Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week 9 Rankings

cheerleader-halloween10We're about midway through the NFL season, but as far as fantasy football is concerned, we're actually well beyond halfway until playoffs start.  If you're sitting at 0-8 or 1-7, you're probably done.  Better luck next year.  If your record is 2-6 or 3-5, there's still some time for a playoff push.  This time last year, I was 3-5 myself, and I won 3 out of my last 5...only to fall a win short of the playoffs.  So if you can string together a few wins, you never know what might happen.  This year I'm 6-2 in my money league and 5-3 in my fun league, but there's still plenty of (fantasy) football to be played.  I'm not thinking playoffs just yet.  I'm thinking about Week 9.

And what's special about Week 9...?  Six more byes?  Yeah, there's that.  What else...

Ah yes, Halloween.  A time when women dress up like prostitutes and claim that they're a "sexy cat".  But there's more than that to Halloween.  There's also candy. dressed up like funny stuff too.  That's about it I guess.  But Halloween is tomorrow, so I'll keep the theme rolling through these rankings.  Speaking of which, let's get to em!

BYES: Broncos, Lions, 49ers, Giants, Cardinals, Jaguars
1.Aaron Rodgers
2.Cam Newton
3.Drew Brees
4.Tony Romo
5.Philip Rivers
7.Andy Dalton
8.Russell Wilson
9.Terrelle Pryor
10.Andrew Luck
11.Jake Locker
12.Matt Ryan
13.Alex Smith
14.Tom Brady
15.Nick Foles
16.Joe Flacco
17.Josh McCown
18.Ben Roethlisberger
19.Ryan Tannehill
20.Geno Smith

Yes, you still win, Brady.  You
Week 8 saw most of the usual suspects in the top-10, with Drew Brees leading the way.  Right behind him though was Andy Dalton, who had a huge 5 TD game against the Jets at home.  No QB is hotter right now, and I've moved the Red Rifle into my top-10 this week.  Colin Kaepernick ran all over the Jags in jolly old England, and Matt Stafford put up nearly 500 yards in the air in a victory over Dallas...not to mention that awesome fake spike rushing TD on the goal line!  Tom Brady and RGIII finished their days with single-digit fantasy numbers, as they continue to be extremely inconsistent.  I still have my boy in the top-10 this week, but I've lowered Tommy Boy quite a bit...right below Alex Smith this week (ouch).

But this is more like it
Once again I was high on someone who left a game early with an injury last week.  This time it was Michael Vick (ESPN #11, ME #8), who re-aggravated that hamstring injury in the first quarter.  I guess we'll never know if Vick could've put up top-10 fantasy numbers against the Giants.  I was down on Matt Ryan in Week 8 though (ESPN #8, ME #11), and he finished well outside of the top-10.  I mentioned that with Roddy White still out, Harry Douglas remained his only real option at WR.  Arizona defended him and Tony Gonzalez well, and Ryan and the rest of the Falcons struggled to get anything going on offense.  It looks like my preseason Super Bowl pick is in serious trouble, and I think Matty Ice may have a hard time putting up top-10 numbers this week at Carolina too.
1.Jamaal Charles
2.Adrian Peterson
3.Marshawn Lynch
4.Eddie Lacy
5.LeSean McCoy
6.Matt Forte
7.Arian Foster
8.DeMarco Murray
9.Darren McFadden
10.Alfred Morris
11.Le'Veon Bell
12.Ray Rice
13.Chris Johnson
14.Stevan Ridley
15.Fred Jackson
16.Ryan Mathews
17.Giovani Bernard 
18.Danny Woodhead
19.Trent Richardson 
20.Zac Stacy 
21.Steven Jackson
22.DeAngelo Williams
23.Lamar Miller
24.Darren Sproles
25.Mike James  
26.Pierre Thomas
27.Benjarvis Green-Ellis
28.Chris Ivory
29.Mike Tolbert
30.Bilal Powell
31.Brandon Bolden
32.Daryl Richardson
33.Willis McGahee
34.Roy Helu, Jr.
35.Donald Brown
36.James Starks
37.Jacquizz Rodgers
38.Daniel Thomas
39.Shonn Greene
40.Tashard Choice

If you were a DeMarco Murray owner, hopefully you kept an eye on his status as gametime approached on Sunday, as he was a late scratch in what could have been a good matchup against the Lions.  It sounded like he was close to suiting up though, so I have him in the rankings this week.  One guy who did come back from injury was Steven Jackson, though you wouldn't know it from the stat line.  I only saw the highlights of that game, but I'm guessing he's still bothered somewhat by the injury.

On the other side of the ball in that one, Rashard Mendenhall sat out with a toe injury...and what did I say on Friday about Andre Ellington?  How about that it "could be the week he grabs a stranglehold on the starting job for the Cardinals.  Well he may have done exactly that, and he actually finished as the #1 fantasy RB in Week 8.  He only rushed 15 times, but he broke one of them for an 80 yard touchdown.  He ended up with 154 rushing yards on the day, so even if you exclude that big run, he was still getting over 5 yards/carry on the other 14.  It'll be interesting to see if Bruce Arians finally sticks with Ellington as the feature back, but we won't know until after their Week 9 bye.  I would imagine all of Arizona's RBs will be healthy in Week 10 against Houston, so this saga is to be continued...

Sorry to have ever doubted you, Captain America.
Last week I was down on Alfred Morris (ESPN #9, ME #13), as I was worried about two things: Helu and Denver's run defense.  It turns out neither of those things had an effect on Morris, as he rushed for nearly 100 yards and a touchdown.  As a Redskins fan, I wish they kept giving it to him in the second half.  But for whatever reason, they seemed to throw the ball way more in the third quarter (even though they actually had the lead!).  They need to keep feeding Alfred, especially when he has it going like he did on Sunday.  

The guy I was especially high on last week was Kendall Hunter (ESPN #43, ME #32), and he performed about as I expected.  Frank Gore did most of his damage in the 1st half, and he ended up as a top-5 RB for the week.  But once the 49ers had a 32-point lead, Hunter got some touches.  He ended up with 84 yards on just 9 carries, and while he didn't find the endzone, he was a top-30 fantasy RB.

As usual, there are several RBs this week to keep an eye on with injuries.  I already mentioned DeMarco Murray, but I also have Arian Foster ranked highly, even though it's not clear if he'll play on Sunday night against the Colts.  Zac Stacy (my BOY!) is dealing with a sprained ankle, but I'm ranking him as though he'll suit up against the Titans.  I'm also ranking Daryl Richardson though, as I think Stacy could be limited by the injury.  I'm leaving CJ Spiller off my list for now, but hopefully we'll know more about him and others by the time Friday rolls around.

1.Dez Bryant
2.Jordy Nelson
3.AJ Green
4.Josh Gordon
5.Brandon Marshall
6.Antonio Brown
7.DeSean Jackson
8.Keenan Allen
9.Pierre Garcon
10.Andre Johnson
11.Harry Douglas
12.Denarius Moore
13.Terrance Williams
14.TY Hilton
15.Steve Smith
16.Jarrett Boykin
17.Vincent Jackson
18.Torrey Smith
19.Kendall Wright
20.Alshon Jeffery
21.Golden Tate
22.Mike Wallace
23.Marvin Jones
24.Stevie Johnson
25.Marques Colston
26.Danny Amendola
27.Nate Washington
28.Dwayne Bowe
29.Brian Hartline
30.Brandon LaFell
31.Darrius Heyward-Bey
32.Lance Moore
33.Emmanuel Sanders
34.Jeremy Kerley
35.Marlon Brown
36.Kenny Stills
37.Vincent Brown
38.Dexter McCluster
39.DeAndre Hopkins
40.Greg Jennings

You can be #1 this week, Dez.  Calvin is on a bye...
Last week I boldly put Megatron back at the #1 spot where he belonged.  OK, maybe it wasn't such a bold move.  But hey, some people had Dez Bryant ahead of him.  I think Dez himself was included in that group, since he publicly said that basically he could do anything Calvin could do.  Ha!  Try 329 yards and a touchdown (nearly two)!  Dez had a nice day as well, but it was about half as many fantasy points as Megatron.  One guy who did have as many fantasy points as Calvin Johnson was Marvin Jones, who found himself just barely inside my top-40 in Friday's update.  If you took a flier on him, congratulations.  You got yourself 4 TDs from a wide receiver.  Impressive.

Pretty sure this guy prefers Megatron to Dez.
One call that I did make was Kenny Stills (ESPN #52, ME #37).  While I definitely prefaced my argument for Stills by saying that he is a boom-or-bust type of fantasy player, I also said that he'd go boom in Week 8.  I pointed out that Buffalo had given up the most passing TDs (15) and given up the most passing plays of 40+ yards (10).  Everything was coming together for Brees to connect with Stills.  And while it only happened 3 times, two of those were for big touchdowns and Kenny Stills had the best day of his young career.  If you were scrambling for someone last week, I hope you were able to pull the trigger on him.  This week, I would imagine Bowe or McCluster will hit the big play against that Buffalo defense, but it could be a guy like Donnie Avery.  We'll see if any of the experts have him in their top-40 or not, but he might sneak in there for me on Friday.

I have to admit though that I was down on Josh Gordon (ESPN #14, ME #24).  The only other time that happened was Week 3, when he blew up in his first game back from suspension.  Well, I guess I gave Jason Campbell too hard of a time in last week's Friday update because the guy was a top-10 fantasy QB in Week 8!  And who did he throw to?  Gordon and Cameron.  I guess it doesn't matter who's behind center for Cleveland.  They're going to try to hit Josh Gordon on a big play.  That happened again on Sunday, as Gordon finished as a top-10 WR.  He's in the top-5 for me this week.

You won't find the following guys on my list just yet: Roddy White, James Jones, and especially not Percy Harvin.  My guess is that Percy and Roddy won't play yet, but Jones might.  If any of them practice this week, they might find their way into the Friday update.
1.Jimmy Graham
2.Rob Gronkowski
3.Jordan Cameron
4.Antonio Gates
5.Jordan Reed
6.Tony Gonzalez
7.Greg Olsen
8.Jason Witten
9.Martellus Bennett
10.Charles Clay
11.Coby Fleener
12.Heath Miller
Jimmy Graham owners were probably pretty nervous last week.  It looked like his foot injury might keep him out against Buffalo (maybe even longer).  But in my Friday update, I said that I thought he would tough it out on Sunday...and tough it out he did.  He played through the pain on just 18 snaps, but he made the most of them as he hauled in 2 touchdowns.  In a down week for fantasy tight ends, Graham and Vernon Davis were a couple of bright spots.  The Jordans (Reed and Cameron) also put up decent numbers, but the rest of the guys on everyone's lists were nearly nowhere to be found.  I scrambled to pick up a fill-in and decided to go with Rob Housler.  He caught one pass late in the 4th quarter for 14 yards.  I almost went with Jeff Cumberland, who wouldn't have done any better (1 catch for 9 yards).

This week I'm rolling with Coby Fleener in my money league.  I'm hoping he gets more involved in the offense now that Reggie Wayne is lost for the year.  I guess we'll have to wait and see.  As for a Halloween reference, I couldn't find a baby dressed up as Gronk (although if they're naked except for a diaper they're halfway there).  So enjoy this kid dressed up like Jared Allen.


Chiefs are 8-0?!?  Oh yeaaah!!!!!
For the second week in a row, the Chiefs were a pretty average fantasy defense.  They stay in my top-10 this week as they travel to Buffalo, but I'm lowering them...all the way down to the #2 spot.  Speaking of playing against the Bills, that's who the Saints played last week, and I was pretty high on them (ESPN #8, ME #4).  They didn't finish in the top-5, but they were close.  Even though they're going up against Geno Smith on an odd numbered week, I still like them to put up some decent fantasy points against the Jets.  The defense I was down on last week was the Browns (ESPN #10, ME not ranked).  They had six sacks but didn't do much else in a losing effort at Arrowhead, and they finished in the bottom half as the #16 fantasy defense in Week 8.

I had a tough decision last week with Carolina vs Cincinnati defense, but I stuck with the Bengals, who yet again put up a ton of defensive fantasy points at home.  They only allowed 9 points in a blowout win against the Jets, and they racked up 4 sacks and two pick-6s!  They finished as the top defense for the week, and I'm going to roll with them again tomorrow night as they travel to South Beach on a short week.  Of course my opponent this week scooped up the Panthers on the waiver wire this morning, so it's going to sting if waiving them comes back to haunt me.

And in case you hadn't seen this yet...?  You're welcome.

View image on Twitter

Check back on Friday for injury updates and some shuffling about in my rankings.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Week 8 Rankings: Friday Update

I'm going to mostly stick to last week's format for today's update, but I'm shuffling the order of things ever so slightly.  First, I'll talk about guys from last night's game, but then I'm going to hit you with some injury updates before getting  to my final rankings.  As usual, I'll give you a few guys I'm high/low on versus the ESPN experts.  And if you're new to the blog...?  No, I will not discuss kickers.  Buckle up.  It's a long one...

He didn't wear the Superman cleats last night (didn't need em).
QBs: The Thursday night game was mostly the Cam Newton show, as the 3rd year QB put up top-5 fantasy numbers for the second time in his last three games.  He's been very efficient this year, with a QBR near 100 and a 65% completion rate.  He should be a top-5 QB again next week when the Falcons come to town.  On the other side of the ball, Mike Glennon didn't look terrible for a rookie on a winless team.  He didn't turn the ball over, but he also couldn't get a lot going against the stingy Panther defense.  He gritted it out at the end though, running the hurry-up offense and getting some decent garbage time points  in the 4th quarter.  He'll stay off the fantasy radar for now, as it doesn't get any easier when the Bucs travel to Seattle next week.

RBs: I had Mike James ranked #20 (ESPN ranked him #21), as he was at least in line to be the feature back last night.  Again, Carolina's defense didn't give him much room to run, and his numbers were very mediocre.  As I mentioned, he'll have that tough matchup next week against the Seahawks, but the schedule softens up a little for him after that, so hang in there if you have him (assuming we find out the Muscle Hamster is done for the year).  The Carolina RBs both got into the action last night.  DeAngelo Williams hadn't rushed for a TD all season, and Tampa Bay hadn't given one up.  So of course, he broke a 12 yard run and found the endzone.  Mike Tolbert scored for a 3rd game in a row (and 5th TD in his last 5 games).  He then proceeded to celebrate next to a sign that I'm pretty sure was for Mike Williams.  But in Tolbert's defense, Williams hasn't exactly been using it very much...

WRs: Vincent Jackson didn't quite see the 22 targets he did in Week 7, but he still got 13.  In fact, in the last two minutes of the game (with the Bucs having approximately a 0.000001% chance of pulling out a victory), Glennon continued to try to throw it to Jackson in the endzone.  You have to like that from a fantasy perspective.  At this point, I think it's safe to drop any other Tampa WRs, including Mike Williams.  As for the Panthers, Cam gave 5-7 targets each to Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, and even Ted Ginn, Jr.  Revis Island was back, as the Bucs let him finally play man-to-man.  The victim was Steve Smith, but LaFell wasn't able to capitalize like I thought he would.  Smith is still the guy to own there, and I think LaFell will continue to be a risky flex play moving forward.

TEs: Greg Olsen has been relatively quiet this year, especially as of late as he's been playing through a foot injury.  But Cam Newton hit the veteran tight end in the endzone to cap off their opening 9 minute drive, giving Olsen some solid fantasy points.  For Tampa Bay rookie Tim Wright, it was looking like he was all set to have back-to-back bad weeks until the end of the game.  Remember that garbage time I was talking about?  Well, Glennon hit Wright in the endzone for a meaningless touchdown in the waning seconds.  And Tim Wright fantasy owners rejoiced...all 7 of them.

DEF:  I had a tough decision to make last night because I had both Carolina and Cincinnati defenses to choose from on my fantasy team.  Yesterday afternoon, I actually dropped the Panthers and picked up Coby Fleener in my money league.
I did this for two reasons...

1. With Jermichael Finley out, I'm in need of a long-term solution at the TE position.  I don't know if Fleener is it, but I'm hoping he'll get more involved with Reggie Wayne out for the year.  I'm planning for the 2nd half of the fantasy season.
2. This made my decision much easier, since I no longer would even have the option to play Carolina's defense last night.  Plus, I ranked the Bengals higher, so I'm sticking to my rankings!

Sweet creamsicle hat, bro.
OK, so maybe that's three reasons, two and a half tops.  Needless to say, the Panthers put up double-digit fantasy points in my league, but I still think the Bengals will do better against the Jets on Sunday.  Not only that, but Carolina doesn't get to play the 0-7 Bucs every week.  Their upcoming schedule looks a little tougher than that of the Bengals to me, with the Niners and Patriots in Weeks 10 & 11...not to mention still two games left on the schedule with the Saints.  In case you were wondering, Tampa Bay's defense did not have a good showing last night...

On Wednesday, I talked a lot about injuries.  I'm sure at some point this season, you've had to sit at least one guy do to injury.  If not, that's amazing.  On my one team alone, I've had injuries to the following: Shane Vereen (Week 1), Reggie Bush (Week 2), Chris Ivory (Week 3), Cecil Shorts (Week 6), and of course...Jermichael Finley (Week 7).  That being said, I thought I'd use my Friday update to talk about important fantasy players with injuries.  I also decided to wait until later in the afternoon to post this because it give me a better idea on the status of these guys after a full week of practice.

Time to get Murray back in the lineup.
I'm going to list these injury updates in order of fantasy significance, at least in my opinion.  I guess that last part goes without saying, seeing as how this entire blog is my opinion.  Whatever.  Here goes...

1. DeMarco Murray: After missing just the one game with the knee injury, it sounds like Murray is ready to get back to work.  If he had a tougher matchup, I'd probably be a little more conservative with my ranking of him this week.  But against the Lions, I nearly have him in my top-10.  Joseph Randle could still get some touches, but with Lance Dunbar also expected back this week, he becomes a very weak flex play.

2. Steven Jackson: Most people thought he'd play after Atlanta's bye week at the latest, but that was last week.  Well, this week he's been practicing, and he says he's back.  I think he'll be back too, and I've added him to my RB rankings.  I've moved Jacquizz Rodgers down a bit, but I think he'll still be very much in the mix.  With Jackson back, Jason Snelling becomes irrelevant, and he's been sitting out practice this week with an ankle injury himself.  Snelling is now officially out for this Sunday and out of my rankings.

3. Jimmy Graham: Why is he not #1 on this list?  I think he plays, that's why.  The Saints are coming off their bye week, and Graham seems to be a tough dude.  I think he's not practicing just to rest the injury, but I guess we'll find out on Sunday.

4. CJ Spiller:  Head coach Doug Marrone has publicly discussed the possibility of sitting Spiller this week to rest his ankle, saying "we need to make a good decision".  Meanwhile, Spiller says he feels "a whole lot better".  Both are dancing around it, but it sounds like CJ might get the week off against the Saints.  I'm removing him from my Week 8 rankings, as he's now listed as Doubtful.  Tashard Choice finds himself in the top-30 as an interesting potential Flex play if you're desperate.

Bet you didn't think you'd see this guy in the NFL again!
5. Brandon Jacobs: Another guy with a "Doubtful" tag, I think Peyton Hillis gets the start again as old man Jacobs most likely misses another week.

6. Danny Amendola: Basically the entire Patriots team is listed as "limited" in practices and will probably be questionable or probable for Sunday's matchup against the Dolphins.  That's just how they roll.  I'm ranking Amendola as if he's a full go for Week 8.

7. James Jones: He said this week that "if it was the Super Bowl, maybe I'd go".  Yeeeeeah, it's the Vikings.  I think Jones doesn't play until at least next week, which is a Monday night game.  Jarret Boykin should be the biggest beneficiary in his absence.

8. Rashard Mendenhall: He hasn't practiced all week due to a toe injury.  I think he'll suit up on Sunday against Atlanta, but I have him in the 30s on the RB list.  I think this could be the week that Andre Ellington grabs a stranglehold on the starting job for the Cardinals.

9. Roddy White: Pretty much the same story as it has been all season with the former Ironman.  He hasn't been practicing, and he's now listed as "Out" for Sunday.

Note: Reggie Bush showed up at practice today with ice on his upper leg.  I'm not sure at this point if it's anything significant or not, but I've adjusted Joique Bell up a bit in my rankings.  If Bush doesn't play on Sunday, Bell instantly becomes a top-20 play.

If I've missed someone, then they're probably not too important.  Again, it's only Friday, so if you own one of these guys then you'll need to pay attention to any updates over the weekend.  Those won't be coming from me, but if you want to shoot me a text, email, tweet, smoke signal, etc., then I'll try to get back to you on Sunday.

And now (finally), here are your Week 8 updated rankings!

BYES: Ravens, Bears, Texans, Colts, Chargers, Titans

1.Peyton Manning
2.Drew Brees
3.Aaron Rodgers
4.Matthew Stafford
6.Tony Romo
7.Michael Vick
8.Russell Wilson
9.Tom Brady
10.Colin Kaepernick
11.Matt Ryan
12.Eli Manning
13.Andy Dalton
14.Ben Roethlisberger
15.Carson Palmer
16.Terrelle Pryor
17.Ryan Tannehill
18.Alex Smith
19.Geno Smith
20.Thad Lewis

I added Thad Lewis to the bottom of my rankings, but I have no interest in talking him up like I did Geno last week.  As for the rest of my list, it seems like as the season goes on, my rankings are getting closer and closer to the experts.  I first started noticing it with tight ends and defenses, but now I'm splitting hairs with the QB position!  I'll give it a try though.

I'm high on: Michael Vick (ESPN #11, ME #8)
Vick should be back in there this week as the Eagles host the G-Men at home.  I don't know if he's 100% health-wise, but I think he'll play with a chip on his shoulder to prove he's  the starting QB, on top of it being a division game against the same defense who knocked him out of the game just a couple weeks ago.  He might not run as much if the hamstring is still bothering him, but with his arm, I don't think he'll have a problem putting up top-10 fantasy numbers against the Giants.

I'm down on: Matt Ryan (ESPN #8, ME #11)
I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid this week.
I was impressed that Matt Ryan managed to have a great fantasy performance last week against Tampa Bay despite double-teams on Tony Gonzalez all day and being without top WRs Julio Jones and Roddy White.  He got the ball to Harry Douglas a lot (including a TD), but his other main target was Jacquizz Rodgers (who ran in for the other two touchdowns).  With Roddy out again, Douglas remains as his only real option at WR, and Patrick Peterson can cover.  Arizona has had a tough time defending TEs, so maybe Gonzalez gets into the action a little more this week.  But I don't want to count on my fantasy quarterback to get his passing TDs to his running backs.  I still think he'll have a solid game this week, but I think he'll finish outside of the top-10.
1.Marshawn Lynch
2.Jamaal Charles
3.LeSean McCoy
4.Frank Gore
5.Adrian Peterson
6.Knowshon Moreno
7.Eddie Lacy
8.Fred Jackson
9.Reggie Bush
10.Darren McFadden
11.Le'Veon Bell
12.Stevan Ridley
13.Alfred Morris
14.DeMarco Murray
15.Darren Sproles
16.Giovani Bernard 
17.Zac Stacy
18.Steven Jackson
19.Maurice Jones-Drew
20.Pierre Thomas
21.Lamar Miller
22.Chris Ivory
23.Andre Ellington
24.Peyton Hillis
25.Roy Helu, Jr.
26.Jacquizz Rodgers
27.Brandon Bolden
28.Willis McGahee
29.Joique Bell
30.Tashard Choice
31.Benjarvis Green-Ellis
32.Kendall Hunter
33.Bilal Powell
34.Rashard Mendenhall
35.Daniel Thomas
36.Joseph Randle
37.Ronnie Hillman
38.Marcel Reece
39.Robert Turbin
40.Chris Ogbonnaya

National Football League
Hunter (not pictured) could have a big day in London.
I'm high on: Kendall Hunter (ESPN #43, ME #32)
It's crazy that I'm this high on a backup RB, but with so many injuries and byes, I think Hunter's not a bad option if you're in serious need.  The 49ers play the Jags this week, and if this game gets out of hand, I could see Hunter getting a good amount of 2nd half work.  I realize I said the same thing about Ronnie Hillman when Denver faced Jacksonville, but that game ended up a lot closer than expected.  San Fran has a much better defense than Denver, and I think this one will be a blowout.  Hunter has a good chance for a few yards and a TD.

I'm down on: Alfred Morris (ESPN #9, ME #13)
I'm not very low on too many running backs versus the experts this week, but I don't have Morris in my top-10.  What better place for Shanahanigans than the place where it all started?  Denver.  Roy Helu has been getting more and more reps, and add that to the fact that Denver has a tough run defense?  I think Alfred finishes outside of the top-10 this week.

1.Calvin Johnson
2.Dez Bryant
3.Jordy Nelson
4.Victor Cruz
5.Demaryius Thomas
6.DeSean Jackson
7.AJ Green
8.Wes Welker
9.Eric Decker
10.Larry Fitzgerald
11.Pierre Garcon
12.Jarrett Boykin
13.Antonio Brown
14.Justin Blackmon
15.Marques Colston
16.Rueben Randle
17.Mike Wallace
18.Anquan Boldin
19.Terrance Williams
20.Cecil Shorts
21.Harry Douglas
22.Danny Amendola
23.Denarius Moore
24.Josh Gordon
25.Hakeem Nicks
26.Michael Floyd
27.Julian Edelman
28.Golden Tate
29.Stevie Johnson
30.Brian Hartline
31.Jeremy Kerley
32.Kris Durham
33.Kenbrell Thompkins
34.Greg Jennings
35.Emmanuel Sanders
36.Dwayne Bowe
37.Kenny Stills
38.Jerome Simpson
39.Riley Cooper
40.Marvin Jones

Kenny Stills even looks  fast!
I'm high on: Kenny Stills (ESPN #52, ME #37)
I'm also high on Reuben Randle...AGAIN! (ESPN #28, ME #16), but I talked him up last week.  Let's talk about a fringe guy who I didn't even have on my list Wednesday, but he's now in my top-40.  Kenny Stills is a deep threat for the Saints who is a textbook boom-or-bust fantasy player.  How lucky are you feeling?  Buffalo has given up the most passing TDs so far this season (15) and they've given up the most passing plays of 40+ yards (10).  That's a formula for success for Drew Brees and Kenny Stills, baby! Also, if Jimmy Graham is still gimpy come Sunday, Brees has to throw to someone.  I think Stills should have a good opportunity to hit a big play this week against the Bills.

I'm down on: Josh Gordon (ESPN #14, ME #24)
Two words: Jason Campbell.  News broke around noon on Wednesday that Campbell would be the starting QB this Sunday for the Browns.  It was right around that time that I posted my rankings, shortly followed by the experts (per usual).  So I actually had Gordon a little higher on Wednesday, but I've lowered him even more since then (especially considering I removed two guys from my top-20 after last night's game).  The ESPN experts still have Gordon ranked ten spots higher than I do, and I just don't see it at Arrowhead with, again...JASON CAMPBELL throwing to him!

1.Rob Gronkowski
2.Jimmy Graham
3.Tony Gonzalez
4.Vernon Davis
5.Julius Thomas
6.Jason Witten
7.Jordan Reed
8.Jordan Cameron
9.Heath Miller
10.Charles Clay
11.Rob Housler
12.Jeff Cumberland

My tight end rankings are basically identical to the expert rankings with one exception: Rob Housler.  I had originally picked up Jeff Cumberland to start this week, but he's dealing with a hamstring issue and that "Questionable" tag has me worried going into Sunday.  So I picked up another guy who is averaging the same 6 targets in each of his last two games.  Housler was a preseason sleeper on a lot of lists, but he quickly fell off the radar as he dealt with an injury early on in the season.  He appears healthy now, and with a good matchup against Atlanta, I like my chances for at least some decent yardage on Sunday from the young tight end.


I'm high on: Saints (ESPN #8, ME #4)
New Orleans is a top-10 fantasy defense this year, and they're coming off their bye week (which followed a tough road loss against New England).  They haven't had a home game since the Monday nighter in Week 4, and I think the Superdome will be rockin when Thad Lewis and company roll into town on Sunday.

I'm down on: Browns (ESPN #10, ME not ranked)
I wasn't even really considering the Browns when putting together my top-12.  But now that Jason Campbell has been declared the starter for their offense, I can't imagine starting their defense in a road game with him as their quarterback.  I'd be too worried about Campbell coughing up the football one way or another and giving the Chiefs great field position that they could use to put up a ton of points on the Browns D.  No thanks. 

A look that says "You've got to be kidding me..."

If you've made it this far, congratulations.  I know it was a long one, but hopefully it'll help you in Week 8.  Good luck, everyone!