Commentary

The Big Rotowski: Addai leaps into top 10

Updated: November 18, 2008, 11:57 AM ET
By Christopher Harris | ESPN.com

Editor's Note: These rankings are meant to capture fantasy value from today through the end of the NFL regular season. We'll publish them every Tuesday during the season to help you decide about trades and waiver-wire acquisitions; as such, this list won't always reflect news that comes out later in the week. And remember, every Wednesday you'll find week-specific rankings from all our fantasy football writers.

Quarterback Rankings
RANK Name Team Last Week
1 Drew Brees Saints 1
2 Kurt Warner Cardinals 2
3 Peyton Manning Colts 4
4 Jay Cutler Broncos 3
5 Tony Romo Cowboys 7
6 Aaron Rodgers Packers 9
7 Philip Rivers Chargers 5
8 Donovan McNabb Eagles 6
9 Ben Roethlisberger Steelers 12
10 Brett Favre Jets 13
11 Eli Manning Giants 8
12 Matt Ryan Falcons 11
13 David Garrard Jaguars 10
14 Jason Campbell Redskins 14
15 Chad Pennington Dolphins 16
16 Matt Cassel Patriots 19
17 Tyler Thigpen Chiefs 25
18 Jeff Garcia Buccaneers 20
19 Trent Edwards Bills 15
20 Jake Delhomme Panthers 17
21 Kyle Orton Bears 22
22 Matt Hasselbeck Seahawks 18
23 Shaun Hill 49ers 24
24 Brady Quinn Browns 23
25 Gus Frerotte Vikings 21
26 Kerry Collins Titans 29
27 Joe Flacco Ravens 28
28 Sage Rosenfels Texans 26
29 Daunte Culpepper Lions 31
30 Ryan Fitzpatrick Bengals 32
31 Marc Bulger Rams 30
32 Matt Schaub Texans 27
33 JaMarcus Russell Raiders 33
34 Matt Leinart Cardinals 36
35 Drew Stanton Lions 34
36 Rex Grossman Bears 35
37 J.T. O'Sullivan 49ers 39
38 Derek Anderson Browns 38
39 Seneca Wallace Seahawks 37
40 Tarvaris Jackson Vikings NR

Notes: I don't have a big favorite among the top four on this list. The best schedule belongs to Peyton Manning: Chargers, Browns, Bengals, Lions, Jaguars. Are you serious? Not an above-average pass defense among them. (Manning does draw the Titans in Week 17, but who knows if Tennessee will be resting its starters for the playoffs by then.) Don't give Kurt Warner that MVP trophy just yet. … Tony Romo didn't answer all questions about his pinkie, and in fact admitted that the ball didn't come crisply out of his hand a few times Sunday night. Still, the next two weeks provide awesome matchups against the Niners and Seahawks. After that, I'm assuming he's up to speed. … That Steelers/Chargers game certainly wasn't pretty, but Ben Roethlisberger did enough to restore my faith in him as a fantasy starter. He's got tough matchups when it matters most, in Weeks 14 and 15 (at Baltimore and at Tennessee), but until then, it's pretty nice: Bengals, Patriots, Cowboys. Meanwhile, all you folks who whined about how ESPN.com's mock drafters ignored Philip Rivers for too long in our midseason re-draft, take a bow. In the two games since then, Rivers has tossed two scores and four picks, and averaged well under 250 pass yards per. … Eli Manning didn't do anything wrong, really, but I don't like his schedule: Cardinals, Redskins, Eagles, Cowboys, Panthers, Vikings. There are some good secondaries coming up (though Arizona probably doesn't have one of them). … I'll eat crow on David Garrard. I thought he'd play well against the Titans, and he was besieged all day. He deserves credit for emerging alive. I, however, do not. … Matt Cassel and Tyler Thigpen have become legitimate options, and some weeks should be ranked as starters. (For instance, Cassel will look tasty in the fantasy playoffs against the Seahawks.) Thigpen's best asset during his emergence has been his running ability, and if he had a better O-line, he'd have a higher completion rate. Playing Denver and San Diego in consecutive weeks in Weeks 14 and 15 will make him intriguing. … Don't forget about Jeff Garcia. Like Chad Pennington, Garcia is a better "real-football" player than fantasy star, but his schedule lightens up now, too: Lions, Saints, Panthers, Falcons, Chargers, Raiders. There are at least three excellent matchups in that run. … Trent Edwards threw three picks in the first half Monday night, and just hasn't been the same guy since his concussion. He did run for a late score in Monday's game and he does have a favorable schedule, but I don't see how you can use him right now. … Sage Rosenfels has cost himself so much money the past two weeks. However, Matt Schaub is reportedly behind in his rehab, and might still miss four more games.

Running Back Rankings
RANK Name Team Last Week
1 Adrian Peterson Vikings 1
2 Clinton Portis Redskins 5
3 LaDainian Tomlinson Chargers 3
4 Brandon Jacobs Giants 4
5 Marion Barber Cowboys 6
6 Frank Gore 49ers 7
7 Brian Westbrook Eagles 2
8 Joseph Addai Colts 24
9 Matt Forte Bears 9
10 Ronnie Brown Dolphins 11
11 Michael Turner Falcons 8
12 Marshawn Lynch Bills 12
13 Chris Johnson Titans 15
14 Maurice Jones-Drew Jaguars 21
15 Thomas Jones Jets 19
16 Ryan Grant Packers 17
17 Jamal Lewis Browns 10
18 Reggie Bush Saints 14
19 Steve Slaton Texans 16
20 DeAngelo Williams Panthers 18
21 Willie Parker Steelers 23
22 Larry Johnson Chiefs 25
23 LenDale White Titans 20
24 Steven Jackson Rams 13
25 Warrick Dunn Buccaneers 30
26 Jonathan Stewart Panthers 28
27 Justin Fargas Raiders 31
28 Tim Hightower Cardinals 22
29 Kevin Smith Lions 37
30 Willis McGahee Ravens 26
31 Derrick Ward Giants 38
32 Sammy Morris Patriots NR
33 Ray Rice Ravens 32
34 Ricky Williams Dolphins 43
35 Cedric Benson Bengals 29
36 Peyton Hillis Broncos 44
37 Mewelde Moore Steelers 33
38 Dominic Rhodes Colts 36
39 Julius Jones Seahawks 39
40 Darren McFadden Raiders 40
41 Felix Jones Cowboys 35
42 Fred Taylor Jaguars 41
43 Leon Washington Jets 45
44 Fred Jackson Bills NR
45 Deuce McAllister Saints 34
46 Le'Ron McClain Ravens 49
47 Kevin Faulk Patriots NR
48 Pierre Thomas Saints NR
49 Tatum Bell Broncos NR
50 BenJarvus Green-Ellis Patriots 46

Notes: That collective sigh you heard across fantasy nation Sunday night occurred when Clinton Portis emerged from the tunnel and played well against the Cowboys. Phew. He's having a tremendous year, and yes, his schedule in Weeks 13 and 14 isn't good (versus Giants, at the Ravens), but he should have a nice Week 12 against Seattle and gets the Bengals, Eagles and 49ers in Weeks 15 through 17. Plus he's really good. … Don't flinch, LaDainian Tomlinson owners. You're about to benefit from a schedule that includes the Colts, Falcons, Raiders, Chiefs, Buccaneers and Broncos. Tampa could be dicey, but otherwise, that's a nice skein. … The big riser, of course, is Joseph Addai, whose schedule (see Peyton Manning above) is similarly cake. Addai proved he was healthy in a make-or-break matchup against a depleted Texans D, making him a guy to trade for here at the fantasy regular season's end. It requires a leap of faith to get him back in your top 10, but evidently it's a leap I'm willing to take. … Michael Turner has been great, but his schedule includes Week 15 and 16 matchups against Tampa Bay and Minnesota, making him a potentially scary guy to own if you get that far. … Maurice Jones-Drew has quietly used consecutive huge weeks (in which he scored five times) to tie LenDale White and Brandon Jacobs for the league lead in rushing touchdowns. And his schedule, too, is nice: he gets the Vikings this week, which stinks, but after that, he gets the Texans, Bears, Packers and Colts before closing with a tough one against the Ravens. … Jamal Lewis had a disappointing night in Buffalo, one that saw him tippy-toe a lot more than I like: shades of "old-looking" Jamal from his end days in Baltimore. Plus Jerome Harrison comes in and looks explosive taking one 72 yards to the house. … Whither Steven Jackson? He's already been ruled out for Week 12, and Orlando Pace looks like he could be out for the season. Jackson's now lost a second straight year to injury. I've rated him inside the top 24 simply because on the off chance he does get healthy, obviously he's a transcendent talent. … Earnest Graham is out for the year with an ankle injury, meaning Warrick Dunn is the clear starter in Tampa. Could Cadillac Williams also be a factor? Never say never, but I still think it would take some doing. He's worth adding in deeper leagues, though. … Justin Fargas gets the Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers in his next three, and also has the Texans in Week 16. The only tough matchup he has left is New England in Week 15, plus Darren McFadden just can't get healthy. … Tim Hightower did nothing with two sweet matchups the past couple of weeks, plus he lost a lot of carries to J.J. Arrington in the spread offense against Seattle. … Kevin Smith looked very strong against the Panthers, and has obviously eclipsed Rudi Johnson. However, he's got the Bucs, Titans and Vikings the next three weeks. Ouch.

Wide Receiver Rankings
RANK Name Team Last Week
1 Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals 1
2 Reggie Wayne Colts 2
3 Anquan Boldin Cardinals 6
4 Brandon Marshall Broncos 3
5 Roddy White Falcons 5
6 Greg Jennings Packers 10
7 Andre Johnson Texans 4
8 Dwayne Bowe Chiefs 11
9 Calvin Johnson Lions 8
10 Steve Smith Panthers 7
11 Santana Moss Redskins 13
12 Terrell Owens Cowboys 9
13 Braylon Edwards Browns 18
14 Randy Moss Patriots 16
15 Wes Welker Patriots 17
16 Marques Colston Saints 12
17 Lee Evans Bills 15
18 Plaxico Burress Giants 14
19 Hines Ward Steelers 22
20 T.J. Houshmandzadeh Bengals 23
21 Jerricho Cotchery Jets 24
22 Laveranues Coles Jets 19
23 Eddie Royal Broncos 21
24 Bernard Berrian Vikings 26
25 Santonio Holmes Steelers 28
26 Lance Moore Saints 32
27 Vincent Jackson Chargers 20
28 DeSean Jackson Eagles 27
29 Donald Driver Packers 25
30 Kevin Walter Texans 31
31 Derrick Mason Ravens 45
32 Roy E. Williams Cowboys 29
33 Chad Johnson Bengals 30
34 Anthony Gonzalez Colts 34
35 Kevin Curtis Eagles 33
36 Donnie Avery Rams 37
37 Antonio Bryant Buccaneers 35
38 Steve Breaston Cardinals 36
39 Chris Chambers Chargers 38
40 Marvin Harrison Colts 42
41 Ted Ginn Jr. Dolphins 47
42 Muhsin Muhammad Panthers 40
43 Mark Bradley Chiefs 48
44 Greg Camarillo Dolphins 39
45 Bobby Engram Seahawks 43
46 Malcom Floyd Chargers 46
47 Justin Gage Titans NR
48 Brandon Jones Titans NR
49 Torry Holt Rams 41
50 Bryant Johnson 49ers NR

Notes: The Cardinals' passing game is back where it was a couple years ago, when Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin were regular entrants into the receiver top 10. This week's game against the Giants will be interesting because Warner doesn't figure to have as much time, and their matchup against the Eagles the week after is tough, too. After that, they draw the Rams, Vikings, Patriots and Seahawks. That's very workable. … Reggie Wayne and Greg Jennings will take advantage of soft schedules, as well. You've read me wax poetic about the Colts' schedule above; the Packers have the Saints, Panthers, Texans, Jaguars, Bears and Lions. The Panthers are tough against the pass, but that's it. … Braylon Edwards looked strong Monday night against the Bills, and while Brady Quinn might not go deep with him as much as Derek Anderson did, the rumors of Edwards' demise have been greatly exaggerated. … Meanwhile, Lee Evans went the other way. He's had three straight poor games, as safeties roll his way on nearly every play, from what I can see. Plus Trent Edwards is suddenly checking down constantly. Heck, there were third downs Monday night when Evans wasn't even on the field. … Bernard Berrian was as hot as they came for a month, but he's gone two straight games without a touchdown, and the newly conservative Gus Frerotte isn't good news for Bernie. That said, the schedule goes: Jaguars, Bears, Lions, Cardinals, Falcons and Giants. That should make for some more scores, even though surprisingly Berrian only has 33 grabs through 11 weeks. He does make them count when he grabs them, doesn't he? … Vincent Jackson played badly against the Steelers. There were plays to be made out there, and he didn't make them (and did that annoying post-drop smiling thing a whole bunch). Disappointing. … Derrick Mason climbs back up where he belongs after concerns about his shoulder proved to be needless; he played through pain against the Giants and notched seven catches for 82 yards. He's the only game in town in Baltimore, though he did reportedly aggravate the injury some. He might be a game-time decision this week. … I've swapped Ted Ginn Jr. and Greg Camarillo, while trying not to be swayed by Ginn's end-around touchdown Sunday which, let's face it, isn't likely to be repeated. The Dolphins do have a nice remaining schedule: Patriots, Rams, Bills, 49ers, Chiefs and Jets. … Don't give up entirely on Donnie Avery, even though the rest of the offense is hopelessly moribund. He still caught nine passes for 93 yards Sunday, and the Rams have a good schedule against weak secondaries, too: Bears, Dolphins, Cardinals, Seahawks, 49ers and Falcons.

Tight End Rankings
RANK Name Team Last Week
1 Jason Witten Cowboys 1
2 Antonio Gates Chargers 2
3 Tony Gonzalez Chiefs 3
4 Kellen Winslow Browns 4
5 Dallas Clark Colts 5
6 Owen Daniels Texans 6
7 Chris Cooley Redskins 7
8 Zach Miller Raiders 11
9 Greg Olsen Bears 10
10 Dustin Keller Jets 12
11 Tony Scheffler Broncos 8
12 Bo Scaife Titans 9
13 Jeremy Shockey Saints 16
14 Vernon Davis 49ers 14
15 John Carlson Seahawks 13
16 Visanthe Shiancoe Vikings 15
17 L.J. Smith Eagles 23
18 Marcedes Lewis Jaguars 17
19 Anthony Fasano Dolphins 19
20 Alex Smith Buccaneers 21
21 Kevin Boss Giants 18
22 Heath Miller Steelers 22
23 Todd Heap Ravens 20
24 Desmond Clark Bears 24
25 Donald Lee Packers 27
26 Benjamin Watson Patriots 30
27 Robert Royal Bills 25
28 Matt Spaeth Steelers NR
29 Jerramy Stevens Buccaneers NR
30 David Martin Dolphins 28

Notes: A week after his huge night against Denver, Kellen Winslow didn't do much Monday night, but I still like him a lot in his partnership with Quinn. … Zach Miller caught four passes for 67 yards against Miami and has a nice schedule the rest of the way: Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Patriots and Texans. The Chargers, in particular, are the gold standard for opposing tight ends. If your guy is playing against them, smile and get him in your lineup. … Tony Scheffler got shut out a week after grabbing four passes for 92 yards against the Browns. More galling is that Daniel Graham caught the game-winning touchdown for Denver. Argh. Is Scheffler's groin still bothering him? … Bo Scaife is still among the best of the "other" tight ends, but he's going to have weeks like Week 11, when he caught only two passes for 28 yards. It'll still be a positive sign for him if opposing defenses dare Kerry Collins to throw, because Scaife and Collins have nice chemistry. … Jeremy Shockey got a talking-to from Sean Payton last week, and responded with six catches against the Chiefs. Granted, those only resulted in 39 yards, and he's always a play away from doing something stupid that alienates his teammates. But his fantasy value is increasing as his health apparently becomes less of an issue.

Defense Rankings
RANK Name Last Week
1 NY Giants 2
2 Tennessee 1
3 Pittsburgh 4
4 Baltimore 3
5 Tampa Bay 5
6 Carolina 6
7 Green Bay 11
8 NY Jets 10
9 Philadelphia 7
10 Miami 12
11 New England 13
12 Dallas 16
13 Buffalo 14
14 Minnesota 8
15 Chicago 9
16 Jacksonville 15
17 Arizona 19
18 Washington 17
19 Indianapolis 20
20 Atlanta 22
21 Oakland 21
22 San Diego 18
23 Seattle 24
24 Houston 23
25 Cincinnati 26
26 San Francisco 25
27 Denver 30
28 New Orleans 28
29 St. Louis 27
30 Kansas City 29
31 Cleveland 31
32 Detroit 32

Christopher Harris is a fantasy baseball, football and racing analyst for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.

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