree with him on Foster, and Foster is a player I actually like and have argued the "pro" side for on this board for years. For Foster to have three strong years left, he'll need to remain productive through his age 32 season (he'll be 29 on opening day this year) -- productive 32 year old RBs are really rare. Could Foster do it? Sure. Is it likely? No. I'd say he most likely has one more year of RB1 in him, maybe another of "somewhat useful." No way he's a top 10 startup RB IMO.

He will turn 29 days before the season so he will play the early days of his 29 age this year, then 30 next year, then 31 in the 3rd year, so he won't have to be a 32 year old producing at a high level and that's why I said 2-3 years because he can be Thomas Jones and Curtis Martin OR he can be a guy that hits a wall hard.

But my point is, given his history and what he means to the team, etc, I like him in his role on the Texans more than I like the question marks of an already 30 year old Peterson or a Forte that has his changing issues, etc.

I may have missed something in the earlier discussion in that I am referring to dynasty leagues, not startup dynasty leagues. If this is a startup dynasty ranking, then I completely understand the age bias given better and I have a real hard time putting Foster, Lynch, Peterson, Or Forte in the top 20 so thanks for pointing that aspect out.

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Yeah, bad math on me on his age.

And that's the tough thing about doing a dynasty rankings list. The lists for a current contending team vs a rebuilding team look totally and completely different. There's really no way to make a "master list" in dynasty that works universally. I usually look at rankings as if they represent startup value for that reason.

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I have no problem saying out loud that "Arian Foster is NOT one of the best top 12 options at RB in fantasy- for DYNASTY". He has missed 11 games in the last two seasons, the Texan's have talked about "managing" his workload, and he has considered retirement already. If it was very likely that he'd give you 3 more full seasons I would agree that he should be higher, but it's entirely possible that he only plays one more injury-riddled season and then hangs them up. IMO he should be ranked right around where he has him.

I'm not going down this road with you again this year and all that jabber about how you wouldn't be surprised if he would retire last year. Whatever.

Stick to the facts:

-STUD RB.

-28 years old which indicates he can easily have 3 more years in dynasty. Dynasty football is not the Ming dynasty. In FF and with RBs, you tell me I get Arian Foster production for 2-3 years and you're stupid not to take it. There's not a significant RB out there right now that has played 3 years that hasn't missed time so don't expect your argument to be "only if they play all the time". Its a ridiculous expectation.

-Foster missed 3 games last year and was still comfortably the #5 Rb in ff last year.

That's all you need to know. Whatever your hatred is for him, be sure to check it in your trophy closet...probably be plenty of space in there for it.

I'm going to edit this to add that I really don't want a bunch of mouthy snarky remarks back and forth on this. I'm just basically tired of people telling me for three years that he was never going to be anybody(before yr1), was a fluke (after year 1), needed to see it again (after yr 2), haha! see (ever since then, although people shrug off that a RB in dynasty ff ripped off three of the most impressive years without basically missing a beat and then dogpiled him once he got dinged....they ALL get hurt at some time). And now here we are again, averaged 18ppg in fantasy playoffs last year, helping people win leagues, but all he ever gets anymore is how he died in 2011.

It's just an easy thing to get over when you enjoy the successes of a player and watch others around you hit their head into the wall trumpeting Monte Ball and Zac Stacy types.

:lmao:

I drafted Foster in several leagues after his rookie season, and if you check his thread (if the search function worked), I was one of the few who were way in the "pro" Foster camp from the very beginning. I'm just dealing with facts now, which I know is a difficult concept for you. Go ahead and ignore the 11 missed games in the last 2 seasons, the coach talking about managing his workload, and his own retirement talk if that makes you feel better, but those things actually happened in case you'd prefer to live in reality.

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Foster and Lynch are both pretty different kinds of dudes (compared to the typical NFL mindset) similar to Ricky Williams in personality IMO. They would both be pretty high up on my "most likely to randomly retire to go study with the Dalai Lama in Tibet or something" list.

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Rookie RB madness

The 3rd year RBs (class of 2013) are the highest rated, on the whole, in my rankings. Then the rookies, then the 2nd year RBs. That seems reasonable - this is dynasty, RB is a young man's game, and the 2010-2012 RB classes have not turned out so good. It seems a little weird to have a rookie at #2, but I really can't see myself putting him any lower than third out of these players. Gurley over Hill seems like an easy call to me - Hill was a much worse prospect and wasn't that spectacular as a rookie - and everyone else in my top 10 is way older, or also a rookie, or C.J. Anderson.

The rankings are obviously heavily influenced by age and that's fine but if that's the case, and with other things being relatively equal, how do you justify ranking Foster under both Forte and Peterson and Lynch?

Of the group, he is the youngest (he literally will just have turned 29 on the first of September). Peterson hasn't been seen in two years basically and Forte is now going through a system change and the team has added RBs that can do specialty roles (and they lost a big help in their offense in Marshall).

I have the 4 of them pretty close together. I agree that they all have their warts - I mentioned some of them in my post. Some of Foster's: he has a history of leg injuries (many of which lingered / recurred), he started with the least speed of the 4, he has less raw talent that Peterson (and probably Lynch), and his team has no quarterback.

We're trying to predict which old (29-30 year-old) RBs will keep up their elite performance for the longest, which is tricky. One thing to look at is talent: better players tend to last longer (see: Rice, Gonzalez, Payton, etc.). Another thing to look at is their skill set: I suspect that players who have elite athleticism, plus other elite skills, are especially likely to last because they can lose some athleticism and still have NFL-caliber athleticism plus other elite skills. I think that RBs who are good receivers tend to age more gracefully. Health is another thing to look at - my guess is that some injuries sap athleticism, and a history of lingering injuries suggests that a player will have trouble dealing with the grind as they get older. On the other hand, while superhuman healing / rapid bounceback from previous injuries is a good sign for future longevity. Put all that together with the differences in age and various situational factors, and it's kind of a muddle.

Also, I think the gap between rookies Duke Johnson and Jay Ajayi should be basically non-existent. The Browns are no better an opportunity than Miami. They have a poorer team and have more RBBC potential. In Miami, Miller has had his own share of issues in the past and it seems to me the concerns about Ajayi's knee, which was born and grown into an adult during the span of about 5 days, is being overly reacted to. How come nobody talks about the fear of concussions for Duke, since he's had some already, as well as has been knicked up? I'm not saying they are both great OR both terrible investments, I just don't think there is much separating the two of them and we should probably be seeing them drafted fairly close together in rookie drafts.

NFL teams seem pretty concerned with Ajayi's bone-on-bone knee, and I think it might make sense for dynasty owners to be even more concerned since we're buying players for their whole career and not just a 4-year contract. Miller has also looked significantly better than the Cleveland backs - I'd classify Miller as an incumbent starter who must be unseated (or not re-sign), while Crowell & West are just competition for the job. "Be patient, the cream will eventually rise" isn't such a good motto when the cream has a degenerative knee condition.

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Nice rankings Z. The only reason why Gurley at #2 gives me pause is your relatively conservative rankings of Cooper/White/Watkins/Evans on the WR list. My guess is that you see "top 10 overall pick at RB" as carrying a lot more weight than "top 10 overall pick at WR."

I feel the dynasty RB landscape is problematic right now. Not a lot of players I'd want to bank an early startup pick on.

One guy who I think might be a little overvalued here is Gio Bernard. Looking back at his first two years, he hasn't been a terribly effective runner and with Hill there I don't see opportunity for high volume. The best time to sell has probably already come and gone, but if he's pulling ~RB11 prices then I'd feel pretty good about cashing out.

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The NFL is littered with good WRs. It's deprived of good RBs. This bumps Gurley in relation to any rookie WR. Supply and demand.

Right, and positional rankings are not overall rankings. I'm in the process of updating my overall rankings, but the last time I ran a full set, my RB2 wound up being ranked by my WR10, and my RB3 was around my WR14. So in that environment, ranking Gurley as a top-3 RB is not really more aggressive than ranking Cooper around WR12 or so, since both correspond to roughly similar places in the overall player hierarchy.

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The NFL is littered with good WRs. It's deprived of good RBs. This bumps Gurley in relation to any rookie WR. Supply and demand.

Right, and positional rankings are not overall rankings. I'm in the process of updating my overall rankings, but the last time I ran a full set, my RB2 wound up being ranked by my WR10, and my RB3 was around my WR14. So in that environment, ranking Gurley as a top-3 RB is not really more aggressive than ranking Cooper around WR12 or so, since both correspond to roughly similar places in the overall player hierarchy.

Interesting. Makes a lot of sense.
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Nice rankings Z. The only reason why Gurley at #2 gives me pause is your relatively conservative rankings of Cooper/White/Watkins/Evans on the WR list. My guess is that you see "top 10 overall pick at RB" as carrying a lot more weight than "top 10 overall pick at WR."

The NFL is littered with good WRs. It's deprived of good RBs. This bumps Gurley in relation to any rookie WR. Supply and demand.

Right, and positional rankings are not overall rankings. I'm in the process of updating my overall rankings, but the last time I ran a full set, my RB2 wound up being ranked by my WR10, and my RB3 was around my WR14. So in that environment, ranking Gurley as a top-3 RB is not really more aggressive than ranking Cooper around WR12 or so, since both correspond to roughly similar places in the overall player hierarchy.

This. I'd take Cobb (WR8) ahead of Lacy (RB3) right now, for example - similar age, similar production, similar situation, and Cobb is signed long-term & likely to age better. I've also said elsewhere that I'd take Cooper (my WR14) ahead of Gordon (my RB7). A rookie RB is generally worth more than a rookie WR who is drafted at the same spot, but that is not the main reason for the difference in where the rookies are in my RB vs. WR rankings.

Also, I think the gap between rookies Duke Johnson and Jay Ajayi should be basically non-existent. The Browns are no better an opportunity than Miami. They have a poorer team and have more RBBC potential. In Miami, Miller has had his own share of issues in the past and it seems to me the concerns about Ajayi's knee, which was born and grown into an adult during the span of about 5 days, is being overly reacted to. How come nobody talks about the fear of concussions for Duke, since he's had some already, as well as has been knicked up? I'm not saying they are both great OR both terrible investments, I just don't think there is much separating the two of them and we should probably be seeing them drafted fairly close together in rookie drafts.

NFL teams seem pretty concerned with Ajayi's bone-on-bone knee, and I think it might make sense for dynasty owners to be even more concerned since we're buying players for their whole career and not just a 4-year contract. Miller has also looked significantly better than the Cleveland backs - I'd classify Miller as an incumbent starter who must be unseated (or not re-sign), while Crowell & West are just competition for the job. "Be patient, the cream will eventually rise" isn't such a good motto when the cream has a degenerative knee condition.

One thing worth adding here - my rankings are based on my guesses about future production, not based on guesses about what I'll be able to trade him for in the future. That's usually what I base my picks on also. Ajayi might be worth making an exception for. If he flashes early and doesn't have any visible new injury troubles, then some people are probably going to ignore the injury risk and be willing to buy him based on his production. Then you can sell high, like you could've done with Josh Gordon a year ago.

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ZWK

Do you have dynasty wide receiver rankings?

Great work on the running backs!

RB rankings. Assuming 0.5 PPR (unlike my previous RB rankings, which were no PPR), 24 starting RBs, about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/15. Prev shows my rankings from last October, and I also posted my (partially ordered) top 12 in January.

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev

1 1 LeVeon Bell PIT 23.5 (1)

2 2 Todd Gurley STL 21.1 unr

2 3 Eddie Lacy GB 25.2 (6)

3 4 DeMarco Murray PHI 27.5 (3)

3 5 Jamaal Charles KC 28.7 (4)

4 6 Jeremy Hill CIN 22.8 (27)

4 7 Melvin Gordon SD 22.4 unr

4 8 C.J. Anderson DEN 24.5 (61)

4 9 LeSean McCoy BUF 27.1 (2)

5 10 Marshawn Lynch SEA 29.4 (8)

5 11 Giovani Bernard CIN 23.8 (5)

5 12 Adrian Peterson MIN 30.4 (16)

5 13 Matt Forte CHI 29.7 (7)

5 14 Arian Foster HOU 29.0 (9)

5 15 Lamar Miller MIA 24.4 (34)

5 16 Carlos Hyde SF 23.9 (12)

5 17 Ameer Abdullah DET 22.2 unr

5 18 Mark Ingram NO 25.7 (17)

5 19 T.J. Yeldon JAX 21.9 unr

5 20 C.J. Spiller NO 28.1 (23)

6 21 Alfred Morris WAS 26.7 (11)

6 22 Andre Ellington ARI 26.6 (10)

6 23 Tevin Coleman ATL 22.4 unr

6 24 Jerick McKinnon MIN 23.3 (19)

6 25 Doug Martin TB 26.6 (13)

7 26 Christine Michael SEA 24.8 (14)

7 27 Bishop Sankey TEN 22.9 (15)

7 28 Duke Johnson CLE 21.9 unr

7 29 Latavius Murray OAK 24.5 (66)

7 30 Jonathan Stewart CAR 28.4 (49)

7 31 Charles Sims TB 24.9 (35)

7 32 Isaiah Crowell CLE 22.6 (37)

7 33 Justin Forsett BAL 29.9 (38)

7 34 David Johnson ARI 23.7 unr

7 35 Frank Gore IND 32.3 (42)

7 36 Rashad Jennings NYG 30.4 (29)

8 37 Tre Mason STL 22.1 (18)

8 38 LeGarrette Blount NE 28.7 (84)

8 39 Montee Ball DEN 24.7 (21)

8 40 Shane Vereen NYG 26.5 (24)

8 41 Jay Ajayi MIA 22.2 unr

8 42 Joseph Randle DAL 23.7 (79)

9 43 Ahmad Bradshaw FA 29.5 (30)

9 44 Terrance West CLE 24.6 (39)

9 45 Devonta Freeman ATL 23.4 (45)

9 46 Chris Ivory NYJ 27.4 (33)

9 47 Knowshon Moreno FA 28.1 (54)

9 48 Denard Robinson JAX 24.9 (31)

9 49 Joique Bell DET 29.1 (36)

10 50 Knile Davis KC 23.9 (40)

10 51 Roy Helu OAK 26.7 (75)

10 52 Ronnie Hillman DEN 24.0 (26)

10 53 Stevan Ridley NYJ 26.6 (51)

10 54 Khiry Robinson NO 25.7 (41)

10 55 Matt Jones WAS ??? unr

10 56 Jeremy Langford CHI 23.7 unr

10 57 Trent Richardson OAK 25.1 (25)

10 58 David Cobb TEN 22.2 unr

10 59 Andre Williams NYG 23.0 (44)

10 60 Darren McFadden DAL 28.0 (48)

10 61 Robert Turbin SEA 25.7 (74)

10 62 Mike Davis SF 22.5 unr

10 63 Travaris Cadet NE 26.6 (81)

10 64 James White NE 23.6 (87)

11 65 DeAngelo Williams PIT 32.4 (70)

11 66 Branden Oliver SD 24.3 unr

11 67 Lorenzo Taliaferro BAL 23.7 (65)

11 68 Ryan Mathews PHI 27.9 (20)

11 69 Cameron Artis-Payne CAR 23.2 unr

11 70 Zac Stacy NYJ 24.4 (28)

11 71 Karlos Williams BUF 22.3 unr

11 72 Javorius Allen BAL 24.0 unr

11 73 Reggie Bush SF 30.5 (43)

11 74 Dan Herron IND 26.4 unr

11 75 Steven Jackson FA 32.1 (57)

12 76 Darren Sproles PHI 32.2 (50)

12 77 Theo Riddick DET 24.3 unr

12 78 KaDeem Carey CHI 22.8 (77)

12 79 Ryan Williams DAL 25.4 unr

12 80 Josh Robinson IND 23 unr

12 81 Bobby Rainey TB 27.9 (71)

12 82 Bernard Pierce BAL 25.7 (53)

12 83 Chris Johnson FA 29.9 (58)

12 84 Chris Polk HOU 25.7 (85)

12 85 Lance Dunbar DAL 25.6 (72)

12 86 Jacquizz Rodgers CHI 25.6 unr

12 87 Jonas Gray NE 25.2 unr

12 88 Bryce Brown BUF 24.3 (56)

12 89 Vick Ballard IND 25.1 (86)

12 90 Juwan Thompson DEN 23.3 (63)

Lots of tier breaks near the top, because I think there are clear gaps between players. Le'Veon Bell is the clear #1. Tossup between Gurley & Lacy for #2 - the issues with Lacy's health coming into the league make me a bit concerned that he won't age well. Murray & Charles are old enough to be a tier down, but are clearly ahead of the rest in terms of production (or age).

LeSean McCoy had a terrible season according to PFF's grades, and then his team traded him away. That has me worried, especially because he's at around the same age where guys like MJD, Ray Rice, and Portis declined.

Tier 5 (RB10-20) has a weird mix of old studs, rookies, and pretty good young guys. I keep second-guessing myself on the order within this tier. Among the old guys, Peterson has extra risk because he's aged 2 years since we saw him last, Forte could be in for a large drop in receptions, and Foster is actually the least old of the bunch. Among the rookies, I was high on Abdullah before the draft and I think Detroit is a great landing spot which could turn him into a high volume receiver. (More of my pre-draft thoughts on rookies in this thread.)

C.J. Spiller has a ton of upside in New Orleans (especially in PPR). Given the state of their receiving corps, I wouldn't be shocked to see him catch 100 passes. He also could get a Pierre Thomas level workload as a runner rather than a Sproles level workload (150ish carries rather than 50ish).

Tre Mason is the latest warning that, just because a young RB has found his way to the top of the depth chart, that does not necessarily mean that he is locked in as the starter long-term. (Brag: I was relatively down on him in January for that reason, ranking him in the late teens.) Isaiah Crowell and Latavius Murray are at risk of repeating the pattern (Crowell had an unspectacular rookie year, and Murray has 82 career carries). Some people also seem to be overrating Carlos Hyde.

Duke Johnson is my favorite RB in Cleveland, especially if you get some points for receptions. He should step right into the receiving back role (which Cleveland was awful at last year - none of their RBs reached 100 receiving yards), and the competition for who will get the most carries seems pretty wide open.

If you need a starting RB to win now, then Forsett, Gore, and R Jennings look like nice options who could be available for a reasonable price (assuming you don't want to pay for Peterson, Lynch, Forte, Foster, or Spiller). Maybe Joique Bell, but I'm worried about how big a role he'll have by playoff time.

Ahmad Bradshaw has consistently performed well when he's been able to stay on the field. Darren McFadden, not so much. I'd count Randle as the current favorite to lead Dallas in rushing, although I expect them to bring someone else in. If I ran the Cowboys, I'd add Bradshaw, Moreno, or Steven Jackson (who had a surprisingly good season last year by DVOA).

I don't know what to think of Matt Jones, so I started a thread about him. If Darren McFadden can make this tier, then I guess it makes sense that he can too.

Ryan Mathews is in a terrible situation (for fantasy value), under contract through age 30 behind DeMarco Murray. Cameron Artis-Payne is in a nice situation, with a good chance to be the #2 behind Jonathan Stewart. That balances out the talent gap, and brings them next to each other in these rankings.

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Was Adrian Peterson himself even ranked #2 on dynasty lists when he entered the league as a rookie?

When Adrian Peterson entered the league as a rookie...

... Tomlinson was turning 28 and had just set the touchdown record.

... Larry Johnson was turning 28 and had put up over 4,000 yards and 40 TDs in the previous two seasons.

... Steven Jackson was turning 24 and coming off a season with 2300 YFS, 90 catches, and 16 TDs.

... Brian Westbrook was turning 28 and coming off a 3-year run where he basically averaged 115 ypg and 75 catches a year.

... Clinton Portis was turning 26 and, while coming off an injury in 2006, had four straight top-12 seasons prior.

... Frank Gore was turning 24 and coming off a pro bowl year with 2100+ yards from scrimmage and 60 catches.

... Maurice Jones-Drew was turning 22 and coming off of a top-10 fantasy finish as a rookie in an RBBC.

... Reggie Bush was turning 22 and coming off a season with a ridiculous 88 catches, and still had his hype train in full effect.

... Willie Parker was turning 27 and coming off a 1700/16 season after a strong 2005. (Don't laugh, he was really a thing in 2007.)

... Joseph Addai was turning 23, coming off a top-12 fantasy finish as a rookie, and locked in as Indy's bellcow.

... Laurence Maroney was turning 22 and was, for some reason or another, a highly-coveted asset. (Remember, Corey Dillon was still fresh in everyone's mind.)

Even guys like Willis McGahee, Shaun Alexander, and Ronnie Brown were getting some serious love at the time. And remember, too, in 2007 dynasty owners were far less concerned about age than they are today, so those 28s you see up there really were nothing. There wasn't really anything that could be called a "consensus" in dynasty then like there is today, but Peterson was absolutely considered part of that mix.

Had Gurley come out in 2007, he wouldn't have been ranked in the top 3. He probably wouldn't have been ranked in the top 5. Aggressive rankers probably would have put him in the RB6-10 range. When F&L did his post-draft rankings in 2007, he had Adrian Peterson ranked 4th. (And, amusingly, he took a ton of crap for it from people who question the idea of ranking unproven rookies over "proven studs" like Fast Willie Parker before they've ever played a down in the NFL. Hindsight is rarely kind in dynasty.)

Instead, Todd Gurley benefits greatly by entering the league in 2015. To illustrate the point, consider Jeremy Hill. Hill is a late 2nd round pick who is turning 23 and likely in a timeshare with a talented young back. He also put up 1339/9 with 5 fumbles and 5.1 ypc as a rookie. In 2007, MJD was a late-2nd round pick who was turning 22 and likely in a timeshare with a talented old back. He had also put up 1377/15 with 1 fumble and 5.7 ypc as a rookie. 2007 MJD blows 2015 Jeremy Hill out of the water as a dynasty asset. And yet Jeremy Hill is a slam-dunk top-5 dynasty back, while Maurice Jones-Drew didn't crack the top 10 in 2007. Steven Jackson was a more productive, more pedigreed Le'Veon Bell without the drug suspension, and yet he wasn't even the top back on the board in startups. Reggie Bush is basically Carlos Hyde, if Carlos Hyde was three years younger, hailed as one of the greatest RB prospects in history, coming off a 1300-yard season, playing in one of the top offenses in the league, and ending his season with a 100-yard receiving game in the playoffs.

Todd Gurley ranking as high as he does in 2015 says as much about 2015 as it does about Todd Gurley.

:goodposting:

Wow! Crazy how many young, great backs there was to choose from back then. Things always seem to come full circle and I don't think RBs will remain low on priority lists for much longer. Went into the season with Lacy as my top dog followed by Crowell, Jennings, Andre Williams, and Sims. Fell short of a title by 10 points thanks in part to Marshawn Lynch's amazing TD run against AZ. Tightened my boots this offseason and acquired Jeremy Hill, Todd Gurley, Joseph Randle, and Jay Ajayi to pair with Lacy and Crowell. I have a feeling the RB is making a comeback and I want to be out in front of things when they do! The memories...

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Quarterback rankings. Assuming 12 starting QBs and about 250 position players rostered. Prev shows my rankings from last October, and I also posted my (partially ordered) top 8 in January.

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev
1 1 Andrew Luck IND 26.0 (1)
2 2 Aaron Rodgers GB 31.7 (2)
3 3 Russell Wilson SEA 26.8 (4)
3 4 Cam Newton CAR 26.3 (3)
4 5 Marcus Mariota TEN 21.8 unr
4 6 Jameis Winston TB 21.7 unr
4 7 Matt Ryan ATL 30.3 (11)
4 8 Colin Kaepernick SF 27.8 (6)
4 9 Tom Brady NE 38.1 (12)
4 10 Matthew Stafford DET 27.6 (9)
4 11 Drew Brees NO 36.6 (5)
4 12 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 33.5 (18)
4 13 Ryan Tannehill MIA 27.1 (20)
4 14 Peyton Manning DEN 39.4 (10)
4 15 Robert Griffin III WAS 25.5 (7)
4 16 Tony Romo DAL 35.4 (14)
4 17 Philip Rivers SD 33.7 (8)
4 18 Sam Bradford PHI 27.8 (30)
4 19 Teddy Bridgewater MIN 22.8 (16)
5 20 Johnny Manziel CLE 22.7 (15)
5 21 Blake Bortles JAX 23.7 (17)
5 22 Nick Foles STL 26.6 (13)
5 23 Derek Carr OAK 24.4 (22)
5 24 Eli Manning NYG 34.7 (24)
5 25 Joe Flacco BAL 30.6 (23)
5 26 Andy Dalton CIN 27.8 (21)
5 27 Jay Cutler CHI 32.3 (19)
5 28 Carson Palmer ARI 35.7 (25)
6 29 Jimmy Garoppolo NE 23.8 (31)
6 30 Ryan Mallett HOU 27.2 (38)
6 31 Geno Smith NYJ 24.9 (29)
6 32 EJ Manuel BUF 25.5 (37)
6 33 Mark Sanchez PHI 28.8 (43)
6 34 Bryce Petty NYJ 24.3 unr
6 35 Sean Mannion STL 23.4 unr
6 36 Brock Osweiler DEN 24.8 (33)
6 37 Kirk Cousins WAS 27.0 (41)

6 38 Alex Smith KC 33.4 (32)
7 39 Zach Mettenberger TEN 24.1 (26)
7 40 Tom Savage HOU 25.3 (46)
7 41 Michael Vick FA 35.2 (27)
7 42 Matt Cassel BUF 33.3 unr
7 43 Tim Tebow PHI 28.0 unr
7 44 Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ 32.8 (35)
7 45 Josh McCown CLE 36.2 unr
7 46 Brian Hoyer HOU 29.9 (45)
7 47 Garrett Grayson NO 24.3 unr
7 48 Brett Hundley GB 22.2 unr

The top 4 is pretty obvious (the main question is how big the gaps between the players are). Then there is a large gap, and a great big pack of QBs in a relatively tight bunch (with roughly 100-200 total expected VBD remaining in their careers). I have 15 QBs in that tier, #5-19, and half of them have a reasonable case for the #5 spot in the rankings - I spent awhile rethinking and reshuffling those spots.

It's important to keep in mind, when evaluating fantasy QBs, that an elite fantasy season is worth a lot more than a pretty good season. Peyton Manning's years in Denver have been worth more than Eli Manning's years in New York, even though we're comparing 3 years vs. 11 years. A lot more, in fact: Peyton has accumulated more than twice as much total VBD in those 3 years as Eli has in his 11-year career.

Now, some player commentary - starting at the top of the rankings but not exactly going in order:

Luck is still not at the Rodgers/Manning level as an NFL quarterback. He was basically tied with Rodgers last year for #1 in fantasy thanks to a pass-happy offense and a lot of short TD passes - I suspect that he can thank Trent Richardson for both of those. The age gap and the opportunity for further growth put him on top for dynasty, but I think Rodgers has a definite edge in redraft and that the gap between Luck & Rodgers is smaller than the gap between Rodgers & #3 (or between #4 and #5).

Newton vs. Wilson is a close call. I was leaning Newton for a while - he has been the better fantasy QB so far (on the whole), and he's actually slightly younger than Wilson - but I ultimately gave it to Wilson because he seems like the better passer (even though he had some trouble throwing the ball in 2014). The gap in running now looks pretty small (Wilson outrun Newton to a higher fantasy finish in 2014) and Cam's size advantage apparently doesn't translate into lower injury risk.

The top of tier 4 goes to the rookies because of their upside. Based on historical data, QBs drafted first overall can be expected to get about 220 career VBD (on average), and QBs taken with the second pick can be expected to get about 150 career VBD. My guess is that 220 is too high for Winston (who is not a P Manning/Luck caliber prospect) and 150 is too low for Mariota (who seemed to have a high price in Tennessee's trade talks, and had excellent numbers in the pre-draft analyses I posted in my thread on this year's rookies, and gets extra fantasy value from his running). I actually have Mariota slightly ahead of Winston. Another way to look at these fantasy rankings is to focus on age and upside: Winston and Mariota are probably more likely than any of the other sub-30yo players outside my top 4 to wind up being Hall of Famers.

Matthew Ice is close to Romo/Roethlisberger level as a QB, but a few years younger. 2 years ago I was hopeful about him taking another step forward, but instead his numbers have dropped since then (despite an increase in attempts). Thriftyrocker blamed the offensive line for that when we discussed Ryan in January, and I think there's something to that, which leaves Ryan some upside if Atlanta can get better blocking (though they haven't done much there this offseason). On the other hand, in a lot of ways Atlanta's offense has been really QB-friendly the past few years (Jones, White, Gonzalez, 600-650 attempts), in ways that might not last, and Ryan has peaked at fantasy QB7. So the most likely outcome is another 5 years or so as a bottom-half QB1, though he has some upside above that.

If I was just looking at age and past fantasy production, then Stafford would make the top 5. But I think he's only a little above average as a QB - his past stats were inflated by Calvin Johnson and a ton of pass attempts. Fortunately for him, he still has Calvin Johnson plus Joe Lombardi's QB-friendly offense (which likes to get the ball to RBs with passes as well as handoffs). So he's in pretty good shape for the next few years, but probably won't keep his fantasy value for as long as you might guess for a 27-year-old.

If you expect Brady, Brees, or Manning to be elite QBs in redraft this year, then they probably deserve to be ranked pretty high in this tier for dynasty rankings (especially since they're likely to stick around as long as they keep performing at a high level). Brady currently strikes me as the safest of the 3: he has put up elite numbers as long as he's had a healthy Gronk, and I don't think his equipment-related troubles have much effect on his fantasy value. If he misses 4 games, that only costs him about 15% of his fantasy value for this season (since the fantasy playoffs matter more).

Reports of Brees's decline last year have been greatly exaggerated - he was about as elite as always (but his worst games came down the stretch in the playoff race). I actually had him at #5 at the start of the offseason. But the loss of Graham is a double-whammy on his fantasy value - not having Graham will hurt his numbers, and the team's willingness to trade Graham suggests that this is one case where the offseason talk about running the ball more might be legit. (I'm less worried about the loss of Stills, which I think is made up for by adding Spiller).

P Manning clearly struggled down the stretch after lighting it up for the first half of the season. The hope is that it was just because of an injury which he has recovered from and he'll be the same old Peyton Manning this year, but there is definitely a risk here (especially since the decline in his efficiency numbers started in week 9, and the quad injury was reported as happening in week 15). Manning seems the most likely of the 3 elite vets to fail to put up fantasy starter's numbers this season (ppg), but if he still has it this year he may keep going for a few more.

Tannehill has improved each year, but he was still only a slightly above average NFL QB last year at age 26. Elite quarterbacks usually look elite by that age. For comparison, by age 26 P Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Romo, Rivers, Culpepper, McNabb, and Ryan had all made a Pro Bowl, and 8 of the 10 had a season with at least a 115 ANY/A+ (that is, they were at least 1 standard deviation above average on PFR's favorite QB efficiency stat - Brady's max through age 26 was 107 & McNabb's was 106). Tannehill has no Pro Bowls and his best ANY/A+ is 98 (which is slightly below average, though other advanced stats put him slightly above average last year). There are several positive signs that Tannehill may take another step up: he got a late start at the QB position, he has improved each year, and he's had a bad O-Line and a mediocre receiving corps. But he's off the pace, and his extra fantasy value from running is not on the level of a McNabb or Kaepernick.

Kaepernick is in the same boat as Tannehill (but a year older), with no Pro Bowls through age 27 and a peak ANY/A+ of 109. Kaep has more rushing value than Tannehill, which makes him more likely to be a low-end fantasy QB1 (as he has been so far, on average) rather than a high-end QB2. His passing numbers have also been pretty good, though 2014 was a down year for him. He's had a similarly mediocre receiving corps, which leaves similar room for improvement (though that probably won't happen this year), and he's probably also in for an increase in passing volume (which has been near the bottom of the league). So he seems more likely than Tannehill to turn into a mid-range fantasy QB1, although he's less likely to blossom into a perennial Pro Bowler and carries a greater risk of losing his starting job entirely.

Bradford was a once-every-few-years caliber QB prospect coming into the league, but after several injury-riddled and unspectacular seasons he's in the same unspecial boat as Tannehill & Kaepernick through age 27. In Bradford's favor, he's had a lousy supporting cast (Brandon Gibson leads the Rams in receiving since Bradford entered the league) and he has found his way into an extremely QB-friendly Chip Kelly offense. Philly's willingness to pay for him (and apparently Cleveland's as well) also provides an indication that NFL decision makers haven't given up on him. This is a pivotal year for Bradford: if he can stay healthy, play well, and stick in Philly, there could be very good things coming.

Griffin, despite his own injuries and some less-than-stellar play, does meet the Pro Bowl and 115 ANY/A+ criteria (he did both as a rookie). He offers more as a runner than anyone else in my QB5-19 tier (as long as he can figure out a way to protect himself). But he hasn't been very good these past 2 years, and is at risk of getting benched. I think that Washington's system doesn't play to his strengths. His elite upside makes him still worth owning, but it may take a couple more years before it all comes together again for RG3 (if it ever does).

Bridgewater having an only-slightly-below-average season as a rookie (including a bit above average over the second half of the season) doesn't change much compared to a year ago - it makes him more likely to stick long-term as an NFL starter, but not (in my estimation) much more likely to have substantial fantasy value. In a start 2 QB league I'd take him over Bradford or Griffin as the safer option, but looking at indicators of upside I prefer Bradford's pedigree + Kelly's offense, and Griffin's running + pedigree + big rookie year.

Roethlisberger & Romo are both coming off career years in terms of passing efficiency. Ben also tied Brees for the league lead in passing yards; Romo did it on the most run-heavy offense in the NFL, so it didn't translate into huge totals. I don't expect either of them to keep it up, although they're both likely to be top 12 fantasy QBs this year. Dallas now has an elite offensive line and junk at RB, which gives Romo a shot at a career year in terms of fantasy points. Roethlisberger is 33, which is starting to look not-that-old for a QB, and his sack numbers have dropped in recent years which seems like a good sign in terms of having his body hold up.

Moving outside the top 19 to look briefly at my tier 5: Second year QBs are high in this tier because they still have uncertainty/upside. Manziel has extra upside thanks to his running, if he can get his act together and turns out to be a competent NFL QB, but those are some pretty big question marks. Bortles had an awful rookie season, which is a negative sign for a highly drafted QB. Carr's season was less bad but still not good. None of these 3 are looking particularly promising, but it's too soon to write them off completely.

Foles is my lowest-ranked young player who meets the Pro Bowl & ANY/A+ criteria (the other 4 who meet it are Luck, Wilson, Stafford, and Griffin). His big 2013 looks to me like a mix of Chip Kelly magic and simple flukiness. Foles actually has a slightly negative PFF grade for his career (including only a moderately positive grade in 2013), and the trade gives a sign of what NFL decision makers think of his value (significantly less than Bradford, even with the large salary gap). He still has enough of a hint of upside to be ahead of the low-upside vets in my rankings.

I'd put the "rosterable" waterline near the tier 5/6 boundary, though that depends a lot on the specifics of your league & your roster. Alex Smith is worth owning if you need to roster him as your bye week fill-in.

Tier 6 & beyond has NFL starters who you'd probably rather not see in your lineup and prospects without much chance of success. QBs taken outside the top 45 picks have a very low hit rate - Russell Wilson is the only clear exception in the past decade (and perhaps Nick Foles). Any of the young tier 6 QBs who are in camp battles will at least jump to tier 5 if they win the starting job, because of the urgency consideration (nice to have them on your roster if they have one of those rare QB breakouts). It looks like Garoppolo will get to start a couple games, which might make him worth owning too since he'll have a chance to demonstrate some upside.

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The top of tier 4 goes to the rookies because of their upside. Based on historical data, QBs drafted first overall can be expected to get about 220 career VBD (on average), and QBs taken with the second pick can be expected to get about 150 career VBD. My guess is that 220 is too high for Winston (who is not a P Manning/Luck caliber prospect) and 150 is too low for Mariota (who seemed to have a high price in Tennessee's trade talks, and had excellent numbers in the pre-draft analyses I posted in my thread on this year's rookies, and gets extra fantasy value from his running). I actually have Mariota slightly ahead of Winston. Another way to look at these fantasy rankings is to focus on age and upside: Winston and Mariota are probably more likely than any of the other sub-30yo players outside my top 4 to wind up being Hall of Famers.

Tannehill has improved each year, but he was still only a slightly above average NFL QB last year at age 26. Elite quarterbacks usually look elite by that age. For comparison, by age 26 P Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Romo, Rivers, Culpepper, McNabb, and Ryan had all made a Pro Bowl, and 8 of the 10 had a season with at least a 115 ANY/A+ (that is, they were at least 1 standard deviation above average on PFR's favorite QB efficiency stat - Brady's max through age 26 was 107 & McNabb's was 106). Tannehill has no Pro Bowls and his best ANY/A+ is 98 (which is slightly below average, though other advanced stats put him slightly above average last year). There are several positive signs that Tannehill may take another step up: he got a late start at the QB position, he has improved each year, and he's had a bad O-Line and a mediocre receiving corps. But he's off the pace, and his extra fantasy value from running is not on the level of a McNabb or Kaepernick.

Bridgewater having an only-slightly-below-average season as a rookie (including a bit above average over the second half of the season) doesn't change much compared to a year ago - it makes him more likely to stick long-term as an NFL starter, but not (in my estimation) much more likely to have substantial fantasy value. In a start 2 QB league I'd take him over Bradford or Griffin as the safer option, but looking at indicators of upside I prefer Bradford's pedigree + Kelly's offense, and Griffin's running + pedigree + big rookie year.

Great read, thanks!

there's no chance I'd take MM or Winston as the 5th or 6th QB. They could live up to it, but it's unlikely IMO. I can't give much of a bump due to age when it's likely that at least a few of the 27year olds will outlast the rookie QBs as starters. Also not real sure about Kap or RG3 in tier 4 but their upside is high enough that a strong argument can be made. I'd probably divide your tier 4 into 3 more groups:

A: Ryan, Stafford, Tannehill (safer bets to play as QB1 for 5 or more years)

B: MM, Winston, RG3, Kap, Bradford, Bridgewater (risk/reward)

C: Ben, Brady, Peyton, Brees, Romo, Rivers (older vets who could either have a top season or two, or a few top 6 seasons)

It's always great to see contrary thoughts and analysis.

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If I was just looking at age and past fantasy production, then Stafford would make the top 5. But I think he's only a little above average as a QB - his past stats were inflated by Calvin Johnson and a ton of pass attempts. Fortunately for him, he still has Calvin Johnson plus Joe Lombardi's QB-friendly offense (which likes to get the ball to RBs with passes as well as handoffs). So he's in pretty good shape for the next few years, but probably won't keep his fantasy value for as long as you might guess for a 27-year-old.

Was a little surprised how much his FF stats took a step back last year under Lombardi. Much fewer attempts and felt like they were always trying to lean on a running game that just couldn't get going.

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From the writeup, I gather ZWK thinks a lot about career VBD in these rankings. Is that how most do it?

In my 1 QB leagues, QBs are very devalued. In those leagues, it doesn't seem like age or career VBD is as important as VBD over a short window, e.g., 2-3 years. Because QBs are devalued, it shouldn't be difficult to replace a QB every 2-3 years if needed, which suggests emphasizing that window more than age and career VBD.

ZWK makes reference to 2 QB leagues in his writeup, so it seems that he views his rankings as applicable to all leagues, independent of the number of QB starters, the number of teams in the league, etc. Is that appropriate? To me, it seems like Ryan, Brady, Brees, Rivers, and Roethlisberger should all be rated higher.

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From the writeup, I gather ZWK thinks a lot about career VBD in these rankings. Is that how most do it?

In my 1 QB leagues, QBs are very devalued. In those leagues, it doesn't seem like age or career VBD is as important as VBD over a short window, e.g., 2-3 years. Because QBs are devalued, it shouldn't be difficult to replace a QB every 2-3 years if needed, which suggests emphasizing that window more than age and career VBD.

ZWK makes reference to 2 QB leagues in his writeup, so it seems that he views his rankings as applicable to all leagues, independent of the number of QB starters, the number of teams in the league, etc. Is that appropriate? To me, it seems like Ryan, Brady, Brees, Rivers, and Roethlisberger should all be rated higher.

I'd certainly take Ryan and Ben over the rookies. the others are deabteable but I probably take them too. Others wouldn't.

but frankly, I've made a grand total of one rookie pick in my two main dynasty leagues - having traded away all other picks for productive veteran players. Which should indicate either (1) I suck at dynasty, (2) others overvalue rookies, or (3) I'm in a win-now mode in those leagues. Probably all 3

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From the writeup, I gather ZWK thinks a lot about career VBD in these rankings. Is that how most do it?

In my 1 QB leagues, QBs are very devalued. In those leagues, it doesn't seem like age or career VBD is as important as VBD over a short window, e.g., 2-3 years. Because QBs are devalued, it shouldn't be difficult to replace a QB every 2-3 years if needed, which suggests emphasizing that window more than age and career VBD.

If your league treats QBs that way, that would reduce their value across the board (especially for QBs who are unlikely to have an elite fantasy season). It basically raises the baseline for the VBD calculation by making QB8 available pretty cheap.

The top 4 would probably stay the same in that format. Luck & Rodgers still give you a significant edge over the strategy of streaming veterans every couple years, and are likely to keep that edge for several years. Wilson & Newton lose more of their value than Luck & Rodgers, but would still have an edge on the field. After that, the rankings would look a lot more like redraft rankings. The Brady, Brees, Manning trio would probably rank 5-7, in some order. High-upside young guys would still rank significantly higher than in redraft - guys like Mariota, Winston, Griffin, or Bradford who have a chance to join that Wilson-Newton tier. The QBs who would be hurt the most are the unspectacular mid-career guys, like Tannehill & Stafford.

ZWK makes reference to 2 QB leagues in his writeup, so it seems that he views his rankings as applicable to all leagues, independent of the number of QB starters, the number of teams in the league, etc. Is that appropriate? To me, it seems like Ryan, Brady, Brees, Rivers, and Roethlisberger should all be rated higher.

These rankings are for 1 QB leagues only. I mentioned 2 QB leagues in my writeup to point out some of the less obvious ways that my 2 QB league rankings would be different from these rankings. There are also the obvious differences - old guys move would move down the rankings, safe starters like Flacco & Alex Smith move up.

If I was just looking at age and past fantasy production, then Stafford would make the top 5. But I think he's only a little above average as a QB - his past stats were inflated by Calvin Johnson and a ton of pass attempts. Fortunately for him, he still has Calvin Johnson plus Joe Lombardi's QB-friendly offense (which likes to get the ball to RBs with passes as well as handoffs). So he's in pretty good shape for the next few years, but probably won't keep his fantasy value for as long as you might guess for a 27-year-old.

Was a little surprised how much his FF stats took a step back last year under Lombardi. Much fewer attempts and felt like they were always trying to lean on a running game that just couldn't get going.

Detroit's offense was actually a little more pass-heavy in 2014 than in 2013, as measured by dropbacks per snap (where a dropback includes pass attempts, sacks, and QB scrambles). Stafford dropped back on 59.8% of his snaps in 2014 vs. 57.7% in 2013. Detroit just ran fewer plays in 2014, and got sacked a lot more. 2011-2012 were the pass-happy years where Detroit led the league in dropbacks per snap.

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Good read, as always.

One thing I still don't get is the big gulf between Ryan and Tannehill. They've scored identically each of the last two years, and Ryan's career best was only a few points better than Tannehill's most recent season despite Ryan playing with 3 elite receiving targets at the time.

Everything negative you said about Tannehill also applies to Ryan, only Tannehill has done it with less offensive talent around him, Tannehill has improved each of the last 3 years while Ryan has leveled off or even regressed, and Tannehill is 3 years younger to boot. Additionally, there is an influx of young receiving talent in Miami that may finally net him a decent offensive situation to play in for the first time ever. If Ryan can be QB7 with three elite receiving options and Tannehill can be QB8 with zero receiving options, wouldn't you rather have the latter guy especially when there is potential for that dearth of receiving targets to improve drastically in the immediate future?

Yet not only is Tannehill rated behind Ryan, he's WAY behind Ryan and that doesn't seem to be uncommon. I own Matt Ryan in my main dynasty league so I'd love to be a believer, but I'm just not seeing the upside. He's never going to have it better than when he had Julio/White/Gonzo and he was a middling QB7 even with that trio. Meanwhile if Tannehill was QB8 with a bunch of junk, what he can he do if Parker/Landry/Cameron develop into a strong combo?

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Good read, as always.

One thing I still don't get is the big gulf between Ryan and Tannehill. They've scored identically each of the last two years, and Ryan's career best was only a few points better than Tannehill's most recent season despite Ryan playing with 3 elite receiving targets at the time.

Everything negative you said about Tannehill also applies to Ryan, only Tannehill has done it with less offensive talent around him, Tannehill has improved each of the last 3 years while Ryan has leveled off or even regressed, and Tannehill is 3 years younger to boot. Additionally, there is an influx of young receiving talent in Miami that may finally net him a decent offensive situation to play in for the first time ever. If Ryan can be QB7 with three elite receiving options and Tannehill can be QB8 with zero receiving options, wouldn't you rather have the latter guy especially when there is potential for that dearth of receiving targets to improve drastically in the immediate future?

Yet not only is Tannehill rated behind Ryan, he's WAY behind Ryan and that doesn't seem to be uncommon. I own Matt Ryan in my main dynasty league so I'd love to be a believer, but I'm just not seeing the upside. He's never going to have it better than when he had Julio/White/Gonzo and he was a middling QB7 even with that trio. Meanwhile if Tannehill was QB8 with a bunch of junk, what he can he do if Parker/Landry/Cameron develop into a strong combo?

Matt Ryan did have a Pro Bowl and a 115 ANY/A+ season by the time he was 26, and if you pick pretty much any QB stat you like (fantasy points, ANY/A, QBR, Pro Bowl voting, etc.) Ryan has at least 3 seasons which were better than Tannehill's best season. He's just a better quarterback (or at least he has been so far - Tannehill could improve some more). If you look at redraft rankings, almost everyone favors Matt Ryan.

That said, I think that the gap between them for dynasty isn't that big - it's a pretty tightly packed tier.

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One thing we all should be able to agree on; if you don't get a top 4 qb, you can wait awhile to get yours.

Agreed. Looking at ADP in the DLF mocks, the QBs to target are:

Rodgers (17)

Newton (48)

Mariota (119)

Brady (130)

Kaepernick (144)

Romo (152)

Rivers (153)

Bradford (167)

Griffin (196)

Manziel (230)

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From the writeup, I gather ZWK thinks a lot about career VBD in these rankings. Is that how most do it?

In my 1 QB leagues, QBs are very devalued. In those leagues, it doesn't seem like age or career VBD is as important as VBD over a short window, e.g., 2-3 years. Because QBs are devalued, it shouldn't be difficult to replace a QB every 2-3 years if needed, which suggests emphasizing that window more than age and career VBD.

ZWK makes reference to 2 QB leagues in his writeup, so it seems that he views his rankings as applicable to all leagues, independent of the number of QB starters, the number of teams in the league, etc. Is that appropriate? To me, it seems like Ryan, Brady, Brees, Rivers, and Roethlisberger should all be rated higher.

I'd certainly take Ryan and Ben over the rookies. the others are deabteable but I probably take them too. Others wouldn't.

but frankly, I've made a grand total of one rookie pick in my two main dynasty leagues - having traded away all other picks for productive veteran players. Which should indicate either (1) I suck at dynasty, (2) others overvalue rookies, or (3) I'm in a win-now mode in those leagues. Probably all 3

In the past 20 years, 24 QBs have been drafted in the top 5. So far, 12 of those QBs have been to multiple Pro Bowls and 11 of them have a top 5 fantasy QB season.

So, roughly: With Matt Ryan, you get half the career of a good QB. With a highly drafted rookie QB, you have a 50% chance of getting the entire career of a good QB. I give the edge to the rookies because Ryan doesn't have as much upside - he isn't that likely to have huge fantasy seasons.

If I expected Brees to have 3 more seasons like the past 3, then I would rank him ahead of the rookies. But I think his fantasy numbers won't be quite at that level.

Roethlisberger is in between Ryan & Brees on age & expected production.

(I tend to trade for draft picks during the season and to trade them away during the draft, with the net result that I use about an average number of rookie picks. There are definitely plenty of cases where you can get more for a rookie pick by trading it than by using it.)

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ZWK I wonder about your long term outlook on QB who run the ball frequently as a significant portion of their QB production?

This would be in reference to the high rankings of Wilson, Newton, Kaepernick.

At what age do you expect a rushing QB rushing attempts and effectiveness to decline? Would this be a similar time frame to the RB who show a significant decline at age 29-30 years old?

QB careers can extend into their late 30s but rushing QBs for that decline may come sooner if they do not develop enough as passers to compensate.

I haven't really looked at this too much before, but some examples to consider are Michael Vick, Steve Young, Steve McNair, Fran Tarkenton, Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon, Donovan McNabb.

For some of these QB I do see a decline in rushing attempts and yardage at around age 30 for example Randle Cunningham, Steve McNair, Fran Tarkenton, Donovan McNabb. But others like Steve Young, Rich Gannon and Mike Vick have been effective rushers even into their mid 30's

Just curious what your thoughts on that may be and how that is factored into your rankings for Cam, Kaep and Wilson?

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ZWK I wonder about your long term outlook on QB who run the ball frequently as a significant portion of their QB production?

This would be in reference to the high rankings of Wilson, Newton, Kaepernick.

At what age do you expect a rushing QB rushing attempts and effectiveness to decline? Would this be a similar time frame to the RB who show a significant decline at age 29-30 years old?

QB careers can extend into their late 30s but rushing QBs for that decline may come sooner if they do not develop enough as passers to compensate.

I haven't really looked at this too much before, but some examples to consider are Michael Vick, Steve Young, Steve McNair, Fran Tarkenton, Randall Cunningham, Rich Gannon, Donovan McNabb.

For some of these QB I do see a decline in rushing attempts and yardage at around age 30 for example Randle Cunningham, Steve McNair, Fran Tarkenton, Donovan McNabb. But others like Steve Young, Rich Gannon and Mike Vick have been effective rushers even into their mid 30's

Just curious what your thoughts on that may be and how that is factored into your rankings for Cam, Kaep and Wilson?

Good question. I wasn't thinking about that in detail when I made the rankings, just applying a rough heuristic that good passers tend to age better than QBs whose fantasy value depends on running.

I haven't taken a close look at the data on this, but my guess is that QB running ability ages better than RB running ability. RBs have to run through tighter windows in the defense, so QBs have a much wider margin for error in terms of the amount of athleticism/skill needed to be effective. RBs also have more competition for their job who will take advantage if they lose effectiveness running the ball.

I think that injuries play a pretty big role in undermining the running (and in some cases the careers) of running QBs. Injuries slow them down a lot, or the risk of getting injured makes them play much more carefully. QBs who are good at protecting themselves should be able to keep running longer, and scrambles should keep happening more than designed runs. Cam has more designed runs, while Wilson & Kaep scramble more (about 50 times per season), and I think RG3 is in between. (Though the goal-line TDs which Cam specializes in might stick around better than read-option sorts of designed runs.) Wilson is good at protecting himself, I think Kaep is pretty good at that too, Griffin is not so good, I'm not sure about Cam.

I may not have taken this into account enough. There's a case that Kaepernick's career arc going forward will be fairly similar to what I expect from Stafford (though for different reasons). Newton might not have any more years remaining than Matt Ryan (though Newton does have more upside during those years, as evidenced by the fact that he already has significantly more career VBD than Ryan).

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TE rankings. Assuming 0.5 PPR (unlike my previous TE rankings, which were no PPR), 12 starting RBs, about 250 position players rostered. Age as of 9/1/15. Prev shows my rankings from last August, and I also posted my (partially ordered) top 12 in January.

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev
1 1 Rob Gronkowski NE 26.3 (2)
2 2 Jimmy Graham SEA 28.8 (1)
3 3 Travis Kelce KC 25.9 (20)
4 4 Zach Ertz PHI 24.8 (6)
4 5 Eric Ebron DET 22.4 (5)
4 6 Tyler Eifert CIN 25.0 (9)
4 7 Greg Olsen CAR 30.5 (10)
5 8 Jordan Cameron MIA 27.1 (4)
5 9 Julius Thomas JAX 27.2 (3)
5 10 Jordan Reed WAS 25.2 (7)
5 11 Martellus Bennett CHI 28.5 (16)
5 12 Ladarius Green SD 25.3 (8)
6 13 Jace Amaro NYJ 23.2 (17)
6 14 Dwayne Allen IND 25.5 (18)
6 15 Austin Seferian-Jenkins TB 22.9 (19)
6 16 Charles Clay BUF 26.5 (13)
7 17 Maxx Williams BAL 21.4 unr
7 18 Kyle Rudolph MIN 25.8 (12)
7 19 Coby Fleener IND 26.9 (21)
7 20 Josh Hill NO 25.3 unr
7 21 Delanie Walker TEN 31.1 (34)
7 22 Antonio Gates SD 35.2 (28)
7 23 Jason Witten DAL 33.3 (15)
8 24 Larry Donnell NYG 26.8 unr
8 25 Richard Rodgers GB 23.6 (22)
8 26 Owen Daniels DEN 32.8 (55)
8 27 Robert Housler CLE 27.5 (30)
8 28 Gavin Escobar DAL 24.6 (33)
8 29 Niles Paul WAS 26.1 unr
8 30 Virgil Green DEN 27.1 unr
8 31 Heath Miller PIT 32.9 (23)
9 32 Clive Walford OAK 23.9 unr
9 33 Vernon Davis SF 31.6 (14)
9 34 Dennis Pitta BAL 30.2 (11)
9 35 C.J. Fiedorowicz HOU 23.9 (25)
9 36 Jared Cook STL 28.4 (27)
9 37 Jacob Tamme ATL 31.5 (70)
9 38 Fred Davis NE 29.6 (58)
9 39 Mychal Rivera OAK 25.0 (38)
9 40 Troy Niklas ARI 23.0 (35)
10 41 Tim Wright NE 25.4 (26)
10 42 Andrew Quarless GB 26.9 (52)
10 43 MyCole Pruitt MIN 23.4 unr
10 44 Demetrius Harris KC 24.1 (29)
10 45 Luke Willson SEA 25.6 (24)
10 46 Jeff Heuerman DEN 22.8 unr
10 47 Tyler Kroft CIN 22.9 unr
10 48 Garrett Graham HOU 29.1 (47)
10 49 Vance McDonald SF 25.2 (42)

Brief commentary: Gronk smash. Bad news in free agency for Graham & J Thomas. Kelce & Ertz were very effective as part-time TEs and have lots of upside if they can get more snaps & keep that up. Ebron & Eifert have the draft pedigree, and TEs do sometimes take awhile to produce. Everyone on tier 5 (Cameron through Green) carries a fair amount of risk. Allen & Fleener might finally be separated after this season. Maxx Williams's draft spot (pick 55) would've made him the 5th TE drafted in 2014 - he's a meh athlete, but he did wind up in a nice landing spot. Rob Housler, Jacob Tamme, and Fred Davis get another chance with pretty good landing spots as well. Heuerman's injury costs him a chance at a year with Manning.

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  • ZWK changed the title to ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (TE updated March 2021)

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