Commentary

Engel's 2007 Rankings: Favre headed south

Updated: October 16, 2007, 5:30 PM ET
By Scott Engel | ESPN.com

Each week, I will update my fantasy football player rankings for the 2007 season. These yearly ratings are overall in-season rankings, not weekly lineup recommendations. They serve as a handy reference tool to make trades and decisions on long-term starters. Last week's rankings are in parentheses for each player.

Quarterbacks

1. Tom Brady, Patriots (1)
2. Peyton Manning, Colts (2)
3. Tony Romo, Cowboys (4)
4. Carson Palmer, Bengals (3)
5. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks (9)
6. Jon Kitna, Lions (6)
7. Derek Anderson, Browns (20)
8. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (8)
9. David Garrard, Jaguars (10)
10. Brett Favre, Packers (5)
11. Eli Manning, Giants (14)
12. Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers (15)
13. Jason Campbell, Redskins (17)
14. Donovan McNabb, Eagles (13)
15. Matt Schaub, Texans (11)
16. Brian Griese, Bears (22)
17. Jay Cutler, Broncos (19)
18. Philip Rivers, Chargers (16)
19. Drew Brees, Saints (24)
20. Damon Huard, Chiefs (NR)
21. Vince Young, Titans (12)
22. Daunte Culpepper, Raiders (18)
23. Marc Bulger, Rams (NR)
24. Cleo Lemon, Dolphins (NR)
25. Chad Pennington, Jets (23)

NOTES: Palmer has to cut back on the interceptions or he will continue to drop. Hasselbeck is throwing more often because the Seattle running game is faltering. Derek Anderson finally gets the respect he deserves here. Garrard continues to be steady, but Favre is looking erratic again after a good start. Eli Manning must work to keep his place in the top 12. Garcia is solid but unspectacular. Campbell may soon crack the top 12. Schaub will rise again when Andre Johnson returns. Griese's overall numbers are actually pretty good in the past three games. Brees needs to deliver more than one good outing to make me believe he is starting to rebound. Huard has three double-figure fantasy performances in his past four games. Young is unreliable, and now he is injured. Bulger should be ready to return this week. Lemon posted good numbers against Cleveland, but it will take much more than that to get closer to the top 20. Remember, it was against the Browns.

Running Backs

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers (1)
2. Joseph Addai, Colts (2)
3. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins (3)
4. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (7)
5. Willie Parker, Steelers (4)
6. Brian Westbrook, Eagles (5)
7. Edgerrin James, Cardinals (6)
8. Willis McGahee, Ravens (11)
9. Marshawn Lynch, Bills (9)
10. Larry Johnson, Chiefs (15)
11. Clinton Portis, Redskins (12)
12. Travis Henry, Broncos (21)
13. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars (26)
14. Frank Gore, 49ers (14)
15. Marion Barber III, Cowboys (8)
16. Shaun Alexander, Seahawks (10)
17. Reggie Bush, Saints (19)
18. Thomas Jones, Jets (24)
19. Brandon Jacobs, Giants (16)
20. LaMont Jordan, Raiders (17)
21. Cedric Benson, Bears (20)
22. Sammy Morris, Patriots (13)
23. Derrick Ward, Giants (23)
24. Jamal Lewis, Browns (18)
25. Rudi Johnson, Bengals (22)
26. Brian Leonard, Rams (25)
27. LenDale White, Titans (30)
28. Laurence Maroney, Patriots (29)
29. DeShaun Foster, Panthers (27)
30. Steven Jackson, Rams (31)
31. Chester Taylor, Vikings (36)
32. Kevin Jones, Lions (33)
33. DeShawn Wynn, Packers (40)
34. Fred Taylor, Jaguars (32)
35. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (50)
36. Ahman Green, Texans (35)
37. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers (28)
38. Jason Wright, Browns (45)
39. Kenny Watson, Bengals (39)
40. Michael Bennett, Buccaneers (NR)
41. Jerious Norwood, Falcons (NR)
42. Julius Jones, Cowboys (42)
43. Kenton Keith, Colts (37)
44. Selvin Young, Broncos (34)
45. Warrick Dunn, Falcons (44)
46. Najeh Davenport, Steelers (46)
47. Kevin Faulk, Patriots (NR)
48. Reuben Droughns, Giants (NR)
49. Vernand Morency, Packers (47)
50. Michael Turner, Chargers (48)

NOTES: Peterson was ranked seventh last week, and if he can continue to excel, he will soon pass Brown for third place. I still slightly prefer Brown for more consistent production and versatility, but the edge is very minor and not firm, by any means. James has been dependable, but we will have to see if quarterback issues in Arizona affect him. McGahee finally found the end zone on Sunday. Lynch may not be spectacular, but he can catch passes and is a regular scoring threat. Henry won't be suspended for at least a few more weeks, so he's still a quality starter. Jones-Drew has rediscovered the form of his rookie season. Bush and Thomas Jones must continue to build on good performances, and Jacobs is becoming a health risk who would rank higher when healthy. Morris was not performing well before he went out with a chest injury at Dallas. Chester Taylor is a good plug-in even with Peterson seizing the headlines. Wynn will continue to finish off Green Bay scoring drives even if the yardage numbers are not good. DeAngelo Williams has teased us before. Graham still has the starting job in Tampa Bay, but Bennett will threaten his playing time. Norwood looked good for one run on Monday night but is still far from reliable. It's a bit too soon for Priest Holmes to make this list, but he's on the radar, as is Dominic Rhodes.

Wide Receivers
1. Randy Moss, Patriots (1)
2. Plaxico Burress, Giants (3)
3. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals (4)
4. Steve Smith, Panthers (6)
5. Braylon Edwards, Browns (9)
6. Chad Johnson, Bengals (2)
7. Terrell Owens, Cowboys (7)
8. Reggie Wayne, Colts (5)
9. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (8)
10. Torry Holt, Rams (10)
11. Roy Williams, Lions (12)
12. Marvin Harrison, Colts (14)
13. Donald Driver, Packers (11)
14. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs (15)
15. Patrick Crayton, Cowboys (30)
16. Laveranues Coles, Jets (13)
17. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets (18)
18. Andre Johnson, Texans (19)
19. Brandon Marshall, Broncos (16)
20. Santonio Holmes, Steelers (22)
21. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals(17)
22. Wes Welker, Patriots (28)
23. Bobby Engram, Seahawks (29)
24. Joey Galloway, Buccaneers (27)
25. Javon Walker, Broncos (24)
26. Derrick Mason, Ravens (26)
27. Deion Branch, Seahawks (20)
28. Calvin Johnson, Lions (23)
29. Kevin Curtis, Eagles (35)
30. Chris Chambers, Chargers (22)
31. Greg Jennings, Packers (31)
32. Roddy White, Falcons (32)
33. Donte' Stallworth, Patriots (NR)
34. Nate Burleson, Seahawks (42)
35. Marques Colston, Saints (34)
36. Vincent Jackson, Chargers (25)
37. Ronald Curry, Raiders (36)
38. Shaun McDonald, Lions (37)
39. Hines Ward, Steelers (38)
40. Bernard Berrian, Bears (48)
41. Kevin Walter, Texans (NR)
42. Lee Evans, Bills (33)
43. Santana Moss, Redskins (39)
44. Andre Davis, Texans (40)
45. Antwaan Randle El (41)
46. Ike Hilliard, Buccaneers (45)
47. James Jones, Packers (43)
48. Dennis Northcutt, Jaguars (46)
49. Ben Obomanu, Seahawks (50)
50. Muhsin Muhammad, Bears (NR)

NOTES: Burress is now the definite No. 2 guy and should stay in that slot until further notice. Houshmandzadeh has surpassed Chad Johnson as Cincinnati's top receiver and is nearly unmatched for pure consistency. Steve Smith is proving quarterback problems are no problem. Holt gets Bulger back soon, so he should still produce well even if the Rams continue to struggle. Driver is starting to slip fast, but Bowe should rebound from an off week. Harrison moves up as others drop, and he is expected to return after the bye week. Look for some strong rebound performances. Crayton is indeed for real, but any receiver outside the top 10 right now could quickly move up or down the ladder. The Jets' receivers are fading statistically and deserve the quarterback change instead of continuing to fight for Pennington jump balls. Andre Johnson may finally return to action this week. Welker, Galloway and Curtis cannot be counted on for reliable production until proven otherwise. Stallworth jumps onto the list, but he is not dependable, either. All four of those wideouts can win a game for you in any given week, though. Burleson is going to be threatened by the impending return of D.J. Hackett, who should soon rejoin this listing. Berrian must do more than score when a defender slips and falls, and Evans falls again given another week to think about how useless he is becoming. Kevin Walter needs more than one good outing to stay on this list.

Tight Ends

1. Antonio Gates, Chargers (1)
2. Dallas Clark, Colts (2)
3. Jason Witten, Cowboys (3)
4. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs (6)
5. Kellen Winslow, Browns (4)
6. Chris Cooley, Redskins (7)
7. Benjamin Watson, Patriots (5)
8. Jeremy Shockey, Giants (8)
9. Owen Daniels, Texans (11)
10. Heath Miller, Steelers (9)
11. Todd Heap, Ravens (10)
12. Desmond Clark, Bears (13)
13. Donald Lee, Packers (15)
14. Alge Crumpler, Falcons (12)
15. Greg Olsen, Bears (14)
16. Vernon Davis, 49ers (18)
17. Eric Johnson, Saints (23)
18. Jeff King, Panthers (16)
19. L.J. Smith, Eagles (19)
20. Chris Baker, Jets (20)
21. David Martin, Dolphins (NR)
22. Bo Scaife, Titans (24)
23. Randy McMichael, Rams (21)
24. Alex Smith, Buccaneers (22)
25. Zach Miller, Raiders (NR)

NOTES: Witten should rebound from a disappointing performance against New England. If he doesn't, Gonzalez, who has regained his past form, could soon pass him. There is a clear dropoff after the top six, especially with Watson's health in question. Daniels has been quite reliable, while injuries continue to hamper Heap. Clark and Lee are certainly adequate, and Crumpler continues to fall. Olsen should move further upward soon. Vernon Davis is on the verge of returning, and Eric Johnson could be part of a possible Drew Brees resurgence, although I'm still not sold on either guy. Using anyone outside the top 15 is a big risk right now.

Kickers

1. Nick Folk, Cowboys (2)
2. Adam Vinatieri, Colts (1)
3 Jeff Reed, Steelers (3)
4. Kris Brown, Texans (5)
5. Matt Stover, Ravens (6)
6. Shayne Graham, Bengals (4)
7. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots (10)
8. Mason Crosby, Packers (7)
9. Jason Hanson, Lions (11)
10. Neil Rackers, Cardinals (8)
11 Robbie Gould, Bears(17)
12. Jay Feely, Miami (14)
13. Nate Kaeding, Chargers (9)
14. Phil Dawson, Browns (15)
15. Josh Brown, Seahawks (12)
16. David Akers, Eagles (13)
17. Shaun Suisham, Redskins (18)
18. Jason Elam, Broncos (16)
19. John Kasay, Panthers (19)
20. Lawrence Tynes, Giants (21)
21. Joe Nedney, 49ers (22)
22. Jeff Wilkins, Rams (20)
23. Mike Nugent, N.Y. Jets (23)
24. Dave Rayner, Chiefs (NR)
25. Ryan Longwell, Vikings (NR)

NOTES: Kris Brown and Stover have generated most of their respective team's output recently. Gostkowski could rank even higher, but those Patriots score too many touchdowns instead of generating extra-point opportunities. Crosby should bounce back from two misses against the Redskins. Rackers will drop because of the quarterback issues in Arizona, and Gould will continue to rise with Brian Griese moving the Bears better than Rex Grossman did.

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

NOTES: Baltimore has regained its classic form, but that has also been due to easy scheduling, so the unit is not firm at second. Only the dangerous return game is keeping the Bears in the top 5 right now. Minnesota has been fully exposed against the pass, and the Vikings take a big fall. Tampa Bay and Tennessee are two, solid, underrated units. Kansas City is also a sturdy unit. The Texans are falling fast, and the Seahawks will not play up to their potential until the offense starts cooperating more.

Scott Engel covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com. You can contact Scott here.

Scott Engel | email

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Scott Engel covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com.

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