NFL.com just came out with their fantasy games and accessories for the 2010 season. I’m waiting for Yahoo to do the same so we can get some Razzball on Razzball dynasty action going. But while we wait, I thought I’d take a look at NFL.com’s Top 200 for 2010. I am usually a fan of individual position rankings over overall rankings, but they all have their place in our fantasy world.
No set of rankings are infallible, so I’m not here to ridicule their rankings, but to learn from them (and maybe ridicule a little). When doing my overall rankings it is often difficult to take into consideration a players ADP while at the same time consider whether I think I would reach for a certain player and how far ahead of their ADP. So of course overall rankings can’t be followed blindly when actually drafting, but I try my hardest to get them as close as possible to doing just that.
At first glance I see a big problem in their top 10, three quarterbacks! #5 Aaron Rodgers, #6 Drew Brees, and #9 Peyton Manning. On their front page they write, “As the NFL has become more of a passing league, quarterbacks have taken on added importance in fantasy football.” Hrm? Yes, NFL teams are throwing more and more and are successful doing so. There were a record ten QB’s with over 4,000 yard passing. Both Super Bowl teams were led by elite fantasy QB’s. The writing is on the wall! So why do I need to draft a QB 5th overall? Are these rankings for 2 QB leagues? With the movement toward more passing, and running backs by committee, elite running backs are even more valuable than ever.
Conventional wisdom has always told us to draft RB’s first and QB’s later. When there were fewer QB’s racking up huge numbers, that wisdom might not have been completely wise, but now, when you only need one QB, and you can most likely get one in the 4th or 5th round that will pass for 4,000 yards and 25+ touchdowns, it just seems like a waste to grab one in the first round, especially if Rodgers doesn’t rush for 5 TDs again.
#17 Shonn Greene and #18 Jamaal Charles are both fairly close to where I have them when you take into consideration all of the quarterbacks they have pushing their rankings back. It is interesting to see where people are valuing Greene, Charles and Wells. Many people are afeared of Tomlinson, Tom Jones, and Timmy Hightower destroying their numbers. Of course that is a concern, but with the amount of RBBCs out there I feel comfortable grabbing the superior back of the committees.
#23 Desean Jackson is ahead of #24 Miles Austin, #27 Calvin Johnson, #28 Roddy White, #29 Vincent Jackson, and #30 Brandon Marshall. Yes, they are all very close, but I think DJax is getting too much credit for his propensity for huge plays last season. Yes, he was unbelievable, but I just don’t see him repeating last season. Celek and Maclin are going to be big targets for Kolb and the ball will be more evenly distributed.
#36 Joseph Addai to #37 Beanie Wells seems like a over reaction to Addai’s 10 touchdowns while Donald Brown was injured and Tim Hightower’s 8 touchdowns while Beanie was learning blocking schemes. When I look at these two situations I see Addai losing carries to the 2011 starter, Donald Brown and Wells’ superior ability leaving Hightower high in the tower where maybe a prince might save him, but I doubt it.
#71 Hakeem Nicks is behind, well, a lot of wide receivers. I think Nicks will be the Giants #1 receiver this season and even though I don’t love Eli, he did pass for over 4,000 yards last season and Nicks will have every opportunity to take a big chunk of those, along with 8-10 TDs.
#77 Clinton Portis could be the starting running back for the Natives, but there is no way I will draft him in the 7th round when I could get Ahmad Bradshaw, Fred Jackson, Darren McFadden, or a pile of feces instead. I may be wrong about Portis. He may stay healthy all year long and be a serviceable RB for your team, but I believe the over under on games he will get 20+ touches should be around eight. First he has to win the job over Larry Johnson. Not that tough, but it’s not a given. Secondly, he averaged about five ailments per game last season and he isn’t getting any younger.
Overall their rankings are fine, but I think they are doing a disservice with their QB rankings. Yes, I would love to have Rodgers, Brees or Manning on my team, but unless you are drafting with morons, your RB’s and WR’s are going to be sad to worthless. I actually will probably take a QB earlier than I usually do, but it won’t be in the first 2 rounds. I hope to get one in the 5th, but could see going a little earlier if the right guy dropped. I’ll be mocking it up to see what the trends will be this season and I’ll report back. Don’t worry, I’ll be careful.