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ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (WR updated April 2021)


ZWK

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I'm not sure if there's confusion here about what we mean when we talk about Stafford's upside, or if there is just disagreement. In case there is confusion: for each player, there is some probability distribution of what their future fantasy value will be. When I talk about "upside", I am talking about the right tail of that distribution. If we look at (say) the 10% of the possibilities where that player has the most fantasy value, how much fantasy value does he have in those scenarios?

I see the argument that a guy who has already had one huge season is more likely to have a huge season in the future. It's a pretty good argument. But in this case, comparing Stafford to Ryan, Kaepernick, and Wilson, I disagree with its conclusion. I think that the right tail of the distribution (the top 10% of possibilities) for Stafford is not as good as the right tail of the distribution for Ryan, Kaerpernick, or Wilson, for reasons that I sketched out in my previous comments.

Stafford has already established an incredibly high right tail of that distribution, hasn't he? Seriously, it was one of the best ff seasons of all time. Do you really think Ryan, Kaep, and Wilson have a higher upside than that?

In any event, like I said, this wasn't a discussion on relative value. You said you see little upside in Stafford and that he has less than most. I see a ton up upside in Stafford, and my evidence is his near record setting performance and fantastic situation. I suppose you could make an argument that he has less upside than Ryan, Kaep, and Wilson (although I don't think it's a strong one), but when you say "most", I interpret that to mean most QBs. There's just no way he has less upside than most QBs.

Sorry for hijacking- good job overall, I just thought that comment was strange.

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Nice rankings on the RB's! Why so down on Bryce Brown? Just curious.

Nevermind. After reading your comments I saw your take on the guys in that tier. That answered my question. Thanks!

But what's the difference between Brown and someone like Pierce, who's in the top 37? I think I'd rather have Brown.

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Nice rankings on the RB's! Why so down on Bryce Brown? Just curious.

Nevermind. After reading your comments I saw your take on the guys in that tier. That answered my question. Thanks!

But what's the difference between Brown and someone like Pierce, who's in the top 37? I think I'd rather have Brown.

Agreed, I like Brown over Pierce.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If this is non-PPR, then how do Harvin and Cobb make your top-7? I can understand that ranking in PPR, but are they that high in Non-PPR as well?

Time for my favorite stat of the offseason: In his last 16 games, Percy Harvin has 112 receptions, 1492 offensive yards, 11 offensive TDs, and a kickoff return for a TD. I don't care what scoring system you're using, that's elite production.

SSOG

Don't u usually have a Dynasty ranking?

I use to love when you and Chris wesseling posted in the old Dynasty Thread. It was always a great read. Kinda Like this.

Edited by new-guru
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If this is non-PPR, then how do Harvin and Cobb make your top-7? I can understand that ranking in PPR, but are they that high in Non-PPR as well?

Time for my favorite stat of the offseason: In his last 16 games, Percy Harvin has 112 receptions, 1492 offensive yards, 11 offensive TDs, and a kickoff return for a TD. I don't care what scoring system you're using, that's elite production.

SSOG

Don't u usually have a Dynasty ranking?

I use to love when you and Chris wesseling posted in the old Dynasty Thread. It was always a great read. Kinda Like this.

His rankings are now part of the FBG rankings, as he is now staff.

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I realized that I never responded to the Bryce Brown question.

I see Brown as more comparable to Knile Davis than to Bernard Pierce. He's a high-upside boom-or-bust prospect, who has flashed talent but has a limited track record and some clear issues with his game. Pierce, like Ben Tate, is someone who could be a starter now (though he'll have to wait for his chance). He has the track record, and his game looks to be polished enough to perform right now.

Brown was a highly touted prospect when he entered college, with NFL size and good speed (although he didn't do as well on his other workout drills). But he had a very limited track record in college, wasn't all that impressive when he played, and was just a 7th rounder coming out. And now he's stuck behind a top young RB who is signed long term. Earning his coach's trust to win the backup job and start when McCoy was out was a plus, which helps reduce the character/motivation concern. Last year on the field he had his ups and downs. He broke a lot of long runs and a bunch of of tackles, but he also had an awful success rate and kept trying to take plays outside. Plus the fumbles. And he didn't do much in the passing game.

After thinking about him some more, I think he was too low in my rankings. I wasn't putting enough weight on his upside - his chances (compared to the guys near him in the rankings) of becoming a starting fantasy RB, or even a RB1. I also got a bit too caught up in thinking about reasons why he'd be overrated, which were thoughts about other people's opinions of Bryce Brown rather than thoughts about Bryce Brown. For example, the fact that he had two huge fantasy games but was pretty lousy in several of his other games, and that he benefited from excellent blocking in those two games, is a reason to suspect that other fantasy owners would overvalue him. But it's not directly relevant when I'm trying to choose between Bryce Brown and Ryan Williams or Pierre Thomas. Right now he's up to 38 in my RB rankings.

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Here are my updated rankings, right before the start of preseason. This isn't a complete re-do, just a reshuffle based on training camp reports, reading other analysis (including Football Outsiders Almanac), injuries, and further thought.

Biggest risers: Golden Tate, Rueben Randle, Aaron Dobson, Rod Streater, Kenbrell Thompkins, Jeremy Kerley, Riley Cooper, Bryce Brown, Ronnie Hillman, Roy Helu, Vernon Davis, Fred Davis, Ed Dickson. (Tate, Randle, and Dobson are now grouped around Alshon Jeffery in the 40s as top young WR prospects without great draft pedigree.)

WIDE RECEIVERS

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev

1 1 Calvin Johnson DET 27.9 (1)
2 2 A.J. Green CIN 25.1 (2)
2 3 Julio Jones ATL 24.6 (3)
2 4 Demaryius Thomas DEN 25.7 (4)
2 5 Dez Bryant DAL 24.8 (5)
3 6 Randall Cobb GB 23.1 (7)
3 7 Brandon Marshall CHI 29.4 (8)
3 8 Percy Harvin SEA 25.3 (6)
3 9 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 30.0 (9)
3 10 Victor Cruz NYG 26.8 (10)
4 11 Jordy Nelson GB 28.3 (12)
4 12 Hakeem Nicks NYG 25.6 (11)
4 13 Andre Johnson HOU 32.1 (13)
4 14 Roddy White ATL 31.8 (14)
4 15 Vincent Jackson TB 30.6 (15)
5 16 Tavon Austin STL 22.5 (16)
5 17 Dwayne Bowe KC 28.9 (17)
5 18 Marques Colston NO 30.2 (18)
5 19 Kenny Britt TEN 24.9 (19)
5 20 Justin Blackmon JAX 23.6 (20)
5 21 Mike Wallace MIA 27.1 (21)
5 22 Danny Amendola STL 27.8 (22)
5 23 Pierre Garcon WAS 27.1 (24)
5 24 Michael Crabtree SF 26.0 (23)
6 25 Josh Gordon CLE 22.4 (25)
6 26 Cecil Shorts JAX 25.7 (26)
6 27 Steve Johnson BUF 27.1 (27)
6 28 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 21.3 (28)
6 29 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN 22.5 (29)
6 30 Michael Floyd ARI 23.8 (30)
6 31 Torrey Smith BAL 24.6 (31)
6 32 Antonio Brown PIT 25.1 (32)
7 33 DeSean Jackson PHI 26.7 (35)
7 34 T.Y. Hilton IND 23.8 (34)
7 35 Wes Welker DEN 32.3 (38)
7 36 Jeremy Maclin PHI 25.3 (33)
7 37 Greg Jennings MIN 29.9 (36)
7 38 Sidney Rice SEA 27.0 (42)
7 39 Eric Decker DEN 26.5 (37)
7 40 Miles Austin DAL 29.2 (39)
8 41 Danario Alexander SD 25.0 (41)
8 42 Mike Williams TB 26.3 (43)
8 43 Justin Hunter TEN 22.3 (40)
8 44 Reggie Wayne IND 34.8 (44)
8 45 Golden Tate SEA 25.1 (67)
8 46 Alshon Jeffery CHI 23.5 (45)
8 47 Rueben Randle NYG 22.3 (57)
8 48 Aaron Dobson NE 22.2 (65)
9 49 Emmanuel Sanders PIT 26.4 (46)
9 50 Steve Smith CAR 34.4 (48)
9 51 Ryan Broyles DET 25.4 (49)
9 52 James Jones GB 29.4 (51)
9 53 Kendall Wright TEN 23.8 (54)
9 54 Lance Moore NO 30.0 (52)
9 55 Anquan Boldin SF 32.9 (58)
9 56 Markus Wheaton PIT 22.6 (50)
9 57 Santonio Holmes NYJ 29.5 (47)
9 58 Stephen Hill NYJ 22.4 (56)
9 59 Robert Woods BUF 21.4 (64)
10 60 Denarius Moore OAK 24.7 (53)
10 61 Chris Givens STL 23.7 (55)
10 62 Brian Quick STL 24.2 (59)
10 63 Vincent Brown SD 24.6 (61)
10 64 Greg Little CLE 24.3 (63)
10 65 Rod Streater OAK 25.6 (76)
10 66 Terrance Williams DAL 24.0 (62)
10 67 Keenan Allen SD 21.4 (66)
10 68 Andre Roberts ARI 25.6 (73)
10 69 A.J. Jenkins SF 23.9 (60)
10 70 Brandon LaFell CAR 26.8 (81)
10 71 Stedman Bailey STL 22.8 (69)
10 72 Josh Boyce NE 23.6 (70)
10 73 Jeremy Kerley NYJ 24.8 (88)
10 74 Kenbrell Thompkins NE 25.1 unr
10 75 Jonathan Baldwin KC 24.1 (68)
10 76 Darrius Heyward-Bey IND 26.5 (75)
10 77 Malcom Floyd SD 32.0 (71)
10 78 Brian Hartline MIA 26.8 (74)
11 79 Quinton Patton SF 23.1 (72)
11 80 Da'Rick Rogers BUF 22.2 (85)
11 81 Joseph Morgan NO 25.5 (78)
11 82 Nick Toon NO 24.8 (79)
11 83 T.J. Graham BUF 24.1 (89)
11 84 Charles Johnson GB 24.5 (77)
11 85 Riley Cooper PHI 26.0 unr
11 86 Austin Collie SF 27.8 (94)
11 87 Julian Edelman NE 27.3 (86)
11 88 Mohamed Sanu CIN 24.0 (82)
11 89 Brandon Lloyd FA 32.2 (80)
11 90 Marquise Goodwin BUF 22.8 (84)
11 91 Jacoby Jones BAL 29.1 unr
11 92 Tandon Doss BAL 24.1 unr
11 93 Doug Baldwin SEA 25.9 unr
11 94 Griff Whalen IND 23.5 unr
11 95 Marvin Jones CIN 23.5 unr
11 96 Deonte Thompson BAL 24.6 unr
12 97 Nate Washington TEN 30.0 (90)
12 98 Patrick Edwards DET 24.9 unr
12 99 Chris Harper SEA 24.0 unr
12 100 Nate Burleson DET 32.1 unr
12 101 Tavarres King DEN 23.2 unr
12 102 Davone Bess CLE 28.0 (91)
12 103 Leonard Hankerson WAS 26.3 (83)
12 104 Domenik Hixon CAR 28.9 (87)
12 105 Andrew Hawkins CIN 27.5 (93)
13 unr Arrelious Benn PHI 25.0 (92)
13 unr Juron Criner OAK 23.7 (95)

TIGHT ENDS

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev

1 1 Rob Gronkowski NE 24.3 (1)
1 2 Jimmy Graham NO 26.8 (2)
2 3 Vernon Davis SF 29.6 (5)
2 4 Jermichael Finley GB 26.4 (3)
2 5 Tyler Eifert CIN 23.0 (8)
2 6 Kyle Rudolph MIN 23.8 (7)
2 7 Jason Witten DAL 31.3 (4)
2 8 Greg Olsen CAR 28.5 (6)
2 9 Jared Cook STL 26.4 (10)
2 10 Martellus Bennett CHI 26.5 (11)
3 11 Dennis Pitta BAL 28.2 (9)
3 12 Coby Fleener IND 24.9 (13)
3 13 Fred Davis WAS 27.6 (19)
3 14 Dustin Keller MIA 28.9 (12)
3 15 Tony Gonzalez ATL 37.5 (14)
3 16 Dwayne Allen IND 23.5 (15)
3 17 Zach Ertz PHI 22.8 (16)
3 18 Travis Kelce KC 23.9 (17)
3 19 Jordan Cameron CLE 25.1 (18)
3 20 Owen Daniels HOU 30.8 (21)
3 21 Brandon Myers NYG 28.0 (22)
3 22 Robert Housler ARI 25.5 (25)
3 23 Jermaine Gresham CIN 25.2 (20)
3 24 Antonio Gates SD 33.2 (23)
3 25 Jordan Reed WAS 23.2 (24)
3 26 Brandon Pettigrew DET 28.5 (26)
3 27 Ed Dickson BAL 26.1 unr
4 28 Zach Miller SEA 27.7 (27)
4 29 Ladarius Green SD 23.3 (28)
4 30 Heath Miller PIT 30.9 (29)
4 31 Marcedes Lewis JAX 29.3 (33)
4 32 Gavin Escobar DAL 22.6 unr
4 33 David Ausberry OAK 26.0 unr
5 34 Lance Kendricks STL 25.6 (32)
5 35 James Casey HOU 28.9 unr
5 36 Tony Moeaki KC 26.3 unr
5 37 Vance McDonald SF 23.2 unr
5 38 Delanie Walker TEN 29.1 (35)
5 39 Jacob Tamme DEN 29.5 (30)
5 40 Brent Celek PHI 28.6 (31)
5 41 Jake Ballard NE 25.8 (34)

QUARTERBACKS

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev
1 1 Aaron Rodgers GB 30.7 (1)
2 2 Robert Griffin III WAS 23.5 (2)
2 3 Andrew Luck IND 24.0 (3)
2 4 Cam Newton CAR 24.3 (4)
3 5 Drew Brees NO 34.6 (5)
3 6 Matt Ryan ATL 28.3 (6)
3 7 Russell Wilson SEA 24.8 (7)
3 8 Colin Kaepernick SF 25.8 (8)
4 9 Matthew Stafford DET 25.6 (11)
4 10 Peyton Manning DEN 37.4 (9)
4 11 Tom Brady NE 36.1 (10)
5 12 Tony Romo DAL 33.4 (12)
6 13 Ryan Tannehill MIA 25.1 (13)
6 14 Josh Freeman TB 25.6 (14)
6 15 EJ Manuel BUF 23.5 (15)
7 16 Andy Dalton CIN 25.8 (16)
7 17 Sam Bradford STL 25.8 (17)
7 18 Eli Manning NYG 32.7 (18)
7 19 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 32.5 (19)
7 20 Michael Vick PHI 33.2 (20)
7 21 Joe Flacco BAL 28.6 (21)
7 22 Philip Rivers SD 31.7 (22)
8 23 Geno Smith NYJ 22.9 (23)
8 24 Jay Cutler CHI 30.3 (24)
8 25 Matt Flynn OAK 28.2 (25)
8 26 Ryan Mallett NE 25.2 (26)
8 27 Matt Schaub HOU 32.2 (27)
8 28 Carson Palmer ARI 33.7 (28)
8 29 Jake Locker TEN 25.2 (29)
8 30 Brandon Weeden CLE 29.9 (37)
8 31 Alex Smith KC 31.4 (32)
8 32 Tyler Wilson OAK 24.1 (33)
8 33 Nick Foles PHI 24.6 (31)
8 34 Blaine Gabbert JAX 23.9 (39)
9 35 Matt Barkley PHI 23.0 (30)
9 36 Brock Osweiler DEN 22.8 (34)
9 37 Kirk Cousins WAS 25.1 (35)
9 38 Christian Ponder MIN 25.5 (36)
9 39 Chad Henne JAX 28.2 (38)
9 40 Kevin Kolb BUF 29.0 (40)

RUNNING BACKS

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev
1 1 Trent Richardson CLE 22.2 (1)
1 2 Doug Martin TB 24.6 (2)
1 3 Jamaal Charles KC 26.7 (3)
1 4 LeSean McCoy PHI 25.1 (4)
2 5 C.J. Spiller BUF 26.1 (5)
2 6 Adrian Peterson MIN 28.4 (6)
2 7 Ray Rice BAL 26.6 (7)
3 8 Arian Foster HOU 27.0 (8)
3 9 Alfred Morris WAS 24.7 (9)
3 10 Matt Forte CHI 27.7 (10)
3 11 David Wilson NYG 22.2 (11)
4 12 Marshawn Lynch SEA 27.4 (12)
4 13 Stevan Ridley NE 24.6 (13)
4 14 DeMarco Murray DAL 25.5 (14)
4 15 Darren McFadden OAK 26.0 (15)
4 16 Eddie Lacy GB 23.3 (16)
4 17 Giovani Bernard CIN 21.8 (18)
4 18 Ryan Mathews SD 25.9 (17)
4 19 Maurice Jones-Drew JAX 28.4 (19)
5 20 Montee Ball DEN 22.8 (20)
5 21 Chris Johnson TEN 27.9 (21)
5 22 Lamar Miller MIA 22.4 (24)
5 23 Steven Jackson ATL 30.1 (22)
5 24 Chris Ivory NYJ 25.4 (23)
5 25 LeVeon Bell PIT 21.6 (25)
5 26 Reggie Bush DET 28.5 (26)
5 27 Rashard Mendenhall ARI 26.2 (27)
5 28 Christine Michael SEA 22.8 (32)
6 29 Ben Tate HOU 25.0 (29)
6 30 Frank Gore SF 30.3 (28)
6 31 Shane Vereen NE 24.5 (36)
6 32 Darren Sproles NO 30.2 (30)
6 33 Bernard Pierce BAL 23.7 (34)
6 34 Jonathan Stewart CAR 26.4 (31)
6 35 Ahmad Bradshaw IND 27.5 (33)
6 36 Mark Ingram NO 23.7 (35)
6 37 Marcus Lattimore SF 21.9 (37)
7 38 Bryce Brown PHI 22.3 (46)
7 39 Johnathan Franklin GB 23.9 (43)
7 40 Andre Brown NYG 26.7 (44)
7 41 Pierre Thomas NO 28.7 (40)
7 42 Ryan Williams ARI 23.4 (39)
7 43 Robert Turbin SEA 23.7 (38)
7 44 Isaiah Pead STL 23.7 (45)
7 45 Knile Davis KC 21.9 (41)
7 46 DeAngelo Williams CAR 30.4 (50)
7 47 Ronnie Hillman DEN 22.0 (56)
7 48 Daryl Richardson STL 23.4 (48)
7 49 Vick Ballard IND 23.1 (49)
7 50 Zac Stacy STL 22.4 (42)
7 51 Mikel Leshoure DET 23.4 (47)
7 52 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN 28.2 (51)
8 53 Kendall Hunter SF 24.0 (53)
8 54 LaMichael James SF 23.9 (52)
8 55 Toby Gerhart MIN 26.4 (55)
8 56 Mike Goodson NYJ 26.3 (54)
8 57 Knowshon Moreno DEN 26.1 (57)
8 58 Danny Woodhead SD 28.7 (60)
8 59 Roy Helu WAS 24.7 (67)
8 60 Brandon Bolden NE 23.6 (61)
8 61 Alex Green GB 24.2 (65)
8 62 Denard Robinson JAX 23.0 (59)
8 63 Latavius Murray OAK 22.5 (58)
8 64 Isaac Redman PIT 28.8 (62)
8 65 Beanie Wells FA 25.1 (63)
8 66 Fred Jackson BUF 32.5 (64)
9 67 Joseph Randle DAL 21.7 (72)
9 68 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL 23.6 (73)
9 69 Shonn Greene TEN 28.0 (74)
9 70 Michael Bush CHI 29.2 (75)
9 71 Bilal Powell NYJ 24.8 unr
9 72 Andre Ellington ARI 24.6 (66)
9 73 Felix Jones PHI 26.3 unr
9 74 Jonathan Dwyer PIT 24.1 (68)
9 75 Stepfan Taylor ARI 22.2 (69)
9 76 Willis McGahee FA 31.9 (71)
10 unr Jahvid Best FA 24.6 (70)

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Given recent news on Riley Cooper I am confused as to why you are moving him up?

I moved Cooper up when Maclin got injured, leaving Cooper as the favorite to be the Eagles' #2 WR. His off-the-field issues might cost him his job, but given that he's still on the roster I'd guess that he has a pretty good shot to win that role. The urgency consideration also points in his favor - his issues are likely to be resolved before the season starts, one way or the other.

Pitta only down to 11?

I'm assuming that the most likely outcome is for him to lose a season and be back around 100% a year from now. If that happens, then I think he has better prospects for 2014 than anyone else in tier 3+.

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Given recent news on Riley Cooper I am confused as to why you are moving him up?

I moved Cooper up when Maclin got injured, leaving Cooper as the favorite to be the Eagles' #2 WR. His off-the-field issues might cost him his job, but given that he's still on the roster I'd guess that he has a pretty good shot to win that role. The urgency consideration also points in his favor - his issues are likely to be resolved before the season starts, one way or the other.

Pitta only down to 11?

I'm assuming that the most likely outcome is for him to lose a season and be back around 100% a year from now. If that happens, then I think he has better prospects for 2014 than anyone else in tier 3+.

Even if he gets back to 100% by this time next year, he'll be 29 and there's a decent chance the Ravens bring in more weapons for Flacco. Much of the appeal of Pitta is that Flacco has no proven possession receivers to throw to. People were projecting monster target numbers. Will that appeal be there next year? It might, depending on his health and the Raven's offseason acquisitions.

I do know that I like the upside of tons of guys below him on that list, going forward.

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Given recent news on Riley Cooper I am confused as to why you are moving him up?

I moved Cooper up when Maclin got injured, leaving Cooper as the favorite to be the Eagles' #2 WR. His off-the-field issues might cost him his job, but given that he's still on the roster I'd guess that he has a pretty good shot to win that role. The urgency consideration also points in his favor - his issues are likely to be resolved before the season starts, one way or the other.

Pitta only down to 11?

I'm assuming that the most likely outcome is for him to lose a season and be back around 100% a year from now. If that happens, then I think he has better prospects for 2014 than anyone else in tier 3+.

I am not sure if Cooper will ever play in the NFL again and I am pretty sure he is not going to be a starter for the Eagles or anyone else now. I could understand moving him down, not up.

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Given recent news on Riley Cooper I am confused as to why you are moving him up?

I moved Cooper up when Maclin got injured, leaving Cooper as the favorite to be the Eagles' #2 WR. His off-the-field issues might cost him his job, but given that he's still on the roster I'd guess that he has a pretty good shot to win that role. The urgency consideration also points in his favor - his issues are likely to be resolved before the season starts, one way or the other.

Pitta only down to 11?

I'm assuming that the most likely outcome is for him to lose a season and be back around 100% a year from now. If that happens, then I think he has better prospects for 2014 than anyone else in tier 3+.

I am not sure if Cooper will ever play in the NFL again and I am pretty sure he is not going to be a starter for the Eagles or anyone else now. I could understand moving him down, not up.

I would be surprised if Cooper was cut by the Eagles at this point for anything unrelated to his football performance. If the Eagles wanted to distance themselves from him, they would have cut him by now- it certainly would have been a better PR move to move on immediately, like New England did with Hernandez or Food Network did with Paula Dean. Currently the biggest threat facing him, in my opinion, is if everything takes too long to finish playing out and Cooper finds himself behind the 8-ball on getting reps. Still, Cooper's chances of being a usable fantasy receiver this season are a lot higher today than they were two months ago.

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ZWK, could you please expand on having Harvin ranked at WR8 and Crabtree ranked at WR24? Both seem to share superficial similarities- very similar ages, both with a lone top-10 season, both with injuries projected to keep them out until the final month or so of the 2013 season. Harvin has advantages over Crabtree (his history of elite production is 16 games vs. 8 games, he's a year younger, his team has made more of a commitment to him, he's a more talented and dynamic player, he's coming off of an injury which has historically been less scary for a player's long-term prospects). I would absolutely prefer Harvin. At the same time, Crabtree has a lot of advantages, too- he's not on a new team or in a new system so there's less of a transition, he's a much more prototypical WR, his injury history is much less troubling. Prior to their respective injuries, both receivers were valued pretty closely (with an edge to Harvin). According to DLF's ADP data, in April Harvin was being selected as the 7th receiver, while Crabtree was the 10th. In May, Harvin was the 7th while Crabtree was the 9th. Any thoughts on the 18-slot gap in your rankings for the players?

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Given recent news on Riley Cooper I am confused as to why you are moving him up?

I moved Cooper up when Maclin got injured, leaving Cooper as the favorite to be the Eagles' #2 WR. His off-the-field issues might cost him his job, but given that he's still on the roster I'd guess that he has a pretty good shot to win that role. The urgency consideration also points in his favor - his issues are likely to be resolved before the season starts, one way or the other.

Pitta only down to 11?

I'm assuming that the most likely outcome is for him to lose a season and be back around 100% a year from now. If that happens, then I think he has better prospects for 2014 than anyone else in tier 3+.

I am not sure if Cooper will ever play in the NFL again and I am pretty sure he is not going to be a starter for the Eagles or anyone else now. I could understand moving him down, not up.

I would be surprised if Cooper was cut by the Eagles at this point for anything unrelated to his football performance. If the Eagles wanted to distance themselves from him, they would have cut him by now- it certainly would have been a better PR move to move on immediately, like New England did with Hernandez or Food Network did with Paula Dean. Currently the biggest threat facing him, in my opinion, is if everything takes too long to finish playing out and Cooper finds himself behind the 8-ball on getting reps. Still, Cooper's chances of being a usable fantasy receiver this season are a lot higher today than they were two months ago.

I do not think Cooper was going to be worth much even without what he said but I won't belabor this any further. I think you are both reading the situation wrong and I do not see a reason for the upgrade while I see plenty or reason for the opposite.

Cooper's career in Philadelphia can't survive this, because Kelly's first season in Philadelphia can't survive him. http://espn.go.com/nfl/trainingcamp13/story/_/id/9529775/riley-cooper-philadelphia-eagles-wide-receiver-mistake-cost-job
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ZWK, could you please expand on having Harvin ranked at WR8 and Crabtree ranked at WR24? Both seem to share superficial similarities- very similar ages, both with a lone top-10 season, both with injuries projected to keep them out until the final month or so of the 2013 season. Harvin has advantages over Crabtree (his history of elite production is 16 games vs. 8 games, he's a year younger, his team has made more of a commitment to him, he's a more talented and dynamic player, he's coming off of an injury which has historically been less scary for a player's long-term prospects). I would absolutely prefer Harvin. At the same time, Crabtree has a lot of advantages, too- he's not on a new team or in a new system so there's less of a transition, he's a much more prototypical WR, his injury history is much less troubling. Prior to their respective injuries, both receivers were valued pretty closely (with an edge to Harvin). According to DLF's ADP data, in April Harvin was being selected as the 7th receiver, while Crabtree was the 10th. In May, Harvin was the 7th while Crabtree was the 9th. Any thoughts on the 18-slot gap in your rankings for the players?

Pre-injuries, Harvin and Crabtree may have been 7 & 9 in the rankings (or more like 6 & 12, in my rankings), but I would not say that they were valued that closely. I think you wrote about the dynasty WR situation as an obvious top 7 with a clear gap on everyone else, and then someone has to fill in spot #8. I had it as an elite top 5, and then Harvin as the obvious #6 (trailing a bit behind them), with the dropoff continuing fairly steeply until WR14 or so. The drop is steep enough for me to prefer one of Dez Bryant (#5) over two of Andre Johnson (#13), and back in April you would've needed to add a lot to Crabtree to trade him for Harvin.

Harvin wasn't quite at the Dez/Demaryius level, but he was in that neighborhood where few other receivers are, so a ~25% drop in value only slips him back a few spots, behind Cobb & Marshall to be neck-and-neck (-and-neck) with Fitz & Cruz in the #8-10 range. Crabtree was closer to that Andre Johnson neighborhood (a bit above him), and the pack of receivers gets a lot denser after that, so a ~25% drop in value for him cost many more spots in the rankings.

Harvin is an undeniable talent. He has been an elite NFL player since day 1, at least on a per snap basis, and has put up fantasy numbers ranging from very good to elite. There aren't many players like him, so even with a major injury not many guys are in a position to pass him. Crabtree has performed like an elite receiver for half a season, as a target hog while he was Kaepernick's #1 read, after spending most of his career as a low-end NFL WR1 and a low-end fantasy WR3. His true talent is probably somewhere in between - very good, but not top 10. There are more receivers like him, or who have other advantages for their fantasy prospects, so a lot more guys passed him when he got injured.

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It's possible that I anchored too much on my previous rankings, and didn't adjust enough for news. I think that is what I did with Pitta - I compared him with Martellus Bennett and it felt like #10 was too high, and then I considered him at #11 and that felt reasonable (putting him ahead of Keller or Fleener felt okay). But, looking at it again, #18 also feels like it could be reasonable - Pitta vs. Kelce isn't an obvious call to me either.

So, to counter anchoring, I added some random noise to scramble my rankings, and then did a quick gut re-ranking of each position. Looking at the results, my tiers held up pretty well (except my WR tiers 11 & 12 bled together, as did my RB tiers 8 & 9). There was some shifting around within tiers (average movement was 2.0 spots, but only 1.0 spots if you just focus on the top third of each position), and about a dozen players jumped tiers.

Biggest movers (based on a mix of spots & tiers):

WR: Antonio Brown (up), Miles Austin (up), James Jones (up), Kendall Wright (up), Markus Wheaton (down), Malcom Floyd (down)

RB: Marshawn Lynch (up), Ryan Mathews (down), Christine Michael (up), Ronnie Hillman (up), Daryl Richardson (up), Kendall Hunter (up), Brandon Bolden (up), Shonn Green (up), Jacquizz Rodgers (up), Denard Robinson (down)

TE: Dennis Pitta (down), Travis Kelce (up), Heath Miller (up), Marcedes Lewis (down)

QB: Geno Smith (up), Tyler Wilson (up), Nick Foles (down)

I'll have to take another look at these guys to figure out why I disagree with me, and which one of us is wrong.

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Given recent news on Riley Cooper I am confused as to why you are moving him up?

I moved Cooper up when Maclin got injured, leaving Cooper as the favorite to be the Eagles' #2 WR. His off-the-field issues might cost him his job, but given that he's still on the roster I'd guess that he has a pretty good shot to win that role. The urgency consideration also points in his favor - his issues are likely to be resolved before the season starts, one way or the other.

Pitta only down to 11?

I'm assuming that the most likely outcome is for him to lose a season and be back around 100% a year from now. If that happens, then I think he has better prospects for 2014 than anyone else in tier 3+.

I am not sure if Cooper will ever play in the NFL again and I am pretty sure he is not going to be a starter for the Eagles or anyone else now. I could understand moving him down, not up.

I would be surprised if Cooper was cut by the Eagles at this point for anything unrelated to his football performance. If the Eagles wanted to distance themselves from him, they would have cut him by now- it certainly would have been a better PR move to move on immediately, like New England did with Hernandez or Food Network did with Paula Dean. Currently the biggest threat facing him, in my opinion, is if everything takes too long to finish playing out and Cooper finds himself behind the 8-ball on getting reps. Still, Cooper's chances of being a usable fantasy receiver this season are a lot higher today than they were two months ago.

I do not think Cooper was going to be worth much even without what he said but I won't belabor this any further. I think you are both reading the situation wrong and I do not see a reason for the upgrade while I see plenty or reason for the opposite.

Cooper's career in Philadelphia can't survive this, because Kelly's first season in Philadelphia can't survive him. http://espn.go.com/nfl/trainingcamp13/story/_/id/9529775/riley-cooper-philadelphia-eagles-wide-receiver-mistake-cost-job

In my mind, clear comments from the head coach trump random speculation from media "personalities".

"There's never been any question of cutting Riley," Kelly said.

Even if we believe that Philly might still cut him (and, as I said, if they were going to cut him, from a PR standpoint, it makes absolutely no sense for them to have waited- they have to deal with all the fallout of having kept him, and get none of the goodwill from having cut him), Cooper's situation has still improved from two months ago to today. Cooper has gone from a guy who had a 100% chance of making the roster and a 0% chance of being fantasy relevant if he did to a guy who has an (insert some number greater than zero here)% chance of making the roster and an (insert some number greater than zero here)% chance of being relevant if he does. It doesn't matter what numbers you plug in, the chances of Cooper being fantasy relevant have gone up over the last two months. And ZWK and I have both advocated for the concept of urgency, or rating more highly a player surrounded by uncertainty for whom we will very soon receive a large dose of clarity. The idea is that roster spots have value, and rostering a player presents an opportunity cost. We're going to get a big dose of clarity on Riley Cooper in the next two weeks- either the Eagles will cut him, or they won't. If they cut him, we can cut him as well, and the opportunity cost of rostering Riley Cooper was a big fat zero. If the Eagles don't cut him, then Cooper will shoot up everyone else's rankings, but they'll be too late as we'll already have him rostered. Compare that to someone like Da'Rick Rogers, who we might have to hold for years before we get any sort of clarity about whether he'll be able to cut it in the NFL. I'd rather tie up a roster spot for a week to find out what's going to happen with Riley Cooper than tie up a roster spot for two years to find out what's going to happen with Da'Rick Rogers.

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It's possible that I anchored too much on my previous rankings, and didn't adjust enough for news. I think that is what I did with Pitta - I compared him with Martellus Bennett and it felt like #10 was too high, and then I considered him at #11 and that felt reasonable (putting him ahead of Keller or Fleener felt okay). But, looking at it again, #18 also feels like it could be reasonable - Pitta vs. Kelce isn't an obvious call to me either.

So, to counter anchoring, I added some random noise to scramble my rankings, and then did a quick gut re-ranking of each position. Looking at the results, my tiers held up pretty well (except my WR tiers 11 & 12 bled together, as did my RB tiers 8 & 9). There was some shifting around within tiers (average movement was 2.0 spots, but only 1.0 spots if you just focus on the top third of each position), and about a dozen players jumped tiers.

Biggest movers (based on a mix of spots & tiers):

WR: Antonio Brown (up), Miles Austin (up), James Jones (up), Kendall Wright (up), Markus Wheaton (down), Malcom Floyd (down)

RB: Marshawn Lynch (up), Ryan Mathews (down), Christine Michael (up), Ronnie Hillman (up), Daryl Richardson (up), Kendall Hunter (up), Brandon Bolden (up), Shonn Green (up), Jacquizz Rodgers (up), Denard Robinson (down)

TE: Dennis Pitta (down), Travis Kelce (up), Heath Miller (up), Marcedes Lewis (down)

QB: Geno Smith (up), Tyler Wilson (up), Nick Foles (down)

I'll have to take another look at these guys to figure out why I disagree with me, and which one of us is wrong.

What if you're both wrong? ;)

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It's possible that I anchored too much on my previous rankings, and didn't adjust enough for news. I think that is what I did with Pitta - I compared him with Martellus Bennett and it felt like #10 was too high, and then I considered him at #11 and that felt reasonable (putting him ahead of Keller or Fleener felt okay). But, looking at it again, #18 also feels like it could be reasonable - Pitta vs. Kelce isn't an obvious call to me either.

So, to counter anchoring, I added some random noise to scramble my rankings, and then did a quick gut re-ranking of each position. Looking at the results, my tiers held up pretty well (except my WR tiers 11 & 12 bled together, as did my RB tiers 8 & 9). There was some shifting around within tiers (average movement was 2.0 spots, but only 1.0 spots if you just focus on the top third of each position), and about a dozen players jumped tiers.

Biggest movers (based on a mix of spots & tiers):

WR: Antonio Brown (up), Miles Austin (up), James Jones (up), Kendall Wright (up), Markus Wheaton (down), Malcom Floyd (down)

RB: Marshawn Lynch (up), Ryan Mathews (down), Christine Michael (up), Ronnie Hillman (up), Daryl Richardson (up), Kendall Hunter (up), Brandon Bolden (up), Shonn Green (up), Jacquizz Rodgers (up), Denard Robinson (down)

TE: Dennis Pitta (down), Travis Kelce (up), Heath Miller (up), Marcedes Lewis (down)

QB: Geno Smith (up), Tyler Wilson (up), Nick Foles (down)

I'll have to take another look at these guys to figure out why I disagree with me, and which one of us is wrong.

What if you're both wrong? ;)

Well, I can at least try to figure out who's wronger.

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  • 3 months later...

Mid-season WR update (11/18/13). I don't know if I'll get to other positions.

Age is as of 12/1/13. Prev shows my 8/3/13 ranking.

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev
1 1 Calvin Johnson DET 28.2 (1)
2 2 A.J. Green CIN 25.4 (2)
2 3 Dez Bryant DAL 25.1 (5)
2 4 Demaryius Thomas DEN 26.0 (4)
3 5 Julio Jones ATL 24.9 (3)
3 6 Randall Cobb GB 23.4 (6)
3 7 Brandon Marshall CHI 29.7 (7)
3 8 Percy Harvin SEA 25.6 (8)
3 9 Victor Cruz NYG 27.1 (10)
4 10 Josh Gordon CLE 22.7 (25)
4 11 Jordy Nelson GB 28.6 (11)
4 12 Pierre Garcon WAS 27.4 (23)
4 13 Antonio Brown PIT 25.4 (32)
4 14 DeSean Jackson PHI 27.0 (33)
4 15 Michael Crabtree SF 26.3 (24)
4 16 Alshon Jeffery CHI 23.8 (46)
4 17 T.Y. Hilton IND 24.1 (34)
4 18 Andre Johnson HOU 32.4 (13)
4 19 Vincent Jackson TB 30.9 (15)
4 20 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 30.3 (9)
4 21 Wes Welker DEN 32.6 (35)
5 22 Michael Floyd ARI 24.1 (30)

5 23 Tavon Austin STL 22.7 (16)
5 24 Torrey Smith BAL 24.9 (31)
5 25 Hakeem Nicks NYG 25.9 (12)
5 26 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 21.5 (28)
5 27 Danny Amendola NE 28.1 (22)
5 28 Justin Blackmon JAX 23.9 (20)
5 29 Cecil Shorts JAX 26.0 (26)
5 30 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN 22.7 (29)
5 31 Marques Colston NO 30.5 (18)
6 32 Keenan Allen SD 21.6 (67)
6 33 Roddy White ATL 32.1 (14)
6 34 Eric Decker DEN 26.8 (39)
6 35 Dwayne Bowe KC 29.2 (17)
6 36 Mike Wallace MIA 27.4 (21)
6 37 Golden Tate SEA 25.4 (45)
6 38 Rueben Randle NYG 22.6 (47)
6 39 Aaron Dobson NE 22.5 (48)
6 40 Steve Johnson BUF 27.4 (27)
6 41 Jeremy Maclin PHI 25.6 (36)
6 42 Terrance Williams DAL 24.2 (66)

6 43 Kendall Wright TEN 24.1 (53)
7 44 Kenny Britt TEN 25.2 (19)
7 45 Mike Williams TB 26.6 (42)
7 46 Justin Hunter TEN 22.6 (43)
7 47 Jarrett Boykin GB 24.1 unr
7 48 Markus Wheaton PIT 22.8 (56)
7 49 Robert Woods BUF 21.7 (59)
7 50 Denarius Moore OAK 25.0 (60)
7 51 James Jones GB 29.7 (52)
8 52 Greg Jennings MIN 30.2 (37)
8 53 Kenny Stills NO 21.6 unr
8 54 Miles Austin DAL 29.5 (40)
8 55 Marquise Goodwin BUF 23.0 (90)
8 56 Marvin Jones CIN 23.8 (95)
8 57 Riley Cooper PHI 26.2 (85)
8 58 Sidney Rice SEA 27.3 (38)
8 59 Emmanuel Sanders PIT 26.7 (49)
8 60 Santonio Holmes NYJ 29.8 (57)
8 61 Reggie Wayne IND 35.1 (44)
8 62 Danario Alexander SD 25.3 (41)
8 63 Steve Smith CAR 34.7 (50)
9 64 Stephen Hill NYJ 22.7 (58)
9 65 Vincent Brown SD 24.9 (63)
9 66 Rishard Matthews MIA 24.2 unr
9 67 Marlon Brown BAL 24.4 unr
9 68 Brian Hartline MIA 27.1 (78)
9 69 Anquan Boldin SF 33.2 (55)
9 70 Chris Givens STL 24.0 (61)
9 71 Kenbrell Thompkins NE 25.4 (74)
9 72 Rod Streater OAK 25.9 (65)
10 73 Stedman Bailey STL 23.1 (71)
10 74 Brandon LaFell CAR 27.1 (70)
10 75 Doug Baldwin SEA 26.2 (93)
10 76 Harry Douglas ATL 29.2 unr
10 77 Andre Roberts ARI 25.9 (68)
10 78 Lance Moore NO 30.3 (54)
10 79 Brian Quick STL 24.5 (62)
11 80 Josh Boyce NE 23.9 (72)
11 81 Quinton Patton SF 23.3 (79)
11 82 Ryan Broyles DET 25.7 (51)
11 83 Joseph Morgan NO 25.8 (81)
11 84 Nate Washington TEN 30.3 (97)
11 85 Jeremy Kerley NYJ 25.1 (73)
11 86 Jerome Simpson MIN 27.8 unr
11 87 Greg Little CLE 24.6 (64)
11 88 Da'Rick Rogers BUF 22.5 (80)
11 89 Jermaine Kearse SEA 23.8 unr
11 90 Julian Edelman NE 27.6 (87)
11 91 Jarius Wright MIN 24.0 unr
11 92 Charles Johnson CLE 24.8 (84)
11 93 Leonard Hankerson WAS 26.6 (103)
11 94 Marquess Wilson CHI 21.2 unr
11 95 Tavarres King CAR 23.4 (101)
11 96 Nick Toon NO 25.1 (82)
11 97 T.J. Graham BUF 24.4 (83)
11 98 Mike Brown JAX 24.8 unr
11 99 Brice Butler OAK 23.9 unr
11 100 Kris Durham DET 25.7 unr

Top 9 are relatively stable since the offseason. There's a pretty big dropoff from #9 (Cruz) to #10 (Gordon).

The 10s contain a lot of youngish guys with a legitimate shot to put up some top 10 seasons, who are also fairly safe bets to string together a few top 25 seasons. Gordon, Jeffery, and Hilton have put a bit of separation on the other WRs in their first 2 seasons, by putting up performances that are really good without being graded on a curve (not merely good for a rookie). The bottom of this tier contains elite older receivers, who are destined to slide down the rankings as the clock ticks away. Jordy Nelson would belong in the top 10 if he was guaranteed to re-sign with Aaron Rodgers, and he'd belong with the Andre Johnson & Wes Welker group if he was guaranteed to leave town.

Next tier (the 20s) is mostly top prospects who haven't emerged yet (at least not as anything more than a WR3), mixed in with some guys who are likely to top at as WR2s (Torrey Smith, Shorts), carry extra risk (Nicks, Blackmon), or are old (Colston).

Tier 6 (the 30s) mixes young guys with less pedigree or upside, and solid veterans with more warts.

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Decker is probably a mid-to-low WR2 the rest of this season. Then he's a free agent, and more likely than not to leave Denver and go someplace where he won't do as well. Even if he manages to stick around in Denver, he has maybe 2 years left with Manning (most likely as a low-end WR2).

Roddy White has been a WR1 until this year, and if he's healthy he has a pretty good shot at being a borderline WR1 down the stretch, and again next year. He's similar to Andre Johnson or Wes Welker, but with extra risk because he has been struggling with injuries.

Each year of low-end WR1 play is worth double a year of mid-to-low WR2 play. (So far this year, Welker has been worth almost twice as much as Decker.) So it's worth paying a fair amount for guys who can give you that, even if it's just for a year or two.

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If you're looking purely at VBD then you're missing a couple important variables. Namely, what you'll be able to trade the player for both in the future and now. Roddy seems like he's cooked to me and with that perception probably being pretty widespread, I doubt you could get much for him in a trade. A younger player like Randle will hold his value better and you'll have a better chance of packaging him for a truly elite WR if you decide you need to have someone like Patterson or one of the incoming rooks. I've been guilty of living in the future too much at times, but the age paranoia isn't without reason. Untradeable players like Roddy who die on your roster really limit your flexibility. If your team craps out or you spot a rising player you want to acquire, you're SOL.

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If you're looking purely at VBD then you're missing a couple important variables. Namely, what you'll be able to trade the player for both in the future and now. Roddy seems like he's cooked to me and with that perception probably being pretty widespread, I doubt you could get much for him in a trade. A younger player like Randle will hold his value better and you'll have a better chance of packaging him for a truly elite WR if you decide you need to have someone like Patterson or one of the incoming rooks. I've been guilty of living in the future too much at times, but the age paranoia isn't without reason. Untradeable players like Roddy who die on your roster really limit your flexibility. If your team craps out or you spot a rising player you want to acquire, you're SOL.

We've all had this conversation before. Some of us put a lot less stock in trade value than others, and our rankings will reflect that.

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If you're looking purely at VBD then you're missing a couple important variables. Namely, what you'll be able to trade the player for both in the future and now. Roddy seems like he's cooked to me and with that perception probably being pretty widespread, I doubt you could get much for him in a trade. A younger player like Randle will hold his value better and you'll have a better chance of packaging him for a truly elite WR if you decide you need to have someone like Patterson or one of the incoming rooks. I've been guilty of living in the future too much at times, but the age paranoia isn't without reason. Untradeable players like Roddy who die on your roster really limit your flexibility. If your team craps out or you spot a rising player you want to acquire, you're SOL.

I typically rank in terms of VBD, and think about fit with my team (roster flexibility, positional needs, whether I'm in win-now mode vs. rebuilding, etc.) when I actually pull the trigger on a deal.

If I think that a player's trade value is less than his VBD, then that's a sign that I should trade for him (provided that he fits with my team). There is a cost with seeking out players who are undervalued, which is that sometimes my roster gets full of players who I see as undervalued and that makes it hard to make trades. But that's a relatively small price to pay, if I can in fact consistently make moves that increase my team's expected VBD. And that state is temporary, since it is typically only a matter of time before my estimate of a player's VBD and other people's valuations of the player come close together. There is a kind of clock which represents how long it will take for them to converge, and with Roddy there is a decent chance that the clock will run a few weeks into next season (although it could be over in as soon as one week, if Roddy has a big game next weekend).

When I don't own a player, that clock represents how long I have until the window to buy low has closed. When I do have a player, it represents how long I'm stuck with reduced roster flexibility.

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If you're looking purely at VBD then you're missing a couple important variables. Namely, what you'll be able to trade the player for both in the future and now. Roddy seems like he's cooked to me and with that perception probably being pretty widespread, I doubt you could get much for him in a trade. A younger player like Randle will hold his value better and you'll have a better chance of packaging him for a truly elite WR if you decide you need to have someone like Patterson or one of the incoming rooks. I've been guilty of living in the future too much at times, but the age paranoia isn't without reason. Untradeable players like Roddy who die on your roster really limit your flexibility. If your team craps out or you spot a rising player you want to acquire, you're SOL.

I typically rank in terms of VBD, and think about fit with my team (roster flexibility, positional needs, whether I'm in win-now mode vs. rebuilding, etc.) when I actually pull the trigger on a deal.

If I think that a player's trade value is less than his VBD, then that's a sign that I should trade for him (provided that he fits with my team). There is a cost with seeking out players who are undervalued, which is that sometimes my roster gets full of players who I see as undervalued and that makes it hard to make trades. But that's a relatively small price to pay, if I can in fact consistently make moves that increase my team's expected VBD. And that state is temporary, since it is typically only a matter of time before my estimate of a player's VBD and other people's valuations of the player come close together. There is a kind of clock which represents how long it will take for them to converge, and with Roddy there is a decent chance that the clock will run a few weeks into next season (although it could be over in as soon as one week, if Roddy has a big game next weekend).

When I don't own a player, that clock represents how long I have until the window to buy low has closed. When I do have a player, it represents how long I'm stuck with reduced roster flexibility.

Sometimes the clock gets stuck on midnight indefinitely. Wes Welker owners have been waiting for 6 years for his trade value to be commensurate to his actual value. Somehow, I doubt they're crying into their Cheerios over their inability to trade him away over that span.

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If I think that a player's trade value is less than his VBD, then that's a sign that I should trade for him (provided that he fits with my team). There is a cost with seeking out players who are undervalued, which is that sometimes my roster gets full of players who I see as undervalued and that makes it hard to make trades. But that's a relatively small price to pay, if I can in fact consistently make moves that increase my team's expected VBD. And that state is temporary, since it is typically only a matter of time before my estimate of a player's VBD and other people's valuations of the player come close together.

I hear what you are saying, but I don't think a pure VBD approach is ever going to be ideal for reasons that I already touched on. If player X will get you 50 VBD and player Y will get your 35 VBD, but in two years you'll be able to trade him for player Z who will get 25 VBD then you're better off with player Y if forced to choose between X and Y. I am always on the lookout for rising players and when I'm saddled with aging stars like Marshall and Fitzgerald it hinders my ability to go out and get the guys I want because the other owners in my leagues don't want to trade for the old players.

I try to treat the players not only as an end, but also as a means to acquire other ends. Just popping ppg numbers into a computer isn't going to tell you much about that side of things. Roddy is an illustrative example. You're probably a little higher on him than most owners. You think he has more career VBD in the tank than his market price would indicate. Even if you're right, I don't think that makes him an automatic buy. His numbers would be pretty useless on a rebuilding team. More importantly, he's a decaying asset who will have very little value as currency in the coming years even if he somehow manages to remain productive. Even if a guy like Randle or Wright is never more than a WR2/WR3, the allure of youth/upside will give you more ability to package those players for something of real value. If you look at your teams more from the perspective of accumulating currency (which I do) and less from the perspective of VBD, you're probably not going to have much interest in getting Roddy White unless he makes perfect sense for your team and you can get a cheap price (i.e. you're an immediate contender with need at WR and someone offers him to you for a mid-late 2nd round rookie pick).

In a vacuum I would rather have Randle even if I knew Roddy was going to outscore him for another year or two (which I doubt btw).

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If I think that a player's trade value is less than his VBD, then that's a sign that I should trade for him (provided that he fits with my team). There is a cost with seeking out players who are undervalued, which is that sometimes my roster gets full of players who I see as undervalued and that makes it hard to make trades. But that's a relatively small price to pay, if I can in fact consistently make moves that increase my team's expected VBD. And that state is temporary, since it is typically only a matter of time before my estimate of a player's VBD and other people's valuations of the player come close together.

I hear what you are saying, but I don't think a pure VBD approach is ever going to be ideal for reasons that I already touched on. If player X will get you 50 VBD and player Y will get your 35 VBD, but in two years you'll be able to trade him for player Z who will get 25 VBD then you're better off with player Y if forced to choose between X and Y. I am always on the lookout for rising players and when I'm saddled with aging stars like Marshall and Fitzgerald it hinders my ability to go out and get the guys I want because the other owners in my leagues don't want to trade for the old players.

Here's the thing: The only way you can trade Player Y for Player Z worth 25 VBD in two years is if the market consensus value of Player Y is 25 VBD two years from now. So, if we expect Player Y to be worth 35 VBD over the next two years, and we expect that we will expect him to be worth 25 VBD two years from now, then he's not a "35 VBD player", he's a "60 VBD player", and he should be preferred over Player X for reasons that have nothing at all to do with his trade value.

Trade value in dynasty leagues is a proxy for actual value. A player's trade value is the market's best estimate of the actual value he will provide for a franchise. In that respect, trade value doesn't serve as the great distinguishing factor that you think it does. Either two players are so close in ACTUAL value over the next two years that one player's ACTUAL value beyond that (not his trade value) pushes him over the top... or one player will provide so much more ACTUAL VALUE over the next two years that it won't matter if he's "used up" at the end of that span, he'll still have been more valuable than another player who will have value remaining. As an example, consider a guy who'll score 60 VBD this year and then retire vs. a second guy who'll score 10 VBD every year for five years. The second guy will have a whole hell of a lot more trade value left at the end of this season, but the first guy will still be dramatically more valuable.

Either way, this is a horse that has been beaten so badly he's practically liquified. I vote we just leave his poor carcass in peace. Both sides have made their cases, neither side is going to say anything to convince the other. Some prefer rankings that anchor much more heavily to anticipated trade value. Others do not.

ETA: I strongly suspect that ZWK would agree with you that the EV of Reuben Randle for the window starting in 2016 is many times greater than the EV of Roddy White for the window starting in 2016. The difference then is that ZWK thinks the EV difference from today until the end of 2015 is so greatly biased in Roddy's favor as to render that difference moot, while you disagree. It has nothing at all to do with one party disregarding trade value, it has everything to do with a fundamental difference of opinion over how the two WRs will produce over the next two seasons. ZWK, feel free to let me know if I'm being a bit too bold in my assumptions, here.

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Here's the thing: The only way you can trade Player Y for Player Z worth 25 VBD in two years is if the market consensus value of Player Y is 25 VBD two years from now.

You touched on a key point, which is that your trade options will be dictated by the market's perceptions. Having played in a variety of fairly competitive dynasty leagues over the past decade, I can say pretty confidently that the market for trendy young prospects is typically a lot more robust than the market for fading stars on the very backslope of their prime. So let's say Roddy and Rueben both have 50 career VBD left in the tank. Which of the two players is likely to be overrated by the market and which of the two is likely to be underrated? I think I know the answer. If you're a pure VBD guy then you're going to see that as further cause for acquiring Roddy. If he's worth more points than his price tag then he's a slam dunk buy, right?

What I'm saying is that it isn't that simple. Rueben can actually be worth a lot less, but if people are likely to think he's worth a lot at some point in the future then he might be the better buy because of the flexibility that he affords you. Specific cases are highly debatable, but there's no debate when it comes to the general principle. If you could somehow know with 100% certainty that player X with less functional value, but more perceived value than player Y would give you the opportunity to acquire player Z with far more functional value than either then player X is the correct choice if forced to select between X and Y. That's not really up for debate.

The questionable aspect of it is how accurately anyone can actually make these spots and act accordingly. I would say results are very mixed there. When teams in my league have managed to corral an insane amount of VBD on one roster it was usually because they worked the market well and not because they sat back and merely collected higher VBD players. To give you a concrete example, JPeso (sometimes posts on these boards) traded me Brandon Marshall for my Hakeem Nicks back in 2010. It looks like I "won" the VBD side of that deal, but...Peso turned around a few months later and packaged Nicks with AJ Green and Vernon Davis for Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, and Aaron Hernandez. And, partially on the strength of those players, he won the league in 2011 or 2012.

So did I "win" the Nicks trade because I got the higher value player or did I lose because I missed the opportunity to convert Nicks into someone who should have even more career VBD than Marshall (or who at least has more market value and buying power)? I would rather have Marshall than Nicks, but I would rather have Dez than Marshall. From a certain perspective I lost that deal even though I won it. Of course, it's pretty unlikely that I would've sought out a deal if I'd kept Nicks. I might have been stuck with him and ended up with a much worse outcome than I got by landing Marshall. Nobody is psychic and it's not realistic to expect anyone to constantly buy/sell the right players at the right time.

However, I'll always pop up to point out the importance of perceived value because it's a significant factor that must be considered. If one player is going to score more points than another player, but the other player gives you more potential to acquire superior value down the road then you should heavily consider going with the inferior scorer. This is the logic behind ranking a guy like Christine Michael ahead of a guy like Marshawn Lynch. It isn't that he's a lock to score more points. It's that he's likely to achieve a higher perceived value at some point in the next 1-2 seasons than Lynch will ever have for the rest of his career and at that point you'll have the option of either A.) keeping him if you think he's legit or B.) cashing out for more value than Marshawn ever would've landed you.

Again, there are specific cases where the simple VBD approach is going to kill the stock market approach, but the reverse is also true at times. The ideal strategy (even if it's purely theoretical and nearly impossible in practice) would obviously be a mixture of both. So sticking your fingers in your ears is not the solution.

Edited by EBF
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I try to add value (roughly, expected VBD) to my roster with every trade that I make. There are two obvious ways to do this:

1. acquire players that are undervalued (their market value is less than my estimate of their expected VBD)

2. trade away players on my roster that are overvalued (their market value is more than my estimate of their expected VBD)

I mostly focus on #1, since opportunities for #2 are much rarer than opportunities for #1 (the number of overvalued players who are on my roster is always going to be much less than the number of undervalued players who are not on my roster). So I put a lot of my attention into identifying undervalued players, and I have various theories to help me do it (e.g., injured players are often undervalued).

There is a third thing that someone could do:

3. acquire players that are not overvalued now, but that are likely to become overvalued in the future (their market value will be more than my estimate at that time of their expected VBD)

If you're trading to acquire future trade value, then it seems like you're doing #3 in the hopes of setting up #2. That sounds harder than just doing #1, because you need to predict errors in market value in advance (rather than just identifying them when they happen).

But maybe it's doable, if you have some systematic theories or heuristics about when players tend to be overvalued, which depend on predictable underlying factors.

For example, one plausible theory is that middling RBs who were starters as rookies tend to be overvalued in the offseason after their rookie year. So you could try to acquire RBs with a chance to be rookie starters, looking to flip them after the season. So you'd be looking for the next Steve Slaton, Julius Jones, etc., so that you can watch their value rise and then trade them away. Unfortunately for this approach to exploiting market inefficiencies, mid-round rookie RBs with immediate opportunity (Zac Stacy, Delone Carter, etc.) are often valued pretty highly in rookie drafts, which suggests that the margins are fairly thin (unless you can find RBs with opportunity who slip between the cracks).

Another theory is that hot WR prospects who don't pan out tend to retain their market value for too long. So you can buy them young, with the knowledge that you can get a large chunk of your investment back by selling quickly in case they don't pan out. But I don't actually have much confidence in this theory. It seems like many young WRs have seen their market value drop quite quickly (e.g., A.J. Jenkins, Brian Quick), and some had their market value drop too far before rebounding when their performance improved (e.g., Mike Williams, Golden Tate). I'm not convinced that anyone can do much better than the market at identifying when to sell, which makes it hard to profit by buying these guys in advance.

Alternatively, instead of using this combo of #3 & #2 in order to add value to your roster, you could just try to avoid costing yourself value by avoiding players that are likely to become undervalued in the future. That is a relevant consideration, but it seems lower priority since 1) it's usually just a matter of time before the market sorts itself out, and 2) you can just start the guy - the VBD of a player who is undervalued by the market is worth just as much as anyone else's. So instead of incorporating this into my rankings, I think about it mostly as subissue for roster fit. If it makes sense for me to have this guy as a starter on my roster, then concerns about future trade value aren't that important.

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I try to add value (roughly, expected VBD) to my roster with every trade that I make. There are two obvious ways to do this:

1. acquire players that are undervalued (their market value is less than my estimate of their expected VBD)

2. trade away players on my roster that are overvalued (their market value is more than my estimate of their expected VBD)

There is a third thing that someone could do:

3. acquire players that are not overvalued now, but that are likely to become overvalued in the future (their market value will be more than my estimate at that time of their expected VBD)

If you're trading to acquire future trade value, then it seems like you're doing #3 in the hopes of setting up #2. That sounds harder than just doing #1, because you need to predict errors in market value in advance (rather than just identifying them when they happen).

It's always going to distill down to #1 and/or #2. Even if you treat players as trade currency and not as units of production, you are still trying to buy below actual value and sell above it. The difference is that you're considering the player as a means to other ends and not purely as an end. It actually goes back to #1. If I know that there are going to be undervalued players out there every season then I need ammunition to acquire those players. If nobody is willing to pay anything of note for my VBD collection of Welker, Roddy, and Fitz then I've possibly just lost out on an opportunity to pull off a #1 because I had a roster full of ugly ducklings. Even if they're productive, the fact that nobody else values them at their actual value prevents me from exchanging them.

If certain groups of players (proven stars on the tail end of their prime) are chronically undervalued and other groups of players (trendy prospects who flash potential) are chronically overvalued then I think you have to factor that into your roster decisions. It's been my experience that you can't get fair value for aging stars most of the time. That's great if you're buying those guys or you're happy holding them, but not so great if you find yourself wanting to ship them out.

As far as your #3 is concerned, I'm not really a big proponent of buying players that I don't believe in. The one thing I'll say with regards to predicting future market inefficiencies is that there seems to be a pretty consistent error in the market where players are perceived to have a static value between ages 21-26 even though their actual value is dropping every week. Look at LeSean Mccoy. Probably half his prime is done and dusted, but he's still valued approximately the same (or higher) than he would've been 3 years ago. Knowing that good young players are going to hold their value like this gives you a bit of a built-in #3 when you're buying them early in their career because you're working with the assumption that you'll be able to ride the wave for a few years and then eventually sell when they're no longer worth what people are paying. It's still fundamentally a #1/#2. Buying the player when he's undervalued and then eventually selling him when he's overvalued. The difference is that you're anticipating that moment from the get-go.

With a player who's already on the tail end of his prime, you're not going to get that free ride. If anything, people excessively downgrade old players, so you're basically signing up for the reverse. Buying a player knowing that he's about to become undervalued. That is obviously problematic if you have any intentions to shuffle the deck.

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The fantasy football player "market" is highly illiquid. There is only one of each player, with one owner of that player, so the trade value can vary greatly from league to league and owner to owner. I know there are tons of players I've tried to get throughout the years but just haven't been able to, simply because the other owner either hardly trades or has an unreasonable view of the players' value.

It's the main reason that I don't use the "stock market" approach to FF very often- it just doesn't work that way in practice (unfortunately).

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On to the desolate wasteland of dynasty running back.

Here's a fun (by which I mean disturbing) puzzle: try to predict who the top 12 fantasy RBs will be in 2015. Or even worse, 2016. There aren't a lot of guys who you can be confident in - almost everyone has some mixture of old, "yikes!", "meh", or an extremely brief list of NFL accomplishments. If I had to include 12 names of the guys most likely to be there in 2015, I'm tempted to include both Marshawn Lynch and Christine Michael, even though the chances of them both doing it are rather small.

The top two RBs in my preseason rankings both looked like the worst running back on their team this year (though only one of the two was traded and demoted, and also gained an extra year of age). There may be a lesson in there about being cautious with your rankings of rookie RBs, but if there is I apparently did not learn it - as you can see by looking at my top 5, or my top 20.

Age is as of 12/1/13. Prev shows my 8/3/13 ranking.

Tr Rk Player Team Age Prev

1 1 LeSean McCoy PHI 25.4 (4)
2 2 Jamaal Charles KC 27.0 (3)
2 3 Doug Martin TB 24.9 (2)

3 4 Giovani Bernard CIN 22.0 (17)
3 5 Eddie Lacy GB 23.5 (16)
3 6 Alfred Morris WAS 25.0 (9)

3 7 Adrian Peterson MIN 28.7 (6)
4 8 C.J. Spiller BUF 26.4 (5)
4 9 Matt Forte CHI 28.0 (10)
4 10 Stevan Ridley NE 24.9 (13)
4 11 Ray Rice BAL 26.9 (7)
4 12 Marshawn Lynch SEA 27.7 (12)
4 13 DeMarco Murray DAL 25.8 (14)
5 14 Trent Richardson CLE 23.4 (1)
5 15 Christine Michael SEA 23.1 (28)
5 16 David Wilson NYG 22.5 (11)
5 17 Le'Veon Bell PIT 21.8 (25)
5 18 Ben Tate HOU 25.3 (29)
6 19 Zac Stacy STL 22.7 (50)
6 20 Montee Ball DEN 23.0 (20)
6 21 Arian Foster HOU 27.3 (8)
6 22 Lamar Miller MIA 22.7 (22)
6 23 Knowshon Moreno DEN 26.4 (57)
7 24 Chris Johnson TEN 28.2 (21)
7 25 Reggie Bush DET 28.8 (26)
7 26 Chris Ivory NYJ 25.7 (24)

7 27 Ryan Mathews SD 26.2 (18)
7 28 Andre Ellington ARI 24.8 (72)
7 29 Shane Vereen NE 24.8 (31)
7 30 Darren McFadden OAK 26.3 (15)
7 31 Jonathan Stewart CAR 26.7 (34)
7 32 Andre Brown NYG 27.0 (40)
8 33 Mark Ingram NO 24.0 (36)
8 34 Frank Gore SF 30.6 (30)
8 35 Bernard Pierce BAL 24.0 (33)
8 36 Pierre Thomas NO 29.0 (41)
8 37 Darren Sproles NO 30.5 (32)
8 38 Danny Woodhead SD 29.0 (58)
8 39 Maurice Jones-Drew JAX 28.7 (19)
8 40 Marcus Lattimore SF 22.1 (37)
8 41 Bryce Brown PHI 22.6 (38)
8 42 Rashad Jennings OAK 28.7 unr
8 43 Donald Brown IND 26.7 unr
8 44 Bobby Rainey TB 26.1 unr
8 45 Fred Jackson BUF 32.8 (66)
8 46 Joique Bell DET 27.3 unr
8 47 Rashard Mendenhall ARI 26.5 (27)
8 48 Ahmad Bradshaw IND 27.8 (35)
8 49 DeAngelo Williams CAR 30.7 (46)
8 50 Steven Jackson ATL 30.4 (23)
9 51 Kendall Hunter SF 24.3 (53)
9 52 Roy Helu WAS 25.0 (59)
9 53 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL 23.9 (68)
9 54 Denard Robinson JAX 23.2 (62)
9 55 Vick Ballard IND 23.4 (49)
9 56 Knile Davis KC 22.2 (45)
9 57 Latavius Murray OAK 22.8 (63)
9 58 Robert Turbin SEA 24.0 (43)
9 59 Dion Lewis CLE 23.2 unr
9 60 C.J. Anderson DEN 22.8 unr
9 61 Ronnie Hillman DEN 22.3 (47)
9 62 Toby Gerhart MIN 26.7 (55)
10 63 Shonn Greene TEN 28.3 (69)
10 64 Chris Ogbonnaya CLE 27.6 unr
10 65 Bilal Powell NYJ 25.1 (71)
10 66 Mike James TB 22.7 unr
10 67 Johnathan Franklin GB 24.1 (39)
10 68 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN 28.5 (52)
10 69 Joseph Randle DAL 21.9 (67)
10 70 LaMichael James SF 24.2 (54)
10 71 Daryl Richardson STL 23.7 (48)
10 72 Isaiah Pead STL 24.0 (44)
10 73 Jonathan Dwyer PIT 24.4 (74)
10 74 Daniel Thomas MIA 26.1 unr
10 75 Brandon Bolden NE 23.9 (60)

Note the tier drops near the top. My opinion of Christine Michael & Ben Tate has not actually changed much since the start of the season - they have risen mostly through attrition.

Tier 1: This is the place for RBs who are really good (fantasy top 5 caliber), young (under 26), and safe-ish (healthyish, little doubt that they're top 10-15 in the NFL). In other words, LeSean McCoy.

Tier 2: Charles's only knock is his age, which is pushing 27. Mike James and Bobby Rainey's big games highlight Martin's risk, but also his upside if he retains the Tampa workhorse job.

Tier 3: Bernard & Lacy both check a lot of the boxes. I liked them both predraft. Effective runners this year according to advanced stats (PFF's elusiveness rating, FO's DVOA and success rate). Good situations. Borderline fantasy RB1's this year. Likely borderline first round picks in redraft next year. It feels crazy to have these two second rounders in the top 5 with such a brief track record, but they have a lot going for them and who else am I going to put there?

Tier 4: It's interesting that some folks are attributing Rice's rough year to age-related decline, but I don't hear anyone saying that about Spiller. They're only half a year apart. I'm inclined to blame them both on playing through injuries, plus Baltimore's OL troubles. Lynch would be at the top of this tier if I was convinced that he'd hold onto his role for the next 2 years, but I can't be confident in that with Michael in the wings and Lynch's contract on a team that may be seeking cap space.

Tier 5: These are the guys with youth and upside, without an impressive track record.

Tier 6: Stacy's performance so far this year is close to Bernard and Lacy's, but with such a limited track record the boxes the other unchecked boxes (lack pedigree) are still rather weighty. Arian Foster is hurt in part by the decline of Houston's running offense, which saps his upside. Going into the offseason, Montee Ball will be in a fairly similar position to where he was last offseason, with limited talent (I suspect) but a decent shot at getting a couple years in the high-value role of RB1 in an elite Peyton Manning offense. Moreno is probably headed out of town given the Denver cap situation - his ranking could easily move up 10 spots or down 20 depending on the offseason.

Tier 7: This tier is full of disappointment, but it's still a place where you might find your RB2 for the next couple years.

Tier 8: Stopgap RB2s, plus guys with a reasonable shot at eventually getting a starting job and becoming RB2s for a little while. If you can get any of these guys for cheap, then it's worth collecting as many of the under 28-year-olds as you can (and the older guys would make nice cheap additions if you need a starter right now).

Tier 9: Looking down the depth chart, these are mostly the guys on a team whose starting RB spot is unsettled, creating a potential opening for next season.

Tier 10: And the rest.

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8 35 Bernard Pierce BAL 24.0 (33)

8 41 Bryce Brown PHI 22.6 (38)

9 56 Knile Davis KC 22.2 (45)

9 62 Toby Gerhart MIN 26.7 (55)

10 63 Shonn Greene TEN 28.3 (69)

Outside of rookies and established players, I think these guys are interesting. I had Michael/Pierce/Brown rated pretty closely in the offseason. I agree that Michael has separated from the pack a bit since then. I think he was RB12 on my list and I would maybe prefer him to guys like Peteterson and Forte for certain rosters. Pierce and Brown look like potential (maybe even likely) starting caliber talents as well. It may take a couple years, but I expect them to push for an expanded role eventually. With Bryce probably being the cheapest of that lot now, he might be the best buy target. If I could get him for a 2nd round rookie pick I would feel pretty good about it. Might give a late 1st, but it would probably depend on who's out there in the rookie draft.

I like Gerhart as a low cost flyer. Free agent this offseason. Maybe good enough to land a decent role for a couple seasons.

I don't really like Knile Davis subjectively, but...he was a high draft pick and he's with a coach who gets great production out of his backs. I don't know that he'll ever be a starter in the league (I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't end up being Charles's long term replacement), but people are so down on him that maybe he's worth a cheap punt.

Greene could be a stopgap RB2 for a year or two if Chris Johnson is jettisoned in the offseason. I don't know how likely that is, but I read that Tennessee could entertain the idea of cutting him. Not much to get excited about, but if you just need a warm body in a deep league he's another candidate.

Not so high on guys like Andre Brown, Donald Brown, Chris Ivory, and Rashad Jennings. Here today, gone tomorrow IMO. Only exception might be Andre if he can somehow stay healthy, which he most likely can't based on his injury history. Guy is the Danario Alexander of RBs.

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8 35 Bernard Pierce BAL 24.0 (33)

8 41 Bryce Brown PHI 22.6 (38)

9 56 Knile Davis KC 22.2 (45)

9 62 Toby Gerhart MIN 26.7 (55)

10 63 Shonn Greene TEN 28.3 (69)

Outside of rookies and established players, I think these guys are interesting. I had Michael/Pierce/Brown rated pretty closely in the offseason. I agree that Michael has separated from the pack a bit since then. I think he was RB12 on my list and I would maybe prefer him to guys like Peteterson and Forte for certain rosters. Pierce and Brown look like potential (maybe even likely) starting caliber talents as well. It may take a couple years, but I expect them to push for an expanded role eventually. With Bryce probably being the cheapest of that lot now, he might be the best buy target. If I could get him for a 2nd round rookie pick I would feel pretty good about it. Might give a late 1st, but it would probably depend on who's out there in the rookie draft.

I like Gerhart as a low cost flyer. Free agent this offseason. Maybe good enough to land a decent role for a couple seasons.

I don't really like Knile Davis subjectively, but...he was a high draft pick and he's with a coach who gets great production out of his backs. I don't know that he'll ever be a starter in the league (I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't end up being Charles's long term replacement), but people are so down on him that maybe he's worth a cheap punt.

Greene could be a stopgap RB2 for a year or two if Chris Johnson is jettisoned in the offseason. I don't know how likely that is, but I read that Tennessee could entertain the idea of cutting him. Not much to get excited about, but if you just need a warm body in a deep league he's another candidate.

Not so high on guys like Andre Brown, Donald Brown, Chris Ivory, and Rashad Jennings. Here today, gone tomorrow IMO. Only exception might be Andre if he can somehow stay healthy, which he most likely can't based on his injury history. Guy is the Danario Alexander of RBs.

Ivory is looking like he may take hold of the lead RB role for NYJ, like a lot of people thought he would when he signed there. 73/352/2 over the last 4 games, while Powell has put up 27/81/0 over the same stretch. That's worth a spot ahead of the old RB2s and the not-so-exciting prospects.

Before the season I had Christine Michael a tier ahead of Pierce, and Pierce a tier ahead of Bryce Brown. That was based on my perceptions of their talent, which are still roughly the same. On Bryce Brown in particular, see my post earlier on this page comparing him to Knile Davis. This season, Pierce & Bryce Brown have both done pretty badly. Pierce at least has the excuse of an awful O Line and a backfieldmate with similarly poor numbers; not so with Bryce Brown.

Andre Brown (who I had near Bryce preseason) has seen his competition falter (unlike Bryce) and looked pretty good when he's played. He's somewhat comparable to Chris Ivory, but more injury prone, a bit older, and with more competition on his current team (plus a contract that is running out).

Looking at similar guys, I think I'm underrating Lattimore (who I have listed at #40, one spot ahead of Bryce Brown). He should be up at the top of tier 8, or even low tier 7. Seems a bit more promising than Bryce Brown in a vacuum, and his competition is Gore & Hunter rather than McCoy.

On Rashad Jennings & Donald Brown: how low can you go with them? They both look like the best RB on their team right now, and could justify their RB40ish ranking just by being solid RB2s the rest of the way. Just look at some of the old guys around them in the rankings. Their modest chance at future value is a bit of a bonus over the Fred Jackson types.

I share some of your intrigue for Knile Davis & Gerhart. I think I was higher than you on Davis preseason, but I have been unimpressed with what he has done on the field this year. I have Gerhart at the bottom of tier 9 because, even though he has a better chance of being a top 30 fantasy RB than several of the guys ahead of him, his odds of being a top 12 fantasy RB are not so good (compared to people like C.J. Anderson or Latavius Murray).

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I may have been guilty of overrating Bryce a little bit, but his background is pretty unique. His college career was basically nonexistent. 101 carries as a true freshman at Tennessee and 3 carries for Kansas State. It's kind of a miracle that he got drafted at all. The guy is sorely lacking in game experience, which I think explains some of his bad habits and inconsistency. From a certain perspective, he's basically a college freshman or sophomore in terms of his skill development. Just hasn't played very much football yet, so what you're seeing is pretty raw and unrefined. Maybe he gets a little better with experience. There's an interesting foundation there for a coach to work with because he has a solid size/speed combo and seems to cut pretty well for a bigger back.

I think guys like D Brown, Jennings, and Ivory are at constant risk of replacement because they're mediocre talents. I just don't like to invest in mediocre talents in dynasty. Maybe if the draft comes and goes without event those guys will start to look pretty solid, but right now I just view them as placeholders.

Andre Brown is a slightly different beast. I don't think he's capable of staying healthy. Moreover, there's risk there with Wilson and with NYG maybe drafting a new face. I would rather have him than Jennings or Donald Brown, but he's a luxury item. When healthy, he might be startable. He's just not going to be healthy most of the time.

I think I had Lattimore about where you have him on my list. There's upside there. I also think his talent has been exaggerated and his injury risk is severe.

My interest in Gerhart is mainly in deep leagues. He's obviously not some kind of world beater talent. I agree that RB1 upside is a big stretch. On the other hand, if any coach is crazy enough to feed him the ball, he can produce good stats. Just look at LeVeon Bell. Another big back with quality receiving ability for his size. Gerhart is no worse than him from a talent standpoint. If he can luck into a similar role he can put up numbers. More likely is low end RB2 or bye week value.

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The fantasy football player "market" is highly illiquid. There is only one of each player, with one owner of that player, so the trade value can vary greatly from league to league and owner to owner. I know there are tons of players I've tried to get throughout the years but just haven't been able to, simply because the other owner either hardly trades or has an unreasonable view of the players' value.

It's the main reason that I don't use the "stock market" approach to FF very often- it just doesn't work that way in practice (unfortunately).

Different leagues will have differing stock markets. The key is understanding what your league over and under values. In some of mine, picks are by far the most over values asset. In others, they come at a reasonable price. In some, IDPs are second rate citizens, in others they are more equal with offense. Position values are all over the place.

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For EBF on his Marshall for Nicks deal. How do you know that NIcks was the key to that deal and the other owner does not take it with Marshall also in the deal and maybe give a little more. That 2nd trade really is irrelevant because you are making too many assumptions. Put Marshall in for Nicks in that deal and the team getting Marshall, Green and Davis wins that deal and maybe wins a championship instead of Peso. Plus does Peso win the league because of that trade or because of other factors. You won the deal for your team and it was not close in the end. You have got way more points and will continue to get more points from Marshall than Nicks and the age factor I dont think will ever catch up.

Knile davis is ranked way too low. NOt sure what you are seeing that you dont like but I watched the game vs Denver and while he only had a few touches, he looked very good getting them. He has to have touches and they will come sooner or later. He is a buy candidate IMO and in 2 years from now we could be talking the same value as LeSean Mccoy who is #1 on your list. I take him over the Browns, Pierce, Gerhart or even Michael right now if looking purely to the future. MIchael is close and why I would rank him 2nd in all of these players. Lamar Miller is another guy I like higher than you have ranked. I think way more talented than a guy like Montee Ball. Right now his situation sucks but again about the future. Ball is not winning you anything right now either. If you want to win now, you probably go Stacy but is he a difference maker. Miller is the most talented out of these guys and will be used right somewhere down the road. I think Miami has new management in place next year and than watch out. Even though I do hate RB and think it is some a crap shoot at this point in time. I also prefer Vereen to Ridley especially in PPR. Ridley makes way too many mistakes all the time.

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On Montee Ball: If it was announced tomorrow that Knowshon Moreno is out for the rest of the season, then Montee Ball's value in redraft leagues would skyrocket. He is Moreno's clear backup, and the presumptive next man up, and he'd be stepping into a role that has made McGahee & Moreno RB1s over the past two seasons.

Looking ahead to next season there is a bunch of uncertainty, but the most likely scenario is essentially that. Moreno is gone, Manning and the offense keep dominating, and Ball steps up to the RB1 role where he follows in the footsteps of Addai & Moreno. And if that happens, then Ball is clearly the back to own over Lamar Miller or Zac Stacy. Even though he's not a special talent (on talent alone, I ranked him last out of last year's five 2nd round RBs).

Of course there are lots of other things that could happen - Moreno sticks around, Anderson or Hillman wins the job, a rookie or free agent RB takes over, value-killing RB committee, Manning retires, Manning declines, etc. Which is why Ball is only 20th.

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Knile davis is ranked way too low. NOt sure what you are seeing that you dont like but I watched the game vs Denver and while he only had a few touches, he looked very good getting them. He has to have touches and they will come sooner or later. He is a buy candidate IMO and in 2 years from now we could be talking the same value as LeSean Mccoy who is #1 on your list. I take him over the Browns, Pierce, Gerhart or even Michael right now if looking purely to the future. MIchael is close and why I would rank him 2nd in all of these players.

I understand liking a guy like Knile Davis, but thinking he has even a minuscule chance of holding RB1 value within 2 years is pretty out there. He was a late 3rd round pick, he hasn't done anything exceptional thus far, and most importantly, he's behind 26 year old Jamaal Charles. In two years Davis will still be caddying for Jamaal Charles barring some type of unpredictable catastrophic injury.

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Didn't notice Dennis Johnson on the list. He is a must stash IMO since Ben Tate is all but gone and Arian Foster going on his 34,000 carry in 4 years. If Houston struggles next year like they have this year and decides to pack it up he could be next in line.

Thoughts?

Edited by starks
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I hope you don't mind the constructive criticism because I do appreciate the list, I just disagree with a few things.

Wide receivers.

Josh Gordon - too low in my opinion, I would put him 6 and move everyone else down 1. He has showing that is he is going to be quarterback proof for the next 5 or 6 years. There is a chance Cleveland deals him still, and I think teams would be more interested in the off season when he has a chance to learn the play book.

Pierre Garcon - too high, he is doing all his damage on volume. Washington will bring in more talent to help RG3 in the off season. Nicks, Decker, even Reed will have another year under his belt and should be better.

Kenaan Allen - too low. I think he is way to low. I would put him top 15 right now. He is a rookie and having his up and downs, but has already shown he is going to be a number 1 receiver on a team with a lot of weapons and Rivers is coming back to his former self.

Roddy White - too high. He might be a wr1 or 2 for the rest of the year but I think he will be a wr3 starting next year and beyond and with his age he should be in the 40's.

Eric Decker - too low. Why does everyone think that when Peyton retires, him and Julius Thomas are going to just be awful? We have no idea where he may end up or how good Brock might be. People give Peyton too much credit. Did Reggie Wayne fall off the face of the planet when Peyton left? Did Garcon when he went to Washington? You don't have to have a top 2 or 3 quarterback to be a valuable fantasy commodity. I am not saying he will be as good as Jordy, but this is the same thing people said about him the last few years. His 15 touchdown year was a fluke, he couldn't handle being the number 1 receive when Jennings left, then he couldn't, hold off Cobb and Jones.

Rueben Randle - too low, the guy is showing flashes already and Nicks is basically gone. This guy has wr2 written all over him and the upside to be a wr1.

Kenny Stills - too low, it is going to take a couple years but he is going to be a solid wr3 with the upside as a wr2 when Moore and Colston go.

Running backs

Stevan Ridley - too high, the fumbling is going to kill him. If Vereen can stay healthy Ridley's ceiling is going to be a low end rb2 like the Law Firm was.

Christine Micheal - too high, I love his talent but I wouldn't pay running back 2 price for a guy that still isn't even the primary back up to Lynch. Maybe next year but not yet.

David Wilson - too high, I love him too, but this neck thing sounds too serious, I wouldn't pay rb2 price for him until he shows he is healthy.

Leveon Bell - too low, I would put him borderline top 10. There just aren't very many bell cows anymore and he is a good receiver.

Zack Stacy - too low, I would put him just after Bell for the same reasons.

Moreno - too high, his days are numbered in Denver and Ball is actually starting to show something. He would have to go to the perfect place to still put up numbers.

Shane Vereen - too low, if he can stay healthy he will be a rb2 easily.

As a side note I think people say Rice is near the edge because of age because of his workload, Spiller on the other hand is close to his age but his workload is way less. Rice is near or over 2000 carries with playoffs, I believe Spiller is still under 500 for his career.

Edited by msudaisy26
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Didn't notice Dennis Johnson on the list. He is a must stash IMO since Ben Tate is all but gone and Arian Foster going on his 34,000 carry in 4 years. If Houston struggles next year like they have this year and decides to pack it up he could be next in line.

Thoughts?

He's worth a stash, but let's not act like its impossible that Houston drafts a RB or signs some depth in free agency during the upcoming offseason.

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The fantasy football player "market" is highly illiquid. There is only one of each player, with one owner of that player, so the trade value can vary greatly from league to league and owner to owner. I know there are tons of players I've tried to get throughout the years but just haven't been able to, simply because the other owner either hardly trades or has an unreasonable view of the players' value.

It's the main reason that I don't use the "stock market" approach to FF very often- it just doesn't work that way in practice (unfortunately).

Different leagues will have differing stock markets. The key is understanding what your league over and under values. In some of mine, picks are by far the most over values asset. In others, they come at a reasonable price. In some, IDPs are second rate citizens, in others they are more equal with offense. Position values are all over the place.

Yeah, that's my point. It's not just league specific either, most leagues have a variety of owners who place very different values on assets.

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  • ZWK changed the title to ZWK's Dynasty Rankings (WR updated April 2021)

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