Fantasy Football 2012: Position Rankings for Week 9

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2012

After consulting with several fortune tellers and soothsayers, conducting multiple computer simulations composed of fancy algorithms and dressing up as Doctor Manhattan for Halloween, I now feel qualified to inform you that my fantasy football rankings this week are the best the world has ever seen.

Okay, none of the above happened (though I'm totally rocking out as Doctor Manhattan next year) and I can't guarantee that these are the greatest fantasy football rankings ever. Not even Jack Black would be so brazen. 

But if you are looking for a guide to help you decide which key players to start and which to sit, these should help. I've considered past performances, matchups and potential one-on-one battles to compose the following rankings.

Next week, I'll try to get some soothsayers. We'll see what happens.



1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (Cincinnati Bengals)

2. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Jacksonville Jaguars)

3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Washington Redskins)

4. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (Carolina Panthers)

5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Arizona Cardinals)

6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (New York Giants)

7. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (New Orleans Saints)

8. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Philadelphia Eagles)


9. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Oakland Raiders)

How about Josh Freeman, ladies and gentlemen? In the last three weeks, Freeman has tallied 23.5, 30.1 and 22.3 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues, and now he gets an Oakland defense that gives up 17.5 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per week (24th in NFL).

I'm still not sure how much I trust Freeman, hence his low QB1 rating. But if you have a quarterback below him on my rankings or are missing Tom Brady on bye, this is a great time to roll the dice with the Bucs' signal-caller. 


10. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (Kansas City Chiefs)

11. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Dallas Cowboys)

12. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (Miami Dolphins)

13. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (Cleveland Browns)

14. Eli Manning, New York Giants (Pittsburgh Steelers)

15. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)


Running Backs

1. Arian Foster, Houston Texans (Buffalo Bills)

2. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles (New Orleans Saints)


3. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns (Baltimore Ravens)

There was a time when we would hesitate to project a running back facing the Baltimore Ravens this highly. There was also a time when we questioned Richardson's fantasy value as a rookie running back trying to produce on this Cleveland offense.

Those times are over.

The Ravens allow 22.2 fantasy points to opposing running backs per game (28th in the NFL), Richardson is the fifth-ranked running back in standard-scoring leagues and, oh yeah, he posted 16.4 points against Baltimore in Week 4. 

Take away a two-week lapse in production given his rib injury, and Richardson has been as consistently productive as any running back not named Arian Foster for fantasy owners this year. He's a great play once again this week.

4. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens (Cleveland Browns)

5. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (Tennessee Titans)

6. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (Carolina Panthers)

7. Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos (Cincinnati Bengals)

8. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (Kansas City Chiefs)

9. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (Minnesota Vikings)

10. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Oakland Raiders)

11. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (San Diego Chargers)

12. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

13. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (Seattle Seahawks)

14. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints (Philadelphia Eagles)

15. DeMarco Murray*, Dallas Cowboys (Atlanta Falcons)

16. Jonathan Dwyer*, Pittsburgh Steelers (New York Giants)

17. Rashad Jennings, Jacksonville Jaguars (Detroit Lions)

18. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins (Indianapolis Colts)

19. LaRod Stephens-Howling, Arizona Cardinals (Green Bay Packers)

20. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans (Chicago Bears)

21.  Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants (Pittsburgh Steelers)

22. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts (Miami Dolphins)

23. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills (Houston Texans)

24. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (Denver Broncos)

25. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons (Dallas Cowboys)


Wide Receivers

1. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears (Tennessee Titans)

2. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (Jacksonville Jaguars)

3. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (Green Bay Packers)

4. Victor Cruz, New York Giants (Pittsburgh Steelers)

5. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (Denver Broncos)


6. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers (Washington Redskins)

If there was ever a week for Smith to cut loose—and his quarterback Cam Newton, for that matter—this would be it

The Redskins allow a whopping 31.1 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in standard-scoring leagues each game (31st in NFL) and 314.3 passing yards per week (32nd in NFL). 

Smith still hasn't scored a receiving touchdown this season, but he does have five games with 80 receiving yards or more. Against the Redskins, expect him to at least accumulate 80 receiving yards and finally break that touchdown drought.

7. Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

8. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Oakland Raiders)

9. Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers (Kansas City Chiefs)

10. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (Miami Dolphins)

11. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (Philadelphia Eagles)

12. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (Cincinnati Bengals)

13. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs (San Diego Chargers)

14. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (Arizona Cardinals)

15. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (Dallas Cowboys)

16. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers (New York Giants)

17. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (Buffalo Bills)

18. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings (Seattle Seahawks)

19. Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles (New Orleans Saints)

20. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (New Orleans Saints)

21. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (Cincinnati Bengals)

22. Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins (Indianapolis Colts)

23. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (Atlanta Falcons)

24. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (New York Giants)

25. James Jones, Green Bay Packers (Arizona Cardinals)


Tight Ends

1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints (Philadelphia Eagles)

2. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (New York Giants)


3. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (Buffalo Bills)

Don't call it a comeback. 

Daniels was having an amazing year for fantasy owners back in 2009 before an injury cost him eight games that season. In 2010, he lost another five. Last year, his 677 receiving yards and three touchdowns suggested he had become a secondary weapon in Houston's offense.

But he's back, folks, currently the fourth-ranked tight end in standard-scoring leagues with 416 yards and four touchdowns after seven games. And with the Bills having to deal with Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, Daniels should be in line for another solid week for owners.

You know what? Go ahead and call it a comeback.

4. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (Dallas Cowboys)

5. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (Atlanta Falcons)

6. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (Seattle Seahawks)

7. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (Kansas City Chiefs)

8. Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (Denver Broncos)

9. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles (New Orleans Saints)

10. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (Washington Redskins)

11. Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans (Chicago Bears)

12. Martellus Bennett, New York Giants (Pittsburgh Steelers)

13. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions (Jacksonville Jaguars)

14. Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

15. Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills (Houston Texans)


Defense/Special Teams

1. Chicago Bears (Tennessee Titans)

2. Houston Texans (Buffalo Bills)


3. Green Bay Packers (Arizona Cardinals)

The Cardinals have allowed opposing defenses double-digit fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues for five straight weeks. They've given up 33 sacks in that time. And the Packers have scored 26 fantasy points combined over the past three weeks, a solid number they might just duplicate in one week against this Cardinals team.

Start the Packers defense and reap the rewards.


4. Baltimore Ravens (Cleveland Browns)

5. San Diego Chargers (Kansas City Chiefs)

6. Miami Dolphins (Indianapolis Colts)

7. Minnesota Vikings (Seattle Seahawks)

8. Seattle Seahawks (Minnesota Vikings)

9. Atlanta Falcons (Dallas Cowboys)

10. Denver Broncos (Cincinnati Bengals)


*If player in question plays despite injury concerns.


Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets are clutch like Romo. Sergio Romo, that is.

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