Archive for category rankings

Fantasy Rankings: WR

So if you’ve been reading the site, you know I’ve been doing weekly rankings for fantasy football with some of the other hosts on the Fantasy Sports Channel over at

This week I thought I would give a little insight into some of my rankings here at the Blurb site.

It took a while but FINALLY – here is some of my reasoning behind some of the wide receivers and where I ranked them.

The easy, handy-dandy sortable list of all the rankings can be found here.

As I said in the earlier post about Tom Brady, I think the Pats bounce back

Moss looks to bounce back big in Week 3

Moss looks to bounce back big in Week 3

this week – Randy Moss among those who will explode. This isn’t a damning of the Atlanta defense. This is: 1) a praising of Jets CB Darrelle Revis, who shut down Moss last week and Andre Johnson the week before and 2) a reading of Moss’ veritable outrage and denial he got shut down.Revis is THAT good folks and Colston, Steve Smith and some other WRs had better be ready for him. Moss is THAT angry folks and the Falcons lack a guy like Revis to contain him.

Moss has a chip on his shoulder this week. He’s due.

I think Greg Jennings bounces back as well, and we can just pretend that donut last Sunday didn’t happen though it does eat at the back of my mind. I don’t think we’ll see it again though.

If DeSean Jackson plays, he could have an outstanding day. I just read he

Jackson will do what it takes to get in the end zone

Jackson will do what it takes to get in the end zone

practiced Friday – with Kolb likely throwing he ball, the Eagles will air it out and I think Jackson’s groin holds up and he has a great day.

Brandon Marshall (28) is easy to explain – still struggling with the plays, too many other weapons. Eddie Royal (25) might even be too high. I covered a few concerns for him earlier this week in my Trendspotting column and as I said there, it’s a pretty big Fantasy weekend for Royal.

Bottom line – he’s got targets, he needs to catch them.

Meanwhile, Johnny Knox shot up to 34 – a pretty big jump. I’m a believer in him and I think Jay Cutler is as well. Knox could be in line for many more targets and I believe he is a receiver who combines speed with route running and hands.

He’s a slower Hester with actual wide receiver skills. I mean, Hester is still trying to figure out this whole WR thing and is getting better but Knox has the better overall tools.

Wes Welker and Antonio Bryant are two guys who could go. If they do, my feelings on them are very different.

Welker is a blue-collar worker who has proven the last few seasons that he is

Welker's return would be a welcome one for Tom Brady

Welker's return would be a welcome one for Tom Brady

a solid, reliable receiver. If he comes back, look for him to have a big impact in the game – Brady may use him as a warm comfy blanket of security to get back on track. His value will rocket up the list.

If he plays. For now, I don’t know what he will do or if he will play. So he’s down on the list.

Bryant? He is not moving. One great season do not a Welker make. Bryant has burned us more than helped us and the knee injury, leg injury Byron Leftwitch and shaky offense have me worried.

He can play all he wants but unlike Welker, he gets no benefit of the doubt.

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Fantasy Rankings: RBs

So if you’ve been reading the site, you know I’ve been doing weekly rankings for fantasy football with some of the other hosts on the Fantasy Sports Channel over at

This week I thought I would give a little insight into some of my rankings here at the Blurb site. I like the sortable, easy ranking system the FSC uses but only one person can make a note per player which means we can overwrite each other.

Here are my thoughts on the RBs for Week 3 which again, you may peruse here with the handy sortable chart:

He's a bad little man!

He's a bad little man!

The world may end - I have Maurice Jones-Drew ranked over Adrian Peterson.

Houston couldn’t contain Chris Johnson and I think MJD is a better back. He may not survive he season, but right now he’s an excellent candidate to have a break out week.

Peterson faces a team which – as he has reminded us several times this week – once stifled him to under 20 yards. He’ll come in determined but the Niners are a very good defensive squad. He’ll have a good day but MJD will be better.

Speaking of the SF/Minn tilt, Frank Gore faces a defense which is hard against the run. Or is it?

Gore has been a man possessed...

Gore has been a man possessed...

It’s too early to really take much from the Team Stats category but the Vikes run defense isn’t as good as it was last year. Ranking 15th going into Week 3 isn’t a panic-inducing stat by any means, but having given up 129 yds to Detroit and then allowing 89 yards to Cleveland in Week 1 – not their best two weeks.

Add to this the clear intention of San Fran to run Gore until his wheels come off and there is a good chance he has a very nice game this week.

I have Brian Westbrook at 9 – I assume he plays. If not, LeSean McCoy should do very well against a slipshod KC defense. Not #9 ranking good, but very servicable as a RB2.

Finally healthy, Thomas looks to regain his job

Finally healthy, Thomas looks to regain his job

Pierre Thomas will be back this weekend (allegedly) and should get plenty of carries. Here’s hoping he re-establishes his fantasy value. The guy to watch might be Lynell Hamilton who isn’t on the list but has taken first team reps this week.

He may not perform now, but I’ve heard enough good things about him and have seen enough early injury in the Saints backfield to think he could have value this season.

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RB Rankings for Week 13

I certainly had Barber high on the list and Chris Johnson as a top 5 back. white was slotted near the end of the teens along with Westbrook. Both far outscored my hopes, and Westy surprised me although I didn’t feel like he looked as good as his numbers did. On a short week, I didn’t start him in some leagues and I back that despite the 4 TDs.

I think Tomlinson continues to get back on the horse and top 100 yards against the 21st rush D in the league which has given up 13 TDs this season. MJD is finally going to get yards AND touchdowns at the same time and as we saw last week, if the Jags can’t run with him, they will throw to him. Nice to see they figured that one out finally.

Thomas Jones and Leon Washington are both playing very well and while LW is a bit of a hail mary, I think the way he has been playing, he will get some good yards a on a Broncos team letting and average of 187 yards with more than a TD.

Here’s another reason I love Washington this week – the Donkeys are very vulnerable to RBs who are good receiving the ball and Washington is that. Last week was the first game in which he didn’t catch at least a pair and more often than not he gets 3-4 catches. He may get some extra love from favre this week as the Jets take any advantage they can to keep pace with the (normally) dynamic Broncos offense.

Running backs

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers vs. Falcons
  2. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars at Texans
  3. Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Broncos
  4. Michael Turner, Falcons at Chargers
  5. Warrick Dunn, Buccaneers vs. Saints
  6. Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Bears
  7. Joseph Addai, Colts at Browns
  8. Frank Gore, 49ers at Bills
  9. Marshawn Lynch, Bills vs. 49ers
  10. Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Jaguars
  11. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins at Rams
  12. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers at Packers
  13. Clinton Portis, Redskins vs. Giants
  14. Leon Washington, Jets vs. Broncos
  15. Brandon Jacobs, Giants at Redskins
  16. Matt Forte, Bears at Vikings
  17. Larry Johnson, Chiefs at Raiders
  18. Jamal Lewis, Browns vs. Colts
  19. Ryan Grant, Packers vs. Panthers
  20. Justin Fargas, Raiders vs. Chiefs
  21. Ricky Williams, Dolphins at Rams
  22. Darren McFadden, Raiders vs. Chiefs
  23. Derrick Ward, Giants vs Redskins
  24. Pierre Thomas, Saints at Buccaneers
  25. Peyton Hillis, Broncos at Jets
  26. Willie Parker, Steelers at Patriots
  27. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens at Bengals
  28. Dominic Rhodes, Colts at Browns
  29. Kevin Faulk, Patriots vs. Steelers
  30. Steven Jackson, Rams vs Dolphins
  31. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers at Packers
  32. Jerious Norwood, Falcons at Chargers
  33. Chester Taylor, Vikings vs. Bears
  34. Cedric Benson, Ravens at Bengals
  35. Antonio Pittman, Rams vs Dolphins
  36. Cadillac Williams, Buccaneers vs. Saints

WR Rankings for Week 13

Like I said in the Qb list, normally I cover the Thursday games on Thursday in the breakdowns. For what it’s worth, I had Boldin as a top 5 start, along with TO, Fitz was about 7 on the list and Megatron was at 9. So some hits, some misses. DeSean Jackson was my number 20, and he continues to impress me. And the Iggles do love him so.

Boldin, by the way, looked as awful as I have ever seen anyone. I think Braylon Edwards got into the lockeroom and put on Boldin’s uni. Only way I can explain the drops.

I love Roddy White against a streaky secondary in a defense who cannot get pressure on the QB, and Andre Johnson against the shaky Jags D. His partner in crime is flirting with top 10 status and will probably get the TD Johnson rarely gets. I like Evans and Moss both equally, though inclement weather looms and could hurt Evans more than Moss.

I pushed the Jets WRs way back to the late teens – one of them will have a better game than that but you never know which one. Note Marques Colston has slipped into the 20’s and he may not even be that good a start. Brees has begun to love Moore and a lot of the targets are going there and Moore now resides at Colston’s former spot, at 13.

Wide receivers

  1. Roddy White, Falcons at Chargers
  2. Andre Johnson, Texans vs. Jaguars
  3. Reggie Wayne, Colts at Browns
  4. Steve Smith, Panthers at Packers
  5. Randy Moss, Patriots vs. Steelers
  6. Greg Jennings, Packers vs. Panthers
  7. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs at Raiders
  8. Brandon Marshall, Broncos at Jets
  9. Lee Evans, Bills vs. 49ers
  10. Santana Moss, Redskins vs. Giants
  11. Hines Ward, Steelers at Patriots
  12. Kevin Walter, Texans vs. Jaguars
  13. Lance Moore, Saints at Buccaneers
  14. Marvin Harrison, Colts at Browns
  15. Bernard Berrian, Vikings vs. Bears
  16. Chris Chambers, Chargers vs. Falcon
  17. Laveranues Coles, Jets vs. Broncos
  18. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets vs. Broncos
  19. Vincent Jackson, Chargers vs. Falcons
  20. Derrick Mason, Ravens at Bengals
  21. Wes Welker, Patriots vs. Steelers
  22. Santonio Holmes, Steelers at Patriots
  23. Antonio Bryant, Buccaneers vs. Saints
  24. Marques Colston, Saints at Buccaneers
  25. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals vs. Ravens
  26. Braylon Edwards, Browns vs. Colts
  27. Anthony Gonzalez, Colts at Browns
  28. Donald Driver, Packers vs. Panthers
  29. Michael Jenkins, Falcons at Chargers
  30. Ted Ginn Jr., Dolphins at Rams
  31. Muhsin Muhammad, Panthers at Packers
  32. Devery Henderson, Saints at Buccaneers
  33. Donnie Avery, Rams vs. Dolphins
  34. Isaac Bruce, 49ers at Bills
  35. Plaxico Burress, Giants vs Redskins

QB Rankings for Week 13

Every once in a while I get an email asking me why my rankings don’t include the guys who played on Thursday. And my usual answer is that I just figured by since I don’t have those rankings by Thursday, while tell you where I would have started them when you can’t use that info? I figured it would be frustrating to read and it’s why I do the Thursday breakdowns.

If it’s something you guys want though, email me and let me know at

For what it’s worth I had Romo as my top QB, Warner as a top 5, Culpepper way back near the end, Collins about 22 and McNabb sitting at lucky 13. Like Westbrook, how well McNabb played surprised me.

So there ya go.


  1. Drew Brees, Saints at Buccaneers
  2. Peyton Manning, Colts at Browns
  3. Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Falcons
  4. Jay Cutler, Broncos at Jets
  5. Eli Manning, Giants at Redskins
  6. Matt Ryan, Falcons at Chargers
  7. Brett Favre, Jets vs. Broncos
  8. Sage Rosenfels, Texans vs. Jaguars

  9. Chad Pennington, Dolphins at Rams
  10. Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Panthers
  11. Matt Cassel, Patriots vs. Steelers
  12. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Patriots
  13. Jason Campbell, Redskins vs. Giants
  14. Tyler Thigpen, Chiefs at Raiders
  15. Kyle Orton, Bears at Vikings
  16. Jake Delhomme, Panthers at Packers
  17. Gus Frerotte, Vikings vs. Bears
  18. Trent Edwards, Bills vs. 49ers
  19. Shaun Hill, 49ers at Bills
  20. Joe Flacco, Ravens at Bengals
  21. Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers vs. Saints
  22. David Garrard, Jaguars at Texans
  23. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks at Cowboys
  24. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders vs. Chiefs
  25. Derek Anderson, Browns vs. Colts
  26. Trent Green, Rams vs. Dolphins
  27. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bengals vs. Ravens
  28. Marc Bulger, Rams vs. Dolphins

Top WRs for Week 6

Here’s the WR list for this week – sorry it took so long to get out. Family, what can ya do? But at least I got to add in Braylon Edwards – he hasn’t had a lot of stuff to celebrate and I know he will sleep better seeing his name here. Or maybe not, but I feel better….. :)

Andre Johnson – 178 yds combined, 1 TD, 10 catches, 1 fumble – A companion break-out game to last week’s against the colts, Johnson is feeding off Matt Schaub’s resurgence as aviable fantasy QB. It’s been a shaky year so far but the next two matchups (against Detroit and Cinci) look good. Detroit shit Peterson down and Berrian (see below) blew up in their faces. Johnson should do the same if not better.

Braylon Edwards – 154 yds combined, 1 TD, 1 2pt conv, 5 catches – The good thing about doing this so late Monday night (unless you count the fact that my brain thinks it’s 11:17pm and the clock says 2:17am) is I get to sneak in Edwards who finally held on to the ball for a game more in line with what he have hoped for all season long. I am interested to see what his targets to catches percentage is but except for a catch that went through his hands and off his helmet (drops stil lplagued Anderson – his receivers all did it) he looked focused and good. Skins, Jags and Ravens are much tougher foes so we’ll see if he can still continue his streak of two good games.

Roddy White – 112 yds combined, 1 TD, 9 catches – Been a long time coming but White finally has a good QB and is making his mark as a top fantasy WR. Three very good games this season, two fair ones and donuts is a nice streak for White. In some leagues this guy is a top five WR – in just about every league he’s got to be in the top ten. As long as Ryan continues to play at a good clip, White will be a fair source of fantasy income for owners.

Reggie Wayne – 118 yds combined, 1 TD, 8 catches – Wayne got plenty of points, even though Marvin Harrison got two TDs. Wayne looked good as the Colts woke up and spanked the Ravens senseless and he will be a top option from here on out. If you were able to prey upon a worried Wayne owner – or if you are one – you will probably have nothing to worry about going forward. Even when Manning stunk, Wayne was still a top option most weeks. Guess what? Manning looks like he’s back.

Bernard Berrian – 134 yds combined, 1 TD, 5 catches – Is Berrian the real deal? Can he stay healthy? Will Frerrotte be able to find him and reach him regularly? What the hell is up with Peterson? Well, if the answer to the first three ends up beaing yes, the fourth answer will be ‘he’s about to bounce back’. I still say Peterson could be one of the – if not THE – top fantasy back going forward but Berrian is a huge factor in that. Berrian looked good on Sunday, got the seperation he hasn’t been able to get so far and made some big catches. He wasn’t perfect but if Frerrotte keeps hitting him, Ds will have to stop selling out to stop Peterson and both Berrian and AP will benefit. I like Berrian and I think he will be a good WR2 most weeks but I need a couple more consistent games (injury-free I might add) before I crown him a consistent play.

Just missed – Vincent Jackson (5-134-1) who will be better than good until Chambers is back, Steve Breaston (8-102-1) who may have had his swan song as Boldin may be back, the aforementioned Marvin Harrison (3-83-2) whose numbers look less impressive without those TDs, Steve Smith (6-112) who I am still waiting to pop and Greg Jennings (5-84-1) who looked pretty good even without big numbers and will have more big games than not.

That’s it for Monday – see ya’ll on the Stampede tomorrow at 9am PST/noon EST.

Top 20 RBs Forward (1-4)

Previously on Lost – I mean, here are the links to the first three segments of the article:
Top 20 RBs Forward (5-9)
Top 20 RBs Forward (10-14)
Top 20 RBs Forward (15-20)

We come to the last bit of our experiment here – one I will probably come back to several times and re-rank. As I have said before, this is not a list of absolutes and as teams play more and things change, so might this list. And as always, comments are welcome. This article is definitely the type that makes me wish I had web savvy and could design a proper site. It would be nice to front page it all season long. Alas, I will just have to link to it when I refer to it.

Remember that the breakdown goes like this:

Remaining Schedule:Wk6, Wk7, Wk8,Wk9, Wk10, Wk11, Wk12, Wk13, Wk14, Wk15, Wk16 (bold is common fantasy playoff sched)
Analysis: This dude is good/bad and here is why….
Synopsis: example opportunity + good sched – injury worry – receptions = B+

1) Adrian Peterson
Remaining Schedule:DET, @CHI,BYE, HOU, GB, @TB, @JAX, CHI, @DET, @AZ, ATL (great playoff sched)
Analysis: Yes, Peterson has occasionally struggled this season, most notably (and to great lamenting on my part) this past weekend against the Saints. Well, Gus Frerrotte showed the Saints – and the NFL – you cannot just stack the box against Peterson. He will beat your secondary. Frerotte is no Manning (either The Peyton or The Eli) but he has some receivers getting healthy and can air it out enough to where defenses will need to respect him.

As far as matchups go, Peterson has a very good schedule the rest of the way. Yes, CHI twice is tough but a good deal of the rest of his schedule is very tasty. And we know he has big game ability – before this rough patch (if you can call 2 touchdowns against a stout TENN D rough) – he lit the Colts and Packers up and while neither resembles a shutdown run defense, neither are most of the rest of his matchups. And we’ve seen him perform against good defense before and put up points. He’s healthy too, which few of his fellow first round picks can claim. Peterson is my pick for top RB going forward – his mix of ability and schedule are too good to overlook.
Synopsis: Ability + opportunity + schedule =A

2) Ronnie Brown
Remaining Schedule:@HOU, BAL, BUF, @DEN, SEA, OAK, NE, @STL, @BUF, SF, @KC (good playoff sched)
Analysis: You might ask yourself how I can be unsure about the defense in Miami and sure about Brown. Fair question. My response is: look at 2007. I nseven games he was one of the top backs. In just seven games he compiled 600+ yards in the ground and another 389 yards in receptions. Simply put he was a stud. Had he not gotten hurt, he very well might have been the top Rb in fantasy football in 2007.

But ah, there’s the rub. He gets hurt. At least that’s the perception. Brown is coming off a significant injury to be sure, but he has lost none of the ability that made us so impressed with him last year. In fact, he’s got new tricks like that maddening Wildcat formation – which revealed he can throw pretty well. Even if the ‘Cat gets shut down – and I have a hard time imagining it will not – Brown is playing very well. He only really has one proven tough matchup in Baltimore. And while New England won’t be fooled again (right?), they are not what they once were defensively.

If Brown can stay healthy, he has every chance to suceed in a big way going forward.
Synopsis: opportunity + great schedule – injury worry = A-

3) Marshawn Lynch
Remaining Schedule:SD, @MIA, NYJ, @NE, CLE, @KC, SF, MIA, @NYJ, @DEN (middling/good playoff schedule)
Analysis: Lynch’s schedule ranking could fluctuate greatly – as of now, both Miami and the Jets are top 10 ranked run defenses. I don’t know I buy that. The Jets are not giving up yards (75ypg) but do like to give touchdowns up (6 so far). The touchdowns indicate the defense might not be as stout against the run as they appear. They also are ranked 31st against the pass – that might have something to do with it too. Miami is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, shrouded in a Wildcat formation – they are Ok against the pass, apparently stout against the run and befuddling to watch. I don’t buy them but I cannot point out why right now. I think they have played some teams on their heels the last few games and I think we’ll know more after Houston.

But back to Lynch – overall he has a pretty good schedule which could improve as NY and MIA come back to earth. And if that’s the case, then the playoff schedule is very, very nice. Denver during most league’s Championship Week is a great matchup.

Lynch needs to live up to these matchups. I think he is very talented and capable of great numbers but this season has been somewhat of a question mark. he has run hard and well, but his offensive line is not always opening things up for him – some of his numbers are a testement to his ability given what he was working with. Against Arizona it wasn’t him so much as some bad turnovers and the team falling behind. Trent Edwards getting hurt didn’t help matters. As long as Edwards is there, defenses are kept more honest as in my opinion Losman makes too many mistakes. Lynch is a hard runner with a good schedule down the stretch whose numbers will catch up with his ability soon.
Synopsis: opportunity + health + good sched = A-

4) Reggie Bush
Remaining Schedule:OAK, @CAR, SD, BYE, @ATL, @KC, GB, @TB, ATL, @CHI, @DET (middling/good playoff sched)
Analysis: You can debate if Reggie is a running back or a wide receiver masquerading as a running back but you cannot agrue this – he gets points. His value is in the totals, not the classic stud back carries and for the most part Bush has delivered. At times, like against San Fran, he throws up a stinker but usually he gets enough yards in the air and on the ground to total around 100 yards. The touchdowns are a little slow in coming, as they were even last year before his injury. And losing Colston and Shockey has hurt a bit – he gets more looks but also more defensive focus. Colston might be back this week and Shockey isn’t terribly far off – guys like Billy Miller, Lance Moore and Devery Henderson have filled in well. But Bush will really excel when Colston and Shockey are back. While his targets may decrease, he will find more room to move. Part of his struggles have also been the offensive line – it is not blockign well for the run. While Deuce McAllister had one good game, it ended up being same old, same old for his next. The line is not blocking well for the running backs. Until that changes, it will always be more of a struggle to run between the tackles.

The schedule New Orleans faces is very nice. Chicago is a tough one, especially during fantasy playoffs, but other than that very few of these matchups should be too hard. They are all currently Middling to Good matchups and some are great. Carolina may be an issue, but there’s a game I think he will do more in the air than the ground.

Bush isn’t perfect. He still takes too many carries outside. He dances sometimes. He gets his touchdowns on returns. But on the whole will put up solid points and against many of the defenses he faces, he should do very well.
Synopsis: ability + dynamic offense + receptions + good schedule – oline issues – bad habits (stop taking it outside dammit!) = A-

So that’s the 20. Some may agree, some may not. It will change due to injury, defensive play and other factors. Any thoughts, send me them at thunderingblurb(a) – if I get enough reaction we can do a whole show around it. Or, dare I say it, another article.

Rankings late today. I need to give my fingers a break.

Top 20 RBs Forward (5-9)

I want to remind everyone that this is not a list of absolutes and as teams play more and things change, so might this list. However with what has been seen so far, this is a basis from which we can keep track of where guys are and how they are doing.

Again, I will invite people to post in the comments what they think or email me at

To catch you up, here are the previous posts:
Top 20 RBs 10-14
Top 20 RBs 15-20

Once again, remember that the breakdown goes like this:

Remaining Schedule:Wk6, Wk7, Wk8,Wk9, Wk10, Wk11, Wk12, Wk13, Wk14, Wk15, Wk16 (bold is common fantasy playoff sched)
Analysis: This dude is good/bad and here is why….
Synopsis: example opportunity + good sched – injury worry – receptions = B+

Onto the next crop:

Matt Forte
Remaining Schedule: @ATL, MINN, BYE, DET, TENN, @GB, @STL, @MINN, JAX, NO, GB (good playoff sched)
Analysis: Now this may cause a ruckus, but I’ll stand by it. My biggest worry with Forte is rookie wall syndrome. Will he hold up over a whole season? Good question – many rookies don’t. Heck, there are Vets who don’t either, come to it. Maybe you also get worried about Orton and the offense. Well, in my opinion, Orton had some sort of bell go off, as he has taken a huge step forward this season. He and Forte excel in part because of the impact they have on the offense. Forte is running well, he catches the ball and makes something happen when he does. And he’s scoring TDs both on the ground and through the air. So the defense cannot just sit back and make Orton beat them, they have to respect the run. They can’t just try to shut down the run though because Orton is making something out of not much through the air. Right now, the offense is hitting on all cylinders and I just don’t see a change coming.

There are some rough patches on the schedule (Minny 2x and Tenn) but Jacksonville isn’t as stout vs the run as they used to be, the Saints can be run on and the rams and Lions? Cake. As I have said a few times before, Green Bay seems to be worrying people but right now they are coughing up 161 ypg and have allowed 5 TDs to date and the secondary is banged up. Two games agains them seem pretty good matchups. The only thing I worry about is that rookie wall. We’ll have to see if Forte is the guy to bash it down or not, but I’d be willing to risk it. They may even spell him a little with Kevin Jones going forward and while it will affect his numbers somewhat it would be a good thing for the rookie to get soem rest.
Synopsis: opportunity + ability + good oline + good schedule – rookie burnout worry – Kevin Jones = B+

Joseph Addai
Remaining Schedule:BAL, @GB, @TENN, NE, @PITT, HOU, @SD, @CLE, CIN, DET, @JAX (good playoff sched)
Analysis: Some tough games early for Addai, as they have been for the Colts offense as a whole. But I believe they will be bouncing back soon. Maybe not this week against a resurgent Baltimore D, but I think the Colts will be rising again. Green Bay and a weakened New England squad are places to start Addai early on, but the key to his value will be week 11 onward where he stops being more a matchups guy and becomes a consistent starter. All those remaining games are at least decent starts as they now stand – even Jacksonville is (as I have said numerous times) not what it was defensively.

I think Addai will peak right as you surge for the playoffs. Problem may be that he was a high pick for you and he may have killed you in the early season. But if you can make adjustements and hang on, Addai will come through for you when it counts most. We know he has ability. we know Manning will get the offense moving. The offensive line is almost all the way back. I don’t think we have seen the full 2008 Addai. He is coming though – and hell comes with him! (little Thundering Humor there…. )
Synopsis: opportunity + usually dynamic offense + great oline – team injuries – tough early sched + good finishing sched = B+

Chris Johnson
Remaining Schedule:BYE, @KC, IND, GB, @CHI, @JAX, NYJ, @DET, CLE, PITT, @IND (good playoff sched)
Analysis: Another rookie? What? Yup, Chris Johnson may be a rookie, but like Forte he has a good chance to be a top back from here on out. He has a few tough matchups (the Bears and Steelers) but so much of this schedule is cake that despite the fact that he is in a RBBC (I lied when I said MJD was the only one) he’s going to put up very good points down the stretch. Like Forte though, will he hit the rookie wall? I expect him to get more and more work over his RBBC partner LenDale White but he’s already averaging between 15-20 carries as it is.

He has struggled the last two weeks against top defenses (44 yds vs Baltimore, 61 yards against Minny – though 2 Tds against the Vikes). But he only sees a handful of them the whole rest of the year. He has good speed, vision and hangs onto the ball well. They aren’t even using him as a receiver much yet, something I expected the Titans to do a lot this season. Johnson faces a great schedule, certainly has the ability to take advantage of it and will be a workhorse for many teams down the stretch. If he can stay healthy and energized and avoid rookie overload, he could be a real stud by season’s end. The opportunity is there.

Wow – imagine the Titans had a top flight WR to really keep the defense honest?
Synopsis: great sched + ability + opportunity – sub-par pass game – rookie burnout worry = B+

Frank Gore
Remaining Schedule:PHI, @NYG, SEA, BYE, @AZ, STL,@DAL, @BUF, NYJ, @MIA, @STL (middling playoff sched)
Analysis: There was a lot of discussion preseason as to whether or not Gore could play well in Martz’s offense and with a sub-par oline. The answer to both is yes – though I would argue the oline is not really all that subpar. Still, Gore is a stud and should be a top 10 RB every draft until something happens to say otherwise. He has skills, no denying it. What he also has right now is a hit and miss schedule the rest of the way. PHI is on it’s heels, but still a decent defense I think. The Giants and Dallas are tough as nails and Buffalo at home in the winter will be no easy chore. We’ll see what the Jets really can do vs the run well before this game and Miami as well. There are some question mark run defenses here that I am not sure will bear out as they have. But for now, the matchups look ok, not great and not consistently. Gore is a talent to be sure – part of his problem is the occasional big hole the team gets into. But Gore has been busy in pass game and looks pretty good doing it and that helps his value even when his ground yards are not sturdy. The reception yards will fill them out.
Synopsis: opportunity + health + receptions – potentially tough schedule = B

LaDainian Tomlinson
Remaining Schedule:
NE, @BUF, @NO, BYE, KC, @PITT, IND, ATL, OAK, @KC, @TB (good playoff schedule)
Analysis: When I started this, little did I think LT would be on the far end of the top 10. But here he is and there are some big reasons why. First of all, his toe. It was getting better, but got stomped on last week and now here we are again with the injury a concern again. Hey, getting your hurt toe stepped on is an occupational hazard for a running back. It could – probably will – happen again. LT has two games that might be good matchups – New England has struggled against the run and Buffalo is right there with them. But if LT is not healthy he might not be very effective. And on top of it, they might utilize Sproles more to let him get a breather. And assuming he 1) doesn’t reinjure the toe or 2) lose a lot of carries to Sproles, the offense itself is banged up and streaky.

Rivers was hot the first three games but now is on a bad two game skid. He looked a little lost against Miami. Antonio Gates is still hurting and Chris Chambers is now out for a week or two. If the pass game is nonexistent, it makes it easier to stop the run. Now LT has faced that before and played well anyway. But he was healthy then. He isn’t now and may not be until after the bye week. The Chargers have to play him – they are in dire straits in the division and can’t afford to not have him. So he will likely not be 100% until week 10, if then. At that point he has some good matchups (the Steelers are the only decnt run D on the schedule right now). But a healthy LT would be in a better place on this list. If he can get healthy soon (how I don’t know) he’ll crawl up it. For now, despite a good schedule, he resides at 9 which I am sure some might think is too far back.

Based on some conversations I have overheard, others might think it’s not far enough back.
Synopsis: opportunity + good sched – injury worries – offensive struggles = B

The last bit will be posted tomorrow. Maybe not early as I have the Stampede as well as the appearence on ESPN 1230 but before my lunch if not sooner. Rankings will come after probably.

Top 20 RBs Forward (10-14)

So turns out I did 6 first time out, not 5 which explains why it took longer to do the synopsis than I anticipated. So you got a Baker’s 5. I guess at the end, you’ll get the last post with the top 4 – ooo the antici…………pation.

First group here:
Top 20 RBs (15-20)

Again, the breakdown of each RB will look like this:

Remaining Schedule:Wk6, Wk7, Wk8,Wk9, Wk10, Wk11, Wk12, Wk13, Wk14, Wk15, Wk16 (bold is common fantasy playoff sched)
Analysis: This dude is good/bad and here is why….
Synopsis: example opportunity + good sched – injury worry – receptions = B+

So here are the next 5 – (and not a bakers 5 like the last time):

10) Clinton Portis
Remaining Schedule:
STL, CLE, @DET, PITT, DAL, @SEA, NYG, @BAL, @CIN, PHI (tough playoff sched)
Analysis: I love Clinton Portis. Guy is one of the most underrated stud backs in Fantasy Football every single year. That said, he has lost a step. He clearly does not have the burts he once did, despite beating teamates in sprints at practice. Must feel very different with pads on. Still, he puts points up and is an absolute workhorse. But like Westy, Barber and Jacobs, he is in a tough division. What you can say is, he just played two of those defense and blew them out of the water. 121 vs Dallas and 145 vs Philly?

Barber struggled against Philly and Washington. Westy had 2 TDs vs Dallas but was only saved via his receptions yard-wise. Same against Washington with one less TD and less ground yards. He got hurt vs Pittsburgh. Portis is more consistant than Barber and healthier than Westbrook. While he lacks the upside of either, he’s playing exceedingly well against tough foes as well as cupcakes.
Synopsis: consistency/reliability + opportunity + achievement in hard matchups – tough schedule = B

11) Brian Westbrook

Remaining Schedule:
@SF, BYE, ATL, @SEA, NYG, @CIN, @BAL, AZ, @NYG, CLE, @WAS (tough playoff sched)

Analysis: I moved Westy around more than anyone else on this list. In fact, I had someone else here not five minutes before I wrote this. Let’s look at why: He plays in the toughest division to run on, bar none – all 4 teams in the top 10 vs the run (as of 10/9). And just in case that isn’t enough, he gets Baltimore as well. He why not Tennessee too?

As long as we’re piling on, he’s banged up again. He would have been in a better position had it just been a sprained ankle, but it’s broken/fractured ribs which bother him whenever he moves. Those are not things that heal quick. They may trot him out this week, when they should bench him and give him time to heal. If he plays this week, it’s only going to aggravate those ribs and take longer to get healed. It ain’t all grim for him though – he catches the ball a ton, is in a dynamic offense and is a huge reason why the offense goes. If he can get healthy, he could be healthy. Still, it’s brutal road going forward with this guy.
Synopsis: opportunity + dynamic offense + receptions – big injury concern – very tough sched = B/B-

12) Marion Barber III
Remaining Schedule:
@AZ, @STL, TB, @NYG, BYE, @WAS, SF, SEA, @PIT, NYG, BAL (brutal playoff sched)
Analysis: Hey I found someone with a tougher schedule than Westbrook! Again, this is not to say Barber won’t produce points. But you can’t like most of what you see there, assuming things stay similiar to now. It IS a theme with the NFC East RBs – it’s not easy for them in this division. Barber is a bruiser and he will get his yards most of the time, but Dallas can air it if need be and watch out for Felix Jones. While he will not steal a ton of carries from Barber, he certainly will eat into them. Jones brings an intriguing X-factor into the offense and they can’t keep him off the field.

The last two games, Barber’s targets are down as well. Funny thing is, Jones’ haven’t gone up. Barber can catch the ball so we’ll see if he gets more looks over the next few weeks. Would I like to own Barber? Yes. He’ll get the carries to put up points most times. But the division is brutal and so is the schedule.
Synopsis: health + dynamic offense – tough schedule + unknown impact (Felix factor) = B-

13) Maurice Jones-Drew
Remaining Schedule:
(middling/good playoff sched)
Analysis: I think this is about the only RB on this list in a pure RBBC. And no Taylor here either, though he has a great schedule as well. But MJD does more with less and consistently. The split carries hurt for sure. But I think Taylor keeps Jones-Drew fresh as often as MJD keeps Taylor fresh. Like Westbrook, MJD survives on his receptions right now. He’s been tremendously effective in the past. Problem is – that was the past. In the ‘what have you done for me today’ mentality of Fantasy Football, MJD is a guy many owners have tried to divest themselves of. I can see why – bad production, annihilated offensive line which is only just recovering. Poor play by the rest of the offense.

But we’ve seen a couple of all right games from him. The oline is starting to pull it together. MJD has some fantastic matchups and we know he can take advantage of them. I know many have tried to get rid of him – I am saying GET him. I believe both he and Taylor will bounce back and MJD is the type of player who only needs a seam to open and he’s gone. It’s a tad risky – again the oline is still a work in progress. But I think he will be back to a solid RB2 status over his next few games and a great matchup guy going forward.
Synopsis: ability + good schedule + several great matchups – developing offense – oline questions – split carries = B-

14) Brandon Jacobs
Remaining Schedule:
@CLE, SF, @PITT, DAL, @PHI, BAL, @AZ, @WAS, PHI, @DAL, CAR (Brutal playoff sched)
Analysis: Let’s be honest – Brandon Jacobs is pretty freaking good. I don’t know he’s as talented as some of the other backs in his division, but he is productive and is workign hard for that new contract. The whole ‘hot hand’ thing scared some owners off but he’s been consistent so far and anyone who did draft him has been content. He had one sub-par game against Cinci – though all the Giants struggled and it was an odd game. Other than that he’s been money, even against Washington. Despite that, I still hate the schedule. And it’s a tough one, not only with games against all division rivals. In some cases he gets them twice! And for good measure he sees Baltimore and Pittsburgh as well as a decent Carolina run D.

So far he’s been money in the bank, but he faces some real challenges this season and has an absolutely brutal schedule for your fantasy playoffs. By the end of week 9 (Dallas) we’ll have a good idea how he will do after several bruising weeks. Until then, mark me as ‘concerned’. Let’s not forget he was banged up a lot last year and with this tough schedule, could break down again this year. Also, he wasn’t a TD machine last season – so far, looks like more of the same though he is nearly at last year’s mark of 4 already.
Synopsis: opportunity + dynamic offense + ability – tough schedule – injury worries = B-

That’s it for now – you may see the next five today. Depends on prep for the Drive Block (10pm EST/7pm PST on But I will work on it for you. Again, feel free to comment here on the site or email me….

Top 20 RBs Forward (15-20)

Please refer to the previous post for the preface about this article. Again, though, this is not a list of absolutes. Some studs you will start regardless of matchup. Some RBs may be ranked high here and have a couple bad matchups you might avoid. And this list itself will evolve and change as the season evolves and changes.

Feel free to disagree – vehemently (though politely, please) with these rankings. I encourage you to comment on the blog. I would love to hear other thoughts.

Each breakdown will look like this -
Remaining Schedule:Wk6, Wk7, Wk8,Wk9, Wk10, Wk11, Wk12, Wk13, Wk14, Wk15, Wk16 (bold is common fantasy playoff sched)
Synopsis: example opportunity + good sched – injury worry – receptions = B+

Here goes:


This is, again, not to say these are horrible starts all the time. But for the most part they are less stable and reliable than many others.

15) Steven Jackson
Remaining Schedule:
@WAS, @STL, @NE, AZ, @NYJ, @SF, CHI, MIA, @AZ, SEA, SF (good playoff sched)
Analysis: We know Jackson has the ability and we know he will put some points up regardless of situation. But that bad oline, a rough overall schedule and a terrible offense have really set him back on this list. I think people are overlooking the Jets D – 75ypg is tough, 6 TDs so far offsets it a bit. That may change. But even if you don’t believe in the Jets, AZ or Sf, there is no easy game, no cupcake at all the remainign games. Jackson will probably produce OK, but I dislike his schedule. He does have a decent playoff schedule will probably be a guy you can count on more then. But as it stands, he will be inconsistent before then. This is one that can change if Jom Haslett can revitalize that team.
Synopsis: Opportunity + ability – bad oline – terrible offense – tough schedule= B-

16) Steve Slaton
Remaining Schedule:
MIA, DET, CIN, @MIN, BAL, @IND, @CLE, JAX, @GB, TENN, @OAK (middling playoff sched)
Analysis: You have to love the relative value of Slaton, since you likely didn’t draft him. It’s unlikely Ahman Green takes the job back and let’s be honest – if he did, he’d be hurt pretty quickly. Slaton has some rough patches in his schedule and unlike Jackson hasn’t got the track record where we trust he will overcome them. The offense looked to be picking up before Schaub got sick and if that’s the case, Slaton will have room to run. Now they just need the D to keep them in games so he gets the chance to run – though he can catch as well. Even when he hasn’t he has broken tackles and fought for yards – he’s a gamer and tough. We’ll see if he breaks down near the end of the season – he is, after all, a rookie.
Synopsis: opportunity + improving O + receptions + decent schedule – middling D – rookie burnout worry = B-

17) Michael Turner
Remaining Schedule:
CHI, @PHI, @OAK, NO, DEN, CAR, @SD, @NO, TB, @MINN (middling playoff sched)
Analysis: The Falcons took great care in not only protecting their rookie QB, but their franchise running back as well. The oline is better than it has been and let’s face it – the rookie Qb is better than any vet they’ve had in years. So the question is: why so streaky? Like the Star Trek movies, he follows up solid perfomances with complete stinkers. His game totals have been: 220, 42, 104, 56, 121. See a pattern? Me too and it concerns me. His TDs follow the yard totals as well. He almost seems like a perfect matchups guy – he plays well when he should, and struggles when he should as well. As such, CHI, PHI, MINN (your fantasy championship game), CAR – all those look like bad matchups for him. If Turner can string some good performances against tough Ds, he moves up on this list. But that schedule looks pretty brutal if he keeps up what he has done so far against good D.
Synopsis: opportunity + health +improved offense – streaky performance – tough schedule = B-

18) Thomas Jones
Remaining Schedule:
CIN, @OAK, KC, @BUF, STL, @NE, @TENN, DEN, @SF, BUF, @SEA (decent playoff sched)
Analysis: What has been going on with Jones anyway? After a good first game, it’s been all downhill. The oline is better. He’s got a better Qb who has a grasp of the offense finally. Yet Jones’ YPC is decreasing, not increasing. I think you will see things improve as the season progresses but he will likely be pretty streaky. He’s got some great matchups (DEN, OAK, KC) and just one truly awful one (TENN) so if I can see some improvement after the bye, I’d be more confident. But so far, he’s headed the wrong way. This weekend is a big indicator of where he will end up at season’s end.
Synopsis: opportunity + improving offense + good schedule – bad ypc – decreasing stats = B-/c+

19) Willie Parker
Remaining Schedule:
@CIN, NYG, @WAS, IND, SD, CIN, @NE, DAL, BAL, TENN(brutal playoff sched)
Analysis:Willie Parker has now been banged up two seasons going. Do I think he’s injruy prone? Not so much that as unlucky. But I am concerned with his return from this injury. I don’t think Mewelde Moore is going to eat into his carries all that much. The offensive line is shaky and a little inconsistent. And man is that schedule brutal in parts. NYG, WAS, DAL, TENN are really harsh matchups – as I said on the Fantasy Show last night the NFC East is the toughest division against the run and Tennessee and Baltimore are no slouches. With a better schedulem Parker would probably be higher on this list. I think he will perform ok for many of those matchups, but it could be tough sledding for him. The upside is, the Steelers love to run first, so he’ll get carries and lots of them.
Synopsis: run 1st offense +ability + opportunity – injury concern – tough schedule =B-/C+

20) Larry Johnson
Remaining Schedule:
TENN, @NYJ, TB, @SD, NO, BUF, @OAK, @DEN, SD, MIA (middling playoff sched)
Analysis: Do I think LJ still has talent? Yes, I do. But not enough to overcome that atrocious oline, terrible playcalling and lackluster offense. And the defense – well, it ain’t pretty. So the problem becomes that even when he could run and has a good or great matchup – will the Chiefs be in the game enough to use him? I think the first Denver game was an abberration. Not that he can’t do it again, but can the team? I think as the season goes on, teams will light the Chiefs up and LJ will see more games like against Carolina where the run was just flat out abandoned. I think he’ll get more carries 7 more often than not, but the Chiefs will also trail more often than not. On another team LJ would be a great big threat. Here, he’s a shiny piston in a broken motor.
Synopsis: opportunity + decent schedule – terrible offense – age/past workload = C+

That took a while to write up. I don’t want to give less so assume one more of these today, maybe two and the last bit tomorrow in between rankings.