Fantasy Football: Top 100 for 2012

Eric StashinSenior Writer IAugust 3, 2012

Fantasy Football: Top 100 for 2012

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    As fantasy football players get ready for their drafts, now is the time to set up your draft board. 

    As we head into 2012, things have definitely changed.  No longer can owners simply focus on running backs in the first two or three rounds, because the value just isn't what it used to be (thanks to most teams going with a two or three-back system).  Where do the top quarterbacks come in on the rankings?  How about the top wide receivers?  Is this the year that a tight end cracks the top 20? 

    With that in mind,let's take a look at the rankings:

No. 81-100

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    While these rankings have a couple of high upside running backs (i.e. Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller) and the young quarterback everyone is clamoring for (Robert Griffin III), the bulk of this part of the rankings is going to be wide receivers with upside and some low-end TE1s (i.e. Fred Davis).  These are the guys that you draft as your WR3 or reserve option but could quickly prove to be usable on a weekly basis.

    As for Griffin, who will likely be the most debated player here, I have said before that I wouldn’t go crazy drafting him based on the performance of Cam Newton a year ago (click here for the article).  That’s not to say that he won’t be a good option, but he is not in the same position to thrive that Newton was.  In dynasty/keeper leagues the story is completely different, but in re-draft leagues I would take a more conservative approach with him.

    With that in mind, let’s get to the rankings:

    81. Robert Griffin III—Washington Redskins (QB 14)
    82. Pierre Garcon—Washington Redskins (WR 30)
    83. Reggie Wayne—Indianapolis Colts (WR 31)
    84. Mark Ingram—New Orleans Saints (RB 31)
    85. Anquan Boldin—Baltimore Ravens (WR 32)
    86. Mike Williams—Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WR 33)
    87. Darrius Heyward-Bey—Oakland Raiders (WR 34)
    88. Justin Blackmon—Jacksonville Jaguars (WR 35)
    89. Fred Davis—Washington Redskins (TE 9)
    90. Eric Decker—Denver Broncos (WR 36)
    91. Michael Crabtree—San Francisco 49ers (WR 37)
    92. Denarius Moore—Oakland Raiders (WR 38)
    93. Tony Gonzalez—Atlanta Falcons (TE 10)
    94. Jay Cutler—Chicago Bears (QB 15)
    95. Titus Young—Detroit Lions (WR 39)
    96. Toby Gerhart—Minnesota Vikings (RB 32)
    97. C.J. Spiller—Buffalo Bills (RB 33)
    98. Daniel Thomas—Miami Dolphins (RB 34)
    99. Brent Celek—Philadelphia Eagles (TE 11)
    100. Jared Cook—Tennessee Titans (TE 12)

No. 61-80

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    In this 20, there are some low-level QB1s and a few wide receivers who are borderline WR2s, but the main focus are on running backs with upside and mid-level TE1s.

    These running backs are options that I’d prefer to have as my third or fourth choices, but they definitely have the potential to be viable starters on a weekly basis (definitely as a FLEX from the outset with the chance for significantly more).  Depending on your format and the way your competitors draft, you may be forced to reach to have one of these depth options that you like, but if you can, I would wait to draft the majority of them.

    The tight ends all have potential, most notably Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates, and I would be happy to get any of the three.  If you don’t want to commit an early pick on one of the top options this would be a good group to focus on.

    61. Philip Rivers—San Diego Chargers (QB 10)
    62. Shonn Greene— New York Jets (RB 24)
    63. Beanie Wells—Arizona Cardinals (RB 25)
    64. BenJarvus Green-Ellis—Cincinnati Bengals (RB 26)
    65. Stevie Johnson—Buffalo Bills (WR 24)
    66. Vernon Davis—San Francisco 49ers (TE 6)
    67. Jeremy Maclin—Philadelphia Eagles (WR 25)
    68. Robert Meachem—San Diego Chargers (WR 26)
    69. Peyton Manning—Denver Broncos (QB 11)
    70. Willis McGahee—Denver Broncos (RB 27)
    71. Jonathan Stewart—Carolina Panthers (RB 28)
    72. Antonio Brown—Pittsburgh Steelers (WR 27)
    73. Antonio Gates—San Diego Chargers (TE 7)
    74. Ben Roethlisberger—Pittsburgh Steelers (QB 12)
    75. Brandon Lloyd—New England Patriots (WR 28)
    76. Stevan Ridley—New England Patriots (RB 29)
    77. James Starks—Green Bay Packers (RB 30)
    78. Matt Schaub—Houston Texans (QB 13)
    79. Brandon Pettigrew—Detroit Lions (TE 8)
    80. Torrey Smith—Baltimore Ravens (WR 29)

No. 41-60

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    This group of 20 players has a random running back and quarterback scattered in, but the top options of those two groups will come in the top 40 players (as expected).  Instead, this grouping basically contains the second tier of tight ends and the bulk of the WR2s.

    Obviously, if you want one of the top two tight end options you are going to have to draft them within the top 40 players on draft day.  However, if you are looking for the next group of options this is where you are going to be drafting them.  The wide receivers obviously can be interchanged, depending on your preference, but virtually my entire group of WR2s fall into this range.  It makes sense, because you want to focus on RB and the top WR/QB in the first three rounds.

    With that in mind, let’s take a look at the rankings:

    41. Brandon Marshall—Chicago Bears (WR 13)
    42. Jordy Nelson—Green Bay Packers (WR 14)
    43. Michael Turner—Atlanta Falcons (RB 20)
    44. Dez Bryant—Dallas Cowboys (WR 15)
    45. Darren Sproles—New Orleans Saints (RB 21)
    46. Marques Colston—New Orleans Saints (WR 16)
    47. Percy Harvin—Minnesota Vikings (WR 17)
    48. Demaryius Thomas—Denver Broncos (WR 18)
    49. Tony Romo—Dallas Cowboys (QB 8)
    50. Vincent Jackson—Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WR 19)
    51. Kenny Britt—Tennessee Titans (WR 20)
    52. Miles Austin—Dallas Cowbys (WR 21)
    53. Aaron Hernandez—New England Patriots (TE 3)
    54. Roy Helu—Washington Redskins (RB 22)
    55. Jahvid Best—Detroit Lions (RB 23)
    56. Matt Ryan—Atlanta Falcons (QB 9)
    57. DeSean Jackson—Philadelphia Eagles (WR 22)
    58. Dwayne Bowe—Kansas City Chiefs (WR 23)
    59. Jason Witten—Dallas Cowboys (TE 4)
    60. Jermichael Finley—Green Bay Packers (TE 5)

No. 21-40

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    We’re working our way towards the best of the best.  Those who fall into this grouping are going to be your RB2s, as well as your second-tier wide receivers and quarterbacks.  Obviously, these are all top players (falling from the end of the second round to the beginning of the fourth), but there are various reasons that keep them outside the top 20.

    Let’s take a look at how this grouping falls:

    21. Cam Newton—Carolina Panthers (QB 5)
    22. Jimmy Graham—New Orleans Saints (TE 2)
    23. Frank Gore—San Francisco 49ers (RB 13)
    24. Fred Jackson—Buffalo Bills (RB 14)
    25. Andre Johnson—Houston Texans (WR 4)
    26. Greg Jennings—Green Bay Packers (WR 5)
    27. Wes Welker—New England Patriots (WR 6)
    28. Jamaal Charles—Kansas City Chiefs (RB 15)
    29. Adrian Peterson—Minnesota Vikings (RB 16)
    30. Hakeem Nicks—New York Giants (WR 7)
    31. A.J. Green—Cincinnati Bengals (WR 8)
    32. Julio Jones—Atlanta Falcons (WR 9)
    33. Doug Martin—Tampa Bay Buccaneers (RB 17)
    34. Victor Cruz—New York Giants (WR 10)
    35. Mike Wallace—Pittsburgh Steelers (WR 11)
    36. Ahmad Bradshaw—New York Giants (RB 18)
    37. Reggie Bush—Miami Dolphins (RB 19)
    38. Eli Manning—New York Giants (QB 6)
    39. Steve Smith—Carolina Panthers (WR 12)
    40. Michael Vick—Philadelphia Eagles (QB 7)

No. 1-20

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    The countdown is finally over as we reach Rotoprofessor’s top 20 fantasy football players for the 2012 season.  We all know that these rankings are going to be dominated by the top running backs in the league, so the big question is where do the top wide receivers, quarterbacks and tight ends fall?

    Surprised a tight end cracked the top 20?  That helps to show you how fantasy football has changed.  Another prime example is just how many quarterbacks cracked our top 10.  With injuries and the league becoming dominated by the running-back-by-committee approach, draft strategies have got to be altered.

    With that in mind, let’s countdown the top 20 on our rankings:

    1. Arian Foster—Houston Texans (RB 1)
    2. Ray Rice—Baltimore Rice (RB 2)
    3. LeSean McCoy—Philadelphia Eagles (RB 3)
    4. Chris Johnson—Tennessee Titans (RB 4)
    5. Maurice Jones-Drew—Jacksonville Jaguars (RB 5)
    6. Calvin Johnson—Detroit Lions (WR 1)
    7. Ryan Mathews—San Diego Chargers (RB 6)
    8. Aaron Rodgers—Green Bay Packers (QB 1)
    9. Tom Brady—New England Patriots (QB 2)
    10. Drew Brees—New Orleans Saints (QB 3)
    11. Darren McFadden—Oakland Raiders (RB 7)
    12. Marshawn Lynch—Seattle Seahawks (RB 8)
    13. Trent Richardson—Cleveland Browns (RB 9)
    14. Larry Fitzgerald—Arizona Cardinals (WR 2)
    15. Matt Forte—Chicago Bears (RB 10)
    16. DeMarco Murray—Dallas Cowboys (RB 11)
    17. Steven Jackson—St. Louis Rams (RB 12)
    18. Rob Gronkowski—New England Patriots (TE 1)
    19. Roddy White—Atlanta Falcons (WR 3)
    20. Matthew Stafford—Detroit Lions (QB 4)

    Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings: