Fantasy Football 2012: Position Rankings for Week 6

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 07:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the game against the Denver Broncos during the game on October 7, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

You've got questions, I've got fantasy football rankings.

I've scoured this week's games, studying trends, prior performances and key matchups to create a perfect, foolproof list of fantasy rankings that is 100 percent guaranteed to be completely and utterly accurate.

OK, so I can't guarantee perfection, or anywhere even close to that. This is fantasy football, after all, where William Powell has suddenly become a household name.

But after the first five weeks of the season, I do believe the trends that will start to define the rest of the fantasy season are becoming apparent. So with that in mind, here are my top-15 quarterback and tight end rankings, top 25 running back and wide receiver rankings and top 10 defense rankings.

And if you are looking for kickers, well, c'mon man! Who cares about kickers?



1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Oakland Raiders)


2. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Tennessee Titans)

Before the season began, there were questions about whether or not Big Ben would ever be relevant for fantasy owners this season.

I think he's put them to rest at this point.

Roethlisberger has thrown for 1,111 yards and eight touchdowns (to just one interception) in four games this year. He's scored double-digit fantasy points in three of the Steelers' four games. Oh, and the Titans are allowing 21.1 fantasy points per week to opposing quarterbacks (30 in the NFL).

Big Ben is a must-start quarterback this week. He's going to blow up in a big way.


3. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (San Diego Chargers)

4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Seattle Seahawks)

5. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (Jacksonville Jaguars)

6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (New York Jets)

7. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Philadelphia Eagles)

8. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Houston Texans)

9. Eli Manning, New York Giants (San Francisco 49ers)

10. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (Denver Broncos)

11. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (Detroit Lions)

12. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers (New York Giants)

13. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings (Washington Redskins)

14. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans (Green Bay Packers)

15. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (Baltimore Ravens)


Running Backs

1. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders (Atlanta Falcons)

If ever there was a week for McFadden to have a big breakthrough, this is it. The Falcons are allowing 20.2 fantasy points per week to opposing running backs (22nd in NFL) and are allowing 142.8 rushing yards per week (27th in NFL).

McFadden has cracked the 100-yard plateau just once this season. Against the Falcons—and in a game I suspect will become a shootout—he'll reach 100 yards and then some. Look for Run DMC to be one of the fantasy stars of the week.


2. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns (Cincinnati Bengals)

3. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

4. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens (Dallas Cowboys)

5. Arian Foster, Houston Texans (Green Bay Packers)

6. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles (Detroit Lions)

7. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys (Baltimore Ravens)

8. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (New York Giants)

9. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons (Oakland Raiders)

10. Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers (Tennessee Titans)

11. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (Denver Broncos)

12. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (Washington Redskins)

13. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Kansas City Chiefs)

14. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins (St. Louis Rams)

15. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (New England Patriots)

16. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (Cleveland Browns)

17. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (Minnesota Vikings)

18. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants (San Francisco 49ers)

19. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots (Seattle Seahawks)

20. Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos (San Diego Chargers)

21. Shonn Green, New York Jets (Indianapolis Colts)

22. Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills (Arizona Cardinals)

23. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams (Miami Dolphins)

24. Mikel Leshoure, Detroit Lions (Philadelphia Eagles)

25. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills (Arizona Cardinals)


Wide Receivers

1. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (Oakland Raiders)


2. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (Cleveland Browns)

Don't you even try to protest by noting that Joe Haden is playing again this week. Don't you dare!

Paul Dehner, Jr. of CBS went ahead and compiled the stats Green has posted against Haden in the last four meetings between the two (dating back to their college days):

  • 2008 Cocktail Party, Florida 49, Georgia 10: five receptions for 91 yards
  • 2009 Cocktail Party, Florida 41, Georgia 17: three receptions for 50 yards
  • 2011 Bengals 27, Browns 17: one reception for 41 yards (game-winning TD)
  • 2011 Bengals 23, Browns 20: three receptions for 110 yards (51-yard reception to set up game-winning FG)

Yes, Haden has played well against him. But coming off a suspension, Haden will probably be somewhat rusty. And seeing as Green has double-digit fantasy points against him in the NFL, I still feel confident that fantasy's top receiver this year will produce.

3. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (Philadelphia Eagles)

4. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Kansas City Chiefs)

5. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (San Diego Chargers)

6. Wes Welker, New England Patriots (Seattle Seahawks)

7. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (Buffalo Bills)

8. Victor Cruz, New York Giants (San Francisco 49ers)

9. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (Green Bay Packers)

10. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings (Washington Redskins)

11. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

12. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (Baltimore Ravens)

13. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (New York Jets)

14. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (Oakland Raiders)

15. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (Detroit Lions)

16. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (Tennessee Titans)

17. Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers (Denver Broncos)

18. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers (New York Giants)

19. James Jones, Green Bay Packers (San Francisco 49ers)

20. Stevie Johnson, Buffalo Bills (Arizona Cardinals)

21. Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles (Detroit Lions)

22. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers (Tennessee Titans)

23. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (San Diego Chargers)

24. Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Kansas City Chiefs)

25. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (Baltimore Ravens)


Tight Ends

1. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (Oakland Raiders)

Until he stops producing, he stays atop this list.

Gonzalez already has 38 receptions for 388 yards and four touchdowns. He's finished with single-digit fantasy points just once this season and has a touchdown catch in every game game but one as well. Oh, and the Raiders are 28th in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to opposing tight ends.

Much like his standard touchdown celebration, this matchup is a slam dunk. Keep riding Tony G. until the production slows down.


2. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (Tennessee Titans)

3. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (Green Bay Packers)

4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (New York Giants)

5. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (Seattle Seahawks)

6. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (Washington Redskins)

7. Martellus Bennett, New York Giants (San Francisco 49ers)

8. Fred Davis, Washington Redskins (Minnesota Vikings)

9. Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots (Seattle Seahawks)

10. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (Baltimore Ravens)

11. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (Denver Broncos)

12. Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans (Pittsburgh Steelers)

13. Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos (San Diego Chargers)

14. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions (Philadelphia Eagles)

15. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens (Dallas Cowboys)


Defense / Special Teams

1. Cincinnati Bengals (Cleveland Browns)

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (Tennessee Titans)

3. Baltimore Ravens (Dallas Cowboys)

4. St. Louis Rams (Miami Dolphins)

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Kansas City Chiefs)

6. New England Patriots (Seattle Seahawks)

7. Atlanta Falcons (Oakland Raiders)


8. Buffalo Bills (Arizona Cardinals)

I know you're afraid to start the Bills. I know they've been torched for 45 points or more three times this season. I understand your apprehension; I really do.

But the Cardinals allowed Kevin Kolb to be sacked nine—you read that right, nine—times last week. Their offense has less punch than Kevin James in that new movie none of us are going to see. The Cardinals are 21st in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to opposing offenses.

So put aside your fears, live a little and circle the wagons with the Buffalo Bills.


9. Arizona Cardinals (Buffalo Bills)

10. Denver Broncos (San Diego Chargers)


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets know when to apply the infield fly rule.

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