Notes on the TMR's updated rankings
So I've updated my rankings, the first of many updates I'll make before the season kicks off. Some things haven't changed: They are still geared toward the ESPN standard 10 team, 16 man roster league. Which means, at most, 160 players will be drafted. As I outlined in the 2012 Draft Day Manifesto , I never pick a defense or a kicker before the last two rounds, so that is why picks 141-160 are defenses and kickers, in that order.
However, I know many of you play in 12 team leagues (12x16=192), so I have rounded this up to a top 200. If you do play in a 12-team league, then move the defense and kicker rankings down to slots 181-200, and you're on your own for the additional pairs of kickers and defenses. I'd much rather rank an extra couple of backs and wide receivers that might actually stick to your roster longer than through your Week 1 matchup.
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The rankings also follow the basic tenets that I outlined in the Manifesto. To sum up; there's a premium on elite quarterbacks and, to a lesser extent, tight ends. The running back position is full of question marks. If a player has the job basically all to and there aren't a lot of health or skills questions, I value that more than I do a "better" running back in a time-share. It's among the reasons I am higher on BenJarvus Green-Ellis than many other might be. Finally, wide receiver this year is crazy deep. Perhaps that's no more evident in Calvin Johnson being ranked at 10. Make no mistake, he is Mega, it's right there in his name and everything, but knowing how deep wide receiver is, I find it very hard to grab any, even the best one, before the very end of the first round. And truthfully, he won't be on any team of mine in a draft league this year.
Maurice Jones-Drew's holdout (which give me flashbacks to Chris Johnson's last season) drops MJD to the second round for me, and the Adrian Peterson ranking is a total stab in the dark. That will change a million times between now and the first game.
I always say use these rankings as a loose guideline. Every draft is different, as is every team construction. In places where I grouped guys of the same position, it's my way of saying "Hey, I value them all about the same." But I will use these rankings to make a statement. Yes, if I were drafting today, I would take BenJarvus Green-Ellis over Frank Gore. I just think Gore is done (and has significant downside) and while the Law Firm's upside is severely limited, his downside (without injury) is as well. Total volume play.
The scariest running back time-shares for me?; It starts with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, of course, and they are that low not based on talent but merely on the idea that I can't imagine a scenario (barring injury to one of them) that I would ever feel confident starting them on any given Sunday. Same for the Redskins running backs. I've heard reports of all three running with the first team and I do believe, at some point this season, all three will be the "starting running back" for the Redskins. And worthy of starting. But I also think there's gonna be a lot of shuffling going on and I don't trust Mike Shanahan as far as I can throw him.
Doug Martin and Jamaal Charles are the two biggest risers based on news out of camps but there's been a lot of movement based on news and frankly, my own trends in doing mock drafts. There's exceptions in a few places, but in general, I value safe early and upside later.
Questions about the ranks? Ask away on Facebook and Twitter. You'll find links to both on this page.
2012 Fantasy Football Draft Kit
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Profiles and Projections for 2012
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The Talented Mr. Roto
• Mock 1: 10-team standard (May 7)
• Mock 2: 12-team standard (June 14)
• Mock 3: 12-team PPR (July 17)
• Mock 4: 10-team standard (Aug. 7)
• Mock 5: 10-team, 2 QBs (Aug. 13)
• Mock 6: 10-team auction (Aug. 21)
• Mock 7: 12-team standard (Aug. 29)
• Twitter Mock Draft
Geico Fantasy Draft Special Podcast
• Top 2012 storylines: 20 to 11 (Aug. 3)
• Top 2012 storylines: 10 to 1 (Aug. 7)
• Quarterback preview (Aug. 10)
• Running back preview (Aug. 17)
• Wide receiver preview (Aug. 21)
• TE, D/ST, K preview (Aug. 28)
• Injury updates: QB | RB | WR | TE
• Staff sleepers and busts
• Top faces in new places
• Are TEs worthy of flex consideration?
• Ten hotly debated players for 2012
• Does the two-QB approach work?
• Better predicting kickers' values
• Don't overanalyze strength of schedule
• How to use value-based drafting
• Will Cam Newton repeat his rookie success?
• Metrics to consider in finding IDP breakouts
• Streaming D/ST units
• Finding potential rebound candidates
• Harris' 10 flag-planted players for 2012
• Harris' super-deep sleepers for 2012
• C.J. Spiller's effect on Fred Jackson's value
• Where should Trent Richardson be drafted?
• Will Green-Ellis' TD success continue?
• Ben Tate's impact on Arian Foster's value
• Will Cruz, Nelson fall back to earth?
• Is Jones-Drew poised for drop-off?
• When to draft Darren McFadden
• Demaryius Thomas or Eric Decker?
• Are Panthers RBs unstartable?
• How much will Gore's fantasy value decline?
• How will Charles, Hillis split workload in KC?
• When should you draft Adrian Peterson?
• Rivers' new favorite WR: Meachem or Floyd?
• Vincent Jackson's impact with new team
• Choosing between Bryant and Austin
• The polarizing Michael Turner
• Roddy White or Julio Jones?
• Lloyd effect on Pats' other receivers
• Will any one Patriots RB emerge in 2012?
• Making sense of Saints backfield
• Can you trust DeMarco Murray?
• What is Tim Tebow's value with the Jets?
• Assessing the values of Bucs RBs
• Can Robert Griffin III match Cam Newton?
• Joyner: Underrated PPR WRs for 2012
• Karabell: Top 35 rookies for 2012
• Kiper: Keeper-league targets
• Joyner: Underrated WRs for 2012
• Joyner: Underrated RBs for 2012
• Kiper: Fantasy rookies to target, avoid
• Joyner: Underrated QBs for 2012
• Karabell: Will DeSean Jackson bounce back?
• Joyner: How O-Lines impact QBs in fantasy
• Karabell: Reggie Bush outlook
• Karabell: Early ADP trends
• Karabell: Redskins RB situation
• Joyner: Undervalued, overvalued RBs
• Karabell: Be wary of Steve Smith
• Joyner: Why CJ2K will be top fantasy RB
• Joyner: Five breakout players in 2012
• Karabell: Five keeper-league targets
• Adrian Peterson outlook
• Peyton Manning's health
• Peyton Manning expectations
• Darren McFadden outlook
• Andre Johnson's health
• Projecting Cam Newton
• Second-tier RBs to consider
• Arian Foster versus Ray Rice
• Will DeSean Jackson bounce back?
• Michael Vick expectations
• Mark Sanchez versus Tim Tebow
• Will Rob Gronkowski repeat as top TE?
• Where to draft Gronkowski, Graham
• Aaron Hernandez expectations
• Can RG3 match Newton's rookie season?
• Will Jamaal Charles return to form?
• DeMarco Murray outlook
• Is Beanie Wells being undervalued?
• Rashard Mendenhall versus Isaac Redman
• How will Drew Brees handle turmoil in NO?
• Why has Matt Schaub's ranking fallen?
• Is this the year Matt Ryan breaks out?
• Tight end sleepers for 2012
• Jonathan Stewart versus DeAngelo Williams
• Which rookie RBs could surprise?
• Demaryius Thomas versus Eric Decker
• Better late pick: Rookie WR or Randy Moss?
• Is Jordy Nelson's TD total repeatable?
• Is Eli Manning an elite fantasy QB?
• Will Philip Rivers bounce back in 2012?
• Can Victor Cruz repeat his breakout 2011?
• Andrew Luck's short- and long-term value
• Expectations for Trent Richardson
• Will Julio Jones outperform Roddy White?
• Is it wise to draft a QB early?
• Will Reggie Bush repeat his 2011 numbers?
• Brandon Marshall expectations